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Re: [elfscript] (unknown)

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, and since this bit of Sindarin from the movies employs conjecture and outright invention not found in Tolkien s writings,
    Message 1 of 28 , Aug 10, 2003
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      > On Wednesday, August 6, 2003, at 11:04 PM, amaswing wrote:

      > I was wondering if this Sindarin sentence is grammatically correct:
      > "Ae ú-esteliach nad, estelio han, estelio ammen, estelio veleth."

      And Carl F. Hostetter responded:

      > Since the only measure of grammatical correctness of any Elvish phrase is
      the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, and since this bit of "Sindarin" from the
      movies employs conjecture and outright invention not found in Tolkien's
      writings, then the answer can only be: no.

      In a way, I am glad to see CFH state that the grammatical correctness of
      Elvish phrases can be measured by comparing them to the writings of J.R.R.
      Tolkien, since the implication is that where a post-Tolkien Quenya/Sindarin
      composition can be demonstrated to agree with the grammar observed in
      Tolkien's own texts, then this text is indeed correct, genuine
      Quenya/Sindarin -- not inherently inferior to Tolkien's own compositions.
      Sometimes, CFH seems to deny this.

      > For example: there is no evidence that *_ae_ is used in Sindarin for 'if'
      (it is conjecture based on conjecture concerning Quenya).

      True, _ae_ is an extrapolation, one of several possible cognates of Quenya
      *_ai_ "if", which is in turn tentatively isolated from Quenya _aiquen_,
      defined by Tolkien as "if anybody". I am myself hesitant to isolate an
      independent word for "if" from this Quenya word. Now _ae_ has turned up in
      one of Tolkien's Sindarin texs (the incomplete Lord's Prayer rendering)
      with another meaning than "if", which throws more doubt upon this
      extrapolation (though homophones may of course exist).

      Yet the movies have established their own universe, generally similar to
      Tolkien's but not identical, so in Movie Sindarin at least, _ae_ does mean
      "if". I don't know whether Amaswing would feel that Tolkien's novel is the
      "real" history of Middle-earth whereas the Jackson movies are just clumsy
      and often "inaccurate" renderings of this "real" history. On the other
      hand, maybe Amaswing sees the book and the movies as variations on the same
      theme -- but since we are dealing with fiction anyway, there is little
      reason to dismiss either variant of Middle-earth history as less "valid"
      than the other.

      > There is not a shred of evidence that any such verb as *_estelio_ existed
      in Sindarin (it is conjecture based on the noun _estel_ 'hope, faith').

      "Conjecture" is hardly the right word here. David Salo who functioned as
      Jackson's linguistic consultant _coined_ this word, not "conjecturing" that
      such a word had "really existed" in the "real" Sindarin, for the internal
      history of Sindarin is quite fictional and it is correspondingly bizarre to
      "conjecture" what it was "really" like. David just made a word fitting the
      derivational structure of Tolkien's Sindarin as we know it, -ia (imperative
      -io) being a frequent verb ending. So _estelio_ is canonical in the movie
      universe and unattested in the literary universe, though the word as such
      would fit perfectly into the latter universe as well. End of story.

      > There is not a shred of evidence that any such ending as _-ch_ *'you'
      existed in Sindarin (it is based on an extremely unlikely conjecture from
      an as-yet-unpublished late-Noldorin/early-Sindarin composition).

      Here we see one of CFH's strange habits: he sometimes insists that we
      should pretend that unpublished material simply doesn't exist and does not
      qualify as evidence. The text in question, the Turin Wrapper, is indeed
      "as-yet-unpublished" because CFH has failed to publish it, though way back
      in 1996 he assured all subscribers to the TolkLang list that "soon"
      everybody would get to see it. But the ending _-ch_ does not depend on this
      one text (the interpretation of which can never be entirely certain anyway,
      since Tolkien did not himself provide a translation). David Salo recalls
      that on October 6th, 1996, CFH himself showed him Tolkien manuscripts
      presenting -ch (and -g) as the 2nd person ending. Of course, David's
      recollection could have been wrong, but on January 22, 2002, CFH himself
      wrote to the Elfling list confirming that "charts can be found showing -ch
      as 2nd sg.":

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/9163/

      As CFH also says in this Elfling post, _-ch_ appears with several meanings
      in Tolkien's manuscripts. The pronoun tables were always rather unstable in
      Tolkien's conception, so there are few hard "facts", just a series of
      shifting ideas which in many cases may have been tentative experiments
      already when they were being recorded on paper. In such cases, the
      correctness of a post-Tolkien Quenya or Sindarin text must be judged by
      this criterion: does it fit within the _scope of variation_ observed in
      Tolkien's manuscripts? In this case, the answer is obviously yes. CFH has
      himself publicly confirmed that the ending _-ch_ for sg. "you" does appear
      in some Tolkien's manuscripts, yet he has repeatedly critized David Salo
      for using it in Movie Sindarin, claiming that David can't present any
      evidence for such an ending. Does CFH hereby imply that we should just
      ignore and dismiss his own public statements about the ending _-ch_ (link
      above)?

      This whole thread is of course off topic, but it was CFH who grabbed this
      opportunity to express his disdain for Movie Sindarin once again -- and one
      can't help wondering if this attitude is not colored by his dislike for
      David Salo himself.

      - Helge Fauskanger
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      ... It all depends on what you mean by inferior (a term you keep inserting into the discussion; I don t use it, myself -- my contention has all along only
      Message 2 of 28 , Aug 10, 2003
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        On Sunday, August 10, 2003, at 01:04 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

        > In a way, I am glad to see CFH state that the grammatical correctness
        > of
        > Elvish phrases can be measured by comparing them to the writings of
        > J.R.R.
        > Tolkien, since the implication is that where a post-Tolkien
        > Quenya/Sindarin
        > composition can be demonstrated to agree with the grammar observed in
        > Tolkien's own texts, then this text is indeed correct, genuine
        > Quenya/Sindarin -- not inherently inferior to Tolkien's own
        > compositions.
        > Sometimes, CFH seems to deny this.

        It all depends on what you mean by "inferior" (a term you keep
        inserting into the discussion; I don't use it, myself -- my contention
        has all along only been that it is wrong to call such compositions
        "authentic", as you do). If by "inferior" one means, "not from
        Tolkien's hand", then yes, they are indeed inferior. If by "inferior"
        one means, "having no status as evidence for the grammar of Tolkien's
        languages", then yes, they are indeed inferior. For which reasons I
        would also call them "inauthentic" and "not genuine".

        > Yet the movies have established their own universe, generally similar
        > to
        > Tolkien's but not identical, so in Movie Sindarin at least, _ae_ does
        > mean
        > "if".

        Hence my stipulating that, when unqualified, asking whether some bit of
        composition in one of Tolkien's languages is "grammatical" can only be
        answered by comparison with the evidence we have for these languages:
        that is, Tolkien's own writings.

        >> There is not a shred of evidence that any such verb as *_estelio_
        >> existed
        > in Sindarin (it is conjecture based on the noun _estel_ 'hope, faith').
        >
        > "Conjecture" is hardly the right word here.

        American Heritage Dictionary: conjecture: "1. Inference or judgment
        based on inconclusive or incomplete evidence". Seems the _mot juste_ to
        me. Certainly it is what _I_ meant.

        > David just made a word fitting the derivational structure of Tolkien's
        > Sindarin as we know it, -ia (imperative -io) being a frequent verb
        > ending. So _estelio_ is canonical in the movie universe and unattested
        > in the literary universe, though the word as such would fit perfectly
        > into the latter universe as well. End of story.

        Hardly. _estel_ is a noun, not a verb, apparently derived by prefixed
        _sundóma_ from a base like *STEL-. There is no reason to suppose that
        the verb from the same stem (if one existed) would have a prefixed
        _sundóma_; it would be at least as likely not to. Nor is there any
        particular reason to suppose that the verb from this stem (if one
        existed) would necessarily be derived and not basic.

