Hi Stefano,

Not every 'r' at the end of Old Norse words is the nominative marker.
Sometimes, as in 'meldr', 'r' belongs to the root. In the nominative
singular of masculine nouns, if the root ends in a consonant followed
by 'r', the 'r' of the nominative singular inflection isn't expressed.

GENITIVE meldrs or meldrar
DATIVE meldri

E.g. 'þá kvað þat Menja, var til meldrs komin' "then Menja said this,
[she] had come to the grinding". You can usually see from
dictionaries whether the 'r' is part of the root by looking at the

By the way, the word was borrowed from Norse settlers into Scottish
and Northern English dialects where it survives as 'melder'. Old
Norse loanwords in English don't retain inflectional 'r'. So we have
Modern English 'knife' : Old Norse 'knífr' (masculine acc.sg. 'kníf',
gen.sg. 'knífs'), but Modern English 'slaughter' : Old Norse 'slátr'
(neuter acc.sg. 'slátr', gen.sg. 'slátrs').

The 'r' is also present in the related Old High German 'maltar' and
Old Saxon 'maldar'. Proto-Germanic *z (which became 'r' in Old Norse)
was dropped in West Germanic in final position, showing that the 'r'
in these words must be part of the root.

Lama Nom

--- In norse_course@yahoogroups.com, "Stefano Mazza" <stefanomzz@...>
> Hi all
> I would like to propose a doubt that I have regarding this poem by
> Snæbjörn:
> Hvatt kveða hrœra Grótta
> hergrimmastan skerja
> út fyr jarðar skauti
> eylúðrs níu brúðir,
> þær es, lungs, fyr löngu
> líðmeldr, skipa hlíðar
> baugskerðir rístr barði
> ból, Amlóða mólu.
> One can find it at http://www.hi.is/~eybjorn/ugm/skindex/snaeb.html
> The syntaxis is usually stressed as follows:
> Kveða níu brúðir eylúðrs hroera hvatt hergrimmastan Grotta skerja út
> fyr jarðar skauti, þær er mólu fyr lóngu líðmeldr Amlóða. Baugskerðir
> rístr barði lungs ból hlíðar skipa.
> My doubt is on the case of "líðmeldr". The sentence in which the word
> appears should mean approximately: "they (the nine maids) who long
> since have ground the corn of Amlóði's liquor". Thus, I would
> expect "líðmeldr" to be in accusative form, but it seems rather to be
> a nominative form, since "meldr" is a masculine noun, presenting
> its "-r" desinence. I conclude that we have a sentence with two
> nominative nouns, which would be a nonsense.
> Could this be a simple error of the copyist, or could the -r
> of "meldr" be radical and not inflexive? Or is this sentence to be
> interpreted in some other way?
> Many thanks in advance for your attention,
> Stefano