Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Istan pole!

Expand Messages
  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... language as it stood at the time it was written (unless, of course, he gives it as an example of an ungrammatical sentence). And unless he himself got it
    Message 1 of 19 , Aug 22, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      CFH wrote:

      > 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).

      And unless he himself got it wrong. In Vinyar Tengwar #41 p. 6, CFH himself
      published the example _istan pole_, which Tolkien translates "I can speak"
      -- but the Quenya sentence, if it is not complete nonsense, means "I can be
      able" (Tolkien distractedly writing _pole_ instead of _quete_ because he
      had been discussing the verb _pole_ immediately before this). CFH assumes
      that we are to read _istan quete_, and I fully agree, but is _istan quete_
      then an attested, known-to-be-grammatical sentence by CFH's standards? (I
      don't see an asterisk before it...)

      > > Grammaticality requires native-speaker judgements,
      >
      > Or, in the case of invented languages, _inventor_ judgments.

      <irony> Ah. Poor Esperantists; ever since Zamenhof checked out in 1917, no
      one can be quite sure whether their Esperanto texts are really grammatical.


      I believe they have even taken the liberty of adding new words to the
      lexicon since the inventor died? Now this is not REAL (genuine, authentic!)
      Esperanto, of course. Make no mistake. </irony>

      I don't feel we need some living "inventor" guru or "native-speaker" oracle
      to decide whether a certain sentence is grammatical. Grammar is a set of
      rules, and in the case of Quenya and Sindarin (and Tengwar spelling), we do
      have at least some examples allowing us to make out parts of the intended
      grammar (or orthography). And to the extent these rules can be made out,
      they can also be applied to produce new texts (or transcriptions). Denying
      this means denying that we can understand Tolkien's languages and scripts
      at all, thus ultimately denying Tolkien-linguistics as such -- and then we
      should all find something better to do.

      - HKF
    • Patrick H. Wynne
      Helge K. Fauskanger wrote, regarding Carl F. Hostetter s statement that grammaticality in the case of invented languages [requires] ... For those not familiar
      Message 2 of 19 , Aug 22, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Helge K. Fauskanger wrote, regarding Carl F. Hostetter's statement
        that grammaticality "in the case of invented languages [requires]
        _inventor_ judgments":

        > <irony> Ah. Poor Esperantists; ever since Zamenhof checked
        > out in 1917, no one can be quite sure whether their Esperanto
        > texts are really grammatical.
        >
        > I believe they have even taken the liberty of adding new words
        > to the lexicon since the inventor died? Now this is not REAL
        > (genuine, authentic!) Esperanto, of course. Make no mistake.
        > </irony>

        For those not familiar with the actual history and nature of
        Esperanto, let's deprecate Helge's tired old <irony> tag and
        replace it with the far more useful <fact> tag:

        <fact>
        -- Esperanto was intended by its inventor to be a practical means of
        communication by real people in the modern world. Tolkien's
        languages were personal art-languages, portrayed by their inventor
        as being spoken by imaginary races within the context of a
        fictional history. Tolkien understood this basic difference; as he
        said of Esperanto in _A Secret Vice_, "my concern is not with
        that kind of artificial language at all." (MC:198)

        -- Zamenhof relinquished all claims of copyright to his language to
        further the above goal; Tolkien did not.

        -- Zamenhof created a complete and stable grammar and fundamental
        lexicon for Esperanto; Tolkien's languages were never completed and
        never stable, and he felt free to modify their grammar and vocabulary
        constantly, even after the publication of _The Lord of the Rings_.

        -- Zamenhof intended Esperanto speakers to create new words in the
        language (rule #15 of the 16 fundamental rules of Esperanto grammar
        allows for the adoption of neologisms), and those neologisms that
        survive through years of practical use are considered real, genuine,
        and authentic Esperanto words. Tolkien did not create a Rule #15
        for his languages, because they were not intended as practical means
        of modern communication but as the languages of fictional peoples
        in a fictional world.

        -- In the 30 years from the publication of Esperanto until its
        creator's death, Zamenhof produced a voluminous amount of
        translations, articles, speeches, and letters in Esperanto (many of
        the letters addressing specific grammatical questions by
        Esperantists), which now serve as exemplars of proper grammatical
        usage. The body of actual texts and sentences in Tolkien's art-
        languages is miniscule in comparison.
        </fact>

        -- Patrick H. Wynne
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... No, it is absolutely _not_ an attested sentence. As my editorial notes make perfectly plain. I m guessing you have little or no editorial experience, so
        Message 3 of 19 , Aug 22, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          On Friday, August 22, 2003, at 04:44 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

          > And unless he himself got it wrong. In Vinyar Tengwar #41 p. 6, CFH
          > himself published the example _istan pole_, which Tolkien translates
          > "I can speak" -- but the Quenya sentence, if it is not complete
          > nonsense, means "I can be able" (Tolkien distractedly writing _pole_
          > instead of _quete_ because he had been discussing the verb _pole_
          > immediately before this). CFH assumes that we are to read _istan
          > quete_, and I fully agree, but is _istan quete_ then an attested,
          > known-to-be-grammatical sentence by CFH's standards? (I don't see an
          > asterisk before it...)

          No, it is absolutely _not_ an attested sentence. As my editorial notes
          make perfectly plain. I'm guessing you have little or no editorial
          experience, so I'll let your completely non-sequiturial comment
          regarding the asterisk pass without mention.

          Similarly, I'll pass over your embarrassing lack of understanding of
          the fundamental differences between Esperanto and Tolkien's languages
          (or, if not a lack of understanding, then your appalling contempt for
          the intelligence of your readers), as Pat has already shown it up.
          Though I will add one comment to Pat's: if I remember aright, Zamenhof
          also left guidelines for how new roots should be selected, in much the
          same manner that Z. himself did, from existing European languages.
          Esperanto thus enjoys a huge inventory of roots in potential, with
          already attached meanings, waiting only to be selected, fit to the
          sound patterns of Esperanto, and employed.

          > I don't feel we need some living "inventor" guru or "native-speaker"
          > oracle to decide whether a certain sentence is grammatical. Grammar is
          > a set of rules, and in the case of Quenya and Sindarin (and Tengwar
          > spelling), we do have at least some examples allowing us to make out
          > parts of the intended grammar (or orthography).

          But utterly unlike Esperanto, we do not have a _complete_ set of these
          rules. Hence the inability to decide the question -- objectively, that
          is -- in most cases.

          > And to the extent these rules can be made out, they can also be
          > applied to produce new texts (or transcriptions).

          Ay, there's the rub: "to the extent" (and it says nothing about the
          very limited _lexicon_).

          > Denying this

          Who's denying it? You're the one denying (or at any rate glossing over)
          the crucial _reality_ of the situation, which is that we have nowhere
          _near_ a complete "set of rules", and that we have a very limited
          lexicon.

          > means denying that we can understand Tolkien's languages and scripts
          > at all,

          That is sheer non-sequitur and utter nonsense, breathtaking by even
          your standards. Tolkien's languages can be understood -- indeed, can
          _only_ be understood -- by studying _Tolkien's_ writings. Creating new
          texts has absolutely _no_ bearing on what is needed to understand
          Tolkien's languages -- and indeed, as the example of your own work and
          the "new texts" based on it shows, the desire to produce "new texts"
          _before_ Tolkien's own writings are understood actually _impedes_
          understanding, as it encourages lazy thinking, the wholesale,
          unquestioning adoption of simplistic assumptions, assertions, and just
          plain subjective whims, and in fact the eschewing of Tolkien's own
          words entirely in favor of predigested, synthetic, and false
          representations of what Tolkien actually wrote.

          > thus ultimately denying Tolkien-linguistics as such

          Tolkienian linguistics has been doing just fine for more years than
          you've been alive, and will continue long after you and I are gone.

          > -- and then we should all find something better to do.

          I don't know about us _all_, but if _you_ really see no value in
          studying Tolkien's languages in and of themselves, as Tolkien
          represents and describes them -- i.e., in Tolkienian linguistics --
          unless you can control it and reshape it to your liking so that you can
          string together words and devices derived from the non-Tolkienian
          results and call them "authentic" and "genuine", then yeah, _you_
          really should find something better to do.
        • John Cowan
          A few minor nits: ... Surely this is an exaggeration? We find references even in the published letters to a quod scripsi, scripsi attitude on Tolkien s part
          Message 4 of 19 , Aug 22, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            A few minor nits:

            Patrick H. Wynne scripsit:

            > Tolkien's languages were never completed and
            > never stable, and he felt free to modify their grammar and vocabulary
            > constantly, even after the publication of _The Lord of the Rings_.

            Surely this is an exaggeration? We find references even in the published
            letters to a "quod scripsi, scripsi" attitude on Tolkien's part which, while
            not absolute, certainly made him feel constrained about certain kinds of
            changes thereafter.

            > Zamenhof produced a voluminous amount of
            > translations, articles, speeches, and letters in Esperanto (many of
            > the letters addressing specific grammatical questions by
            > Esperantists), which now serve as exemplars of proper grammatical
            > usage.

            Ironically, Zamenhof's writings in Esperanto do not set the modern
            standard for the language; his usage is rather German-ish.

            --
            John Cowan jcowan@... http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
            Does anybody want any flotsam? / I've gotsam.
            Does anybody want any jetsam? / I can getsam.
            --Ogden Nash, _No Doctors Today, Thank You_
          • Helge K. Fauskanger
            ... should be selected, in much the same manner that Z. himself did, from existing European languages. Esperanto thus enjoys a huge inventory of roots in
            Message 5 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              CFH wrote:

              > if I remember aright, Zamenhof also left guidelines for how new roots
              should be selected, in much the same manner that Z. himself did, from
              existing European languages. Esperanto thus enjoys a huge inventory of
              roots in potential, with already attached meanings, waiting only to be
              selected, fit to the sound patterns of Esperanto, and employed.

              Ah, but JRRT likewise left behind a great number of Eldarin root-words,
              600-700 of them in the Etymologies alone. The system of derivation and the
              diachronic phonology are at least quite well understood, since for once in
              this field we have abundant examples. The basic roots are capable of
              yielding many more words than the ones Tolkien himself cited, neologisms
              that would nonetheless maintain a fairly firm connection with his original
              work (the debate of whether these words have any "internal" existence or
              authority is irrelevant for our purpose -- of course only Tolkien could say
              that "this is a word used by the Elves"). I will claim that with some
              thinking and ingenuity one could coin plausible Neo-Eldarin terms for just
              about anything. The whole system is rich and flexible enough to allow for
              this.

              Compare the Tengwar (and I don't say this just to stay vaguely on-topic).
              One could argue that the Tengwar system only belongs to the invented world
              and "should" only be used to write the languages existing within the
              mythos. Yet even Tolkien himself demonstrated that it could also be used to
              write English, a primary-world language (just like he also used his
              invented language Quenya to translate primary-world texts, like various
              Catholic prayers).

              > But utterly unlike Esperanto, we do not have a _complete_ set of these
              [grammatical] rules.

              It is entirely possible to write long texts in Quenya using only Tolkien's
              own words and attested grammatical constructions. Again compare the
              Tengwar: it is quite possible to write out long transcriptions, even using
              newly-developed modes for languages in which Tolkien himself never wrote
              out a single word in Tengwar, even though we can't be absolutely sure how
              Tolkien himself would have handled every detail of spelling. It is still
              possible to judge, with some objectivity, whether the proposed modes or
              transcriptions are any good.

              > Hence the inability to decide the question -- objectively, that is -- in
              most cases.

              Even where we boldly extrapolate or even get creative ourselves (whether
              regarding details of Tengwar spelling, or Eldarin grammar and vocabulary),
              there is one thing we should remember: Beyond Tolkien's own work there is
              NOTHING (except post-Tolkien material). True, within the fictional context,
              the available samples of the scripts and languages are mere fragments of
              the vast libraries of works that are supposed to have existed in the first
              Three Ages of the world. Obviously the orthographic and grammatical
              conventions observed in Tolkien's works would in no way cover "everything"
              that is supposed to have existed internally.

              But, folks, this is FICTION, remember? We needn't hesitate to get creative
              with Tolkien's linguistic material for fear that we are creating new
              orthographic and grammatical conventions that contradict the "real"
              conventions that were "really used" when the "real" Eldar and Edain used
              these languages and scripts. If I coin a Neo-Quenya word from one of
              Tolkien's roots, my concern would be to make the word conform with the
              established phonology, derivational system and general structure of the
              language. My least worry would be that the Elves might suddenly return from
              Valinor and say, "No, no, this is totally wrong! This is not the word we
              used for this thing at all!" In the only slightly more likely scenario of
              Tolkien returning from the dead, I actually believe he would have
              recognized many neologisms as possible and plausible Eldarin words (whether
              or not he would have been happy about others further developing "his"
              languages).

              Interestingly, Tolkien wrote to Richard Jefferey who had developed an
              English Tengwar mode: "There are, of course, no rules for the application
              to English, so it is impossible to make mistakes, unless according to your
              own system" (Letters:223). This is an important principle. Just as there
              are no pre-established rules for how the Tengwar could be used for writing
              modern languages, there are no rules for how Quenya or Sindarin could be
              adapted as "modern languages". Neither were there any rules for how new
              Latin words could be coined for various modern concepts; yet such
              adaptation of Latin could be done and has been done (to help young people
              learn Latin, many modern comics have been translated). Likewise, the
              Tengwar script and the Eldarin tongues can be cultivated in such a way as
              to maintain their basic system while adapting them for the purpose of
              active, creative use. When moving into territory Tolkien left uncharted, we
              are not contradicting his work, but -- insofar as we maintain his basic
              principles -- letting it live and grow.

              >Tolkien's languages can be understood -- indeed, can _only_ be understood
              -- by studying _Tolkien's_ writings. Creating new texts has absolutely _no_
              bearing on what is needed to understand Tolkien's languages

              No, but if one truly understands Tolkien's languages (or scripts), then one
              logically _should_ be able to produce new texts, right? Such ability is the
              inevitable consequence of really understanding a language or script.

              > as the example of your own work and the "new texts" based on it shows,
              the desire to produce "new texts" _before_ Tolkien's own writings are
              understood actually _impedes_ understanding,

              What impedes our understanding of Tolkien's own writings more than anything
              else is their unpublished status, a problem CFH is potentially able to
              address. Very often, criticizing others seems to be a far higher priority
              to him; just look:

              > as it encourages lazy thinking, the wholesale, unquestioning adoption of
              simplistic assumptions, assertions, and just plain subjective whims, and in
              fact the eschewing of Tolkien's own words entirely in favor of predigested,
              synthetic, and false representations of what Tolkien actually wrote.

