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 A bit of reconstructed East Viking Norse

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Arfawǫrðr
Stranger - Útlendingr


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Join date : 2014-10-11

PostSubject: A bit of reconstructed East Viking Norse   Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:46 am

Hail thanes!
Here's a text to sink your teeth into Smile
Below the Norse text there's a long rant with explanations and such in English. No translation though. Ok let's talk some (reconstructed) East Viking Norse.

--------------------------------------------
Komin/komið íʀ hæiliʀ ok sǽliʀ félagaʀ góðiʀ! Dǽlla wǽʀi sø̄milíkaʀa at kalla iðr þegna góða eða wǫrðu/wærði (h)ins gamla máls.
Nūna skulum wíʀ tala (h)ina fornu tungu es talǫð was af hæiðnum hausi ā nor(ð)rø̄num lǫndum ok wíðaʀ. Mikit ann iak tungu þæiʀisi/þessi!
Ef iak marka/ríst/(w)rít wranglíka swá sem sæt(i)a (iak) rūnaʀ wrangan weg eða anna(r)t þý líkt þā gærwin/gærwið wel ok látin/látið mik wita. Iak em nú maðr æinn ok stafa gallaʀ ok annars konaʀ munu líklíka margiʀ hér neðan for/for neðan.

Mik wrak ōwart ā síðu þessa es iak swæimaða um næt hér áðan. Harðla þōtti méʀ skæmmtilíkt at finna stað þannsi. Þó(tt) skæmmtilíkaʀa þø̄tti méʀ ef flæiʀi wǽʀin hér ā síðu þessi.
Æigi wæit iak hwærsweg wel íʀ talið eða skilið miǫk forna nor(ð)rø̄na tungu ænn swá man standa at ōrøyndu ok at iðr ōspurðum. Ænn méʀ þykkiʀ raun sé(i) ráði bætri ok nǫ́kkwar þarf nú at byria. Swá iak kýs at hæfia mál mītt.

Mál þat es iak nytia hér es ǽtlat at frammarla hærma æftiʀ gærð ænn ok æðli austrø̄nnaʀ tungu wíkinga aldaʀ eða um kring ár þúsund. Þat's at sægia swǣnsk ok dǫnsk gærð máls þæiʀaʀ tíðaʀ. Þøygi marka iak "dansk" þar's þet es sæinaʀa tīma gærð máls þessa ok es sú títt ok oft hwargi sǫmu gærðaʀ (h)innaʀ ællri. Ā austrø̄num stæinum finnask harðla mǫrg dø̄mi es nǫ́kkwat ænn (ī nútíðinni) ænn gærla fyrr wǫ́ʀu talið wesa æðli ok mærki westrø̄n. Þar skal hælzt dø̄ma geta "u-hliúðwarps". Ænn ā austrø̄num stæinum warðaʀ æinugi hwaðart u-hliúðwarp es "gamalt" eða "nýtt". Þat's at sægia með ǫllu ālíkt þý es gildiʀ ī síðaʀi westrø̄nu es finna má ī (h)inum gǫmlu bóka skrǫ́um frǽg(i)u ok mærkilíku. Gamǫl austrø̄na es gørla ōlík sæinaʀi austrø̄nu at gærð ænn þá myklu líkaʀi westrø̄nu. (H)in øystri gærð tungunnaʀ bráss miǫk skiútt at wíkinga ǫldu luknu ok was at swá gǫru þagaʀ um tīma laga yrkia urðin ǫll annǫr. Ī hǣnni má hitta læifaʀ æinaʀ (h)inna fornu málhæfða þessa es sagt was af hér ofan. Má fullwel lýsa ráðandi stǫðu austrø̄nnaʀ tungu síðaʀa tīma þessum/þæimsi orðum... "allt í pati"... swá sem íslændingaʀ sægia Smile Ænn æigi hǣtti mál at bregðass at swá gǫru, hældr framlæiðis brá séʀ ǫld af ǫldu for sakaʀ tungu útlændra suðrmanna frā Saxlandi es tók at winna ā máli ōru. Fǫ́um orðum sagat.. méʀ líkaʀ ællri austrø̄na bætr þan (h)in yngʀi/ø̄ʀi.
Iak nýti ok (h)in fornu næfhliúð (āōūǭēīȳǣø̄). Hwat warðaʀ hliúð þausi má þess geta þat (h)in ælfdǿlska tunga getr warla weʀit (h)inni fornu austrø̄nu tungu ællri þar's (h)in fyrri næmnda/næfnda es ǽttǫð fran (h)inni sæinaʀi. Ok ælfdǿlska hæfiʀ framlæiðis flæst ǫll nasa hliúð norðrø̄nnaʀ tungu. For þý sȳniss méʀ nauðsyn at nytia hliúð þausi bǽði ī austrø̄nu ok westrø̄nu.
Þar með es yfrit ok margt sagt hwaðart/hwárt hældr má tælia anna(r)t eða hitt rétt. Fari hwáʀ at wilia sīnum. Gótt ok wel.