        >> There is not a shred of evidence that any such ending as _-ch_ *'you'
        > existed in Sindarin (it is based on an extremely unlikely conjecture
        > from
        > an as-yet-unpublished late-Noldorin/early-Sindarin composition).
        >
        > Here we see one of CFH's strange habits: he sometimes insists that we
        > should pretend that unpublished material simply doesn't exist and does
        > not
        > qualify as evidence.

        If you can point to even a single instance, published or unpublished,
        of _-ch_ *'you' in Sindarin, I will retract my statement. Otherwise,
        what I said is perfectly accurate, as even you must agree.

        > The text in question, the Turin Wrapper, is indeed
        > "as-yet-unpublished" because CFH has failed to publish it,

        I haven't "failed" to publish anything; that would require that I tried
        to publish it but was unsuccessful. I haven't yet tried to publish the
        text in question.

        > though way back in 1996 he assured all subscribers to the TolkLang
        > list that "soon"
        > everybody would get to see it.

        Priorities change. As does editorial interest.

        > David Salo recalls that on October 6th, 1996, CFH himself showed him
        > Tolkien manuscripts
        > presenting -ch (and -g) as the 2nd person ending.

        As David himself noted -- though you conveniently fail to note it
        yourself -- the manuscript he saw concerned Noldorin, not Sindarin.

        > In such cases, the correctness of a post-Tolkien Quenya or Sindarin
        > text must be judged by
        > this criterion: does it fit within the _scope of variation_ observed
        > in Tolkien's manuscripts? In this case, the answer is obviously yes.

        I repeat: If you can point to even a single instance, published or
        unpublished, of _-ch_ *'you' in Sindarin, I will retract my statement.
        Otherwise, what I said is perfectly accurate, as even you must agree.
        Deciding whether a text is grammatical for some language doesn't mean
        accepting any form from any conceptual stage that happens to give the
        desired meaning; grammaticality means something rather more precise
        than that.

        > CFH has himself publicly confirmed that the ending _-ch_ for sg. "you"
        > does appear in some Tolkien's manuscripts, yet he has repeatedly
        > critized David Salo for using it in Movie Sindarin, claiming that
        > David can't present any evidence for such an ending.

        For the third time, I say: If you can point to even a single instance,
        published or unpublished, of _-ch_ *'you' in Sindarin, I will retract
        my statement. Otherwise, what I said is perfectly accurate, as even you
        must agree.

        > Does CFH hereby imply that we should just ignore and dismiss his own
        > public statements about the ending _-ch_ (link above)?

        Indeed not. But I hereby state that you should read what I actually
        said, not just report what you want me to have said.

        > This whole thread is of course off topic,

        And yet you don't mind extending it. I at least answered the question
        that was asked. You've done nothing but avoid answering the question by
        misdirecting attention both from it and from the actual meaning of my
        own words.

        > but it was CFH who grabbed this opportunity to express his disdain for
        > Movie Sindarin once again

        I most certainly did not. I _answered the question_ accurately. Do you
        disagree with my answer? If so, then please provide your own.

        > -- and one can't help wondering if this attitude is not colored by
        > his dislike for
        > David Salo himself.

        Look who's talking.
      • Michael Everson
        I think Helge s personal remarks about Carl are out of line. That kind of comment is not welcome of public forums like this. -- Michael Everson * * Everson
        Message 3 of 28 , Aug 10, 2003
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          I think Helge's personal remarks about Carl are out of line. That
          kind of comment is not welcome of public forums like this.
          --
          Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com
        • elimloth
          ... I think any of the personal remarks are out of line. And, these retorts reflect an old story. For those interested, take a look at the elfling archives
          Message 4 of 28 , Aug 10, 2003
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            --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Michael Everson <everson@e...>
            wrote:
            > I think Helge's personal remarks about Carl are out of line. That
            > kind of comment is not welcome of public forums like this.

            I think any of the personal remarks are out of line. And, these
            retorts reflect an old story. For those interested, take a look at
            the elfling archives starting around message 9099, dated 1/21/2002.
            Look for the thread called "on -ch".

            As for "mu", a most appropriate answer to un-ask the question, the
            linguistic commentaries (at least the non personal portions of the
            thread) fall more within elfling or lambemgolmor, certainly not
            elfscript.

            http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mu

            BTW, Douglas R Hofstadter's book, "Goedel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal
            Golden Braid" is a wonderful read.

            http://www.bestbookdeal.com/book/0465026567

            Elimloth
          • elimloth
            ... [...] the ... Oh dear, sorry about that typo: lambengolmor. Elimloth
            Message 5 of 28 , Aug 10, 2003
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              --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "elimloth" <draco@s...> wrote:
              [...] the
              > linguistic commentaries (at least the non personal portions of the
              > thread) fall more within elfling or **lambemgolmor, certainly not
              > elfscript.

              Oh dear, sorry about that typo: lambengolmor.
              Elimloth
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              I quite agree with everything Elimloth says... except for the central, inaccurate and unfair implication that my responses in this thread are of a kind with
              Message 6 of 28 , Aug 11, 2003
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                I quite agree with everything "Elimloth" says... except for the
                central, inaccurate and unfair implication that my responses in this
                thread are of a kind with Helge's. I've seen this attitude reflected
                numerous times on Elfling, including from Elimloth (a moderator), where
                I am prohibited from responding; but I won't remain silent on the
                matter here.

                I did nothing more than accurately answer a question made on this list
                (off-topic though it was, if no one is going to moderate this list,
                such questions are to be expected). I made absolutely _no_ personal
                comments in doing so. As usual, it was _Helge_ who, seeing my name
                attached to a post, reflexively replied with his usual mix of snide
                remarks, innuendo, mockery, and misrepresentation; as usual, it was
                _Helge_ who personalized things.

                If Elimloth is lumping my response to Helge in her "personal remarks",
                and thus means to deny me the right to defend myself against such
                personal charges, well, perhaps she should moderate _this_ list as
                well, and give Helge yet another platform from which to launch his
                rhetoric and insults without fear of response.

                Carl



                -----------

                On Sunday, August 10, 2003, at 11:31 PM, elimloth wrote:

                > --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Michael Everson <everson@e...>
                > wrote:
                >> I think Helge's personal remarks about Carl are out of line. That
                >> kind of comment is not welcome of public forums like this.
                >
                > I think any of the personal remarks are out of line. And, these
                > retorts reflect an old story. For those interested, take a look at
                > the elfling archives starting around message 9099, dated 1/21/2002.
                > Look for the thread called "on -ch".
                >
                > As for "mu", a most appropriate answer to un-ask the question, the
                > linguistic commentaries (at least the non personal portions of the
                > thread) fall more within elfling or lambemgolmor, certainly not
                > elfscript.
                >
                > http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mu
                >
                > BTW, Douglas R Hofstadter's book, "Goedel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal
                > Golden Braid" is a wonderful read.
                >
                > http://www.bestbookdeal.com/book/0465026567
                >
                > Elimloth
                >
                >
                >
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              • elimloth
                ... this ... I thought I was clear that my comment about the personal remarks transcend this thread. There are plenty of examples in public archives of
                Message 7 of 28 , Aug 14, 2003
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                  --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@e...>
                  wrote:
                  > I quite agree with everything "Elimloth" says... except for the
                  > central, inaccurate and unfair implication that my responses in
                  this
                  > thread are of a kind with Helge's.

                  I thought I was clear that my comment about the personal remarks
                  transcend this thread. There are plenty of examples in public
                  archives of personal displeasure between you two, so my comments are
                  fair in the general case.

                  And yes, I agree with you that in this thread you were not
                  exhibiting the personal remarks I referred to. That Helge does so
                  here or in any other forum is lamentable. This is not new as we have
                  discussed this before. You will note I and other moderators of
                  Elfling (and I've mentioned this before) have taken the effort to
                  limit such activity, and that applies to several other people who
                  have the unfortunate tendency to lapse into personal invectives.