              If I am to understand that CFH, based on his access to unpublished primary
              materials, believes he is able to identify specific errors and palpable
              misunderstandings in the secondary works written by myself and others, then
              we would be happy to receive from him a list of corrections and rewrite our
              works accordingly. But somehow I think CFH is more fond of making vague
              criticisms while doing his very best to conceal the information he should
              supposedly like to see instead. For instance: if CFH thinks _-ch_ is a bad
              choice as the ending for sg. "you" in Sindarin, what ending(s) would in his
              opinion be a better alternative? Why do we never hear anything about that?
              And if CFH really feels he must get the explicit permission of the Tolkien
              Estate to reveal a single pronominal suffix -- well, he has referred to his
              great relationship with Christopher Tolkien more than once. Would it be at
              all difficult for CFH to get such permission? Has he ever tried? That could
              be construed as a constructive angle, bringing the field at least a small
              step forward. Merely grabbing every possible opportunity to criticize David
              Salo for using the ending _-ch_ in Movie Sindarin is NOT a constructive
              angle.

              > Tolkienian linguistics has been doing just fine for more years than
              you've been alive, and will continue long after you and I are gone.

              I'm sure it will. And when its history is written, I wonder what posterity
              will think about the "Dead Sea Scrolls" era of the field, the long decades
              when the people who were supposed to publish Tolkien's material often
              seemed far more concerned with criticizing the people who tried to do their
              very best with the material that was available.

              - HKF
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              ... I agree that there is much that can be done that way (that was never at issue). I disagree entirely though with saying that just about anything can be
              Message 6 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                On Tuesday, August 26, 2003, at 06:06 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                > I will claim that with some thinking and ingenuity one could coin
                > plausible Neo-Eldarin terms for just about anything. The whole system
                > is rich and flexible enough to allow for this.

                I agree that there is much that can be done that way (that was never at
                issue). I disagree entirely though with saying that "just about
                anything" can be created.

                > Compare the Tengwar (and I don't say this just to stay vaguely
                > on-topic). One could argue that the Tengwar system only belongs to the
                > invented world and "should" only be used to write the languages
                > existing within the mythos. Yet even Tolkien himself demonstrated that
                > it could also be used to write English, a primary-world language

                All true, but beside the point, because as I have already discussed,
                the analogy is false. The _Tengwar_ as presented in _The Lord of the
                Rings_ is an abstract system of symbols _designed_ to be applied to
                representing the phonetic inventory of different language systems
                (particularly of Indo-European types, having historically four primary
                articulation positions, etc.), and it is a _completely specified_
                system. The Eldarin tongues neither are nor _ever will be_ _completely
                specified_, and they were _designed_ only to inhabit, define, and
                reflect the history and culture of their fictive shapers, the Elves of
                Tolkien's Middle-earth.

                > (just like he also used his invented language Quenya to translate
                > primary-world texts, like various Catholic prayers).

                Who says that Catholic prayers are _not_ part of Tolkien's secondary
                world? Certainly they _came_ to be, with the passage of time.


                >> But utterly unlike Esperanto, we do not have a _complete_ set of
                >> these [grammatical] rules.
                >
                > It is entirely possible to write long texts in Quenya using only
                > Tolkien's own words and attested grammatical constructions.

                And this is news to whom, exactly? This point was never at issue.

                > Again compare the Tengwar:

                Again (still, actually) your analogy is false.

                > Even where we boldly extrapolate or even get creative ourselves
                > (whether regarding details of Tengwar spelling, or Eldarin grammar and
                > vocabulary), there is one thing we should remember: Beyond Tolkien's
                > own work there is NOTHING (except post-Tolkien material).

                To whom do you think this is news, other than those whom you confuse by
                insisting that "post-Tolkien" material is "genuine" and "authentic"?


                > But, folks, this is FICTION, remember?

                It is _more_ than just fiction, it is _art_, art _requiring_ a history
                and a people, even if invented. Remember?

                > We needn't hesitate to get creative with Tolkien's linguistic material
                > for fear that we are creating new orthographic and grammatical
                > conventions that contradict the "real" conventions that were "really
                > used" when the "real" Eldar and Edain used these languages and
                > scripts.

                Straw man. No one has ever said that the Eldar were real (well, no one
                in the course of this sort of linguistic discussion, I'm sure there are
                some...). But _Tolkien_ was real, and so are his artistic creations.

                > If I coin a Neo-Quenya word from one of Tolkien's roots, my concern
                > would be to make the word conform with the established phonology,
                > derivational system and general structure of the language.

                Though fine as far as it goes, that is insufficient. Tolkien's
                languages are _not_ divorced from the history and culture that they
                were imaged by Tolkien's art to have inhabited, defined, and reflected.
                If that is not taken into account, the results will fit together as
                poorly with Tolkien's art as any new German words I could coin would
                with any German speaker.

                I would also point out that what you consider "established" about
                "Neo-Quenya" (i.e., the language that you're cobbling together from
                those bits of Tolkien's writings that you select) is far from always
                "established" about _Tolkien's_ Quenya (either at any particular
                conceptual stage or generally); so anything derived from that basis is
                _not_ necessarily on firm footing or above questioning.

                > My least worry would be that the Elves might suddenly return from
                > Valinor and say, "No, no, this is totally wrong! This is not the word
                > we used for this thing at all!" In the only slightly more likely
                > scenario of Tolkien returning from the dead,

                In one mode of construction Helge certainly is masterful beyond
                dispute: the straw-man argument.

                > I actually believe he would have recognized many neologisms as
                > possible and plausible Eldarin words

                I think we all are willing to take it as established that you believe
                that.

                > Interestingly, Tolkien wrote to Richard Jefferey who had developed an
                > English Tengwar mode: "There are, of course, no rules for the
                > application to English, so it is impossible to make mistakes, unless
                > according to your own system" (Letters:223).

                By the same token, there are no "right" answers either, "unless
                according to your own system". That is the nature of an arbitrary
                arrangement of symbols _designed_ to be applied to different sets of
                values.

                > This is an important principle. Just as there are no pre-established
                > rules for how the Tengwar could be used for writing modern languages,
                > there are no rules for how Quenya or Sindarin could be adapted as
                > "modern languages".

                You continue stressing your false analogy. Or do you really mean for us
                to think that there is no difference of importance between an arbitrary
                arrangement of symbols _designed_ to be applicable to different sets of
                values in different languages, and the artistically selected sets of
                sound-sequences and systems of variation and derivation _paired with_
                specific meanings, _designed_ only to inhabit, define, and reflect the
                history and culture of their fictive shapers, the Elves of Tolkien's
                Middle-earth?

                > Neither were there any rules for how new Latin words could be coined
                > for various modern concepts;

                Do you really mean for us to think that there is no difference of
                importance between the nature and size of the attested Latin lexicon,
                and those of the Eldarin tongues?

                > Likewise, the Tengwar script and the Eldarin tongues can be cultivated
                > in such a way as to maintain their basic system while adapting them
                > for the purpose of active, creative use.

                That is true of the _Tengwar_, certainly; that is part of its design. I
                dispute that it is true of the Eldarin tongues, despite the persuasive
                power of your once again relying upon a false analogy to cover all the
                fundamental differences between the two cases. (A general hueristic:
                whenever Helge gets forceful or passionate about something, but relies
                on analogy or is otherwise short on details, your antennae should go
                up.) It is no more true of the Eldarin tongues than it is of any other
                poorly-attested, fragmentarily understood language, like, say, Akkadian
                or Etruscan. Yes, if people are willing to invent large swathes of
                grammar and any number of new words, and call them "authentic" and
                "genuine", then sure, those people can "use" Quenya or Sindarin or
                Akkadian or Etruscan "just like" any other modern language. But the
                results, no matter how much of the _actual_, _attested_ features of
                what you call the "basic system" (as though it were a complete,
                extensible framework) were retained, no one who studied the _actual_,
                _attested_ corpus of those languages would be bound to consider the
                results anything but what they are: fabrications having absolutely no
                bearing whatsoever on the question of grammaticality in those
                languages. Which, I remind you yet again (pointlessly, to be sure,
                because you steadfastly refuse to recognize it), was the _point_ of
                this discussion, before you launched off into your typical
                misrepresentations, straw-man arguments, and rhetorical
                sleight-of-hand.

                > When moving into territory Tolkien left uncharted, we are not
                > contradicting his work,

                You _may_ be contradicting his work, in ways not immediately obvious.
                But yes, the general point is true, and is not in dispute. This
                discussion has never been about _contradiction_, but _grammaticality_.

                > but -- insofar as we maintain his basic principles -- letting it live
                > and grow.

                That's very romantic sounding, but utterly imprecise and subjective
                (see the above heuristic). The Eldarin tongues were not, are not, and
                never will be, "living" languages. They were imaged by their creator to
                have verisimilitude as _having once been_ living languages (and even
                within the fictional image, Quenya ceased to "live and grow" long, long
                before the events of _The Lord of the Rings_), but Tolkien's success in
                his art no more makes them _in fact_ living languages (or ever to have
                been such) than do Wagner's operas make the Norse gods living beings.
                This would be true _even if_ Tolkien had left us a single, complete
                description of the grammar of Quenya or Sindarin and a lexicon
                approaching anything like that of a living language.

                >> Tolkien's languages can be understood -- indeed, can _only_ be
                >> understood -- by studying _Tolkien's_ writings. Creating new texts
                >> has absolutely _no_ bearing on what is needed to understand Tolkien's
                >> languages
                >
                > No, but if one truly understands Tolkien's languages (or scripts),
                > then one logically _should_ be able to produce new texts, right? Such
                > ability is the inevitable consequence of really understanding a
                > language or script.

                As Elfling demonstrates amply most every day, one can produce new texts
                even _without_ understanding Tolkien's languages. One can even produce
                texts that seem to agree with Helge Fauskanger's portrait of
                Neo-Quenya. But that is _not_ the same as producing _grammatical_ texts
                in _Tolkien's_ languages (which was the question under discussion).

                >> as the example of your own work and the "new texts" based on it
                >> shows, the desire to produce "new texts" _before_ Tolkien's own
                >> writings are understood actually _impedes_ understanding,
                >
                > What impedes our understanding of Tolkien's own writings more than
                > anything else is their unpublished status, a problem CFH is
                > potentially able to address.

                This is yet another outrageous example of Helge's rhetorical
                sleight-of-hand. By ripping my words out of context, and by replying as
                he does, he wants you, the reader, to believe that the contrast I was
                drawing was between the understanding of those who have not read _all_
                of Tolkien's own writings, published or unpublished, and those who
                have. This is utterly false, and anyone who considers himself a scholar
                should be ashamed to have mislead his readers in this fashion, whether
                intentionally or not.

                The actual contrast, as is apparent to anyone who actually reads what I
                actually wrote, is between those who rely _only_ on _Helge's_ writings
                and those who rely on _Tolkien's_ writings. The former are legion, as
                is evident from Elfling and much of the Internet-based discussion of
                Tolkien's languages. While it is true that, when pressed, Helge will be
                the first to say that no one should rely only on his writings, he
                certainly makes no effort to correct those who do so when (as
                frequently) they post on Elfling, _even when they are relying on
                erroneous information in earlier versions of his writings that he has
                since corrected_. Instead, Helge prefers to reserve his (seemingly
                boundless) energies and capacity for logorrhea for attacking my
                colleagues and myself, and producing straw-man arguments, misdirection,
                false analogies, and passionate defenses of points not in dispute.

                > Very often, criticizing others seems to be a far higher priority to
                > him;

                Your hypocrisy is breathtaking.

                > just look:
                >
                >> as it encourages lazy thinking, the wholesale, unquestioning adoption
                >> of simplistic assumptions, assertions, and just plain subjective
                >> whims, and in fact the eschewing of Tolkien's own words entirely in
                >> favor of predigested, synthetic, and false representations of what
                >> Tolkien actually wrote.
                >
                > If I am to understand that CFH, based on his access to unpublished
                > primary materials, believes he is able to identify specific errors and
                > palpable misunderstandings in the secondary works written by myself
                > and others, then we would be happy to receive from him a list of
                > corrections and rewrite our works accordingly.

                My criticisms of your work (specifically; of your _rhetoric_ I have a
                different set of criticisms) have nothing whatsoever to do with
                information found in unpublished materials. My criticism is not of the
                conclusions you reach, per se, but of the methods you use to arrive at
                conclusions: for example, dismissing any evidence that doesn't conform
                to your pre-judgments as invalid; assumption and assertion of facts not
                in evidence; eschewing actual, attested exemplars in favor of
                _fabricated_ forms that just happen to be more convenient for your
                desired conclusions; etc.

                I have in fact already offered some corrections to your work, some of
                which you've adopted (without acknowledgment, I note, as for example in
                the matter of pronouns; though I don't realistically expect you to cite
                my name or my work other than in expectoration), and others of which
                you've chosen to ignore (as for example in the matter of Noldorin and
                Sindarin past-tense forms). And _all_ of these corrections are based
                _solely_ on published material; the error in each case was not in your
                _knowledge_, but in your _methods_ and _prejudices_.

                Indeed, as my colleagues -- esp. Bill Welden -- and I have made plain
                on numerous occasions, you continue to labor under a false assumption,
                that all questions will be answered and all debates settled once all of
                Tolkien's papers have been published; while in fact, given the
                ever-shifting nature of Tolkien's artistic creation, you will find
                yourself even _less_ certain about many things than you are now. The
                man with one watch always knows what time it is; the man with two
                watches is never sure.

                > But somehow I think CFH is more fond of making vague criticisms while
                > doing his very best to conceal the information he should supposedly
                > like to see instead.

                That is a complete and utter lie, and you know it. First, unlike you, I
                provide detail, evidence, and citations to back up my claims. Second,
                it is an utter fallacy to imply, as you do here, that one cannot show a
                conclusion to be erroneous unless a different conclusion is offered. I
                don't have to state what the moon _is_ made of in order to show that it
                _isn't_ made of green cheese.

                > For instance: if CFH thinks _-ch_ is a bad choice as the ending for
                > sg. "you" in Sindarin, what ending(s) would in his
                > opinion be a better alternative?

                We _do_ have a 2 sg. form attested for Sindarin, as you know. Were I
                inclined to "use" one, I would certainly pick an _attested_ form over
                one that is not only _not_ attested, but for which there is strong
                evidence _against_. So too would you, if you weren't motivated by a
                desire to see a friend's pet theory "vindicated" against the arguments
                of someone else whom you have set up as an enemy (precisely in order to
                be able to mock and thus ignore all those inconvenient facts he
                offers).

