On 11.03.2006, at 13:15, Ales Bican wrote:
> Is there any further evidence for (or against)
> *_-lte_ as an ending for "they", and the Narrow Interpretation
> of _-nte_?
_-nte_ could be analysed similarly to _*lte_, namely as containing a
plural marker _n_ (as seen in case endings: loc. pl. _-sse-n_, gen.
pl. _o-n_) and _te_, pronoun of 3rd pl.
So, if the narrow interpretation was applicable, we'd have the
following scenario (if I understand correctly):
1) Valar (i hárar...) tiruvar vanda sina
2) Valar hárar mahalmassen mi Númen. *Tiruvalte vanda sina
3) Nai tiruvantes i hárar...
1 exhibits a regular declarative sentence in SVO order. If the
analysis of both *_tiruvalte_ and _tiruvante_ is correct, both 2+3
would show inverted word order for S and V (VSO). That is, e.g.
_tiruvan-_ 'guard will (pl.)' + _-te_ 'they' (S). In syntactic terms,
the _-te_ in *_tiruval-te_ could be described as an anaphoric
pronoun, it points back to the subject in the previous sentence.
(Similarly, _-te_ in _tiruvante_ can be called cataphoric, i.e.
pointing to information yet to come).
3, we know, is motivated by the lack of a preceding subject.
As for 2, the question really is, meseems, whether in an anaphoric
context, a special form of the verb is used, which incorporates the
anaphoric pronoun or, indeed, whether this form is used in
conjunction with an anaphoric pronoun.
One example of anaphora, which is, arguably, from an earlier period
than the passage in UT, can be found in V:72. _Ilu.... mannar Valion:
númessier. Toi aina, mána, meldielto. "The Father.... (gave it) into
the hands of the Lords. They are in the West. They are holy, blessed
and beloved". In this sentence, we have an anaphoric pronoun, vic.
_toi_ plus the ending _-lto_ (added to the copula). It's apparently
also possible for a noun phrase to lack the copula, cf. _toi írimar_
in line 6 of the poem. The adjective is, then, marked with _-r_,
which might have been the usual pluraliser for adjectives at that time.
In PE14:28 both _tulyar_ and _tulinta_ are given as 3rd pl. N of the
present tense but without any further reference to a possible
difference in function, as far as I know.
_-lto_ seems indeed to be used in a -largely- anaphoric context.
_Tulielto_ as cited by Patrick (I:114) seems to corroborate this, as
it contrasts with _i Eldar tulier_ on the same page. _Tulielto_ "they
have come" refers to the coming of the Elves and would seem to
presuppose a previous mentioning of that matter. Whatever, the
reality of a posited form *_-lte_, _-lto_ at least, seems to concord
with your analysis. That is, if there aren't any clear examples of
_-lto_ with the subject (other than anaphoric) preceding it.
If a distinction *_-lte_ vs. _-nte_ is to stand, it is curious that
it would be carried by just the pluralising element. Maybe, however,
the system had been revised by Tolkien at the time of UT:305, 317.