Pronouns

Syntactically it may sometimes be useful to distinguish between pronouns and determiners in Faroese, but morphologically it makes little sense since all possessive, demonstrative, interrogative, and indefinite pronouns also function as determiners. Only the personal pronouns (third-person plural excepted) are solely pronominal; the relative is best regarded as a particle, since its function is that of complementizer rather than pronoun, but its form will be briefly mentioned here for completeness' sake.

Table 7.5 Personal pronouns

lsg.

2sg.

3sg.

f.

m.

n.

Nom.

eg

tu

hann

hon

taö

Acc.

meg

teg

hann

hana

tad

Gen.

min

tin

hansara

hennara

tess

Dat.

maer

taer

honum

henni

ti

1 pi

2 pi.

3 pi

f.

m.

n.

Nom.

vit

tit

teir

taer

tey

Acc.

okkum

tykkum

teir

taer

tey

Gen.

okkara

tykkara

teirra

Dat.

okkum

tykkum

teimum

3 refl.

2 s g. pol

Nom.

-

tygum

Acc.

seg

tygum

Gen.

sin

tygara

Dat.

saer

tygum

The personal pronouns alone of the Faroese nominals have retained the full four-case system of Old Norse. The paradigms are set out in Table 7.5. The first- and second-person plural go back to the Old Norse dual. The second-person singular polite form is based on the accusative/dative of the Old Norse second-person plural, ydr, with initial /t/ (< /0/) from the nominative, but otherwise there is little trace in present-day Faroese of the old first- and second-person plurals. As in Old Norse, the third-person plural forms also function as demonstratives, determiners, and as the preposed definite article (see below), e.g. tey av tykkum 'those of you', teirmenninir 'those men', txr ungu kyrnar 'the young cows'. If allowance is made for the sound changes that separate Faroese from Old Norse, the only noteworthy developments in the paradigms not so far mentioned are the spread of the pronominal and adjectival dative ending -um into the first- and second-person plurals and the third-person dative plural (ON okkr, ykkr, peim), and the addition of -a (of uncertain origin) to the genitive forms in -ar, as well as the extension of this ending to the third-person masculine singular (ON hans). In unstressed position, personal pronouns undergo a number of changes, most notably the regular shortening of vowel or consonant and the frequent loss of initial /h/, e.g. tad veit eg [ta'vaite] 'I know it', eg tok hann vid [e.toukan'vi:] 'I took him with (me)'. There seems no phonetic justification, however, for positing a class of clitics since the behaviour of these pronouns in connected speech is little different from that of the generality of words.

In common with other Scandinavian languages, Faroese makes no distinction in form between possessive pronouns and adjectives. The first- and second-person singular and the reflexive possessive (nom. m. sg. min, tin, sin) are inflected according to the scheme in Table 7.6 (nom./acc. n. sg. mitt, titt,

Table 7.6 Schematic overview of pronoun (non-personal) and determiner inflections

Singular m.

f.

n.

Plural m.

f.

n.

Nom.

-0

-0

-t(t)

-ir

-ar

-0/-i

Acc.

-0/-an

-a

-t(t)

-ar

-ar

-0/-i

Dat.

-um

-i/-ari

-um

-um

Note: Individual pronouns and determiners may vary from this pattern in certain forms, especially the nominative/accusative neuter singular and plural. The nominative feminine singular, the nominative/accusative neuter plural, the dative masculine and neuter singular, and the dative plural may be marked by change of the root vowel (a>0oro). Genitive forms of a few pronouns and determiners are occasionally found in writing: m. and n. sg. -s, f. sg. -ar (very rare), pi. -a. Apart from -ur in the nominative masculine singular as opposed to -0, this is the paradigm according to which strong adjectives by and large are inflected (acc. m. sg. -an, dat. f. sg. -ari, nom./acc. n. pi. -0).

Note: Individual pronouns and determiners may vary from this pattern in certain forms, especially the nominative/accusative neuter singular and plural. The nominative feminine singular, the nominative/accusative neuter plural, the dative masculine and neuter singular, and the dative plural may be marked by change of the root vowel (a>0oro). Genitive forms of a few pronouns and determiners are occasionally found in writing: m. and n. sg. -s, f. sg. -ar (very rare), pi. -a. Apart from -ur in the nominative masculine singular as opposed to -0, this is the paradigm according to which strong adjectives by and large are inflected (acc. m. sg. -an, dat. f. sg. -ari, nom./acc. n. pi. -0).

sittx the other possessives are invariable and take the same form as the genitive of the corresponding personal pronoun.