Wisst má rǿða gildi gærðaʀ máls þessa es iak witra hér nú. Ænn til þess at lýsa æinu hwæriu iafi þarf witnis, þess es ōs mǽtti "sanna" þat ǫðruwís fǿrim bætr at ok þar af skifta umb skoðan (at minnstu mīna). Ænn iak bæiðums sem fǽstra ōkwǽðisorða standin aðriʀ æigi með méʀ Smile

At æinugi þess síðr. Þý mæiʀ hwáʀ wæit eða nemʀ þý bætr. Ok iá. Anna(r)t ænn. Iak nýti hælst 's/ʀ-skifti' ī orðum swá sem 'wesa' ok røyndaʀ ī flæiʀum,.. kiúsa, kaus, kuʀum, kuʀinn(koʀinn)/friúsa, fraus, fruʀum, fruʀinn(froʀinn) ok flæiʀum þess æðlis. Méʀ þykkiʀ þet fægra ok allt gøymt ok warðwæitt til skiftis ā wíkinga ǫldu ok efnwel sæinaʀ ā bræið wið 'ʀ/ʀ'. Fari hwáʀ aft wilia sīnum þar sem hér má kiúsa aðra hwaðra/hwára læið.

Hwat (sem) hældr gildiʀ.. méʀ was mikit glam auk gaman at finna síðu þāsi Smile

Stunt mǽlt af siǫlfum méʀ ok hwáʀ/hwaʀ iak em. Iak hæiti Daníel ok iak em átta ok þriggia tiaga wintra/ára gamall (=átta wintra (gamall) (h)ins fiǫrða tiagaʀ). Iak em swǣnskʀaʀ þiúðaʀ fǿddr ok alinn ī Stokkholmi þó ǽttaðr wíðaʀ frā swá sem Dǫlum ok Hælsingialandi ok Wærmalandi ok Smálǫndum ok Upplandi ī Swéþiúðu. Iak hæfi nor(ð)rø̄na tungu ī twā tiǫgu wintra um numna/nufna, bǽði westrø̄na ok austrø̄na. Iak bió/bygga auk ā Íslandi halfan fiǫrða wintr til þess at nema (h)ina íslænzka tungu. Íslænzka es mærkilíkasta tunga es iak hæfi nǫ́kkwarn tīma kænnts wiðr. (Ne) es hǭn æigi með ǫllu (h)in sama sem nor(ð)rø̄na. Ænn nor(ð)rø̄nu líkaʀi tunga ok bætr warðwæitt mál ī þúsund ára/ǫ́r es æinumgi finnanda. Iak man/mun líklíka fyrr fā høyʀa íslænding ráða stafa þessa/stǫfum þessum þan síðaʀ þurfa at iðrass þessa orða mīnna,.. ef swá má at orði fara. Margt eða flæst es nǽʀ æins miðli mála þessa twæggia. Stundum eða iafnwel oft es allt æins. Hwærn weg getr þat weʀit? Miǫk undarlíkt. Wes þú hæilt, Ísland ok haldiʀ þú fram at þrífass ok warðwæitiʀ þú íslænzka tungu und es upphiminn rifni! (Ég meina hvur andskotinn! Þið eruð skrýtnir maður. Á góðan hátt á ég við).
Iak æggia/hwæt sem flæsta mænn at nema mál þetta/þatsi gamalla orðafara ok orðstæfia lǫngu hurfins aldrs ok hafi hwáʀ at "fǫrunauti" ī nor(ð)rø̄nu nǣmi/nāmi þess.

