Reconstruction:Old Norse/hver

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This Old Norse entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.

Old Norse[edit]


From Proto-Germanic *hwaz (who, what). Cognate with Old English hwā, Old Frisian hwā, Old Saxon hwē, Old Dutch , Old High German wēr, Gothic 𐍈𐌰𐍃 (ƕas). Merged with Old Norse hverr from Proto-Germanic *hwarjaz (which, what).


*hver (defective, neuter hvat)

  1. who, what

An archaic and defective pronoun conflated with hverr (< *hwarjaz) in Old West Norse. The masculine nominative should be *hver, i.e. *hvęʀ, in Old West Norse, with -a- > -e- (-ę-) due to ʀ-mutation, but it is uncertainly attested due to the prevalence of abbreviations for pronouns in manuscripts. This form, nearly identical to hverr and likely completely identical when unstressed, may account for the conflation of these two originally distinct words seen in Old West Norse. The Old East Norse form should be *hvar, without the mutation. This pronoun has survived better in East Norse descendants and been kept distinct from hverr. No feminine forms are attested and probably did not exist in the Old Norse period.

Related terms[edit]
  • Faroese: hvør (paradigm merged with Old Norse hverr)
  • Icelandic: hver (paradigm merged with Old Norse hverr)
  • Norwegian Bokmål: hvem (from the dative), hva
  • Norwegian Nynorsk: kva
  • Swedish: ho, vem (from the dative), vad
  • Danish: hvo, hvem (from the dative), hvad