LINGUIST List 6.579

Tue 18 Apr 1995

Disc: About Modern Old Norse ...

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  1. , Re: 6.548 FYI: Mod Old Norse,
  2. Jardar Eggesbx Abrahamsen, Re: FYI: Mod Old Norse

Message 1: Re: 6.548 FYI: Mod Old Norse,

Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 23:06:15 Re: 6.548 FYI: Mod Old Norse,
From: <CONNOLLYmsuvx2.memphis.edu>
Subject: Re: 6.548 FYI: Mod Old Norse,


I rather like this item that appeared with an April 1 date:

)About one week ago Norwegian newspapers informed the public about a small
)village ("bygd") in Norway which had been isolated probably since the
)"Black Death" (Svartedauden) i 1349. The village was discovered one year
)ago in the area Jotunheimen, but it has been kept secret until now. The
)villagers call their village Lignarhalsinn and their language Lignarmal.
)Linguists have done research on the language in the village, and the first
)report was published in the latest edition of Norsk Lingvistisk
)Tidsskrift.

It appeared a few years ago in the sci.lang discussion group, where the
gullible believed that an isolated valley speaking pure Old Norse was somehow
more plausible than the mythical Appalachian dale speaking "pure Elizabethan
English".

)Jardar
) --
) Jardar Eggesboe Abrahamsen | Stokkanhaugen 104 | Lygnina fyrstu
) student of | N-7048 Trondheim | laug Loki
) Nordic languages | | thessum degi a.
)http://www.nvg.unit.no/~jardar | jardarnvg.unit.no | (Min saga Lygntungu)

For those who are not "students of Nordic languages": Jardar Eggesboe
means approximately 'dwelling at the edge of the earth' in Old Norse, while
Abrahamsen speaks for itself. The Old Norse motto in the signature means:
'Loki told the first lie today. (My saga of the lying tongue.)'
And Jo,tunheimr was where the giants dwelt. Neat.

(BTW, Lignarhalsinn is "Liars' Ridge", and Lignarmal is "liars' language."
Needless to say, the version of a few years ago also appeared on April 1.)

With all of this, when others took the thing seriously, I began to reconsider
my original scepticism. Foolish me.

You didn't believe a word, did you?

Leo

P.S. I wonder if that www home page is owned by one of the Aesir...

Leo A. Connolly Foreign Languages & Literatures University of Memphis
connollymsuvax.memphis.edu Formerly "Memphis State University"
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Message 2: Re: FYI: Mod Old Norse

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 1995 14:35:25 Re: FYI: Mod Old Norse
From: Jardar Eggesbx Abrahamsen <jardarnvg.unit.no>
Subject: Re: FYI: Mod Old Norse


In a recent message I could inform the world about Lignarhalsinn (which
is somewhere between Norwegian and Old Norse and means 'the liar'):

) About one week ago Norwegian newspapers informed the public about a
) small village ("bygd") in Norway which had been isolated probably since
) the "Black Death" (Svartedauden) i 1349. The village was discovered one
) year ago in the area Jotunheimen, but it has been kept secret until now.
) The villagers call their village Lignarhalsinn and their language
) Lignarmal.

I received some questions which I will answer here, of course without
citing any names. First a psycholinguist:

) The info you posted on Linguist about Lingarmal is very interesting
) indeed. Thank you for posting it and sharing the news.
[...]
) So I find the news of the discovery of Lingarmal extremely exciting! It
) presents yet another dimension -- that of isolation.
)
) Would you happen to know if Lingarmal (1) has a written tradition? and
) (2) whether or not any work has been done on the discourse level?

(1) Lignarmal (not Lingarmal) does not have any written (nor oral)
 tradition.
(2) No work has been done on discourse (or any other) level.

Another one was frank enough to ask the right question:

) Your report on LINGUIST surprised me a lot. Is it true that the village
) and its villagers have been unknown to the rest of the Norwegian people
) since 1349? I hope many of us have the same question, and so could you
) tell us more in detail?

In detail my .sig of the day had a quote written in Old Norse:

Lygnina fyrstu 'The first lie
laug Loki Loki lied
thessum degi a. on this day.
 (Min saga Lygntungu) (My saga of the Lying Tongue)'

And the day happened to be:
) Date: Sat, 1 Apr 1995 15:18:39 +0200 (MET DST)

So yet another reader wrote these lines:

) Well done! Knowing nothing of Scandinavian linguistics,
) however, I was unable to spot the tell-tale features
) of an April fool joke, so seriously and convincingly
) it was written. But I am sure that somewhere, you
) have smuggled in some enormous improbability.
) Tell us some day, will you?

I will. In my description of the language Lignarmal I wrote:

) 5. delabialization
)
) /y/ > /i/

Lygnarmal in Norwegian means 'lying language', from 'lygn' = 'a lie'.
When I posted the same April fool joke two years ago I received lots of
questions:

) Are any recordings of Ligamal available? Would study of Ligamal be
) dependent on prior fluency in modern Norwegian?
)
) Is there any body of literature, oral or written and of music, dance,
) visual arts, etc.
)
) I can't locate Jotunheimen on any of my maps or atlas. Please advise
) names of 2 or 3 nearby towns and/or latitude/longitude.

Jotunheimen is a mountain area with LOTS of people walking around all
over it all the time. It would be impossible to hide a village up there.

) Wow! Even though I suspect linguistic change took place, it is
) a fascinating story. Now, what I want to know is this...to what
) extent are the 2 variants mutually intelligible?

And finally:

) Wow! Neat-o! Tell me about their music! Do they know all the
) verses to Draumkvedet? Do they know what they mean?

That's all for now. It's one year till the next first of April. We look
forward to it!

Jardar Eggesboe Abrahamsen
jardarnvg.unit.no
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