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Transcript
Morphology and syntax
182
idiomatic, and one-to-one equivalence between the prepositions of Old
Norse and English is not to be expected. ON at, for example, shares
with English at a common form, origin and spatial sense, but appropriate English equivalents — as well as ‘at’ — can be ‘against’, ‘to’,
‘along’, ‘around’, ‘near’, ‘by’, ‘in’ and ‘on’, to name but some.
Observe that prepositions with initial á, í, um may also be found
written as single words, e.g. áme›al, ímóti, umfram.
3.7.1 Prepositions triggering the accusative
(í) gegnum ‘through’
Hallbjƒrn lag›i í gegnum skjƒldinn
‘Hallbjƒrn thrust through shield-the’
‘Hallbjƒrn thrust his spear through the shield’
of
(a) [motion] ‘over’ ‘across’
Hann fór su›r of fjall
‘He went south across the mountain’
(b) ‘during’ ‘in’
Of aptan, er myrkt var, flá . . .
‘In evening when dark was, then . . .’
‘In the evening when it was dark, then . . .’
Occasionally of is construed with the dative case, either in sense (b) or with
the locational meaning ‘over’ ‘above’ (e.g. konungr sat of bor›i ‘the king sat
over [i.e. at] table’). The latter usage is one of shares with the prepositions um
and yfir (see below). In most functions of and um are interchangeable, and of
was more or less ousted by um, and to a lesser extent yfir, in the course of the
thirteenth century.
um (a) [motion] ‘around’ ‘over’ ‘across’
Slógu fleir flá hring um flá
‘Threw they then ring around them’
‘Then they encircled them’