-----Original Message-----
From: Haukur Thorgeirsson
To: norse_course@yahoogroups.com
Sent: 6/23/2003 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: [norse_course] Question on a single clause

Heill, Raymond!

> Let's say that I want to say something like this:
> he who is wise.
> Now - I have some idea of what each of these words are in ON.
> he = hann
> who = er
> is = er
> wise = spakr.

You're on the right track. But in clauses like this the demonstrative
pronoun (sá)
rather than the personal pronoun is usually used.

> A literal translation, then, looks like:
> hann er er spakr.

"Sá er er spakr."

THAT who is wise

Alright - this sounds good - I don't mind that, that which is correct, is
the word that.
It reminds me of the strange tendancy, in the English language, to
constantly refer
to some thing, person, etc. that is "THERE", like:
THERE is a man who is wise
I mean - just exactly where is there? It really doesn't matter, I guess -
since all we need
to know is that no man HERE is wise (this is no insult to any person out
since I am the only one "here" at the moment - okay?).

> However, no matter how I juggle these words around - I just don't like
it -
> and I'm led to the conclusion that I should be using inverted order:
> hann er spakr er (he who wise is).

Indeed. This is probably more natural. But the "uninverted" word order
does occur.

You say this is "more natural" - yet - I just can't help noticing that the
verb is dangling
out there at the very END of the clause. In German, this would be
conveniently labeled inverted
order. What do you call it on your island?

I've searched through Gordon's book and have found nothing concerning this
question. Back some
time ago, on April, 19th, I posted a big long string of words discussing
normal word order
and inverted word order, to the best of my meager understanding on the

Perhaps it's a difficult subject to discuss in any meaningful way.
Here's a quote from the Icelandic Book of Homilies:

"Þá meguð ér marka hvárt maðrinn sá er er maðka
foeðsla eftir heim þenna mun öðlask mega dýrðina."

(Then you can see if the man who is the food
of earthworms after this world can attain glory.)

I think this would have been just as good:

"...maðrinn sá er maðka foeðsla er eftir heim þenna..."