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1 THE SENTENCE
As in all the other Germanic languages, sentences in Norwegian can be described schematically containing three fields: a prefield, midfield and backfield. The prefield contains only one element. More often than not it is the subject. If the sentence is a question the prefield is empty. The midfield and backfield can be subdivided in three fields each. The word order and content of the subfields is different for the different sentence types.
1.1 WORD ORDER
The basic word order in main clauses in Norwegian is as follows: Prefield Han he har has Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial kanskje maybe Backfield Verb lest read Object denne boka Adverbial i forrige uke.
this book.the in last week
I forrige uke har In last week has Har
han he du
kanskje maybe kanskje maybe
lest read lest read
denne boka. this book.the denne boka? this book.the
Immediately following the prefield in the midfield is the subfield Finite which contains the tensed main verb and the auxiliary verb. Then there is a position for the subject, if it is not placed in the prefield. The final element in the midfield is an optional adverbial. In the first position in the backfield we find the verb. Next follows the object, and finally an optional additional adverbial.
1.2 THE PREFIELD
In Norwegian almost all sentence elements can be in the prefield. Typically one will find the subject here, but adverbs also frequently occupy this position, and more rarely the object or a particle. Prefield Han He fant found han han han faktisk ballen. ball.the Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial faktisk actually faktisk Backfield Verb Object pengene Adverbial under senga.
money.the under bed.the pengene. pengene under senga. under senga.
Under senga fant Faktisk Pengene Ut out fant fant
kastet han threw he
If an element occurs in the prefield its position in the mid- or backfield remains empty. Apart from the Finite-subfield, all fields can be empty. Prefield Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial Backfield Verb Object Adverbial
Vent! wait! Hun she sover. sleeps
The cleft-sentence offers the same freedom of choice with respect to what has to be said first in the sentence, with the exception of the sentence adverbial in (1d), where ‘*’ indicates ungrammaticality. Note that the subjunction is optional (indicated by the parentheses) when something other than the subject comes first. (1) a. Det var ham som faktisk fant pengene under senga. it was him that actually found monye.the under bed.the ‘It was him that actually found the money under the bed.’ b. Det var under senga (som) han faktisk fant pengene. c. Det var pengene (som) han faktisk fant under senga. d. * Det var faktisk (som) han fant pengene under senga.
1.3 THE FINITE FIELD
The verb in the finite field is always conjugated (tempus), generally by adding an ending to the stem, e.g. les-er ‘reads.’ In this way an utterance is anchored in a communicative context, i.e. before, simultaneously, or after it. Without this context it is impossible to ascertain whether an utterance is true or false. The sentence Per leser denne boka ‘Per is reading this book’ can only be true, if Per is actually reading the book at the time of speech. In contrast to English, the tensed verb is always the second element in the Norwegian main clauses. This means that only one element can precede the tensed verb in the prefield. If there is an auxiliary in the clause, this is placed in the second position of the prefield, and the main verb is placed in the backfield. Prefield Johan John har has Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial faktisk actually Backfield Verb funnet found Object pengene Adverbial under senga.
money.the under bed.the
The order of the fields in the finite field is different in main clauses and in other types of sentences. see 1.9-1.12.
1.4 THE SUBJECT
All simple sentences contain two main elements: a subject and a finite verb. The subject is often a pronoun or noun phrase. The subject and the verb constitute the core of the sentence. If there is only a pronoun or a noun phrase together with the verb, this pronoun or noun phrase is generally the subject. If there are more pronouns or noun phrases in the sentence, the subject is the agent. If there is no action in the sentence, the subject often undergoes an experience. (1) a. John kastet ballen bort. John threw ball.the away ‘John threw away the ball.’ b. Han hørte bilen. he heard car.the ‘He heard the car.’ The subject can also be an anticipatory element: det ‘it, there’ that refers to the real subject which follows later on in the clause: (2) a. Det er vanskelig å forstå. it is difficult to understand b. Det var tre menn i hagen. there were three men in garden.the ‘There were three men in the garden.’ Normally, the subject occurs either in the prefield or in the subject field of the midfield immediately following the finite field. Prefield Anneli Anneli elsker loves Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial Backfield Verb Object Adverbial meg. me meg.
Kanskje elsker Anneli
When the subject is either a noun phrase or a stressed pronoun, it may occur between the sentence adverbials: (3) a. Guttene hadde jo formodentlig nok ikke lest bøkene. boys.the had after-all presumably probably not read books.the ‘The boys had after all presumably most likely not read the books.’ b. Så hadde guttene jo formodentlig nok ikke lest bøkene. then had boys.the after-all presumably probably not read books.the ‘Then the boys after all had presumably most likely not read the books.’ c. Så hadde jo guttene formodentlig nok ikke lest bøkene. d. Så hadde jo formodentlig guttene nok ikke lest bøkene. Some pronouns have a separate subject case form: nominative. (4) a. Han elsker henne. he loves her b. Hun elsker ham. she loves him
1.5 SENTENCE ADVERBIALS
Sentential adverbials contribute something to the content of the clause. They can combine clauses, highlight parts of a clause, or deny or reveal the speaker’s attitude to what he or she is saying. (1) a. Han har altså en sjanse. he has thus a chance ‘So he had a chance.’ b. Du skal fremfor alt komme i tide. you shall in-front-of all come in time.E ‘You must above all be there in time.’ c. Anna kan ikke bli med på festen Anna can not become with on party.the ‘Anna cannot come along to the party.’
d. Hun vant dessverre. she won unfortunately Different kinds of words and phrases can function as sentential adverbials. For example single adverbs: kanskje ‘maybe,’ participial phrases: ærlig talt ‘honestly speaking,’ preposition phrases: i hvert fall ‘in any case,’ and subordinate clauses: så vidt jeg vet ‘as far as I know.’ Sentential adverbials most often appear in the Prefield or in the Midfield, but they may also occur in the Backfield. Prefield x Jens Jens Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial Verb har sikkert møtt has surely met Jens Jens Backfield Object Adverbial Anna. Anna
Sannsynligvis har probably has
møtt Anna. met Anna
If there are more than one sentential adverbials in the Midfield, the adverbial combining clauses comes first. Next follow adverbials that express the speaker’s attitude, and in the final position is the negation. (2) a. Han vil vel sannsynligvis ikke hjelpe. he will well probably not help ‘He will most likely probably not help.’ b. Anna har nå heldigvis ikke kjøpt kjolen. Anna has now fortunately not bought dress.the ‘Anna has fortunately not bought the dress.’ The most common sentence adverbs in written Norwegian are ikke ‘not,’ også ‘also,’ så ‘so,’ nå ‘now,’ bare ‘just, only,’ da ‘then,’ selv ‘even,’ sammen ‘together,’ hvor ‘where,’ slik ‘such.’
When the speaker wants to deny that something is true, a negative clause is used, often with negative adverbials such as ikke ‘not,’ knapt ‘hardly,’ or aldri ‘never.’
If there are several sentential adverbials in the clause, the negation always come in the final position. (1) a. Du kommer jo allikevel aldri i tide. you come after-all anyway never in time.E ‘After all you never arrive in time anyway.’ b. Han kunne sannsynligvis nok heller ikke nå det. he could probably surely either not reach it ‘He probably couldn´t reach it either.’ The negations ikke ‘not’ and knapt ‘hardly’ can only occur in the beginning of the clause if the clause modifies another phrase. Aldri ‘never’ can stand alone in the Prefield. (2) a. Ikke et øye var tørt. not an eye was dry b. Ikke under noen omstendigheter vil jeg akseptere denne dommen. not under any circumstances will I accept this sentence.the c. Aldri har jeg sett noe så vakkert. never have I seen anything so beautiful
1.7 THE VERB PHRASE
As in English, the verb in Norwegian generally stands in the beginning of the verb phrase in the backfield. However, if the main verb is tensed, it occupies the finite position in the Midfield, and its position in the Backfield is empty. If there is an auxiliary in the clause, this is placed in the Midfield, and the main verb, which is untensed, stands in the verb position in the Backfield. Prefield Midfield x Finite Subject Adverbial Verb Jens har x møtt Jens has met Jens Jens møter meets Backfield Object Adverbial Anna. Anna Anna. Anna
The object always follows the verb, and after that comes the adverbials. Some verbs are closely connected to adverbial particles and prepositions, such as: opp ‘up’ and ut ‘out.’ But they still always appear in the adverbial field: (1) a. Nå kaster hun ballen ut igjen. now throws she ball.the out again ‘Now she throws the ball out again.’ b. Hun har skrevet adressen opp i boka. she has written address.the up in book.the ‘She has written down the address in the book.’ c. Han legger alltid to meter til. he lays always two meters to ‘He always adds two meters.’ There can be many different kinds of adverbials in the Backfield. As in English, the most important rule for the order of these is that the adverbials of place generally precedes the adverbials of time: (2) a. Du skal legge boka på bordet på mandag. you shall lay book.the on table.the on Monday “You must lay the book on the table on Monday.’ b. * Jeg kommer ikke til København på søndag. I come not to Copenhagen on Sunday ‘I’m not coming to Copenhagen on Sunday.’
1.8 AUXILIARY VERBS
Auxiliary verbs co-occur with the main verb and provide several ways of expressing time relations in the clause. There are several groups of auxiliaries: modal auxiliaries (måtte ‘must,’ skulle ‘should,’ kunne ‘could’), tense auxiliaries (ha ‘have,’ være ‘be’), passive auxiliaries (bli ‘become,’ være ‘be’), and copula verbs (være ‘be,’ bli ‘become’).
1.8.1 Modal auxiliaries
Modal auxiliaries express the speaker’s attitude to what he/she is saying. Modals generally cooccur with the infinitive form of the main verb: (1) a. Jeg skal stoppe. I shall stop
‘I will stop.’ b. Jeg vil be deg om en tjeneste. I will ask you about a favour ‘I’m going to ask you a favour.’ Modal auxiliaries can express: (i) Something the speaker thinks is possible: (2) a. Jeg er sikker på at han kan være her. I am sure on that he can be here ‘I’m sure that he can be here.’ b. Han kan være gått hjem, men det er også mulig at han er på loftet. ha can be gone home but it is also possible that he is on attic.the ‘He may have gone home but it is also possible that he is in the attic.’ (ii) Something that the speaker thinks is necessary: (3) a. Noen bør hjelpe henne. someone should help her b. Hun må ikke gå ut i dag. she must not go out today (iii) Capability or volition: (4) a. Anna kan svømme 1000 meter. Anna can swim 1000 meters b. Jeg vil ikke spise flere bananer. I want not eat more bananas ‘I don’t want to eat more bananas.’ Infinitive skulle kunne måtte burde ville Present skal kan må bør vil Past skulle kunne måtte burde ville Perfect skullet kunnet måttet — villet Meaning ‘shall, will, is said to,’ necessity (3) ‘can, may, be able to,’ possibility (2), capability (4) ‘must, have to,’ necessity (3) ‘should, ougth to,’ necessity (3) ‘will, want to,’ volition (4)
The modal auxiliaries are generally positioned initially in the verb phrase. Several modal auxiliaries can co-occur: (5) a. Han må kunne løpe fortere. he must can run faster ‘He must be able to run faster.’ b. Det burde kunne la seg gjøre. it ought can let itself do ‘It should be possible.’
1.8.2 Other auxiliaries
In addition to the modal auxiliaries, Norwegian like the other Germanic languages has auxiliaries that express time and the passive. Time is expressed by the auxiliaries ha ‘have’ and være ‘be’ which denote that something is completed, and ville ‘would’ and skulle ‘should’ which denote that something will happen in the future. (1) a. Han har kjøpt en ny bil. he has bought a new car b. Han er allerede ankommet. he is already arrived ‘He has already arrived.’ c. Det vil være et stort problem for oss i fremtiden. it will be a big problem for us in future.the ‘It will be a big problem for us in the future.’ d. Jeg skal reise til Paris i morgen. I shall travel to Paris tomorrow ‘I’m going to Paris tomorrow.’ A verb in simple present tense may also express future: (2) Jeg reiser til Paris i morgen. I travel to Paris tomorrow ‘I’m going to Paris tomorrow.’ Passive is expressed by the auxiliaries bli ‘become’ and være ‘be,’ followed by the past participle form of the main verb.
(3) a. Han ble kjørt over av en bil i går. he became driven over by a car yesterday ‘He was hit by a car yesterday.’ b. Han er plaget av mygg. he is tormented by mosquitoes Infinitive være ha ville bli Present er har vil blir Past var hadde ville ble Perfect vært hatt villet blitt Meaning Tense — active, passive Tense — active Tense — active - future Tense — passive
As in the other Germanic languages, different auxiliaries can be combined to express different aspects of the action’s process: (4) a. Han kan være blitt sendt hjem av sjefen sin. he can be become sent home by boss.the his ‘He may have been sent home by his boss.’ b. Hun burde ha kunnet forutse problemet. she ought have could foresee problem.the ‘She should have been able to foresee the problem.’
1.9 THE MAIN CLAUSE
The main clause is the most basic kind of utterance. There are three types of main clauses: 1. The proper main clause, which has a tensed verb and functions as an assertion or a question: (1) a. Forrige uke var jeg i York. last week was I in York ‘Last week I was in York.’ b. Han har ikke lest boka ennå. he has not read book.the yet ‘He has not read the book yet.’ c. Var du i York i forrige uke?
were you in York in last week ‘Were you in York last week?’ d. Har han ikke lest boka ennå? has he not read book.the yet ‘Hasn’t he read the book yet?’ 2. The imperative main clause, which has an imperative verb and functions as a demand: (2) a. Åpn vinduet! open window.the ‘Open the window!’ b. Vær så snill! be so kind ‘Please!’ 3. The exclamative main clause, which typically has the form of an embedded clause, and expresses a surprise or astonishment: (3) a. For en flott kjole! for a nice dress ‘What a nice dress!’ b. Din store idiot! your big idiot ‘You big idiot!’
1.9.1 Declarative main clauses
There are two types of declarative main clauses: positive (affirmative) and negative. Positive: (1) a. Han har kjøpt boka. he has bought book.the ‘He has bought the book.’ b. Han hjelper sin kone. he helps his wife Negative:
(2) a. Han har ikke kjøpt boka. he has not bought book.the ‘He has not bought the book.’ b. Han hjelper aldri sin kone. he helps never his wife ‘He never helps his wife.’ 18.104.22.168 Affirmative main clauses As described in section 1.1. and 1.3., affirmative main clauses have the tensed verb in the Finite field as the second element of the clause.This verb can only be preceded by one word or one phrase. If any other element than the subject precedes the verb, the subject generally follows immediately after the verb. Only a few adverbs may occur in front of the finite verb in addition to the subject, which is then no longer the second element in the clause: (1) a. Han bare gikk sin vei. he just walked his way ‘He just walked away.’
b. Han nærmest kastet seg ut fra balkongen. he closest threw himself out from balcony.the ‘He almost threw himself out from the balcony.’ In declarative main clauses almost any element can occur in front of the tensed verb in the Finite field: Prefield x Han he fant found han han han faktisk Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial Verb faktisk actually faktisk Backfield Object pengene Adverbial under senga.
money.the under bed.the pengene. pengene under senga. under senga.
Under senga fant Faktisk Pengene fant fant
kastet han threw he
In most cases we find the subject in the prefield (in 6070% of the cases). It is a little less common to find an adverbial in here (2030% of the cases) or the object (510% of the cases). Even less common is a predicative complement or a particle in this position. Light pronominal objects, generally personal pronouns such as meg ‘me,’ deg ‘you,’ seg ‘himself/herselft/itself,’ henne ‘her,’ ham ‘him,’ and den ‘it’ can be placed in front of the adverbial in the Midfield, even though they should be placed in the object position in the Backfield. But this is only possible if the verb position in the Backfield is empty. If these light pronouns occur in their regular object position, they get specific emphatic stress. Prefield Midfield Light pronoun x Han he Han he Han Han he Han he Finite hjelper helps hjelper helps hjelper har has har has henne her Subject field aldri never aldri. never aldri aldri never aldri never henne. hjulpet sin kone. helped his wife hjulpet henne. helped her sin kone. his wife Adverbial Verb Object Adverbial Backfield
Main clauses can be combined with conjunctions such as e.g. og ‘and’ and men ‘but.’ If the subject is the same in both clauses, it may be deleted in the second clause: (2) a. Han så henne og han hjalp henne. he saw her and he helped her
b. Han så henne og ____ hjalp henne. he saw her and helped her 22.214.171.124 Negative main clauses Negative main clauses have the same word order as affirmative (positive) main clauses. The negation ikke ‘not’ is positioned in the adverbial field in the Midfield and is generally the last of the adverbials in this position. Words expressing something absolutive, such as noensinne ‘ever’ normally cannot occur in positive clauses. They must always cooccur with the negation or in an interrogative clause: (1) Han har aldri noensinne sett henne. — * Han har noensinne sett henne. he has never ever seen her he has ever seen her
1.9.2 Direct questions
Like English, Norwegian has two types of questions: 1. Yes/noquestions: (1) Er Peter her? Ja. / Nei. is Peter here yes no 2. Questions that are introduces by a wh-word such as hvem ‘who,’ hva ‘what,’ når ‘when,’ hvor ‘where,’ hvordan ‘how,’ etc. (2) Hvem banker på døra? Anne / Espen / ... who knocks on door.the Anne Espen ... ‘Who is knocking on the door?’ ‘Anne/Espen/...’ 126.96.36.199 Yes/no-questions Direct questions that can be answered by yes or no are always introduced by a finite verb. The word order is the same as for main clauses, only without the prefield: Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial Fant han found he Verb Backfield Object pengene? money.the Adverbial
Skal shall Er is
jeg I hun she
kanskje maybe ikke not
hente fetch kommet come
til deg? to you ennå? yet
When several yes/noquestions are coordinated by the conjunction eller ‘or,’ one can often leave something out in the second question. There are two typical cases: 1. If the second clause is a negation of the first one the negation ei ‘not’ is used: (1) Er han glad eller ei? (= Er han glad eller er han ikke glad?) is he happy or not is he happy or is he not happy 2. If only one constituent distinguishes the second clause from the first one, and the rest of the sentence can be reconstructed from the first sentence: (2) Skal jeg gjøre det eller Stina? (=Skal jeg gjøre det eller skal Stina gjøre det?) shall I do it or Stina (= ‘Should I do it or should Stina do it?’) 188.8.131.52 Wh-questions Norwegian direct whquestions are always introduced by a whword (hvem ‘who,’ hva ‘what,’ når ‘when,’ hvor ‘where,’ hvordan ‘how,’ etc.) or a phrase that contains a wh word (hvilke bøker ‘which books,’ hva for ei bok ‘which book,’ etc.). The word order is the same as for topicalised main clauses. (1) a. Hva har du kjøpt? what have you bought ‘What did you buy?’ b. Hvilken bok har du kjøpt? which book have you bought c. Hva for ei bok har du kjøpt? what for a book have you bought ‘What kind of book did you buy?’
An imperative main clause generally expresses a demand or an order. (1) a. Åpn døra! open door.the ‘Open the door!’ b. Ikke vær så dum! not be so stupid ‘Don’t be so stupid!’ The clause starts with the verb in its basic form. The rest of the clause has the same word order as main clauses. However, if the imperative is negated, the negation is generally in the initial position, as in English. The subject or the receiver of the order is normally left out. Verbs ending in a vowel have the same form in infinitive and imperative, e.g. gå ‘go,’ se ‘see,’ stå ‘stand,’ etc. Verbs ending in a consonant form the imperative by deleting the ending -e from the infinitive, e.g. kjøp-e ‘kjøpe,’ sov-e ‘sleep,’ spis-e ‘eat.’
