This is page 2 of An Icelandic-English Dictionary by Cleasby/Vigfusson (1874)
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C. OTHER CHANGES :-- in modern Icel. the old syllable va has
changed into vo; vó of the 14th century being an intermediate form: thus
von, spes; votr, madidus; vor, ver; vorr, noster; voði, periculum; koma,
adventus; voru, erant, etc.: so also the á in the dat. hánum, illi, now
honum, which is also employed in the editions of old writings; kómu =
kvámu = kvómu, veniebant, etc. In Norway a was often changed into æ
in the pronominal and adverbial forms; as hæna, illam; þær, þænn, þæt,
ibi, ilium, illud; hence originate the mod. Dan. hende, der, den, det;
in some Norse dialects even still dar, dat. The short a in endings
in mod. Dan. changed into e (æ), e. g. komme, uge, talede, Icel. koma,
vika; whereas the Swedes still preserve the simple a, which makes their
language more euphonious than the mod. Dan. In most districts of Icel.
an a before ng, nk, has changed into á, thus langr (longus), strangr
(durus), krankr (aegrotus) are spelt lángr, kránkr, etc. In the west
of Iceland however we still say langr, strangr, etc., which is the pure old
form. The a becomes long when followed by lf, lm, lp, thus álfr, genius;
álpt, cygnus; hálfr, dimidius; kálfr, vitulus; sjálfr, ipse; this is very old:
the fem. h&aolig-acute;lf, dimidia, which occurs in the 12th century, points to
an á, not a; já = ja in hjálpa, skjálfa, etc. The lengthening before lm
is later, -- álmr, ulmus; hálmr, calamus; sálmr, psalmus; hjálmr, ga-
lea; málmr, metallum, etc. In all these cases the á is not etymological.
Also before ln in the plur. of alin, álnar not alnar: lk, alka = alka, alca;
bálkr = balkr; fálki = falki, falco: háls = hals; frjáls = frjals; járn = jarn;
skáld = skald; v. those words: aarni, dat. of arinn, v. that word: the
proper name Árni, properly Arni: abbati, abbas, ábóti: Adám, on the
contrary, changed into Adam; Máría into Maria, Mary. The old spell-
ing is still kept in máriatla, motacilla pectore albo, etc. In the 1st pers.
pret. indic., and in the pres. and pret. conj. we have a changed into i, e. g.
talaða to talaði, locutus sum; sagða, dixi, vilda, volui, hafða, habui, to
sagði, vildi, hafði: in the 1st pers. pres. and pret. conj., hefða, haberem,
hafa, habeam, to hefði, hafi. These forms occur as early as the begin-
ning of the 13th century (e. g. in the Hulda, Cd. A. M. 66, fol. = Fms.
vi. and vii). In the south of Iceland however (Reykjavik, the Árnes
and Gullbringusýsla) the old forms are still frequently heard in bisyllabic
preterites, esp. ek vilda, sagða, hafða, and are also employed in writing
by natives of those districts.
D. a answers to Goth, a; A. S. ea (a, ä); allr, totus; Goth, alls;
A. S. eall: the primitive á to Goth, ê, sátu, Goth, sêtun, sedebant; gráta,
grétun, lacrymari; láta, lêtan; vápn, vêpn, arma; vagr, vêgs, fluctus. The
Icel. secondary á, on the contrary, must in the kindred Teutonic idioms be
sought for under a vowel plus a consonant, such as an, ah, or the like.
A. S. æ commonly answers to Icel. á, láta, A. S. lætan; dáð, A. S. dæð; þráðr,
A. S. þræð, Engl. thread; mál (GREEK), A. S. mœl, cp. Engl. meal. The
A. S. (1, on the contrary, etyrnologically answers to Icel. ei. The diphthong
au answers to Goth. au, A. S. eá, -- rauðr, Goth. rauds, A. S. reað, Engl.
red. In English the a seems at very early times to have assumed its
present ambiguous sound; this we may infer from A. S. words introduced
into Icelandic. The river Thames in Icel. is spelt, as it is still pronounced
in England, as Tems, which form occurs in a poem of the year 1016.
