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stop it please ! will you !

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  • laurifindil
    I don t suppose that your bashing is going anywhere (as usual). Elflscript is not the right place for it (and it never was). Try to stop it, everyone (except
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 3, 2003
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      I don't suppose that your bashing is going anywhere (as usual).

      Elflscript is not the right place for it (and it never was).

      Try to stop it, everyone (except you both) is TIRED by this
      "flame-War".

      Try Yoga fro a change. ;-)

      Edouard Kloczko
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      I m sorry, but I will not accept being included in this admonishment. As always, it was _Helge_ who dragged this discussion from matters of Tolkien s languages
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 3, 2003
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        I'm sorry, but I will not accept being included in this admonishment.
        As always, it was _Helge_ who dragged this discussion from matters of
        Tolkien's languages into personal attacks. As always, it is _Helge_ who
        continues to drag matters further and further away from topic (either
        for this list or even for the discussion to which he is responding) as
        he gets increasingly desperate to score points. And as always, it is
        _Helge_ who continues to ignore invitations to move this discussion
        elsewhere.

        So far as I am concerned, this discussion is over. But that was true
        after my _first_ post, answering a question regarding grammaticality.
        As always, it is _Helge_ who is never content to let a post bearing my
        name pass without launching a renewed round of personal attacks. And I
        will _not_ remain silent in the face of his lies, misrepresentations,
        and demagoguery. Or in the face of attempts to equate our characters
        and responses.

        (Here's a suggestion: since Helge clearly cannot rest without having
        the last word, why doesn't he simply post something with precisely the
        same rhetorical and scholarly value as his usual posts, but _without_
        the lies, misrepresentations, and demagoguery, so that there will be no
        need to correct his claims? E.g., "neener neener neener"?)



        On Sep 3, 2003, at 9:42 AM, laurifindil wrote:

        > I don't suppose that your bashing is going anywhere (as usual).
        >
        > Elflscript is not the right place for it (and it never was).
        >
        > Try to stop it, everyone (except you both) is TIRED by this
        > "flame-War".
        >
        > Try Yoga fro a change. ;-)
        >
        > Edouard Kloczko
      • Michael Everson
        ... He does troll you pretty successfully, though. -- Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 3, 2003
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          At 10:19 -0400 2003-09-03, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
          >I'm sorry, but I will not accept being included in this
          >admonishment. As always, it was _Helge_ who dragged this discussion
          >from matters of Tolkien's languages into personal attacks. As
          >always, it is _Helge_ who continues to drag matters further and
          >further away from topic (either for this list or even for the
          >discussion to which he is responding) as he gets increasingly
          >desperate to score points. And as always, it is _Helge_ who
          >continues to ignore invitations to move this discussion elsewhere.

          He does troll you pretty successfully, though.
          --
          Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          ... That s one way to look at it, I suppose. ( Gee, it s a shame your store was robbed, mister. You did open your doors to the public, though.... ) Another way
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 3, 2003
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            On Sep 3, 2003, at 1:42 PM, Michael Everson wrote:

            > He does troll you pretty successfully, though.

            That's one way to look at it, I suppose. ("Gee, it's a shame your store
            was robbed, mister. You did open your doors to the public, though....")
            Another way is that which I went on to state:

            "And I will _not_ remain silent in the face of his lies,
            misrepresentations, and demagoguery. Or in the face of attempts to
            equate our characters and responses."
          • Michael Everson
            ... I happen to agree with you, Carl. I think you re right. I think Helge doesn t listen to what you actually say. I also think he enjoys winding you up. I
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 4, 2003
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              At 14:23 -0400 2003-09-03, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
              >On Sep 3, 2003, at 1:42 PM, Michael Everson wrote:
              >
              >> He does troll you pretty successfully, though.
              >
              >That's one way to look at it, I suppose. ("Gee,
              >it's a shame your store was robbed, mister. You
              >did open your doors to the public, though....")
              >Another way is that which I went on to state:
              >
              >"And I will _not_ remain silent in the face of
              >his lies, misrepresentations, and demagoguery.
              >Or in the face of attempts to equate our
              >characters and responses."

