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Frage:
Nibelungen: Singular or Plural  
von geo255 (US), 2016-01-21, 18:10  Spam?  
Calling all Germanistik scholars:

Duden gives the plural of Nibelung as Nibelungen, yet the relevant opera of Wagner's is titled "Der Ring DES Nibelungen".  Supporting the case for treating Nibelungen as a plural noun, there is an opera by Heinrich Dorn called "Die Nibelungen".

So what is going on here?  Why isn't Wagner's opera titled "Der Ring DER Nibelungen"
Antwort: 
Weird indeed,...  #831626
von dhk (DE), 2016-01-21, 18:20  Spam?  
in particular since e.g. canoo has:
1st case sgl: Nibelungen
2st case sgl: Nibelunges

So it should be "Der Ring des Nibelungens".
I'd love to learn what's correct here.

Source: http://www.canoo.net/inflection/Nibelungen:N:Person:M
Chat:     
However  #831627
von dhk (DE), 2016-01-21, 18:24  Spam?  
When you follow Wiktionary (https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Nibelung), "Nibelungen" is also 2nd case singular.
This then makes sense.
Antwort: 
NO!!!  #831629
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2016-01-21, 19:03  Spam?  
Es ist korrekt DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN.

Alberich ist ein Nibelung (also ein Bewohner Nibelheims), der Genitiv ist "des Nibelungen". - Zumindest gilt das für die Sphäre Richard Wagners, in der er seinen Opernzyklus spielen lässt, und in dem Alberich die Handlung (im RHEINGOLD) in Gang setzt, indem er der Liebe abschwört, den Rheintöchtern das Gold stiehlt und daraus den Ring schmiedet.

Der Eintrag in Canoo ist schlicht falsch. Der Nom. Sg. ist niemals "Nibelungen".

Im Nibelungenlied sind die Nibelungen, Gibichungen und Burgunden deckungsgleich, bzw. nennen sich die Burgunden und ihre Herrscherfamilie, die Gibichungen, ab dem Moment, von dem an sie sich als rechtmäßige Eigner des Nibelungenhorts fühlen, "Nibelungen".
Chat:     
Anna Russell, in her famous introduction to the Ring cycle, says it wrong, though:  #831632
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2016-01-21, 19:07  Spam?  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN5dAQLYYrs

There is a similar, in my eyes even funnier, synopsis by German comedian (in lack of a better word) Loriot, but I can't find it on youtube.
Antwort: 
Baccalaureus  #831633
von geo255 (US), 2016-01-21, 19:05  Spam?  
Hmm...you simply state the the genitive of 'ein Nibelung' is 'des Nibelungen'.  Why not 'des Nibelungens'?
Here is, in fact, a link that supports that latter construction: Wikipedia(DA): Nibelungens_Ring.

But, since Wagner didn't use this genitive form, it seems to imply that "der Nibelungen', the genitive plural, would be the declension.
Antwort: 
geo255 the site you quote is in DANISH (please watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyEin6KH8Fk on that matter)  #831635
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2016-01-21, 19:41  Spam?  
where, in fact, the cycle is called "Nibelungens Ring" which construction works as follows:
"Nibelung" means "Nibelung";
"en Nibelung" means "a Nibelung";
"Nibelungen" means "THE Nibelung"
"Nibelungens" means "the Nibelung's".

The German - and I can give you the native speakers (and scholar-by-diploma's) oath upon that - is
Der Nibelung(e) (Nom.)
des Nibelungen (Gen.)
dem Nibelungen (Dat.)
den Nibelungen (Akk.)

The plural form is die/der/den/die Nibelungen
Antwort: 
von geo255 (US), 2016-01-21, 19:32  Spam?  
 #831637
OK, Baccalaureus, I trust what you say.  It would be nice to know, however, WHY the singular genitive is des Nibelungen.  This appears to be an irregularity.  What was the reason for this or has the reason been lost to history?
Antwort: 
Wikipedia(DE): Deutsche_Deklination  #831638
von Baccalaureus (DE), Last modified: 2016-01-21, 19:43  Spam?  
See "Schwache und gemischte Deklination, W1" (pattern: "der Bär")

(by the way, this is first-year German knowledge, in my humble opinion...)
Antwort: 
von Lllama (GB/AT), Last modified: 2016-01-21, 19:43  Spam?  
 #831640
Because it is a schwach dekliniert noun, like Löwe and Bär -
http://www.canoo.net/inflection/l%C3%B6we:N:M
http://www.canoo.net/inflection/b%C3%A4r:N:M:Tier

http://www.wirtschaftsdeutsch.de/lehrmaterialien/grammatik-nomen-a....

Is that what you wanted to know, or did you want to know why there are these exceptions? If so, I can't help yopu, I'm afraid, but I'm sure Bacca knows :-)

Edit - spent too long typing :-)
Antwort: 
von geo255 (US), 2016-01-21, 22:41  Spam?  
 #831646
Of course I know of cases like 'Herr' and 'Herz'.  These are common nouns.  What threw me is that "Nibelung' is a proper noun and I hadn't thought that such nouns might follow the weak declension that these common nouns do.
Antwort: 
but "Herz" works differently ("des Herzens") ;-)  #831650
von Baccalaureus (DE), 2016-01-22, 00:33  Spam?  
Also, it's got nothing to do with how simple or common a word is, but what its linguistic history is or in analogy to which word it has come into German.

Nibelung, fair enough, is a very old word and works as other tribal names (der Wandale, der Hesse, der Bayer).
Antwort: 
von geo255 (US), 2016-01-22, 00:53  Spam?  
 #831655
I'm afraid you misunderstood my use of 'common', Baccalaureus.  I used this to contrast nouns which are, like Nibelung, proper names, with nouns which are not.  If I am not mistaken, the latter may be called 'common nouns' , which designation does not mean that they are simple or necessarily commonly encountered.

Am I not mistaken in thinking that proper names in German don't often have declensions like 'Nibelung'?  In the case of 'Habsburg', for example, the name word remains invariant and only the article changes with declension.
Antwort: 
I am not sure if I understand you correctly?  #831664
von Baccalaureus (DE), 2016-01-22, 03:35  Spam?  
Proper names follow the strong declension pattern, which means they get a genitive-s:
Ich heiße Jochen.
Ist das Jochens Auto?
Gib Jochen ein Stück Brot!
Siehst Du Jochen?

Same with last names, just that they usually don't stand alone:
Das ist Herr Meier.
Das ist Herrn Meiers Aktentasche.
Gib sie Herrn Meier!
Wer kennt Herrn Meier nicht?

Your Habsburg example is a bit difficult. The Habsburg family is the former Empirial family in Austria.
So you can say "Otto von Habsburg war der letzte Kaiser von Österreich." In this case, "von Habsburg" serves as his last name and is declined accordingly.
But you would not speak of the family as "die von Habsburgs" but you would say "die Habsburger" and make it a tribal name of sorts oder "die von Habsburg" when "Habsburg" suddenly refers to the place and doesn't serve any longer as a last name: "das ist das Schloss derer von Habsburg" - "und auch die umliegenden Ländereien gehören denen von Habsburg"...

But this is REALLY a very rare case and you can live in Germany for years without being faced with the problem of talking about former nobility.

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