                > Why do we never hear anything about that?

                Because it is utterly irrelevant to the question of whether _-ch_ is 2
                g. in Sindarin? Because I feel no need to "use" _anything_ to mean 2
                sg. in Sindarin?

                > And if CFH really feels he must get the explicit permission of the
                > Tolkien Estate to reveal a single pronominal suffix

                Why do you keep pretending that I haven't addressed this matter many
                time before? Is it ignorance or apathy or just plain contemptuous (of
                me and your readers) dishonesty?

                There is not a _single_ pronominal suffix to be "revealed". There is
                not a _single_ answer to this question, or for most questions you have
                regarding Tolkien's languages, because they are _not_ _single_,
                complete, self-consistent entities. They are _creative processes_ that
                shifted and unfolded over time. As I have said before:

                "To the extent that we can speak accurately of Quenya and Sindarin as
                single entities, it is only as _continuities_ of change over time, i.e.
                as _processes_; all else is simply individual snapshots of (most often
                only small parts of) this process, any detail of which may have
                persisted from the beginning to the end of that process, or have had no
                more extent in that process than the sheet it was written on; and in
                some cases there may be no way to tell which of these two extremes is
                true of any given detail. But _every_ detail in turn _defined_ Quenya
                and Sindarin _at the point it was written_ (at least), and so reflects
                an aspect of Tolkien's
                linguistic Art, which is _supposed_ to be the common and proper object
                of interest pursued by all scholars of Tolkien's languages."

                > I'm sure it will. And when its history is written, I wonder what
                > posterity will think about the "Dead Sea Scrolls" era of the field,
                > the long decades when the people who were supposed to publish
                > Tolkien's material often seemed far more concerned with criticizing
                > the people who tried to do their very best with the material that was
                > available.

                Another false analogy. Utterly unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, Tolkien's
                writings are the copyrighted artistic productions of one man, who
                created an Estate specifically for the purpose of protected his rights
                and wishes. Unlike you -- and _because_ we are unlike you -- my
                colleagues and I are proceeding in full accordance with those rights
                and wishes in publishing Tolkien's linguistic writings _precisely_ as
                we are supposed to, with the full support, approval, and satisfaction
                of the person who set us on this work.

                What posterity makes of this -- just as what posterity and the present
                make of Tolkien's languages -- depends entirely on whether it looks at
                the facts of the matter for themselves, and thoughtfully, before
                reaching a conclusion, or instead rely upon the slimy rhetorical
                misdirections and fallacies of a politically- and self-interested
                demagogue.
              • Carl F. Hostetter
                ... I agree that there is much that can be done that way (that was never at issue). I disagree entirely though with saying that just about anything can be
                Message 7 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Tuesday, August 26, 2003, at 06:06 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                  > I will claim that with some thinking and ingenuity one could coin
                  > plausible Neo-Eldarin terms for just about anything. The whole system
                  > is rich and flexible enough to allow for this.

                  I agree that there is much that can be done that way (that was never at
                  issue). I disagree entirely though with saying that "just about
                  anything" can be created.

                  > Compare the Tengwar (and I don't say this just to stay vaguely
                  > on-topic). One could argue that the Tengwar system only belongs to the
                  > invented world and "should" only be used to write the languages
                  > existing within the mythos. Yet even Tolkien himself demonstrated that
                  > it could also be used to write English, a primary-world language

                  All true, but beside the point, because as I have already discussed,
                  the analogy is false. The _Tengwar_ as presented in _The Lord of the
                  Rings_ is an abstract system of symbols _designed_ to be applied to
                  representing the phonetic inventory of different language systems
                  (particularly of Indo-European types, having historically four primary
                  articulation positions, etc.), and it is a _completely specified_
                  system. The Eldarin tongues neither are nor _ever will be_ _completely
                  specified_, and they were _designed_ only to inhabit, define, and
                  reflect the history and culture of their fictive shapers, the Elves of
                  Tolkien's Middle-earth.

                  > (just like he also used his invented language Quenya to translate
                  > primary-world texts, like various Catholic prayers).

                  Who says that Catholic prayers are _not_ part of Tolkien's secondary
                  world? Certainly they _came_ to be, with the passage of time.


                  >> But utterly unlike Esperanto, we do not have a _complete_ set of
                  >> these [grammatical] rules.
                  >
                  > It is entirely possible to write long texts in Quenya using only
                  > Tolkien's own words and attested grammatical constructions.

                  And this is news to whom, exactly? This point was never at issue.

                  > Again compare the Tengwar:

                  Again (still, actually) your analogy is false.

                  > Even where we boldly extrapolate or even get creative ourselves
                  > (whether regarding details of Tengwar spelling, or Eldarin grammar and
                  > vocabulary), there is one thing we should remember: Beyond Tolkien's
                  > own work there is NOTHING (except post-Tolkien material).

                  To whom do you think this is news, other than those whom you confuse by
                  insisting that "post-Tolkien" material is "genuine" and "authentic"?


                  > But, folks, this is FICTION, remember?

                  It is _more_ than just fiction, it is _art_, art _requiring_ a history
                  and a people, even if invented. Remember?

                  > We needn't hesitate to get creative with Tolkien's linguistic material
                  > for fear that we are creating new orthographic and grammatical
                  > conventions that contradict the "real" conventions that were "really
                  > used" when the "real" Eldar and Edain used these languages and
                  > scripts.

                  Straw man. No one has ever said that the Eldar were real (well, no one
                  in the course of this sort of linguistic discussion, I'm sure there are
                  some...). But _Tolkien_ was real, and so are his artistic creations.

                  > If I coin a Neo-Quenya word from one of Tolkien's roots, my concern
                  > would be to make the word conform with the established phonology,
                  > derivational system and general structure of the language.

                  Though fine as far as it goes, that is insufficient. Tolkien's
                  languages are _not_ divorced from the history and culture that they
                  were imaged by Tolkien's art to have inhabited, defined, and reflected.
                  If that is not taken into account, the results will fit together as
                  poorly with Tolkien's art as any new German words I could coin would
                  with any German speaker.

                  I would also point out that what you consider "established" about
                  "Neo-Quenya" (i.e., the language that you're cobbling together from
                  those bits of Tolkien's writings that you select) is far from always
                  "established" about _Tolkien's_ Quenya (either at any particular
                  conceptual stage or generally); so anything derived from that basis is
                  _not_ necessarily on firm footing or above questioning.

                  > My least worry would be that the Elves might suddenly return from
                  > Valinor and say, "No, no, this is totally wrong! This is not the word
                  > we used for this thing at all!" In the only slightly more likely
                  > scenario of Tolkien returning from the dead,

                  In one mode of construction Helge certainly is masterful beyond
                  dispute: the straw-man argument.

                  > I actually believe he would have recognized many neologisms as
                  > possible and plausible Eldarin words

                  I think we all are willing to take it as established that you believe
                  that.

                  > Interestingly, Tolkien wrote to Richard Jefferey who had developed an
                  > English Tengwar mode: "There are, of course, no rules for the
                  > application to English, so it is impossible to make mistakes, unless
                  > according to your own system" (Letters:223).

                  By the same token, there are no "right" answers either, "unless
                  according to your own system". That is the nature of an arbitrary
                  arrangement of symbols _designed_ to be applied to different sets of
                  values.

                  > This is an important principle. Just as there are no pre-established
                  > rules for how the Tengwar could be used for writing modern languages,
                  > there are no rules for how Quenya or Sindarin could be adapted as
                  > "modern languages".

                  You continue stressing your false analogy. Or do you really mean for us
                  to think that there is no difference of importance between an arbitrary
                  arrangement of symbols _designed_ to be applicable to different sets of
                  values in different languages, and the artistically selected sets of
                  sound-sequences and systems of variation and derivation _paired with_
                  specific meanings, _designed_ only to inhabit, define, and reflect the
                  history and culture of their fictive shapers, the Elves of Tolkien's
                  Middle-earth?

                  > Neither were there any rules for how new Latin words could be coined
                  > for various modern concepts;

                  Do you really mean for us to think that there is no difference of
                  importance between the nature and size of the attested Latin lexicon,
                  and those of the Eldarin tongues?

                  > Likewise, the Tengwar script and the Eldarin tongues can be cultivated
                  > in such a way as to maintain their basic system while adapting them
                  > for the purpose of active, creative use.

                  That is true of the _Tengwar_, certainly; that is part of its design. I
                  dispute that it is true of the Eldarin tongues, despite the persuasive
                  power of your once again relying upon a false analogy to cover all the
                  fundamental differences between the two cases. (A general hueristic:
                  whenever Helge gets forceful or passionate about something, but relies
                  on analogy or is otherwise short on details, your antennae should go
                  up.) It is no more true of the Eldarin tongues than it is of any other
                  poorly-attested, fragmentarily understood language, like, say, Akkadian
                  or Etruscan. Yes, if people are willing to invent large swathes of
                  grammar and any number of new words, and call them "authentic" and
                  "genuine", then sure, those people can "use" Quenya or Sindarin or
                  Akkadian or Etruscan "just like" any other modern language. But the
                  results, no matter how much of the _actual_, _attested_ features of
                  what you call the "basic system" (as though it were a complete,
                  extensible framework) were retained, no one who studied the _actual_,
                  _attested_ corpus of those languages would be bound to consider the
                  results anything but what they are: fabrications having absolutely no
                  bearing whatsoever on the question of grammaticality in those
                  languages. Which, I remind you yet again (pointlessly, to be sure,
                  because you steadfastly refuse to recognize it), was the _point_ of
                  this discussion, before you launched off into your typical
                  misrepresentations, straw-man arguments, and rhetorical
                  sleight-of-hand.

                  > When moving into territory Tolkien left uncharted, we are not
                  > contradicting his work,

                  You _may_ be contradicting his work, in ways not immediately obvious.
                  But yes, the general point is true, and is not in dispute. This
                  discussion has never been about _contradiction_, but _grammaticality_.

                  > but -- insofar as we maintain his basic principles -- letting it live
                  > and grow.

                  That's very romantic sounding, but utterly imprecise and subjective
                  (see the above heuristic). The Eldarin tongues were not, are not, and
                  never will be, "living" languages. They were imaged by their creator to
                  have verisimilitude as _having once been_ living languages (and even
                  within the fictional image, Quenya ceased to "live and grow" long, long
                  before the events of _The Lord of the Rings_), but Tolkien's success in
                  his art no more makes them _in fact_ living languages (or ever to have
                  been such) than do Wagner's operas make the Norse gods living beings.
                  This would be true _even if_ Tolkien had left us a single, complete
                  description of the grammar of Quenya or Sindarin and a lexicon
                  approaching anything like that of a living language.

                  >> Tolkien's languages can be understood -- indeed, can _only_ be
                  >> understood -- by studying _Tolkien's_ writings. Creating new texts
                  >> has absolutely _no_ bearing on what is needed to understand Tolkien's
                  >> languages
                  >
                  > No, but if one truly understands Tolkien's languages (or scripts),
                  > then one logically _should_ be able to produce new texts, right? Such
                  > ability is the inevitable consequence of really understanding a
                  > language or script.

                  As Elfling demonstrates amply most every day, one can produce new texts
                  even _without_ understanding Tolkien's languages. One can even produce
                  texts that seem to agree with Helge Fauskanger's portrait of
                  Neo-Quenya. But that is _not_ the same as producing _grammatical_ texts
                  in _Tolkien's_ languages (which was the question under discussion).

                  >> as the example of your own work and the "new texts" based on it
                  >> shows, the desire to produce "new texts" _before_ Tolkien's own
                  >> writings are understood actually _impedes_ understanding,
                  >
                  > What impedes our understanding of Tolkien's own writings more than
                  > anything else is their unpublished status, a problem CFH is
                  > potentially able to address.

                  This is yet another outrageous example of Helge's rhetorical
                  sleight-of-hand. By ripping my words out of context, and by replying as
                  he does, he wants you, the reader, to believe that the contrast I was
                  drawing was between the understanding of those who have not read _all_
                  of Tolkien's own writings, published or unpublished, and those who
                  have. This is utterly false, and anyone who considers himself a scholar
                  should be ashamed to have mislead his readers in this fashion, whether
                  intentionally or not.

                  The actual contrast, as is apparent to anyone who actually reads what I
                  actually wrote, is between those who rely _only_ on _Helge's_ writings
                  and those who rely on _Tolkien's_ writings. The former are legion, as
                  is evident from Elfling and much of the Internet-based discussion of
                  Tolkien's languages. While it is true that, when pressed, Helge will be
                  the first to say that no one should rely only on his writings, he
                  certainly makes no effort to correct those who do so when (as
                  frequently) they post on Elfling, _even when they are relying on
                  erroneous information in earlier versions of his writings that he has
                  since corrected_. Instead, Helge prefers to reserve his (seemingly
                  boundless) energies and capacity for logorrhea for attacking my
                  colleagues and myself, and producing straw-man arguments, misdirection,
                  false analogies, and passionate defenses of points not in dispute.

                  > Very often, criticizing others seems to be a far higher priority to
                  > him;

                  Your hypocrisy is breathtaking.

                  > just look:
                  >
                  >> as it encourages lazy thinking, the wholesale, unquestioning adoption
                  >> of simplistic assumptions, assertions, and just plain subjective
                  >> whims, and in fact the eschewing of Tolkien's own words entirely in
                  >> favor of predigested, synthetic, and false representations of what
                  >> Tolkien actually wrote.
                  >
                  > If I am to understand that CFH, based on his access to unpublished
                  > primary materials, believes he is able to identify specific errors and
                  > palpable misunderstandings in the secondary works written by myself
                  > and others, then we would be happy to receive from him a list of
                  > corrections and rewrite our works accordingly.

                  My criticisms of your work (specifically; of your _rhetoric_ I have a
                  different set of criticisms) have nothing whatsoever to do with
                  information found in unpublished materials. My criticism is not of the
                  conclusions you reach, per se, but of the methods you use to arrive at
                  conclusions: for example, dismissing any evidence that doesn't conform
                  to your pre-judgments as invalid; assumption and assertion of facts not
                  in evidence; eschewing actual, attested exemplars in favor of
                  _fabricated_ forms that just happen to be more convenient for your
                  desired conclusions; etc.

                  I have in fact already offered some corrections to your work, some of
                  which you've adopted (without acknowledgment, I note, as for example in
                  the matter of pronouns; though I don't realistically expect you to cite
                  my name or my work other than in expectoration), and others of which
                  you've chosen to ignore (as for example in the matter of Noldorin and
                  Sindarin past-tense forms). And _all_ of these corrections are based
                  _solely_ on published material; the error in each case was not in your
                  _knowledge_, but in your _methods_ and _prejudices_.