The principal demonstratives in Faroese are tann 'that', hesin 'this', hasin 'that', and hin 'the other'. The latter three are inflected more or less in accordance with the scheme in Table 7.6 (hesin and hasin have accusative masculine and nominative feminine singular henda(n), handa(n) and nominative/accusative neuter singular hetta(r), hatta(r), the forms with the final consonant are colloquial); the plural of tann is set out in Table 7.5 (teir, etc.) and the singular is as follows: nom./acc. m. and nom. f. tann, acc. f. ta, nom./acc. n. tad, dat. all genders ti, although the dative feminine may also be teirri. The deictic sense of tann is somewhat weakened, possibly as a result of the availability of hasin, which has a strongly pointing function and is often reinforced by the addition of har 'there'. As well as being a demonstrative, tann also serves as the preposed definite article (as can hin in older written Faroese and in certain phrases in the spoken language), in which function it naturally loses its deictic sense altogether. Since tann is the preposed counterpart of the suffixed definite article and, like the other three demonstratives, regularly appears in conjunction with it (on the syntax of these and related phrases, see section 7.4), it is convenient to consider here both the forms of the article and its pattern of suffixation to the noun. Fundamentally it is like hin (of which it is probably the reflex) without initial /h/, and its inflections parallel those of the pronoun except in the nominative/accusative neuter singular where hin has the form hitt; however, those noun endings that are syllabic (except the strong nominative masculine singular) cause syncopation of the initial /i/. The forms are thus as given in Table 7.7.

Table 7.7 The suffixed definite article

Singular m.

f.

n.

Plural m.

f.

n.

Nom.

-(i)n

-(i)n

-0)ö

-nir

-nar

-G)ni

Acc.

-(On

-(i)na

-(i)ö

-nar

-nar

-(i)ni

Gen.

-(i)ns

(-(i)nar)

-(i)ns

-nna

Dat.

-num

-(i)ni

-num

-num

Note: The genitive forms are little used, even in the written language, the feminine almost never; the genitive plural occurs in both spoken and written Faroese in a limited number of postpositional phrases involving milium, contrast husanna milium with milium husini 'between the houses'. The -m (/n/) of the dative plural is dropped from nouns when the definite article is added, e.g. bdtum (/boatun/) 'boats', bdtunum (/boatunun/) 'the boats'. In the spoken language there is a tendency for the nominative and accusative masculine plural of the definite article to coalesce, usually in favour of the nominative form.

Note: The genitive forms are little used, even in the written language, the feminine almost never; the genitive plural occurs in both spoken and written Faroese in a limited number of postpositional phrases involving milium, contrast husanna milium with milium husini 'between the houses'. The -m (/n/) of the dative plural is dropped from nouns when the definite article is added, e.g. bdtum (/boatun/) 'boats', bdtunum (/boatunun/) 'the boats'. In the spoken language there is a tendency for the nominative and accusative masculine plural of the definite article to coalesce, usually in favour of the nominative form.

The interrogative pronoun and adjective in Faroese is hv0r. It inflects according to the scheme in Table 7.6, but with the following idiosyncrasies: the accusative masculine singular is hv0nn, the nominative/accusative neuter singular hvat, and all endings that begin with a vowel are preceded by /j/.

The relative particle is sum or id, between which there are a few slight differences of syntactic function; outside these, sum is by far the most common of the two in the spoken language. Literary Faroese sometimes uses hv0rs (formally the masculine or neuter genitive singular of the interrogative hv0r, hvat) in the sense 'whose'; this is probably in imitation of the corresponding Danish form hvis.

Indefinite pronouns and determiners include nogvur 'much, a lot', hv0r 'each, every', ein 'one', annar 'another, other, the other, the one (of two)', badir (pi.) 'both',/a«r 'few', eingin 'no one, none, no', hv0rgin 'neither', and nakar, onhur, summur, the latter three all in the range 'some/any(-one/ -thing)', for which senses ein can also be employed. These words are all inflected according to the scheme in Table 7.6, though most exhibit some idiosyncrasies; hv0r has exactly the same forms as the interrogative except for the nominative/accusative neuter singular, which is hv0rt. The relationship between nakar, onkur, summur, and ein is subtle and complex, and not yet completely understood. It seems to involve such features as [± existence], [± specific], [± distributive], and while there is a considerable degree of overlap, there are many contexts in which only one or some of these pronouns or determiners are grammatical. To a certain extent Faroese parallels English, in that nakar is the preferred word in interrogative and negative clauses (see section 7.4), but nakar is also widely used in declaratives, especially when the required sense is [+specific], contrast: nakrardagar '(for) some days (acc.)', summar dagar 'some (individual) days (acc.)', hann hoyrdi nakad 'he heard something (specific)', hann hoyrdi okkurt 'he heard something (or other)'. Synonymous with pronominal ein is man 'one' (from German via Danish), but this is not a word favoured by purists and it has the disadvantage that it can only be used when nominative is the appropriate case. As well as being an indefinite pronoun or determiner, ein also functions as the numeral 'one' and the indefinite article. In the latter two senses it may appear in the plural (a) when denoting a pair, e.g. einir skogvar 'one/a pair of shoes'; (b) when modifying a plural noun, e.g. eini hjun 'one/a married couple'; (c) when used to denote an approximate number, e.g. einar fimm seks gentur 'five or six girls'. The numeral also has weak forms, which occur when it is preceded by a determiner, e.g. tann eini vinurin 'the one friend (of many)'. In connection with numerals, it is worth mentioning (a) that as well as ein, tveir 'two' and triggir 'three' are inflected for case and gender; (b) that in counting the unit usually precedes the ten, e.g. ein og tjugu 'twenty-one' ; and (c) that the words for the tens from 'fifty' to 'ninety' are normally halvtryss, tryss, hdlvfjerds, fyrs, halvfems, these and their ordinal counterparts being based on the corresponding Danish forms halvtreds(indstyve) 'fifty', etc.