1.10 THE SUBORDINATE CLAUSE
The subordinate clause is a part of a main clause. It can have the function of subject, object, adverbial, predicative, and it can also be the modifier of a noun. (1) a. [ At han var syk ] var åpenbart. Subject that he was ill was obvious ‘That he was ill was obvious.’ (1) b. Han visste ikke [ hvem hun hadde bedt]. Object he knew not who she had invited ‘He didn’t know who she had invited.’ (1) c. Han kom fram [ da hun allerede hadde dratt ]. Adverbial he came forward when she already had left ‘He arrived when she had already left.’ (1) d. Planen min er [ at vi møter henne på stasjonen ]. Predicative plan.the my is that we meet her on station.the ‘My plan is that we meet her at the station.’ (1) e. Jeg kjøpte et hus [ som var rødt ]. Modifier of noun I bought a house that was red
‘I bought a house that was red.’ Norwegian subordinate clauses normally have an introducing element (often a subjunction) and a special word order (unlike English). The first position is often empty. The second position (where the finite verb is found in main clauses) is the place for the introducing element, and the finite verb as well as other verbs are positioned in the Verb field. Compare the word order in main clauses to that of subordinate clauses. (2) a. Main clause: Prefield Eva Eva a. Subordinate clause: Midfield Finite Subject Adverbial Verb har ikke lest has not read har lest has read lest read har lest has read lest read har lest has read Backfield Object Adverbial boka mi ennå. book.the yet my boka mi book.the my boka mi book.the my boka mi book.the my ennå yet ennå? yet
‘Eva hasn’t read my book yet.’ at that b. Main clause: Eva Eva ikke not
‘that Eva hasn’t read my book yet’ Har Eva ikke has Eva not
‘Hasn’t Eva read my book yet?’ b. Subordinate clause: om if c. Main clause: Eva Eva ikke not ennå yet ennå. yet ennå yet
‘if Eva hasn’t read my book yet’ Boka mi har Eva ikke book.the my has Eva not ‘My book, Eva hasn’t read yet.’ (boka mi) som Eva ikke
c. Subordinate clause:
(book-the which Eva not my) ‘(my book) which Eva hasn’t read yet’
Note that the subject is always in the position after the introducing element. Note also that the finite verb is placed after negation (and other sentence adverbials).
1.10.1 Nominal clauses
Nominal clauses have the same functions as noun phrases. Nominal clauses are primarily at-clauses and interrogative clauses. Like noun phrases they occur primarily as subjects, objects, or complements of prepositions. (1) a. [ At Karl kom på festen] var hyggelig. Subject that Karl came on party.the was nice ‘It was nice that Karl came to the party.’ (1) b. Jeg lurer på [ hvem som kom på festen]. Object I wonder on who that came on party.the ‘I wonder who came to the party.’ (1) c. Jeg stolte på [ at hun skulle komme på festen]. Prepositional complement I counted on that she should come on party.the ‘I counted on that she would come to the party.’ 184.108.40.206 At-clauses In at-clauses the introducing element is sometimes missing. (1) Jeg tror [ (at) hun kan det]. I think (that) she knows it ‘I think (that) she knows it.’ The word order in at-clauses is normally the same as in other subordinate clauses, but it may sometimes also show the same order as in main clauses. (2) a. Han meddelte at hun ikke kan komme. he announced that she not can come ‘He announced that she can’t come.’ (2) b. Hun meddelte at hun kan ikke komme. she announced that she can not come ‘She announced that she can’t come.’ 220.127.116.11 Indirect wh-questions Indirect wh-questions correspond to ordinary main clause questions, where you ask for something with words like who, what, when, where, how, why (in Norwegian hvem, hva, når, hvor, hvordan, hvorfor). (1) a. Han visste ikke [ hva han skulle gjøre]. cf. main Hva skulle han gjøre?
clause: he knew not what he should do ‘He didn’t know what to do.’ what should he do ‘What should he do?’
(1) b. Jeg lurer på [ når du er født]. cf. main clause: Når er du født? I wonder on when you are born When are you born ‘I wonder when you were born.’ ‘When were you born?’ If the questioned element is the subject, som ‘that’ is obligatorily inserted after the question word. (2) Jeg lurer på hvem som har stjålet sykkelen min. I wonder on who that has stolen bike.the my ‘I wonder who stole my bike.’ 18.104.22.168 Indirect Yes/no-questions Indirect yes/no-questions correspond to ordinary main clause yes/no-questions. The introducing element is om ‘if,’ or sometimes hvorvidt ‘whether’ or i tilfelle ‘in case.’ (1) Jeg lurer I på [ om du har dusjet]. cf. main clause: Har du dusjet?
wonder on whether you have showered
‘I wonder whether you have taken a shower.’
have you showered ‘Have you taken a shower?’
1.10.2 Relative clauses
Relative clauses are typically found inside noun phrases, following a noun, a proper name, or a pronoun. In Norwegian they are normally introduced by som ‘that,’ but in formal written language a wh-phrase, (like hvilket ‘which’ and hvis ‘whose’) also occur. (1) a. Huset [ som står der borte ] tilhører biskopen. house.the that stands there away belongs-to bishop.the ‘The house over there belongs to the bishop.’ (1) b. Mannen [ som står der ] er min bror. man.the who stands there is my brother ‘The man standing over there is my brother.’ (1) c. Vi snakket med ham som politiet jagde. we talked with him that police.the chased
‘We talked to the guy that the police chased.’ If the noun expresses time or location, the relative clause may also be introduced with når, da ‘when, then,’ hvor, der ‘where, there,’ dit ‘there-to.’ (2) a. sommeren [ da allting hendte] summer.the when everything happened ‘the summer that everything happened’ (2) b. huset [ der / hvor jeg bor] house.the there / where I live ‘the house where I live’ Relative clauses with som are also found in the so-called cleft construction. (3) a. Det var Eva [ som først kom på idéen]. it was Eva who first came on idea.the ‘It was Eva who first came up with the idea.’ (3) b. Det var den idéen [ som Eva kom på]. it was that idea that Eva came on ‘That was the idea that Eva came up with.’ Relative clauses can also be used to modify the whole clause (instead of a noun phrase). In such cases the relative pronoun hvilket ‘which’ can be used, as well as noe som ‘something which.’ (4) a. Han spiller piano om morgenen, hvilket irriterer meg. he plays piano in morning.the which irritates me ‘He plays the piano in the morning, which irritates me.’ (4) b. Naboen har fått ny bil, noe som gjør meg misunnelig. neighbour.the has got new car something which makes me envious ‘My neighbour has got a new car, and that makes me envious.’
1.10.3 Adverbial subordinate clauses
Adverbial subordinate clauses express time, location, condition, cause, intention, comparison, and other similar relations. They function as adverbials, and they are introduced by adverbs or subjunctions like når/da ‘when,’ der ‘there,’ hvis ‘if,’ fordi ‘because,’ ettersom ‘because, since,’ for å ‘in order to,’ enn ‘than,’ som ‘as.’ Compare § 3.7. (1) a. [ Når du kommer fram], har du kirken til høyre.
when you come forward have you church.the to right ‘When you get there, you have the church to your right.’ (1) b. [ Hvis du vil], kan du hjelpe henne. if you want can you help her ‘If you want to, you can help her.’ (1) c. Vi ble slitne [ ettersom det var veldig varmt]. we became tired as it was very hot ‘We got tired as it was very hot.’ (1) d. Han er eldre [ enn jeg er]. he is older than I am ‘He is older than I am.’ (1) e. Han er like gammel [ som jeg er]. he is as old as I am ‘He is as old as I am.’ Conditional clauses are normally introduced by the subjunction hvis ‘if,’ but they may also lack it. In such cases they are formed like questions. (2) Har du kjøpt de betal d må du n e en. h yo bough m yo it pay it ave u t ust u ‘If you have bought it, you must pay for it.’ = H de betal d du har kjøpt må du vis n e en. yo h bough m yo if it pay it u ave t ust u ‘If you have bought it, you must pay for it.’
Adverbial clauses that are placed in the first position of their main clause, are often followed by the word så ‘so’ in front of the finite verb. The use of så contrasts with English. (3) a. Når dere kommer, så kan vi begynne spise. when you arrive so can we begin eat ‘When you arrive, we can begin eating.’ (3) b. Hvis du vil, så kan du bade. if you want so can you bathe ‘If you want to, you may bathe.’
1.11 NON-FINITE CLAUSES
Non-finite clauses are clauses without a finite verb. The verb is either an infinitive or a participle. (1) a. Det er hyggelig [ å spille bridge]. it is nice to play bridge ‘It is nice to play bridge.’ (1) b. en [ dårlig skrevet ] artikkel a badly written article ‘a badly written article’
1.11.1 Infinitival clauses
In infinitival clauses the verb is in the infinitive form. Such clauses are normally introduced by the infinitival marker å ‘to.’ They never contain a subject, but are otherwise very similar to subordinate clauses introduced by at ‘that.’ (1) a. Vi begynte [ å forstå hans problem ]. we began to understand his problem ‘We began to understand his problem.’ (1) b. De lengtet etter [ å reise til kysten]. they longed after to travel to coast.the ‘They longed for travelling to the coast.’ (1) c. [ Å bli ranet] er en fæl opplevelse. to get mugged is a terrible experience ‘To be mugged is a terrible experience.’ The infinitival marker is sometimes missing, for instance in the beginning of a clause and after negation. (2) a. [ (Å) ] studere latin har jeg alltid drømt om. to study Latin have I always dreamt about ‘I have always dreamt of studying Latin.’ (2) b. Du trenger ikke (å) lese boka. you need not to read book.the ‘You don’t have to read the book.’ The infinitival marker å is always missing in the so-called ‘object with infinitive’ construction. (3) Vi hørte jentene [ synge bak låven].
we heard girls.the sing behind barn.the ‘We heard the girls singing behind the barn.’
1.11.2 Participial clauses
In participial clauses the verb is either a present or a past participle. These clauses are normally used attributively (in front of a noun). They may contain adverbials, and also other elements that are not allowed in English. (1) a. en [ dårlig skrevet ] artikkel a badly written article ‘a badly written article’ (1) b. en [ for meg svært opprivende ] hendelse a for me very agonizing event ‘an event that was very agonizing for me’
1.12 SPECIAL CONSTRUCTIONS
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Topicalisation is the traditional term for constructions where subjects occur in the first position of the clause. It does however not apply to wh-elements of any kind. Normally, an adverbial or an object is placed in the first position. (1) a. I morgen skal vi gå på kino. in morning shall we go on cinema ‘Tomorrow we will go to the cinema.’ (1) b. Bak bilen fant jeg en bøtte. behind car.the found I a bucket ‘Behind the car I found a bucket.’ (1) c. Denne boka har hun ikke lest. this book.the has she not read ‘This book she hasn’t read.’ (1) d. Glad ble hun ikke. happy became she not ‘She did not get happy’.
(1) e. At vi kommer vet Karl allerede. that we come knows Karl already ‘Karl already knows that we are coming.’ Note that the subject occurs directly after the verb when something is topicalised. One reason for topicalising an element is that this element is already known by the hearer and the speaker. Another reason is to emphasize the element.
1.12.2 Existential sentences
If the subject contains new information it may immediately follow the non-finite verb and the word det, ‘there’ is placed in the subject position or in the first position. (1) a. Det kan ha vært ei flue i suppa. it may have been a fly in soup.the ‘There may have been a fly in the soup.’ (1) b. Det hadde oppstått en krangel mellom brødrene. it had occurred a fight between brothers.the ‘There occurred a fight between the brothers.’ The word det ‘it’ behaves as an ordinary subject. For instance it is placed directly after the verb if something is topicalised. (2) a. I suppa kan det ha vært ei flue. in soup.the may it have been a fly ‘In the soup, there may have been a fly.’ (2) b. Mellom brødrene hadde det oppstått en krangel. between brothers.the had it occurred a fight ‘Between the brothers there had occurred a fight.’
A sentence may often have both an active and a passive voice. Both voices express the same event, but the element that is the subject in the active voice is suppressed in the passive voice. It may be missing or it may be expressed in an av-phrase (a by-phrase). (1) a. Active: Mannen åpnet vinduet. man.the opened window.the ‘The man opened the window.’
(1) b. Passive: Vinduet ble åpnet ( av mannen ). window.the became opened by man.the ‘The window was opened by the man.’ There are three sorts of passives in Norwegian. Either one of the auxiliaries bli ‘become’ or være ‘be’ is used, or the verb takes on the s-ending. The most common passive is the one with the auxiliary bli ‘become,’ which has a wide range of uses, and can be used freely in all tenses. (2) a. Bøkene blir solgt på auksjon. books.the become sold on auction ‘The books are sold on aution.’ (2) b. Bøkene ble solgt på auksjon. books.the became sold on auction ‘The books were sold on aution.’ (2) c. Bøkene har blitt solgt på auksjon. books.the have become sold on auction ‘The books are being sold on aution.’ Passives with the auxiliary være ‘be’ are less common. The meaning of the værepassive often depends on the meaning of the main verb. Consider the following example, where the meaning corresponds to that of the example in the perfect above: (3) Bøkene er solgt på auksjon. books.the are sold on auction ‘The books have been sold on aution.’ The s-passive is normally only used in the infinitive or the present tense. (4) a. Bøkene selges på auksjon. books.the sell.PASS on auction ‘The books are sold on auction.’ (4) b. Bøkene sendes for å selges på auksjon. books.the send.PASS for to sell.PASS on auction ‘The books are sent to be sold on auction.’
Norwegian does not have middles of the sort found in English. Sentences like This book reads easily are translated with an adjectival construction: (1) a. Denne boka er lett å lese. this book.the is easy to read ‘This book reads easily.’ (1) b. Denne boka går det ( lett ) å lese. this book.the goes it ( easy ) to read ‘This book reads easily.’
1.12.5 Free word order (Scrambling)
Norwegian, just like English, lacks the kind of free word order often called scrambling, which is typical of German and Dutch.
1.12.6 Weak pronouns, clitics, and object shift
Norwegian possesses a specific construction named object shift, which moves unstressed object pronouns to a position in front of the negation (or other sentence adverbials). This is not possible with ordinary noun phrases, but only with pronouns. (1) a. Jeg så ikke Karl. Ordinary object: no object shift I saw not Karl ‘I didn’t see Karl.’ (1) b. Jeg så ham ikke. Pronominal object: object shift occurs I saw him not ‘I didn’t see him.’ This movement is only found if there is nothing (or only a verb particle) in between the negation (sentence adverbial) and the object. If there is a verb, a preposition or the like in between, the object stays in its normal position. (2) a. Jeg tok den ikke opp. Particle does not intervene: object shift I took it not up ‘I didn’t take it up.’ (2) b. Jeg har ikke sett ham. Verb intervenes: no object shift I have not seen him ‘I haven’t see him.’ (2) c. Jeg så ikke på henne. Preposition intervenes: no object shift
I saw not on her ‘I didn’t look at her.’
1.13 COORDINATION AT THE CLAUSE LEVEL
Norwegian uses og ‘and,’ eller ‘or,’ and men ‘but’ in the same way as English to coordinate main clauses. (1) a. Jeg går og Lise sykler. I walk and Lise bikes ‘I’m walking and Lise is running a bike.’ (2) b. Ole er sjelden glad, men Kari ler av alt. Ole is seldom happy but Kari laughs of everything ‘Ole is seldom happy but Kari laughs at everything.’
2 THE PHRASES
Words belonging to different word classes function syntactically as heads in phrases. A phrase consists of a head (a verb, a noun, an adjective, an adverb, or a preposition) which alone or together with optional modifiers constitute a verb phrase (run, wash the car), a noun phrase (John, Mary's sister from Utah, peace in our time), an adjective phrase (red, like his father), an adverb phrase (always, almost never), or a prepositional phrase (at my door, with Mary). The modifying phrases may occur before and/or after the head word, depending on language and phrasal type. In many respects, the phrases in the Germanic languages have very similar properties. The overall structure of phrases is the same in Norwegian and in English.
2.1 THE VERB PHRASE
The verb phrase has a verb as its head: He bought a book yesterday. This phrase constitutes the last part of the sentence, following the sentential adverbials. In German and Dutch verb phrases the verb is in the final position (a), whereas the verb phrase in Norwegian (b) and the other Germanic languages is verb initial: (1) a. Ich muss morgens im Warenhaus einen Mantel gekaufen. b. Jeg må kjøpe ei kåpe på kjøpesenteret i morgen. I must buy a coat on department.store.the in morning ‘I must buy a coat at the department store tomorrow.’
In main clauses, however, the tensed verb (auxiliary or main verb) appears in the finite (second) position (§ 1.3) rather than in the verb phrase in all the Germanic languages (except English) (c-d): c. Nå har han nok gått på toget. now has he probably gone on train.the ‘He has probably got on the train now.’ d. Nå gikk han på toget. now went he on train.the ‘He got on the train now.’ Norwegian differs from English in being a verb-second language. In Norwegian, the tensed verb (auxiliary or main verb) always appears in the finite (second) position in main clauses. This means that the tensed verb precedes sentence adverbials and negation. Examples (c-d) also illustrate the fact that the tensed verb precedes the subject (han) in topicalised sentences.
2.1.1 The order of elements in the verb phrase
The order of elements in the Norwegian verb phrase is given in the scheme below. If there is an indirect object, this follows next, preceding a position where we find the subject predicative complement, the direct object or the associate subject; see the last example below for a case with both an indirect object and an associate subject. The object predicative complement and the infinitive of the object with infinitive constructions share a position, followed by a field for bound content adverbials (Han bor i Lund ‘he lives in Lund’) and prepositional objects (Han ser på henne ‘he is looking at her’). Finally there is a field for free content adverbials and postponed phrases. Obj Direct obj, predicative, Associate subj, Infinitive Subj predicative clause ei bok a book Bound adverbials, Prep. objects Free adverbials, Postponed phrases på fødselsdagen at birthday.the
Verb bør gi should give male paint se
Ind. obj. ham him
huset house.the ham
rødt red komme
see gå go
come til byen to town.the snarest immediately av kongen by king.the
overrekkes henne nobelprisen is.given her Nobel Prize.the
Particles (see §2.1.4) allow two different locations, one immediately before the verb and one immediately after. Direct object, Obj Associate predicative, Verb Particle subject, Particle Infinitive Subj clause predicative hogge av cut hogge cut hoppe opp jump up hoppe jump ta take off hodet head.the hodet head.the ei katt a cat ei katt a cat fra ham boka from him book.the opp up av off på bordet on table.the på bordet on table.the Free Bound adverbials, adverbials, Postponed Prep. objects phrases med kniv with knife med kniv with knife framfor meg in-front-of me framfor meg in-front-of me snarest immediately
fra ham from him
2.1.2 Be and Have
All the Germanic languages make extensive use of verbs corresponding closely to the English be (Norwegian være) and have (Norwegian ha). Compare English The book is on the table with Norwegian Boka er på bordet. As a main verb, ‘be’ is also used as a copula (He is sick, Han er syk). As auxiliaries, be and have are used to express voice, tense, and aspect (He was killed, He has read the book, He is reading the book). In Norwegian, have is generally used to express the perfect tense and the pluperfect tense with all kinds of verbs (a-b), but in some dialects, be may be used with intransitive verbs indicating a change of state (c): (1) a. Marie Curie har fått nobelprisen to ganger. Marie Curie has received Nobel prize.the two times ‘Marie Curie has received the Nobel Prize twice.’ b. Leiv Eriksson har dratt til Amerika. Leiv Eriksson has gone to America ‘Leiv Eriksson has gone to America.’ c. Leiv Eriksson er dratt til Amerika. Leiv Eriksson is gone to America ‘Leiv Eriksson has gone to America.’ Be may also be used with a past participle as a passive auxiliary when the passive expresses the result of an action or a completed transition (d) d. Jomsvikingene var tatt til fange av nordmennene. Jomsvikings.the were taken to capture by Norwegians.the ‘The Jomsvikings were captured by the Norwegians.’ However, bli ‘become’ is more common as a passive auxiliary; see § 1.12.4. In addition, være is used as the copula; when the predicative is an adjective or a past participle, it agrees with the subject in gender and number: (2) a. Han var syk igår. he was ill yesterday b. De var syke igår. they were ill yesterday
Whereas Norwegian sometimes allows the used of the auxiliary be in forming the perfect tense and the pluperfect tense with intransitive verbs (as in (c) above), English always uses the auxiliary have , irrespectively of whether the verb is transitive or intransitive.
