Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 1. Hákonarmál, 21 [Vol. 1, 193]

[4] síz ‘since’: The syntax of the stanza hinges on this conj. and can be construed in two main ways. (a) In the present edn, as in Skald, the subordinate clause introduced by síz (ll. 4-5) depends on the preceding clauses (ll. 1-3) rather than the following clause (l. 6), and l. 6 is a freestanding main clause. This is suggested by the word order of l. 6, which would be es mǫrg þjóð þéuð, lit. ‘is many nation enslaved’, with finite verb first, if preceded by a subordinate clause. (b) Most eds take ll. 1-3 and 4-6 as syntactically separate, with the síz-clause dependent on the main clause in l. 6. This reverses the normal order of main clause and subordinate clause, but occasional exceptions are found in both dróttkvætt and fornyrðislag (see Kuhn 1929b, 200; 1969). The parallels in Hávm 76-7, which have the main syntactic break between ll. 3 and 4, would seem to favour this analysis, but the syntactic point in (a) above is weighty.

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