                  > I've seen this attitude reflected numerous times on Elfling,
                  > including from Elimloth (a moderator), where
                  > I am prohibited from responding; but I won't remain silent on the
                  > matter here.

                  Well, yes, I am a moderator on Elfling, and stars above, that's
                  enough duty for me, but the matter of you being prohibited from
                  responding in that forum is not mine to change. That one lies
                  between you and the list manager.

                  > If Elimloth is lumping my response to Helge in her "personal
                  remarks", and thus means to deny me the right to defend myself
                  against such personal charges, well, perhaps she should moderate
                  _this_ list as well, and give Helge yet another platform from which
                  to launch his rhetoric and insults without fear of response.

                  Oh dear. Carl, now you have painted me as a person who is partial to
                  another who gives you grief. I truly think that is unfair.

                  But, since you and I agree this matter is off topic, why don't we
                  continue this in private and see where that leads, to the better, I
                  think.

                  Best,
                  Elimloth
                • Carl F. Hostetter
                  ... Yes, and it is precisely this generality that generates the implication that I object to: for it lumps my posts in with Helge s. ... Good. And if you had
                  Message 8 of 28 , Aug 16, 2003
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                    On Thursday, August 14, 2003, at 11:46 PM, elimloth wrote:

                    > --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@e...>
                    > wrote:
                    >>
                    >> I quite agree with everything "Elimloth" says... except for the
                    >> central, inaccurate and unfair implication that my responses in this
                    >> thread are of a kind with Helge's.
                    >
                    > I thought I was clear that my comment about the personal remarks
                    > transcend this thread.

                    Yes, and it is precisely this generality that generates the implication
                    that I object to: for it lumps my posts in with Helge's.

                    > And yes, I agree with you that in this thread you were not exhibiting
                    > the personal remarks I referred to.

                    Good. And if you had said so, instead of implying otherwise by your
                    generality, then I would have had nothing to say in response (save
                    perhaps a private thanks!)

                    > You will note I and other moderators of Elfling (and I've mentioned
                    > this before) have taken the effort to limit such activity,

                    I have indeed noticed. But that encouraging sign on Elfling is all the
                    more reason for me to fear that this forum will not be so fortunate,
                    particularly if there is a failure to distinguish between specific
                    cases and instigators and generalities.
                  • Helge K. Fauskanger
                    ... [post-Tolkien Eldarin compositions] are indeed inferior. I don t think not from Tolkien s hand is included in the definition of inferior in any of the
                    Message 9 of 28 , Aug 19, 2003
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                      Sorry about the slow response -- blame the flu. CFH wrote:

                      > If by "inferior" one means, "not from Tolkien's hand", then yes,
                      [post-Tolkien Eldarin compositions] are indeed inferior.

                      I don't think "not from Tolkien's hand" is included in the definition of
                      "inferior" in any of the dictionaries CFH is fond of quoting. A sonnet not
                      written by Shakespeare is of course irrelevant for Shakespeare research,
                      but surely its authorship does not make it inferior _per se_?

                      > If by "inferior" one means, "having no status as evidence for the grammar
                      of Tolkien's languages", then yes, they are indeed inferior.

                      We were discussing texts that could be demonstrated to _conform_ with the
                      grammar observed in Tolkien's own compositions, remember? Same word order,
                      same syntactical patterns, same grammatical constructions -- no other
                      difference than the exact words used. For instance: Tolkien provided _linte
                      yuldar_ for "swift draughts". So adjective + noun is a possible
                      construction (though not necessarily the only possible word order). I
                      deduce that "(a) red house" can be expressed as _carne coa_. But I
                      understand that by CFH's standards, the latter phrase represents the merest
                      hypothesis about how "red house" is expressed in Quenya. After all, we
                      can't be _quite sure_ that Tolkien didn't invent some currently unknown,
                      incredibly perverse grammatical rule that makes _carne coa_ an impossible
                      phrase in High-elven...

                      May the same principle apply to the writings, the immediate concern of this
                      list? Are all post-Tolkien transcriptions into Tengwar (or Cirth) _per se_
                      inferior, pretty doodles that may look a lot like Tolkien's Tengwar but are
                      in no way "genuine" or "authentic" Tengwar? Actually I sometimes find
                      post-Tolkien Tengwar calligraphy _superior_ to his own results, and not
                      only in terms of esthetics. I am not always impressed by Tolkien's own
                      spellings; according to the rules he sets out elsewhere, his Namárie
                      transcript in _The Road Goes Ever On_ unquestionably contains several
                      spelling mistakes, some of them pretty elementary (such as confusing the
                      tehtar for E and I -- clearly Tolkien is lapsing into other modes). I have
                      often wondered if this transcript was produced in a hurry -- deadline
                      approaching FAST?

                      > For which reasons I would also call them "inauthentic" and "not genuine".

                      I am not a native speaker of English. Yet I hope this letter is written in
                      "authentic" or "genuine" English, and that it is vaguely intelligible to
                      native speakers like CFH himself?

                      When I speak of authentic Quenya/Sindarin, I mean something that is
                      authentic or genuine in the sense "Grelvish" is NOT authentic or genuine. I
                      might also speak of an inscription in authentic Tengwar or Cirth, though
                      anyone could come up with some pretty doodles or angles that most people
                      couldn't tell apart from the real thing. (Indeed I have been approached by
                      people who wanted to know whether certain non-Tolkien invented alphabets
                      are "real Elvish", and I had to inform them that though the script in
                      question seemed inspired by the Tengwar, it had nothing to do with Tolkien
                      or his Elves. In that sense, it was not authentic. If it was "Elvish", it
                      must belong to another mythos with another Elvish race.)

                      Concerning _estelia-_ (imp. _estelio_) as a word for "hope": I must
                      maintain that this is a newly-coined word (coined by David Salo for the
                      movies) rather than a form David "conjectured" to have "existed" in
                      Sindarin. After all, a "complete" Sindarin lexicon never existed -- not in
                      Tolkien's mind, and certainly not in the Middle-earth setting, for that is
                      quite fictional. Perhaps a Tolkien-made verb for "hope" will turn up one
                      day, but in the meantime we are merely discussing whether the neologism
                      _estelia-_ can be said to be a well-formed word, i.e. fitting and
                      seamlessly blending with the Tolkienian core which any post-Tolkien
                      additions must be based on. There is no "inconclusive or incomplete
                      evidence" (American Heritage Dictionary) involved here; all the morphemes
                      included in this verb are directly attested in Tolkien's material. Only
                      their combination is potentially controversial. CFH seems to deny that
                      _estelia-_ is well-formed; at least he considers it questionable:

                      > _estel_ is a noun, not a verb, apparently derived by prefixed _sundóma_
                      from a base like *STEL-. [Good News Carl: you can drop the asterisk! See
                      WJ:318-19!] There is no reason to suppose that the verb from the same stem
                      (if one existed) would have a prefixed _sundóma_; it would be at least as
                      likely not to.

                      Verbs with prefixed sundóma are not unheard of in Eldarin. Just consider
                      Quenya _atalta-_ "collapse", clearly derived from ATALAT as a prefixed
                      variant of the stem TALAT (in WJ:319, Christopher Tolkien uses this very
                      stem as his example when explaining the sundóma concept!) If _estelia-_
                      "hope" is seen as a denominated verb, based on the noun _estel_, there is
                      every reason to believe that the prefixed sundóma would be used in the verb
                      as well.

                      > Nor is there any particular reason to suppose that the verb from this
                      stem (if one existed) would necessarily be derived and not basic.

                      For the sake of clarity, it is best to make it a derived verb. A basic verb
                      _estel-_ would have _estel_ as its endingless 3rd person singular present
                      (aorist?) tense form, thus clashing with the noun. A derived verb
                      _estelia-_ would appear as _estelia_ in the same form, remaining quite
                      distinct from Tolkien's noun. Much clearer.

