Icelandic "lendingafjordungur"

killerbee256

Senior Member
American English
I've posted of here before about a project of mine for a game called Crusader Kings 2, I'm creating hypothetical place-names in various Romance and Germanic languages to simulate alternative histories that may arise.

Today I need some help breaking down a few Icelandic place-names: Nordlendingafjordungur and Sunnlendingafjordungur.

Nord is north thus Pro-Germanic *nurþrą and Sunn must be south, so *sunþrą. I think -inga is from *ungō. *Fjord is from *ferþuz which I replace with *furduz derived words for west Germanic languages. Ungur, Old Norse ungr is from *jungaz. The meaning here confuses me because the word means young. But the element I can't figure out what lend means, I think it could be a personal or tribal name.

Without understanding the overall meaning or what lend means I've constructed Norþlendungafordġeong and Sūþlendungafordġeong for Old English. Nordlendungfurtjung and Südlendungfurtjung in German.
 
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  • ahvalj

    Senior Member
    This -e- in -lend- is an i-umlaut of -a- before the following -i-, cp. ÍslandÍslendingur. The vowel in -ing- is ancient, and various languages have either -i- or -u-, e. g. attested Norse has konungr, but an earlier Baltic-Finnic loan from its predecessor is kuningas. The i-umlaut from -ing- is also attested elsewhere, cp. the Old English cyning & penning.

    -A- is the ending of the Genitive Plural: Íslendingasögur = Sagas of Icelanders, so these are not ancient compounds traceable to late Common Germanic: they have to be remade for each language according to its contemporary rules, not just phonetically derived from a common source.

    Fjórðungur means "farthing", an administrative district, it has ó, not ö, which is neglected in the English transliteration, hence the confusion.

    Thus, the whole words mean literally "Northlanders' farthing" and "Southlanders' farthing" (Farthings of Iceland).
     
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    killerbee256

    Senior Member
    American English
    I need to read up more on Old Norse because I didn't know land was effected by the Germanic umlaut in North Germanic. Here's what I have:
    Old English = Norþlandingafeorðing
    Old Frisian = Northlandingafiarding
    Old Saxon = Northlandingafiorthing
    Old Frankish = Northlantingafiorthing
    Dutch = Noordlandingvierding
    Old High German = Nordlantingafiording
    German = Nordländingesvierting
    Old Norse = Norðlondingafjórðungr
    Crimean Gothic = Nordarlandingafiording

    Old English = Suþlandingafeorðing
    Old Frisian = Suthlandingafiarding
    Old Saxon = Suthlandingafiorthing
    Old Frankish = Suthlantingafiorthing
    Dutch = Zuidlandingvierding
    Old High German = Suntlantingafiording
    German = Südländingesvierting
    *Old Norse = Suðlondingafjórðungr
    Crimean Gothic = Sundarlandingafiording

    *Not sure about this one, how does Old Norse suðr become sunn? I have seen this in Norwegian place-names as well. Does it have an older pre-norse origin, because it resembles OHG sunt
     
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    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Some of the actual counterparts of farthing are mentioned here. But what form will take the first element of the compound? I guess the Gen. Pl. is rather a Norse novelty and other languages may have a plain stem: I need some time to check.

    Gothic retains the more archaic shape of the numeral with -d-: fidurþa, which persists in Crimean: fyder ("four").

    Sunn- and suðr are differently assimilated outcomes of sunþran: consider the paradigm of maðr.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I need to read up more on Old Norse because I didn't know land was effected by the Germanic umlaut in North Germanic. Here's what I have:
    Old English = Norþlandingafeorðing
    Old Frisian = Northlandingafiarding
    Old Saxon = Northlandingafiorthing
    Old Frankish = Northlantingafiorthing
    Dutch = Noordlandingvierding
    Old High German = Nordlantingafiording
    German = Nordländingesvierting
    Old Norse = Norðlondingafjórðungr
    Crimean Gothic = Nordarlandingafiording

    Old English = Suþlandingafeorðing
    Old Frisian = Suthlandingafiarding
    Old Saxon = Suthlandingafiorthing
    Old Frankish = Suthlantingafiorthing
    Dutch = Zuidlandingvierding
    Old High German = Suntlantingafiording
    German = Südländingesvierting
    *Old Norse = Suðlondingafjórðungr
    Crimean Gothic = Sundarlandingafiording

    *Not sure about this one, how does Old Norse suðr become sunn? I have seen this in Norwegian place-names as well. Does it have an older pre-norse origin, because it resembles OHG sunt
    I don't understand what you are trying to do there. Your are applying typical sound changes on a morpheme by morpheme on the basis of the word development in Icelandic without any regard if such a word development would have take place there. E.g. your German Nordländingesvierting is both as a morphologically and phonetically more then weird. E.g. in German I would expect a much more mundane outcome like Nordviertel; maybe, just maybe Nordländerviertel; but nothing remotely like what you are suggesting.
     
