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2555Re: [elfscript] Istan pole!

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Sep 1, 2003
      My goodness, Helge, you are quite the little masochist, aren't you?
      Very well.

      On Saturday, August 30, 2003, at 08:31 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

      > I wrote:
      >>> It is entirely possible to write long texts in Quenya using only
      > Tolkien's own words and attested grammatical constructions.
      > CFH responded:
      >> And this is news to whom, exactly? This point was never at issue.
      > Really? Normally CFH is extremely reluctant to recognize any
      > post-Tolkien
      > composition as genuine Quenya.

      Once again we see one of the classic Fauskangerian rhetorical
      bankruptcies: pretend that I used a term I never did, so as to
      introduce a false contradiction. I never called such compositions
      "genuine Quenya", and I do not do so now, despite Helge's dishonest
      implication. Yes folks, he really does think you're that stupid.

      > Post-Tolkien material is genuine Neo-Eldarin, to the extent it is
      > well-formed according to the rules that can be inferred from Tolkien's
      > own material. Of course it is not "genuine Tolkien", which simply
      > means that Tolkien didn't come up with it.

      Nor is it genuine Quenya, or genuine Sindarin.

      > Indeed one cannot infer much about Tolkien's invented world simply by
      > examining the languages supposed to be spoken there.

      WHAT!? Helge, you really shouldn't let your political zeal lead you
      into making such absurd statements. It makes you look stupid.

      > But for a very few highly specialized vocabulary units, like
      > "Silmaril", the entire Quenya-Sindarin-scenario could be fitted to
      > just about ANY people and ANY history

      Sure, so long as they were a monotheistic culture of immortal spirits
      indwelling in immortal bodies inhabiting a once-flat world made round
      who lived alongside a race of angelic gods as well as a race of demonic
      creatures corrupted by an immensely powerful Dark Lord who ruled over
      them as well as dragons and fire-demons. For starters.

      > we are not contradicting Tolkien's work,

      As I said before, you _may_ be contradicting Tolkien's work in ways not
      immediately obvious, either to you or to anyone else. Complex systems
      have ways of being disrupted that are not immediately obvious.

      > but letting it live and grow (I understand this sounds overly
      > "romantic" to CFH).

      Indeed. Not to mention, false. As I have already explained.

      >>> What impedes our understanding of Tolkien's own writings more than
      > anything else is their unpublished status, a problem CFH is potentially
      > able to address.
      > CFH is outraged:

      Bald-faced lies and misrepresentations do tend to bother me. Though
      they seem never to bother you, so long as you're doing the telling.

      >> This is yet another outrageous example of Helge's rhetorical
      > sleight-of-hand. By ripping my words out of context, and by replying
      > as he
      > does, he wants you, the reader, to believe that the contrast I was
      > drawing
      > was between the understanding of those who have not read _all_ of
      > Tolkien's
      > own writings, published or unpublished, and those who have.
      > Yeah, what a grotesque misrepresentation... Frankly this was the only
      > sense
      > _I_ could make of what CFH wrote,

      Alas, your reason and perspective seem to have been so thoroughly
      twisted by your political agenda that I could believe this to be true.

      >> The actual contrast, as is apparent to anyone who actually reads what
      >> I actually wrote, is between those who rely _only_ on _Helge's_
      >> writings and those who rely on _Tolkien's_ writings. The former are
      >> legion, as is evident from Elfling and much of the Internet-based
      >> discussion of Tolkien's languages.
      > I believe there are quite a few people out there who rely _both_ on
      > Tolkien's writings and on secondary sources like the ones I have
      > provided,

      Doubtlessly so, but this fact in no way contradicts or even has any
      bearing on what I said. Not that that ever stops you.

      >> My criticism is not of the conclusions you reach, per se, but of the
      >> methods you use to arrive at conclusions:
      > Some would say that the conclusions are more important than the
      > methods. The methods are a means; the conclusions are the goal.

      Bad methods are unlikely to lead to correct conclusions, except
      incidentally. And once again, you miss the point completely: one does
      not have to be able to disprove a conclusion in order to call it into
      question, all the more so when the methods used to arrive at the
      conclusion are suspect or outright bogus.

      >> for example, dismissing any evidence that doesn't conform to your
      > pre-judgments as invalid;
      > It is quite obvious that some "evidence" represents ideas Tolkien
      > abandoned, and then I must be allowed to say so.

      Absolutely, _in cases where it is in fact quite obvious_; which cases
      are far, far fewer than you believe (because you want to believe, to
      keep your conclusions tidy, compact, and "useful").

      >> I have in fact already offered some corrections to your work, some of
      >> which you've adopted (without acknowledgment, I note, as for example
      >> in the matter of pronouns; though I don't realistically expect you to
      >> cite my name or my work other than in expectoration),
      > If CFH can be bothered to search for his own name in my articles, he
      > would find that he is cited favorably a number of times.

      OK, let's.