                      There seems to be no hard-and-fast rule for how the verb ending -ia
                      (primitive -jâ, Quenya -ya) is applied. In the entry SIR in Etym, we learn
                      that for "flow" Quenya uses the basic verb _sir-_, whereas Noldorin (>
                      Sindarin) instead has the derived verb _sirio_, infinitive of *_siria-_. So
                      I don't think we are violating Tolkien's general system if we throw in this
                      ending where it will be useful.

                      Sure, we could derive a basic verb with no prefixed sundóma from STEL-.
                      There is just one tiny problem: Tolkien did so himself! This verb is
                      _thel-_, and it does not mean "hope", but "intend, mean, purpose, resolve,
                      will" (WJ:319). Surely CFH is not suggesting that we should coin a brand
                      new verb _thel-_ clashing with Tolkien's own form?

                      I know...CFH is not suggesting that we should coin anything at all. Not
                      what he is interested in. But anyhow: _estelia-_ remains beautifully
                      distinct from _thel-_ because of the prefixed sundóma (connecting it to the
                      noun _estel_) and the ending _-ia_.

                      As for the pronominal ending _-ch_ "you", CFH now seems to be saying that
                      this ending is only attested in Noldorin. Well, then he may just as well
                      insist that since many of the words used by David Salo in the Elvish movie
                      lines come from the Etymologies, they are actually Noldorin and there is
                      "no shred of evidence" that they existed in Sindarin! Indeed, even the
                      samples of "Sindarin" in LotR are strictly speaking Noldorin, for as is
                      clear from Tolkien's drafts for the appendices, he thought of Sindarin as
                      Noldorin even after the entire narrative had been written. Available
                      material does not suggest that the re-naming and the corresponding drastic
                      change of the internal history of the language is in any way matched by
                      equally drastic revisions of its structure, and so any available pronominal
                      endings may be considered "valid" quite irrespective of whether Tolkien
                      would have called them Noldorin or Sindarin when he wrote them down. CFH
                      has himself indicated that there are very many contradicting pronoun
                      tables, and any forms appearing in them are potentially "valid" parts of
                      Tolkien's great Celtic-Theme Language -- though in internal terms,
                      hopelessly contradictory tables must be assigned to different universes.

                      > Priorities change. As does editorial interest.

                      What about the interest of the readers, who may have been looking forward
                      to reading certain pieces of material which the editor has publicly stated
                      they would "soon" get to see? I know I did, seven years ago. Is the
                      potential disappointment of the readers of any relevance at all to the
                      editor?

                      - Helge Fauskanger
                    • Carl F. Hostetter
                      ... As usual, context means nothing to you, Helge. That is, at least not when observing context robs you of a (perceived) chance to score a point. ... Once
                      Message 10 of 28 , Aug 19, 2003
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                        On Tuesday, August 19, 2003, at 05:20 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                        > CFH wrote:
                        >
                        >> If by "inferior" one means, "not from Tolkien's hand", then yes,
                        >> [post-Tolkien Eldarin compositions] are indeed inferior.
                        >
                        > I don't think "not from Tolkien's hand" is included in the definition
                        > of "inferior" in any of the dictionaries CFH is fond of quoting.

                        As usual, context means nothing to you, Helge. That is, at least not
                        when observing context robs you of a (perceived) chance to score a
                        point.

                        > A sonnet not written by Shakespeare is of course irrelevant for
                        > Shakespeare research, but surely its authorship does not make it
                        > inferior _per se_?

                        Once again, that depends on what you mean by "inferior"; and I note
                        that you have yet to share with us what you mean by it, or to
                        demonstrate that your definition in any way justifies your assertion
                        that I consider such texts "inferior" (despite the fact that it was
                        you, not I, who inserted this term into the discussion).

                        >> If by "inferior" one means, "having no status as evidence for the
                        >> grammar of Tolkien's languages", then yes, they are indeed inferior.
                        >
                        > We were discussing texts that could be demonstrated to _conform_ with
                        > the grammar observed in Tolkien's own compositions, remember?

                        Indeed we were; the question I took up was specifically whether a given
                        bit of dialogue from the movies was "grammatically correct Sindarin". I
                        stipulated right up front the basis on which this determination can be
                        made. You have yet to do so; but instead have once again changed the
                        terms to suit your own wishes for what you _want_ me to have said, and
                        to have meant. Thus, you instead chose to divert us from what you
                        recongize was the actual discussion by asserting that I consider such
                        compositions "inferior", without definition, and despite the fact that
                        I did not use that term; and now you pretend that it was I, and not
                        you, that was not addressing the subject.

                        Speaking of which, you have yet to demonstrate that the sentence in
                        question "conforms with the grammar" of _Sindarin_ as "observed in
                        Tolkien's own compositions", even though I specifically challenged you
                        to do so, in general and in the particular case of _-ch_.

                        > Same word order, same syntactical patterns, same grammatical
                        > constructions -- no other
                        > difference than the exact words used. For instance: Tolkien provided
                        > _linte yuldar_ for "swift draughts". So adjective + noun is a possible
                        > construction (though not necessarily the only possible word order). I
                        > deduce that "(a) red house" can be expressed as _carne coa_. But I
                        > understand that by CFH's standards, the latter phrase represents the
                        > merest
                        > hypothesis about how "red house" is expressed in Quenya.

                        And thus you demonstrate once again that your understanding is flawed.
                        While it is indeed, strictly speaking, a hypothesis (your "mere",
                        inserted as per usual for disdainful and snide rhetorical effect, is
                        not a qualifier I would use), it is one based on very, very firm
                        elements: a fully attested noun and a fully attested adjective, placed
                        together in a fully-attested syntactic relationship. That looks fully
                        conforming to me. Do you _really_ think so little of your readers that
                        you expect them to see no difference of importance between this
                        situation and the one under discussion, which features (_inter alia_) a
                        conjunction unattested in Sindarin (*_ae_), a verb unattested in
                        Sindarin (*_estelia_), and a pronominal ending unattested in Sindarin
                        (*_-ch_)?

                        > May the same principle apply to the writings, the immediate concern of
                        > this list? Are all post-Tolkien transcriptions into Tengwar (or Cirth)
                        > _per se_ inferior, pretty doodles that may look a lot like Tolkien's
                        > Tengwar but are in no way "genuine" or "authentic" Tengwar?

                        Once again, do you really expect your readers to see no difference of
                        importance between the employment of a fully-specified set of abstract
                        symbols for writing, and claiming that the employment of invented words
                        and devices for a poorly-attested language produces grammatical texts
                        in that language? If so, then you must also believe that the fact that
                        I can spell words using the Greek alphabet implies that I am able to
                        write grammatical Greek.

                        But to address the truly analogical situation: if someone were to
                        invent a new _tengwa_ or _tehta_ form to bear some desired value, then
                        it would indeed in no way belong to the "genuine" or "authentic"
                        _Tengwar_. Conversely, if the sentence under discussion had employed
                        only _attested_ words and grammatical devices (which _none_ of the
                        features I cited are), then it could indeed be considered grammatical
                        Sindarin in a non-trivial sense.

                        > I am not a native speaker of English. Yet I hope this letter is
                        > written in "authentic" or "genuine" English, and that it is vaguely
                        > intelligible to native speakers like CFH himself?

                        Actually, the meanings you assign to words -- admittedly, usually under
                        rhetorical pressures to avoid having ever to admit a mistake or issue
                        an apology -- are sometimes clearly _not_ "authentic" or "genuine"
                        English. But again, do you really think that your readers will see no
                        difference of importance to the question of grammaticality between your
                        ability to use the vast, fully-attested lexicon and grammar of English,
                        in a manner wholly devoid of, say, invented conjunctions, verbs, and
                        pronouns; and the use of such invented words and devices in a
                        poorly-attested language like Sindarin?

