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Re: Arwen's Lament (cont'd)

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    In Elfling message 27225 ( ), Helge K. ... _oio_ is very clearly _not_ always and everywhere a noun. Cf.
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 23, 2003
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      In Elfling message 27225
      (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/27225>), Helge K.
      Fauskanger writes:

      > > "elhanan_austin" wrote:
      > > I originally made it _oi�_ as a plural adjective, but is this form
      > correct?

      > _Oio_ is a noun, "an endless period", and cannot be inflected as an
      > adjective. If you want an adjective "eternal", try _oia_ or _oira_.

      _oio_ is very clearly _not_ always and everywhere a noun. Cf. the
      compounds _Oiolaire_, _Oiolosse_, etc., in which _oio-_ acts as an
      adverbial modifier of the following element. As in many Primary-world
      languages, Quenya nouns can be used as adjectives and adverbs.

      > > Hr�v� marna s� Coron Ambaross�,
      > Winter dwells now on Cerin Amroth,
      >
      > _Marna_? Wouldn't the aorist of _mar-_ be _mare_?

      Why do you assume the aorist is wanted here? "Winter is now dwelling on
      Cerin Amroth", present continuative.

      > > ve ta marna s� orenayass�.
      > as it dwells now in my heart.
      > _Ve maris s� �renyass� (or, endanyasse)_, I should say.

      Ditto here.

      > > L� cirya C�rdan m�lto nin ciruva �
      > No ship from C�rdan's hands will sail for me �
      >
      > C�rdan's = _C�rdano_.

      Contrary to Helge's implication, there is more than one syntactic means
      of expressing possession/attribution in Quenya, including simple
      juxtaposition. As Tolkien says: "'possession' was indicated by the
      adjectival suffix _-va_, or (especially in general descriptions) by a
      'loose compound'... _Orome r�ma_ would mean 'an Orome horn', sc. one of
      Orome's horns" (XI:368). And since such a construction occurs in normal
      speech, it would surely be suitable in poetry.

      > > ily� t�ar n� s� c�n� �
      > all roads are now bent �
      >
      > "Are" = _nar_.

      And 'roads' is _tier_.

      > Andor N�meno nin pahta tennoio,
      > the Gates of the West are forever closed to me,
      >
      > _Paht�_ = pl. "closed".

      Adjectives in Quenya do not _always_ have to agree in number with their
      antecedents. Though one would expect a given text to be consistent in
      this regard, modulo poetic purposes.

      It's odd that Helge, who so often proclaims that Quenya is a "real"
      language, so very clearly doesn't want it to behave like a real
      language....



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • maiarim
      ... a real ... real ... Esperanto is a real language, and also regular. I don t even see who have the right to claim that a real language should not be
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 27, 2003
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        --- In elfling-d@yahoogroups.com, Carl F. Hostetter
        <Aelfwine@e...> wrote:
        > It's odd that Helge, who so often proclaims that Quenya is
        a "real"
        > language, so very clearly doesn't want it to behave like a
        real
        > language....

        Esperanto is a real language, and also regular. I don't even
        see who have the right to claim that a real language should
        not be almost regular.

        I admire your studying and efforts on Tolkien's conlangs and
        disapprove what the moderator's banning somebody. But I hate
        to see meaningless arguements.
      • Bill Welden
        Hi! Welcome to the conversation. FORTRAN is also a real language; but that s not what Carl meant. Tolkien was an expert on the European languages,
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 27, 2003
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          Hi!

          Welcome to the conversation.

          FORTRAN is also a "real" language; but that's not what Carl
          meant.

          Tolkien was an expert on the European languages, particularly
          English, German, and their relatives. These languages were not
          designed by anyone but grew up generation after generation,
          everyone adding their own little bit.

          Regularity was added everytime someone noticed a pattern and
          applied it in a new way. The plual of "book" used to be "beech",
          but at some point somebody said "books" and it stuck. Similarly
          today, we are hearing "mouses" more and more often. But we
          still say "feet", "children", and "people". We also use "brothers"
          regularly; but "brethren" (which used to the the plural) in special
          contexts. This pattern (of replacing an irregular form with a
          regular one, but using the old irregular one in a special way)
          happens over and over again in the history of natural languages
          (which might have been a better way to describe what we are
          talking about).

          These patterns are part and parcel of the history of the language.
          This history was very important to Tolkien; and by his own
          testimony he invented Middle-earth in order to provide his
          languages with a history: "it was primarily linguistic in inspiration
          and was begun in order to provide the necessary background of
          'history' for Elvish tongues". Take note of his use of "necessary"
          here. It implies that he could not have Elvish tongues (as he
          wanted to have them) absent history.

          Esperanto and FORTRAN have histories too; but the history is
          not embedded in the language; and not necessary for the
          language to exist, as it is for English and from Tolkien's
          perspective for Quenya and Sindarin.

          The argument is not meaningless but is, in fact, crucial to what
          attracts me to Tolkien's work. I encourage you to spend some
          time getting familiar not just with bits of the languages; but with
          Tolkien's relationship to them. A great place to start would be his
          essay "A Secret Vice" published in _The Monsters and the
          Critics_. It's out of print, but not hard to find online. There's
          another essay "English and Welsh" in the same book which is
          particularly good for understanding what he was trying to achieve
          with Sindarin.