                  Indeed, as my colleagues -- esp. Bill Welden -- and I have made plain
                  on numerous occasions, you continue to labor under a false assumption,
                  that all questions will be answered and all debates settled once all of
                  Tolkien's papers have been published; while in fact, given the
                  ever-shifting nature of Tolkien's artistic creation, you will find
                  yourself even _less_ certain about many things than you are now. The
                  man with one watch always knows what time it is; the man with two
                  watches is never sure.

                  > But somehow I think CFH is more fond of making vague criticisms while
                  > doing his very best to conceal the information he should supposedly
                  > like to see instead.

                  That is a complete and utter lie, and you know it. First, unlike you, I
                  provide detail, evidence, and citations to back up my claims. Second,
                  it is an utter fallacy to imply, as you do here, that one cannot show a
                  conclusion to be erroneous unless a different conclusion is offered. I
                  don't have to state what the moon _is_ made of in order to show that it
                  _isn't_ made of green cheese.

                  > For instance: if CFH thinks _-ch_ is a bad choice as the ending for
                  > sg. "you" in Sindarin, what ending(s) would in his
                  > opinion be a better alternative?

                  We _do_ have a 2 sg. form attested for Sindarin, as you know. Were I
                  inclined to "use" one, I would certainly pick an _attested_ form over
                  one that is not only _not_ attested, but for which there is strong
                  evidence _against_. So too would you, if you weren't motivated by a
                  desire to see a friend's pet theory "vindicated" against the arguments
                  of someone else whom you have set up as an enemy (precisely in order to
                  be able to mock and thus ignore all those inconvenient facts he
                  offers).

                  > Why do we never hear anything about that?

                  Because it is utterly irrelevant to the question of whether _-ch_ is 2
                  g. in Sindarin? Because I feel no need to "use" _anything_ to mean 2
                  sg. in Sindarin?

                  > And if CFH really feels he must get the explicit permission of the
                  > Tolkien Estate to reveal a single pronominal suffix

                  Why do you keep pretending that I haven't addressed this matter many
                  time before? Is it ignorance or apathy or just plain contemptuous (of
                  me and your readers) dishonesty?

                  There is not a _single_ pronominal suffix to be "revealed". There is
                  not a _single_ answer to this question, or for most questions you have
                  regarding Tolkien's languages, because they are _not_ _single_,
                  complete, self-consistent entities. They are _creative processes_ that
                  shifted and unfolded over time. As I have said before:

                  "To the extent that we can speak accurately of Quenya and Sindarin as
                  single entities, it is only as _continuities_ of change over time, i.e.
                  as _processes_; all else is simply individual snapshots of (most often
                  only small parts of) this process, any detail of which may have
                  persisted from the beginning to the end of that process, or have had no
                  more extent in that process than the sheet it was written on; and in
                  some cases there may be no way to tell which of these two extremes is
                  true of any given detail. But _every_ detail in turn _defined_ Quenya
                  and Sindarin _at the point it was written_ (at least), and so reflects
                  an aspect of Tolkien's
                  linguistic Art, which is _supposed_ to be the common and proper object
                  of interest pursued by all scholars of Tolkien's languages."

                  > I'm sure it will. And when its history is written, I wonder what
                  > posterity will think about the "Dead Sea Scrolls" era of the field,
                  > the long decades when the people who were supposed to publish
                  > Tolkien's material often seemed far more concerned with criticizing
                  > the people who tried to do their very best with the material that was
                  > available.

                  Another false analogy. Utterly unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, Tolkien's
                  writings are the copyrighted artistic productions of one man, who
                  created an Estate specifically for the purpose of protected his rights
                  and wishes. Unlike you -- and _because_ we are unlike you -- my
                  colleagues and I are proceeding in full accordance with those rights
                  and wishes in publishing Tolkien's linguistic writings _precisely_ as
                  we are supposed to, with the full support, approval, and satisfaction
                  of the person who set us on this work.

                  What posterity makes of this -- just as what posterity and the present
                  make of Tolkien's languages -- depends entirely on whether it looks at
                  the facts of the matter for themselves, and thoughtfully, before
                  reaching a conclusion, or instead rely upon the slimy self-serving
                  rhetorical misdirections and fallacies of a politically- and
                  self-interested demagogue.
                • John Cowan
                  ... No language, living or dead, constructed or natural, ever has been or is ever likely to be completely specified. That is the whole point of appealing to
                  Message 8 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                    > The Eldarin tongues neither are nor _ever will be_ _completely
                    > specified_,

                    No language, living or dead, constructed or natural, ever has been or
                    is ever likely to be completely specified. That is the whole point of
                    appealing to native-speaker intuitions.

                    > Who says that Catholic prayers are _not_ part of Tolkien's secondary
                    > world? Certainly they _came_ to be, with the passage of time.

                    In what sense? If there are Catholics in the Secondary World, the most
                    they could do would be to *translate* their prayers into the long-vanished
                    languages of the long-vanished Elves. They might find this task easier
                    than we do or JRRT does, but not different in principle. Or do you mean
                    that the Elves of Valinor become Catholics after the Incarnation?

                    > > If I coin a Neo-Quenya word from one of Tolkien's roots, my concern
                    > > would be to make the word conform with the established phonology,
                    > > derivational system and general structure of the language.
                    >
                    > Though fine as far as it goes, that is insufficient.

                    Insufficient for what purpose, exactly? Surely it is sufficient for
                    Helge's purpose and for that of many other persons, if not your own.

                    > If that is not taken into account, the results will fit together as
                    > poorly with Tolkien's art as any new German words I could coin would
                    > with any German speaker.

                    They will anyhow. The fragmentary corpus plus the light of human reason
                    will not lead you to make reliably grammatical utterances, as I showed before.

                    > Do you really mean for us to think that there is no difference of
                    > importance between the nature and size of the attested Latin lexicon,
                    > and those of the Eldarin tongues?

                    Whether Helge means that or not, I do. The size of the Latin corpus
                    affects the point of principle not a jot. We cannot know whether the
                    "Latin" we write would or would not be grammatical to native speakers.
                    The two "Latin" sentences I wrote the other day are good Latin to
                    the best of my ability, but I would never make any claims for their
                    grammaticality, still less their evidentiary value. Neither would any
                    other sensible person.

                    > Yes, if people are willing to invent large swathes of
                    > grammar and any number of new words, and call them "authentic" and
                    > "genuine", then sure, those people can "use" Quenya or Sindarin or
                    > Akkadian or Etruscan "just like" any other modern language. But the
                    > results, no matter how much of the _actual_, _attested_ features of
                    > what you call the "basic system" (as though it were a complete,
                    > extensible framework) were retained, no one who studied the _actual_,
                    > _attested_ corpus of those languages would be bound to consider the
                    > results anything but what they are: fabrications having absolutely no
                    > bearing whatsoever on the question of grammaticality in those
                    > languages.

                    Absolutely. The only safe test of grammaticality in such a language is
                    attestedness: everything else is entirely hypothetical. The plausibility
                    of such hypotheses is a matter for dispute, not for apodictic declarations.
                    You may not care for Helge's reconstructions, but to say that they are
                    wrong (viz. ungrammatical) is to go beyond the evidence.

                    > But that is _not_ the same as producing _grammatical_ texts
                    > in _Tolkien's_ languages (which was the question under discussion).

                    No living person can do that.

                    > We _do_ have a 2 sg. form attested for Sindarin, as you know. Were I
                    > inclined to "use" one, I would certainly pick an _attested_ form over
                    > one that is not only _not_ attested, but for which there is strong
                    > evidence _against_.

                    There is a mixture of arguments here: 1) Helge's choice of a form doesn't
                    agree with the evidence; 2) Helge ought not to be choosing forms, or writing
                    texts, at all. Confounding these causes nothing but confusion.

                    > "To the extent that we can speak accurately of Quenya and Sindarin as
                    > single entities, it is only as _continuities_ of change over time, i.e.
                    > as _processes_; all else is simply individual snapshots of (most often
                    > only small parts of) this process, any detail of which may have
                    > persisted from the beginning to the end of that process, or have had no
                    > more extent in that process than the sheet it was written on; and in
                    > some cases there may be no way to tell which of these two extremes is
                    > true of any given detail.

                    Indeed, this is one of the most naturalistic things about Q & S, since it
                    applies with perfect force to every description of a natural language.

                    --
                    The man that wanders far jcowan@...
                    from the walking tree http://www.reutershealth.com
                    --first line of a non-existent poem by: John Cowan
                  • Carl F. Hostetter
                    First, let me note that I only posted my message once, so I don t know how it got sent twice. Hopefully that won t happen again. ... Yes, of course. But unlike
                    Message 9 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      First, let me note that I only posted my message once, so I don't know
                      how it got sent twice. Hopefully that won't happen again.

                      On Tuesday, August 26, 2003, at 1:28 PM, John Cowan wrote:

                      > Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:
                      >
                      >> The Eldarin tongues neither are nor _ever will be_ _completely
                      >> specified_,
                      >
                      > No language, living or dead, constructed or natural, ever has been or
                      > is ever likely to be completely specified. That is the whole point of
                      > appealing to native-speaker intuitions.

                      Yes, of course. But unlike the Eldarin tongues, many languages _are_
                      completely specified in the sense I meant (which is derivable from the
                      contrast being made with the _Tengwar_) in that all morphological
                      mechanisms of the language, including tense formation, case
                      inflections, agreement markers, etc., etc., are fully and
                      self-consistently specified.

                      >> Who says that Catholic prayers are _not_ part of Tolkien's secondary
                      >> world? Certainly they _came_ to be, with the passage of time.
                      >
                      > In what sense?

                      In the sense that Middle-earth, intended by its creator to be _our_
                      world in a remote past, with the passage of time came to include
                      Catholics.

                      > If there are Catholics in the Secondary World, the most they could do
                      > would be to *translate* their prayers into the long-vanished languages
                      > of the long-vanished Elves.

                      You assume that no Elves are Catholic, or would translate Catholic
                      prayers themselves.

                      > Or do you mean that the Elves of Valinor become Catholics after the
                      > Incarnation?

                      Since to Tolkien the Catholic faith reflects inherent, universal truths
                      about t/his world, then obviously his Elves would believe the tenets of
                      the Catholic faith (even if the particular fact of the Salvation of
                      Fallen Man had no _personal application_ to them).

                      >>> If I coin a Neo-Quenya word from one of Tolkien's roots, my concern
                      >>> would be to make the word conform with the established phonology,
                      >>> derivational system and general structure of the language.
                      >>
                      >> Though fine as far as it goes, that is insufficient.
                      >
                      > Insufficient for what purpose, exactly? Surely it is sufficient for
                      > Helge's purpose and for that of many other persons, if not your own.

                      For the "purpose" easily discernible in what I wrote, in the context in
                      which I wrote it: sufficient to the task of "extending" Tolkien's
                      languages in ways (most nearly) fully consistent with Tolkien's own
                      invention, in precisely the same ways that my German neologisms
                      _wouldn't_ be consistent with German.

                      >> If that is not taken into account, the results will fit together as
                      >> poorly with Tolkien's art as any new German words I could coin would
                      >> with any German speaker.
                      >
                      > They will anyhow. The fragmentary corpus plus the light of human
                      > reason will not lead you to make reliably grammatical utterances, as I
                      > showed before.

                      I quite agree with your comment as it regards grammaticality; we've
                      discussed this in this thread already. But neither I nor Helge am here
                      speaking strictly of grammaticality; indeed, it is this
                      extra-grammatical, historical and cultural, artistic and aesthetic
                      dimension that I am _highlighting_, to show why Helge's criteria were
                      insufficient. Thus providing the answer you sought above, in words
                      already written.

                      >> Do you really mean for us to think that there is no difference of
                      >> importance between the nature and size of the attested Latin lexicon,
                      >> and those of the Eldarin tongues?
                      >
                      > Whether Helge means that or not, I do. The size of the Latin corpus
                      > affects the point of principle not a jot.

                      Unless by "the point of principle" you mean something quite other than
                      what Helge meant in, and thus what I meant in my response to, his
                      statement that:

                      > Neither were there any rules for how new Latin words could be coined
                      > for various modern concepts;

                      then I disagree with your assertion. The vastly greater size of the
                      Latin lexicon provides not only vastly more building-blocks with which
                      to form new words, but vastly more examples of how the native speakers
                      of Latin themselves formed new words. That is indeed a fundamental
                      difference between Quenya and Latin in this regard.

                      > We cannot know whether the "Latin" we write would or would not be
                      > grammatical to native speakers.

                      Indeed, though we have far greater likelihood of producing grammatical
                      texts in Latin than in Quenya, because we have vastly more examples of
                      grammatical texts to follow.

                      > The only safe test of grammaticality in such a language is
                      > attestedness: everything else is entirely hypothetical.

                      Change "safe" to "certain", and I agree 100%.

                      > You may not care for Helge's reconstructions, but to say that they are
                      > wrong (viz. ungrammatical) is to go beyond the evidence.

                      In the specific case of _-ch_, where we have very strong evidence
                      _against_ Helge's favorite "theory", and in various other _specific_
                      cases, not, it is not going beyond the evidence. _All else being
                      equal_, then sure, one cannot _prove_ that reconstructions that are _in
                      fact_ consistent with all the available evidence either are or or not
                      ungrammatical; only that they are consistent with all the available
                      evidence. The particular sentence that sparked this discussion,
                      however, lies with the former cases, not the latter.

                      >> But that is _not_ the same as producing _grammatical_ texts in
                      >> _Tolkien's_ languages (which was the question under discussion).
                      >
                      > No living person can do that.

                      Granted, in the strict sense you and I are using here. But that was
                      never in dispute. But Helge and I agree at least to this extent: it
                      _is_ possible for people to produce texts using words and devices that
                      are consistent with all the available evidence for Tolkien's languages
                      (though we might disagree on the definition of consistency, or the
                      status of evidence). All the more reason for us to avoid muddying the
                      essential distinctions by lobbing words like "genuine" and "authentic"
                      around with abandon in order to further political obfuscation.

                      >> We _do_ have a 2 sg. form attested for Sindarin, as you know. Were I
                      >> inclined to "use" one, I would certainly pick an _attested_ form over
                      >> one that is not only _not_ attested, but for which there is strong
                      >> evidence _against_.
                      >
                      > There is a mixture of arguments here: 1) Helge's choice of a form
                      > doesn't agree with the evidence; 2) Helge ought not to be choosing
                      > forms, or writing texts, at all. Confounding these causes nothing but
                      > confusion.