Verbs

Faroese verbs are inflected for person and/or number, and tense, according to a system greatly simplified in comparison with Old Norse or Icelandic. As in all Germanic languages, the finite forms are either present or past, and the two main conjugation types are 'weak' and 'strong'. The principal inflections are outlined in Table 7.8. The second-person singular -t and -st endings are often dropped in both the written and the spoken language, and there are tendencies locally for the past singular and plural to coalesce in certain weak verb classes, either because the singular form is extended to the plural or because post-tonic /i/ and /u/ are no longer distinguished, e.g. vit elskadi 'we loved', nevndi-nevndu 'mentioned', both [neundi], [neundo] (or some other unitary form). In strong verbs the past singular-plural distinction is still maintained by all speakers, e.g. eg kom [e'koim] 'I came' : vit komu [vit'koimi] 'we came'.

Finite inflections not included in Table 7.8 are those of the modal auxiliaries and, to a limited extent, of vera '(to) be' (for both see below), and the imperative and subjunctive forms. Faroese has a second-person singular imperative, which for most verbs consists simply of the root, but for one class of root + -a, and a second-person plural with die ending -id (/i/), e.g. kom! 'come! (sg.)', komid! 'come! (pi.)', kasta! 'throw! (sg.)', kastid! 'throw! (pi.)'. Note that as in the mainland Scandinavian languages but unlike in Icelandic imperative constructions as a rule have no overt subject. In spoken Faroese the imperative singular form is often used even when more than one person is being addressed. In the absence of first-person imperative forms (found only in archaizing style), the imperative singular (rarely the plural in the spoken language) of lata '(to) let' is used followed by meg 'me' or okkum 'us' and the infinitive of the main verb, e.g. lat okkum fara 'let's go'. The residual subjunctive can sometimes act as a substitute for a third-person

Table 7.8 The principal verb inflections of Faroese

Present

Past weak

Past strong

1 sg.

-i

-Di

-0

2 sg.

-(V)r(t)

-Di

-(s)t

3 sg.

-(V)r

-Di

-0

lpl.

-a

-Du

-u

2 pi.

-a

-Du

-u

3 pi.

-a

-Du

-u

Note: V = vowel (i.e. i, m, or a, but see section 7.2, 'Vowels'). D = suffix, originally and still often dental. There may in addition to these endings be changes of root vowel between the second- and third-person singular present and the other present-tense forms (which preserve the vowel of the infinitive), between the present and past of strong verbs and of some weak verbs, and also between the singular past and plural past of many strong verbs.

Note: V = vowel (i.e. i, m, or a, but see section 7.2, 'Vowels'). D = suffix, originally and still often dental. There may in addition to these endings be changes of root vowel between the second- and third-person singular present and the other present-tense forms (which preserve the vowel of the infinitive), between the present and past of strong verbs and of some weak verbs, and also between the singular past and plural past of many strong verbs.

imperative, but the use of the subjunctive is severely restricted in Faroese and it can hardly any longer be regarded as a productive verb form. It appears only in the present tense and almost exclusively in the third person, and has just the one ending: -/. Typically, it occurs in exclamations, e.g. olukka slai hann! 'misfortune strike him!', Harrin jylgi txrl 'the Lord accompany you!', verdi Ijos! 'let there be light!' (lit. 'become light'), but in officialese instructions are also occasionally attested, e.g. nyggir limir vendi sxr til skrivaran 'new members should apply to the secretary' (lit. 'new members turn themselves to...'). The unproductiveness of the subjunctive is revealed by the severe restrictions on the choice of subject and verb phrase in clauses of the type exemplified: papi hansara slai hann! '(let) his father hit him!', nyggir limir kv0di eitt 0rindi 'new members (should) recite a verse', for example, are pragmatically extremely odd.

