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OT: "personal remarks" (was Re: (unknown) rediscovered)

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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 21 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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