                      Excuse me, but there is _no_ mixture of _arguments_ here. I said _not
                      one word_ about whether Helge ought to be choosing forms, or writing
                      texts, at all. Indeed, unlike Helge with regards to _me_, I have no
                      opinion whatsoever on how Helge should or should not be amusing himself
                      or others, _except_ to the extent that his activities involve creating
                      and promoting untruths about the nature, content, significance, and
                      study of Tolkien's languages and linguistic writings, and/or about
                      other Tolkienian linguists.

                      There is, to be sure, a profound difference of interest in and approach
                      to Tolkien's languages between Helge and myself, which _can_ be
                      usefully illustrated by these two fundamentally different questions: 1)
                      Helge asks, "How does one express the 2 sg. pronoun in Sindarin
                      verbs?", while 2) I ask, "What meaning does the apparent ending _-ch_
                      have in this particular (probably, and certainly nearly) Sindarin text
                      of this vintage?". Unlike Helge's, my question makes no assumptions
                      about what "Sindarin" means, or that there is only one way to express
                      any particular pronoun in "Sindarin", or even that there is _any_
                      attested way to express various parts of various grammatical
                      "paradigms" in "Sindarin". Also like Helge, I am content to answer
                      "unknown" to my questions, if they cannot be decided by examining the
                      evidence, and feel no need to "fill in" the resulting "gap" with my own
                      creation.

                      >> "To the extent that we can speak accurately of Quenya and Sindarin as
                      >> single entities, it is only as _continuities_ of change over time,
                      >> i.e. as _processes_; all else is simply individual snapshots of (most
                      >> often only small parts of) this process, any detail of which may have
                      >> persisted from the beginning to the end of that process, or have had
                      >> no more extent in that process than the sheet it was written on; and
                      >> in some cases there may be no way to tell which of these two extremes
                      >> is true of any given detail.
                      >
                      > Indeed, this is one of the most naturalistic things about Q & S, since
                      > it applies with perfect force to every description of a natural
                      > language.

                      Though with the fundamental differences that a) the author of those
                      continuities and changes was a single man (whose works are, not
                      incidentally, protected artistic expressions), and that b) the changes
                      were not in any way bound to follow on in any phonological or
                      morphological continuity from previous states.
                    • Carl F. Hostetter
                      ... That should read, Also _un_like Hege , of course. So very of course.
                      Message 10 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On Tuesday, August 26, 2003, at 4:29 PM, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                        > Also like Helge, I am content to answer "unknown" to my questions, if
                        > they cannot be decided by examining the
                        > evidence, and feel no need to "fill in" the resulting "gap" with my
                        > own creation.

                        That should read, "Also _un_like Hege", of course. So very of course.
                      • Carl F. Hostetter
                        ... I won t let this gout of Fauskangerian hyperbolic rhetoric pass unremarked. Helge seems to expect us to believe that he is immune from criticism, either of
                        Message 11 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On Tuesday, August 26, 2003, at 06:06 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                          > I'm sure it will. And when its history is written, I wonder what
                          > posterity will think about the "Dead Sea Scrolls" era of the field,
                          > the long decades when the people who were supposed to publish
                          > Tolkien's material often seemed far more concerned with criticizing
                          > the people who tried to do their very best with the material that was
                          > available.

                          I won't let this gout of Fauskangerian hyperbolic rhetoric pass
                          unremarked. Helge seems to expect us to believe that he is immune from
                          criticism, either of his work on Tolkien's languages or of and for his
                          reflex attacks on myself and my colleagues -- I remind everyone still
                          reading this thread that it was _Helge_, not I, who began the personal
                          criticism, which he now (as always) castigates me for daring to defend
                          myself against -- because he is just "trying to do his best with the
                          available material". Although he expects you to believe otherwise, it
                          is plain to see that that is _not_ _all_ he is doing (indeed, he has
                          done almost _none_ of that in this thread), and even if it _were_ it
                          does not mean that his deductions and pronouncements (to say nothing of
                          his rhetoric and personal attacks) cannot be questioned or disproved:
                          such questioning and criticism is an _essential_ part of the scholarly
                          method and of being a scholar. Indeed, if Helge truly _were_ doing "his
                          very best with the available material", and nothing but, I would have
                          very little to say to him -- though his work of course would still be
                          no more above criticism than anyone else's; but that of course isn't
                          what, and is certainly not _all_ that, Helge is doing, and thus cannot
                          be what he really means (or, if it is, he is astonishingly unaware of
                          his own work or deliberately misrepresenting both me and himself):
                          instead, he must mean, "doing his best to create his own language,
                          Neo-Quenya, by selecting favored bits from among all the material
                          available, and discarding the rest as invalid or just inconvenient".
                          And even _that_ I would have little or nothing to say about, if he
                          didn't concomitantly (and _completely_ gratuitously) 1) use his ideas
                          about Neo-Quenya and Neo-Sindarin as _evidence_ for claims and
                          assertions about _Tolkien's_ languages (and stand silently by while
                          others do the same); 2) use his work as a launch-pad for attacks on
                          other Tolkien linguists, including but by no means limited to myself
                          and my colleagues, who have the temerity not to silently accept all his
                          assumptions, assertions, whims, rhetoric, and personal attacks; and 3)
                          slimily use his work as the basis for a dishonest appeal for sympathy
                          in order to divert attention from the actual discussion and the actual
                          facts under discussion, while in the very same breath having such
                          monstrous contempt for the intelligence of his readers as to engage in
                          a profoundly hypocritical attack on the rights of my colleagues and I
                          to do _our_ very best with the material available to _us_, as _we_ see
                          fit.
                        • Helge K. Fauskanger
                          ... Tolkien s own words and attested grammatical constructions. ... Really? Normally CFH is extremely reluctant to recognize any post-Tolkien composition as
                          Message 12 of 19 , Aug 30, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I wrote:

                            > > It is entirely possible to write long texts in Quenya using only
                            Tolkien's own words and attested grammatical constructions.

                            CFH responded:

                            > And this is news to whom, exactly? This point was never at issue.

                            Really? Normally CFH is extremely reluctant to recognize any post-Tolkien
                            composition as genuine Quenya.

                            I also wrote:

                            > Beyond Tolkien's own work there is NOTHING (except post-Tolkien
                            material).

                            CFH responded:

                            > To whom do you think this is news, other than those whom you confuse by
                            insisting that "post-Tolkien" material is "genuine" and "authentic"?

                            Post-Tolkien material is genuine Neo-Eldarin, to the extent it is
                            well-formed according to the rules that can be inferred from Tolkien's own
                            material. Of course it is not "genuine Tolkien", which simply means that
                            Tolkien didn't come up with it.

                            > It is _more_ than just fiction, it is _art_, art _requiring_ a history
                            and a people, even if invented. Remember?

                            What should be remembered is that Tolkien wrote that his languages inspired
                            his authorship, NOT vice versa. Indeed one cannot infer much about
                            Tolkien's invented world simply by examining the languages supposed to be
                            spoken there. Also notice the ease with which Tolkien completely revised
                            the internal history of his Celtic-sounding language, while keeping the
                            language as such. But for a very few highly specialized vocabulary units,
                            like "Silmaril", the entire Quenya-Sindarin-scenario could be fitted to
                            just about ANY people and ANY history -- as long as one group was isolated
                            from the other for some centuries or millennia, so that an original common
                            language could split into two quite distinct branches.

                            > No one has ever said that the Eldar were real (...) But _Tolkien_ was
                            real, and so are his artistic creations.

                            Tolkien was real, but Tolkien is also dead. Exactly how he would have
                            solved any given problem facing people trying to write in Quenya or
                            Sindarin is impossible to say; in many cases he probably wouldn't have a
                            ready answer, but would have had to come up with something. We would have
                            to do the same (except that we feel less free to introduce completely new
                            roots). Again: when we move into uncharted territory in such a way, we are
                            not contradicting Tolkien's work, but letting it live and grow (I
                            understand this sounds overly "romantic" to CFH).

                            > The Eldarin tongues were not, are not, and never will be, "living"
                            languages. They were imaged by their creator to have verisimilitude as
                            _having once been_ living languages (and even within the fictional image,
                            Quenya ceased to "live and grow" long, long before the events of _The Lord
                            of the Rings_),

                            I don't think Quenya was particularly "dead" in Tolkien's mind. Whenever he
                            considers his languages, his mind seems to move along the entire imagined
                            period, even diving into the "pre-historic" period with its primitive roots
                            and asterisked forms. The perspective is hardly that of a Third Age scholar
                            "looking back" and trying to make out the history of a long-dead tongue.

                            CFH wrote:

                            > >> as the example of your own work and the "new texts" based on it shows,
                            the desire to produce "new texts" _before_ Tolkien's own writings are
                            understood actually _impedes_ understanding,

                            I responded:

                            > > What impedes our understanding of Tolkien's own writings more than
                            anything else is their unpublished status, a problem CFH is potentially
                            able to address.

                            CFH is outraged:

                            > This is yet another outrageous example of Helge's rhetorical
                            sleight-of-hand. By ripping my words out of context, and by replying as he
                            does, he wants you, the reader, to believe that the contrast I was drawing
                            was between the understanding of those who have not read _all_ of Tolkien's
                            own writings, published or unpublished, and those who have.

                            Yeah, what a grotesque misrepresentation... Frankly this was the only sense
                            _I_ could make of what CFH wrote, but luckily we now learn what "the actual
                            contrast" was all about:

                            > The actual contrast, as is apparent to anyone who actually reads what I
                            actually wrote, is between those who rely _only_ on _Helge's_ writings and
                            those who rely on _Tolkien's_ writings. The former are legion, as is
                            evident from Elfling and much of the Internet-based discussion of Tolkien's
                            languages.

                            I believe there are quite a few people out there who rely _both_ on
                            Tolkien's writings and on secondary sources like the ones I have provided,
                            and are not aware of any particularly striking or important contradictions
                            between the two. The Quenya course, in particular, is riddled with
                            references to the primary sources and takes the reader through nearly every
                            step of my reasoning.

                            > My criticism is not of the conclusions you reach, per se, but of the
                            methods you use to arrive at conclusions:

                            Some would say that the conclusions are more important than the methods.
                            The methods are a means; the conclusions are the goal.

                            > for example, dismissing any evidence that doesn't conform to your
                            pre-judgments as invalid;

                            It is quite obvious that some "evidence" represents ideas Tolkien
                            abandoned, and then I must be allowed to say so.

                            > I have in fact already offered some corrections to your work, some of
                            which you've adopted (without acknowledgment, I note, as for example in the
                            matter of pronouns; though I don't realistically expect you to cite my name
                            or my work other than in expectoration),

                            If CFH can be bothered to search for his own name in my articles, he would
                            find that he is cited favorably a number of times.

                            > and others of which you've chosen to ignore (as for example in the matter
                            of Noldorin and Sindarin past-tense forms).

                            I don't seem to be aware of any "correction" offered me by CFH having to do
                            with Sindarin past-tense forms. Where did it appear?

                            > Indeed, as my colleagues -- esp. Bill Welden -- and I have made plain on
                            numerous occasions, you continue to labor under a false assumption, that
                            all questions will be answered and all debates settled once all of
                            Tolkien's papers have been published; while in fact, given the
                            ever-shifting nature of Tolkien's artistic creation, you will find yourself
                            even _less_ certain about many things than you are now.

                            Like, "Gee, there are two genitive endings here --- both -o and -n!!! How
                            could Tolkien do this to us?! Which one are we to use? What a dilemma! My
                            head explodes!"

                            If we live to see the day when "all of Tolkien's papers have been
                            published", we will know what the options are, and what remains is mainly a
                            matter of selection.

                            I wrote:

                            > > For instance: if CFH thinks _-ch_ is a bad choice as the ending for sg.
                            "you" in Sindarin, what ending(s) would in his opinion be a better
                            alternative?

                            > We _do_ have a 2 sg. form attested for Sindarin, as you know.

                            Yes, we have _le_, but what we need is an _ending_ to be added to verbs.

                            > Were I inclined to "use" one, I would certainly pick an _attested_ form
                            over one that is not only _not_ attested, but for which there is strong
                            evidence _against_.

                            Is there any published evidence either way for _-ch_ as a 2nd person sg.
                            marker?

                            > So too would you, if you weren't motivated by a desire to see a friend's
                            pet theory "vindicated" against the arguments of someone else whom you have
                            set up as an enemy (precisely in order to be able to mock and thus ignore
                            all those inconvenient facts he offers).

                            Oh my, what sinister motives I really have...

                            > There is not a _single_ pronominal suffix to be "revealed". There is not
                            a _single_ answer to this question, or for most questions you have
                            regarding Tolkien's languages, because they are _not_ _single_, complete,
                            self-consistent entities.

                            Please notice that I did write "what ending(s) would in his opinion be a
                            better alternative?" Notice "ending(s)". One, or several. The way CHF is
                            behaving would seem to suggest that he knows one or more endings that he
                            believes would be a BETTER alternative than _-ch_ as the ending for sg.
                            "you" in Sindarin proper. CFH's mantra "there is no single answer to any
                            question" is all too familar by now. Very well, but it should still be
                            possible to produce summaries of the main trends in (say) Tolkien's
                            thinking on the pronouns, even if one is not trying to crystallize a
                            "standard" system.

                            > the slimy rhetorical misdirections and fallacies of a politically- and
                            self-interested demagogue.

                            The demagogue would be me, I guess? Carl, Carl -- only ONE of us is
                            obsessively discussing the moral standards and (supposedly) sinister
                            motives of the other...

                            - HKF
                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                            My goodness, Helge, you are quite the little masochist, aren t you? Very well. ... Once again we see one of the classic Fauskangerian rhetorical bankruptcies:
                            Message 13 of 19 , Sep 1, 2003
                            • 0 Attachment
                              My goodness, Helge, you are quite the little masochist, aren't you?
                              Very well.

                              On Saturday, August 30, 2003, at 08:31 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                              > I wrote:
                              >
                              >>> It is entirely possible to write long texts in Quenya using only
                              > Tolkien's own words and attested grammatical constructions.
                              >
                              > CFH responded:
                              >
                              >> And this is news to whom, exactly? This point was never at issue.
                              >
                              > Really? Normally CFH is extremely reluctant to recognize any
                              > post-Tolkien
                              > composition as genuine Quenya.

                              Once again we see one of the classic Fauskangerian rhetorical
                              bankruptcies: pretend that I used a term I never did, so as to
                              introduce a false contradiction. I never called such compositions
                              "genuine Quenya", and I do not do so now, despite Helge's dishonest
                              implication. Yes folks, he really does think you're that stupid.