E. The Runic character for a was in the Gothic and Anglo-Saxon
Runes (so termed by P. A. Munch) RUNE [A. S. RUNE]; so in the Golden
horn, on the stone in Thune in Norway (Ed. by P. A. Munch, 1857),
and in the Bracteats. The Saxons called it os = áss, deus. In the
Runes it was the fourth letter in the first group (fuþork). The Scandi-
navians in their Runes used this character for o, and called it óss,
ostium, probably misled by the A. S. pronunciation of the homely word
áss. This character, however, occurs only a few times in the common
Runes, which in its stead used the A. S. Rune RUNE, gér, annona, which is
the fourth Rune in the second group (hnias, A. S. hnijs), called according
to the northern pronunciation ár, annona: this letter, RUNE or RUNE has the
form, as well as the name and place, of the A. S. RUNE, RUNE.
-A or -AT or -T, a negative suffix to verbs, peculiar to Iceland and
a part, at least, of Norway. Occurs frequently in old Icelandic poetry
and laws, so as almost to form a complete negative voice. In the 1st
pers. a personal pronoun k (g) = ek is inserted before the negative suffix, in
the 2nd pers. a t or tt. As a rule the pron. as thus repeated; má-k-at-ek,
non possum; sé-k-at-ek, non video; hef-k-at-ek, non habeo; skal-k-at-ek;
vil-k-at-ek, nolo; mon-k-at-ek, non ero, etc.: 2nd pers. skal-t-at-tu;
mon-t-at-tu; gaf-t-at-tu, non dabas: and after a long vowel a tt, mátt-at-
tu, sátt-at-tu; so almost invariably in all monosyllabic verbal forms; but
not so in bisyllabic ones, máttir-a-þú, non poteras: yet in some instances
in the 1st pers. a pronominal g is inserted, e. g. bjargi-g-a-k, verbally
servem ego non ego; höggvi-g-a-k, non cædam; stöðvi-g-a-k, quin
sistam; vildi-g-a-k, nolui; hafði-g-a-k, non babui; mátti-g-a-k, non
potui; görði-g-a-k, non feci: if the verb has gg as final radical con-
sonants, they change into kk, e. g. þikk-at-ek = þigg-k-at-ek, nolo
accipere. In the 3rd pers. a and at or t are used indifferently, t being
particularly suffixed to bisyllabic verbal flexions ending in a vowel, in
order to avoid an hiatus, -- skal-at or skal-a, non erit; but skolo-t, non
sunto: forms with an hiatus, however, occur, -- bítí-a, non mordat; renni-a,
ne currat; skríði-a, id.; leti-a, ne retardet; vaeri-a, ne esset; urðu-a,
non erant; but bíti-t, renni-t, skríði-t, urðu-t are more current forms:
v. Lex. Poët. The negative suffix is almost peculiar to indic., conj.,
and imperat. moods; the neg. infin. hardly occurs. Nothing analogous to
this form is to be found in any South-Teutonic idiom; neither do there
remain any traces of its having been used in Sweden or Denmark.
A single exception is the Runic verse on a stone monument in Öland,
an old Danish province, now Swedish, where however the inscriptions
may proceed from a Norse or Icel. hand. The Runic inscriptions run
thus, sár aigi flo, who did not fly, old Icel. 'flo-at,' Baut. 1169. Neither
does it occur in any Norse prose monuments (laws): but its use may yet be
inferred from its occurrence in Norse poets of the 10th century, e. g. the
poets Eyvind and Thiodolf; some of which instances, however, may
be due to their being transmitted through Icel. oral tradition. In
Bragi Gamli (9th century) it occurs twice or thrice; in the Haustlöng
four times, in Ynglingatal four times, in Hákonarmál once (all Norse poems
of the 10th century). In Icel. the suffixed negation was in full force
through the whole of the 10th century. A slight difference in idioms,
however, may be observed: Völuspá, e. g., prefers the negation by né
(using vas-at only once, verse 3). In the old Hávamal the suffix
abounds (being used thirty-five times), see the verses 6, 10, 11, 18,
26, 29, 30, 34, 37-39, 49, 51, 52, 68, 74, 88, 113-115, 126-128, 130,
134, 136, 147, 149, 151, 153, 159. In Skírnismál, Harbarðsljóð,
Lokasenna -- all these poems probably composed by the same author,
and not before the loth century -- about thirty times, viz. Hbl. 3, 4,
8, 14, 26, 35, 56; Skm. 5, 18, 22; Ls. 15, 16, 18, 25, 28, 30, 36, 42,
47, 49, 56, 60, 62. Egil (born circa 900, died circa 990) abounds in the
use of the suffixed neg. (he most commonly avails himself of -at, -gi, or
né; so, too, does Hallfred (born circa 968, died 1008), Einar Skálaglam
in Vellekla (circa 940-995), and Thorarin in the Máhlíðingavísur (com-
posed in the year 981); and in the few epigrams relating to the introduc-
tion of Christianity in Icel. (995-1000) there occur mon-k-að-ek, tek-
k-at-ek, vil-k-at-ek, hlífði-t, mon-a, es-a; cp. the Kristni S. and Njala.