                        > When I speak of authentic Quenya/Sindarin, I mean something that is
                        > authentic or genuine in the sense "Grelvish" is NOT authentic or
                        > genuine.

                        In other words, you know it when you see it, even though you can't
                        define it by any measure other than your subjective opinions of what
                        seems right to you.

                        To put the contrast more starkly: what Helge apparently means by
                        "genuine" and "authentic" Sindarin is "conforming with his hypotheses
                        about what Sindarin is/should be". Thus, despite the fact that Helge
                        cannot point to even a single example of an ending *_-ch_ meaning 'you'
                        in Sindarin, in either published or unpublished material, because he
                        has accepted the hypothesis that it _might_ have that meaning, he has
                        decided that its use _is_ "genuine", "authentic" Sindarin.

                        So, Helge, you've _once again_ replaced the discussion that was
                        actually taking place with your own private discussion: the question
                        was not whether the sentence under discussion is "authentic" or
                        "genuine" but whether it is "grammatical Sindarin".

                        > Concerning _estelia-_ (imp. _estelio_) as a word for "hope": I must
                        > maintain that this is a newly-coined word (coined by David Salo for
                        > the movies) rather than a form David "conjectured" to have "existed"
                        > in Sindarin.

                        I never said David "conjectured the form to have existed" in Sindarin.
                        I said the _form itself_ was conjecture. Once again, rather than simply
                        quoting what I said, and responding to it, you choose instead to
                        respond to something you _want_ me to have said, even though I never
                        did.

                        But since you bring it up: do you mean to say that word-coinage has no
                        bearing whatsoever on the question of grammaticality (which, I remind
                        you once again, was the actual question under discussion)?

                        > in the meantime we are merely discussing whether the neologism
                        > _estelia-_ can be said to be a well-formed word, i.e. fitting and
                        > seamlessly blending with the Tolkienian core which any post-Tolkien
                        > additions must be based on.

                        _No we are not_. _Once again_, you've changed the terms of the
                        discussion. The question was of grammaticality, not of conformance to
                        your or David's hypotheses and conjectures as to what is or is not
                        "well-formed" or "core".

                        > There is no "inconclusive or incomplete evidence" (American Heritage
                        > Dictionary) involved here; all the morphemes included in this verb are
                        > directly attested in Tolkien's material. Only their combination is
                        > potentially controversial.

                        Absolutely false. You can't point to a single instance, published or
                        unpublished, of a Sindarin _verb_ of the form _estel-_ (whether
                        extended or not), or of a Sindarin conjunction of the form *_ae_, or of
                        a Sindarin pronoun of the form _-ch_. These forms are all utterly
                        _lacking_ in the attested evidence for Sindarin.

                        > CFH seems to deny that _estelia-_ is well-formed; at least he
                        > considers it questionable:

                        So questioning an assertion is denial of its validity. I see.

                        >> _estel_ is a noun, not a verb, apparently derived by prefixed
                        >> _sundóma_ from a base like *STEL-. [Good News Carl: you can drop the
                        >> asterisk! See WJ:318-19!]

                        Ah! I thought there was a root like that, but when I wrote my message I
                        wasn't able to search for it. Thanks for the citation.

                        >> There is no reason to suppose that the verb from the same stem (if
                        >> one existed) would have a prefixed _sundóma_; it would be at least as
                        >> likely not to.

                        Indeed, there is _from the very source Helge cites_, a _very_ good
                        reason to think that the verb would _not_ have prefixed _sundóma_. It
                        reads in full:

                        "Latter element [of _Ecthelion_ / _Aegthelion_] is a derivative of
                        √_stel_ 'remain firm'. The form with prefix '_sundóma_', _estel_, was
                        used in Q and S for 'hope' -- sc. a temper of mind, steady, fixed in
                        purpose, and difficult to dissuade and unlikely to fall into despair or
                        abandon its purpose. The unprefixed _stel-_ gave [? S verb] _thel_
                        'intend, mean, purpose, resolve, will'."

                        Thus the _attested_ verb from the root √_stel_ indeed does _not_ have a
                        prefixed _sundóma_ (nor is it derived, but rather basic). What's more,
                        it is clear from this passage that what Tolkien meant by _estel_ is
                        _not_ semantically equivalent to English "hope", making it even _less_
                        likely that a verb derived from it would be suitable to either the
                        English verb in general or to the semantics of the sentence under
                        discussion.

                        > Verbs with prefixed sundóma are not unheard of in Eldarin.

                        Who ever said they were? Verbs _without_ prefixed _sundóma_ aren't
                        unheard of either; indeed they are vastly more common. Nor are basic
                        verbs unheard of. So what?

                        > Just consider Quenya _atalta-_ "collapse", clearly derived from ATALAT
                        > as a prefixed variant of the stem TALAT (in WJ:319, Christopher
                        > Tolkien uses this very stem as his example when explaining the sundóma
                        > concept!)

                        First, there are also other related verbs to _atalta-_ that do _not_
                        have the prefixed _sundóma_; so how does this make *_estelio_ any more
                        likely than a verb in *_thel-_? Second, this example is _Quenya_, not
                        Sindarin. Can you cite a Sindarin verb that _does_ have a prefixed
                        _sundóma_? I can think of only one: _agor_ 'made, did' (XI:415), a
                        _past tense_ verb.

                        > If _estelia-_ "hope" is seen as a denominated verb, based on the noun
                        > _estel_, there is
                        > every reason to believe that the prefixed sundóma would be used in the
                        > verb as well.

                        I'm going to assume that the circular reasoning of this sentence is due
                        to haste, and is not intentional.

                        >> Nor is there any particular reason to suppose that the verb from this
                        >> stem (if one existed) would necessarily be derived and not basic.
                        >
                        > For the sake of clarity, it is best to make it a derived verb. A basic
                        > verb _estel-_ would have _estel_ as its endingless 3rd person singular
                        > present (aorist?) tense form, thus clashing with the noun.

                        All the more reason to suppose that the verb does _not_ share the
                        prefixed _sundóma_ with the noun. As indeed the attested verb, _thel-_,
                        does not.

                        > Surely CFH is not suggesting that we should coin a brand new verb
                        > _thel-_ clashing with Tolkien's own form?

                        Indeed not. In fact, it seems pretty clear that neither _estel_ nor
                        _thel-_ is in close agreement with the semantic range of either the
                        nominal or the verbal meaning of English "hope". Which, given the
                        question under discussion, which I remind you was whether the sentence
                        under discussion is "grammatical Sindarin" (and not whether its
                        conjectures are expedient), makes the answer all the more firmly "no".

                        > As for the pronominal ending _-ch_ "you", CFH now seems to be saying
                        > that this ending is only attested in Noldorin.

                        I've never said anything contrary to this. Only _you_ have repeatedly
                        misrepresented me as having said something else.

                        > Well, then he may just as well insist that since many of the words
                        > used by David Salo in the Elvish movie lines come from the
                        > Etymologies, they are actually Noldorin and there is
                        > "no shred of evidence" that they existed in Sindarin!

                        So you agree then that the sentence under discussion is certainly not
                        "grammatical Sindarin", and thus with my "no" answer to that question.
                        So what are you arguing with me for?

                        > Available material does not suggest that the re-naming and the
                        > corresponding drastic change of the internal history of the language
                        > is in any way matched by equally drastic revisions of its structure,
                        > and so any available pronominal endings may be considered "valid"
                        > quite irrespective of whether Tolkien would have called them Noldorin
                        > or Sindarin when he wrote them down.