...Þó æigi ān wara for þý þótt íslænzka hafi mæstan lit nor(ð)rø̄nnaʀ tungu es wānt at blanda þæim saman þar sem þáʀ eʀu stundum ōlíkaʀ hwǫ́r annarri (= þar sem hwǫ́r es stundum annarri ōlík).

=Icel.:
Þó ekki/ei(gi) án vara fyrir því (að) þótt íslenska hafi mest (allt) útlit norrænnar tungu er vont að blanda þeim saman þar sem þær eru stundum ólíkar hvor annarri.

A bit of English. This Icelandic sentence, though somewhat "fine like", would be even closer if compared to Old "westrø̄na". While not the same in either occasion it's pretty darn close already while a Scandinavian would understand absolutely nothing of either regardless of their dialect and preserved archaic features. Modern Icelandic is a constant source of "Oh My Gods!" to anyone into serious Old Norse studies be it West or East. Neither Faroese nor Elfdalian can even begin to compare even though the former is similar to a certain extent while the latter first and foremost sports some very archaic bits of phonemes and pronunciation as well as some grammar and vocabulary. They are both very valuable dialects and somewhat "Old Norse" in their own right from a linguistic point of view. That said. Compared to Icelandic over all... not a chance. Pronunciation aside (mostly regarding vowel quality) nothing compares to Icelandic since that language is just strange for lack of a better expression. It's not just the grammar and vocabulary that have been mostly preserved intact but even the expressions over all. To a ridiculous extent. /Rant over.

Nú hæfi iak urt oflængi ok hǫfuð méʀ es ī wīmu/ȳmu. Iak em þrøyttr ok lúinn ok mik syfiaʀ. Méʀ liggʀ auk hungr ā halsi swáð/swát æigi orka iak mæiʀ Smile Þar með tæl iak mik iðr kynntan ok lýk neðan orðum þæimsi máli mīnu.

Með góðri kwæðiu Arfawarðaʀ, wesin/wesið hæil at sinni.
--
Ráði sá(ʀ) kynni/kunni.
Arfawǫrðr ræist rūnaʀ ōfáðaʀ/ōstæindaʀ.
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If anyone wants to ask any questions regarding the text or feels the need to critisise the text or the explanations or the likes I'll try to answer as best I can.

This is going to be quite a rant with quite a lot of information so if that isn't your cup of tea then, well..
But I do feel that I need to explain the text above. To a large extent it also touches on the very structure of Classic Old Norse.
But be warned. In no way do I claim to be a good organiser of either structure or explanations. You just have to take the rant "as is". Well at least you have been warned Smile

The text might prove to be quite difficult since it doesn't follow any of the conventional ways of presenting Old Norse orthographically. It is also quite archaic. More so than any published text except runic publications off course. So finding words and grammatical forms shown above might be a little bit tricky as far as any Old Norse dictionary or grammar book goes. Yet most is "the same" as either traditional West or East Norse given a bit of imagination.