From this time, however, its use becomes more rare. Sighvat (born circa
995, died 1040) still makes a frequent but not exclusive use of it. Sub-
sequent poets use it now and then as an epic form, until it disappeared
almost entirely in poetry at the middle or end of the 13th century.
In the Sólarljóð there is not a single instance. The verses of some of our
Sagas are probably later than the Sagas themselves; the greatest part
of the Völsungakviður are scarcely older than the 11th century. In all
these -at and conj. eigi are used indifferently. In prose the laws continued
to employ the old forms long after they were abolished in common prose.
The suffixed verbal negation was used, a. in the delivering of the oath
in the Icel. Courts, esp. the Fifth Court, instituted about the year 1004; and
it seems to have been used through the whole of the Icel. Commonwealth
(till the year 1272). The oath of the Fifth (High) Court, as preserved in
the Grágás, runs in the 1st pers., hefka ek fé borit í dóm þenna til liðs mér
um sök þessa, ok ek monka bjóða, hefka ek fundit, ok monka ek finna,
hvárki til laga né ólaga, p. 79; and again p. 81, only different as to ek
hefka, ek monka (new Ed.): 3rd pers., hefirat hann fé; borit í dóm þenna
ok monat hann bjóða, ok hefirat hann fundit, ok monat hann tinna,
80, 81; cp. also 82, and Nj. l. c. ch. 145, where it is interesting to
observe that the author confounds the ist and 3rd persons, a sign of
decay in grammatical form. β. the Speaker (lögsögumaðr), in publicly
reciting and explaining the law, and speaking in the name of the law,
from the Hill of Laws (lögberg), frequently employed the old form, esp.
in the legal words of command es and skal (yet seldom in plur.): erat
in the dictatorial phrases, erat skyldr (skylt), non esto obligatus; erat land-
eigandi skyldr, Grág. (Kb.) i. 17; erat hinn skyldr, 21; yngri maðr era
skyldr at fasta, 35; enda erat honum þá skylt at ..., 48; erat þat sakar
spell, 127; era hinn þá skyldr at lýsa, 154; erat hann framar skyldr sak-
ráða, 216; ok erat hann skyldr at ábyrgjask þat fé, 238; ok erat hann
skyldr, id.; ok erat sakar aðili ella skyldr, ii. 74; erat hinn skyldr við at
taka, 142; erat manni skylt at taka búfé, 143; enda erat heimting til
fjár þess, 169; era hann þá skyldr at taka við í öðru fé nema hann vili,
209; ok erat þeim skylt at tíunda fé sitt, 211; ok erat hann skyldr at
gjalda tíund af því, 212; erat kirkjudrottinn þá skyldr, 228; ef hann
erat landeigaadi, i. 136. Skalat: skalat maðr eiga fó óborit, i. 23;
skalat homum þat verða optar en um siun, 55; skalat maðr ryðja við
sjálfan sik, 62; skalat hann þat svá dvelja, 68; skalat hann til véfangs
ganga, 71; skalat aðilja í stefnuvætti hafa, 127; ok skala hann gjalda
fyrir þat, 135; ok skalat hann með sök fara, 171; enda skalat hann
fleirum baugum bœta, 199; skalat hann skilja félagit, 240; skalat hann
meiri skuld eiga en, ii. 4; skalat þeim meðan á brott skipta, 5; skalat
hann lögvillr verða, svá, 34; skalat hon at heldr varðveita þat fé, 59; í
skalat enn sami maðr þar lengr vera, 71; ok skala honum bæta þat, 79;
skalat fyl telja, 89; skalat hann banna fiskför, 123; skalat hann lóga