              I happen to agree with you, Carl. I think you're
              right. I think Helge doesn't listen to what you
              actually say. I also think he enjoys winding you
              up. I don't know whether you need to defend
              yourself so vociferously,

              You know, it's possible to learn Gothic. People
              do. Tolkien did. It's possible to study the
              language to learn about Germanic linguistics,
              Gothic grammar, and to read the things that the
              Goths wrote to learn about them.

              It's also possible to make up new words in
              Gothic, to use them with other people. Tolkien
              did this in school, at least a little. What
              results may be well-formed, and it may be
              grammatical, if it follows the rules of grammar
              and morphology which we learn from Gothic. Is a
              Gothic word for "iuplausan" 'liquidize' (calqued
              on German "auflösen") Traditional Gothic? More so
              than if it were calqued on "pürieren" 'purée'
              perhaps) can only be Neo-Gothic, perfect,
              imperfect or not.

              Cornish is an interesting counter-example.
              Cornish died out as a native language at the end
              of the 18th century but has been successfully
              revived -- even if marginally -- in the 20th.
              People speak it to one another; some children
              have been raised with it alongside English.
              Neologisms are coined for it, like "lynnushe"
              'liquidize'. (As it happens there are competing
              orthographies for Cornish, which people argue
              about, but it's agreed that word-formation and
              borrowing and coinage are needed and useful.)
              Scholars who study Traditional Cornish limit
              themselves to the texts. That study sometimes
              informs Neo-Cornish, which, because it is being
              used productively. Good Neo-Cornish is something
              that a speaker of Traditional Cornish might
              accept. Nicholas Williams' translation of the New
              Testament in Cornish is probably the best example
              of Neo-Cornish one could hope for.

              Now, how does this relate to the study of
              Tolkien's languages? Well, there are different
              things people do. On one end of the spectrum we
              have people who are interested in the corpus of
              what I will call here Traditional Tolkienian
              (lumping all the languages together just for the
              sake of this argument). This is serious academic
              linguistic and literary work, and is important
              and satisfying and helps us to understand both
              the creator and his creations. It is "the proper
              study of Tolkien and his languages".

              Now from the beginning some folks have enjoyed
              writing new texts in Tolkienian, and some of
              those texts are quite good too. (Tolkien's Old
              English is great fun as well.) Of course people
              get frustrated when there is a gap in the record,
              whether a lexical or a grammatical gap. Does this
              justify inventing new things? Well, the INSTANT
              one does it is no longer Traditional Tolkienian,
              but it is Neo-Tolkienian. And there you're stuck.
              Because there's no "guarantee" that anything
              Neo-Tolkienian is authentic in any way. There is
              a much higher likelihood of the 25,000 words in
              Williams' English-Cornish Dictionary being
              accepted as authentic, because (1) we have a fair
              bit of Traditional Cornish, (2) we have Welsh and
              Breton and English and French and lots of
              information as to how to borrow from them into
              Cornish.

              Does the same obtain for Tolkienian? Could it? I
              think not. I think it's easy for people with "a
              little" linguistics to grossly overgeneralize,
              and to just make things up when it suits them.
              It's just as easy for people with "a lot" of
              linguisics to err. An infinite variety of
              Neo-Tolkienians is possible. And at the end of
              the day, what does it get you?

              Part of the study of Tolkien's languages
              naturally involves reconstruction and conjecture.
              So does the study of Proto-Indo-European. No
              reconstruction is anything but conjectural,
              however obvious the reconstruction might be.
              Authentic Tolkienian is found in the writings of
              the man himself.