2.1.3 Reflexive verbs
A reflexive pronoun may be the object of a transitive verb, as in He killed himself. In this case, the reflexive pronoun may be replaced by another pronoun or a full noun phrase. However, all the Germanic languages (except English) have reflexive verbs, a combination of an intransitive verb + a reflexive. They have a meaning of their own, and often correspond to one verb in English: consider the Norwegian Jeg vegrer meg for å hjelpe ham, where meg is the reflexive, which corresponds to the English I refuse to help him without a reflexive. Some verbs are only used together with a reflexive (oppføre seg ‘behave,’ innfinne seg ‘appear’); others are either intransitive or reflexive (angre (seg) ‘regret’). A third group of reflexive verbs can occur with an ordinary object instead of the reflexive, but with a different meaning (a -b): (1) a. Han vendte seg til henne. he turned REFL to her ‘He turned towards her.’ b. Han vendte bladet. he turned page.the ‘He turned the page.’ With respect to word order, the reflexive behaves like a pronoun. Thus it must precede a particle or particles (see § 2.1.4.): Han slet seg ut ‘he wore himself out.’ As English does not have reflexive verbs, the intransitive verb + reflexive combination in Norwegian generally corresponds to one verb in English.
2.1.4 Verb particles
Norwegian particle constructions correspond closely in almost all ways to English ones. This is illustrated in (a-c): (1) a. kaste opp (maten) throw up (food.the) ‘throw up the food’ b. gi opp (kampen)
give up (fight.the) ‘capitulate’ c. kle på seg (ei kåpe) dress on REFL (a coat) ‘put on a coat’ Just as in English, the position of the particle within the verb phrase depends on the form of the object. If there is a nominal object, the particle may either come before or after it (d-e). However, if the object is a pronoun, the particle must come beforethe object (f-g): d. kaste opp maten e. kaste maten opp throw up food.the up ‘throw up the food’ f. *kaste opp den g. kaste den opp throw up it up ‘throw it up’ However, there are many constructions whose meanings are not matched in English and which must be learned like words: h. dele ut nobelprisen share out Nobel Prize.the ‘award the Nobel Prize’ i. Søknaden gikk igjennom. application.the went through ‘The application got through.’ Often the combination verb + particle corresponds to a prefixed verb with the same (j-k) or a related (l-m) meaning: j. Sjefen måtte legge ned bedriften. k. Sjefen måtte nedlegge bedriften boss.the had-to lay down down-lay company.the ‘The boss had to shut down the company.’ l. Han streket under ordet. he lined under word.the ‘He underlined the word.’
m. Han understreket ordets betydning. he underlined word.the’s meaning ‘He emphasized the meaning of the word.’ With respect to the position of the particle in relation to nominal and pronominal objects, English and Norwegian are the same.
2.1.5 The object
In Norwegian as in English, the object is an obligatory nominal or sentential complement of certain verbs. It may be a noun phrase, The vikings were Scandinavian seafarers, a pronoun, Many nations feared them, an infinitival clause, Children like to hear fairy tales, or an embedded clause, The Jomsvikings said that they were content to die. Some verbs take two objects, one indirect and one direct object: The king gave her the prize. In this case, the first object (her) expresses the one who gets what is expressed by the second object (the prize). In Norwegian, the object either follows the main verb, or it appears in the first position (a-b): (1) a. Klostrene brygget øl i middelalderen. monasteries.the brewed beer in Middle Ages.the ‘The monasteries brewed beer in the Middle Ages.’ b. Gudene ofret vikingene til ved blot. gods.the sacrificed vikings.the to at blot ‘The vikings made offerings to the gods at the blot.’ In main clauses, nominal objects follow sentence adverbials, including negation (c), whereas pronominal objects come before such adverbials (d). However, all kinds of objects come before content adverbials such as adverbials of time, place, and manner (e): c. Han holdt ikke kniven i hånda. he held not knife.the in hand.the ‘He didn't hold the knife in his hand.’ d. Han holdt den ikke i hånda. he held it not in hand.the ‘He didn't hold it in his hand.’ e. Vikingene ofret gaver til gudene hvert år.
vikings.the sacrificed gifts to gods.the every year ‘The vikings sacrificed gifts to the gods every year.’ When the object is questioned, it appears in the first position (f): f. Hva syntes jomsvikingene om å dø? what thought Jomsvikings.the about to die ‘What did the Jomsvikings think about dying?’ Object pronouns bear the specific ‘oblique’ case in Norwegian, cf. ham ‘him,’ henne ‘her’ (ham is mostly used in writing; in speech most people would use han). The corresponding subject forms are han ‘he,’ hun ‘she.’ For den ‘it’ there is only one form. Topicalised constructions with non-subjeccts in the initial position (such as (b)), are much more common in Norwegian than in English.
2.1.6 Predicative complements
A predicative complement often expresse a quality or attribute of the subject or the object, or it tells us the identity of the subject or the object. It may be a noun phrase (a), an adjective phrase (b), a prepositional phrase (c), or a subordinate clause (d): (1) a. Alfred Nobel var kjemiker. Alfred Nobel was chemist ‘Alfred Nobel was a chemist.’ b. Marie Curie er svært berømt. Marie Curie is very famous ‘Marie Curie is very famous.’ c. De valgte Bush til president. they elected Bush to president ‘They elected Bush as president.’ d. Ett resultat er at prisene vil stige. one result is that prices.the will raise ‘One result is that the prices will raise.’ When the predicative complement is an adjective (or a past participle), it agrees with the word it is a complement to (subject or object) in number and gender (ef):
e. Eventyret var nifst. fairy tale.the was scary-sg.neut. ‘The fairy tale was scary.’ f. Jomsvikingene var fryktløse. Jomsvikings.the were fearless-pl. ‘The Jomsvikings were fearless.’ The predicative complement of the subject follows all verbs, but precedes content adverbials (g). When combined with particle verbs, the predicative comes between the verb and the particle (h): g. Han hadde vært syk igår. he had been ill yesterday ‘He had been ill yesterday.’ h. Den ser fin ut. it looks nice PART ‘It looks nice.’ English and Norwegian are very similar at this point. However, in English, there is no visible agreement in number and gender between the predicative complement and the subject or the object.
2.1.7 Content adverbials
In general, Norwegian is like English with respect to its use of adverbials in the sentence. Content adverbials modify the event expressed in the sentence with respect to manner, place, time, condition, etc. They may modify the verb (a), an adjective (b), or another adverbial (c): (1) a. Han kjører alltid forsiktig. he drives always carefully ‘He always drives carefully.’ b. Hun er svært tjukk. she is very fat ‘She is very fat.’ c. Han røyker ganske mye. he smokes quite a lot ‘He smokes quite a lot.’
Norwegian has two types of content adverbials, depending on how closely bound the adverbial is to the verb: bound content adverbials (d), and free content adverbials (e). In sentences that include both, the bound content adverbial precedes the free content adverbial, as illustrated in (d), where the underlined elements are bound content adverbials, and imorgen is a free content adverbial: d. Jeg vil snakke med deg om dette imorgen. I want talk with you about this tomorrow ‘I want to talk to you about this tomorrow.’ e. Han savnet henne allerede. he missed her already ‘He missed her already.’ However, in contrast to English, free content adverbials may appear to the left of the main verb in Norwegian: f. Han har i noen situasjoner ikke snakket sant. he has in some situations not spoken truly ‘He has in some situations not told the truth.’ When there are several free content adverbials in the verb phrase, their order depends on the function of the adverbial in the communicative structure of the clause. When the adverbial is a subordinate clause, it is placed after other adverbials (g). In addition, adverbials denoting time or cause usually follow other free adverbials (h). Finally, whereas free adverbials that refer to time, location, or cause usually are found after the bound adverbials, free adverbials denoting manner, duration, and iteration often come before bound adverbials (i): g. Jon arbeidet på kvelden uten at sjefen viste om det. Jon worked at night.the without that boss.the knew about it ‘Jon worked in the evening without his boss knowing it.’ h. Han hadde vært her da. he had been here then ‘He had been here then.’ i. De hadde sett surt på ham. they had looked angrily at him ‘They had looked angrily at him.’
2.2 THE NOUN PHRASE
The noun phrase has a noun or a pronoun as its head: the man. In addition, the phrase may include other elements, such as determiners, adjectives, and prepositional phrases: the young man from Paris. The noun phrase prototypically functions as the subject or the object of the clause, or as the object of a preposition. It may also function as a possessor: (1) a. Subject: Vikingene levde på 800- 900- og begynnelsen av 1000-tallet. vikings.the lived on 800 900 and beginning.the of 1000 century.the ‘The vikings lived in the 8th, 9th, and the beginning of the the 10th century.’
b. Object: Torkjel dreper mannen. Torkjel kills man.the ‘Thorkell kills the man.’
c. Object of preposition: Han klarte ikke å løfte kniven med hånda. he managed not to lift knife.the with hand.the ‘He couldn’t manage to lift the knife with his hand.’
d. Possessor: mannens oppfinnelse man.the’s discovery ‘the man’s discovery’ Note that when a pronoun is the head of a noun phrase, its form varies according to whether it is the subject, a possessor, or has some other function: e. Subject: De levde på 800- 900- og begynnelsen av 1000-tallet. they lived on 800 900 and beginning.the of 1000 century.the ‘They lived in the 8th, 9th, and the beginning of the the 10th century.’
f. Object: Torkjel dreper ham. Torkjel kills him ‘Thorkell kills him.’
g. Object of preposition: Han klarte ikke å løfte kniven med den. he managed not to lift knife.the with it ‘He couldn’t manage to lift the knife with it.’
h. Possessor: hans oppfinnelse his discovery ‘his discovery’ These different forms are referred to as different cases.
2.2.1 Noun phrase word order
The overall order of elements in the Norwegian noun phrase is the same as in English. There may be elements in front of or after the head noun. Determiners, like den, det, denne, dette, disse, etc. as well as quantifiers and adjectives come before the noun, while prepositional phrases and relative clauses come after it:
Determiner Quantifier Adjective Head disse these to two gamle old.DEF bøkene
Postnominal modifier om Tromsø
books.the about Tromsø
‘these two old books about Tromsø’ In Norwegian, determiners, quantifiers, and adjectives all agree with the head of the noun phrase in number and gender. In addition, the adjectives also agree in definiteness with the head. The word order of Norwegian noun phrases is usually very much like that of English (despite the definite suffix), but there is one striking difference. Possessive phrases come after a definite noun: Indefinite: possessor precedes head noun: Jons bok, mi bok my book
‘John’s book’ ‘my book’
Definite: possessor follows head noun:
book.the to John ‘John’s book’
book.the my ‘my book’
2.2.2 Indefinite noun phrases
The indefinite noun phrase lacks any marker of definiteness. Compare the definites the milk and the dog with the indefinites milk and a dog. Here are some examples of Norwegian indefinite noun phrases: (1) a. mange hunder, mye melk many dogs much milk (1) b. noen hunder, noe melk some dogs some milk (1) c. tre hunder, melk three dogs milk As in English, Norwegian indefinite noun phrases may have a nominal head (d), or an indefinite pronoun (e-f) as head: (1) d. Alfred Nobel ville bli forfatter. Alfred Nobel would become author ‘Alfred Nobel wanted to become an author.’ (1) e. Noen liker mørkt øl bedre enn lyst. some like dark beer better than light ‘Some people like dark beer better than light.’ (1) f. Han har gjort noe dumt. he has done something stupid ‘He has done something stupid.’ But in addition, Norwegian noun phrases may lack a head (g): (1) g. Gamle ser ofte nobelprisseremonien på TV. old watch often Nobel Prize ceremony.the on TV ‘Old people often watch the Nobel Prize ceremony on TV.’ All these three types of phrases may have an adjective in front of the head, and a prepositional phrase or a clause following the head: (1) h. Produksjon av øl er ofte regulert av streng lovgivning. production of beer is often regulated by strong legislation
‘The production of beer is often regulated by strict legislations.’ (1) j. Han har gjort noe veldig dumt. he has done something very stupid ‘He has done something very stupid.’ (1) i. Noen av Jomsvikingene ble tatt til fange av den norske hæren. some of Jomsvikings.the became taken to captive by the Norwegian force.the ‘Some of the Jomsvikings where captured by the Norwegian force.’ The most striking difference between English and Norwegian indefinite noun phrases is that Norwegian more frequently allows the omission of the indefinite article: (1) k. Norge og Sverige var i union med hverandre til 1905. Norway and Sweden were in union with eachother till 1905 ‘Norway and Sweden were in a union together until 1905.’
(1) l. Nobel var kjemiker og oppfinner. Nobel was chemist and inventor ‘Nobel was a chemist and an inventor.’ 22.214.171.124 Indefinite noun phrases with a nominal head An indefinite noun phrase may or may not include a quantifier such as en, to, ingen, alle: (1) a. en medalje, to isbjørner a medal two polarbears
(1) b. ingen kake, alle hus no cake all houses The Norwegian indefinite article comes in three different genders: en, ei, et (masculine, feminine, and neuter, respectively: sometimes the masculine can be substituted for the feminine, and some writers do not use the feminine form at all). This indefinite article is only used in the singular. It behaves very much like a quantifier, and it does not co-occur with other quantifiers: (1) c. en gutt, ei kake, et hus a boy a cake a house
(1) d. * ei ingen kake, * et alle hus a no cake a all houses The number one is written like this: én (masculine), ei (feminine), ett (neuter). Note that the feminine form is written the same as the indefinite article, but it is pronounced with more stress. (1) e. én gutt, ei kake, ett hus one boy one cake one house Note that whereas the indefinite article is more or less always included in English indefinite noun phrases, it is frequently left out in Norwegian (cf.§ 2.2.5 Bare Noun Phrases): Jenta hadde kjole på seg. vs. The girl had a dress on. Mora mi er lege. vs. My mother is a doctor. In Norwegian, there is also a three-way gender distinction on nouns, which is also expressed on the articles. English does not have such a gender distinction. 126.96.36.199 Indefinite noun phrases with a pronominal head Indefinite pronouns (noe, noen)may be the head of indefinite noun phrases. These pronouns may stand on their own, or have an adjective following them: (1) a. Har det hendt noe? Has it happened anything ‘Has anything happened?’
(1) b. Noe merkelig hendte i går. Something strange happened yesterday ‘Something strange happened yesterday.’ Noe is singular and neuter, while noen can be plural or masculine/feminine or both. In either form, it can be used both in positive and negative contexts, and thus corresponds both to English some and any. (1) c. Har noen. Ja, jeg har noen. / Nei, jeg har ikke (søsken is plural) Have you any siblings yes I have some no I have not any ‘Do you have any sisters or ‘Yes, I have ‘No, I don’t have any.’ brothers?’ some.’ du noen søsken?
(1) d. Er det noen bank her? Jeg ser ikke noen. (bank is masculine) Is it any bank here I see not any ‘Is there a bank here?’ ‘I can’t see one.’
(1) e. Vi har kjøpt noe kjøtt. / Vi har ikke kjøpt noe kjøtt. (kjøtt is neuter) we have bought some meat we have not bought any meat ‘We have bought some meat.’ ‘We have not bought any meat.’ 188.8.131.52 Headless indefinite noun phrases A headless indefinite noun phrase looks like an ordinary headed indefinite noun phrase that lacks the head (pro)noun. In these phrases, some other element, like an adjective (gamle) or a quantifier (femti) is the most important part of the phrase: (1) a. Unge leser ikke vikingesagaer lenger. young read not Viking.sagas longer ‘Young people don’t read the Viking sagas anymore.’
(1) b. Han fylte femti i går. he turned fifty yesterday ‘He turned fifty yesterday.’ Such headless indefinite noun phrases are rare but are still much more common in Norwegian than in English. This is especially true of those noun phrases where an adjective is the most important element.
2.2.3 Definite noun phrases
The definite noun phrase is generally headed by a noun with the definite ending, and it may also contain an adjective inflected for definiteness. These noun phrases express definite meaning (so do names and pronouns, just like in English). A definite noun phrase with an adjective has a definite article like in English, but also has a definite suffix on the noun. Definite noun phrases with no adjectives usually do not have any article, just the definite suffix: (1) a. Isbjørnen var vennlig. Den lille isbjørnen var vennlig. polarbear.the was friendly the little polarbear was friendly ‘The polarbear was friendly.’ ‘The little polarbear was friendly.’
(1) b. Vi lå på stranda. Vi lå på den hvite stranda. we lay on beach.the we lay on the white beach.the ‘We lay on the beach.’ ‘We lay on the white beach.’
(1) c. Vi har kjøpt huset. Vi har kjøpt det røde huset. we have bought house.the we have bought the red house.the ‘We have bought the house.’ ‘We have bought the red house.’ The main difference between English and Norwegian concerning definite noun phrases is that whereas English expresses definiteness with a prenominal definite article, Norwegian expresses definiteness with a definiteness suffix attached to the noun. However, when the definite suffix appears in addition to a separate determiner, the suffix may appear to be redundant. 184.108.40.206 Definite noun phrases with a definite nominal head A definite noun may stand alone in a definite noun phrase, or it may have elements in front of it or after it. Before the noun, there may be definite determiners, quantifiers, and adjectives, while after the noun we may find prepositional phrases or clauses: (1) a. denne kniven, alle landene, vinneren av prisen this knife.the all countries.the winner.the of prize.the ‘this knife’ ‘all the countries’ ‘the winner of the prize’
(1) b. den smarte mannen som oppdaget røntgenstråler the smart man.the who discovered X-rays ‘the smart man who discovered X-rays’ In Norwegian, adjectives are inflected for definiteness in front of definite nouns (this inflection only consists of an -e suffix, in most cases). In such phrases, a free definite article is included in front of the adjective in addition to the definiteness ending on the noun: (2) a. den lille sykkelen, den gode boka, det høye treet the little bicycle.the the good book.the the high tree.the ‘the little bicycle’ ‘the good book’ ‘the high tree’ (1) b. de hvite hestene the white horses.the ‘the white horses’
This is sometimes called Double Definiteness. In contrast to what we find in English, adjectives are inflected for definiteness in Norwegian. When there is an adjective in the Norwegian definite noun phrase, a prenominal article needs to be included. However, the definite suffix still cannot be left out. 220.127.116.11 Definite noun phrases with a proper name as its head A proper name may function as a noun phrase by itself, but it may also have elements in front of it, such as definite determiners or adjectives: (1) a. Torkjel dreper mannen. Torkjel kills man.the ‘Torkjel kills the man.’
(1) b. min Maria, denne uskyldige Maria my Maria this innocent Maria ‘my Maria’ ‘this innocent Maria’ Notice that the name does not get a definite suffix. Prepositional phrases and clauses may follow the proper name in a definite noun phrase: (1) c. Lorenz som la grunnlaget for etologi. Lorenz who laid foundation.the for ethology ‘Lorenz who laid down the foundation of ethology’ 18.104.22.168 Definite noun phrases with a definite pronoun as its head A definite pronoun may function as a noun phrase by itself, but other elements, such as quantifiers and adjectives may come before or after it. These definite pronouns may be followed by prepositional phrases and clauses. (1) a. Har du sett denne? have you seen this ‘Have you seen this?’
(1) b. Alle vi tre er like tapre som Jomsvikingene. all we three are as brave as Jomsvikings.the ‘All three of us are as brave as the Jomsvikings.’
(1) c. Han som tok prisen bør få æren. he who took prize.the should get honour.the ‘He who received the prize should be honoured.’
(1) d. Vi fra Tromsø drikker ofte mack-øl. we from Tromsø drink often Mack- beer ‘We who are from Tromsø often drink Mack beer.’ In Norwegian the so-called proximal demonstratives (det/den ‘that,’ de ‘those’) are identical in form to the preadjectival definite article, and are also identical in form to pronouns. Thus, when a noun phrase consists only of a word like den, it could be understood to mean ‘it’ (pronoun) or ‘that’ (demonstrative). When it is followed by an adjective as in den første, it is more natural to gloss it in English as ‘the’ (here, ‘the first’), but in English this often requires that ‘one’ be inserted: den grønne ‘the green one.’ Note also that Norwegian uses the definite pronoun den to refer to humans, in examples like the following: (1) e. Den som kommer først i mål, får en fin premie. that who comes first in goal gets a nice prize ‘He who wins, gets a nice prize.’ 22.214.171.124 Definite noun phrases with no definite noun or pronoun as its head There are two types of definite noun phrases in Norwegian where the definiteness is not indicated on the head noun. First, in definite noun phrases introduced by a possessor, nouns are not inflected for definiteness (cf. 2.2.4): (1) a. min bil, di bok, vårt hus, deres biler ‘my car’ ‘your book’ ‘our house’ ‘their cars’ Secondly, there are definite noun phrases which lack the head (cf. 126.96.36.199): (1) b. Han fylte femti i går. he turned fifty yesterday ‘He turned fifty yesterday.’
