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Go on with Taliska ;)

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  • falmarendur
    Last night I was reading The Treason of Isengard , and I read about one alphabet: Pengolodh s. The name of this alphabet in Taliskan is _Skirditaila_. So, can
    Message 1 of 8 , May 3, 2004
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      Last night I was reading 'The Treason of Isengard', and I read about
      one alphabet: Pengolodh's. The name of this alphabet in Taliskan is
      _Skirditaila_. So, can we assume that Taliska was written with this
      sistem? And is this sistem referred to the runes or to the Gothic-
      based alphabet?
    • jonathan_avidan
      Mind-bogglingly interesting! I never knew of this example (and it s not in Lisa or Helge s lists). The word _skirditaila_ which most probably means of
      Message 2 of 8 , May 4, 2004
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        Mind-bogglingly interesting! I never knew of this example (and it's
        not in Lisa or Helge's lists). The word _skirditaila_ which most
        probably means "of Pengolodh" teaches us quite a few things:

        1) We already knew Taliska had medial _ld_ (see _haldad "watchdog"),
        now we know it has _rd_. Also it has _sk_ so this word is
        apparently -not- Quenya (or even Qenya to our knowledge).
        2) Taliska apparently has inflected cases (this word presenting a
        genitive, apparently)
        3) The element _skird(i)_ might mean "elf" (as the Q. version of
        _pengolodh_ is _qendingoldo_, or it might mean "noldo" (_golodh_ and
        _-ngoldo_ in Pengolodh and Quendingoldo)
        4) The element _tail(a)_ might mean "noldo" or "elf", sea 3)

        The final -a may also indicate the genitive case.

        Can anyone give a better analysis using the sources? Carl? Patrick?
        Though I'm certainly not a lawyer and have not studied the matter,
        to my knowledge analysing this word using other sources (i.e. the
        Taliska materials), even unpublished, is well within the grounds of
        fair-use. However, it doesn't seem long before Taliska (and god help
        me: Hvendi!) is published (in the very promising current rate of
        publications by the Elfconners).

        Yrs
        a very excited John.

        --- In elfling-d@yahoogroups.com, "falmarendur" <falmarendur@y...>
        wrote:
        > Last night I was reading 'The Treason of Isengard', and I read
        about
        > one alphabet: Pengolodh's. The name of this alphabet in Taliskan
        is
        > _Skirditaila_. So, can we assume that Taliska was written with
        this
        > sistem? And is this sistem referred to the runes or to the Gothic-
        > based alphabet?
      • Bill Welden
        ... It also _might_ mean fiddle-de-dee . Come on! You ve got to anchor your speculation in something other than enthusiasm. Since Taliska was meant to relate
        Message 3 of 8 , May 5, 2004
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          Jonathan Avidan wrote:

          > 3) The element _skird(i)_ might mean "elf" ...

          It also _might_ mean "fiddle-de-dee". Come on! You've got to anchor
          your speculation in something other than enthusiasm.

          Since Taliska was meant to relate Germanic and Elvish, we ought to be
          investigating known Germanic roots; or at least Elvish roots, in
          trying to guess the meaning of these components.

          _skirdi-_ surely suggests _certa_ (Q. "rune") and could be derived
          (as _certa_ cannot quite) from the root CIR "cut" seen, e.g. in
          _circa_ "sickle". More intriguing, it could be easily derived from
          the IE root *_sker_ "cut" seen in Germanic words such as _shear_,
          _score_ and _shard_. This same root provided the primary Latin word
          for "write": _scribere_.

          I cannot do so well with _-taila_, but perhaps it is related to
          Germanic _talja_ 're(count)' and _skirditaila_ means 'tally of runes'.

          If you want to study Taliska, you'd better start with Gothic. Of
          course, you and I can't match Tolkien for broad knowledge of that
          language, but for investigation of a single word we do have some
          hope. I haven't been able to find Wright's _Primer of the Gothic
          Language_ which Tolkien first used, but the later version
          (_Grammar ..._) is available (for about $30 from Amazon), or if you
          prefer on-line (link below). Read this and you'll be one up on me!

          http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~kurisuto/germanic/language_resources.html

          It seems to me that Pat and/or Carl took this on years ago in VT, and
          I have been scanning the issues from the beginning (_every_ issue of
          VT was published after Treason of Isengard) to find the reference;
          but for all of the interesting material (which slowed me down a bit),
          I have not come across it.

          Who wants to make an index?

          --Bill
        • Beregond. Anders Stenström
          ... This analysis agrees with Christopher Tolkien s comment on the word, except that he thinks _-taila_ = count is obvious, and _skirdi_ = cut less
          Message 4 of 8 , May 5, 2004
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            Bill Welden wrote:

            > _skirdi-_ . . . could be easily derived from
            > the IE root *_sker_ "cut" seen in Germanic words such as
            > _shear_, _score_ and _shard_. This same root provided the
            > primary Latin word for "write": _scribere_.
            >
            > I cannot do so well with _-taila_, but perhaps it is related to
            > Germanic _talja_ 're(count)' and _skirditaila_ means 'tally of runes'.