              I'm going to make a complaint, to give this
              thread some ElfScript relevence. I once thought
              that I could use ElfScript to help us encode
              Tengwar and Cirth in Unicode. The reason for
              doing that encoding is ONLY to assist in the
              study of the primary sources. That the encoding
              could be used for other things is fine, but, for
              instance, no tengwar which are unattested will be
              entertained for encoding, however clever or
              useful they may be to a Neo-Fëanor. At the
              beginning I did get some good feedback on the
              Elfscript list, and will eventually get back to
              the encoding (living scripts like Cham and N'ko
              are taking precedence at present). Probably I
              will create a separate list for further
              discussion.

              Why? Because Jackson's films have thrilled
              millions, and Legolas is cute, and when the Elves
              speak it is sexy. (One might say that about many
              films. In "Shunkmanitu t'anka 'ob wachi" (Dances
              with Wolves) the Lakota does sound cool.) So
              ElfScript descends into alphabet magic: "How do I
              write 'I am eternally eternal' in Elvish? I am
              getting a tattoo on Friday."

              I think Professor Tolkien would not have approved.
              --
              Michael Everson * * Everson Typography * * http://www.evertype.com
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              ... Then neither do you know whether I _don t_ need to. Nor do I. ... It is possible to _study_ Gothic. It is possible to examine authentic texts in Gothic,
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 4, 2003
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                On Sep 4, 2003, at 7:25 AM, Michael Everson wrote:

                > I don't know whether you need to defend yourself so vociferously,

                Then neither do you know whether I _don't_ need to. Nor do I.

                > You know, it's possible to learn Gothic.

                It is possible to _study_ Gothic. It is possible to examine authentic
                texts in Gothic, analyze and theorize about what those texts tell us
                about the language as it might have been spoken. It is possible to
                examine the traces of Gothic influence left in other languages, and
                incorporate theories derived from analysis of those remnants into
                broader theories about the language as it might have been spoken. It is
                possible to draw inferences about spoken Gothic from the theoretical
                results of the historical linguistics of the Germanic and Indo-European
                language families to which Gothic belonged.

                But no, it is _not_ possible to "learn Gothic", not in the sense that
                "learn" means when unqualifiedly applied to languages, such as "learn
                Japanese" or "learn German". _No one knows_ how Gothic was actually
                spoken. _No one knows_ for sure what was and what was not grammatical
                in spoken Gothic. _All we know_ is theory derived from _written_ Gothic
                and other theoretical results.

                And precisely the same is true of Tolkien's languages.

                > Tolkien did.

                Tolkien was able to write and speak (to some extent; we have only
                second-hand reports, not transcriptions, so know way of knowing what
                Tolkien actually said, or how artificial or rehearsed it was) sentences
                composed of words and grammatical devices according (for the most part)
                with the predominant theories of the day concerning Gothic (and, no
                doubt, with his own personal theories and convictions). Nor was he
                entirely successful even at that, even in writing, as he himself
                pointed out.

                > It's also possible to make up new words in Gothic, to use them with
                > other people.

                Strictly speaking, it is possible to make up new words that conform
                with theory regarding Gothic phonology and morphology. But those words
                are nonetheless _not_ "genuine" and "authentic" Gothic. Still, in the
                usual sense of the phrase "make up new words in a language", yes, what
                you say is true. Of course, the very fact that one would do this "to
                use them with other people" speaks volumes about the vast difference
                between (relatively) poorly attested languages like Gothic and
                Tolkien's languages and other, spoken languages: If I were learning
                Japanese with some other people, we wouldn't be making up new words to
                use amongst ourselves. Nor would I pretend to "know Japanese" (as many
                pretend to "know Quenya" or "know Sindarin") just because I can string
                together words I look up in a dictionary into sentences that happen to
                conform to broad syntactic models.

                > Is a Gothic word for "iuplausan" 'liquidize' (calqued on German
                > "auflösen") Traditional Gothic?

