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2581Re: [elfscript] Re: Authenticity (Was: stop it please! will you!)

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Sep 6, 2003
      On Saturday, September 6, 2003, at 05:21 AM, BP Jonsson wrote:

      > "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:
      >
      >> But no, it is _not_ possible to "learn Gothic", not in the sense that
      >> "learn" means when unqualifiedly applied to languages, such as "learn
      >> Japanese" or "learn German". _No one knows_ how Gothic was actually
      >> spoken. _No one knows_ for sure what was and what was not grammatical
      >> in spoken Gothic. _All we know_ is theory derived from _written_
      >> Gothic
      >> and other theoretical results.
      >>
      >> And precisely the same is true of Tolkien's languages.
      >
      > Nobody has contested that.

      May I remind you that my reply was to the claim that we can "learn
      Gothic"?

      >> Tolkien was able to write and speak (to some extent; we have only
      >> second-hand reports, not transcriptions, so know way of knowing what
      >> Tolkien actually said, or how artificial or rehearsed it was)
      >> sentences composed of words and grammatical devices according (for
      >> the most part) with the predominant theories of the day concerning
      >> Gothic (and, no doubt, with his own personal theories and
      >> convictions). Nor was he entirely successful even at that, even in
      >> writing, as he himself pointed out.
      >
      > And some are trying to do exactly the same with Tolkien's languages.
      > You, Mr. Hostetter seem to find this morally reprehensible.

      And you, Mr. Jonsson, are _completely_ wrong, as you would know if you
      had read even just my most recent posts to this list, in which I have
      _repeatedly_ denied that there is anything improper in doing so. My
      issue is _only_ with the blurring of the line between scholarship and
      creativity, specifically between fact and hypothesis: Tolkien never
      attempted to pass his Gothic off as "genuine" or "authentic" Gothic.

      (If anyone wonders why I feel so strongly the need, and claim the
      right, to correct the charges and misrepresentations leveled against
      me, how can you wonder after reading this? Here Mr. Jonsson, a
      prominent contributor to this and other Tolkienian-linguistics lists,
      lazily maintains a completely false opinion of me, because he can't be
      bothered to read my words, but instead simply accepts the distortions
      and misrepresentations fostered by Helge Fauskanger as true.)
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