                              > Post-Tolkien material is genuine Neo-Eldarin, to the extent it is
                              > well-formed according to the rules that can be inferred from Tolkien's
                              > own material. Of course it is not "genuine Tolkien", which simply
                              > means that Tolkien didn't come up with it.

                              Nor is it genuine Quenya, or genuine Sindarin.

                              > Indeed one cannot infer much about Tolkien's invented world simply by
                              > examining the languages supposed to be spoken there.

                              WHAT!? Helge, you really shouldn't let your political zeal lead you
                              into making such absurd statements. It makes you look stupid.

                              > But for a very few highly specialized vocabulary units, like
                              > "Silmaril", the entire Quenya-Sindarin-scenario could be fitted to
                              > just about ANY people and ANY history

                              Sure, so long as they were a monotheistic culture of immortal spirits
                              indwelling in immortal bodies inhabiting a once-flat world made round
                              who lived alongside a race of angelic gods as well as a race of demonic
                              creatures corrupted by an immensely powerful Dark Lord who ruled over
                              them as well as dragons and fire-demons. For starters.

                              > we are not contradicting Tolkien's work,

                              As I said before, you _may_ be contradicting Tolkien's work in ways not
                              immediately obvious, either to you or to anyone else. Complex systems
                              have ways of being disrupted that are not immediately obvious.

                              > but letting it live and grow (I understand this sounds overly
                              > "romantic" to CFH).

                              Indeed. Not to mention, false. As I have already explained.

                              >>> What impedes our understanding of Tolkien's own writings more than
                              > anything else is their unpublished status, a problem CFH is potentially
                              > able to address.
                              >
                              > CFH is outraged:

                              Bald-faced lies and misrepresentations do tend to bother me. Though
                              they seem never to bother you, so long as you're doing the telling.

                              >> This is yet another outrageous example of Helge's rhetorical
                              > sleight-of-hand. By ripping my words out of context, and by replying
                              > as he
                              > does, he wants you, the reader, to believe that the contrast I was
                              > drawing
                              > was between the understanding of those who have not read _all_ of
                              > Tolkien's
                              > own writings, published or unpublished, and those who have.
                              >
                              > Yeah, what a grotesque misrepresentation... Frankly this was the only
                              > sense
                              > _I_ could make of what CFH wrote,

                              Alas, your reason and perspective seem to have been so thoroughly
                              twisted by your political agenda that I could believe this to be true.

                              >> The actual contrast, as is apparent to anyone who actually reads what
                              >> I actually wrote, is between those who rely _only_ on _Helge's_
                              >> writings and those who rely on _Tolkien's_ writings. The former are
                              >> legion, as is evident from Elfling and much of the Internet-based
                              >> discussion of Tolkien's languages.
                              >
                              > I believe there are quite a few people out there who rely _both_ on
                              > Tolkien's writings and on secondary sources like the ones I have
                              > provided,

                              Doubtlessly so, but this fact in no way contradicts or even has any
                              bearing on what I said. Not that that ever stops you.

                              >> My criticism is not of the conclusions you reach, per se, but of the
                              >> methods you use to arrive at conclusions:
                              >
                              > Some would say that the conclusions are more important than the
                              > methods. The methods are a means; the conclusions are the goal.

                              Bad methods are unlikely to lead to correct conclusions, except
                              incidentally. And once again, you miss the point completely: one does
                              not have to be able to disprove a conclusion in order to call it into
                              question, all the more so when the methods used to arrive at the
                              conclusion are suspect or outright bogus.

                              >> for example, dismissing any evidence that doesn't conform to your
                              > pre-judgments as invalid;
                              >
                              > It is quite obvious that some "evidence" represents ideas Tolkien
                              > abandoned, and then I must be allowed to say so.

                              Absolutely, _in cases where it is in fact quite obvious_; which cases
                              are far, far fewer than you believe (because you want to believe, to
                              keep your conclusions tidy, compact, and "useful").

                              >> I have in fact already offered some corrections to your work, some of
                              >> which you've adopted (without acknowledgment, I note, as for example
                              >> in the matter of pronouns; though I don't realistically expect you to
                              >> cite my name or my work other than in expectoration),
                              >
                              > If CFH can be bothered to search for his own name in my articles, he
                              > would find that he is cited favorably a number of times.

                              OK, let's.

                              A) Your treatment of the _Átaremma_ and _Aia María_:

                              1) "Hostetter in his editorial observed: "Translations of the Lord's
                              Prayer have enjoyed a long tradition as representative texts for use in
                              side-by-side comparisons of various languages." But since Tolkien
                              apparently never made any efforts to have his Quenya-language Lord's
                              Prayer published, it does not seem that he intended it to be a general
                              "sample" of the language."

                              Looks to me like a typical Fauskangerism: create a contrast to make it
                              look like I was making a claim about Tolkien's translation, which I
                              never did.

                              2) "We need not doubt that the primitive adjective ended in -i; this is
                              evident from the past tense verb airitáne hallowed, occurring in the
                              Ms. Tolkien Drawing 91, 41v, dating to ca. 1966 and now at the Bodleian
                              (see Vinyar Tengwar #32, November 1993, page 7, where Carl F. Hostetter
                              volunteers this information from an unpublished manuscript)."

                              "Volunteers this information". Yep.

                              3) "When making their own translation of the Lord's Prayer, Patrick
                              Wynne and Carl F. Hostetter indeed coined precisely the word *síre to
                              translate "today" (VT32:8). Yet Tolkien's manuscript definitely seems
                              to read síra and not *síre (which, by the way, would clash with síre
                              river: LR:385 s.v. sir-)."

                              What has our coinage to do with Tolkien's creation? Why even mention
                              it? Picayune.

                              B) Your "Quenya Course":

                              I: intro.rtf:

                              1) "Throughout most of the nineties, he was sending photo-copies of his
                              father's linguistic manuscripts to a group of Americans often (but
                              unofficially) referred to as the Elfconners, apparently because of
                              their prominence on the "cons" or conventions of ELF, the "Elvish
                              Linguistic Fellowship". However, the most outspoken member of the group
                              seems to have convinced himself beyond refutation that the term
                              "Elfconners" was always meant to be derogatory, associating it with
                              "conning" or deception. As pointed out by TolkLang moderator Julian
                              Bradfield, it may be that this member of the group is inventing insults
                              against himself, but currently it is politically correct to refer to
                              this group simply as the Editorial Team, abbreviated ET. Whatever we
                              call them, the group consists of Christopher Gilson, Carl F. Hostetter,
                              Patrick Wynne and Arden R. Smith (in recent years, Bill Welden has also
                              joined in). Before they started to receive Tolkien manuscripts, these
                              people quite regularly published the Tolkien-linguistic journals Vinyar
                              Tengwar (edited by Hostetter) and Parma Eldalamberon (edited by
                              Gilson), generally maintaining a high standard. This, we must assume,
                              was the reason why Christopher Tolkien wanted them to publish his
                              father's linguistic manuscripts in the first place."

                              2) "The journal Vinyar Tengwar (VT), edited by Carl F. Hostetter, had
                              its "golden age" in the period 1988-93, when the editor managed to
                              uphold continuous bimonthly publication."

                              3) "When Hostetter and the other ET members in the early nineties
                              started to receive original Tolkien material of the utmost interest to
                              be edited and published, the rate of publication mysteriously dropped
                              to about one issue a year, and this situation has continued throughout
                              the latter half of the nineties and into the new decade. Not all of the
                              few issues that have been published include any new Tolkien material,
                              and those that do are usually devoted to very short scraps (that are
                              moreover samples of very early material that is often clearly not
                              LotR-compatible)."

                              4) "A few issues do stand out, however, and one of them has already
                              been mentioned: In issue #39, July 1998, Hostetter published the part
                              of Quendi and Eldar that Christopher Tolkien left out of WJ, as well as
                              the companion essay Ósanwe-kenta (the latter is not strictly linguistic
                              by its subject, but Tolkien nonetheless mentioned quite a few Quenya
                              words). Some useful material also appeared in issue #41, July 2000,
                              filling certain annoying gaps in our vocabulary (in particular
                              regarding the verb "can") and providing interesting new information
                              about the formation of the present tense. In January 2002, various
                              Quenya translations of the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria were
                              published in issue #43; Tolkien the Catholic produced more than one
                              Elvish version of these texts. The other main results of the ET's
                              editing efforts for the most part consist of wordlist material"

                              Hm, yes, "some _useful_ material". That speaks volumes about you, Helge.

                              II: less-a.rtf:

                              1) "Some of my deductions above have been criticized by VT editor Carl
                              F. Hostetter. No one disputes the fact that primary verbs form their
                              present or "continuous" tense by lengthening the stem-vowel and adding
                              -a, but the notion that A-stems have present-tense forms in -ëa has
                              proved controversial. Of course, this is based on the one example órëa
                              (from ora- "impel"), and it was Hostetter himself who published this
                              form and suggested that this is an example of the present/continuous
                              tense."

                              And my criticism is _precisely_ that you seized upon this _single_
                              example and extrapolated entire verb classes and paradigms based upon
                              it. Don't want to present that inconvenient _fact_, though, that would
                              be too reasonable.

                              III: less-b.rtf:

                              1) "On the other hand, Carl F. Hostetter thinks the Quenya aorist is
                              used to describe an action that is "punctual, habitual, or otherwise
                              durationless" (VT41:15). This is probably correct in most cases,
                              describing the typical function of the aorist. Yet some examples
                              suggest that it may be better to say that whereas the present tense
                              explicitly identifies an ongoing action, the Quenya aorist is simply
                              unmarked as far as duration is concerned."

                              Never mind that "unmarked as far as duration is concerned" _is_
                              durationless; just self-servingly manipulate terms and make it _look_
                              like you are drawing a distinction where none exists.

                              2) "The frontispiece reproduces a manuscript page by Tolkien, including
                              some brief linguistic notes. (Taum Santoski, analyzing these notes in
                              the newsletter Beyond Bree, October 1985, read this form as
                              "linduvanya" – but as pointed out by Carl F. Hostetter, Tolkien
                              probably intended "linduvanye" instead."

                              Yes, I did point that out. One neutral statement of the facts. A rare
                              thing, and high praise indeed from Helge.

                              IV: less-d.rtf

                              1) "On the other hand, Carl F. Hostetter (who has seen nearly all of
                              Tolkien's linguistic manuscripts) briefly commented on this sentence in
                              VT41:18 and apparently recognized it as genuine, though he has later
                              specified that it does not occur in any manuscript he knows of."

                              I _never_ said the sentence was genuine -- you just can't resist that
                              word, can you? -- in fact, I said I had _not_ seen it in Tolkien's
                              papers, right up front, which in no way contradicts or stands in any
                              sort of contrast to anything I have ever said on the matter -- you just
                              can't resist misrepresenting claims to serve your own purposes, can you?

                              V: Your "Conjugation of Sindarin Verbs' page:

                              1) "The ending for the 2nd person ("you", singular or plural) does not
                              appear in published material. However, in an Elfling post of January
                              22, 2002, Carl F. Hostetter wrote: "Charts can be found showing -ch as
                              2nd sg." As he immediately added, this ending had other meanings in
                              earlier conceptual phases, but today it is best known as the ending for
                              singular "you" (so used in Movie Sindarin)."

                              Yep, never mind that I didn't say those charts were for _Sindarin_;
                              just take my quote out of the context of arguing _against_ your claim,
                              and use it to _support_ it instead. Typical Fauskanger "scholarship".

                              VI: Your "Mannish" page:

                              1) "Years ago, Vinyar Tengwar reported that one of the Elfconners was
                              editing the Taliskan grammar, and Carl F. Hostetter confirms that it
                              will be published...one day."

                              So apparently neither I nor Christopher Tolkien are to be permitted to
                              judge what is the best order in which to publish material.

                              VII: Your "Tolkien's Not So Secret Vice" page:

                              1) "The book that provided Tolkien with the word ond was finally
                              identified in Vinyar Tengwar #30: Celtic Britain by Professor John
                              Rhys, that according to Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick Wynne "consists
                              of over 300 densely-set pages and eschews neither etymological
                              discussion, untranslated Latin passages, nor untransliterated Greek
                              words". This was Tolkien's preferred reading at the age of eight.)"

                              Wow, for once you quoted me accurately. A rare honor indeed.

                              VIII: Your "Genesis 2" page:

                              "The article is also available online, though Carl F. Hostetter has for
                              his own reasons deleted the original reference to the unpublished
                              manuscript and now apparently tries to make his readers believe that he
                              derived this word himself."

                              I corrected this lie of yours years ago, and yet you still repeat it.
                              As I said long ago, I did not have _permission_ to cite the unpublished
                              manuscript in web publication, _only_ in the pages of _VT_. I know that
                              permission means nothing to you, but I observe it strictly.

                              Etc., etc. Do you really want me to go on? Why do you issue such absurd
                              challenges, when you _know_ that they're only going to prove my point
                              and make you look foolish yet again? And let's not even bother looking
                              at Elfling, as you know full well that won't reflect well on you, or
                              help your claim, at all.

                              > I don't seem to be aware of any "correction" offered me by CFH having
                              > to do
                              > with Sindarin past-tense forms. Where did it appear?

                              If you can't be bothered to keep up with the main literature of your
                              chosen field of scholarly endeavor, I fail to see how you can consider
                              yourself a scholar.

                              > Yes, we have _le_, but what we need is an _ending_ to be added to
                              > verbs.

                              And of course we have no examples or even the slightest indication of
                              how pronominal endings relate to independent pronouns. Nope, not a clue.

                              >
                              >> Were I inclined to "use" one, I would certainly pick an _attested_
                              >> form over one that is not only _not_ attested, but for which there is
                              >> strong evidence _against_.
                              >
                              > Is there any published evidence either way for _-ch_ as a 2nd person
                              > sg. marker?

                              Yes.

                              >> So too would you, if you weren't motivated by a desire to see a
                              >> friend's pet theory "vindicated" against the arguments of someone
                              >> else whom you have set up as an enemy (precisely in order to be able
                              >> to mock and thus ignore all those inconvenient facts he offers).
                              >
                              > Oh my, what sinister motives I really have...

                              At least you aren't denying it.

                              > The way CHF is behaving would seem to suggest that he knows one or
                              > more endings that he believes would be a BETTER alternative than _-ch_
                              > as the ending for sg. "you" in Sindarin proper.

                              It would suggest such a falsehood only to a self-serving demagogue.

                              > The demagogue would be me, I guess?

                              Indeed.

                              > Carl, Carl -- only ONE of us is obsessively discussing the moral
                              > standards and (supposedly) sinister motives of the other...

