Old Norse for Beginners - Lesson Eleven
by Haukur orgeirsson and skar Gulaugsson

1. Grammar
    1.1 Neuter Gender: Strong Declension
    1.2 Adjectives: Indefinite Neuter Forms
		1.3 Neuter Article
    1.4 Possessive Pronouns: Neuter Forms
		2. Vocabulary
		2.1 Nouns
    2.2 Pronouns   
		2.3 Adjectives   
		2.4 Verbs 
		2.5 Adverbs
    2.6 Prepositions
		2.7 Conjunctions
		2.8 Phrases
		3. Exercises
    3.1 Translate the phrases into English
    3.2 Translate the phrases into Old Norse
    3.3 Translate the text into English
		3.4 Translate the text into Old Norse
1. Grammar

1.1 Neuter Gender: Strong Declension

Old Norse has three genders: Masculine, feminine, and neuter. This distinction, and the terms used, is mostly arbitrary, and should not be taken too seriously. Until now, we have only worked with "strong masculine" nouns, the largest and most diverse declension in the language. Another large declension group is the "strong neuter". A typical noun of this type declines like this:

hs (n)		house
    sg		pl
nom	hs-		hs-
acc hs-		hs-
dat	hs-i		hs-um
gen	hs-s		hs-a

As you can see, very similar to the strong masculine, only with fewer endings. Here's an important rule about the neuter, to help you learn its declension:
The neuter never makes a distinction, in its forms, between nominative and accusative.
Which can be seen in the declension above. It would seem from the word "hs", above, that there is no distinction between plural and singular, at least not in nom and acc; however, a word with 'a' as a stem syllable declines like this:

lag (n)		(combat) strike, attempt; relations; layer; tune, melody
sg		pl
nom	lag-		lg-
acc	lag-		lg-
dat	lag-i		lg-um
gen	lag-s		lag-a

There we have an "invisible" u-umlaut, i.e. an umlaut without any apparent ending to cause it. This is because the original -u ending, which caused the umlaut, was later dropped, though the umlaut remained. All strong neuters with an 'a' in the stem are declined like "lag".
When introducing words in this and all future lessons, the gender will be indicated in parentheses immediately following the word (m = masculine, f = feminine, n = neuter).

1.2 Adjectives: Indefinite Neuter Forms

Now that we've introduced a neuter declension, we need to learn the adjective forms that go with it. The adjective declension that we have been using until now, can be used only with (indefinite) masculine nouns. This declension is for (indefinite) neuter nouns:

	sg		pl
	nom	str-t		str-
	acc	str-t		str-
	dat	str-u		str-um
	gen	str-s		str-ra
And in the case of an adjective with a stem 'a':	sg		pl
nom	rag-t		rg-
acc	rag-t		rg-
dat	rg-u		rg-um
gen	rag-s		rag-ra

Assimilation also occurs as per masculine adjectives (in the gen pl):	sg		pl
nom	grœn-t		grœn-acc	grœn-t		grœn-dat	grœn-u		grœn-umgen	grœn-s		grœn-na

Adjectives whose stems end in '' feature an assimilation of the '' to the -t ending. Our example adjective, "gr", has an irregularity in that its vowel shortens in the nom and acc sg:

	sg		pl
	nom	got-t		g-
	acc	got-t		g-
	dat	g-u		g-um
	gen	g-s		g-ra
Finally, adjectives whose stems end in vowels feature a doubled -t ending:
hr	high	
sg		pl
nom	h-t-t		h-
acc	h-t-t		h-
dat	h-u		h-m
gen	h-s		h-ra

To the students' ease, we will list new adjectives with both their masculine and neuter forms, to begin with. The dictionary tradition [hva er skar a tala um?], however, is to use the strong feminine (which has no endings in nominative, thus displaying the naked stem); that will be adopted once we have introduced the strong feminine declension.

1.3 Neuter Article

The neuter article declines:

sg		pl
nom	i-t		in-
acc	i-t		in-
dat	in-u		in-um
gen	in-s		in-na

Attached to a strong neuter noun:

sg		pl
nom	hs-i-t		hs-in-
acc	hs-i-t		hs-in-
dat	hs-in-u	hs-unum
gen	hs-s-in-s	hs-a-n-na

1.4 Possessive Pronouns: Neuter Forms	

sg		pl
nom	mit-t		mn-
acc	mit-t		mn-
dat	mn-u		mn-um
gen	mn-s		min-na

* The 'n' of the stem is assimilated to the -t ending, in nom sg and acc sg
* The same shortening of the vowel, before the doubles 'tt' and 'nn'
sg		pl
nom	okk-ar-t	okk-ur-
acc	okk-ar-t	okk-ur-
dat	okk-r-u		okk-r-um
gen	okk-ar-s	okk-ar-ra

2. Vocabulary

2.1 Nouns
hs (n)			house
fjall (n)			mountain
fljt (n)			river
skip (n)			ship
haf (n)				ocean
land (n)			land
kaup (n)			purchase
rlakaup (n)			purchase of slaves
r (n)				advice; control
sland (n)			Iceland
rland (n)			Ireland

3. Exercises
3.1 Translate the phrases into English
3.2 Translate the phrases into Old Norse
3.3 Translate the text into English
Ragnarr jarl vill fara me vkingum snum ok rlum, at finna ntt land. Ragnarr er  rlandi, vi rlakaup ("[engaged] in the purchase of slaves"). ar spyrr hann menn, "Hvert skal sigla, til nrra landa?" eir svara hnum, "r skulu sigla norr ok vestr. ar er land gott ok ntt er heitir sland. ar ba norskir menn. En landit er strt, sv at r munu finna yr sta." Ragnarr akkar eim rit ok leggr n af sta til landsins  norri.
eir sigla n lengi yfir hafit. Ragnarr mlir, "Langt er til slands. Vr

3.4 Translate the text into Old Norse