Icelandic: Definiteness in genitive phrases

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Kadabrium, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Kadabrium Junior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    td. Beygingarlýsing íslensks nútímamáls

    Why is íslensks máls indefinite?
     
  2. Silver_Biscuit

    Silver_Biscuit Senior Member

    Reykjavík
    English - UK
    I think this is just a matter of idiomatic language. We say the English language, Icelanders don't say íslenska tungumál.* We don't say we're going to the work, but Icelanders say they're going to vinnuna.

    * Or at least they don't have to.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  3. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    I agree with SB.
    Contrarily though, it's extremely common to see/hear á enskunni (just to complicate the issue).
    There is no "logic" for definiteness with abstract concepts, languages just seem to have a few settings where articles are applied and others where they're not.
     

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