2.2.4 Noun phrases with possessors
A noun phrase with a possessor is definite (cf. 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206). As in English, possessive noun phrases may either contain a noun phrase ending in ’s in front of the head noun (Jons bil ‘John’s car’), or a possessive pronoun (min bil ‘my
car’). In both cases, the possessor marks the definiteness, and it is followed by an indefinite noun. However, in Norwegian, the possessive pronoun frequently follows the head noun in possessive noun phrases. In such phrases, the head noun is in the definite form (bilen min ‘my car’). The most commonly used possessive construction in Norwegian is the one with the possessive pronoun following a definite head noun. This construction is not possible in English. Note that Norwegian makes extensive use of reflexive possessives, sin/si/sitt/sine.
2.2.5 Bare noun phrases
A bare noun phrase has a nominal head without a definite or indefinite article, and it also lacks other quantifying modifiers. Such noun phrases may have a number of different functions in Norwegian: predicative, object, complement to a preposition, or subject: (1) a. Predicative: Han er kjemiker. he is chemist ‘He is a chemist.’
(1) b. Object: Min sønn spiller tennis. my son plays tennis ‘My son plays tennis.’
(1) c. Complement to a preposition: De hørte på radio. they listened to radio ‘They listened to the radio.’
(1) d. Subject: Grammatikk er vanskelig. grammar is difficult ‘ Grammar is difficult.’ Bare noun phrases are much more common in Norwegian than in English.
2.2.6 Postnominal modifiers
Postnominal modifiers are elements following the head noun. These elements may be prepositional phrases, clauses, adjective phrases, participial phrases, or noun phrases: (1) a. en kasse med frukt a box with fruit ‘a box of fruit’
(1) b. den bilen du ser der the car you see there ‘the car you see there’
(1) c. en kasse full av klær a box full of clothes ‘A box full of clothes’
(1) d. en kasse fylt med klær a box filled with clothes ‘A box filled with clothes’
(1) e. Norges kronprins Haakon Magnus Norway’s crown-prince Haakon Magnus ‘Norway’s crown prince, Haakon Magnus’
2.3 ADJECTIVAL PHRASES
The adjectival phrase is a phrase with an adjective as its head. When there are no modifiers, the head constitutes the whole phrase, as in (a). When the adjectival phrase contains a modifier, this is usually a degree element (b), some other type of adverbial (c), a prepositional complement (d), or an object (e): (1) a. Vikingenes langhus var store. vikings.the’s long-houses were big ‘The viking’s long-houses were big.’ (1) b. Eventyr er veldig spennende.
fairy tales are very exciting ‘Fairy tales are very exciting.’ (1) c. Hun var overraskende høy. she was surprisingly tall ‘She was surprisingly tall.’ (1) d. Jomsvikingene var ikke redde for døden. Jomsvikings.the were not afraid for death ‘The Jomsvikings were not afraid of dying.’ (1) e. Han er ikke verd noe. he is not worth anything ‘He is not worth anything.’ Adjectival phrases are often used in comparative constructions, in which case the basis for the comparison usually must be expressed in the complement of the adjective (f-h): (1) f. Eirik var like rask som Christopher. Eirik was like fast as Christopher ‘Eirik was as fast as Christopher.’ (1) g. Eirik var raskere enn Christopher. Eirik was faster than Christopher ‘Erik was faster than Christopher.’ (1) h. Eirik var raskest av européerne. Eirik was fastest of Europeans.the ‘Eirik was the fastest of the Europeans.’ Most adjective phrases can be used as premodifiers of nouns (attributes) or as complements of verbs (predicatives) (i-j). In these functions there is concord between the adjective and the noun it modifies in number (SG, PL) and gender (M for masculine gender): (1) i. Alfred Nobel var en svært generøs mann. Alfred Nobel was a very generous.M.SG man ‘Alfred Nobel was a very generous man.’ (1) j. De var svært generøse. they were very generous.PL ‘They were very generous.’
The adjective may also function as an adverbial (k): (1) k. Vikingene seilte langsomt langs kysten. vikings.the sailed slowly along coast.the ‘The vikings sailed slowly along the coast.’ In Norwegian, the adjectives agree with the noun they modify in gender, number, and definiteness. English does not show such agreement.
2.3.1 Adjectival phrase word order
In addition to the adjectival head, a Norwegian adjectival phrase may contain different kinds of modifiers. The order of the head and the modifiers depends on the syntactic use of the adjectival phrase; there is one scheme for adjectival phrases that function as a predicative or an adverbial, and another scheme for adjectival phrases that function as an adjective attribute. 220.127.116.11 Adjectival phrases functioning as predicatives or as adverbials The adjectival phrase can have modifiers both before and after the adjective. The following scheme summarises the possible word orders for adjectival phrases used predicatively or as adverbials: (1) Obj. Adverbial Adverbial Adjective (head) Object a. hvor how b. juridisk legally c. meg nå me d. now absolutt tung heavy holdbar Adverbial
absolutely tenable mer more helt totally fremmed strange overlegen superior uegnet unsuitable sin motstander his opponent for langturer for long-distance-trips enn før than before
Immediately in front of the adjective we find adverbials of degree, Hvor tung er den? ‘How heavy is it?’(a) and manner (Han var skremmende energisk ‘He was frighteningly energetic’). Various kinds of free adverbials may be placed in front of these (b), as in Avtalen virker juridisk absolutt holdbar ‘The agreement seems legally absolutely tenable.’ Example (c) shows that there is an object position in front of the two adverbial positions, Hun er meg nå mer fremmed enn før ‘She seems more strange to me now than before.’ An object may also be placed immediately after the adjective (d), Han var helt overlegen sin motstander ‘He was totally superior to his opponent.’ Finally, example (e) shows that there is an adverbial position to the right of the postadjectival object position, Bilen er uegnet for langturer ‘The car is not suitable for long distance trips.’ 18.104.22.168 Adjectival phrases functioning as prenominal attributes When used attributively, the Norwegian adjective phrase must end with the head, that is, in this use there are no postadjectival positions. In addition, the adjective cannot have an object in front of it. The following scheme summarises the possible word orders for adjectival phrases used predicatively or as adverbials: (1) Adverbial Adverbial Adjective (head) a. veldig very b. juridisk legally absolutt rik rich holdbar
absolutely tenable smart clever
c. for alderen svært for age.the very
Adverbials of degree and manner are placed immediately in front of the adjective (a), en veldig rik mann ‘a very rich man.’ Free adverbials, including negation and other sentence adverbials, are placed to the left of this adverbial position (b), en juridisk absolutt holdbar avtale ‘a legally absolutely tenable agreement.’ Phrases that can occur in the final adverbial position when the adjectival phrase is used predicatively, may sometimes be placed in front of the adjective when the adjectival phrase is attributively used (c) en for alderen svært smart jente ‘a girl who is very clever for her age.’ Adjectival phrases such as the one illustrated in (c) are not possible in English.
When a comparison is expressed, the standard against which the comparison is made is usually added as a postmodifying phrase. 22.214.171.124 Equal comparisons For an equal comparison, that is when we for example compare two persons of the same height, Norwegian uses like Adjective som ‘as Adjective as’ (a), or ikke Adjective-ere enn ‘not Adjective-er than’ (b): (1) a. Jomsvikingen var like tapper som sin far. Jomsviking.the was as brave as his father ‘The Jomsviking was as brave as his father.’ (1) b. Nordmennene var ikke taprere enn jomsvikingene. Norwegians.the were not braver than Jomsvikings.the ‘The Norwegians were not braver than the Jomsvikings.’ 126.96.36.199 Unequal comparisons When the things compared are different, the comparative form of the adjective is used. The postmodifying phrase indicating the standard against which the comparison is made, is introduced by enn ‘than’ (a): (1) Isbjørner er farligere enn vaskebjørner. polar bears are dangerous-COMP than raccoons ‘Polar bears are more dangerous than raccoons.’ 188.8.131.52 Comparative and superlative When comparing only two objects, we can use either the comparative form (a), or the superlative form (b), whereas when more than two objects are compared, we have to use the superlative form. The objects that are compared are introduced in a postmodifying prepositional phrase beginning with av ‘of,’ or blant ‘among’: (1) a. Eva er den kortere av de to jentene. Eva is the shorter of the two girls.the ‘Eva is the shorter of the two girls.’ (1) b. Lisa er den korteste blant dem. Lisa is the shortest among them ‘Lisa is the shortest among them.’ The standard with which the comparison is made is indicated by a prepositional phrase with i ‘in’ (c):
(1) c. Anna er den eldste jenta i klassen. Anna is the oldest girl.the in class.the ‘Anna is the oldest girl in her class.’ 184.108.40.206 Comparison with a definite norm Sometimes a comparison is made between an object and a definite standard or norm understood in the context. In such cases, Norwegian often uses som så ‘than that’ to refer to the standard: (1) a. Jon må være to meter lang. Nei han er lengre enn som så. Jon must be two meters tall No he is taller than as so ‘Jon must be two meters tall.’ ‘No, he is taller than that.’ English does not have an expressions corresponding to som så in Norwegian. In English we have to use a referential pronoun that, as illustrated in (a) above. This is also possible in Norwegian, in which case we use the referential pronoun det ‘it’: (1) b. Jon må være to meter lang. Nei han er lengre enn det. Jon must be two meters tall No he is taller than it ‘Jon must be two meters tall.’ ‘No, he is taller than that.’ 220.127.116.11 Sufficiency and excess The words nok ‘enough’ and altfor ‘too’ are used to indicate sufficiency and excess. The norm to which these words refer can be indicated by an infinitive clause introduced by til å ‘to,’ (a-c). As illustrated in (b), nok may also occur after the adjective: (1) a. Han er nok rik til å reise. b. Han er rik nok til å reise he is rich enough rich to to travel ‘He is rich enough to go travelling.’ (1) c. Han er altfor rik til å reise. he is too rich to to travel ‘He is too rich to go travelling.’ As in Norwegian, too always has to be placed in front of the adjective in English. In contrast to Norwegian, however, enough always has to follow the adjective in English.
2.4 ADVERB PHRASES
The adverb phrase is a phrase with an adverb as its head. Very often there is no other element in the phrase (a). When a modifier appears, it is usually an adverb of degree or manner (b): (1) a. Han var alltid tapper. he was always brave ‘He was always brave’ (1) b. Hun sprang veldig fort. she ran very fast ‘She ran very fast’ Some adverbs may also take prepositional or clausal complements: (1) c. De bodde langt borte fra alle. they lived far away from everyone ‘They lived far away from everyone’ The adverb phrase usually functions as an adverbial, modifying verbs (b), adjectives, participles, and adverbs (a), but occasionally also a noun (d): (1) d. Maten her er veldig god. food.the here is very good ‘The food here is very good’
2.4.1 Adverb phrase word order
When modifiers are included in addition to the adverb head, the structure of the modifiers generally determines their position. In front of the adverb head we find modifying participal phrases (utsøkt in (a)), adjective phrases (langt in (b)), and adverb phrases (mye in (c)). After the adverb head, we find prepositional phrases (i skogen in (b)), comparative phrases (enn tidligere in (c)), and modifiers with clauses or infinitival phrases (som han gjør in (d)): (1) Premodifier Adverb head Postmodifier a. utsøkt vakkert ‘exquisitely beautiful’ b. langt borte i skogen far away in forest.the ‘far away in the forest’ c. mye mere enn tidligere ‘much more than before’ d. akkurat sånn som han gjør exactly so as he does
‘exactly like he is doing’
2.4.2 Syntactic function
The adverb phrase prototypically functions as an adverbial: (1) a. Han har bodd utenlands i flere år. he has lived abroad in several years ‘He has lived abroad for several years’ (1) b. Nå har han sannsynligvis kommet hjem. now has he probably come home ‘Now he has probably come home’ It may also appear as an attribute: (1) c. Klimaet der var ganske tøft. climate.the there was quite rough ‘The climate there was quite rough’ (1) d. Dette landet langt over Atlanteren likte han godt. this land.the far over Atlantic.the liked he well ‘This land way over the Atlantic pleased him’
2.5 PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES
The prepositional phrase is a phrase with a preposition as its head. It prototypically consists of the preposition and its complement. In Norwegian, the preposition usually takes a noun phrase as its complement (a), but it may also take a subordinate clause (b), or an infinitival (c): (1) a. i langskip ‘in longships’ (1) b. beslutningen om at pengene skulle gis til prominente personer decision.the about that money.the should be-given to prominent persons ‘the decision that the money should be given to prominent persons’ (1) c. beslutningen om å gi pengene til prominente personer decision.the about to give money.the to prominent persons ‘the decision to give the money to prominent persons’
Norwegian allows preposition stranding of all kinds of noun phrase complements. This means that the preposition may appear at the end of the clause, lacking a complement. Usually the complement is found as the first element of the clause: (2) Hva fikk Albert Einstein nobelprisen for? what got Albert Einstein Nobel Prize.the for ‘What did Albert Einstein get the Nobel Prize for?’
2.5.1 Prepositional phrase word order
As in all the Germanic languages, the Norwegian preposition precedes its complement: (1) på tønner ‘in barrels’ Occasionally, the preposition follows its complement. Certain prepositions are optionally placed behind their complement when they have a particular meaning or in lexicalised constructions: (2) a. oss kvinner imellom us women between ‘as one woman to another’ (1) b. året rundt year.the round ‘all year round’ In addition to the preposition and its complement, a prepositional phrase may sometimes contain a modifier. This modifier is placed in front of the preposition: (3) midt framfor meg middle in-front-of me ‘right in front of me’
2.5.2 Complement types
The complement of a preposition is usually a noun phrase i stolen ‘in the chair,’ bak meg ‘behind me,’ med hvilken penn ‘with which pen.’ Norwegian prepositions also take subordinate clauses as their complements: (1) a. Det var et tegn på at jomsvikingene ikke ville gi seg. that was a sign on that Jomsvikings.the not would give REFL ‘That was a sign that the Jomsvikings would not give in.’
In addition, the complement of a preposition may be an infinitival phrase (b), a prepositional phrase (c), or an adverb phrase (d): (2) a. Han bestemte seg for å gi pengene til prominente personer. he decided REFL for to give money.the to prominent persons ‘He decided to give the money to prominent persons.’ (2) b. Denne avisen er fra før krigen. this newspaper is from before war.the ‘This newspaper is from before the war.’ (2) c. Siden når begynte du å drikke øl? since when began you to drink beer ‘Since when did you start drinking beer?’
2.5.3 Case assignment
In Norwegian, only pronouns show case, and they appear in the non-nominative form when following a preposition fra meg ‘from me,’ til deg ‘for you,’av ham ‘by him,’ hos henne ‘at her place,’ framfor oss ‘in front of us,’ over dem ‘over them.’ Norwegian used to have a more complex case system, and we can see traces of that in some more or less lexicalised prepositional phrases. Most of these phrases consist of the preposition til ‘to’ + genitive of a bare noun phrase til skogs ‘to the forest,’ til sjøs ‘at sea.’ There are also a few expressions where the bare noun phrase has the ending -e: (1) a. komme til rette come to right.E ‘be found, turn up’ (1) b. gå mann av huse go man of house.E ‘turn out to a man’ Pronouns show the non-nominative case after prepositions in English, just as it does in Norwegian. The other traces of the case system found in some lexicalised expressions in Norwegian are not found in English.
2.5.4 Preposition stranding
Norwegian prepositions may be stranded, which means that the preposition is not immediately to the left of its complement. Usually, the complement is in the first position:
(1) a. Bygg kan man brygge øl av. barley can one brew beer of ‘Beer can be brewed on barley.’ The preposition may also be stranded when the complement is clefted (b), or in a relative clause (c): (1) b. Det var Einstein de ga prisen til. it was Einstein they gave prize.the to ‘It was Einstein they gave the prize to.’ (1) c. Marie Curie som prisen i fysikk gikk til døde av leukemi. Marie Curie who prize.the in physics went to died of leukemia ‘Marie Curie, who was awarded the prize in physics, died of leukemia.’ A particular case of preposition stranding is found in certain passive clauses, where the subject in the passive clause corresponds to the complement of the preposition in the corresponding active clause (d) (cf the active clause Du må flytte på bilen din ‘You need to move your car’): (1) d. Bilen din må flyttes på. car.the your must be-moved on ‘Your car needs to be moved.’
Norwegian prepositional phrases function as adverbials (a), attributes (b), and predicative complements (c): (1) a. Ølet lagres i tønner. beer.the be-stored in barrels ‘The beer is stored in barrels.’ (1) b. Ryktet om deres heltemot var ikke overdrevent. rumour.the about their bravery was not exaggerated ‘The rumour of their bravery was not exaggerated.’ (1) c. Komitéen utnevnte henne til prisvinner. committee.the appointed her to laureate ‘The committee appointed her a laureate.’ In addition, prepositional phrases may be complements of prepositions (d) and appositions (e):
(1) d. Han blir her til i neste uke. he stays here until i next week ‘He stays here until next week.’ (1) e. Med skjorten oppkneppet gikk han inn i rommet. with shirt.the up-button-ed went he in in room.the ‘With his shirt unbuttoned he went into the room.’
2.6 SUBJUNCTION PHRASES
Whereas subjunctions prototypically introduce embedded clauses (3.8.2), it is also possible to find them in front of constructions that lack a subject and a predicate (a). Usually such constructions can be seen as reduced or truncated clauses. There are three main types: comparative subjunction phrases (a), predicative subjunction phrases (b), and concessive subjunction phrases (c). The Norwegian comparative subjunction phrase consists of a comparative subjunction (enn ‘than’ or som ‘as’) followed by a noun phrase or some other phrase that may function as a primary part of a clause: (1) a. Jomsvikingene var taprere enn nordmennene. Jomsvikings.the were braver than Norwegians.the ‘The Jomsvikings were braver than the Norwegians.’ The predicative subjunction phrase consists of som ‘as’ followed by a noun phrase, an adjective, or a participal phrase: (1) b. Nå er sommeren som varmest. now is summer.the as warmest ‘Now the summer is as warm as it gets.’ The Norwegian concessive subjunction phrase consists of a concessive subjunction and a complement. The most common subjunction in Norwegian is selv om ‘even though’: (1) c. Han var alltid snill selv om han var streng. he was always kind although he was strict ‘He was always kind although he was strict.’
2.7 AGREEMENT PHENOMENA AT THE PHRASE LEVEL
In Norwegian, there is phrase internal agreement (concord) within noun phrases: determiners, quantifiers, and adjectives/past participles agree with the head of the noun phrase in number and gender. In addition, the adjective has different forms for definite and indefinite noun phrases: Masculine/Feminine gender singular: (1) a. en rød bil, den røde bilen, all suppa a red car the red car.the all soup.the ‘a red car’ ‘the red car’ ‘all the soup’ Masculine/Feminine gender plural: (1) b. røde biler, red cars ‘red cars’ de røde bilene, the red cars.the ‘the red cars’ alle suppene all soups.the ‘all the soups’
Neuter gender singular: (1) c. et rødt hus, a red house ‘a red house’ det røde huset, the red house.the ‘the red house’ alt ølet all beer.the ‘all the beer’
Neuter gender plural: (1) d. røde hus, de røde husene, red houses the red houses.the ‘red houses’ ‘the red houses’ alle ølene all beers.the ‘all the beers’
3.0 INTRODUCTION – WORD CLASSES
The words in a language like Norwegian are classified into different groups with something in common. The classification may treat their inflection, their meaning, or their function, e.g. which clausal element they constitute. Nouns are words that refer to persons, animals, or concrete or abstract things, for example Maria, gutt ‘boy,’ hund ‘dog,’ hus ‘house,’ or løgn ‘lie.’ Adjectives are words that denote characteristics, for example rød ‘red,’ norsk ‘Norwegian,’ lang ‘long,’ gift ‘married,’ adelig ‘noble.’ Pronouns are words that replace nouns, for example jeg ‘I,’ du ‘you,’ hun ‘she,’ dere ‘you,’ or words that specify which noun is referred to, for example denne ‘this,’ den der ‘that,’ alle ‘all,’ noe ‘some,’ visse ‘certain.’