Anyway, most of the time as far as Old Norse is concerned one will almost exclusively bump into first and foremost West Old Norse texts from the Classic Era or secondary mainly unnormalised East Norse texts from its Classic Era or later. None of which are as archaic as the one above which is primarily reconstructed Viking era Eastern Norse (somewhere around 950-1000 AD). This text takes most anything that we know (or think we know) about the phonemic as well as to a large extent morphological structure of the Viking era language into consideration. It does that because it has to. It's meant to come as close to the real thing as is humanly possible. Classical publications how ever are meant to provide text examples. So they only present the texts based upon how things where written at the time of their composition regardless of eventual phonemic shortcomings. It's not wrong to do that since it would go against their very purpose and objective to do otherwise.
But if you're reconstructing the language the playing field changes. I can't settle for the structure in those readers since my goal is to reconstruct a talkable and "fully pronounced" version of the language.

Just to be clear. I'm not saying that anyone should throw away their readers. Rather I'm saying those are what I think you should be using as well as conventional grammar books. Couple it with Modern Icelandic studies if you like. Modern Icelandic is a very helpful tool and gateway to the world of Old Norse. But at the same time don't forget that Modern Icelandic is not identical to the older language. Contamination warning so to speak. I still find myself falling into that trap from time to time. In short and at best Modern Icelandic is an "Old Norse" dialect that never existed during Old Norse times though it is damn close to it.

And just remember that there is more to the Old Norse language than meets the eye in those readers and grammar books. Especially regarding the phonemic structure of the language which is richer and more complicated than in any of them. As an initial pointer, The First Grammatical Treatise as well as Modern Elfdalian should prove to be two powerful eye openers to anyone who believes otherwise.
You'll also find quite a few mainly demonstrative pronouns that aren't easily recognisable by classical students though only a few of them are used here ('þæimsi' along side "normal" 'þessum' etc.). All given variations given above are in line with the runic material we have though. These variations excisted alongside each other already on the stones. Even from the same areas. To be clear. If it isn't runic in structure it will not be found in the text above. Period.

One of the main problems with Comparative Linguistics or any Linguistic research for that matter is that it isn't pure science. It's inherently an area of research and thus deduction and educated guess work has to be part of the final result which is contrary to what gives in "real" science. Hence one can never prove anything definitely. And contrary to science you can't for the very same underlying reasons disprove anything either. At the end of the day it all comes down to what people think or believe to be the most probable. That off course is a problem. The only remedy or rather best case solution to that will always be reason and professionalism in my mind.
-----------------------------------------------------
Below follows a description of the orthographic structure of the text regarding mainly some vowels. See the below page to get a better understanding of what is being talked about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vowel
(scroll down to "IPA vowel chart with audio" within the Audio Samples section)

The language above contains all "proven" monophthong vowels of the time as well as diphthongs where ever they apply.
The monophthongs are pretty much the same as in The First Grammatical Treatise... and (nasal vowel wise) Modern Elfdalian though the phonetical as well as phonemic situation there is more complicated.
There are 36 monophthong vowel sounds marked in the text. At the very least 27 of those are phonemic but probably more though those are harder to "prove".

'ǫ'.
The u-mutation letter 'ǫ' in its different variations might have allophones that are slightly more raised and/or rounded than normally. These allophones are not marked at the side of "normal" /ǫ/ in the text since they're always bound to the phonetical environments in which they occur.
As a side note. These allophones are the varieties of /ǫ/ that most frequently get marked on the runestones (fǫður, wǫrðr, hǭn/hōn, gǭs, ǫnd, Ǫnundr, Ǭsmundr etc.) while other "allophones"/positions end up seemingly more sparsely marked (Ǫzurr, ǫ́ttu etc.) since they were presumably still too close to the pronunciation of /a/ to bother marking them out. The marking of /ǫ/ in runes always involve a compromise of either a clashing of quality (should it be marked as an open /a/ or as a much more closed /o/ or before the introduction of the rune for 'o' even as /u/?) or of space (when marked by two runes 'au'/'ou' to better describe what neither the rune 'o' nor 'u' could).

