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Author Topic: Website riddle  (Read 4231 times)

David

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Website riddle
« on: February 29, 2016, 06:28:35 PM »



I was reading the riddle on the website. The bēom and meċ seemed Anglian but the rest seemed standard Old English (West Saxon).
 
I was surprised by “þonne iċ sēċan ġewite” when I would have written “þonne iċ ġewite tō sēċanne”. I use Steve Polington’s rule of thumb that if “to” can mean “in order to” then I use the inflected infinitive. Is this a quirk of the author or is there more to it than that?
 
I am reading Don Ringe’s “The Development of Old English” and he appears to say that the –anne ending is West Saxon whereas the –enne ending is Mercian. Is that so? He also says that the ‘nominative/accusative’ –an was expanded in West Germanic to include a ‘genitive’, ‘dative’ and ‘instrumental’. Only the nominative/accusative and the dative (-anne) came down to Old English. I can’t get my head around a ‘genitive’ infinitive. I can only think that it went with verbs taking genitive objects such as nēodian and wundrian. Can you enlighten me? 

Linden

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Re: Website riddle
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 09:10:45 PM »
I was reading the riddle on the website. The bēom and meċ seemed Anglian but the rest seemed standard Old English (West Saxon).
 
I was surprised by “þonne iċ sēċan ġewite” when I would have written “þonne iċ ġewite tō sēċanne”. I use Steve Polington’s rule of thumb that if “to” can mean “in order to” then I use the inflected infinitive. Is this a quirk of the author or is there more to it than that?
................
 

This is riddle 16 of the Exeter Book riddles.  For more info on the riddles, try this site which is now more than half way through them.

https://theriddleages.wordpress.com/riddles-by-number/
Cræft biþ betere ðonne æhta

David

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Re: Website riddle
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 10:11:43 AM »



Thank you Linden - that looks a good site.


I am not a huge fan of riddles but I did like riddle 16. Also the "answer" is very reasonable. I rushed into asking for the answer but now wished I had left it longer and I think that it might have come to me.