Verbs are words that denote what happens, for example springe ‘run,’ gi ‘give,’ undersøke ‘inspect,’ kunne ‘can/know,’ ville ‘want,’ puste ‘breathe.’ Prepositions are small, short words directly in front of a noun. They indicate position, point of time, etc., for example på (stolen) ‘on (the chair),’ i (huset) ‘in (the house).’ They may also occur before nouns with definitions, for example under ‘under’ (den nye stolen ‘the new chair’), over ‘over’ (Hennings gamle hus ‘Hennings old house’). Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. They represent space, time, manner, quantity, etc., for example her ‘here,’ dit ‘there,’ nå ‘now,’ ofte ‘often,’ sikkert ‘certainly,’ ganske ‘fairly,’ kanskje ‘maybe.’ Numerals are words that state number or order, for example : ett ‘one,’ tre ‘three,’ syttiseks ‘seventy-six,’ tredje ‘third,’ sjuende ‘seventh.’ Subjunctions are words that introduce a subordinate clause, for example at ‘that,’ som ‘who/which,’ ettersom ‘since,’ om ‘if,’ til tross for at ‘despite.’ Conjunctions are words that conjoin words, phrases, or clauses of the same kind: Henning og Lise ‘Henning and Lise,’ synge eller spille ‘sing or play,’ Lasse spiser men Lise sover ‘Lasse is eating but Lise is sleeping.’
3.1 NOUNS – GENERAL
A typical noun is a word that refer to a person or a thing, which can be preceded by an indefinite article: en stol ‘a chair,’ ei seng ‘a bed,’ et eple ‘an apple’; which can be inflected in plural: stoler ‘chairs,’ senger ‘beds,’ epler ‘apples’; and which can have a definiteness ending: stol-en ‘the chair,’ seng-a ‘the bed,’ epl-et ‘the apple.’ In Norwegian, nouns also are classified in different genders: the word stol is masculine, seng is feminine, and eple is neuter. Though, certain words constitute exceptions, mass nouns like melk ‘milk’ and vann ‘water’ normally lack the possibility to follow the indefinite article en/ei/et ‘a’ or to take plural ending. The proper nouns are the ones that diverge the most; in principle, they lack all these characteristics. See article 3.1.4. Nouns represent the main word of the nominal phrase; it is possible to enlarge them with attributes before or after: (1) e gamm m Polen, m de ti fra hus der borte, nye bidraget konferansen n el ann itt t l f Poland hous o th ne contribution.t conference.t an old man my there, to rom , e ver e w he he (= ‘the new contribution to the conference’)
Norwegian nouns are built up around a root. Some of these nouns contains only one root, while others have a certain ending: -e, -en, -el or -er. (1) stol gat-e ‘chair’ ‘street’ våp-en ‘weapon’ nøkk-el ‘key’ søst-er ‘sister’
The different types are inflected in different ways in the plural. See 18.104.22.168. Norwegian nouns can also contain a root with a special ending, which has its own meaning. Here are some frequent endings of this type: (2) a. fisk-er: ‘fisherman’ somebody who’s fishing fisk-eri: ‘fishing’ the industry of fishing fisk-ing: ‘fishing’ the activity of fishing b. frekk-het: ‘impudence’ something impudent frekk-as: ‘bold, impudent person’ someone who is being impudent The endings above make the words into nouns. They also decide how the words are inflected. Sometimes also prefixes may be used. The most common prefix is the negating u-. Other common prefixes aremis-, van-, be-, and for-/fore-. (3) u-flaks u-vær for-svare be-tale mis-tolke van-ære ‘bad luck’ ‘bad weather’ ‘defend’ ‘pay’ ‘misinterpret’ ‘disgrace, dishonour’ Norwegian nouns may also contain two roots. In these cases we are talking about compounds. In Norwegian, compounds are very common. Note that in contrast to English compounds are generally written as one word in Norwegian. Some examples are given below: (4) hus-båt båt-hus skrive-bord rød-vin ‘house boat’ ‘boat house’ ‘writing desk’ ‘red wine’ (4) gate-adresse koke-bok seilings-ulykke forsvars-minister ‘street address’ ‘cook book’ ‘sailing accident’ ‘minister of defence’
Norwegian nouns have three different genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. A masculine noun gets the indefinite article en, a feminine noun gets ei, and a neuter noun gets et.
(1) Masc.: viking viking (1) Fem.: ku cow
en viking a viking
ei ku a cow
(1) Neut.: hus et hus house a house The definite article is an ending on the noun in Norwegian. A masculine noun gets the ending -en/-n, a feminine noun gets -a, and a neuter noun gets the -et/-t. (2) Masc.: viking-en viking.the ‘the viking’ (2) Fem.: ku-a cow.the ‘the cow’ drag-en dragon.the ‘the dragon’
seng-a bed.the ‘the bed’
(2) Neut.: hus-et eple-t house.the apple.the ‘the house’ ‘the apple’ Nouns that denote human beings and animals are normally masculine when referring to males, and feminine when referring to females: (3) Masc.: mann man (3) Fem.: kvinne woman (3) Masc.: hest horse 22.214.171.124 Concord All the three genders have different indefinite and definite article. Adjectives and pronouns within a noun phrase also show gender differences. Note that they have the same form in the masculine and the feminine genders. Masculine: (1) a. Indefinite article: en stol a chair Feminine: ei ku a cow Neuter: et eple an apple en mann a man ei kvinne a woman en hest a horse
b. Definite article: stol-en ku-a chair.the cow.the ‘the chair’ ‘the cow’ c. Indef. article + adj.: en brun stol a brown chair d. Pronoun: denne stol-en this chair.the ‘this chair’ e. Pronoun: noen stol some chair
eple-t apple.the ‘the apple’ et brun-t eple a brown.NEUT apple
ei brun ku a brown cow
denne ku-a this cow.the ‘thie cow’
dette eple-t this apple.the ‘this apple’
noen ku some cow
noe eple some apple
In the plural, this gender difference is not visible on adjectives and pronouns: f. Adjective: brune stol-er brown chairs g. Pronoun: disse stol-ene these chairs.the ‘these chairs’ h. Pronoun: noen stol-er some chairs brune ky-r brown cows brune eple-r brown apples disse eple-ne these apples.the ‘these apples’
disse kyr-ene these cows.the ‘these cows’
noen ky-r some cows
noen eple-r some apples
This type of congruence is also visible on adjectives after the verbs ‘be’ and ‘get.’ (2) Stolen er brun. chair.the is brown ‘The chair is brown.’ Kua er brun. cow.the is brown ‘The cow is brown.’ Eplet er brunt. apple.the is brown.NEUT ‘The apple is brown.’
When a noun is referred to by a pronoun, gender is visible in another way. See 126.96.36.199 This kind of gender concord is absent from English. 188.8.131.52 Pronominal reference It is very common to refer to a noun with a personal pronoun. In these cases Norwegian uses four different pronouns to refer to the noun. If it is a neuter noun, the pronoun det ‘it’ is used. If the gender is masculine or feminine, it is possible to use some of the pronouns han ‘he,’ hun ‘she,’ or den ‘it.’ When the noun refer to a mann ‘man’ the pronoun han ‘he’ is used.
When the noun refer to a kvinne ‘woman’ the pronoun hun ‘she’ is used. When the noun refer to a thing or something inanimate, the pronoun den ‘it’ is used. If the noun refers to animals with a certain kind of personality, it is possible to use han ‘he’ or hun ‘she,’ otherwise den ‘it’ is used also for animals in masculine or feminine. (1) a. Huset ble ikke ferdig innen de solgte det. house.the became not finished until they sold it ‘The house wasn’t finished by the time they sold it.’ b. Gutten kunne ikke vite hvem som skulle møte ham. boy.the could not know who that should meet him ‘The boy couldn’t know who would meet him.’ c. Dronninga ble glad for at avisen skrev om henne. queen.the became happy for that newspaper.the wrote about her ‘The queen was happy because the news paper wrote about her.’ d. Boka må skrives innen man kan selge den. book.the must be-written before one can sell it ‘The book must be written before it can be sold.’ A common exception is that Norwegian speakers may use hun when talking about time. (2) — Hva er klokka? what is clock.the ‘What time is it?’ — Hun er halv sju. she is half seven ‘It’s half past six.’
Han and hun are much more commonly used about things in spoken and (partly also) in written Norwegian than it is in English.
Norwegian nouns can be inflected in number (singular - plural), definiteness (definite - indefinite), and case (nominative - genitive). All three inflections are visible as endings on common, concrete nouns. Singular, indefinite, and nominative nouns have no ending at all, but on plural nouns, definite nouns, and nouns in genitive, three endings are visible. (1) Masc. Singular - indefinite - nominative: stol chair Fem. flue fly Neut. eple apple
Singular - indefinite - genitive: stol-s chair’s
eple-s apple’s eple-t apple.the ‘the apple’ eple-t-s apple.the’s ‘the apple’s’
Singular - definite - nominative: stol-en flu-a chair.the fly.the ‘the chair’ ‘the fly’ Singular - definite - genitive: stol-en-s chair.the’s ‘the chair’s’ (2) Plural - indefinite - nominative: stol-er chairs Plural - indefinite - genitive: stol-er-s chairs’ flu-a-s fly.the’s ‘the fly’s’ flue-r flies
eple-r apples eple-r-s apples’ eple-ne apples.the ‘the apples’ eple-ne-s apples.the’s ‘the apples’’
Plural - definite - nominative: stol-ene chairs.the ‘the chairs’ Plural - definite - genitive: stol-ene-s chairs.the’s ‘the chairs’’
flue-ne flies.the ‘the flies’
flue-ne-s flies.the’s ‘the flies’‘
Thus the plural endings -er/-r and -ene/-ne come first. They are followed by the ending for genitive case -s. 184.108.40.206 Number Most Norwegian nouns are inflected in number, singular or plural. There are three different ways of forming plural in Norwegian. The ending -er: Most nouns ending in a consonant belong to this group: prest prest-er ‘clergyman - clergymen,’ seng - senger ‘bed - beds.’ Some words get umlaut in plural, which means a change of the root vowel: fot - føtter ‘foot - feet,’ bok - bøker ‘book - books,’ hånd - hender ‘hand - hands.’ The ending -r: Only a few nouns belong to this group, above all monosyllabic words that end with a vowel: klo - klør ‘claw - claws,’ tå - tær ‘toe - toes,’ linje linjer ‘line - lines,’ or nouns with the ending -else: fristelse - fristelser ‘temptation temptations.’
The ending -e: Most nouns ending in -er in singular belong to this group: baker bakere ‘baker - bakers,’ søster - søstre ‘sister - sisters,’ mønster - mønstre ‘pattern - patterns.’ No ending: Almost all neuter nouns that end in a consonant belong to this group: hus - hus ‘house - houses,’ smil - smil ‘smile - smiles,’ forslag - forslag ‘suggestion - suggestions.’ 220.127.116.11 Definiteness Norwegian nouns normally have one definite and one indefinite form. Proper nouns as Peter, Maria, and Europa ‘Europe’ have a definite meaning in themselves and cannot co-occur with a definite article. Indefinite nouns have no ending while nouns that are definite take the ending -en/-n in masculine, -a in feminine, and -et/-t in neuter. (1) kjempe kjempe-n giant giant.the ‘giant’ ‘the giant’ bok bok-a book book.the ‘book’ ‘the book’ eple eple-t apple apple.the ‘apple’ ‘the apple’ 18.104.22.168 Case Norwegian makes a distinction between two cases: nominative and genitive. The genitives have one single function, namely to indicate possession and similar relations between two nouns or between two noun phrases. The genitive endings are very easy to learn; the suffix -s is attached at the end of the word (after other endings). (1) mannens hest man.the’s horse ‘the man’s horse’ min brors kone my brother’s wife ‘my brother’s wife’ Hennings bil Henning’s car ‘Henning’s car’ Jupiters måner Jupiter’s moons ‘Jupiter’s moons’ husets rom house.the’s room ‘the rooms of the house’ dagens beslutning day.the’s decision ‘today’s decision’ hus hus-et house house.the ‘house’ ‘the house’ stol stol-en chair chair.the ‘chair’ ‘the chair’
In ancient Norwegian, genitive was used after the preposition til ‘to,’ and there are for that reason quite a few expressions with til ‘to’ followed by a genitive noun
with the -s suffix. Many of these expressions have a special meaning, and therefore they can be used only in special cases: (2) til skogs to forest.GEN ‘to the forest’ til fots to foot.GEN ‘on foot (only when it is referred to the movement)’ til sjøs to sea.GEN ‘by sea (only about sailors’ til bords to table.GEN ‘to/at the table (only about meals’
3.1.4 Proper names
Proper nouns are partly names of persons, such as Peter and Hedda, and partly place names such as Norge ‘Norway’ and Tromsø. They are fundamentally devoid of meaning (even though Peter always must indicate a man and Hedda a woman). In writing proper nouns are spelled with an initial capital letter. 22.214.171.124 Gender Names of persons are always masculine or feminine nouns, while place names are normally neuter. (1) a. Hedda er vakker. Hedda is beautiful ‘Hedda is beautiful.’ b. Min Hedda my Hedda ‘my Hedda’ 126.96.36.199 Number Proper nouns are not inflected for number. Names of persons are always in the singular, while place names can be either singular or plural. Singular: Oslo, Bergen, Mjøsa, Mongolia Plural: Færøyene ‘the Faeroe Islands,’ Alpene ‘the Alps,’ Filippinene ‘the Philippines.’ 188.8.131.52 Syntactic function Proper nouns are very often used on their own, without attributes, but they may have attributes both before and after them, in the same way as common nouns. Accordingly, they can constitute the head of a noun phrase. Tromsø er vakkert. Tromsø is beautiful.NEUT ‘Tromsø is beautiful.’
Mitt Tromsø my.NEUT Tromsø ‘my Tromsø’
(1) a. min mann my husband b. den lille jenta the little girl.the ‘the little girl’
min Espen my Espen den lille Karin the little Karin ‘the little Karin’ Lise med flettene Lise with plaits.the ‘Lise with the plaits’ Hedda fra Narvik Hedda from Narvik ‘Hedda from Narvik’
c. dama med hatten lady.the with hat.the ‘the lady with the hat’ d. gutten fra Tromsø boy.the from Tromsø ‘the boy from Tromsø’ 184.108.40.206 Inflection
Proper nouns are normally not inflected for number or definiteness. However, they can be inflected in the genitive, by adding the genitive suffix -s. (1) Henning-s bror Henning’s brother Eva-s stil Eva’s essay Lise-s idé Lise’s idea
A typical adjective is a word that denotes a property, such as colour, form, size, or nationality. The words rød ‘red,’ rund ‘round,’ stor ‘big/large,’ and norsk ‘Norwegian’ are thus adjectives. So are the more abstract words farlig ‘dangerous,’ vidunderlig ‘wonderful,’ kritisk ‘critical,’ and aktuell ‘current, up-todate.’ Adjectives modify nouns, and they inflect in accordance with this noun (concord): (1) en stor hest a big horse ei god bok a good book et stort hus a big house
Adjectives may also be inflected for comparison: (2) stor større størst big bigger biggest svak svakere svakest weak weaker weakest
Adjectives often only contain a root, such as bra ‘good,’ stor ‘big/large,’ liten ‘little/small,’ ung ‘young,’ and gammel ‘old.’ Many adjectives are also derived by suffixes.
(1) -bar: merkbar ‘noticable’ -ig: lydig ‘obedient’
-lig: mannlig ‘manly, masculine’ -sk: engelsk ‘English’ -isk: erotisk ‘erotic’ statistisk ‘statistical’
-som: hjelpsom ‘helpful’ -et(e): klossete ‘clumsy’ -ende: levende ‘alive’
Norwegian also has many words with the international (latin) suffixes, such as -abel: riskabel ‘risky,’ diskutabel ‘questionable,’ and -iv: massiv ‘massive,’ intensiv ‘intensive.’
Adjectives are inflected in two ways. They are inflected for comparison taking the positive, the comparative, and the superlative forms: (1) stor større størst big bigger biggest They are also inflected for concord with the noun they are modifying in gender, number, and definiteness: (2) en stor bil a big car et stort hus a big.NEUT house den store bilen the big.DEF car flere store biler many big.PL cars
Contrastive notes: The English group should note that concord is lacking in English
The German and Icelandic groups should add that concord involves the category case. 220.127.116.11 Comparison Norwegian adjectives are inflected for the comparison. They can be in the positive, in the comparative, or in the superlative. Comparative and superlative forms express a comparison. Comparative is formed by adding the suffix -ere; in the superlative the suffix -est is added. (1) svak svakere svakest weak weaker weakest sterk sterkere sterkest strong stronger strongest
Some common adjectives form their comparative by adding -re and their superlative by adding -st. In these cases the stem vowel is mutated (i-umlaut): a becomes e, o becomes ø, or u becomes y. (2) lang lengre lengst long longer longest stor større størst big bigger biggest ung yngre yngst young younger youngest
Some common adjectives have one root in its positive form and another root in its comparative and superlative forms. (3 gamm eldr eldst ) el e olde olde old r st mindr minst e smal small smalle l er st liten bedr e g bette ood r bra b est b est dårli dårlige dårlig g re st bad worse worst
Some adjectives are inflected for comparison with mer ‘more’ and mest ‘most.’ See the adjective phrase 2.3.2 18.104.22.168 Concord Norwegian adjectives normally agree with the noun/pronoun they are modifying. They are then inflected for gender, number, and definiteness. Differences in gender are only found in singular, and both the definite form and the plural has the ending –e. Therefore there are only three different types: the adjective can lack the ending: stor ‘big’; it can have neuter singular -t: stort; or it can have -e: stor-e. (1) a. en stor bil den store bilen a big car the big car.the ‘a big car’ ‘the big car’ b. et stort hus a big house to store biler two big cars ‘two big cars’ de store bilene the big cars.the ‘the big cars’ de store husene the big houses.the
det store huset the big house.the
to store hus two big houses
‘a big house’
‘the big house’
‘two big houses’
‘the big houses’
The agreement that is illustrated in the two first examples is found in indefinite noun phrases, but also when the adjective is a predicate. (2) Bilen er stor. car.the is big ‘The car is big.’ Huset er stort. Bilene / husene er store. house.the is big cars.the / houses.the are big ‘The house is big.’ ‘The cars/houses are big.’
Pronouns are used to replace nouns or to identify them (to point them out). They constitute the nucleus or attribute of a noun phrase. Typical pronouns that replace a noun are the personal pronouns, like jeg ‘I,’ du ‘you,’ han ‘he,’ hun ‘she,’ etc. Pronouns which identify a noun may for instance be demonstratives, like denne ‘this,’ den her ‘this,’ interrogative, such as hvem ‘who,’ hva ‘what,’ etc., or pronouns expressing amount or number, such as alle ‘all,’ noen ‘some, any,’ mange ‘many,’ få ‘few.’ Pronouns can be divided into groups in many different ways. In this reading grammar, we sort them into the following four main types: Definite pronouns Interrrogative pronouns Quantitative pronouns Relational pronouns
3.3.1 Definite pronouns
When the speaker uses definite pronouns, it means that he/she believes that the listener knows which person or thing is being referred to. We identify the following types: (1) Personal pronouns: jeg meg min du I me my you Definite articles: den det de the the the Demonstrative pronouns: denne dette den this this that Reflexive pronouns: seg sin
himself/herself his/her Reciprocal pronouns: hverandre each other Relative pronouns: som hvilken that which 22.214.171.124 Personal pronouns Norwegian personal pronouns belong to first person (the speaker), second person (the listener), or third person (the mentioned). These three persons can be in the singular or in the plural. Additionally, they can have different cases. The have one subject form, one object form, and one possessive form. The subject form is used when the pronoun constitutes the subject, the possessive form to denote possession and the object form in all other cases. (1) a. Jeg traff Henning. I met Henning b. Henning traff meg. Henning met me c. Henning spiste opp isen min. Henning ate up ice-cream.the my ‘Henning ate up my ice cream.’ Norwegian personal pronouns are the following: (1) Singular: 1. jeg ‘I’ 2. du ‘you’ 3. Masc. han ‘he’ 3. Fem. hun ‘she’ 3. Masc./Fem. den ‘it’ 3. Neut. det ‘it’ meg ‘me’ deg ‘you’ ham ‘him’ henne ‘her’ den ‘it’ det ‘it’ min, mitt, mine ‘my’ din, ditt, dine ‘your’ hans ‘his’ hennes ‘her’ dens ‘its’ dets ‘its’ vår, vårt, våre ‘our’ deres ‘your’ deres ‘their’
Plural: 1. vi ‘we’ 2. dere ‘you’ 3. Masc./Fem./Neut. de ‘they’
oss ‘us’ dere ‘you’ dem ‘them’
Previously a more polite form of du ‘you,’ De , was used. Since the 1970s, though, du is used almost exclusively to everybody, irrespective age and status.