          --Bill
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          ... Hm, but you don t mind making them, apparently. Tolkien s purposes in creating Quenya, Sindarin, and his other languages could hardly be more different
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 27, 2003
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            On Dec 27, 2003, at 2:02 PM, maiarim wrote:

            > Esperanto is a real language, and also regular. I don't even see who
            > have the right to claim that a real language should not be almost
            > regular.
            >
            > I admire your studying and efforts on Tolkien's conlangs and
            > disapprove what the moderator's banning somebody. But I hate to see
            > meaningless arguements.

            Hm, but you don't mind making them, apparently.

            Tolkien's purposes in creating Quenya, Sindarin, and his other
            languages could hardly be more different from those of Zamenhof with
            Esperanto. The latter was specifically intended to be a "regular",
            easy-to-learn, auxiliary language; as such it is deliberately
            artificial. Tolkien's languages were intended to create the illusion of
            having been spoken and developed by various cultures over thousands of
            years, and thus to appear to be just like non-artificial languages.
            It's really hard to imagine a more inapt comparison among constructed
            languages than yours.

            As for who has the "right to claim" that _Tolkien's_ languages are not
            "regular" (in your sense; they are in fact "regular" in the sense of
            historical linguistics, in that they obey laws of uniform phonological
            development, just like "real" languages), that would be Tolkien
            himself, and those of us who study what Tolkien actually wrote and the
            "evidence" he crafted for his fictional languages.


            --
            =============================================
            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."
          • jonathan_avidan
            Sí teithon: (Well, this is my first message. Im Jonathan (John) Avidan from the Israeli Tolkino-Linguistics Community). I joined here in order to reply to
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 29, 2003
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              Sí teithon:

              (Well, this is my first message. Im Jonathan (John) Avidan from the
              Israeli Tolkino-Linguistics Community). I joined here in order to
              reply to Carl, Patrick and Bill's msg's.)

              Well, about history of invented languages, there are two kinds of
              histrories which I term "External History", i.e. history of the
              creation of the conlang, and in some cases, "Internal History" which
              is the internal development of the language's phonology, morphology
              and lexicon from a language which can be safely termed internal-
              auxiliary-language, as the conlanger does invent it but for
              technical reasons.

              As a conlanger and as a linguist (in training) I have suspected a
              tendency in languages whose phonology is quite important to the
              creator to have simpler grammars (which the creator often tries to
              make complex using some scattered irregularities).
              Similarly, a language whose grammar is of special significance may
              have a rather simpler phonology (in many cases, not "based" on a
              _real_ language's phonology, real being used for technical reasons
              here).

              In Tolkien's case, I take Sindarin and Adunaic. Sindarin had quite
              an external history which directly affected its ever growing
              internal history. The refining of its delicate "taste" (or flavor,
              if you will) was much more important to Tolkien than its grammar
              (however interesting was its creation when compared to Quenya, for
              instance).
              Now, take Adunaic, please. It's external history is quite short to
              our knowledge (compared to a lifetime of Sindarin). The uncompleted
              report on it was carved out from a multitude on notes to which CJRT
              hinted [BTW, these notes could be edited and published someday in
              Parma in the ever-attractive trend of publishing grammars by
              Tolkien, or dare I say: TALISKA]. Adunaic had quite a complex
              grammar (which had its own internal development) but quite a
              disappointing phonological development.

              I deduct therefore this rule:
              In case of a phonology-driven diachronic conlang, the grammar will
              be simpler, albeit historical, and in the case of a grammar-driven
              diachronic conlang, the phonology simpler, albeit historical.

              Hope I didn't bore you too much,
              John.


              --- In elfling-d@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Welden" <BillWelden@h...>
              wrote:
              > Hi!
              >
              > Welcome to the conversation.
              >
              > FORTRAN is also a "real" language; but that's not what Carl
              > meant.
              >
              > Tolkien was an expert on the European languages, particularly
              > English, German, and their relatives. These languages were not
              > designed by anyone but grew up generation after generation,
              > everyone adding their own little bit.
              >
              > Regularity was added everytime someone noticed a pattern and
              > applied it in a new way. The plual of "book" used to be "beech",
              > but at some point somebody said "books" and it stuck. Similarly
              > today, we are hearing "mouses" more and more often. But we
              > still say "feet", "children", and "people". We also use "brothers"
              > regularly; but "brethren" (which used to the the plural) in
              special
              > contexts. This pattern (of replacing an irregular form with a
              > regular one, but using the old irregular one in a special way)
              > happens over and over again in the history of natural languages
              > (which might have been a better way to describe what we are
              > talking about).
              >
              > These patterns are part and parcel of the history of the language.
              > This history was very important to Tolkien; and by his own
              > testimony he invented Middle-earth in order to provide his
              > languages with a history: "it was primarily linguistic in
              inspiration
              > and was begun in order to provide the necessary background of
              > 'history' for Elvish tongues". Take note of his use of "necessary"
              > here. It implies that he could not have Elvish tongues (as he
              > wanted to have them) absent history.
              >
              > Esperanto and FORTRAN have histories too; but the history is
              > not embedded in the language; and not necessary for the
              > language to exist, as it is for English and from Tolkien's
              > perspective for Quenya and Sindarin.
              >
              > The argument is not meaningless but is, in fact, crucial to what
              > attracts me to Tolkien's work. I encourage you to spend some
              > time getting familiar not just with bits of the languages; but
              with
              > Tolkien's relationship to them. A great place to start would be
              his
              > essay "A Secret Vice" published in _The Monsters and the
              > Critics_. It's out of print, but not hard to find online. There's
              > another essay "English and Welsh" in the same book which is
              > particularly good for understanding what he was trying to achieve
              > with Sindarin.
              >
              > --Bill
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