On 07.07.2004, at 19:10, Helios De Rosario Martinez wrote:
> David Kiltz wrote:
>> Descriptively _h_ > _ch_ isn't
>> 'softening' but rather 'hardening' or 'reinforcing'. The underlying
>> phonetics can be gleaned from the historical development:
>> PE (ON) *KH > S./N. _-ch-_ in inlaut, (and before liquid) but _h-_
>> in anlaut.
> That means that the mutation _c_ > _ch_ (at least in Etym.) would be
> more like _b_ > _mb_ when the nasal cluster existed in the primitive
> form: a restitution of the old consonant, not a softening. Isn't it?
If _c_ (i.e. _k_) is old, no. Spirantisation in both Noldorin and
Sindarin (as far as I can see) takes place when it's from older < _sk_
or _kk_. For the development of NT (that is, T == any voiceless stop + N
== homorganic nasal) cf. VT42:27. The closest we get to a spirant is
_nth_, _nch_ etc. Maybe there was a special rule for the anlaut of a
word. That, however, would run counter to everything we know about
mutations since they occur precisely so because the sentence Sandhi is
so close that two words are treated as one.
If you meant _h_ > _ch- then, of course, you're absolutely right.
> In that case, it would be a wrong inference to call _c_ > _ch_ a case
> of lenition/soft mutation.
If you really mean _c_ > _ch_ it's best called 'spirantisation', I
think. Referring to it as 'lenition' might be permissible because in
physiological terms, _ch_ is more 'lax' than _c_. (That is, the tension
of the speech organs is lower).
> But I think that the other examples (_Gilbrennil_ and _Gilthoniel_)
> show that _gíl_ did not favour phonologic lenition. I agree that
> _gilgalad_ may show lenited _calad_, but my point is that it is
> _grammatical_ lenition.
Well, but any mutation is primarily phonological, i.e. the prima causa
for the phenomenon to come into existence is phonetic. Of course,
grammaticalisation of mutations/lenition means that phonologically
justified cases are transferred to other cases. Still, you need a
precedent for that pattern. What then, if _-calad_ > _-galad_ was not
phonologically justified (what proto-form do you assume, then?
_Gilya-kalad_ should give _Gilgalad_.) was the motivation for such a
grammatical lenition ? Just the slightly different function of _gil_
here ? Frankly, I don't see any evidence to support that. Also note
that, although _Gilgalad_ is translated as 'starlight' in various
places, Tolkien gives a different translation in 'The Road Goes Ever
On', namely _Gil-galad_ 'Star of bright light'. In this case _-galad_
would be the modifier noun. I strongly agree with Javier Lorenzo who
writes: " Sin embargo, tengo mis dudas respecto a que el tipo de
genitivo expresado en el compuesto pueda ser determinante en la
aparición de lenición interna. Aparte de la explicación desde el punto
de vista gramatical, puede haber otras razones." ("However, I'm
doubtful as to whether the type of genitive relation expressed within
the compound could determine what internal lenition is used. Apart
from a (purely) grammatical explication, there could be other reasons
[for the seemingly irregular lenition].")
>> One might ask oneself whether _gilbrennil_ stands instead of
>> _*gilvrennil_ due to some sort of analogy (cf. _Elbereth_) or maybe
>> it was easier to pronounce (not a strong point) ?
> As Javier Lorenzo noted in the Lambenor list --
> -- _lv_ does occur in Noldorin, v.g. in _lalven_ (ÁLAM-), _dalv_/_dalf_
> (DAL-), _Naugolvir_ (NAUK-). In all those instances _lv_ comes from
> *_lm_, but anyway show that _lv_ was not at all difficult to pronounce.
Sure, I was talking about _-lvr-_.
>> 3) _Gilthoniel_: In X:388 there is a note by J.R.R. Tolkien deriving
>> the second element of _Gilthoniel_ from root _than/thân-_ 'to kindle,
>> set light to'.
> But as you wrote later, it is a note from a later text. In Etym. it is
> quite clear that such a _-thoniel_ came from TAN- 'make'.
It's not impossible but how do you support that claim? Okay, there
would be _*tániel_ 'having fashioned'. But the first part could even go
back to _*gilyâth_ 'stars' [cf. PE11:19].
All in all, I don't see a necessity to assume irregularities here.
Indeed, _Gilgalad_ is quite in accord with sound laws. In my eyes, only
_Gilbrennil_ stands out; for which at least two other explanations seem
possible (analogy, haplology).
(P.S.: Any translational errors are, of course, mine)