Noun Exercise #2

            Now that we have identified all of the pronouns in riddle twenty-six we will analyze the nouns. For this exercise I have labelled all the nouns except for the nominative and the accusative, which you are to distinguish on your own. The nouns I have identified also have underlined suffixes in order to draw your attention to their inflexions; translations are provided beside the Old English passage. In the text boxes below be sure to include the necessary grammatical information (case, number, gender) as well as a translation of the word (which can be found in the glossary section of your textbook). This exercise will not only help you recognize specific elements of speech within a text, but will also give you the opportunity to become more familiar with your glossary. When you are finished, check your answers with the key provided below. Remember, your translation of the word does not have to be the exact same as the one provided in the answer key. Choose a word that you feel works best right now and alter it later if necessary. Translation is a process which takes constant revision and alteration.

Riddle 26 Grammatical Information
  Ic eom wunderlīcu wiht,       wifum on hyhte, woman/ wife [dpn], hopeful joy/ bliss [dsm]
  nēahbūndum nyt ;      nęngum scežže neighbour [dpm]
  burgsittendra nymže      bonan, ānum. citizen/town dweller [gpm]
  Stažol mīn is stēaphēah,      stonde ic on bedde, bed [dsn]
(5) neožan rūh nāthwęr.     Nēžeđ hwīlum time/sometimes/while [dpf]
  ful cyrtenu   ‌  ceorles dohtor, peasant/yeoman [gsm]
  mōdwlonc mēowle, žęt hēo on mec grīpeđ,  
  ręseđ mec on rēodne,      rēafađ mīn hēafod,  
  fēgeđ mec on fęsten ;     fēlež sōna  
(10) mīnes gemōtes     sēo že mec nearwađ, meeting/encounter [gsn]
  wīf wudenlocc :      węt biđ žęt ēage.  


Answer Key:     Translation:
Line 1                
wiht: nominative singular feminine/neuter creature/being
Line 3                
bonan: accusative singular masculine [21]     slayer/killer
Line 4    
Stažol: nominative singular masculine     position/base
Line 6     
dohtor: nominative singular feminine       daughter
Line 7   
mēowle: nominative singular feminine maiden
Line 8  
rēodne: accusative singular masculine redness
hēafod: nominative singular neuter head
Line 11  
wīf: nominative singular neuter woman/wife
ēage: nominative singular neuter eye

            Notice how the nominative nouns all maintain their basic root and are not altered by any suffixes. Some of the nouns are admittedly more tricky than others like mēowle, for instance, which appears to have an -e inflection, while the -e ending is actually a part of the core word. As you become familiar with the glossary and do more translations identifying these root words will become less difficult. When in doubt look the word up in a glossary in order to get an idea of what the nominative form of the noun is supposed to look like.

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Back to Noun Exercise #3

[21] A noun ending in -an is weak and can either be accusative/genitive/dative singular or nominative/accusative plural. In this particular case the word is accusative because it is the direct object of the verb. Later when we analyze the sentence in detail we will see that it is used in its singular sense. The word nymže means except, implying that there is only one bonan (slayer).