      A) Your treatment of the _Átaremma_ and _Aia María_:

      1) "Hostetter in his editorial observed: "Translations of the Lord's
      Prayer have enjoyed a long tradition as representative texts for use in
      side-by-side comparisons of various languages." But since Tolkien
      apparently never made any efforts to have his Quenya-language Lord's
      Prayer published, it does not seem that he intended it to be a general
      "sample" of the language."

      Looks to me like a typical Fauskangerism: create a contrast to make it
      look like I was making a claim about Tolkien's translation, which I
      never did.

      2) "We need not doubt that the primitive adjective ended in -i; this is
      evident from the past tense verb airitáne hallowed, occurring in the
      Ms. Tolkien Drawing 91, 41v, dating to ca. 1966 and now at the Bodleian
      (see Vinyar Tengwar #32, November 1993, page 7, where Carl F. Hostetter
      volunteers this information from an unpublished manuscript)."

      "Volunteers this information". Yep.

      3) "When making their own translation of the Lord's Prayer, Patrick
      Wynne and Carl F. Hostetter indeed coined precisely the word *síre to
      translate "today" (VT32:8). Yet Tolkien's manuscript definitely seems
      to read síra and not *síre (which, by the way, would clash with síre
      river: LR:385 s.v. sir-)."

      What has our coinage to do with Tolkien's creation? Why even mention
      it? Picayune.

      B) Your "Quenya Course":

      I: intro.rtf:

      1) "Throughout most of the nineties, he was sending photo-copies of his
      father's linguistic manuscripts to a group of Americans often (but
      unofficially) referred to as the Elfconners, apparently because of
      their prominence on the "cons" or conventions of ELF, the "Elvish
      Linguistic Fellowship". However, the most outspoken member of the group
      seems to have convinced himself beyond refutation that the term
      "Elfconners" was always meant to be derogatory, associating it with
      "conning" or deception. As pointed out by TolkLang moderator Julian
      Bradfield, it may be that this member of the group is inventing insults
      against himself, but currently it is politically correct to refer to
      this group simply as the Editorial Team, abbreviated ET. Whatever we
      call them, the group consists of Christopher Gilson, Carl F. Hostetter,
      Patrick Wynne and Arden R. Smith (in recent years, Bill Welden has also
      joined in). Before they started to receive Tolkien manuscripts, these
      people quite regularly published the Tolkien-linguistic journals Vinyar
      Tengwar (edited by Hostetter) and Parma Eldalamberon (edited by
      Gilson), generally maintaining a high standard. This, we must assume,
      was the reason why Christopher Tolkien wanted them to publish his
      father's linguistic manuscripts in the first place."

      2) "The journal Vinyar Tengwar (VT), edited by Carl F. Hostetter, had
      its "golden age" in the period 1988-93, when the editor managed to
      uphold continuous bimonthly publication."

      3) "When Hostetter and the other ET members in the early nineties
      started to receive original Tolkien material of the utmost interest to
      be edited and published, the rate of publication mysteriously dropped
      to about one issue a year, and this situation has continued throughout
      the latter half of the nineties and into the new decade. Not all of the
      few issues that have been published include any new Tolkien material,
      and those that do are usually devoted to very short scraps (that are
      moreover samples of very early material that is often clearly not

      4) "A few issues do stand out, however, and one of them has already
      been mentioned: In issue #39, July 1998, Hostetter published the part
      of Quendi and Eldar that Christopher Tolkien left out of WJ, as well as
      the companion essay Ósanwe-kenta (the latter is not strictly linguistic
      by its subject, but Tolkien nonetheless mentioned quite a few Quenya
      words). Some useful material also appeared in issue #41, July 2000,
      filling certain annoying gaps in our vocabulary (in particular
      regarding the verb "can") and providing interesting new information
      about the formation of the present tense. In January 2002, various
      Quenya translations of the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria were
      published in issue #43; Tolkien the Catholic produced more than one
      Elvish version of these texts. The other main results of the ET's
      editing efforts for the most part consist of wordlist material"

      Hm, yes, "some _useful_ material". That speaks volumes about you, Helge.

      II: less-a.rtf:

      1) "Some of my deductions above have been criticized by VT editor Carl
      F. Hostetter. No one disputes the fact that primary verbs form their
      present or "continuous" tense by lengthening the stem-vowel and adding
      -a, but the notion that A-stems have present-tense forms in -ëa has
      proved controversial. Of course, this is based on the one example órëa
      (from ora- "impel"), and it was Hostetter himself who published this
      form and suggested that this is an example of the present/continuous

      And my criticism is _precisely_ that you seized upon this _single_
      example and extrapolated entire verb classes and paradigms based upon
      it. Don't want to present that inconvenient _fact_, though, that would
      be too reasonable.

      III: less-b.rtf:

      1) "On the other hand, Carl F. Hostetter thinks the Quenya aorist is
      used to describe an action that is "punctual, habitual, or otherwise
      durationless" (VT41:15). This is probably correct in most cases,
      describing the typical function of the aorist. Yet some examples
      suggest that it may be better to say that whereas the present tense
      explicitly identifies an ongoing action, the Quenya aorist is simply
      unmarked as far as duration is concerned."