                        This is sheer nonsense. First, as I have discussed elsewhere, there are
                        _very_ good reasons to think that _-ch_ in the sentence from which
                        David formed his conjecture _cannot_ mean 'you' (either sg. or pl.). So
                        it is not just a case of absence of evidence; there is in addition
                        evidence _to the contrary_. Second, the question was not whether the
                        ending is "valid" (by which here you seem to mean "attested with a
                        desired meaning somewhere, anywhere, in Tolkien's papers"), but whether
                        it was "grammatical Sindarin". You cannot answer that in the
                        affirmative honestly, but only if you silently change the answer to
                        mean "conforms with David's/Helge's hypotheses and conjectures". Third,
                        the "available material" does _indeed_ show that there was a
                        considerable restructuring of the Eldarin pronominal forms between the
                        Qenya/Noldorin of the _Etymologies_ era and the Quenya/Sindarin
                        attested in _The Lord of the Rings_, rendering the systems
                        incompatible, as even you now recognize and state.

                        >> Priorities change. As does editorial interest.
                        >
                        > What about the interest of the readers, who may have been looking
                        > forward to reading certain pieces of material which the editor has
                        > publicly stated they would "soon" get to see? I know I did, seven
                        > years ago. Is the potential disappointment of the readers of any
                        > relevance at all to the editor?

                        As always when it suits your rhetorical purposes, it's all or nothing
                        with you, Helge. Yes, the potential disappointment of readers is of
                        _some_ relevance to me; but it is not the _only_ thing of relevance. It
                        is my responsibility to tell the story of Tolkien's development of his
                        languages; and it is thereby my responsibility to do so in the best way
                        I know how, even if, as in this case, that means delaying publication
                        of an item in favor of latterly-arrived materials of more importance to
                        the overall project; or even if, as also in this case, I decide to work
                        on something not only of more importance but also of more interest to
                        me than a piece tainted by the disgusting behavior of another.

                        By the way, if anyone wonders why my colleagues and I no longer make
                        any announcement of future publication plans, you need wonder no longer
                        after reading Helge's words.


                        --
                        =============================================
                        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."
                      • John Cowan
                        ... According to the standard meaning of grammaticality as used by mainstream linguists these last forty years, word-coinage is quite irrelevant to
                        Message 11 of 28 , Aug 19, 2003
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                          Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                          > But since you bring it up: do you mean to say that word-coinage has no
                          > bearing whatsoever on the question of grammaticality (which, I remind
                          > you once again, was the actual question under discussion)?

                          According to the standard meaning of "grammaticality" as used by
                          mainstream linguists these last forty years, word-coinage is quite
                          irrelevant to grammaticality. "This sentence contains one nonstandard
                          English flutzpah" is perfectly grammatical despite containing a nonce
                          word.

                          What is more, by that same definition of "grammatical", there are no
                          grammatical Quenya or Sindarin utterances at all, merely attested and
                          unattested ones. Grammaticality requires native-speaker judgements,
                          and there are none to be had. (The fact that Q & S are conlangs is
                          quite irrelevant; exactly the same statement applies to Akkadian.)

                          --
                          John Cowan jcowan@...
                          "You need a change: try Canada" "You need a change: try China"
                          --fortune cookies opened by a couple that I know
                        • Carl F. Hostetter
                          ... Floople me diddly-dang gupgup. Ae we not resolve a thing, resolve you for us. Grelvish. Do you consider these to be grammatical? I don t. ... Any Quenya or
                          Message 12 of 28 , Aug 19, 2003
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                            On Tuesday, August 19, 2003, at 09:37 PM, John Cowan wrote:

                            > Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:
                            >
                            >> But since you bring it up: do you mean to say that word-coinage has
                            >> no bearing whatsoever on the question of grammaticality (which, I
                            >> remind you once again, was the actual question under discussion)?
                            >
                            > According to the standard meaning of "grammaticality" as used by
                            > mainstream linguists these last forty years, word-coinage is quite
                            > irrelevant to grammaticality. "This sentence contains one nonstandard
                            > English flutzpah" is perfectly grammatical despite containing a nonce
                            > word.

                            Floople me diddly-dang gupgup.

                            Ae we not resolve a thing, resolve you for us.

                            Grelvish.

                            Do you consider these to be grammatical? I don't.

                            > What is more, by that same definition of "grammatical", there are no
                            > grammatical Quenya or Sindarin utterances at all, merely attested and
                            > unattested ones.

                            Any Quenya or Sindarin sentence written by Tolkien is grammatical for
                            the language as it stood at the time it was written (unless, of course,
                            he gives it as an example of an ungrammatical sentence). As the
                            _inventor_ of his languages, his examples _define_ what is grammatical
                            in them.

                            > Grammaticality requires native-speaker judgements,

                            Or, in the case of invented languages, _inventor_ judgments.

                            > The fact that Q & S are conlangs is quite irrelevant;

                            No it isn't.

                            > exactly the same statement applies to Akkadian.

                            That is true _because_ Akkadian is not an invented language. Were it,
                            then the writings of its inventor would be quite sufficiently
                            grammatical.
                          • John Cowan
                            ... But no other sentences whatever are grammatical, then? If so, then I have no problem with it; but we must recognize that for Q, S, and Akkadian,
                            Message 13 of 28 , Aug 19, 2003
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                              Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                              > Any Quenya or Sindarin sentence written by Tolkien is grammatical for
                              > the language as it stood at the time it was written (unless, of course,
                              > he gives it as an example of an ungrammatical sentence).

                              But no other sentences whatever are grammatical, then? If so, then
                              I have no problem with it; but we must recognize that for Q, S, and Akkadian,
                              "grammatical" means the same as "attested", but not so for English,
                              Welsh, or Finnish, where mmany non-attested sentences are grammatical.

                              --
                              John Cowan <jcowan@...> http://www.reutershealth.com
                              "But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Eowyn I am, Eomund's daughter.
                              You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless.
                              For living or dark undead, I will smite you if you touch him."
                            • Carl F. Hostetter
                              ... How did you derive _that_ from what I wrote? Saying that Tolkien s sentences _are_ grammatical (in response to your saying that they weren t, by a certain
                              Message 14 of 28 , Aug 19, 2003
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                                On Tuesday, August 19, 2003, at 10:56 PM, John Cowan wrote:

                                > Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:
                                >
                                >> Any Quenya or Sindarin sentence written by Tolkien is grammatical for
                                >> the language as it stood at the time it was written (unless, of
                                >> course,
                                >> he gives it as an example of an ungrammatical sentence).
                                >
                                > But no other sentences whatever are grammatical, then?

                                How did you derive _that_ from what I wrote? Saying that Tolkien's
                                sentences _are_ grammatical (in response to your saying that they
                                weren't, by a certain definition of "grammatical") does _not_ equate to
                                saying that _no other_ sentences are grammatical:

                                > If so, then I have no problem with it; but we must recognize that for
                                > Q, S, and Akkadian,
                                > "grammatical" means the same as "attested", but not so for English,
                                > Welsh, or Finnish, where mmany non-attested sentences are grammatical.

                                I agree that there is definitely a difference in quality between saying
                                that a sentence in an invented language (specifically a
                                far-from-completely attested one having no speech-community and no
                                living inventor) is grammatical, and saying that a sentence in a living
                                language with a speech-community is grammatical. The latter certainly
                                involves a rather stricter judgment than the former, since in the
                                former case any non-attested sentence is, strictly speaking, only
                                hypothetically grammatical. But as I've stated already in this thread,
                                I would say that a sentence formed by taking fully-attested words and
                                joining them according to a fully-attested syntactic pattern _would_ be
                                grammatical in a non-trivial sense. (And, in what will no doubt be a
                                vain attempt to cut off another thousand-word diversion from Helge, I
                                will state here that I do _not_ mean to limit grammaticality _in this
                                sense_ to _only_ such sentences; for example, plural formation seems
                                well-enough defined, particularly in Quenya, that forming plurals from
                                singulars remains grammatical _in this sense_ -- though in Sindarin one
                                must choose between ablaut or suffix plurals, with often no real way to
                                decide which would be the more likely.) But when you start inventing
                                words and devices to the degree exhibited in the sentence under
                                discussion (unattested conjunction, unattested verb, unattested
                                pronoun), then it is no longer grammatical _in the language as defined
                                by its inventor_, but only in the secondarily-invented language defined
                                by the hypotheses, conjectures, and assumptions of others (in this
                                case, David Salo). And since the original question was whether the
                                sentence was "grammatically correct Sindarin" (not "is this expedient
                                for movie-making purposes" or "does it conform to David Salo's
                                hypotheses, conjectures, and assumptions", which by definition it
                                does), I say again, the answer is "no".
                              • John Cowan
                                ... As far as I can see, then, your definition of grammaticality differs from Helge s only in degree. Actual languages (and Q & S are intended to be
                                Message 15 of 28 , Aug 19, 2003
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                                  Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                                  > I would say that a sentence formed by taking fully-attested words and
                                  > joining them according to a fully-attested syntactic pattern _would_ be
                                  > grammatical in a non-trivial sense.

