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4905Re: [elfscript] Latin (?) Tengwar

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  • Arden R. Smith
    Sep 3, 2005
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      Excellent analysis, Måns!

      > The strongest reason to believe that "gladiolus" is meant to be Latin
      > is thus that it appears in a context that suggests it. "Gladiolus" is
      > of course also an English word, being another name for "sword lily".
      > English is notorious for borrowing from other languages, including
      > Latin. What about "fatarum" and "scandens" - are they English words as
      > well? No, not as such. But both have associations with plants.
      > _Fatarum_ is the scientific name of a species of hoverflies (or
      > "flowerflies"), while _scandens_ is a frequent scientific name for
      > various climbing plants. _Gladiolus_ is of course likewise the
      > scientific name of its genus. It is easy to imagine Tolkien sitting
      > with a book on gardening in front of him when jotting down these words.

      When I provided the readings of the words to Wayne and Christina, I was
      of course aware of _gladiolus_ as a plant name, but I had no idea that
      _fatarum_ and _scandens_ had any connection with plants, nor did I
      until I read your recent post. Thank you for providing a link between
      the words; the doodles make (somewhat) more sense now!

      > So if we are to regard the three words as parts of taxonomic names,
      > the only reasonable language to attach them to would be Latin. The
      > objection to this is that the spelling of "gladiolus" appears to
      > represent English pronounciation: [g]lædiowl@s.

      Incidentally, what I actually wrote in my (neatly handwritten) notes to
      Wayne and Christina here was:

      clædiou(l@s (?) ('gladiolus'?)

      [where <æ> was written as a digraph, <u(> was <u> with an inverted
      subscript breve, and <@> was schwa]

      > I think there is another Latin text on the envelope that does this,
      > too: in the phraze "ab incursu et daemonio meridiano", the diphthong
      > _ae_ is written <yanta + acute accent>, which suggests the
      > pronounciation [ej]. This is not correct classic pronounciation, but
      > it may very well be one heard in an English ecclesiastic or other
      > non-academic environment.

      My thoughts exactly.

      > My conclusion is therefore that all the aforementioned Tengwar texts
      > are meant to be Latin, but the spelling does not represent the classic
      > pronounciation. But surely Tolkien would know the classic
      > pronounciation of Latin? Certainly, but he would also be at home with
      > the pronounciation used in the church -- and I am told that Latin as
      > taught at the beginning of the 20th century often followed the native
      > pronounciation of the speaker.

      Tolkien's tengwar texts in Latin vary somewhat in this regard.
      Classical pronunciation is the most common in the unpublished
      manuscripts, but there are deviations. In one text, which will be
      published in the next issue of _Parma Eldalamberon_, consonantal <v> is
      represented twice as [v] and once as [w].


      ***************************************************
      Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

      Perilme metto aimaktur perperienta.
      --Elvish proverb

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