Gegaderung > Old English Language

Word ending agreement

(1/2) > >>

Wayne Aelfhere:
Hello one and all. I hope this finds you well.
Just a quick basic one on agreement of word they all simply take the case of the first bit (until something else happens in the sentence)?
So, for example, if we were translating "I thank my English gods" - "my" would have a dative ending (because following "þancian") so would "English" and "gods" also have dative endings?
Or is there a whiff of genitive here?

In the sentence “I thank my English gods” “gods” is the object of the verb “thank” and so is in the dative case. “My” and “English” are adjectives and so take the case, number and gender of what they are describing, gods, and so are in the dative plural masculine. Then “English” is in the weak form of the adjective because it is specified by “my”. Adjectives are specified by the definite article “the”, the pronouns “this” or “that” or a possessive adjective such as “my”. So I would translate “I thank my English gods” as “Iċ þanci(ġ)e mīnum englisċum godum”.

Wayne Aelfhere:
Brilliant, thank you David. That's actually relatively straight forward, (in theory at least!) ....dative all the way! That's the key, that the adjectives follow what they are describing, which is the dative noun. Now to learn all those pesky endings! 😁 Many thanks & every best wish to you.

Now you are happy with that I can mention the genitive.
1.     The possessive adjectives are just the genitive forms of the personal pronouns but in the case of “my”, “our” and “your” they are declined as adjectives.
2.     Instead of "English" you could use the genitive "England’s" although it does not sound right in Modern English. This gives “Iċ þanci(ġ)e mīnes englalandes godum”. Notice that “mīn” takes the genitive ending from “englalandes” whereas I think it more logical to take the dative ending from “godum”.

Wayne Aelfhere:
Hmm...that's a little less straight forward. I understand why the genitive would be appropriate as "Englandes" and it's nice that "min" agrees as "mines", but then if "godum" is still dative, I would have hoped that "min" would still take the dative, or at least that the whole lot would have been genitive. I don't understand why there are differences here. Sorry if that's a stupid question. 🤔


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version