Þrjótrunn: A North Romance Language
In this section, the usage and meaning of the languages' morphological
forms and syntactic structures is described.
Adverbials of time and location often use the plain accusative.
This is not productive anymore, but is often visible in
lexicalised phrases like 'one time' etc.
The Latin perfect tense has taken the function of the
(lost) Latin imperfect tense and is called 'past' by
Þrjótrunn grammarians. An analytical perfect tense was
more and more used (as in other Romance languages) and has
taken the function of the original perfect tense.
Indicative vs. Subjunctive
The subjunctive is used in the following situations.
To express a wish or demand.
To express a subjective view.
Definite vs. Indefinite
The usage of the definite article usually does not
accompany proper names, nor nouns used by their
function (e.g. 'in school', 'in hospital', 'in heaven',
The definite article is usually enclitic. In older
language as well as in formal or ceremonial language,
it may be prefixed as an independent word.
If the article is both prefixed and suffixed, the
meaning is 'the other ...'.
If a demonstrative is used, no definite article is used.
Nouns with a suffixed possessive pronoun are marked
with the definite article enclitic. Nouns with a prefixed
possessive pronoun are not marked with a definite
article. The latter form is archaic or usually
reserved for formal or ceremonial occasions.
To Have, To Own, To Hold, There Is
|to have (auxiliary)
|A has (now, with him/her) B
||A[nom] tinir B[acc]
|A holds B
||A[nom] tinir B[acc]
|A owns B
||A[nom] pöstir B[acc]
|there is A
||ekki issir A[nom]
Usage of Kví, Kvæll, and Tög
'kví' has a 'sociative' case form
in both singular ('kvíg') and
plural ('kjúsk') , which is used instead
of *'kú kve'
and *'kú kær', resp. These forms
are contractions, therefore in adjectival usage, the modified
noun phrase is in accusative case just as with the preposition
'Tög' is the uninflected relative pronoun.
Gender is used on 'kví'
in interrogative substantive
usage to distinguish 'who?' (by masculine: kví) and
'what?' (by neuter: koð). The feminine forms are not
used – the masculine is interpreted as gender
neutral. The question 'what?' may well be answered
with a grammatically feminine or masculine noun –
the neuter 'koð' is interpreted (grammatical)
gender neutral, too. Both interrogative nouns are
neutral wrt. number, too – you may well answer
with a plural noun.
The pronoun can be used in the genitive case to ask
for the possessor ('whose ...'), so in contrast to
the possessive pronoun, it does not agree in case
with its modified noun.
||Who (both f. and m.) sings?
||Eykkli mí kattað.
||My uncles (m.pl.) sing.
|Aukkull kyggur katt?
||Whose (f. or m.) uncle sings?
||Aukkull myr katt.
||My (f. or m.) uncle sings.
|Kví ert bjöllur?
||Who (f. and m.) is beautiful?
||Mer ert bjall.
||Mary (f.sg.) is beautiful.
|Koð ert bjöll?
||What is beautiful?
||Domisi sutt belli.
||The houses (f.pl.) are beautiful.
|Koð pésar tú?
||What do you think?
|Kvíg kattar tú?
||With whom (f. and m.) do you sing?
||Kú aukkul mjú katta já.
||I sing with my uncle (m.sg.).
'Kví' is used to query individuals, while
'kvæll' is used to query the general kind of
|Kví aukkull katt?
||What uncle sings?
|Kvæll aukkull katt?
||What kind of uncle sings?
|Kvíg aukkul kattar tú?
||With what uncle do you sing?
|Já sepja kví katt.
||I know who sings.
|Já sepja aukkull kyggur katt.
||I know whose uncle sings.
|Já sepja kví ert bjöllur.
||I know who is beautiful.
|Já sepja koð ert bjöll.
||I know what is beautiful.
|Já sepja koð pésar tú.
||I know what do you think.
|Já sepja kvíg kattar tú.
||I know with whom you sing.
|Já sepja kví aukkull katt.
||I know what uncle sings.
|Já sepja kvæll aukkull katt.
||I think what kind of uncle sings.
|Já sepja kvíg aukkul kattar tú.
||I know with what uncle you sing.
|Mer tög katt ert bjall.
||Mary, who sings, is beautiful.
The Latin interrogative noun 'qvis' was lost.
Instead, 'qvī' is used.
On the other hand, the relative pronoun 'qvī' fell
out of use and was replaced by 'tög' < tanqvam, which
originally meant 'as much as, how'.
The sociative forms derive from qvīcvm and