Askeisk, a Scandinavian language (part 2)

<< Part 1 | Part 3 >>


Grammar

Askeisk’s grammar is pretty straightforward North Germanic. I did consider adding in some Irish influences, including some kind of initial consonant mutation, but I genuinely could not figure out how to make it work.

Nouns

Nouns have three cases (nominative, object, and genitive), two numbers (singular and plural) and three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter).

The object case comes from the merger of the dative & accusative cases. For the most part, the object case declensions descend from the Old Norse dative declensions.

Nouns – Masculine

The masculine noun declension is basically identical to that of Old Norse:

 

Singular

Plural

 

Indefinite

Definite

Indefinite

Definite

Nominative

-(i)nn -(a)r -(a)rnir

Object

-(i)num -(u)m

-(u)num

Genitive

-s

-(i)nns -a

-(a)nna

Examples:

  • fadir “father” → fadrinn, fedrar, fedrarnir
  • hundur “dog” → hundinn, hundar, hundarnir
  • mauni “moon” → mauninn, maunir, maunarnir
  • ørn “eagle” → ørninn, ernar, ernarnir

Nouns – Feminine

The masculine and feminine declensions were too similar at first. I spent a while thinking about how to distinguish them instead of collapsing them both into common like Danish and Swedish, and came up with something I think is fairly unique.

The plural declension of feminine nouns exclusively contain front vowels. This causes /u/, /o/, & /ou/ to front to /y/, /ø/, and /øy/. I took this from what happens to the feminine forms of adjectives, which is something I came up with long before I decided to do this.

Many other random back vowels get fronted, but…it’s random. I don’t think I decided on an actual pattern for it.

 

Singular

Plural

 

Indefinite

Definite

Indefinite

Definite

Nominative

-(i)n

-(æ)r

-(æ)næ

Object

-i

-(i)ni

-(y)m

-(y)nym

Genitive

-ar

-(i)nar

-(æ)næ

Examples:

  • aska “ash” → askan, askær, askænæ
  • douttir “daughter” → douttrin, døyttrær, døyttrænæ
  • gaus “goose” → gausin, gæysær, gæysænæ
  • ull “wool” → ullin, yllær, yllænæ

Nouns – Neuter

Neuter nouns are the same in the nominative plural and singular (except for some occasional vowel changes). I did nothing interesting with this declension.

 

Singular

Plural

 

Indefinite

Definite

Indefinite

Definite

Nominative

-(i)t

-(i)n

Object

-i

-(i)nu

-(u)m

-(u)num

Genitive

-s

-(i)ts -a

-(a)nna

Examples:

  • barn “child” → barnit, børn, børnin
  • egg “egg” → eggit, egg, eggin
  • hus “house” → husit, hus, husin
  • navn “name” → navnit, nøvn, navnin

Personal Pronouns

Askeisk’s personal pronouns are nothing special. There are singular and plural versions, three genders in the third person, and possessive pronouns have different forms depending on the gender of the following noun.

Subject pronouns:

  • 1st person: jeg, veir
  • 2nd person: tu, eir
  • 3rd person masculine: hann, teir
  • 3rd person feminine: hon, tær
  • 3rd person neuter: tad, tau

I decided to keep the distinction between the third person plural pronouns because collapsing everything into neuter seemed to be a little boring.

Object pronouns:

  • 1st person: mig, oss
  • 2nd person: tig, ydur
  • 3rd person masculine: honum, teim
  • 3rd person feminine: hen, teim
  • 3rd person neuter: tad, teim

Here, the third person plural is the same in all genders, which it how it was in Old Norse.

Possessive pronouns:

  • 1st person singular: minn, min, mitt, minar
  • 1st person plural: vaur, vaurt, vaurar
  • 2nd person singular: tinn, tin, titt, tinar
  • 2nd person plural: ydar, ydart, ydarar
  • 3rd person masculine singular: hans, hansar
  • 3rd person feminine singular: henar, henrar
  • 3rd person neuter singular: tess, tessar
  • 3rd person plural: teirra, teirrat, teirrar

Only the 1st and 2nd person singular possessives distinguish between the masculine & feminine genders on the following noun. The 3rd person singular possessives don’t distinguish gender at all, just number.

Here are some examples with 1st person possessives:

  • køttrinn minn “my cat”
  • boukin min “my book”
  • augat min “my eye”
  • armarnir minar “my arms”
  • eidrinn vaur “our oath”
  • husit vaurt “our house”
  • beinin vaurar “our bones”

The third person possessive pronouns do not specifically refer to the subject or speaker; they can refer to absolutely anyone. Like with the other North Germanic languages, there is a separate set of reflexive pronouns – sinn, sin, sitt, sinar – which are used to clear up ambiguity:

  • køttrinn henar “her cat”
  • køttrinn sinn “her (own) cat”

“It”

Like the other pronouns, the Askeisk word for “it” is declined for case, number, and gender. The “default” form is tad.

 

Singular Plural

 

Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter

Nominative

tann tøn tad tannar tønir

tad

Object tann tøni tadi tannum tønym

tadum

Genitive tanns tønar tads tana tønæ

tada

Adjectives

Like you’d expect, adjectives take on the case, number, and gender of the noun they modify. Adjectives with /a/, /u/, and /au/ in the masculine (the default form of the adjective) become /ø/, /y/, and /øy/ in the feminine.

Masculine nouns almost exclusively end in –ur. The feminine and neuter forms drop the –ur, and the neuter adds –t.

Examples:

  • daudur, døyd, daudt “dead”
  • fraul, frøyl, frault “free”
  • heitur, heit, heitt “hot”
  • reddur, redd, reddt “afraid”

Adjectives can “agree” with 1st and 2nd person pronouns by matching the gender of the person:

  • Jeg em gladur. “I (male) am happy.”
  • Jeg em glød. “I (female) am happy.”
  • Jeg em gladt. “I (neuter) am happy.”
  • Tu ert gladur. “I (male) am happy.”

For the plural versions of the 1st and 2nd person pronouns, the neuter forms of adjectives are used by default:

  • Veir eru gladt. “We are happy”
  • Eir eru gladt. “You are happy”.

Since adjectives have the same declensions as nouns, gladt is the same in the singular and plural numbers.

Comparatives & superlatives also have different forms depending on the gender of the adjective:

 

Comparative Superlative

Masculine

-ari -asti
Feminine -øri

-østæ

Neuter -ara

-ast


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