> > **I do not think the occurence of _n_ in a word has to imply that it
> > is a marker of the past. Strong pasts of the _láve_ type do not have
> > this component. And as for the strong pasts of the _quente_ type, the
> > _n_ there may be explained as a nasal infixion, I think.
David Kiltz commented:
> No, it doesn't have to, but it's a strong possibility. Of course, that,
> reversely, doesn't say anything about other past tense formations.
**But perhaps it does. I have noticed that strong pasts are somewhat
strengthened either by nasal-infixion or lengthening of the stem-vowel.
And in fact the nasal-infixion could also be interpreted as a lengthening
of the stem-vowel. If we say that the culmin in a syllable _quent_ is
_en_ and the coda is _t_, then it is comparable to syllable _láv_ where
the culmin is _á_ and coda _v_ (the _á_ can be interpreted as _aa_).
Strong pasts would then be of this pattern:
CV:Ce (i.e. consonant - long vowel - consonant - a past suffix).
> fact that past is indicated by _-n_ (suffixed or by conditioned
> soundchange, infixed) does not, of course, imply that all _-n_
> formations are to be interpreted as "past".
**Of course, because nasal-infixion is very common in Quenya.
Similarly (as I already pointed out), the lengthening of the stem-
vowel is not exclusive for pasts.
> As for _quente_, I think it's *_quet-ne_ > _quente_.
**This is of course possible and it is what I also thought. However,
I am not really convinced now because of Telerin pa.t. _delle_ of
_delia-_ I mentioned in an earlier letter (entitled _ulle_), though
I admit that nasal-infixion before a sonant might be temptative.
Mi dissero che e quell'epoca per quindici giorni e quindici notti
i retori Gabundus e Terentius discussero sul vocativo di _ego_,
e infine vennero alle armi. (Umberto Eco, _Il nome della rosa_)
[An entirely unambiguous example of a Quenya strong pa.t.
formed via n-infixion is _anwe_ in _Quendi and Eldar_, said
there to be "an old 'strong' past tense" of _auta-_ 'go away,
leave', "only found in archaic language" (XI:366). I.e., root
_*awa_ > pa.t. _a-n-we_. -- Patrick Wynne]