The pronouns han ‘he’ and hun ‘she’ only denote human beings and some animals. Things and abstract phenomena are denoted with the pronoun den or det; den ‘it’ for masculine and feminine words, det ‘it’ for neuter words. Cf. paragraph 126.96.36.199 The pronoun det is used as a subject in clauses like the ones below. (2) a. Det regner. it rains ‘It’s raining.’ b. Det var hyggelig at du kom. it was nice that you came c. Det sitter ei katt på trappa. it sits a cat on stairs.the ‘A cat is sitting on the stairs.’ 188.8.131.52 Free definite article In Norwegian, the definite article is generally a suffix to the noun: bil.en ‘car.the,’ huset ‘house.the,’ sko-ene ‘shoes-the.’ In some cases, however, this suffix has to be complemented with an independent article, namely when an adjective, a pronoun, or a numeral precedes the noun. This article is den in singular masculine and feminine, det in singular neuter, and de in plural. (1) bilen den hvite bilen de mange bilene car.the the white car.the the many cars.the ‘the car’ ‘the white cars’ ‘the many cars’ senga den myke senga de myke sengene bed.the the soft bed.the the soft beds.the ‘the bed’ ‘the soft bed’ ‘the soft beds’ huset det røde huset de tre husene house.the the red house.the the three houses.the ‘the house’ ‘the red house’ ‘the three houses’ See also section 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 Demonstrative pronouns Norwegian has two demonstrative pronouns: denne ‘this’ and den ‘that.’ (1) a. Singular masc./fem.: denne Singular neut.: dette Plural: disse
this b. Singular masc./fem.: den that
this Singular neut.: det that
these Plural: de those
When preceded by a demonstrative pronoun, the Norwegian noun is in the definite form: denne mannen ‘this man,’ dette året ‘this year,’ disse årene ‘these years,’ den veien ‘that way,’ den boka ‘this book,’ det huset ‘that house,’ de husene ‘those houses.’ 18.104.22.168 Reflexive pronouns Norwegian has a 3rd person reflexive, seg ‘REFL’ and sin ‘REFL,’ which refer to the subject in a clause. The former is indeclinable, while the latter is inflected according to the number and gender of the nucleus: sin, si, sitt, sine. (1) a. Gutten så seg i speilet. boy.the saw REFL in mirror.the ‘The boy looked in the mirror.’ b. Jenta så armen sin i speilet. girl.the saw arm.the her in mirror.the ‘The girl saw her arm in the mirror.’ c. Gutten så klokka si i speilet. boy.the saw watch.the his in mirror.the ‘The boy saw his watch in the mirror.’ d. Jentene vasket seg. REFL girls.the washed ‘The girls washed themselves.’ e. Gutten så kneet sitt i speilet. boy.the saw knee.the his in mirror.the ‘The boy saw his knee in the mirror.’ f. Barnet har vasket seg. child.the has washed REFL ‘The child had washed itself.’ g. Gutten så føttene sine i speilet. boy.the saw feet.the his in mirror.the ‘The boy saw his feet in the mirror.’ Many verbs demand a reflexive seg:
(2) a. Erik blandet seg i andres affærer. REFL in others’ business Erik mixed ‘Erik interfered with other people’s business.’ b. Hedda angret seg. Hedda regreted REFL ‘Hedda was sorry.’ 22.214.171.124 Reciprocal pronouns When the subject is in the plural, and a reciprocal action or state is described, the pronoun hverandre ‘each other/one another’ or hverandres ‘each other’s’ is used: (1) a. Erik og Hedda elsker hverandre. Erik and Hedda love each other b. Vi diskuterer ofte med hverandre. we discuss often with each other ‘We often discuss with each other.’ c. Eva og Jan låner ofte hverandres sykler. Eva and Jan borrow often each other’s bikes ‘Eva and Jan often borrow each other’s bikes.’ 126.96.36.199 Relative pronouns Norwegian relative clauses are usually initiated with the subjunction som ‘that.’ See sections 188.8.131.52 and 1.10.2. In addition, Norwegian has the relative pronouns hvis ‘whose,’ expressing possession, and hva ‘what’ may be used when the relative clause lacks a word which can be referred to. However, this use of these pronouns is rather formal, and is rarely found in speech and informal writing. (1) a. huset hvis eier nettopp hadde dødd house.the whose owner recently had died ‘the house whose owner had died recently’ b. Han har hva vi mangler. he has what we lack ‘He has what we lack.’
3.3.2 Interrogative pronouns
Norwegian interrogative pronouns are primarily hvem ‘who,’ hva ‘what,’ and hvilken ‘which.’ The pronoun hvem ‘who’ refers to a person, while hva ‘what’ refers to a thing or something abstract. Hvem ‘who’ may have the genitive form
hvems ‘whose,’ but it is more common to use hvem followed by the reflexive pronoun sin/si/sitt/sine. (1) a. Hvem har stjålet tøflene mine? who has stolen slippers.the my ‘Who has stolen my slippers?’ b. Hvem snakket du med? who talked you with ‘Who did you talk to?’ c. Hvems bøker er dette? whose books are this ‘Whose books are these?’ d. Hvem sine bøker er dette? who his/her books are this ‘Whose books are these?’ e. Hva har du kjøpt? what have you bought ‘What did you buy?’ f. Hva skjer på mandag? what happens on Monday The pronoun hvilken ‘which’ refers to persons as well as to things. It is inflected according to gender and number: hvilken/hvilket/hvilke ‘who/which.’ Unlike hvem ‘who’ and hva ‘what,’ it requires a limited quantity to choose from. Therefore hvilken ‘which’ is frequently an adjunct of a noun. (2) a. Hvilken er di kusine? which is your cousin ‘Which one is your cousin?’ b. Hvilket er ditt hus? which is your house c. Hvilke er dine votter? which are your mittens ‘Which ones are you mittens?’ d. Hvilken jente mener du? which girl mean you ‘Which girl do you mean?’
e. Hvilket hus er størst? which house is biggest ‘Which house is the biggest?’ f. Hvilke biler er eldst? which cars are oldest? ‘Which cars are the oldest?’
3.3.3 Quantitative pronouns
Quantitative pronouns give information about share or quantity. Common pronouns, like alle ‘all,’ begge ‘both,’ hver ‘every,’ mange ‘many,’ mye ‘much,’ få ‘few,’ and ingen ‘nobody’ belong to this group. 184.108.40.206 Totality pronouns Norwegian uses the pronouns all/alle ‘all,’ begge ‘both,’ samtlige ‘all the…,’ and hele ‘whole’ to indicate that the set of referents is in its totality without exclusion. The word all ‘all’ in the singular refers to uncountable nouns: all melka ‘all the milk,’ alt smøret ‘all the butter.’ In general, however, these words are used in the plural. To express the totality of a countable singular noun, the pronoun hele ‘whole’ is used: hele huset ‘the whole house,’ hele dagen ‘the whole day.’ The words samtlige ‘all’ and begge ‘both’ are both used in the plural. The word all/alle ‘all’ can be combined either with indefinite or with definite form. Begge ‘both’ and hele ‘whole’ can only be combined with definite form, and samtlige ‘all’ normally just with indefinite form. (1) all melk all melken all milk all milk.the ‘all milk’ ‘all the milk’ begge spillerne both players ‘both players’ alle spillere all players ‘all players’ alle spillerne all players.the ‘all the players’
hele spillet whole play.the ‘the whole play’
samtlige spillere all players ‘all players’
220.127.116.11 Distributive pronouns The most common distributive pronoun in Norwegian is hver ‘every/each.’ This pronoun always occurs together with an indefinite noun in the singular, and it agrees in gender with this noun: hver mann ‘each man,’ hver kvinne ‘each woman,’ hvert hus ‘each house.’ It also occurs independently at the end of the clause. (1) a. Hver student må kunne dette.
every student must could this ‘Every student must know this.’ b. Vi betalte 50 kroner hver. we payed 50 Crowns each Other distributive pronouns are hver eneste ‘every’ and the combined forms hver og en ‘each’ and hver sin/hvert sitt’each.’ If something is equally shared, hver sin ‘each’ is used to express this. (2) a. Guttene fikk hver sin is. boys.the got each his ice-cream ‘The boys were given an ice cream each.’ b. De kjøpte hvert sitt hus. they bought each their house ‘They bought one house each.’ c. De kjøpte hver sine to aviser. they bought each their two newspapers ‘They bought two papers each.’ 18.104.22.168 Generalising pronouns A very common pronoun in Norwegian is man ‘one/you.’ Without further specifications, it refers to a person. The direct object form of the pronoun is en and the genitive form ens ‘ones.’ (1) a. Man kan ofte skylde på sin partner. one can often blame on ones partner ‘One/you can often blame ones/your partner.’ b. Om noen prater med en i byen ... if somebody talks with one in town.the ‘If somebody talks to you in town…’ c. Ens partner er ofte den verste kritikeren. ones partner is often the worst critic.the ‘Ones/Your partner is often ones/your worst critic.’ The word man ‘one’ is often used instead of jeg ‘I.’ In addition, there are many pronouns that consist of an interrogative and som helst ‘anyhow/anyway/any time’ etc.
(2) a. Hvem som helst kan gjøre dette. who that ever can do this ‘Anyone can do this.’ b. Jeg aksepterer hva som helst. I accept what that ever ‘I accept anything.’ c. Jeg vil ikke bo hvor som helst. I will not live where that ever ‘I don’t want to live just anywhere.’ 22.214.171.124 Multitude pronouns The most common multitude pronouns are mange ‘many’ and få ‘few,’ which refer to countable nouns and mye ‘much’ and lite ‘little,’ which refer to uncountable nouns or nouns that indicate a quantity. (1) mange bøker få bøker many books few books mye vin lite vin much wine little wine mye epler lite epler much apples little apples
Partly, these pronouns can be compared. (2) a. mange bøker flere bøker flest bøker many books more books most books b. få bøker færre bøker færrest bøker few books fewer books fewest books c. mye vin mere vin mest vin much wine more wine most wine d. lite vin mindre vin minst vin little wine less wine least wine 126.96.36.199 The indefinite article The indefinite article in Norwegian is en in masculine, ei in feminine, and et in neuter. Normally, it is unstressed, but in writing, it is impossible to separate it from the numeral en/ei/ett. (1) a. Vi har kjøpt en ny bil. we have bought a new car b. Guttene stjal en sykkel. boys.the stole a bike
‘The boys stole a bike.’ c. Det ligger ei bok på bordet. it lies a book on table.the ‘There is a book (lying) on the table.’ d. Vi kjørte forbi ei kirke. we drove passed a church ‘We passed a church.’ e. Hun satte et kryss i ruta. she placed a cross in square.the ‘She ticked off the box.’ f. Lena pakket den inn i et rødt papir. Lena wrapped it in in a red paper ‘Lena wrapped it in a red wrapping paper.’ There is no indefinite plural article in Norwegian. (2) a. Vi har kjøpt nye biler. we have bought new cars b. Det ligger bøker på bordet. it lies books on table.the ‘There are books (lying) on the table.’ c. Lena pakket dem inn i røde papir. Lena wrapped them in in red papers ‘Lena wrapped them in red wrapping papers.’ 188.8.131.52 Indefinite pronouns The most common indefinite pronoun is noen/noe ‘someone/something/anyone/anything.’ When used independently in masculine and feminine, it refers to a person, when used independently in neuter, it signifies a thing or a phenomenon. The plural form normally signifies persons. (1) a. Noen har stjålet tøflene mine. someone has stolen slippers my ‘Someone has stolen my slippers.’ b. Noe har hendt. something has happened c. Noen ble irriterte.
someone became irritated ‘Someone was irritated.’ The pronoun is often used together with a noun. Then it means ‘some, any (more than nothing).’ (2) a. Han sprang noen kilometer. he ran some kilometers ‘He ran a few kilometers.’ b. Noen fiskere stod og pratet på brua. some fishermen stood and talked on bridge.the ‘Some fishermen were talking on the bridge.’ c. Har du noen penger? have you any money ‘Do you have any money?’ d. Kari behøver ikke noen penger. Kari needs not any money ‘Kari doesn’t need any money.’ Other indefinite pronouns in Norwegian are enkelte ‘some,’ adskillige ‘several,’ and visse ‘certain.’ They are normally only used in the plural. (3) a. Enkelte (menn) tror at han kommer til å klare det. some men believe that he comes to to manage it ‘Some (men) believe that he’ll succeed.’ b. Visse (kvinner) tror at han kommer til å mislykkes. certain women believe that he comes to to fail ‘Certain (women) believe that he’ll fail.’ c. Adskillige (barn) håper at han kommer til å snuble. several children hope that he comes to to trip ‘Several (children) hope that he’ll trip.’ 184.108.40.206 Negating pronouns The pronoun ingen/intet ‘nobody, no/nothing’ can be independent, and in masculine and feminine it then refers to a person. In neuter it refers to a thing or a phenomenon. The neuter form is rather formal, and it is not very common in speech and in informal writing. (1) a. Ingen vet hva vi skal gjøre. nobody knows what we shall do
‘Nobody knows what to do.’ b. Intet er mer ubehagelig enn en lungebetennelse. nothing is more unpleasant than a pneumonia ‘Nothing is more unpleasant than pneumonia.’ It is also possible to combine a negative pronoun with a noun. (2) a. Ingen bok ble solgt. no book became sold ‘No book was sold.’ b. Intet forslag kunne være dummere. no suggestion could be stupid.er ‘No suggestion could be more stupid.’ c. Vi fikk ingen penger. we got no money The pronoun ingenting ‘nothing’ refers to things. (3) a. Ingenting har hendt. nothing has happened b. Vi fant ingenting. we found nothing When the object is a negated pronoun (ingenting ‘nothing’) or a noun phrase with ingen (ingen sykkel ‘no bike’) it cannot be placed further to the right than the negation, as illustrated by the ungrammaticality of (4a). The examples in (4b) are rarely used in speech, but may be found in literary texts. However, the constructions in (4c), with the negation (ikke ‘not’) and a positive pronoun (noenting ‘something/anything’) or a noun phrase with noen (noen sykkel ‘some/any bike’), are generally preferred: (4) a. * Han hadde sett ingenting. he had seen nothing b. Han hadde ingenting sett. he had nothing seen * Han hadde kjøpt ingen sykkel. he had bought no bike
Han hadde ingen sykkel kjøpt. he had no bike bought Han hadde ikke kjøpt noen sykkel. he had not bought any bike
c. Han hadde ikke sett noenting. he had not seen anything
3.3.4 Relational pronouns
Norwegian has a number of relational pronouns. They can express comparisons, such as samme ‘same,’ likedan ‘similar,’ succession, such as første ‘first,’ neste ‘next,’ spatial comparisons, such as borterste ‘further,’ midterste ‘middle,’ or focus, such as selv ‘self.’ 220.127.116.11 Comparative pronouns The most common comparative pronouns are annen ‘other,’ samme ‘same,’ likedan ‘similar,’ and slik ‘such.’ Samme ‘same’ is principally indeclinable, while the remaining ones agree with the gender of the noun: annen/annet/andre ‘other,’ likedan/likedant/likedanne ‘similar,’ slik/slikt/slike ‘such.’ (1) en annen bil an other car et likedant hus a similar house et slikt hus a such house (= ‘such a house’)
Annen ‘other’ can be combined with a enn ‘than’-phrase, while samme ‘same,’ likedan ‘similar,’ and slik ‘such’ can be combined with a som ‘as/that’-phrase. (2) a. et annet forslag ( enn dette ) an other suggestion than this b. samme forslag ( som forrige gang ) same suggestion as last time c. et likedant / slikt forslag ( som Hedda presenterte ) a similar / such suggestion as Hedda presented ‘a similar/such a suggestion (as that Hedda presented)’ 18.104.22.168 Ordinative pronouns Ordinative pronouns express succession in time or space. They include words such as første ‘first,’ siste ‘last,’ forrige ‘former,’ etc. Normally, they are indeclineable. (1) den siste romanen the last novel.the ‘the latest novel’ dette første forsøket this first try.the ‘this first try’ det siste forsøket the last try.the ‘the last try’ neste gang next time ‘next time’ min forrige hustru my last wife ‘my former wife’
22.214.171.124 Perspective pronouns
Perspective pronouns state position in proportion to something else. They include høyre ‘right’ and venstre ‘left,’ the points of the compass, and a number of pronouns that state position, like øvre ‘upper,’ nedre ‘lower,’ fremre ‘front,’ hitre ‘the one nearer,’ midterste ‘middle.’ In addition, the words rett ‘right’ and feil ‘wrong’ belong to this group. These pronouns can occur with both indefinite and definite nouns. Used in preposition phrases, they generally combine with an indefinite noun without any article. Otherwise they behave like an adjective, and require double definiteness (both a prenominal definite article, and a definiteness suffix). (1) a. på / i høyre hånd on / in right hand ‘on/in the right hand’ den høyre hånda. the right hand.the ‘the right hand’ den søndre sida the southern side.the ‘the southern side’
b. på søndre side (= på sørsida ) on southern side on south-side.the ‘on the southern side ‘on the south side’ c. på rett sted on right place ‘on the right place’ det rette stedet the right place.the ‘the right place’
d. i feil retning in wrong direction ‘in the wrong direction’
den feile retninga the wrong direction.the ‘the wrong direction’
Most of the words mainly occur only in definite phrases. (2) de nærmest stolen n e de ytre veggen n exterio the nearest chair.the thefurthercorner.the the middle lift.the the wall.the r ‘the nearest chair’ ‘the further corner’ ‘the middle lift’ ‘the exterior wall’ de bortre hjørnet t de midterst heise n e n
126.96.36.199 Focusing pronouns The focusing pronouns in Norwegian are selv ‘self,’ egen ‘own,’ eneste ‘only,’ blotte ‘mere.’ Selv ‘self’ can be indefinite, and then it follows its noun. It can also be definite, and then it precedes the noun: selve ‘self.’ (1) kongen selv king.the self ‘the king himself’ vi selv we self ‘we ourselves’ selve kongen self king.the ‘the very king’ selve det innerste self the innermost ‘the innermost itself’
The pronoun egen ‘own’ intensifies a phrase with a genitive attribute. Principally, this pronoun always has strong inflection: egen/eget/egne. Sometimes the weak egne occurs after the definite article. (2) min egen bil my own car hans eget forslag his own suggestion hennes egne romaner her own novels det egne forslaget suggestion (= the own ‘his/her own suggestion’)
Verbs denote events or actions: snø ‘to snow,’ falle ‘to fall,’ arbeide ‘to work,’ kjøpe ‘to buy,’ gi ‘to give.’ They are inflected for tense (present or past), and they may also have a specific form for commands (the imperative). Norwegian verbs also have a passive form,but only in the present tense. The verbs kjøpe ‘to buy’ and gi ‘to give’ may be inflected for all these categories. (1) Present kjøper buy(s) gir give(s) Past kjøpte bought ga gave Imperative kjøp! buy! gi! give! Passive present kjøpes is-bought gis is-given
In Norwegian, verbs may have different forms in the infinitive and in the imperative. The infinitive generally ends in -e. (1) Imperative snakk! talk! bytt! change! kjenn! feel! syng! sing! Infinitive snakke talk bytte change kjenne feel synge sing
Verbs may be formed in the following way: (2) a. Root: gå go tro believe
b. Root + -e suffix: snakke talk
kaste throw smalne become narrow
c. Root + derivational suffix: svartne become black, blacken d. Derivational prefix + root: be-høve need e. Compound: støv-suge dust-suck ‘vacuum’ av-bryte off-break ‘interrupt’ for-akte despise
Compounds with a particle and a verb root, like av-bryte have special properties, see paragraph 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 Compounding with particles Norwegian has verb particles, which may be placed both before and after the verb. When the particle is placed before the verb, it is prefixed to it, and it is then often used in a more abstract sense. When the particle is placed after the verb, it normally has a more concrete interpretation. (1) a. Regjeringen avgikk. government.the off.went ‘The government resigned.’ b. Han uttrykker seg bra. he out.presses REFL well ‘He expresses himself well.’ Lyset gikk av. light.the went off ‘The light went off.’ Han trykte ut majonesen fra tuben. he pressed out mayonnaise.the from tube.the ‘He pressed the mayonnaise out of the tube.’
