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Re: [elfscript] Istan pole!

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  • 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 1 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
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      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 2 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
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        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 3 of 19 , Aug 26, 2003
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          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 4 of 19 , Aug 30, 2003
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            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 5 of 19 , Sep 1, 2003
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              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 6 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
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                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 7 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
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                  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 8 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
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                    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 9 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
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                      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 10 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
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                        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 11 of 19 , Sep 5, 2003
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                          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.
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