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Present tense in _-ea_

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    In Elfling message 34131 (
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 25, 2007
      In Elfling message 34131 (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/
      message/34131>), Helge Fauskanger writes:

      > One really wonders why the editor, since the publication of _órea_
      > way back in
      > VT41, has done all he can to call into question the interpretation
      > of this verb
      > as a present-tense form -- despite the twin facts that 1) he
      > himself was the
      > first to present that interpretation, and 2) with full access to
      > Tolkien's
      > manuscripts he should have known all along that it was correct.
      > Based on the
      > noises he was making, I actually rewrote parts of my Quenya course
      > so as to
      > indicate that the interpretation of _-ëa_ as the present-tense form
      > of A-stem
      > verbs was a very uncertain theory. Seems I can change it back the
      > way it was.

      Helge has either forgotten, or neglected to mention, or simply never
      understood, that OBVIOUSLY the issue was not whether _órea_ was a
      present-tense stem: of course it is; that why I SAID that it was. The
      issue_s_ were -- AND STILL ARE -- a) to what verb classes this
      formation applies, and b) at what times were they employed in
      Tolkien's conceptual history of Quenya. My criticism of Helge's
      treatment of _órea_ was simply this: that he took that ending and
      attached it to every derived verb stem in sight. That was just as
      wrong to do then as it would be to do so now. So in fact precisely
      _nothing_ has changed.

      Of course, as the rest of his review makes quite plain, Helge has
      essentially no interest in what _Tolkien_ wanted his Quenya to be
      like (either at any particular point, or in general), only in what
      Helge can shape it into so that it makes sense to _his_ preferences
      for what Quenya _should_ be like.

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