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    killerbee256

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't understand what you are trying to do there. Your are applying typical sound changes on a morpheme by morpheme on the basis of the word development in Icelandic without any regard if such a word development would have take place there. E.g. your German Nordländingesvierting is both as a morphologically and phonetically more then weird. E.g. in German I would expect a much more mundane outcome like Nordviertel; maybe, just maybe Nordländerviertel; but nothing remotely like what you are suggesting.
    I welcome your input, I'm getting better at understanding Germanic grammar. But I have a long way to go.

    From what I've seen the grammar of Old Germanic languages are similar enough I can change out the elements with cognates and it looks passable. However German and Dutch I'm not so sure about. They're modern living languages and while not as simplified as English they have each been "streamlined" to varying degrees so to speak. So I understand how reproducing Icelandic's archaic grammar in modern German looks ridiculous.
     
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    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    It is not just "streamlining" but all kinds of changes. In this particular case the main problem is the suffix -ing = belonging to. This suffix has has almost entirely been replaced. It only occurs in the focilized dative plural form -ingen in town names (modern town names in -ing are etymologically shortenings of earlier forms in -ingen) or as part of the compound suffix -ling.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Concerning the connecting vowel. As I have written, this Icelandic -a- is the ending of the Genitive Plural, it is a Norse novelty, and other languages normally have plain stems in this declension: original vocalic or reduced consonantal in Wulfila's Gothic and generally reduced consonantal in younger languages, e. g. Gothic weinagards but weindrugkja vs. Old High German wîngarto~wînegarto (the latter being residual). So, outside Gothic and Norse it would be safe to omit any vowel between "northerner/southerner" and "farthing".

    For "northerners"/"southerners" we have:
    Modern High German: Nordländer
    other western languages are pending: these words are all attested, so we need just to find them​
    8th century Gothic: the words for "north" and "south" themselves are unknown; considering baurgja "citizen" and gaujans (Nom. Pl.) "inhabitants of a gawi", let's invent Wulfila's **naurþrja (from *nurþraz; for pronunciability cp. rþrj; remember that au stands for a short open o here) and **sunþrja (from *sunþraz), with compound forms **naurþri- and **sunþri- (cp. arbjaarbinumja) and 8th century **nørdri- and **syndri- (for þ>d see the explanation in the thread about post-Wulfila's Gothic)​
    Crimean Gothic: purely speculative **nørdre and **syndre, which probably would get renewed after the phonetic reduction of the old suffix (Crimean mycha vs. Wulfila's mekeis) into something hardly predictable (**nørderlander- ?), so let's keep the things simple and assume still **nørdre- and **syndre-.

    For "farthing" we have the etymological counterparts mentioned in my above link, i. e.:
    Old High German: fiordung, fiording
    Middle High German: vierdunc
    archaic Modern High German: Vierdung (also)​
    Middle Dutch: vierdinc (also), vierdonc
    Modern Dutch: vierding (ibidem), vierdonk
    Old Frisian: fiardunge (also)​
    Old English: feorðing (also), feorðung
    8th century Gothic: I can't find the above fidurþa anywhere outside Wiktionary, and it seems that the word "fourth" is actually not attested in Wulfila's Gothic, though this is indeed the expected Gothic outcome of the late Common Germanic *fedurþô~*fedurþōn (declined as a weak adjective); for the suffix -ing-~-ung- see Thervingi & Greuthungi, but in reality it is almost absent in the attested Gothic words; based on cases like managei, diupei, hauhei I'd invent Wulfila's **fidurþei and the 8th century **fidyrdi.​
    Crimean Gothic: a completely speculative *fiderde (after fyder: y is some variant of i in the old Dutch orthography, cp. the above mycha).​
    Now let's frighten the native speakers again… For 8th century Gothic we get something like **nørdrifidyrdi and **syndrifidyrdi. For Crimean, therefore, **nørdrefiderde and **syndrefiderde.
     
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