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Helge's revised Quenya course

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Having had only a few moments to scan Helge newly-revised Quenya course, it is nonetheless readily apparent that his treatment of the matter of the Quenya
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 3, 2003
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      Having had only a few moments to scan Helge newly-revised Quenya
      course, it is nonetheless readily apparent that his treatment of the
      matter of the Quenya pronominal system is _vastly_ improved, and so I
      would like compliment him for it. I think anyone will agree that,
      despite having to reveal a set of shifting data that is somewhat more
      complicated than previously, the presentation of the matter itself is
      nonetheless much _clearer_ than previously (due in large part to the
      removal of much special pleading).

      I'll also take this opportunity to correct Helge's wording at another
      point: I have never said that I "recognize the so-called _merin_
      sentence as genuine"; I said only that I saw in the sentence itself no
      reason to think that it was _not_ genuine.


      --
      =============================================
      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."
    • Boris Shapiro
      Aiya! Monday, March 3, 2003, 6:16:45 PM, Carl F . Hostetter wrote: CFH I ll also take this opportunity to correct Helge s wording at another CFH point: I
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 4, 2003
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        Aiya!

        Monday, March 3, 2003, 6:16:45 PM, Carl F . Hostetter wrote:

        CFH> I'll also take this opportunity to correct Helge's wording at another
        CFH> point: I have never said that I "recognize the so-called _merin_
        CFH> sentence as genuine"; I said only that I saw in the sentence itself no
        CFH> reason to think that it was _not_ genuine.
        Haven't you find the use of _harya-_ "to possess" for "to have" a bit
        strange, in the light of Tolkien's idea about expressing Elven, err,
        lexical attitude towards the question of having/possessing children in
        MR?


        Namaarie! S.Y., Elenhil Laiquendo


        : lauca yanwenen i lertan iltele lin :
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... No. What has avoiding a connotation of possessing sentient beings to do with the idea of possessing happiness? ... [Non-text portions of this message
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 4, 2003
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          On Tuesday, March 4, 2003, at 08:33 AM, Boris Shapiro wrote:

          > Haven't you find the use of _harya-_ "to possess" for "to have" a bit
          > strange, in the light of Tolkien's idea about expressing Elven, err,
          > lexical attitude towards the question of having/possessing children in
          > MR?

          No. What has avoiding a connotation of "possessing" sentient beings to
          do with the idea of possessing happiness?


          |======================================================================|
          | 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." |
          |======================================================================|


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Boris Shapiro
          Aiya! ... CFH No. What has avoiding a connotation of possessing sentient CFH beings to do with the idea of possessing happiness? Unfortunately I do not
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 4, 2003
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            Aiya!

            Tuesday, March 4, 2003, 5:38:18 PM, Carl F . Hostetter wrote:

            >> Haven't you find the use of _harya-_ "to possess" for "to have" a bit
            >> strange, in the light of Tolkien's idea about expressing Elven, err,
            >> lexical attitude towards the question of having/possessing children in
            >> MR?
            CFH> No. What has avoiding a connotation of "possessing" sentient
            CFH> beings to do with the idea of possessing happiness?
            Unfortunately I do not know languages that do have the verb "to
            possess", but do not use it in case of sentient beings. But there are
            numerous languages that do not it in case of sentient beings because
            they do not have it altogether. The suggestion was that Quenya is the
            case.

            Apart from the external history of the letter in question (it came
            at third hand with neither its owner nor the original available), two
            more lexical points add a bit of doubtfulness:

            1) _noo_ as temporal "before". While nothing was fixed in Tolkien's
            mind, I tend to think that a second case of "yes/no" topsy-turvy (quite a
            phenomenon itself) is unlikely. We have _noo_ with the temporal
            "after" settled in "Quenya Lexicon" on the one hand and presumably a
            similar meaning in PM:135 _Nootuile_ etc on the other hand (at least
            there can be no "before" meaning in the latter). It seems to me
            unlikely that Tolkien turned its meaning upside down after being
            seemingly faithful to it. Though that is not a weighty argument _per
            se_, there is no 100% authentic example of him using _noo_ as
            "before" in the known corpus.

            2) _saa_ "that". You once said that you had seen 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.

            The only thing to advocate that Dorothy letter's authenticity is as
            follows: IMHO most forgers would have avoided that _noo_ irregularity.
            At that time the "yes"/"no" phenomenon was still unknown, and I doubt
            anybody could have come up with such a crazy idea.

            The spelling of "n"/"u" is widely known, it is not a proof.



            Namaarie! S.Y., Elenhil Laiquendo


            : ulco ume i mine eldassen ar i neuna firimassen :
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            ... Whether or not that was Tolkien s intention at that specific time, it is inarguable that Quenya _did_ at other times have a means to express possession or
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 5, 2003
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              On Wednesday, March 5, 2003, at 02:49 AM, Boris Shapiro wrote:

              > But there are numerous languages that do not [use a verb meaning
              > 'possess'] in case of sentient beings because they do not have it
              > altogether. The suggestion was that Quenya is the case.

              Whether or not that was Tolkien's intention at that specific time, it
              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's
              > mind, I tend to think that a second case of "yes/no" topsy-turvy
              > (quite a phenomenon itself) is unlikely.

              LOL! We've already seen how fluid the meanings ascribed to various
              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 seen
              > 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.

              I don't recall what I said (or when), but if I did say anything like
              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
              hoax.

              --
              =============================================
              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."
            • Pavel Iosad
              Hello, [Boris:] ... [Carl:] ... A language can have a verb meaning possess and still not use it to express possesion routinely. Our own (mine and Boris )
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 6, 2003
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                Hello,

                [Boris:]
                >> But there are numerous languages that do not [use a verb meaning
                >> 'possess'] in case of sentient beings because they do not have it
                >> altogether. The suggestion was that Quenya is the case.

                [Carl:]
                > Whether or not that was Tolkien's intention at that specific time, it
                > 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_.

                A language can have a verb meaning 'possess' and still not use it to
                express possesion routinely. Our own (mine and Boris') native Russian is
                an example - we have _imet'_ "to have", _obladat'_ "possess", but an "I
                have" construction is expressed by a periphrastic construction.

                Pavel
                --
                Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...

                Is mall a mharcaicheas am fear a bheachdaicheas
                --Scottish proverb
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