            This analysis agrees with Christopher Tolkien's comment on
            the word, except that he thinks _-taila_ = 'count' is obvious, and
            _skirdi_ = 'cut' less certain.

            Suilaid,

            Beregond
          • Peter
            Do you all realise that _Skirditaila_ is translated in _The Treason of Isengard_ p. 455 and is said to mean runic series ? So Bill s analysis seems
            Message 5 of 8 , May 6, 2004
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              Do you all realise that _Skirditaila_ is translated in _The Treason
              of Isengard_ p. 455 and is said to mean 'runic series'? So Bill's
              analysis seems reasonable. Arden R. Smith wrote an article in
              _Tolkien's Legendarium_ called _Certhas, Skirditaila, Futhark_, is
              that the one you were looking for, Bill?

              sincerely,
              Peter Edelberg
            • Bill Welden
              ... Thanks for the reference. The article I was trying to find is in VT 23, _Words and Devices_ by Pat and Carl. They have an extended essay on the subject,
              Message 6 of 8 , May 6, 2004
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                Peter Edelberg wrote:
                > Do you all realise that _Skirditaila_ is translated in
                > _The Treason of Isengard_ p. 455 and is said to
                > mean 'runic series'?

                Thanks for the reference. The article I was trying to find is in VT
                23, _Words and Devices_ by Pat and Carl. They have an
                extended essay on the subject, "Is _Taliska_ Taliskan?" They
                connect _-taila_ on the Elvish side with the root TAY "extend,
                make longer"; a reasonable base for "series".

                The _Words and Devices_ series is required reading for anyone
                interested in the connection between Elvish and the European
                languages.

                I'd check out Arden's article, but, you know, I gave my copy of
                _Legendarium_ to Peter Jackson when I was in New Zealand...

                --Bill
              • Peter
                ... I am a big fan of VT, and I miss the stuff you, Carl Hostetter, Arden Smith, Pat Wynne et. al. wrote about the different aspects of Tolkien s languages.
                Message 7 of 8 , May 6, 2004
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                  --- In elfling-d@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Welden" <BillWelden@h...>
                  wrote:
                  > The _Words and Devices_ series is required reading for anyone
                  > interested in the connection between Elvish and the European
                  > languages.

                  I am a big fan of VT, and I miss the stuff you, Carl Hostetter,
                  Arden Smith, Pat Wynne et. al. wrote about the different aspects of
                  Tolkien's languages. Today VT is occupied with publishing Tolkien's
                  manuscripts and that is of course great and much to be preferred,
                  but still I miss articles like _Words and Devices_. Gladly there is
                  beginning to appear articles on _Tengwestie_ by the ET on other
                  matters that unpublished papers. It is unfortunate that so few are
                  interested in writing about the semantics, history, and philosophy
                  of Tolkien's linguistic creation. But I could of course just start
                  myself, but who has the time these days ;-). BTW I loved you article
                  on negation in Elvish - it had just that balance between grammatical
                  analysis and historical perspective that makes an article
                  entertaining as well as informative.

                  > I'd check out Arden's article, but, you know, I gave my copy of
                  > _Legendarium_ to Peter Jackson when I was in New Zealand...
                  >

                  You did? Great! I sincerely hope he read it and saw some of the
                  deeper levels of Tolkien's world. All in all I think Jackson and the
                  rest of his team did a good job at catching the spirit of Middle-
                  earth. Can I ask you what you think of the project, being in a
                  position where you saw some of the process as well as (I believe)
                  seen the final product? And what did you think of the Elvish (and
                  other Tolkien-languages) in the movies? I'd love to hear an
                  insider / expert opinion. Of course it could be great if others want
                  to join the discussion as well and say what they think of the
                  language-aspect of Jackson's _Lord of the Rings_.


                  yours sincerely
                  Peter Edelberg
                • jonathan_avidan
                  ... grammatical ... Kotebh jonathan_avidan: Just this kind of articles, such as Bill s, is the purely external- diachronic perspective on Tolkien s artlangs
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 6, 2004
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                    > BTW I loved you article
                    > on negation in Elvish - it had just that balance between
                    grammatical
                    > analysis and historical perspective that makes an article
                    > entertaining as well as informative.

                    Kotebh jonathan_avidan:

                    Just this kind of articles, such as Bill's, is the purely external-
                    diachronic perspective on Tolkien's artlangs which is so
                    quintessential to our study yet is partially neglected. That may
                    change as the times go by, however.
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