4941Re: spelling of diphthongs (again)
- Oct 4, 2005Dave Hisilome wrote:
> Last year, J. 'Mach' Wust wrote (elfscript # 4273), in reply toWell, no, in Sindarin, yanta is used initially and for second parts of
> Florian Dombach's speculation that in Quenya, diphthongs might
> originally have all been spelt without reversing the "normal"
> reading direction (for which _nainie_ and _caita_ from the Namaarie
> inscription were quoted), but that this might (story-internally)
> have changed in the later ages under the influence of "mannish"
> >The modes where the letters bear the preceding tehtar use the same
> >letters for the second elements of diphthongs as for the initial
> >approximants /j/ and /w/. This could hardly initiate a system that
> >splits them up.
> With the exception of Sindarin as attested in KL, version 3, as you
> also note in your essay "What is General Use?".
> In fact, for the Sindarin mode where "tengwar bear the preceding
> tehtar" (often called "Standard" or "Mode of Gondor"), we seem to
> have no examples for /w/ at all, be it initial or as second part of
> a diphthong.
> As for /j/, as you also point out, yanta is used for the initial
> sound, but anna for the second part of diphthongs (in marked
> contrast to English, where anna is used in both positions, just as
> any /w/ is always represented by vala)--so here we do in fact see
> the same kind of split for initial and diphthong representation as
> in modes in which tengwar bear the following tehtar (such as the
> "classical" Quenya mode).
diphthongs. What messes things up is the transcription into Latin
letters that doesn't represent all the yanta letters in the same way:
Initial yanta is represented by i, but second-part-of-diphthong yanta
is represented by e. Don't tell me these are different sounds. The /j/
in the word yes isn't identical to the /j/ in the word boy either.
> that "Sindarin texts that use yanta for the consonantal y-sound are
> spelt according to Westron use". This would seem to contradict what
> you write in # 4273 about probable Westron spelling, "DTS 52 gives
> vala and anna the names wí and yé, whereas yanta and úre are given
> the names ai and au", which would seem to point to yanta for
> diphthong-glide /j/ rather than initial /j/, and anna for initial
> /j/ instead--the exact opposite of Sindarin usage.
This doesn't rule out the possibility that the difference between
Westron initial y and Sindarin initial i was so pronounced that
general use writers used different letters for these sounds, just like
Roman writers thought the difference between Greek y and Roman u to be
so pronounced that they used different letters.
Anyway, that hypothesis about Westron pronunciation is very speculative.
I see and admit that this essay's wording about Sindarin is confusing,
especially in the resume.
If someone wanted to read the whole essay, it's in the files section:
j. 'mach' wust
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