Old Norse: definite article / out of 'the' great sea

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by sketchead07, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. sketchead07 New Member

    Hi, I recently began to learn old Norse, so I still know very little about the language. I need help translating this phrase: "Out of the great sea".
    I'm confused about the article "the". If I'm not wrong, should be "hinn/inn", but do I have to add as a suffix in the word "great"? Or this only works for nouns? I'm confused!
    I'd appreciate some help. Thanks!
  2. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    You don't add a suffix to the adjective. Suffixes go on nouns. Adjectives just have specific declensions they have to be in according to case/gender and number.
    Start like this:

    Out of sea -> Út af
    Out of great sea -> Út af stórum
    Out of the great sea -> Út af (h)inum stóra.

    You could also have þeim instead of (h)inu. There are other possibilities, too.
    You could have the article that goes after the noun as well, without the preposed adjective, or you could have them both.
    In a version that has double definiteness, you could only use 'þeim stóra sænum' as this -num is from (h)inn and wouldn't be repeated.
    It's quite flexible and many different patterns occur in different places where Norse records have come from.
    People often think there is one standard Old Norse language where everything behaved uniformly. It doesn't all come nicely under one category.

    The one I'd pick though is the one on the last line above.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  3. sketchead07 New Member

    Thanks, those different patterns and variations is what makes me a little confused plus the grammar. Anyway, that was exactly what I wanted to know, many thanks!

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