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2574Re: [elfscript] Istan pole!

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Sep 5, 2003
      On Friday, September 5, 2003, at 04:14 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

      > Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
      >> 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.
      > The man who speaks about "dishonest implication" would probably do
      > well to refrain from ascribing to me such ideas about the intelligence
      > of the "folks" reading this list.

      The contempt with which you treat the rational capacity of your
      readers, as amply demonstrated by your bankrupt rhetorical methods,
      more than justifies this ascription.

      > CFH is very afraid of the word "genuine", it would seem, or insists on
      > using it in a highly specialized meaning.

      American Heritage Dictionary:

      Genuine. 2. Not spurious or counterfeit; authentic. See Synonyms at
      Authentic 2. Having a claimed and verifiable origin or authorship; not
      counterfeit or copied

      > Yet what is the relevant context here? This whole thread started with
      > someone asking whether a certain (post-Tolkien) Sindarin sentence was
      > correct or not.

      _No it didn't_. The question was whether the sentence was
      "grammatically correct Sindarin".

      > Do these people mean, "Does this string of words happen to be directly
      > attested in
      > Tolkien's corpus?" Hardly.

      And yet _again_ you're unable to avoid your bankrupt rhetorical
      manipulations. No one has ever claimed that people mean any such thing.
      Nor did my particular answer to this particular question make any
      reference to whether "this string of words happen to be directly
      attested in Tolkien's corpus". Instead, it examined the individual
      words and grammatical devices, and in at least three of these features
      it was _not_ "grammatically correct Sindarin", _precisely_ the terms of
      the question.

      > Some would tolerate one or a few neologisms (like _estelio_),

      I can tolerate any number of neologisms, but definitely not ones like
      _estelio_, for the reasons I've already detailed, though you somehow
      have failed to notice.

      > others would insist on using only Tolkien's own words.

      Perhaps; but despite your implication, I am not one of those. Again, as
      I've already stated, though you somehow have failed to notice.

      > Yet it is possible to provide a useful answer to their question.

      Indeed. As I did. To which you in turn responded with your usual
      bankrupt rhetoric, and lo these many off-topic posts later, here you
      are _still_ misrepresenting the original question, ignoring and/or
      misrepresenting what I actually wrote, ascribing straw-man arguments to
      people who never made them, etc., etc. Why _don't_ you provide a useful
      answer to the original question, if you disagree with mine? You have
      yet to do so. Thought I strongly doubt that the questioner will still
      be reading this thread, or even this list, given the path you have
      taken it on.

      >> 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.
      > Predictably, CFH responded:
      >> Nor is it genuine Quenya, or genuine Sindarin.

      I'm very glad to hear that making factual responses is a predictable
      trait of mine. Would that we could say the same about you.

      > It is genuine Neo-Quenya/Sindarin. It is not genuine Tolkien-made Q/S,
      > of
      > course, which simply means that Tolkien didn't write it.

      Yes, precisely! No wonder you found my response predictable, since you
      _agree_ with it entirely! Why then did you spend all this time on
      attacking my position, which you youself have _just restated_ in

      > Incidentally, is Tolkien's _istan pole_ a genuine Quenya sentence?

      Yes, though it (almost) certainly doesn't have the meaning Tolkien
      intended to convey, as indicated by the accompanying gloss ("I can
      speak (because I have learned (a) language)", VT41:6), the manner of
      its composition, and the context in which it occurs. Context: your
      friend and mine. (Well, OK, _my_ friend, your occasional acquaintance
      and frequent adversary.)

      > Genuine, but wrong?

      See above.

      > That's a tricky one...

      Not in the least.

      > I stand by it. I also wrote: "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".
      > CFH writes:
      >> Sure, so long as they were a monotheistic culture of immortal spirits
      >> indwelling in immortal bodies
      > How can this be inferred from the languages?

      From the _words_ and their _meanings_? Like _Eru_, _fíru-_, etc.?

      > How can you tell that a _hroa_ is an immortal body just by looking at
      > the word?

      That was _not_ a term of your claim. (You can't even represent _your
      own claims accurately!) _You_ claimed that "_the entire
      Quenya-Sindarin-scenario_ could be fitted to just about ANY people and
      ANY history" (emphasis mine). "The entire Quenya-Sindarin-scenario"
      includes _definitions_ of words, not just their written representation
      devoid of meaning. And those _definitions_ include nuances and
      distinctions that are derived _from the culture that defined them_
      through common usage. And as we have seen repeatedly, those definitions
      are _not_ culturally or metaphysically neutral. Thus, for example, as
      Tolkien himself says, "What the _óre_ was for Elvish thought and
      speech, and the nature of its counsels — it says, and so advises, but
      is never represented as commanding — requires for its understanding a
      brief account of Eldarin thought on the matter." (VT41:11).

      >> who lived alongside a race of angelic gods
      > "Gods"? I thought you just said they were monotheists?

      Stick to the point much? Note that that is "gods", little _g_. Note
      that Tolkien himself uses the term. Note that neither to Tolkien nor to
      me nor to the vast majority of people who have ever uttered the phrase
      "Ye gods!" does that imply pantheism.

      > Indeed, if all you had was the word _Vala_ and the knowledge that it
      > referred to some kind of powerful spirit being,

      But that is _not_ all we have, again _even by the terms of your own

      > No, I'm afraid the fact remains that very little certain knowledge
      > about the intended world could be extracted just by examining the
      > grammar and dictionary of the languages supposedly spoken in it.

