LINGUIST List 6.595

Sat 22 Apr 1995

Disc: About Modern Old Norse ...

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  1. Paul Kerswill, Re: 6.548 FYI: Mod Old Norse
  2. benji wald, Re: 6.579 About Modern Old Norse ...

Message 1: Re: 6.548 FYI: Mod Old Norse

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 23:31:50 Re: 6.548 FYI: Mod Old Norse
From: Paul Kerswill <llskerslreading.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 6.548 FYI: Mod Old Norse

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Dear April Fools,

This 'new' old dialect of Norwegian has at least one precedent. My
mother (a student at Oslo c. 1948) tells me that a professor of Norwegian
nearly had a fit when he heard a student from some western fjord using
the apparently long since defunct /dh/ (voiced dental fricative) in words
like _tid_, _fjord_, etc. The student had apparently worked out where to
put this sound, and the good professor was taken in.

Paul Kerswill
Department of Linguistic Science
Reading University
UK
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Message 2: Re: 6.579 About Modern Old Norse ...

Date: Fri, 21 Apr 95 19:18 PDT
From: benji wald <IBENAWJMVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: 6.579 About Modern Old Norse ...

The will to believe is very strong, especially for someone who is interested
in history but does not pay attention to dates -- like April 1. I thought
it quite logical that after the long trip from Scandinavia, some of the
less hearty and energetic Norsepersons might have needed a millenium rest
from the rough North Sea trip. I figured some local religious standards
were the only way to explain the archaic language. I wondered what kind of
TV sets the Lignarmal speakers used and how they hid from the rest of the
country, but still managed to get sustenance to survive -- outside
confederates sworn to use only sign language so that they did not corrupt
the purity of Lignarmal? Maybe they had to wear face-masks too?
Still, Icelandic dialectologists could probably have detected their
existence by the mysterious black hole which sucked in all the modern
isoglosses at one point on their maps. Astute consumers of Ice Age
linguistics, such as Conolly and myself, realised the hoax because we
have long known that the true speakers of Lignarmal left Iceland several
decades ago in protest over the decadence of the language in the
rest of the country, and fell into an abyss at the edge of horizon.
If you keep these messages, file all Modern Old Icelandic messages
with the rest of the linguistics in science fiction stuff. Benji
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