                              Habitually and exclusively, that is indeed true.
                            • Helge K. Fauskanger
                              ... bankruptcies: pretend that I used a term I never did, so as to introduce a false contradiction. I never called such compositions genuine Quenya , and I
                              Message 14 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                                > Once again we see one of the classic Fauskangerian rhetorical
                                bankruptcies: pretend that I used a term I never did, so as to introduce a
                                false contradiction. I never called such compositions "genuine Quenya", and
                                I do not do so now, despite Helge's dishonest implication. Yes folks, he
                                really does think you're that stupid.

                                The man who speaks about "dishonest implication" would probably do well to
                                refrain from ascribing to me such ideas about the intelligence of the
                                "folks" reading this list.

                                CFH is very afraid of the word "genuine", it would seem, or insists on
                                using it in a highly specialized meaning. Yet what is the relevant context
                                here? This whole thread started with someone asking whether a certain
                                (post-Tolkien) Sindarin sentence was correct or not. Often we see people
                                asking such questions (normally with some remark to the effect that "I'm
                                going to have a tattoo made so it'd better be right!") Do these people
                                mean, "Does this string of words happen to be directly attested in
                                Tolkien's corpus?" Hardly. In many cases it is a translation they have
                                made, or had made, themselves. So their question really means, "As far as
                                anyone can tell without hiring a medium to contact Tolkien himself, is this
                                sentence grammatically correct Quenya/Sindarin? Is it genuine in the sense
                                Grelvish is NOT genuine?" Of course, they may have to provide a little more
                                info about their own definitions before we can answer that. Some would
                                tolerate one or a few neologisms (like _estelio_), others would insist on
                                using only Tolkien's own words. Yet it is possible to provide a useful
                                answer to their question.

                                I wrote:

                                > Post-Tolkien material is genuine Neo-Eldarin, to the extent it is
                                well-formed according to the rules that can be inferred from Tolkien's own
                                material. Of course it is not "genuine Tolkien", which simply means that
                                Tolkien didn't come up with it.

                                Predictably, CFH responded:

                                > Nor is it genuine Quenya, or genuine Sindarin.

                                It is genuine Neo-Quenya/Sindarin. It is not genuine Tolkien-made Q/S, of
                                course, which simply means that Tolkien didn't write it.

                                Incidentally, is Tolkien's _istan pole_ a genuine Quenya sentence? Genuine,
                                but wrong? That's a tricky one...

                                I wrote:

                                > Indeed one cannot infer much about Tolkien's invented world simply by
                                examining the languages supposed to be spoken there.

                                CFH brings out the capitals:

                                > WHAT!? Helge, you really shouldn't let your political zeal lead you into
                                making such absurd statements. It makes you look stupid.

                                I stand by it. I also wrote: "But for a very few highly specialized
                                vocabulary units, like 'Silmaril', the entire Quenya-Sindarin-scenario
                                could be fitted to just about ANY people and ANY history".

                                CFH writes:

                                > Sure, so long as they were a monotheistic culture of immortal spirits
                                indwelling in immortal bodies

                                How can this be inferred from the languages? How can you tell that a _hroa_
                                is an immortal body just by looking at the word? (Indeed I would think the
                                same word can also be used about mortal bodies; Tolkien placed no such
                                restrictions on its meaning.) How can you tell that the speakers of the
                                language must be immortal? Because the words _ilfirin_ (Q) or _alfirin_ (S)
                                occurs in their lexicon? Well, duh, English also has the adjective
                                "immortal", yet no speaker of English has even reached 150.

                                > inhabiting a once-flat world made round

                                Oh yeah? I really wonder how this can be deduced from such words as _Cemen_
                                or _Ambar_?

                                > who lived alongside a race of angelic gods

                                "Gods"? I thought you just said they were monotheists? Indeed, if all you
                                had was the word _Vala_ and the knowledge that it referred to some kind of
                                powerful spirit being, how could you even tell if "angel" or "god" was the
                                best translation? If you opted for the latter translation, if logically
                                follows that these guys believing in several _Valar_ must be polytheists.

                                > as well as a race of demonic creatures corrupted by an immensely powerful
                                Dark Lord who ruled over them as well as dragons and fire-demons.

                                Again, how is this deduced? Because words like _valarauco_, plus the name
                                of a sinister being called Melkor/Moringotto/Morgoth, occur in the lexicon?
                                English has words like "demon" and "Satan", yet the objective existence of
                                these beings remains a matter of faith. Just by looking at his name in a
                                dictionary, who can tell whether or not this
                                "Morgoth" (let alone his fire-demons) is a purely mythological being?

                                No, I'm afraid the fact remains that very little certain knowledge about
                                the intended world could be extracted just by examining the grammar and
                                dictionary of the languages supposedly spoken in it. One could plausibly
                                conclude that the speakers of these languages must be MORTAL, for otherwise
                                their languages wouldn't have diverged into two branches as distinct as
                                Quenya and Sindarin. The Teachings of Pengolodh can hardly be deduced from
                                any Q/S wordlist or grammar...

                                CFH is warning the reader against me again:

                                > By ripping my words out of context, and by replying as he does, he wants
                                you, the reader, to believe that the contrast I was drawing was between
                                the understanding of those who have not read _all_ of Tolkien's own
                                writings, published or unpublished, and those who have.

                                All right. So the "real" or intended distinction was between those who
                                depend only on secondary sources like the ones I have provided, and those
                                who have also (or only) read the published primary sources. I would surely
                                encourage all serious students to read the primary sources, but what
                                immense revelations are people supposed to experience, really? The "read
                                Tolkien's books!" mantra becomes misleading if people are lead to believe
                                that everything will be answered there. Say you want to know about the
                                Quenya pluperfect. Maybe you have worked your way through my Quenya course
                                and found nothing about it. Disappointing. Now how could the author leave
                                out the pluperfect?

                                Well, let's buy LotR, the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, RGEO, MC, all twelve
                                volumes of HoME, every single back issue of VT and Parma... Half a year
                                later, when you have absorbed all of this stuff, you would discover that
                                you STILL don't know how the Quenya pluperfect is formed. And you could
                                have saved yourself all the trouble and the expenses, for if such
                                information had been published, it would have been in my course as well. It
                                is not there because it is not _anywhere_. I don't think I have left many
                                stones unturned.

                                I wrote:

                                > It is quite obvious that some "evidence" represents ideas Tolkien
                                > abandoned, and then I must be allowed to say so.

                                CFH responded:

                                > Absolutely, _in cases where it is in fact quite obvious_; which cases are
                                far, far fewer than you believe (because you want to believe, to keep your
                                conclusions tidy, compact, and "useful").

                                All right, so maybe we should expect to see the genitive ending _-n_
                                suddenly come back to life for several minutes in a 1963 note Tolkien
                                scribbled on the back of an envelope -- and therefore nobody must ever feel
                                free to say that Tolkien dropped the ending -n in favour of -o.


                                I wrote:

                                > If CFH can be bothered to search for his own name in my articles, he
                                would find that he is cited favorably a number of times.

                                CFH wrote:

                                > OK, let's.

                                Yes, let's. From the list of quotations provided by CFH, the reader will
                                already have inferred that there is nothing even remotely as insulting or
                                condescending as "My goodness, Helge, you are quite the little masochist,
                                aren't you?". CFH is not called a "demagogue", neither is he compared to
                                Morgoth (as I have been by CFH on several occasions).

                                It's no point in going through the entire list; CFH himself has to admit
                                nothing insulting can be read into many of these quotations. Yet he tries
                                his best to do just that.

                                Quote from me:

                                > "Hostetter in his editorial observed: "Translations of the Lord's Prayer
                                have enjoyed a long tradition as representative texts for use in
                                side-by-side comparisons of various languages." But since Tolkien
                                apparently never made any efforts to have his Quenya-language Lord's Prayer
                                published, it does not seem that he intended it to be a general "sample" of
                                the language."

                                CFH comments:

                                > Looks to me like a typical Fauskangerism: create a contrast to make it
                                look like I was making a claim about Tolkien's translation, which I never
                                did.

                                No artificial "contrast" is intended here. I believe it is quite clear from
                                the reference that the quote does NOT come from the same VT issue as the
                                one where Tolkien's Lord's Prayer versions are presented; it is much
                                earlier and relates to his OWN attempt to translate this prayer. The quote
                                from CFH simply presents entirely general information. In no way am I
                                trying to make it look as if he is asserting anything about Tolkien's
                                translation.

                                Quote from me:
                                > "When making their own translation of the Lord's Prayer, Patrick Wynne
                                and Carl F. Hostetter indeed coined precisely the word *síre to translate
                                "today" (VT32:8). Yet Tolkien's manuscript definitely seems to read síra
                                and not *síre

                                [CFH:] > What has our coinage to do with Tolkien's creation? Why even
                                mention it?

                                I am discussing the possibility that _síra_ should actually read _síre_. It
                                is then relevant that other researchers also found this a plausible word
                                and even came up with such a form themselves (though not in the context of
                                analyzing Tolkien's own text, as I clearly state).

                                The quotes relating to the publication project and its rather slow progress
                                are, as far as I can see, simply factual information. I don't believe my
                                wording is anywhere particularly bitter or insulting.

                                > Hm, yes, "some _useful_ material". That speaks volumes about you, Helge.

                                For my purposes, which are also the purposes of very many other students,
                                some material is indeed more relevant and interesting than other material
                                (in particularly clearly pre-classical writings). Like it or not.

                                [Quote from me:] "On the other hand, Carl F. Hostetter thinks the Quenya
                                aorist is used to describe an action that is "punctual, habitual, or
                                otherwise durationless" (VT41:15). This is probably correct in most cases,
                                describing the typical function of the aorist. Yet some examples suggest
                                that it may be better to say that whereas the present tense explicitly
                                identifies an ongoing action, the Quenya aorist is simply unmarked as far
                                as duration is concerned."

                                CFH is really eager to find some kind of manipulation here:

                                > Never mind that "unmarked as far as duration is concerned" _is_
                                durationless; just self-servingly manipulate terms and make it _look_ like
                                you are drawing a distinction where none exists.

                                One does exist. "Durationless" must mean "without duration", i.e. punctual.
                                CFH himself writes "punctual...or OTHERWISE durationless". This is not the
                                same as "unmarked as far as duration is concerned", which implies that the
                                action in question can be _either_ punctual or ongoing. Yet when I cite CFH
                                and add, "this is probably correct in most cases" (though I have some minor
                                reservations), I think this can be called a favorable quote. It tells a lot
                                about his mindset when he really, really tries to find some 'self-serving
                                manipulation' even here.

                                [Quote from me:] "Years ago, Vinyar Tengwar reported that one of the
                                Elfconners was editing the Taliskan grammar, and Carl F. Hostetter confirms
                                that it will be published...one day."

                                [CFH:] So apparently neither I nor Christopher Tolkien are to be permitted
                                to judge what is the best order in which to publish material.

                                Did I say anything to this effect? Yet the confirmation I refer to came in
                                a letter where CFH himself admitted to me that it had been wrong to refer
                                to the editing of the Taliskan grammar in such a way as to suggest that it
                                would soon be published. This forms part of a larger pattern: I think
                                exactly NOTHING that was pre-announced in Vinyar Tengwar in the nineties
                                has yet been published. Do judge for yourself "what is the best order in
                                which to publish material", but please don't raise false hopes and then be
                                very angry if someone reminds you about what you said (in some cases even
                                promised), but failed to deliver.

                                About Sindarin pronouns:

                                [Me:] > Yes, we have _le_, but what we need is an _ending_ to be added to
                                verbs.

                                [CFH:] > And of course we have no examples or even the slightest indication
                                of how pronominal endings relate to independent pronouns. Nope, not a clue.

                                Actually we don't have very many Sindarin examples to go on. Yet I have
                                discussed the possibility of *_-l_ as a 2nd person marker in Sindarin (see
                                my article "Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb System" on Ardalambion.com),
                                though I would expect this to be a plural "you" if it is to correspond to
                                Quenya _-lle_ (this ending apparently denoting the 2nd pl. in some versions
                                of the language).

                                [Me:] > Oh my, what sinister motives I really have...

                                [CFH:] At least you aren't denying it.

                                Carl, please look up the term "irony" in one of those dictionaries you are
                                so fond of quoting from...

                                - HKF
                              • Carl F. Hostetter
                                ... The contempt with which you treat the rational capacity of your readers, as amply demonstrated by your bankrupt rhetorical methods, more than justifies
                                Message 15 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  On Friday, September 5, 2003, at 04:14 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                                  > Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> Once again we see one of the classic Fauskangerian rhetorical
                                  >> bankruptcies: pretend that I used a term I never did, so as to
                                  >> introduce a false contradiction. I never called such compositions
                                  >> "genuine Quenya", and I do not do so now, despite Helge's dishonest
                                  >> implication. Yes folks, he really does think you're that stupid.
                                  >
                                  > The man who speaks about "dishonest implication" would probably do
                                  > well to refrain from ascribing to me such ideas about the intelligence
                                  > of the "folks" reading this list.

                                  The contempt with which you treat the rational capacity of your
                                  readers, as amply demonstrated by your bankrupt rhetorical methods,
                                  more than justifies this ascription.

                                  > CFH is very afraid of the word "genuine", it would seem, or insists on
                                  > using it in a highly specialized meaning.

                                  American Heritage Dictionary:

                                  Genuine. 2. Not spurious or counterfeit; authentic. See Synonyms at
                                  authentic.
                                  Authentic 2. Having a claimed and verifiable origin or authorship; not
                                  counterfeit or copied


                                  > Yet what is the relevant context here? This whole thread started with
                                  > someone asking whether a certain (post-Tolkien) Sindarin sentence was
                                  > correct or not.

                                  _No it didn't_. The question was whether the sentence was
                                  "grammatically correct Sindarin".

                                  > Do these people mean, "Does this string of words happen to be directly
                                  > attested in
                                  > Tolkien's corpus?" Hardly.

                                  And yet _again_ you're unable to avoid your bankrupt rhetorical
                                  manipulations. No one has ever claimed that people mean any such thing.
                                  Nor did my particular answer to this particular question make any
                                  reference to whether "this string of words happen to be directly
                                  attested in Tolkien's corpus". Instead, it examined the individual
                                  words and grammatical devices, and in at least three of these features
                                  it was _not_ "grammatically correct Sindarin", _precisely_ the terms of
                                  the question.


                                  > Some would tolerate one or a few neologisms (like _estelio_),

                                  I can tolerate any number of neologisms, but definitely not ones like
                                  _estelio_, for the reasons I've already detailed, though you somehow
                                  have failed to notice.

