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738Re: Sindarin Collective Number

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Mar 27, 2002
      On 3/26/02 10:59 PM, "Danny Andriës" <tegilbor@...> wrote:

      > Teithant CF Hostetter:
      >> "Danny Andriës" wrote
      >>> Teithant bassman0614:
      >>>> In the collective "number" of Sindarin nouns, is the corresponding verb
      >>>> singular or plural?
      >>> the jury is still out concerning this one!
      >> Only if (like David Salo) you throw out Tolkien's own statement on the
      >> matter:
      > Any comparison of me to Mr. Salo is unfair;
      I'll bear that in mind should I ever want to compare you personally with
      David Salo. Which I certainly was not doing here. This was a general

      >> Hence nouns in _-ath_ are at least sometimes still singular, as originally,
      >> but in many cases, in particular in names of peoples, they are plural.
      > "Yes and no" ... how very Elvish of you! Sure, we know that collectives
      > referring to peoples take a plural verb, but what about 'i elenath', 'i
      > 'aladhath', etc.? How do we know which are regarded as singular and which as
      > plural? Bassman asked for a'definitive' answer.
      No, he asked (see above) "In the collective "number" of Sindarin nouns, is
      the corresponding verb singular or plural?" The definitive answer to _this_
      question is that it is sometimes singular, as originally, but now
      (apparently) usually plural, especially in the names of peoples.

      > I don't view 'sometimes' as being definitive, and my reply to him reflected
      > this belief.
      The fact that the answer is neither "yes" nor "no" does not make the answer
      any less definitive.

      > Who knows which collective nouns are still counted as singular?
      Only Tolkien would be able to answer this for any given noun.

      | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
      | |
      | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
      | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
      | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
      | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
      | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
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