To all the finite endings in Table 7.8 may be added -st (corresponding to the s or -st of the other Scandinavian languages). The use of this suffix usually involves reflexive, reciprocal or passive meaning; it can be applied to the majority of Faroese verbs, but by no means all. Before -st the endings -(u)r, -rt, and -st are lost, e.g. krevur 'demands', krevst 'is demanded'.

The conjugation types of Faroese are many. Weak verbs can be divided into three classes, but irregularities abound. Class I has -ar in the second- and third-person singular present, -adi/-adu (/aji/, /avu/) in the singular and plural past, and -a in the imperative singular. Class II has -ir, -di/-du> -ti/-tu, or -ddi/ -ddu, and zero, class in -ur, -di/-du or -ti/-tu + vowel change, and zero in the corresponding forms. A small number of verbs with -ar in the present tense have -di/'du, -ti/-tu, or -ddi/-ddu in the past. Strong verbs exhibit many different vowel alternations; the number of classes to be distinguished depends on how big a 'miscellaneous' group one is prepared to tolerate. Common alternations in the present, past singular and past plural are: i-ei-i, (j)o/y-ey-u, and e-a-u. Five modal auxiliaries, kunna 'be able to', mega/ muga '(to) have to', munna 'be probable', skula 'be obliged to, intend', vilja '(to) want to', as well as vita '(to) know', have present-tense forms radically different from those of other verbs. The characteristics are: zero ending in the first- and third-person singular, -1 or -st (depending on the verb) in the second person, and -a or -u (in part depending on the verb, in part on dialect) in the plural; apart from vilja, all have a different root vowel in the singular from in the infinitive and plural. Except for mdtti/mattu 'had to' and atti/attu 'ought' (from eiga, which has an ordinary present tense; cf. also visti/vistu 'knew'), the modals have a regular weak past tense, consisting of the root of the infinitive + ~di/-du endings, e.g. kundi 'could (sg.)' (= kun + di). Note that the endings of vera '(to) be' except in the present plural are predictable, though the root is not; the forms are: present 1 sg. eri, 2 sg. ert, 3 sg. er, pi. eruy past 1 and 3 sg. var, 2 sg. vart, pi. voru.

The non-finite forms of the Faroese verb are the infinitive, the present and past participles, and the supine. The infinitive ends in a, and this termination has been extended to those verbs which had monosyllabic infinitives in Old Norse, t.g.faa '(to) get'. The present participle is formed through the addition of -andi to the verbal root, e.g. komandi 'coming'. It does not inflect. Apart from a straightforward adjectival function, it commonly has the modal and passive sense '-able, -ible', e.g. etandi 'edible', from eta '(to) eat', dhugsandi 'inconceivable', from hugsa '(to) think'. The form of the past participle depends on verb class, but can usually be predicted on the basis of past-tense endings. Weak verbs thus exhibit the following formations: class I -adur (-dur, -tur, -ddur), class II -dur, -tur, -ddur, class in -dur, -tur (with the same root vowel as the past tense); the past participles of strong verbs end in -in, and the root vowel is often different from either of those in the past tense, although mostly predictable (inf./pres. i gives pp. i, (j)6/y gives o, e gives o or u). The past participle inflects like an adjective and has both strong and weak endings. The supine is identical in form with the nominative/accusative neuter singular of the past participle, and is used after various auxiliaries in the formation of complex verb phrases. While not every verb has a past participle, virtually all have a supine. The -st ending discussed above (p. 205) does not occur in the present or past participle (except lagstur 'gone to bed', setstur 'seated', vilstur 'lost'), but may be added to the infinitive and the supine, whereupon the latter loses its final -1 or (written) -d, e.g. hevur bart 'has hit', hava barst 'have fought', hevdifingid (/finji/) 'had obtained', hevdi fingist 'had been obtained'.

Complex verb phrases are best dealt with under syntax, but it may be noted here that hava '(to) have' combines with the supine and vera '(to) be' (in the case of 'change of state' intransitives) with the past participle to form the perfect, e.g. hon hevur sungid 'she has sung', vatnid er runnid burtur 'the water has run away' (lit. '... is run...'); further, that verda or bliva '(to) become' (the latter mainly restricted to spoken Faroese) and vera function as passive auxiliaries, e.g. tad verdur gj0rt 'it is being done, it will be done', tad ergj0rt 'it is done'.

0 0

Post a comment