                                  > others would insist on using only Tolkien's own words.

                                  Perhaps; but despite your implication, I am not one of those. Again, as
                                  I've already stated, though you somehow have failed to notice.

                                  > Yet it is possible to provide a useful answer to their question.

                                  Indeed. As I did. To which you in turn responded with your usual
                                  bankrupt rhetoric, and lo these many off-topic posts later, here you
                                  are _still_ misrepresenting the original question, ignoring and/or
                                  misrepresenting what I actually wrote, ascribing straw-man arguments to
                                  people who never made them, etc., etc. Why _don't_ you provide a useful
                                  answer to the original question, if you disagree with mine? You have
                                  yet to do so. Thought I strongly doubt that the questioner will still
                                  be reading this thread, or even this list, given the path you have
                                  taken it on.

                                  >> Post-Tolkien material is genuine Neo-Eldarin, to the extent it is
                                  >> well-formed according to the rules that can be inferred from
                                  >> Tolkien's own material. Of course it is not "genuine Tolkien", which
                                  >> simply means that Tolkien didn't come up with it.
                                  >
                                  > Predictably, CFH responded:
                                  >
                                  >> Nor is it genuine Quenya, or genuine Sindarin.

                                  I'm very glad to hear that making factual responses is a predictable
                                  trait of mine. Would that we could say the same about you.

                                  > It is genuine Neo-Quenya/Sindarin. It is not genuine Tolkien-made Q/S,
                                  > of
                                  > course, which simply means that Tolkien didn't write it.

                                  Yes, precisely! No wonder you found my response predictable, since you
                                  _agree_ with it entirely! Why then did you spend all this time on
                                  attacking my position, which you youself have _just restated_ in
                                  _agreement_?

                                  > Incidentally, is Tolkien's _istan pole_ a genuine Quenya sentence?

                                  Yes, though it (almost) certainly doesn't have the meaning Tolkien
                                  intended to convey, as indicated by the accompanying gloss ("I can
                                  speak (because I have learned (a) language)", VT41:6), the manner of
                                  its composition, and the context in which it occurs. Context: your
                                  friend and mine. (Well, OK, _my_ friend, your occasional acquaintance
                                  and frequent adversary.)

                                  > Genuine, but wrong?

                                  See above.

                                  > That's a tricky one...

                                  Not in the least.

                                  > I stand by it. I also wrote: "But for a very few highly specialized
                                  > vocabulary units, like 'Silmaril', the entire Quenya-Sindarin-scenario
                                  > could be fitted to just about ANY people and ANY history".
                                  >
                                  > CFH writes:
                                  >
                                  >> Sure, so long as they were a monotheistic culture of immortal spirits
                                  >> indwelling in immortal bodies
                                  >
                                  > How can this be inferred from the languages?

                                  From the _words_ and their _meanings_? Like _Eru_, _fíru-_, etc.?

                                  > How can you tell that a _hroa_ is an immortal body just by looking at
                                  > the word?

                                  That was _not_ a term of your claim. (You can't even represent _your
                                  own claims accurately!) _You_ claimed that "_the entire
                                  Quenya-Sindarin-scenario_ could be fitted to just about ANY people and
                                  ANY history" (emphasis mine). "The entire Quenya-Sindarin-scenario"
                                  includes _definitions_ of words, not just their written representation
                                  devoid of meaning. And those _definitions_ include nuances and
                                  distinctions that are derived _from the culture that defined them_
                                  through common usage. And as we have seen repeatedly, those definitions
                                  are _not_ culturally or metaphysically neutral. Thus, for example, as
                                  Tolkien himself says, "What the _óre_ was for Elvish thought and
                                  speech, and the nature of its counsels — it says, and so advises, but
                                  is never represented as commanding — requires for its understanding a
                                  brief account of Eldarin thought on the matter." (VT41:11).

                                  >> who lived alongside a race of angelic gods
                                  >
                                  > "Gods"? I thought you just said they were monotheists?

                                  Stick to the point much? Note that that is "gods", little _g_. Note
                                  that Tolkien himself uses the term. Note that neither to Tolkien nor to
                                  me nor to the vast majority of people who have ever uttered the phrase
                                  "Ye gods!" does that imply pantheism.

                                  > Indeed, if all you had was the word _Vala_ and the knowledge that it
                                  > referred to some kind of powerful spirit being,

                                  But that is _not_ all we have, again _even by the terms of your own
                                  claim_.

                                  > No, I'm afraid the fact remains that very little certain knowledge
                                  > about the intended world could be extracted just by examining the
                                  > grammar and dictionary of the languages supposedly spoken in it.

                                  That depends entirely on how complete and detailed the dictionary was;
                                  i.e., whether it conveyed fully for each word the meaning it had in
                                  (and was given to it by) "Elvish thought and speech", per Tolkien's
                                  distinction; or whether it was more like your own wordlists.

                                  > CFH is warning the reader against me again:
                                  >
                                  >> By ripping my words out of context, and by replying as he does, he
                                  >> wants you, the reader, to believe that the contrast I was drawing
                                  >> was between the understanding of those who have not read _all_ of
                                  >> Tolkien's own writings, published or unpublished, and those who have.
                                  >
                                  > All right. So the "real" or intended distinction was between those who
                                  > depend only on secondary sources like the ones I have provided, and
                                  > those who have also (or only) read the published primary sources.

                                  So finally you begrudgingly acknowledge the plain meaning of my words,
                                  instead of the straw-man position you dishonestly ascribed to me
                                  earlier. And it only took three posts for you to do it. Well, sadly,
                                  that constitutes real progress for you.

                                  > I would surely encourage all serious students to read the primary
                                  > sources, but what immense revelations are people supposed to
                                  > experience, really?

                                  (Notice once again the classic Fauskagerian technique of inserting
                                  hyperbole -- here, "immense revelations", which I never claimed -- in
                                  order to misrepresent the _actual_ point as ludicrous. He really,
                                  really, really does think you are _that_ stupid, folks.)

                                  For starters: All the context, subtly, nuance, and variability that you
                                  fail to convey. A chance to measure your claims and characterizations
                                  against Tolkien's own words and creative methods. A familiarity,
                                  appreciation, and understanding of _Tolkien's_ thoughts on his
                                  languages, and _Tolkien's_ manner and method of presenting and
                                  describing his languages, instead of merely mastering your own, highly
                                  artificial, manner, method, and presentation.

                                  > The "read Tolkien's books!" mantra becomes misleading if people are
                                  > lead to believe that everything will be answered there.

                                  What on Arda are you talking about? Who has _ever_ claimed or implied
                                  that "everything will be answered" in Tolkien's writings? Have I and my
                                  colleagues not, in fact, repeatedly made precisely the opposite claim?
                                  Well yes, we have, and as we've seen _ad nauseam_ Helge representations
                                  of the claims and positions of myself and my colleagues bears little or
                                  no relationship to reality.

                                  By the same token, Helge, would you say that the "read Helge's web
                                  site!" "mantra", which is vastly more common in these fora than the one
                                  you claim, is misleading because it leads people to believe that
                                  everything will be answered there.

                                  > Well, let's buy LotR, the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, RGEO, MC, all
                                  > twelve volumes of HoME, every single back issue of VT and Parma...
                                  > Half a year later, when you have absorbed all of this stuff, you would
                                  > discover that you STILL don't know how the Quenya pluperfect is > formed.

                                  And perhaps _you_ will discover that this straw-man scenario STILL has
                                  nothing to do with the question at hand, as no one has ever said that
                                  the value of reading Tolkien's works lies in discovering what the
                                  Quenya pluperfect is. That is entirely _your_ fiction.

                                  > I wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> It is quite obvious that some "evidence" represents ideas Tolkien
                                  >> abandoned, and then I must be allowed to say so.
                                  >
                                  > CFH responded:
                                  >
                                  >> Absolutely, _in cases where it is in fact quite obvious_; which cases
                                  >> are far, far fewer than you believe (because you want to believe, to
                                  >> keep your conclusions tidy, compact, and "useful").
                                  >
                                  > All right, so maybe we should expect to see the genitive ending _-n_
                                  > suddenly come back to life for several minutes in a 1963 note Tolkien
                                  > scribbled on the back of an envelope -- and therefore nobody must ever
                                  > feel free to say that Tolkien dropped the ending -n in favour of -o.

                                  Helge, your contempt for any semblance of sticking to the points and
                                  terms of a discussion is appalling.

                                  > It's no point in going through the entire list; CFH himself has to
                                  > admit nothing insulting can be read into many of these quotations.

                                  No I don't. And I daresay I am far from alone. You're only fooling
                                  yourself (and almost certainly not even yourself).

                                  > Quote from me:
                                  >
                                  >> "Hostetter in his editorial observed: "Translations of the Lord's
                                  >> Prayer have enjoyed a long tradition as representative texts for use
                                  >> in side-by-side comparisons of various languages." But since Tolkien
                                  >> apparently never made any efforts to have his Quenya-language Lord's
                                  >> Prayer published, it does not seem that he intended it to be a
                                  >> general "sample" of the language."
                                  >
                                  > CFH comments:
                                  >
                                  >> Looks to me like a typical Fauskangerism: create a contrast to make
                                  >> it look like I was making a claim about Tolkien's translation, which
                                  >> I never did.
                                  >
                                  > No artificial "contrast" is intended here. I believe it is quite clear
                                  > from the reference that the quote does NOT come from the same VT issue
                                  > as the one where Tolkien's Lord's Prayer versions are presented; it is
                                  > much earlier and relates to his OWN attempt to translate this prayer.
                                  > The quote from CFH simply presents entirely general information. In no
                                  > way am I trying to make it look as if he is asserting anything about
                                  > Tolkien's
                                  > translation.

                                  Horse-hockey. You aren't just conveying random bits of general
                                  information: you set my words against your own characterization,
                                  thereby consciously and deliberately creating a contrast between them,
                                  as reinforced by your wording "_But since_ ..." etc. (emphasis mine).
                                  You aren't fooling anyone, Helge, not even yourself.

                                  > I am discussing the possibility that _síra_ should actually read
                                  > _síre_. It is then relevant that other researchers also found this a
                                  > plausible word and even came up with such a form themselves (though
                                  > not in the context of analyzing Tolkien's own text, as I clearly
                                  > state).

                                  I don't find that at all relevant. It is absolutely no surprise at all
                                  that Tolkien's own creations differ from the coinages of those who are
                                  not Tolkien. Nor does the judgment of those who are not Tolkien as to
                                  what is plausible have any bearing at all on the question of whether a
                                  form Tolkien wrote is accurate or not; that can be judged only on the
                                  basis of Tolkien's own writings and from context.

                                  > The quotes relating to the publication project and its rather slow
                                  > progress are, as far as I can see, simply factual information. I don't
                                  > believe my wording is anywhere particularly bitter or insulting.

                                  Sadly, I can almost believe that your agenda-driven self-delusions and
                                  rationalizations are such that you really do believe that. Almost.

                                  As for the rest of Helge's post, I'll trust in the intelligence of the
                                  reader to see that it's all just more of the same contempt-filled
                                  manipulation and misrepresentation. You know the drill by now.
                                • John Cowan
                                  ... We certainly do know the drill by now: each one s foot is aimed directly at the other s knee, and though the vocabulary is adult, the emotional tone is
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                                    > As for the rest of Helge's post, I'll trust in the intelligence of the
                                    > reader [...]. You know the drill by now.

                                    We certainly do know the drill by now: each one's foot is aimed
                                    directly at the other's knee, and though the vocabulary is adult,
                                    the emotional tone is that of an 8-year-old. I would ask the two of
                                    you to desist, but I've been down that road so many times there is
                                    no further point in it.

                                    Helge and Carl, we you implore
                                    To go away and sin no more;
                                    Or if that effort be too great,
                                    To go away, at any rate.

                                    (The sigmonster that chooses my .sig, though random, did rather well
                                    this time.)

                                    --
                                    "You know, you haven't stopped talking John Cowan
                                    since I came here. You must have been http://www.reutershealth.com
                                    vaccinated with a phonograph needle." jcowan@...
                                    --Rufus T. Firefly http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
                                  • Carl F. Hostetter
                                    Very clever and all, John, but once again, I will not accept being lumped in with Helge in this matter. It was Helge who began the personal attacks. It is
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Very clever and all, John, but once again, I will not accept being
                                      lumped in with Helge in this matter.

                                      It was Helge who began the personal attacks.

                                      It is Helge who has refused a clear invitation to continue (the
                                      scholarly portion of) this discussion in another forum.

                                      It is Helge who refuses to stick to any sort of scholarly argument, but
                                      instead continues his campaign of mockery, distortions and attacks.

                                      It is entirely up to Helge to end this, either by dropping it or by
                                      responding honestly and thoughtfully to the scholarly issue(s) under
                                      discussion, in a manner devoid of mockery, distortions and attacks.
                                    • John Cowan
                                      ... An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. Either one of you can drop this, and both of you should. If you won t, you won t, but it is false to
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                                        > It is entirely up to Helge to end this, either by dropping it or by
                                        > responding honestly and thoughtfully to the scholarly issue(s) under
                                        > discussion, in a manner devoid of mockery, distortions and attacks.

                                        "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." Either one of you can
                                        drop this, and both of you should. If you won't, you won't, but it is
                                        false to claim that "it is entirely up to Helge", as if your postings
                                        (but not his) were *truly* a matter of conditioned reflex rather than
                                        a choice for which you stand responsible.

                                        --
                                        "No, John. I want formats that are actually John Cowan
                                        useful, rather than over-featured megaliths that http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
                                        address all questions by piling on ridiculous http://www.reutershealth.com
                                        internal links in forms which are hideously jcowan@...
                                        over-complex." --Simon St. Laurent on xml-dev
                                      • Carl F. Hostetter
                                        This is not an eye for an eye , John; that you think it is shows how little attention you ve paid to the discussion. It is fallacious claim versus correction,
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          This is not "an eye for an eye", John; that you think it is shows how
                                          little attention you've paid to the discussion. It is fallacious claim
                                          versus correction, which is a very, very different thing.

                                          I have repeatedly "dropped" this; every time I correct Helge's
                                          distortions and fallacies, the matter is dropped, so far as I am
                                          concerned. It is dropped right now, in fact.

                                          But then Helge comes along an picks it up again, with a new and
                                          increasingly desperate round of distortions and fallacies, which as I
                                          have said before I will not allow to go uncorrected when they concern
                                          me or my colleagues. Period.

                                          So once again: the matter _is_ dropped, right now; unless Helge picks
                                          it up again.
                                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.