This is page 2 of An Icelandic-English Dictionary by Cleasby/Vigfusson (1874)

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2 A.

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

(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