                                  As far as I can see, then, your definition of grammaticality differs
                                  from Helge's only in degree. Actual languages (and Q & S are
                                  intended to be facsimiles of actual languages) are irregular, and
                                  furthermore irregular in irregular ways.

                                  If JRRT were alive, we could ask him "Is such-and-such a sentence
                                  grammatical?", requesting the close equivalent of a native speaker judgment.
                                  (I'm not going to enter in to the controversy about whether native speakers
                                  can err about these judgments.) Since this is not possible,
                                  we can only guess whether the following of a regular pattern produces a
                                  grammatical sentence or not. The only *objective* standard for
                                  grammaticality in these circumstances is attestedness: everything else
                                  is a matter of private judgment.

                                  --
                                  "What has four pairs of pants, lives John Cowan
                                  in Philadelphia, and it never rains http://www.reutershealth.com
                                  but it pours?" jcowan@...
                                  --Rufus T. Firefly http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
                                • Carl F. Hostetter
                                  ... I disagree. There is a difference not only in degree but in kind between, for example, employing productive plural formation mechanisms with singular
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Aug 20, 2003
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                                    On Wednesday, August 20, 2003, at 01:03 AM, John Cowan wrote:

                                    > Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:
                                    >
                                    >> I would say that a sentence formed by taking fully-attested words and
                                    >> joining them according to a fully-attested syntactic pattern _would_
                                    >> be grammatical in a non-trivial sense.
                                    >
                                    > As far as I can see, then, your definition of grammaticality differs
                                    > from Helge's only in degree.

                                    I disagree. There is a difference not only in degree but in kind
                                    between, for example, employing productive plural formation mechanisms
                                    with singular nouns, and, say, inventing a conjunction.

                                    (Also, I don't recall Helge actually offering or stipulating to a
                                    definition of grammaticality; instead, he shifted the discussion to
                                    issues of "genuineness" and "authenticity".)

                                    > The only *objective* standard for grammaticality in these
                                    > circumstances is attestedness:

                                    Not so. You quoted my offering of one completely objective standard
                                    above: fully-attested forms in a fully-attested syntactic relationship.
                                    (Yes, it relies again on attestedness, but only of forms and syntax,
                                    not, as in your usage, of entire sentences.)
                                  • John Cowan
                                    ... That is indeed an objectively *interpretable* standard, but it is subjectively chosen. In essence, there is a certain level of potential error you are
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Aug 20, 2003
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                                      Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                                      > > The only *objective* standard for grammaticality in these
                                      > > circumstances is attestedness:
                                      >
                                      > Not so. You quoted my offering of one completely objective standard
                                      > above: fully-attested forms in a fully-attested syntactic relationship.

                                      That is indeed an objectively *interpretable* standard, but it is
                                      subjectively chosen. In essence, there is a certain level of potential
                                      error you are willing to tolerate, and another, higher, level, that
                                      other people are willing to tolerate. Suppose that English were a
                                      language known only from fragments: if the sentence "I wish that you
                                      wouldn't make off-topic posts" is attested, your standard would label
                                      "I want that you wouldn't mae off-topic posts" grammatical, though every
                                      native speaker knows that it is not.

                                      Now the "grammatical" = "attested only" view is extreme, but just because
                                      it is, it is guaranteed to be 100% correct.

                                      In any event, given your stated interests, I can't understand why you
                                      care about unattested sentences anyway.

                                      --
                                      With techies, I've generally found John Cowan
                                      If your arguments lose the first round http://www.reutershealth.com
                                      Make it rhyme, make it scan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
                                      Then you generally can jcowan@...
                                      Make the same stupid point seem profound! --Jonathan Robie
                                    • Carl F. Hostetter
                                      On Wednesday, August 20, 2003, at 8:40 AM, John Cowan wrote: ... Not so. You quoted my offering of one completely objective standard above: fully-attested
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Aug 20, 2003
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                                        On Wednesday, August 20, 2003, at 8:40 AM, John Cowan wrote:

                                        Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                                        > The only *objective* standard for grammaticality in these
                                        > circumstances is attestedness:

                                        Not so. You quoted my offering of one completely objective standard
                                        above: fully-attested forms in a fully-attested syntactic
                                        relationship.

                                        > That is indeed an objectively *interpretable* standard, but it is
                                        > subjectively chosen.

                                        Agreed.

                                        > Suppose that English were a language known only from fragments: if
                                        > the sentence "I wish that you wouldn't make off-topic posts" is
                                        > attested, your standard would label "I want that you wouldn't mae
                                        > off-topic posts" grammatical, though every native speaker knows
                                        > that it is not.

                                        Unless your "mae" is an unintentional typo, then no, this sentence
                                        would _not_ be grammatical by the standard offered ("mae" being an
                                        unattested form). If it _is_ a typo (for "make"), then yes, of course
                                        it is grammatical, even if not the normal formula for expressing this
                                        sentiment.

                                        > In any event, given your stated interests, I can't understand why
                                        > you care about unattested sentences anyway.

                                        I don't. But I do "care about" (i.e., have an intellectual interest
                                        in) the question of deciding grammaticality of utterances (purported
                                        to be) in Tolkien's languages, and more broadly in invented or poorly
                                        attested languages in general. Hence my taking the time to answer the
                                        question when it was asked here. Perhaps anyone else interested in
                                        this topic as it pertains to Tolkien's languages will join us over on
                                        the Lambengolmor list
                                        (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lambengolmor/>),
                                        where such scholarly matters are definitely on topic. (Helge is
                                        particularly invited; I will have another person moderate his posts
                                        if that is a concern to him.)
                                      • John Cowan
                                        ... It is; I was suffering from a sticky keyboard this morning. ... I disagree, but that s by the way. Suppose we speak Latin and are trying to construct some
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Aug 20, 2003
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                                          Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                                          > > Suppose that English were a language known only from fragments: if
                                          > > the sentence "I wish that you wouldn't make off-topic posts" is
                                          > > attested, your standard would label "I want that you wouldn't mae
                                          > > off-topic posts" grammatical, though every native speaker knows
                                          > > that it is not.
                                          >
                                          > Unless your "mae" is an unintentional typo,

                                          It is; I was suffering from a sticky keyboard this morning.

                                          > If it _is_ a typo (for "make"), then yes, of course
                                          > it is grammatical, even if not the normal formula for expressing this
                                          > sentiment.

                                          I disagree, but that's by the way. Suppose we speak Latin and are trying
                                          to construct some sentences in the poorly documented lingua Anglorum.
                                          I say, "How do you say 'Caesar in Britanniam multis impedimentis
                                          transiit'?" You reply, "That sentence happens to be attested: 'Caesar
                                          crossed to Britain with much baggage.'" I then say "Suppose I wanted
                                          to translate 'multis equis' instead?" You would reply, "Well, 'equi'
                                          in English is 'horses', so it would be 'Caesar crossed to Britain with
                                          much horses.'". Not.

