Download Old Norse I: Grammar - Viking Society Web Publications

Survey
yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Transcript
Verb inflexions and their function
147
central to every sentence. It was pointed out in 3.6 that the verb is the
‘non-reducible part of the predicate’, but it would be more precise to
say that it is the tensed verb that is the essential element — and in
Germanic languages that means a verb in the present or past tense.
Thus we may attest in English: he sings and he sang, but not: *he sing,
*he sung or *he singing. Nevertheless, sing, sung and singing are considered to belong to the same lexical item (dictionary word) as sings
and sang, and to that extent to represent the same word class. In terms
of function, however, sing, as in to sing, behaves more like a noun
(compare I want to sing and I want beer, in which to sing and the noun
beer occupy the same slot in the sentence), and sung and singing more
like adjectives (compare a sung chorus, the singing detective and a
noisy chorus, the smart detective, in which sung, singing occupy the
same slots as the adjectives noisy, smart; note that singing may also
be a pure noun as in I like singing, but then it is not considered part of
the verb at all).
There is thus every reason to make a distinction between to sing,
sung and singing on the one hand and sings and sang on the other. In
grammatical description the former are commonly said to represent
the non-finite parts of the verb, the latter the finite. This terminology
is based on the observation that sings and sang make a contrast of
tense; they are in one way or another bound by time. The same is not
true of to sing, sung and singing, which are independent of time. That
is perhaps not immediately obvious in the case of sung or singing.
Sung appears to refer to the past (I have sung mass), and is even called
a ‘past participle’. Consider, however, the hymn was/is/will be sung in
unison, where the time distinctions are not applicable to sung, but are
in the finite verbs, was/is/will. Singing is even harder to connect with
past, present or future. It is known as a ‘present participle’, but is in
fact timeless (cf. the singing detective); in verb phrases of the type
was/is/will be singing, it is again the finite verbs that provide the time
reference.
Old Norse has the same non-finite forms as English, to wit: the
infinitive — at syngja ‘to sing’, the past participle — sunginn ‘sung’,
and the present participle — syngjandi ‘singing’. Mention is occasionally made of a ‘past infinitive’, but the form concerned is in origin
the 3rd pl. past indic. and its use as an ‘infinitive’ seems to have arisen
through the recasting of certain finite clauses on analogy with common constructions that employ the standard infinitive. Very few ‘past
Document related concepts

Latin syntax wikipedia, lookup

Pipil grammar wikipedia, lookup

Spanish grammar wikipedia, lookup

Georgian grammar wikipedia, lookup

Polish grammar wikipedia, lookup

Serbo-Croatian grammar wikipedia, lookup

Yiddish grammar wikipedia, lookup

Italian grammar wikipedia, lookup

Portuguese grammar wikipedia, lookup

Chinese grammar wikipedia, lookup

Ancient Greek grammar wikipedia, lookup

Modern Hebrew grammar wikipedia, lookup

Kannada grammar wikipedia, lookup

Macedonian grammar wikipedia, lookup

English clause syntax wikipedia, lookup

Udmurt grammar wikipedia, lookup

Esperanto grammar wikipedia, lookup

Old English grammar wikipedia, lookup

Swedish grammar wikipedia, lookup

Lithuanian grammar wikipedia, lookup

Russian grammar wikipedia, lookup

Germanic strong verb wikipedia, lookup

Ukrainian grammar wikipedia, lookup

Inflection wikipedia, lookup

Old Norse morphology wikipedia, lookup

Sanskrit grammar wikipedia, lookup

Scottish Gaelic grammar wikipedia, lookup

Malay grammar wikipedia, lookup

French grammar wikipedia, lookup

Zulu grammar wikipedia, lookup

Old Irish grammar wikipedia, lookup

English grammar wikipedia, lookup

Japanese grammar wikipedia, lookup

Modern Greek grammar wikipedia, lookup

Danish grammar wikipedia, lookup

Arabic grammar wikipedia, lookup

Romanian grammar wikipedia, lookup

Romanian nouns wikipedia, lookup

Russian declension wikipedia, lookup