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Re: yeah yeah, another translation request

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    On 7/12/02 7:59 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger ... Precisely my point. No one has to use Quenya; it is a choice. If people engage
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 12, 2002
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      On 7/12/02 7:59 PM, "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@...>
      wrote:

      > I wrote:
      >
      >>> It is of course a major problem that so much material is still unpublished,
      >>> so all too often we have to fall back on conjecture and extrapolation.
      >>>
      > CFH possibly felt that some kind of accusation was implied here, so he
      > responded:
      >
      >> First, "of course" no one "has" to do any such thing; you choose to do so.
      >>
      > No one "has" to do any kind of work on Tolkien's languages,
      >
      Precisely my point. No one "has" to "use" Quenya; it is a choice. If people
      engage in conjecture and extrapolation, that is a choice, not a necessity.

      > that goes beyond the potentially dry academic study which CFH often seems to
      > imply is the only proper angle.
      >
      I may "often seem to imply" such a thing to you, but that is due to your
      prejudices, not to my words. I have never said that there is an "only
      proper angle". What I _am_ saying is that one should not confuse choice with
      necessity, or conjecture with fact, or Quenya with *Quenya.

      >> Second, your assertion assumes that there is one clear, unequivocal answer to
      >> all your questions in the unpublished papers.
      >>
      > If I ever assumed such a thing, it was a long time ago. Yet there must be
      > _some_ answers to _some_ of the remaining questions,
      >
      Yes, of course there are. (Really, you seem not to be reading my posts with
      much care or thought. Perhaps all that squeaking in your head is too
      distracting?) That's my point: many (most) of the questions you'd like
      answered have _many_ answers; which means that there really is no canonical
      or platonic "answer" for most questions, only processes.

      > and I (and many others!) would often be happy to have just _one_ genuinely
      > Tolkienian answer -- preferably an answer that seems to represent a
      > long-lasting idea or feature.
      >
      I am certainly not responsible for producing answers to your questions, and
      most especially not responsible for the manner in which Tolkien worked, his
      choices and reconsiderations, or the nature of the work he left behind
      unpublished.

      > For Neo-Sindarin purposes, *_ess_ would be an entirely plausible word even
      > now, especially if we presuppose a Quenya-influenced form of Sindarin.
      >
      But the _Adar Nín_ seems to be composed in a "Quenya-influenced form of
      Sindarin", as can be seen from Tolkien's remarks about _le_ and _menel_ in
      _The Road Goes Ever On_, and the occurrence of these specific forms (_lín_
      being an oblique form of _le_) in the prayer.

      No matter how "plausible", *_ess_ is only conjecture; _eneth_ is fact.

      > When translating a text, it is obvious that he developed much of the required
      > vocabulary as he went along. I think he saw the individual languages primarily
      > as a certain diachronic development, a kind of phonological _story_; details
      > of grammar and vocabulary were less important and could be filled in (i.e.,
      > made up) as the occasion required.
      >
      I'm inclined to agree; and would further add that those elements could be
      (and often were) reinvented when the next occasion arose. So again, you are
      making my very point.

      > To the extent we understand the phonological development of the individual
      > languages, we can also expand the vocabulary by starting from Tolkien's own
      > roots.
      >
      You cannot expand the vocabulary of Quenya; only Tolkien could do that. What
      you can do is create and use words that follow (what you think to be)
      Tolkien's patterns, and then claim that they are consistent with what we
      know of Quenya phonology, morphology, etc. And I have no problem with that
      whatsoever. But the resulting vocabulary is _not_ Quenya; it is at best
      *Quenya. Useful, yes, for certain purposes, and not without interest or
      appeal; but also _not nearly_ as interesting or appealing (to me, and if you
      are honest about all this, to you either) as Tolkien's inventions.

      > Yes, this is of course getting OT for this list.
      >
      Ah, but see, now we've come back on topic!


      |======================================================================|
      | 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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