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905Re: A question about Artist & Illustrator

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  • Sébastien Bertho
    May 26, 2002
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      Thank you again Mr. Smith for your comprehensive explanations and comments !

      I wrote :
      >> But *_aland_ or more probably _alanda_ could be possible as well, since
      >> drawing and the inscription seem to date from the late 20's.
      >> Are there any clues for a precise datation of them ? A&I speaks about the
      >> preceeding drawingw that are form july and august 1928, but the drawing
      >> interests us seems to have been made on a separate sheet, probably later
      >> than the last drawings in the Book of Ishness.

      Arden R. Smith wrote :
      > I can't make any judgements concerning the date of the drawing based
      > on the paper or the artwork, but on the basis of the script I would
      > guess that it dates from around 1930. Tengwar scripts in documents
      > dated 1931 and later conform more or less to the conception of the
      > Feanorian system as it is presented in published materials, whereas
      > unpublished tengwar-style scripts from as late as 1929 still differ
      > in significant respects.

      OK. This datation, even vague, helps us.

      >> Does someone know if the letter _alda_ was already in existence at this
      >> stage of Tolkien's linguistics (late 20's) ? I'm most interested in the
      >> languages (especially Quenya), but, alas, I'm not a specialist in the
      >> scripts !

      > The letter that came to be called _alda_ (whether or not it was
      > called that at the time) existed in such a form with the value _ld_
      > in at least one Qenya application of the tengwar by the 1930s, but
      > it's impossible to say whether the drawing is earlier or later.
      > Certainly the *concept* of _alda_, i.e. a single letter to represent
      > the cluster _ld_ in Qenya, was in existence long before Tolkien made
      > this drawing, since we find such a thing in Qenya applications of the
      > Rúmilian alphabet (see R13 and R17).


      > However, that doesn't mean that Tolkien would necessarily have used
      > it every time he wrote Q(u)enya in tengwar. The discussion of the
      > Feanorian alphabet from which the Rúmilian excerpts in R24 were
      > taken presents a mode in which the letter we know as _alda_ has the
      > value _ld_ and another mode in which it has the value _lh_ (or _hl_),
      > and Tolkien uses *both* of these modes for the representation of
      > Qenya.


      > Furthermore, it's far from certain that the letter we know as _ando_
      > has the value _nd_ in this inscription. This letter doesn't have the
      > value _nd_ in *either* of the modes that I mentioned in the previous
      > paragraph.


      >> More, _alanda_ appears indeed unglossed on p. 30 of the QL, but it is
      >> glossed "wide" on p. 34 (and so it in the "Poetic & Mythologic Words of
      >> Eldarissa") and "broad, wide" on p. 51(from stem LARA, with a diacritic
      >> the 'r') !

      > Oops. You're quite correct. As the kids say nowadays, "My bad!"

      You're welcome ! ;-)

      >> I am most inclined to interpret the inscription as *_alanda orne_, with
      >> probable meaning *"wide tree", since _alda orne_ *"tree tree" would seem
      >> very odd !

      > Not necessarily. I can think of two scenarios in which the reading
      > _alda orne_ would be perfectly normal: (1) This is a tree, and these
      > are the two words used to denote this object in Qenya; (2) Which of
      > these two Qenya words for "tree" should be applied to a tree of this
      > kind?

      Yes, I thought about this kind of expanation. That's why I wondered if the
      tree was really wide or not.

      > The big question here is whether _alanda_ 'wide' still existed in
      > 1930s Qenya. _Etymologies_ has _landa_ 'wide' (V:367), with which we
      > may compare _I Nori Landar_ *'The Great Lands' (I:84-85, 263) and
      > Goldogrin _land_, _lann_ 'broad' (PE11:52). Of course, none of this
      > proves anything, since _alanda_ could have existed alongside _landa_.

      Yes, _alanda_ may be an alternative form of _alanda_, with duplication of
      the stem vowel.

      >> I'd like very much to see how the tree looks like on the drawing... Can
      >> please help, Mr. Smith ?

      > That would of course require the permission of both the Tolkien
      > Estate and the Bodleian Library, but I can give you some idea of what
      > it looks like. It's similar in shape to the tree in the foreground
      > of "Trolls' Hill" (_Artist & Illustrator_, fig. 99), but a bit more
      > conical, with a trunk only about one third as tall. So while the
      > tree isn't narrow by any means, it doesn't strike me as remarkably
      > wide, either.

      I didn't want you to publish it (it would be non-sense !), all I wanted was
      some clues or a description of the tree on the drawing. Thank you very much
      for your help, that was what I needed !

      >> To me, the fact that no point is placed under _lambe_ (nor under _ando_)
      >> the first word points also toward an interpretation of it as _alanda_ and
      >> not _alda_.

      > This is of course a strong point in favor of _alanda_, but I should
      > note that Tolkien occasionally forgot to include the subscript dot
      > when writing in this fashion. See, for example, the "misspelling" of
      > _Ziguur_ in line 11 of Text II of Lowdham's Old English manuscript
      > (IX:321). Note also that the subscript dot is optional, as shown by
      > the example of _clm_ for _calma_ in Appendix E.


      > In conclusion, _alanda orne_ 'wide tree' may indeed be correct, but I
      > see no reason to cast aside _alda orne_.

      OK, you're right !
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