      That depends entirely on how complete and detailed the dictionary was;
      i.e., whether it conveyed fully for each word the meaning it had in
      (and was given to it by) "Elvish thought and speech", per Tolkien's
      distinction; or whether it was more like your own wordlists.

      > CFH is warning the reader against me again:
      >> 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.
      > All right. So the "real" or intended distinction was between those who
      > depend only on secondary sources like the ones I have provided, and
      > those who have also (or only) read the published primary sources.

      So finally you begrudgingly acknowledge the plain meaning of my words,
      instead of the straw-man position you dishonestly ascribed to me
      earlier. And it only took three posts for you to do it. Well, sadly,
      that constitutes real progress for you.

      > I would surely encourage all serious students to read the primary
      > sources, but what immense revelations are people supposed to
      > experience, really?

      (Notice once again the classic Fauskagerian technique of inserting
      hyperbole -- here, "immense revelations", which I never claimed -- in
      order to misrepresent the _actual_ point as ludicrous. He really,
      really, really does think you are _that_ stupid, folks.)

      For starters: All the context, subtly, nuance, and variability that you
      fail to convey. A chance to measure your claims and characterizations
      against Tolkien's own words and creative methods. A familiarity,
      appreciation, and understanding of _Tolkien's_ thoughts on his
      languages, and _Tolkien's_ manner and method of presenting and
      describing his languages, instead of merely mastering your own, highly
      artificial, manner, method, and presentation.

      > The "read Tolkien's books!" mantra becomes misleading if people are
      > lead to believe that everything will be answered there.

      What on Arda are you talking about? Who has _ever_ claimed or implied
      that "everything will be answered" in Tolkien's writings? Have I and my
      colleagues not, in fact, repeatedly made precisely the opposite claim?
      Well yes, we have, and as we've seen _ad nauseam_ Helge representations
      of the claims and positions of myself and my colleagues bears little or
      no relationship to reality.

      By the same token, Helge, would you say that the "read Helge's web
      site!" "mantra", which is vastly more common in these fora than the one
      you claim, is misleading because it leads people to believe that
      everything will be answered there.

      > Well, let's buy LotR, the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, RGEO, MC, all
      > twelve volumes of HoME, every single back issue of VT and Parma...
      > Half a year later, when you have absorbed all of this stuff, you would
      > discover that you STILL don't know how the Quenya pluperfect is > formed.

      And perhaps _you_ will discover that this straw-man scenario STILL has
      nothing to do with the question at hand, as no one has ever said that
      the value of reading Tolkien's works lies in discovering what the
      Quenya pluperfect is. That is entirely _your_ fiction.

      > I wrote:
      >> It is quite obvious that some "evidence" represents ideas Tolkien
      >> abandoned, and then I must be allowed to say so.
      > CFH responded:
      >> 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").
      > All right, so maybe we should expect to see the genitive ending _-n_
      > suddenly come back to life for several minutes in a 1963 note Tolkien
      > scribbled on the back of an envelope -- and therefore nobody must ever
      > feel free to say that Tolkien dropped the ending -n in favour of -o.

      Helge, your contempt for any semblance of sticking to the points and
      terms of a discussion is appalling.

      > It's no point in going through the entire list; CFH himself has to
      > admit nothing insulting can be read into many of these quotations.

      No I don't. And I daresay I am far from alone. You're only fooling
      yourself (and almost certainly not even yourself).

      > Quote from me:
      >> "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."
      > CFH comments:
      >> 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.
      > No artificial "contrast" is intended here. I believe it is quite clear
      > from the reference that the quote does NOT come from the same VT issue
      > as the one where Tolkien's Lord's Prayer versions are presented; it is
      > much earlier and relates to his OWN attempt to translate this prayer.
      > The quote from CFH simply presents entirely general information. In no
      > way am I trying to make it look as if he is asserting anything about
      > Tolkien's
      > translation.

      Horse-hockey. You aren't just conveying random bits of general
      information: you set my words against your own characterization,
      thereby consciously and deliberately creating a contrast between them,
      as reinforced by your wording "_But since_ ..." etc. (emphasis mine).
      You aren't fooling anyone, Helge, not even yourself.

      > I am discussing the possibility that _síra_ should actually read
      > _síre_. It is then relevant that other researchers also found this a
      > plausible word and even came up with such a form themselves (though
      > not in the context of analyzing Tolkien's own text, as I clearly
      > state).

      I don't find that at all relevant. It is absolutely no surprise at all
      that Tolkien's own creations differ from the coinages of those who are
      not Tolkien. Nor does the judgment of those who are not Tolkien as to
      what is plausible have any bearing at all on the question of whether a
      form Tolkien wrote is accurate or not; that can be judged only on the
      basis of Tolkien's own writings and from context.

      > The quotes relating to the publication project and its rather slow
      > progress are, as far as I can see, simply factual information. I don't
      > believe my wording is anywhere particularly bitter or insulting.

      Sadly, I can almost believe that your agenda-driven self-delusions and
      rationalizations are such that you really do believe that. Almost.

      As for the rest of Helge's post, I'll trust in the intelligence of the
      reader to see that it's all just more of the same contempt-filled
      manipulation and misrepresentation. You know the drill by now.
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