On another side note. The phonemes belonging to the different variations of /ǫ/, as you probably know, later on ended up collapsing in East Norse where almost all traces of the u-mutation ended up erased. There it only seems to "survive" in occasions where the u-mutation got raised to the point of colliding with even higher raised vowels i.e. /o/, /ø/ and /u/ thus making it merge with them. The manner in which this took place is highly random where words that "should" have u-mutation either do (seldom) or they don't (the norm) such as 'ørn', 'øl', 'skiolder', 'fiughur' while '*ar'(arf), 'and', 'fiærþer', 'san', 'faþur', 'warþer', 'gas', 'Anunder' etc. This pattern is different from Viking East Norse which as a whole corresponds to the most archaic Classic West Norse literary texts but especially to Viking West Norse of the same age which seems identical in this regard.

Where ever u-mutation is preserved as such a trace in Classic East Norse it has in most occasions also been introduced into all inflections of any such given word where as in earlier times they used to shift between /a/, /ǫ/, /æ/, /i/ in different inflections (corresponding to Modern Icelandic a/ö/e/i within the same).

A few exceptions in Classic East Norse do exist though such as 'han' while fem. 'hon', 'annar' but fem. 'annor', '-aþi' while plural rarely '-oþo' in some verbs and texts, 'fiæþur-/fiærþi' but 'fiughur' etc. Sometimes duplicates arise 'balker/bolker', 'lagh/logh' etc. but the forms without u-mutation are usually the most common.
The pattern is gone and /a/ is favoured not only over /ǫ/ but over /æ/, /i/ as well. All of which are attested on especially the stones but even later as first and foremost traces.

Given the nature, origin and behaviour of Norse /ǫ/ it isn't hard to see that the way forward could go either way. Especially given East Norse (which seems to strive towards levelling anything and every thing it can). Originally /ǫ/ was nothing more than a very slightly shifted and allophonic version of /a/. Later it became phonemic after all of syncope was over and done with. But the shift was largely connected to grammatical inflections. The shape and form of these inflections were retained in West Norse and still are to this day in Modern Icelandic so rather than levelling out /ǫ/ was kept and later skewed into the territory of /ø/ (now written 'ö').
In the east how ever all such sounds were either levelled completely or in some rare occasions captured by other phonemes due to being raised and associated with their territory. Where it wasn't the levelling in East Norse seems to have favoured one sound/shape/form over all others as it almost always does in other unrelated occasions as far as inflections are concerned.
But this still doesn't seem to have happened on the Eastern Runestones of Viking date. Instead here the rules seem to follow what is common practice in later West Norse which is generally more archaic than Classic East Norse. This does not only apply to the u-mutations but rather to a whole slew of features that are common on Eastern runestones as well as in later Classic West Norse while represented by nothing more than rare traces in Classic East Norse.
Compare that the Classic East Norse forms 'fiughur-', 'stander', 'far', 'ørni' etc. are still reproduced as 'fiagur-' (=fiǫgur-), 'stændr', 'fǣʀ', 'ærni' and so forth on the Eastern Runestones which phonemically as well as inflection wise directly corresponds to archaic Old Icelandic 'fiǫgur-', 'stendr', 'fǣr', 'erni'.

Nasal vowels.
Short nasal vowels are not marked even though they might be phonemic in certain situations. Runic material is still largely inconclusive in this department (though for instance Elfdalian might be providing some information on the matter, partly in light of its own inner functions partly given the information stated in the First Grammatical Treatise. The runestones also seem to have this and that to say).
One such situation where the short nasal vowels alternatively or possibly might result in them being phonemic is where Vnnr > Vðr in some occasions. Some of these words end up having minimal pairs such as 'mãðr/maðr', 'sãðr/saðr', 'mi~ðr/miðr' etc. Compare with Elfdalian which has short phonemic nasalized vowels even in unstressed positions in words that in quite recent times lost the nasalizing 'n' or 'm'.
For more information on Norse nasal vowels compare conditions in the First Grammatical Treatise to those in Elfdalian, two languages of Norse origin separated by nearly a millennium yet still exhibiting similar or in some cases identical behaviour.

