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4943Re: spelling of diphthongs (again)

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  • hisilome
    Oct 4, 2005
      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@y...>
      > Dave Hisilome wrote:
      > > Last year, J. 'Mach' Wust wrote (elfscript # 4273), in reply to
      > > 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
      > > inscription were quoted), but that this might (story-internally)
      > > have changed in the later ages under the influence of "mannish"
      > > orthography:
      > >
      > > >The modes where the letters bear the preceding tehtar use the
      > > >letters for the second elements of diphthongs as for the initial
      > > >approximants /j/ and /w/. This could hardly initiate a system
      > > >splits them up.
      > >
      > > With the exception of Sindarin as attested in KL, version 3, as
      > > 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
      > > 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).
      > Well, no, in Sindarin, yanta is used initially and for second parts
      > diphthongs. What messes things up is the transcription into Latin
      > letters that doesn't represent all the yanta letters in the same
      > Initial yanta is represented by i, but second-part-of-diphthong
      > 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.

      <<<<<No, of course they are different.>>>>>
      <<<<<Yes, but _ai_ and _ui_ are spelled with anna. And I don't know
      if the second part of _ae_ and _ai_ are indeed identical to initial
      yanta as in _iorhael_ etc. Aren't the second sounds, the "glides", in
      all the four above diphthongs all rather similar to the sound
      represented by "y" in "boy", since you bring up that example? Tolkien
      himself somewhere stated, I think, that the difference between _ae_
      and _ai_ in Sindarin was rather small. So why use anna in _ai_ and
      _ui_ and not yanta as well? I don't think the second parts of _ai,
      ui_ correspond anymore to the "j" in "yes" (and thus the initial
      sound of _iorhael_) than the second parts of _ae, oe_, so Sindarin
      spelling is inconsistent in itself, not only in its Romanization.
      So: if "boY" is different from "Yes" (which it is), and _Iorhael_ is
      identical to "Yes" (which it is), then I think _oE, aE_ cannot be the
      same as "Iorhael".

      Your write yourself that
      ">For Sindarin, I assume that it's the same but for syllable-initial
      ,which is represented by yanta, not by anna."

      From this, one would gather that one might expect to see anna for
      initial y-, but doesn't (which was why I said your statement that"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/" is too broad, and you admit that the
      phrasing might be confusting :)). And one might expect that since
      anna would correspond to the sound in _ui, ai_ (second part of
      diphthongs)--at least that's how I read it, maybe I'm wrong. I agree
      then, that y- and _uI, aI_ are different (and the latter more
      like "boY", but would you really pronounce, say, the _i_ in _Iorhael_
      exactly like the _e_ in _Iorhael_? And how does the _e_ in _Iorhael_
      differ from the _i_ in, say, _drannail_? There should be a slight
      difference, agreed, or they wouldn't be spelled and identified as
      different diphthongs by the Professor, but I'd say neither of them
      corresponds exactly to the "y" in "yes."

      Maybe Sindarin doesn't fit into any nice patterns (as English modes
      do on this particular point). ;)>>>>>

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