Sometimes both variants can be used in the same expression, and we then get a stylistic difference. (2) a. Læreren fremsatte en hypotese. teacher.the forward.placed a hypothesis ‘The teacher put forward a hypothesis.’ b. Hun ble oppsagt. she became up.said ‘She was fired.’ Læreren satte frem en hypotese. teacher.the placed forward a hypothesis ‘The teacher put forward a hypothesis.’
Hun ble sagt opp. she became said up ‘She was fired.’
The prefixed variant (to the left above) is more formal and common in written language, whereas the variant with the particle to the right is more natural and common in spoken language.
Often, only one of the variants is allowed. (3) a. Henning brøt av greina. Henning broke off branch.the ‘Henning broke off the branch.’ b. * Henning brøt av taleren. Henning broke off speaker.the * Henning avbrøt greina. Henning off.broke branch.the
Henning avbrøt taleren. Henning off.broke speaker.the ‘Henning interrupted the speaker.’
3.4.2 Transitive and intransitive verbs
In Norwegian clauses, there is always a subject. The verb may also have one or two objects and additionally they may have prepositional objects. If the object is a personal pronoun it occurs in the object form: meg ‘me,’ oss ‘us,’ etc. Verbs that take an object are called transitive. Transitive verbs: (1) a. Knut kysset Else. Knut kissed Else b. Else ga Knut ei bok. Else gave Knut a book c. Else ga ei bok til Knut. Else gave a book to Knut Intransitive verbs: (2) a. Linda kjører fort. Linda drives fast Hun kjører fort. she drives fast Hun så på ham. she looked on him ‘She looked at him.’ Han snakket med henne om deg. he talked with her about you ‘He talked to her about you.’ Jeg kysset deg. I kissed you Du ga meg ei bok. you gave me a book Du ga ei bok til meg. you gave a book to me
b. Linda så på Erik. Linda looked on Erik ‘Linda looked at Erik.’
c. Erik snakket med Linda om Else. Erik talked with Linda about Else ‘Erik talked to Linda about Else.’
Some intransitive verbs may have a cognate object, that is an object which means approximately the same as the verb. (3) a. Vi danset. we danced Vi danset en dans / en tango. we danced a dance / a tango
b. Hun sov. she slept
Hun sov sin skjønnhetssøvn. she slept her beauty.sleep
Many verbs may take a reflexive pronoun. This is seg in the third person. It refers to the subject of the clause. (4) a. Eva vasket seg. cf. Eva vasket barnet. Eva washed REFL Eva washed child.the ‘Eva washed herself.’ ‘Eva washed the child.’ b. De barberte seg. cf. De barberte pasienten. REFL they shaved they shaved patient.the ‘They shaved themselves.’ ‘They shaved the patient.’ c. Hun gjemte seg. cf. Hun gjemte flyktningen. REFL she hid she hid refugee.the ‘She hid herself.’ ‘She hid the refugee.’ Some verbs have a reflexive pronoun that cannot be exchanged for an ordinary object. (5) a. Henning angret seg. Henning regretted REFL ‘Henning regretted it.’ b. Lise giftet seg. Lise married REFL ‘Lise got married.’ c. Lena må skynde seg. Lena must hurry REFL ‘Lena must hurry.’
In Norwegian there are auxiliaries and modals of different kinds. They can be used to express, for instance, time (tense), or to make the clause passive. The Norwegian verbs used to express time are the following: (1) Infinitive skulle komme ha Present skal kommer har Past skullet kom hadde Past participle skullet kommet hatt future future past
Skal ‘shall’ is followed by the infinitive and it expresses future (often with a certain sense of intention). Kommer ‘comes’ is followed by til å ‘to’ and the infinitive; it expresses future (without any intention). Ha ‘have’ is followed by a past participle, and it expresses that something has happened. (2) a. Du skal hjelpe meg. you shal help me ‘You will help me.’ b. Du kommer til å hjelpe meg. you come to to help me ‘You will help me.’ c. Du har hjulpet meg. you have helped me To create a passive sentence, Norwegian may use the verb bli ‘become,’ which is followed by the past participle. (Norwegian also uses the special s-form of the verb to make a clause passive in many cases, see paragraph 220.127.116.11.) The verb bli inflects in the following way: (3) Infinitive bli Present blir Past ble Past participle blitt
(4) Hun ble kjørt til sykehuset. she became driven to hospital.the ‘She was sent to the hospital.’ Norwegian also has several modal verbs. These are used to express intention, obligation, permission, wish, or the like. They are always followed by the infinitive. The most common modal verbs are inflected like this. (5) Infinitive skulle kunne ville måtte burde la få Present skal kan vil må bør lar får Past skullet kunne ville måtte burde lot fikk Past participle skullet kunnet villet måttet — latt fått ‘shall’ ‘can, be able to’ ‘want to’ ‘must, have to’ ‘ought to’ ‘let, permit’ ‘get to, be allowed to’
(6) a. Han skulle springe en runde. he should run a lap b. Hun kunne ikke berge seg. she could not save REFL
‘She could not save herself.’ c. Vi lar dem gå. we let them walk. ‘We will let them walk.’
Norwegian expresses three tenses, present (now), past (before now), and future (after now) by using special verb forms or by combining an auxiliary with a certain verb form. Only the present and past tenses have their own verb forms. (1) Simple present kaster throw(s) kjøper buy(s) Simple past kastet threw kjøpte bought
The other tenses are formed by using an auxiliary. Perfect and pluperfect are formed with the auxiliary ha ‘have.’ Present uses the present tense of ha, har, and the pluperfect uses the past tense of ha, hadde. The auxiliary ha is always followed by the past participle (which always ends in -t). (2) Perfect har kastet has thrown har has kjøpt bought Pluperfect hadde kastet had thrown hadde had kjøpt bought
Future is formed with the auxiliary skal ‘will, shall,’ which is followed by the infinitive, or the auxiliary kommer ‘comes,’ which is followed by til å and the infinitive. Skal normally expresses intention, which kommer does not. (3) skal kaste shall throw ‘will throw, is going to throw’ skal kjøpe shall buy ‘will buy, is going to buy’ kommer til å kaste comes to to throw ‘will throw, is going to throw’
kommer til å kjøpe comes to to buy ‘will buy, is going to buy’
Future is also very often expressed by just the present form:
(4) Vi stenger butikken om ei stund. we close shop.the about e while ‘We close (will close) the shop in a while.’
3.4.5 The conjugations
The weak verbs in Norwegian have a -de or -te in the past form. The strong verbs change the stem vowel in the past. The three most common ways to inflect verbs are shown below. (1) Infinitive 1. sparke 2. kjøpe bygge sy 3. gå Imperative spark! kjøp! bygg! sy! gå! Present sparker kjøper bygger syr går Past sparket kjøpte bygde sydde gikk Past participle sparket kjøpt bygd sydd gått ‘kick’ ‘buy’ ‘build’ ‘sew’ ‘walk’
See the following paragraphs. 18.104.22.168 First conjugation The first conjugation has -et in the past tense. Most Norwegian verbs are inflected this way. The different forms are illustrated with the verb hente ‘fetch’ below. (1) a. Infinitive: Vi kan hente Per. we can fetch Per b. Imperative: Ikke hent bilen! not fetch car.the ‘Don’t fetch the car.’ c. Present: Han henter ikke avisen sin. he fetches not newspaper.the his ‘He doesn’t fetch his newspaper.’ d. Past: Hun hentet den i går. she fetched it yesterday e. Past participle: Vi har allerede hentet den. we have already fetched it Many other very frequent verbs are inflected in the same way. arbeide ‘work,’ flytte ‘move,’ handle ‘buy, trade,’ havne ‘end up,’ hente ‘fetch,’ hevde ‘maintain, claim,’ huske ‘remember,’ håpe ‘hope,’ jobbe ‘work,’ kaste
‘throw,’ koste ‘cost,’ lande ‘land, arrive,’ lede ‘lead,’ mangle ‘miss, lack,’ miste ‘lose,’ passe ‘fit,’ ramme ‘strike,’ regne ‘rain, count,’ samle ‘collect,’ satse ‘bet,’ sikre ‘secure, ensure,’ sikte ‘aim,’ skade ‘hurt, harm,’ skaffe ‘provide,’ snakke ‘talk, speak,’ starte ‘start,’ stoppe ‘stop,’ støtte ‘support,’ tyde ‘interpret,’ understreke ‘emphasize,’ utvikle ‘develop,’ vente ‘wait,’ virke ‘seem,’ ønske ‘wish, want,’ åpne ‘open.’ 22.214.171.124 Second conjugation The smaller class of weak verbs in Norwegian contains two subclasses: The first subclass As in the first conjugation has imperative forms ending in a consonant and past tense forms in -de, or -te. Below the verb forms are illustrated for kjøpe ‘buy’ and bygge ‘build.’ (1) a. Infinitive: Vi skal kjøpe den i morgen. we shall buy it tomorrow ‘We will buy it tomorrow.’ b. Imperative: Ikke kjøp bilen! not buy car.the ‘Don’t buy the car.’ c. Present: Han kjøper ofte bøker he buys often books ‘He often buys books.’ d. Past: Hun kjøpte den i går. she bought it yesterday e. Past participle: De har allerede kjøpt den. they have already bought it (2) a. Infinitive: Jeg skal bygge den i morgen. I shall build it tomorrow ‘I will build it tomorrow.’ b. Imperative: Ikke bygg huset! not build house.the ‘Don’t build the house.’ c. Present: Han bygger ofte hus he builds often houses ‘He often builds houses.’
d. Past: Hun bygde det i går. she built it yesterday e. Past participle: De har bygd det. they have built it Several common verbs are inflected like kjøpe: begynne ‘begin,’ betale ‘pay,’ bruke ‘use,’ finnes ‘exist,’ fortelle ‘tell,’ føle ‘feel,’ følge ‘follow,’ føre ‘lead,’ hete ‘be called,’ høre ‘listen, hear,’ kjenne ‘feel, know,’ kjøpe ‘buy,’ kjøre ‘drive,’ klare ‘manage,’ like ‘like,’ mene ‘mean, think,’ møte ‘meet,’ reise ‘travel,’ selge ‘sell,’ sende ‘send,’ skape ‘create,’ spille ‘play,’ stille ‘place, pose,’ synes ‘think, consider,’ tape ‘lose,’ tenke ‘think,’ trenge ‘need,’ vare ‘last,’ velge ‘choose,’ vise ‘show,’ øke ‘increase.’ Several common verbs are inflected like bygge: behøve ‘need,’ bygge ‘build,’ bøye ‘bend,’ eie ‘own,’ feie ‘sweep,’ gjøre ‘do,’ lage ‘make,’ leve ‘live,’ tygge ‘chew,’ tøye ‘stretch,’ øve ‘practice.’ The second subclass This subclass contains verbs with stems ending in a stressed vowel. Both the infinitive and the imperative are identical to the stem ro ‘row,’ sy ‘sew.’ In the present tense, they get the ending -r: ror ‘rows,’ syr ‘sews.’ The past and the past participle show the ending -dde and -dd: rodde ‘rowed’ — rodd ‘rowed,’ sydde ‘sewed’ — sydd ‘sewn’: (3) a. Infinitive: Vi skal sy den i morgen. we shall sew it tomorrow ‘We’ll sew it tomorrow.’ b. Imperative: Sy en bluse! sew a blouse Vi skal strø salt på den. we shall sprinkle salt on it ‘We’ll sprinkle salt on it tomorrow.’
Strø salt på den! sprinkle salt on it De strør salt på den. they sprinkle salt on it ‘They are sprinkling salt on it.’
c. Present: De syr en bluse. they sew a blouse ‘They are sewing a blouse.’ d. Past: Hun sydde den i går. she sewed it yesterday
De strødde salt på den. they sprinkled salt on it De har strødd salt på den. they have sprinkled salt on it.
e. Past participle: Han har allerede sydd den. he has already sewn it
One of the most common verbs, ha ‘have’ is inflected according to this conjugation.
(4) Infinitive ha
Past participle hatt
Sometimes the stem vowel is changed in the past forms of the verbs in the second conjugation. Below you find examples of the verbs: velge ‘choose,’ selge ‘sell,’ følge ‘follow,’ gjøre ‘do, make,’ smørre ‘grease, smear,’ burde ‘ought to.’ (5) Infinitive velge selge følge gjøre smørre burde Imperative velg! selg! følg! gjør! smørr! — Present velger selger følger gjør smører bør Past valgte solgte fulgte gjorde smurte burde Past participle valgt solgt fulgt gjort smurt — ‘choose’ ‘sell’ ‘follow’ ‘do’ ‘grease spread’ ‘ought to’
126.96.36.199 Third conjugation The third conjugation includes several verbs which end in a consonant. They typically have a vowel change in the past tense. Some of them also have a vowel change in the past participle. Many of them are quite common. (1) Infinitive bite skrive bryte synge drikke finne ta slå bære skjære ligge se komme sove Present biter skriver bryter synger drikker finner tar slår bærer skjærer ligger ser kommer sover Past beit skreiv brøt sang drakk fant tok slo bar skar lå så kom sov Past participle bitt skrevet brutt sunget drukket funnet tatt slått båret skåret ligget sett kommet sovet ‘bite’ ‘write’ ‘break’ ‘sing’ ‘drink’ ‘find’ ‘take’ ‘hit’ ‘carry’ ‘cut’ ‘lie’ ‘see’ ‘come’ ‘sleep’
The following verbs are conjugated like bite ‘bite’: drive ‘drive, drift,’ ride ‘ride,’ stige ‘step, rise.’ The following verbs are conjugated like bryte ‘break’: flyte ‘float,’ fryse ‘freeze,’ lyve ‘lie,’ skryte ‘boast.’ The following verbs are conjugated like drikke ‘drink’: binde ‘bind,’ finnes ‘exist, be,’ rekke ‘reach, have time to,’ sitte ‘sit,’ springe ‘run,’ synke ‘sink.’
Norwegian only has two modes: imperative and indicative. The imperative expresses a command. (1) Gå! ‘Walk/Go!’ Spring! ‘Run!’ Sitt! ‘Sit (down)!’
The indicative is the form that is used in all other circumstances. The indicative can be either present or past tense, see further paragraph 3.4.4.
3.4.7 Non-finite forms
The non-finite forms of a verb in Norwegian are infinitive, present participle, and past participle. The infinitive is preceded by the infinitival marker å ‘to’ or by an auxiliary. The present participle follows the verb være ‘be’ or bli ‘become,’ and the past participle follows the auxiliaries ha ‘have,’ være ‘be,’ or bli ‘become.’ (1) a. Infinitive: (å) fascinere (to) fascinate b. Present participle: (de) er fascinerende, (de) blir værende (they) are fascinating, (they) become staying ‘they are fascinating,’ ‘they are staying’ c. Past participle: (han) er fascinert, (hun) er dratt, (vi) ble sett (he) is fascinated, (she) is gone, (we) became seen ‘he is fascinated,’ ‘she has gone,’ ‘we were seen’ The auxiliary være ‘be’ is possible with the past participle of intransitive verbs. Often these verbs express some kind of movement or transition: (2) a. Han er reist. he is gone ‘He has gone.’ b. Jenta er sovnet. girl.the is fallen.asleep ‘The girl has fallen asleep.’ c. Pengene er forsvunnet. money.the is disappeared ‘The money has disappeared.’
The past participle form can also be used in passive clauses with passive, and then the auxiliary bli ‘become’ is used: (3) a. De ble avhørt. they became interrogated ‘They were interrogated.’ b. Sofaen blir flyttet fra rom til rom. couch.the becomes moved from room to room ‘The couch is moved from room to room.’ c. Pengene ble stjålet. money.the became stolen ‘The money got stolen.’ The past participle can also precede a noun. (4) ei (ny)bygd hytte, et (opp)spist smørbrød a (newly)built cottage, an (up)eaten sandwich When the present participle is used with the auxiliary være ‘be’ it denotes an experience. When it is used with bli ‘become’ on the other hand it expresses continuous aspect. (5) a. Filmen var skremmende. film.the was terrifying ‘The film was terrifying.’ b. Situasjonen var opphissende. situation.the was exciting ‘The situation was exciting.’ c. Hun ble gående aleine. she became walking alone ‘She ended up walking alone.’ d. De ble sittende i ro. they became sitting in peace ‘They kept sitting still.’ Present participle is mainly used before nouns. (6) en smittende latter, en arbeidende mann an infectious laughter, a working man
Norwegian verbs do not show agreement with the subject. All forms are the same, regardless of what subject is used. (1) Singular: Plural: 1. jeg røyker ‘I smoke’ vi røyker ‘we smoke’ 2. du røyker ‘you smoke’ dere røyker ‘you smoke’ 3. han/hun/det røyker ‘he/she/it smokes’ de røyker ‘they smoke’
In Norwegian many verbs may take an s-form. The -s is added to the inflected form of the verb and it either turns an active sentence into a passive one or it expresses reciprocity. (1) a. Passive: Døren åpnes plutselig. door.the is.opened suddenly ‘The door is suddenly opened.’ b. Reciprocity: De møttes. they met ‘They met each other.’ See the following paragraphs. Adding the -s to the inflected verb creates the s-form of the verb, so it will always be the last (rightmost) element. When the verb is in the present tense and ends in an -r, this -r disappears when adding the -s. (2) Active S-form Active S-form a. Infinitive: snakke, snakkes; synge, synges talk be.talked sing be.sung
b. Present: snakker, snakkes; synger, synges talks is.talked sings is.sung c. Past: snakket, —; sang, — talked sang d. Past participle: snakket, —; sunget, — talked sung 188.8.131.52 S-passive In Norwegian the s-form of the verb is a common way to create passive sentences. However, the –s-passive is only possible in the present tense. Compare the active sentences on the left below to the passive ones on the right.
Active a. Henning kjøper boka. Henning buys book.the ‘Henning buys the book.’
Passive Boka kjøpes ( av Henning ). book.the is.bought by Henning ‘The book is bought by Henning.’
b. Lise bygger huset. Huset bygges ( av Lise ). Lise builds house.the house.the is.built by Lise ‘Lise builds the house.’ ‘The house is built by Lise.’ See paragraph 1.12.4 on the passive construction. 184.108.40.206 Other s-forms The s-form of the verb may be used to express that the plural subject does things to each other (reciprocity). (1) a. Vi snakkes hver fredag. we talk.S every Friday ‘We talk to each other every Friday.’ b. De møttes i Paris. they met.S in Paris ‘They met (each other) in Paris.’ Some verbs always have the s-form. These verbs have no s-less form with similar meaning. The most common are: finnes ‘be, exist,’ lykkes ‘succeed.’