      Never mind that "unmarked as far as duration is concerned" _is_
      durationless; just self-servingly manipulate terms and make it _look_
      like you are drawing a distinction where none exists.

      2) "The frontispiece reproduces a manuscript page by Tolkien, including
      some brief linguistic notes. (Taum Santoski, analyzing these notes in
      the newsletter Beyond Bree, October 1985, read this form as
      "linduvanya" – but as pointed out by Carl F. Hostetter, Tolkien
      probably intended "linduvanye" instead."

      Yes, I did point that out. One neutral statement of the facts. A rare
      thing, and high praise indeed from Helge.

      IV: less-d.rtf

      1) "On the other hand, Carl F. Hostetter (who has seen nearly all of
      Tolkien's linguistic manuscripts) briefly commented on this sentence in
      VT41:18 and apparently recognized it as genuine, though he has later
      specified that it does not occur in any manuscript he knows of."

      I _never_ said the sentence was genuine -- you just can't resist that
      word, can you? -- in fact, I said I had _not_ seen it in Tolkien's
      papers, right up front, which in no way contradicts or stands in any
      sort of contrast to anything I have ever said on the matter -- you just
      can't resist misrepresenting claims to serve your own purposes, can you?

      V: Your "Conjugation of Sindarin Verbs' page:

      1) "The ending for the 2nd person ("you", singular or plural) does not
      appear in published material. However, in an Elfling post of January
      22, 2002, Carl F. Hostetter wrote: "Charts can be found showing -ch as
      2nd sg." As he immediately added, this ending had other meanings in
      earlier conceptual phases, but today it is best known as the ending for
      singular "you" (so used in Movie Sindarin)."

      Yep, never mind that I didn't say those charts were for _Sindarin_;
      just take my quote out of the context of arguing _against_ your claim,
      and use it to _support_ it instead. Typical Fauskanger "scholarship".

      VI: Your "Mannish" page:

      1) "Years ago, Vinyar Tengwar reported that one of the Elfconners was
      editing the Taliskan grammar, and Carl F. Hostetter confirms that it
      will be published...one day."

      So apparently neither I nor Christopher Tolkien are to be permitted to
      judge what is the best order in which to publish material.

      VII: Your "Tolkien's Not So Secret Vice" page:

      1) "The book that provided Tolkien with the word ond was finally
      identified in Vinyar Tengwar #30: Celtic Britain by Professor John
      Rhys, that according to Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick Wynne "consists
      of over 300 densely-set pages and eschews neither etymological
      discussion, untranslated Latin passages, nor untransliterated Greek
      words". This was Tolkien's preferred reading at the age of eight.)"

      Wow, for once you quoted me accurately. A rare honor indeed.

      VIII: Your "Genesis 2" page:

      "The article is also available online, though Carl F. Hostetter has for
      his own reasons deleted the original reference to the unpublished
      manuscript and now apparently tries to make his readers believe that he
      derived this word himself."

      I corrected this lie of yours years ago, and yet you still repeat it.
      As I said long ago, I did not have _permission_ to cite the unpublished
      manuscript in web publication, _only_ in the pages of _VT_. I know that
      permission means nothing to you, but I observe it strictly.

      Etc., etc. Do you really want me to go on? Why do you issue such absurd
      challenges, when you _know_ that they're only going to prove my point
      and make you look foolish yet again? And let's not even bother looking
      at Elfling, as you know full well that won't reflect well on you, or
      help your claim, at all.

      > I don't seem to be aware of any "correction" offered me by CFH having
      > to do
      > with Sindarin past-tense forms. Where did it appear?

      If you can't be bothered to keep up with the main literature of your
      chosen field of scholarly endeavor, I fail to see how you can consider
      yourself a scholar.

      > Yes, we have _le_, but what we need is an _ending_ to be added to
      > verbs.

      And of course we have no examples or even the slightest indication of
      how pronominal endings relate to independent pronouns. Nope, not a clue.

      >> Were I inclined to "use" one, I would certainly pick an _attested_
      >> form over one that is not only _not_ attested, but for which there is
      >> strong evidence _against_.
      > Is there any published evidence either way for _-ch_ as a 2nd person
      > sg. marker?


      >> So too would you, if you weren't motivated by a desire to see a
      >> friend's pet theory "vindicated" against the arguments of someone
      >> else whom you have set up as an enemy (precisely in order to be able
      >> to mock and thus ignore all those inconvenient facts he offers).
      > Oh my, what sinister motives I really have...

      At least you aren't denying it.

      > The way CHF is behaving would seem to suggest that he knows one or
      > more endings that he believes would be a BETTER alternative than _-ch_
      > as the ending for sg. "you" in Sindarin proper.

      It would suggest such a falsehood only to a self-serving demagogue.

      > The demagogue would be me, I guess?


      > Carl, Carl -- only ONE of us is obsessively discussing the moral
      > standards and (supposedly) sinister motives of the other...

      Habitually and exclusively, that is indeed true.
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