                                          (This tale is a variant of one of the two truly magnificent howlers I
                                          perpetrated in Latin class.; the other transformed a "dining room above
                                          the water" to a "couch floating down the river".)

                                          Claims about the grammaticality of unattested sentences in fragmentary
                                          languages are always guesswork, and it seems to me arbitrary to draw lines
                                          and say "Yes, X works" and "No, Y can't be right". Because X might *not*
                                          work, and Y might *be* right after all.

                                          --
                                          Business before pleasure, if not too bloomering long before.
                                          --Nicholas van Rijn
                                          John Cowan <jcowan@...>
                                          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan http://www.reutershealth.com
                                        • Mach Hezan
                                          Just replying to what concerns Tolkien s alphabets... ... When the rules he set don t conform with the samples he wrote, which one is wrong? And spelling
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Aug 20, 2003
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                                            Just replying to what concerns Tolkien's alphabets...

                                            Helge K. Fauskanger teithant:
                                            > I am not always impressed by Tolkien's own
                                            > spellings; according to the rules he sets out elsewhere, his Namárie
                                            > transcript in _The Road Goes Ever On_ unquestionably contains several
                                            > spelling mistakes, some of them pretty elementary (such as confusing the
                                            > tehtar for E and I -- clearly Tolkien is lapsing into other modes). I have
                                            > often wondered if this transcript was produced in a hurry -- deadline
                                            > approaching FAST?

                                            When the rules he set don't conform with the samples he wrote, which one is
                                            wrong? And spelling mistakes in tengwar manuscripts seem natural to me, as
                                            in all kind of manuscripts.

                                            Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
                                            > But to address the truly analogical situation: if someone were to
                                            > invent a new _tengwa_ or _tehta_ form to bear some desired value, then
                                            > it would indeed in no way belong to the "genuine" or "authentic"
                                            > _Tengwar_.

                                            Of course it wouldn't, but still we could decide whether it's a good
                                            invention that takes into account the attested relationships between sound
                                            features and tehtar form features, or whether it's a bad one that doesn't
                                            have any relation to the attested tehtar.

                                            Something similar: Assume that there were two different French modes. We
                                            could judge which one is better, even though neither is attested.

                                            suilaid
                                            mach
                                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                                            ... Assuming that the much / many contrast is not attested in the _lingua Anglorum_, then yes, that is true. And a very good, cautionary tale for anyone
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Aug 20, 2003
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                                              On Wednesday, August 20, 2003, at 12:27 PM, John Cowan wrote:

                                              > Suppose we speak Latin and are trying to construct some sentences in
                                              > the poorly documented lingua Anglorum. I say, "How do you say 'Caesar
                                              > in Britanniam multis impedimentis transiit'?" You reply, "That
                                              > sentence happens to be attested: 'Caesar crossed to Britain with much
                                              > baggage.'" I then say "Suppose I wanted to translate 'multis equis'
                                              > instead?" You would reply, "Well, 'equi' in English is 'horses', so it
                                              > would be 'Caesar crossed to Britain with much horses.'". Not.

                                              Assuming that the "much" / "many" contrast is not attested in the
                                              _lingua Anglorum_, then yes, that is true. And a very good, cautionary
                                              tale for anyone writing in "neo-Tolkienian".
                                            • Carl F. Hostetter
                                              ... But by Helge s analogy and terminology, he would not agree with you. ... Sure we could (though we might not all reach the same decision as to goodness),
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Aug 20, 2003
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                                                On Wednesday, August 20, 2003, at 02:14 PM, Mach Hezan wrote:

                                                > Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
                                                >>
                                                >> But to address the truly analogical situation: if someone were to
                                                >> invent a new _tengwa_ or _tehta_ form to bear some desired value,
                                                >> then it would indeed in no way belong to the "genuine" or "authentic"
                                                >> _Tengwar_.
                                                >
                                                > Of course it wouldn't,

                                                But by Helge's analogy and terminology, he would not agree with you.

                                                > but still we could decide whether it's a good invention that takes
                                                > into account the attested relationships between sound features and
                                                > tehtar form features, or whether it's a bad one that doesn't have any
                                                > relation to the attested tehtar.

                                                Sure we could (though "we" might not all reach the same decision as to
                                                goodness), but that was never at issue (despite Helge's attempts to
                                                make it seem as though it were).
                                              • Danny Andriës
                                                ... I was wondering the same thing. I can t think of a long carrier with a vowel tehta in an English mode specimen by Tolkien apart from the words by and
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Jun 19, 2004
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                                                  Teithant Harri Perälä:
                                                  >Why the long carrier in "pure" in the first row?

                                                  I was wondering the same thing. I can't think of a long carrier with a vowel tehta in an English mode specimen by Tolkien apart from the words 'by' and 'history' on the title page. In orthographic modes, Tolkien ignores vowel length.

                                                  >I notice you use óre before the final silent e in the first row and
                                                  >rómen in the second. Are there samples that show this was Tolkien's
                                                  >usage in these modes, or is there room for interpretation?

                                                  Lucy states that the second row is in the mode of Beleriand, which, of course, uses rómen for 'r' regardless of position. However, I don't think that the Mode of Beleriand is appropriate for English; it is a specifically Sindarin mode. In all of Tolkien's English examples he uses óre for 'r' before a silent 'e' unless it's followed immediately by a vowel. For a full writing orthographic English mode, I would use the one seen in the King's Letter: 'pure' = parma, vala, óre + under-dot.

                                                  Cuio mae, Danny.





                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • calwen76
                                                  king_pure_correction.gif picture in the Files section/calwen76 is ready. I removed the Full mode and corrected the two mistakes. Thanks. Lucy
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Jun 20, 2004
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                                                    king_pure_correction.gif picture in the Files section/calwen76 is
                                                    ready. I removed the Full mode and corrected the two mistakes. Thanks.

                                                    Lucy
                                                  • Helge K. Fauskanger
                                                    ... Reflexive pronouns are somewhat uncertain in Sindarin, but in Quenya we can say _mela immo_ for love (your)self . _Cuio bathred e-guil_ could express
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Oct 11, 2007
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                                                      Vickie wrote:

                                                      > I would like to translate the phrase 'Love yourself' or 'Live Life to the fullest' (haven't decided which one yet) into Elvish.



                                                      Reflexive pronouns are somewhat uncertain in Sindarin, but in Quenya we can say _mela immo_ for "love (your)self".



                                                      _Cuio bathred e-guil_ could express something like "live (the) fullness of life" in Sindarin (if we assume that some older "Noldorin" items of vocabulary were still valid after Tolkien's revisions). We must of course improvise certain details of idiom.



                                                      Then I guess the next question is how to write this in "Elvish" Tengwar characters?



                                                      HKF


                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    • Vickie Blake
                                                      Thanks for that Helge, I will attempt to write it in Tengwar but as I have mentioned it is very unlikely. If anyone else will have a go I will be extremely
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Oct 12, 2007
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                                                        Thanks for that Helge, I will attempt to write it in Tengwar but as I
                                                        have mentioned it is very unlikely. If anyone else will have a go I
                                                        will be extremely gracious.

                                                        Vickie
                                                        --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "Helge K. Fauskanger"
                                                        <helge.fauskanger@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > Vickie wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > > I would like to translate the phrase 'Love yourself' or 'Live Life
                                                        to the fullest' (haven't decided which one yet) into Elvish.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Reflexive pronouns are somewhat uncertain in Sindarin, but in Quenya
                                                        we can say _mela immo_ for "love (your)self".
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > _Cuio bathred e-guil_ could express something like "live (the)
                                                        fullness of life" in Sindarin (if we assume that some older "Noldorin"
                                                        items of vocabulary were still valid after Tolkien's revisions). We
                                                        must of course improvise certain details of idiom.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Then I guess the next question is how to write this in "Elvish"
                                                        Tengwar characters?
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > HKF
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        >
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