Genitives and other Cases in Old Norse-Icelandic

Genitives and other Cases in Old Norse-Icelandic

Norsk Lingvistisk Tidsskrift · Årgang 28 · (2010)

Barðdal, Jóhanna (University of Bergen)


1 Diachronic Predictions

One of the questions raised when reading Ellen Hellebostad Toft’s dissertation relates to whether, and what kind of, diachronic predictions may be derived from her synchronic analyses of the genitive in Old Norse- Icelandic. I quote the dissertation (p. 349):

There may have been a clear conceptual link [between the adnominal and the adverbal GEN] at an earlier historical stage that has been gradually bleached and possibly lost.

It is of course true that if the type frequency of the genitive object construction had been higher in Old Norse-Icelandic, it would have been more likely that such a conceptual link existed and it might also have been easier to establish the nature of the link. However, the following prediction can be derived from the analysis:

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