36The "_Merin_ Sentence" (was Re: Helge's revised Quenya course)
- Mar 5 5:38 AMOn Wednesday, March 5, 2003, at 02:49 AM, Boris Shapiro wrote:
> But there are numerous languages that do not [use a verb meaningWhether or not that was Tolkien's intention at that specific time, it
> 'possess'] in case of sentient beings because they do not have it
> altogether. The suggestion was that Quenya is the case.
is inarguable that Quenya _did_ at other times have a means to express
possession or ownership: there is Q _harya-_ 'possess' right there in
_Etymologies_. Even in the contemporary material in _Morgoth's Ring_ we
find this statement: "The chosen names were regarded by the Noldor as
part of their personal property, likes (say) their rings, cups, or
knives, or other possessions which they could lend, or share with
kindred and friends, but which could not be taken without leave."
(X:215). If one can possess a name, I don't see why one can't possess
(have/hold) a measure a joy.
> 1) _noo_ as temporal "before". While nothing was fixed in Tolkien'sLOL! We've already seen how fluid the meanings ascribed to various
> mind, I tend to think that a second case of "yes/no" topsy-turvy
> (quite a phenomenon itself) is unlikely.
prepositions is, in independent sources (e.g., VT43-44). It is not the
_least_ bit surprising to find it here.
> 2) _saa_[_sic_; read _sa_ CFH] "that". You once said that you had seenI don't recall what I said (or when), but if I did say anything like
> no example of it in all the texts you prepare for publishing. That is
> surprising, because given such a (very much) useful and plain
> conjugation it is strange not to find it attested in authentic texts.
> That adds some more suspicion.
this, I'm sure I meant something different from how you've interpreted
it. I would have meant that I _did not recall_ seeing _sa_ used this
way in the contemporary papers I'd seen; but since I've never gone
through the papers specifically looking for _sa_ used this way, it
would not be in the least bit surprising to me to eventually find it
amongst the contemporary papers, somewhere.
In any event, this focus on the lexicon overlooks an even more telling
fact about the sentence: the surprising and yet, when considered,
perfectly Tolkienian sentiment imputed to the Elves by the codicil to
the sentence, added when addressing mortals: "before you pass from the
world". It would take someone intimately familiar both with the
languages and with Tolkien's Elvish attitudes and metaphysics to
concoct so note-perfect a touch. Of the few people I know who qualify,
I would hope that none would have any interest in perpetrating such a
Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org
ho bios brachys, he de techne makre.
Ars longa, vita brevis.
The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
"I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take such
a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."
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