Progressive nasalization of vowel after /n/ does not occur above and in no way after /m/ contrary to demonstrated behaviour in the First Grammatical Treatise as well as in Elfdalian. This in accordance with what seems to be the case in archaic (Viking) Eastern Norse (though nasalization after /n/ seems to have started in at least some areas). This is contrary even to contemporary Western Norse which seems to have already developed it after preceding /n/ and maybe even after preceding /m/, while happening more slowly as well as later in the East.

'ʀ'.
Old Norse 'ʀ' (skipping the pronunciation tutorial and reasoning behind it for now but pointer though = French /j/) at the side of phonemic 'r' (for good reasons assumed to be an alveolar trill) is fully marked and phonemically separated from the trilled variant 'r' in accordance with contemporary Eastern rules (so post the sound laws of Ög136 which is from an earlier date).
This is contrary to Western varieties which seem to have lost the distinction early on merging all existing 'ʀ' with the alveolar trill 'r' (also known as tremulant/trilled/rhotic/rolling/hard 'r').

'au'.
The pronunciation of the diphthong 'au' seems to be [ɑu:/ɒu:/ɔu:] or slightly more frontal [ɶu:/ ɐu:/ ɞu:/ʌu:] sometimes given as /ǫu/ on the stones besides /au/. Compare the Canadian pronunciation of the long diphthong [ʌʊ:] in 'about, house' which should be somewhat closer to this than the American equivalent [aʊ:]. This is based both upon how 'au' is alternatively written on the stones as well as how it ended up in later Old Norse and later attested Scandinavian dialects.
I mostly tend to aim for [ɐu:/ɞu:/ʌu:].
Here it will be written as 'au' in accordance with how it was most often written on the stones. A written 'ǫu' might or might not represent a better alternative depending on the exact pronunciation of the monophthong /ǫ/. Seeing how even the rune carvers of their time were in doubt I'll leave it at 'au'.

'øy'
The precise value of the diphthong 'øy' is not known. It seems to contain an initial sound which is a rounded frontal open-mid such as [œ] or slightly more open like [ɶ]. It might alternatively contain an initial unrounded frontal equivalent such as open-mid [ɛ] or open [æ]. But never frontal rounded close-mid [ø] even though it's written that way after the Viking era.
The deduction behind this is partly based upon its origin with a slightly raised and/or rounded /a/ + i-mutation, partly upon how its marked on the rune stones (often 'au/ay') and finally upon what it has become in the different dialects. Given the final literary outcomes in later Old Norse (øy/oy/æy/ø) this presumption makes good sense in the context of things.

Given that Icelandic later unrounded its first sound equivalent within the diphthong 'øy' to 'ey' where /e/ at the time is thought to have been pronounced open-mid [ɛ] it once again makes sense to presume a rounded frontal open or open-mid vowel as the/an earlier version. That's seeing how the rounded version of [ɛ] is the open-mid [œ] mentioned above. The dialects that retain 'øy' in modern times also usually pronounce it as a rounded frontal open-mid [œy:].
At the end of the day [œ/ɶ] are allophonic to [ø] in this occasion. Given the more accurate Latin alphabet (compared to runic) used in the North at the time of literary 'øy' it makes sense to still write it as such. However the rune carvers who were limited to 16 letters seem to have found the first sound difficult to describe seeing how the assumed sound [œ/ɶ] lacked a symbol for it. A sound which would have occupied a middle ground between the marked [a] and [ø] within the runic inscriptions.
Given what has been said above about this diphthong I usually pronounce it as a long frontal rounded open-mid [œy:].

A last word.
The Old Norse text above is a scribble which I put together when I found this site the other day. It's bound to contain misspellings as well as other quirks. I'd much appreciate every one and anyone to point those out where ever they might be.
I can't think of anything else to point out at the moment (actually I'm getting tired). The last thing would possibly be that the full variety of possible word forms in the Old Norse text isn't fully exhaustive. Here only some are shown in a sporadic manner. When ever shown they're separated by /.
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A bit of reconstructed East Viking Norse
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