Prepositions denote a relation between two things. Typically, they are short words that denote a local relation, but they may also denote time relations or more abstract relations. They are never inflected. The most common prepositions are the following. (1) i: Henning bor i Tromsø. vasen i skapet in Henning lives in Tromsø vase.the in cupboard.the ‘Henning lives in Tromsø.’ ‘the vase in the cupboard’ av: De er lagd av marmor. en av guttene of it is made of marble one of boys.the ‘It is made of marble.’ ‘one of the boys’ på: Hun satt på stolen. grenene på treet on she sat on chair.the branches.the on tree.the ‘She sat on the chair.’ ‘the branches of the tree’
for: Det var lett for Lise. moten for tiden for it was easy for Lise fashion.the for time.the ‘It was easy for Lise.’ ‘the fashion of today’ med: Han skreiv med pennen. dama med hunden with he wrote with pen.the lady.the with dog.the ‘He wrote with the pen.’ ‘the lady with the dog’ til: Vi reiste til Lund. brevet til Hedda to we traveled to Lund letter.the to Hedda ‘We went to Lund.’ ‘the letter to Hedda’ om: Legg den om halsen. boka om Emil i Lønneberget about, around put it around neck.the book.the about Emil in Lønneberget ‘Put it around your neck.’ ‘the book about Emil in Lønneberget’ fra: Hun er fra Salzburg. kvinnen fra Reykjavík from she is from Salzburg woman.the from Reykjavík ‘She is from Salzburg.’ ‘the woman from Reykjavik’ The preposition i is often used in temporal expressions to denote the time of the day i kveld ‘tonight,’ or how long something takes: arbeide i tre timer ‘work for three hours.’ The preposition av is often used in abstract contexts when a noun is derived from a verb salget av huset ‘the selling of the house,’ or when one wants to denote a member of a group: en av guttene ‘one of the boys.’ It is also used to express the agent of a passive clause: Prisen deles ut av kongen ‘The price is awarded by the king.’ The preposition på is sometimes used to express that something is a part of something else: beina på stolen ‘the legs of the chair.’ The preposition med is sometimes used to express content of a case, vessel, or the like: ei flaske med melk ‘a bottle of milk.’ The preposition til is used with verbs like gi ‘give’ and sende ‘send’: Gi den til Karin ‘Give it to Karin.’ The preposition om is often used in temporal expression to tell how long it is left until something will happen: Jeg kommer om tre timer ‘I will arrive in three hours.’ See further paragraph 2.5 on prepositional phrases.
The word class of adverbs contains many different sorts of words. They express, for instance, time, place, or degree, and they can be used to negate the clause, or modify it in another way. Adverbs may modify clauses, verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. (1) a. Henning kan kanskje hjelpe deg. Henning can perhaps help you b. Linda bor her. Linda lives here c. Lena springer fort. Lena runs fast d. Nå skal Espen lese. now shall Espen read ‘Now Espen will read.’ e. Albert er svært gammel. Albert is very old f. Dette skjer ganske sjelden. this happens quite seldom Adverbs are normally not inflected, but a few of them may be inflected for comparison.
3.6.1 Morphological properties
Adverbs are normally not inflected. A few of them can however be inflected for comparison, that is they have specific forms that denotes higher degree (comparative) and highest degree (superlative) in a comparison. (1) a. Henning kjører fort. Henning drives fast b. Henning kjører fortere enn Lise. Henning drives faster than Lise c. Tiril kjører fortest. Tiril drives fastest ‘Tiril drives the fastest.’ Several of the adverbs that are inflected for comparison have a different root in comparative and superlative than they have in the positive form.
(1) Positive fort sakte lenge ofte mye lite nær gjerne vel/bra ille
Comparative fortere saktere lengre oftere mere mindre nærmere heller bedre verre
Superlative fortest saktest lengst oftest mest minst nærmest helst best verst
‘fast’ ‘slowly’ ‘long, for a long time’ ‘often’ ‘very, much‘ ‘little’ ‘near’ ‘willingly’ ‘well’ ‘badly’
Suffixes are often used to form adverbs. Among these suffixes we find: (2) -vis: gradvis forsøksvis -lig: egentlig virkelig ‘gradually’ ‘tentatively’
‘actually’ ‘really, truely’ ‘somewhere’ ‘nowhere’
-steds: noensteds ingensteds
Compounding is a productive way to form adverbs. Especially common are the prefixes der or sometimes her eller hvor followed by a preposition. Adverbs like derav ‘of that,’ can be changed to av det. (3) dertil ‘to that, there’ deretter ‘afterwards’ derimot ‘on the other hand’ derfra ‘from there’ herav ‘of this’ hvorav ‘of (from) what, which, whom’
3.6.2 Various types of adverbs
Among the most common adverbs we find adverbs that denote or ask for time, place or manner. her ‘here,’ der ‘there,’ hit ‘here, this way,’ dit ‘there, that way,’ hvor ‘where,’ nå ‘now,’ da ‘then,’ allerede ‘already,’ ennå ‘yet,’ lenge ‘long, for a long time,’ straks ‘immediately,’ når ‘when,’ så ‘so,’ slik, sånn ‘so, like this/like that,’ fort ‘fast,’ hvordan ‘how.’ (1) a. Hvor er du? where are you b. Når when drar leave Jeg er her. I am here du? you Jeg drar nå. I leave now
‘When are you leaving?’ c. Hvordan gjør man dette? how does one this ‘How do you do this?’
‘I’m leaving now.’ Man gjør slik. one does such ‘You do it like this.’
Among the most common adverbs we also find some that denote or ask for degree. svært ‘very, much,’ mer ‘more,’ mest ‘most,’ lite ‘little,’ mindre ‘less,’ minst ‘least,’ så ‘so, that,’ like ‘as,’ ganske ‘pretty,’ hvor ‘where.’ (2) a. Hvor interessert er du? where interested are you ‘How interested are you?’ Jeg er svært/ganske interessert. I am very/quite interested ‘I’m quite interested.’
b. Dette firmaet er like stort som ditt. this company.the is as big as yours. ‘This company is as big as yours.’ Adverbs also express that something is true, false, or credible. They can also connect to something previously said. ikke ‘not,’ kanskje ‘maybe, perhaps,’ sannsynligvis ‘probably,’ absolutt ‘absolutely,’ virkelig ‘really.’ også ‘also,’ bare ‘just, only,’ egentlig ‘actually,’ jo ‘as we know,’ vel ‘I think.’ The last two adverbs are quite vague, and normally not translated into English at all. Adverbs may also be so called verb particles, short words denoting, for example, direction, which follow the verb. See further paragraph 2.1.4. inn ‘in,’ ut ‘out,’ opp ‘up,’ ned ‘down,’ fram ‘forth,’ bak ‘back.’ (3) Ta inn hunden. Kjør fram bilen. take in dog.the drive forth car.the ‘Let in the dog.’ ‘Drive out the car.’ Legg ned våpnene. lay down weapons.the ‘Lay down the weapons.’
Some adverb of place are build by adding an -e to particles like these. The particle inn denotes direction and corresponds to inne ‘inside,’ which denotes where something is placed. (4) a. Kjør inn bilen i garasjen. drive in car.the in garage.the ‘Drive the car into the garage.’
b. Bilen står her inne i garasjen. car.the stands here in in garage.the ‘The car is here inside the garage.’ c. Kom fram i lyset. come forth in light.the ‘Come forth into the light.’ d. Still deg framme på scenen. place you forth on stage.the ‘Place yourself in the front of the stage.’ e. Gå ned til byen. go down to city.the ‘Walk down to the city.’ f. Vi var nede i byen. we were down in city.the ‘We were down in the city.’
Numerals indicate how many there are of something (cardinal numbers: for example tre ‘three’) or which one in an ordered set something is (ordinal numbers: for example tredje ‘third’). (1) Cardinal numbers: en ‘one’ to ‘two’ tre ‘three’ fire ‘four’ fem ‘five’ seks ‘six’ sju, syv ‘seven’ åtte ‘eight’ ni ‘nine‘ ti ‘ten’ elleve ‘eleven’ tolv ‘twelve’ tretten ‘thirteen’ fjorten ‘fourteen’ femten ‘fifteen’ seksten ‘sixteen’ sytten ‘seventeen’ atten ‘eighteen’ Ordinal numbers: første ‘first’ andre ‘second’ tredje ‘third’ fjerde ‘fourth’ femte ‘fifth’ sjette ‘sixth’ sjuende, syvende ‘seventh’ åttende ‘eighth’ niende ‘ninth’ tiende ‘tenth‘ ellefte ‘eleventh’ tolvte ‘twelfth’ trettende ‘thirteenth’ fjortende ‘fourteenth’ femtende ‘fifteenth’ sekstende ‘sixteenth’ syttende ‘seventeenth’ attende ‘eighteenth’
nitten tjue, tyve tjueen tjueto tretti trettien førti femti seksti sytti åtti nitti hundre tusen million miljard
‘nineteen’ ‘twenty‘ ‘twenty-one’ ‘twenty-two’ ‘thirty’ ‘thirty-one’ ‘forty’ ‘fifty’ ‘sixty‘ ‘seventy‘ ‘eighty’ ‘ninety’ ‘hundred’ ‘thousand’ ‘million’ Br. ‘milliard’ Am. ‘billion’
nittende tjuende, tyvende tjueførste tjueandre trettiende trettiførste førtiende femtiende sekstiende syttiende åttiende nittiende hundrede tusende millionte —
‘nineteenth’ ‘twentieth’ ‘twenty-first’ ‘twenty-second’ ‘thirtieth’ ‘thirty-first’ ‘fortieth’ ‘fiftieth’ ‘sixtieth’ ‘seventieth’ ‘eightieth’ ‘ninetieth’ ‘hundredth’ ‘thousandth’ ‘millionth’ —
3.7.1 Syntactic function
Numerals can be used in three ways. They may be predicates, typically after the verbs være ‘be’ or bli ‘become.’ They may also occur in front of nouns, both in indefinite and definite noun phrases. Finally, they may be used independently, that is without a noun. Ordinal numbers do not occur as predicates, and only rarely in indefinite noun phrases. (1) a. Predicatively: Cardinal numbers: Antallet medlemmer var tolv. number.the members was twelve ‘The number of members was twelve.’ tre hus three houses Definite noun phrase: de fire bøkene the four books.the ‘the four books’ c. Independently: alle tre all three Ordinal numbers: —
Indefinite noun phrase:
en tredje gang a third time den fjerde boka the fourth book.the ‘the fourth book’ den tredje the third (one)
3.7.2 Morphology: cardinal numbers
The numeral en/ei/ett ‘one’ agrees with its noun. (1) Masculine: en bil a.MASC car Feminine: ei seng a.FEM bed Neuter: ett hus a.NEUT house
Other numerals ending in -en do not agree in gender with the noun. The masculine form is used with all nouns. (2) Masculine: tjueen biler twenty-one cars Feminine: tjueen senger twenty-one beds Neuter: tjueen hus twenty-one houses
3.7.3 Morphology: ordinal numbers
Ordinal numbers are uninflected.
3.8 CONJUNCTIONS, SUBJUNCTIONS, AND THE INFINITIVAL MARKER
Conjunctions are words like og ‘and,’ men ‘but,’ eller ‘or’; these words link elements of the same kind. (1) a. Henning sykler, men Lise. kjører bil. Henning bikes but Lise drives car ‘Henning bikes but Lise drives a car.’ b. Henning og Lise sykler Henning and Lise bike Subjunctions are words like at ‘that,’om ‘if,’ettersom ‘since’; these words introduce subordinate clauses. (2) a. Han visste at han ville komme for seint. he knew that he would come too late b. Du får den, ettersom du er min venn. you get it since you are my friend The infinitival marker is å and it introduces infinitival clauses. (3) a. Knut begynte å lese. Knut began to read b. Det er fint å seile.
is nice to sail
All conjunctions connect two elements of the same kind. The Norwegian conjunctions are: og ‘and,’ samt ‘and (also),’ eller ‘or,’ men ‘but,’ skjønt ‘though, although,’ fordi ‘for, because,’ for ‘for, as.’ They may connect two main clauses. (1) a. Lise synger og Espen spiller. Lise sings and Espen plays b. Eva er vakker, skjønt hun har ingen selvtillit. Eva is beautiful although she has no self-esteem ‘Eva is beautiful, although she has got no self esteem.’ Conjunctions can also connect to phrases. (2) a. den gamle mannen og hunden hans the old man.the and dog.the his ‘the old man and his dog’ b. Lise og Henning er ganske livlige, men svært snille. Lise and Henning are pretty lively but very kind 220.127.116.11 Copulative conjunctions Copulative conjunctions connect elements of the same type without implying any difference between them. Copulative conjunctions are og ‘and’ and samt ‘and (also).’ (1) a. Henning og Espen tar militærtjenesten. Henning and Espen take military.service.the ‘Henning and Espen are doing their military service.’ b. Vi arbeider og tenker på deg. we work and think on you ‘We are working and thinking of you.’ The conjunction samt ‘and (also)’ is mostly used to mark that something is separate from the other elements. (2) På bryllupsreisen dro Lena og Jan samt Lenas fetter Per. on honey-moon.the went Lena and Jan as-well-as Lena’s cousin Per ‘Lena and Jan as well as Lena’a cousin Per went on the honey-moon.’ The conjunction og ‘and’ can be emphasised by både ‘both.’
(3) Både Henning og Espen tar militærtjenesten. Both Henning and Espen take military.service.the ‘Both Henning and Espen are doing their military service.’ 18.104.22.168 Disjunctive conjunctions Disjunctive conjunctions express an alternative. There is only one conjunction of this sort in Norwegian: eller ‘or.’ (1) a. Jeg vet ikke om det er en mann eller ei kvinne. I know not whether it is a man or a woman ‘I don’t know whether it is a man or a woman.’ b. Om du sykler eller går spiller ingen rolle. whether you bike or walk plays no part ‘Whether you bike or walk doesn’t matter.’ The expression can be emphasised with enten ‘either’ or the negation hverken ‘neither.’ (2) a. Enten Espen eller Henning må gå av. either Espen or Henning must go off ‘Either Henning or Espen must resign.’ b. Hverken Espen eller Henning må gå av. neither Espen nor Henning must go off ‘Neither Henning nor Espen must resign.’ 22.214.171.124 Adversative conjunctions Adversative conjunctions express a contrast. In Norwegian men ‘but’ and skjønt ‘but, though’ are used. (1) a. Boka er vanskelig, men interessant. book.the is difficult but interesting ‘The book is difficult but interesting.’ b. Han drikker mye, skjønt spiser lite. he drinks a.lot though eats little ‘He drinks a lot though he eats little.’ The expression may be emphasised by riktignok meaning ‘admittedly’ in the first part of the co-ordination, or by likevel or dog, both meaning ‘nevertheless, still, anyway’ in the second. (2) a. Svein er riktignok tjukk, men likevel ganske flott.
Svein is admittedly fat
but anyway quite handsome
b. Vi har riktignok mange venner, men kan dog ikke være helt sikre. we have admittedly many friends but can still not be quite sure ‘We admittedly have many friends but we still cannot be sure.’ 126.96.36.199 Explanative conjunctions Explanative conjunctions imply that the second part of the co-ordination is an explanation of the first one. Norwegian uses for ‘for, as.’ (1) a. Han vil ikke, for han orker ikke. he wants not because he manages not ‘He doesn’t want to because he is tired.’ b. Knut var bekymret, for han hadde ingen penger. Knut was worried because he had no money 188.8.131.52 Conclusive conjunctions Conclusive conjunctions imply that the second part of the co-ordination is a conclusion or a consequence. (1) Eva var trøtt, så hun ble hjemme. Eva was tired so she stayed home ‘Eva was tired, so she stayed at home.’
Subjunctions are words that introduce subordinate clauses. The typical subjunctions at ‘that,’ som ‘that, which,’ and om ‘if’ lack content almost entirely. Others denote a specific relation between the subordinate clause and its main clause, such as cause: ettersom ‘since’; time: mens ‘while’; etc. 184.108.40.206 Syntax and inflection Subjunctions are not inflected. They are sometimes written as two or more words: fordi at ‘because,’ til tross for at ‘although,’ slik at ‘so that’ for at ‘in order to.’ 220.127.116.11 The most common subjunctions Among the most common subjunctions in Norwegian are at ‘that,’ som ‘that, which,’ om ‘if, whether’ and enn ‘than.’
At ‘that’ is used to introduce clauses that tell or report something, or clauses that denote a consequence. In the latter case it is almost always preceded by an adjective modified by så ‘so, as.’ (1) a. Han fortalte at han hadde fått ei tre kilo tung gjedde. he told that he had got a three kilo heavy pike ‘He told us that he had got a pike of three kilos.’ b. Forslaget om at huset skulle rives ble stemt ned. proposal.the about that house.the should demolish.PASS became voted down ‘The proposal that the house should be demolished was turned down.’ c. Han var så lykkelig at han danset. he was so happy that he danced Som ‘that, who, which,’ is used to introduce relative clauses or comparative clauses (and phrases). In the latter case it is normally translated by ‘as’ in English, and it is almost always preceded by an adjective modified by like ‘as.’ (2) a. mannen som står der borte man.the that stands there away ‘the man standing over there’ b. Jeg kjenner ei jente som bor i Tønsberg. I know a girl that lives in Tønsberg c. Det gamle huset, som er bygd i 1870, har blitt flyttet to ganger. the old house.the that is built in 1870 has been moved two times ‘The old house, which was built in 1870, has been moved twice.’ d. Jeg har like dyre bukser som du har. I have as expensive trousers as you have Som is also used to double a questioned subject in a subordinate clause. (3) Vi vet hvem som har kjøpt den. we know who that has bought it ‘We know who has bought it.’ Om is used to introduce conditional clauses or interrogative clauses, which correspond to yes-no questions. (4) a. Om det ikke regner så drar vi på utflukt. if it not rains then go we on picnic ‘If it doesn’t rain, we will go for a picnic.’
b. Eva spurte om vi ville være med. Eva asked if we wanted be with ‘Eva asked if we wanted to come along.’ Enn is used to introduce comparative clauses (or phrases). They are almost always preceded by a comparative adjective or an adjective modified by mer ‘more.’ (5) a. Du har en bedre sykkel enn jeg har. you have a better bike than I have b. Dette er mer interessant enn jeg trodde. this is more interesting than I thought 18.104.22.168 Subjunctions grouped according to their meaning Subjunctions may signal many different sorts of connections between the main clause and the subordinate clause. They may for instance express time, that is that the event in the subordinate clause is simultaneous to, earlier, or later than the event of the main clause. In a similar way they can express that the subordinate clause constitutes a condition for or a reason to the event of the main clause. The most common subjunctions are listed below. Temporal subjunctions: når/da ‘when,’før ‘before,’ til ‘until,’ mens ‘while,’ siden ‘after, since.’ (1) a. Du må hjelpe meg med klesvasken før vi kan gå. you must help me with laundry.the before we can go ‘You must help me with the laundry before we can go.’ b. Hun smilte da han gikk. she smiled when he left Causal subjunctions: ettersom ‘as, because, since,’for (at) ‘because,’ fordi (at) ‘because,’ av at ‘in that.’ (2) Han gikk ettersom hun ikke snakket med ham. he left since she not talked with him ‘He left since she didn’t talk to him.’ Conditional subjunctions: om ‘if,’ hvis ‘if,’ så vidt ‘insofar as,’ forutsatt at ‘provided that.’ (3) Jeg hjelper deg om/hvis du vil. I help you if you want ‘I’ll help you if you want me to.’
Concessive subjunctions: til tross for at ‘though,’ selv om ‘although,’ skjønt ‘even though.’ (4) Vi arbeider til tross for at / selv om vi ikke får noen lønn. we work to despite for that even if we not get any salary ‘We are working, even though we don´t get paid.’ Final subjunctions: for at ‘in order to.’ (5) Vi må selge bilen for at vi skal klare det. we must sell car.the for that we shall manage it ‘We must sell the car, in order to make it.’ Consecutive subjunctions: slik at ‘so that.’ (6) Han jobbet slik at han ble rød i ansiktet. he worked such that he became red in face.the ‘He worked so that his face became red.’ Comparative subjunctions: (like)...som ‘as...as,’ (slik/sånn) som ‘as,’ liksom ‘as,’ enn ‘than,’ jo...desto/dess/jo ‘the...the,’ som om ‘as if.’ (7) a. Han gjorde som de ba ham om å gjøre. he did as they asked him about to do ‘He did what they asked him to do.’ b. Jo større de er, desto hardere faller de. the bigger they are the harder fall they ‘The bigger they are, the harder they fall.’ Descriptive subjunctions: av at ‘in that,’ uten at ‘not that, without.’ (8) a. Han ble reddet av at kameratene grep inn. he became saved of that friends.the grabbed in ‘He was saved because his friends intervened.’ b. Vi må hjelpe Henning uten at læreren merker det. we must help Henning without that teacher.the notices it ‘We must help Henning without the teacher noticing.’
3.8.3 The infinitival marker
The infinitival marker in Norwegian is å ‘to.’ It is used to introduce infinitival clauses. (1) a. Det er hyggelig å seile.
it is nice to sail ‘It is nice to go sailing.’ b. Han lovte å ikke synge. he promised to not sing ‘He promised not to sing.’ c. Vi ble lei av å synge. we became tired of to sing ‘We became tired of singing.’ See further paragraph 1.11.1 on infinitival phrases.