Icelandic: Definiteness in genitive phrases

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

  1. Kadabrium Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    td. Beygingarlýsing íslensks nútímamáls

    Why is íslensks máls indefinite?
  2. Silver_Biscuit

    Silver_Biscuit Senior Member

    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.

Share This Page