· personal pronouns · demonstrative pronouns · definite article · possessive pronouns · interrogative pronouns · indefinite pronouns ·
Words for 'some/somebody/something'
Words for 'no/nobody/nothing'
The word engi has a quite irregular inflection. Originally this word was composed from the word einn 'one' and the negative particle gi, i.e. 'not one'. The masc. nom. form was thus einngi, the gen. einski, the dat. einungi etc., and many of these forms like this do exist, but the inflection was changed to a more normal one, with the endings last. This change was not completely finished so there are many older forms attested, like einungi.
The forms in the simplified paradigm below are some very common ones, with an inflection almost like normal adjectives. The stem has many variants; here it's eng- all the way, but it can also be eing-, øng-, engv- or øngv-.
is inflected just like einn 'one'.
hvergi 'none' and hvárgi 'neither'
are inflected like hvergi and hvárgi in the meaning 'each' (below).
Words for 'each'
hverr 'each' and hvárr 'each (of two)'
are inflected like their interrogative versions hverr and hvárr, which mean 'which' and 'which (of two)' (see interrogative pronouns). Since the meanings can be confused the particle gi can be added (see hvergi and hvárgi below). To hvárr can also be added a tveggja 'of the two of them' – hvárrtveggja –, and tveggja could in turn be inflected (see hvárrtveggi below).
hvergi 'each' and hvárgi 'each (of two)'
are composed of the pronouns hverr and hvárr respectively, and the particle gi which here has an other meaning than the negative meaning in engi.
hvárrtveggi 'each (of two)'
originally consisted of the pronoun hvárr and the gen. of the numeral tveir which enhanced the meaning 'of two'. This tveggja could be inflected as a weak ja-stem adjective, which does not keep the first part hvárr from being inflected.
Words for 'whoever', 'whatever'
Hvergi and hvárgi also have the meaning 'who ever' (se these words above).
Nakkvarr is a contraction of the pre-ON. phrase *ne wait eka hwarjaR 'I don't know who'.
Engi is the numeral einn with the particle gi attached. This particle was originally just emphatic (like Goth. hun and Sanskr. cana), but was only used in negative phrases and was therefore thought of as a negation (cf. Fr. pas, in stead of ne ... pas).
Neinn is einn negated with the real negation ne (OEngl. ne, Sanscr. na etc.), cf. OEngl. nán > Engl. none.
Hvárgi, manngi and vetki are all negated with the particle gi. The first part of hvárgi is the interrogative pronoun hvárr 'which one (of the two)', the first part of manngi is the noun maðr (with the stem mann-) 'man' (i.e. 'not a man'), and the first part of vetki is the noun vættr 'thing, being' (i.e. 'not a thing/being').
Hverr and hvárr were originally *ga-hwarjaz and *ga-hwaþaraz (OEng. gehweðer), but the *ga- was lost in North Germanic. To prevent confusion the particle gi was added in stead, but with no negative meaning!
© Peter Pettersson