                I have no idea what you mean by "Traditional Gothic". "Traditional" is
                not a linguistic term. Is it "genuine" or "authentic" Gothic? No. Does
                it conform to theory regarding Gothic phonology and morphology? Yes.
                Might it turn up in some as-yet-undiscovered Gothic text? Yes. Might it
                never ahve existed in any form of Gothic ever? Absolutely.

                > Cornish is an interesting counter-example.

                Cornish is an interesting _case_. But there are also key differences:
                First, there are far more surviving Cornish texts than there are for
                Gothic. Second, Cornish texts are not nearly so artificial as written
                Gothic was when compared to the spoken language (Wulfilas's translation
                of the Bible being _heavily_ influenced by vocabulary and syntax of the
                Greek texts).

                > Cornish died out as a native language at the end of the 18th century
                > but has been successfully revived -- even if marginally -- in the
                > 20th.

                I don't know much about the specifics of the Cornish Revival, so at
                this point I can only ask questions: apart from the _lexicon_ of what
                you call Neo-Cornish, how much of the grammar is reconstructed or
                invented? In other words, is the body of surviving Cornish texts, and
                information regarding the spoken language, sufficient to exemplify
                broadly and in detail the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the
                deceased language, or did much of this have to be reconstructed from
                fragmentary evidence? I ask this because, to the extent that the latter
                is true, I would question the precision of the claim that "Cornish" --
                which term would have to be qualified -- has been "revived".

                > it's agreed that word-formation and borrowing and coinage are needed
                > and useful.)

                Of course; but that's because it was first agreed among the same group
                of people that "reviving Cornish" (see my reservations about those
                terms above) was a goal they wished to pursue in common. But neither
                word-formation nor borrowing nor coinage are "needed" or "useful" to
                those wishing to study Cornish.

                > Good Neo-Cornish is something that a speaker of Traditional Cornish
                > might accept.

                "Accept" as what?

                > Nicholas Williams' translation of the New Testament in Cornish is
                > probably the best example of Neo-Cornish one could hope for.

                Whoa now. If Neo-Cornish has _truly_ become a living, spoken language,
                then there must be a community of fluent speakers of Neo-Cornish, and
                _anything_ said by _any_ of them would be just as good an example of
                Neo-Cornish as any other. On the other hand, if Neo-Cornish is in fact
                an _artificial_ language, then indeed one person's productions could be
                said to be better than another's -- and the phrasing of what you just
                wrote seems to betray a level of artificiality to the language, and a
                privileged status to Mr. Williams. Against what, exactly, do you
                measure Mr. Williams's translation to decide that it is the "best"?

                I should note that these are _not_ rhetorical questions. They go to the
                very heart of a crucial distinction between a dead/poorly-attested
                language (including nearly all artificial languages) and a living one.

                > This is serious academic linguistic and literary work, and is
                > important and satisfying and helps us to understand both
                > the creator and his creations. It is "the proper study of Tolkien and
                > his languages".

                I don't agree with that statement at all, as it implies that there is
                something improper about the sort of activity that Helge and the
                majority of posters to Elfling enjoy, and there absolutely is not.
                (Helge _wants_ you to believe that I feel it is improper, but even he
                knows better.)

                What _is_ improper is to attempt to eradicate the distinction between
                that activity and the activity of scholarship, which Helge does with
                his frequent use and fierce defense of applying such terms as "genuine"
                and "authentic" to the products of his and others' efforts at writing
                "in Elvish". It is this and other such (dare I say unscholarly)
                attempts to falsify the distinctions and actual natures of the two
                spheres of activities that I have spoken out against, and _only_ this..

                > Of course people get frustrated when there is a gap in the record,
                > whether a lexical or a grammatical gap. Does this justify inventing
                > new things?

                Of course it does, _if_ your goal is to produce (what matches your
                personal sense of what constitutes) a complete grammatical system for
                use with others. What it does _not_ justify is taking the results of
                these inventions and attempting to pass them off as "genuine" or
                "authentic". Nor does it justify elevating the hypothetical to the
                level of fact or evidence.

                > Because there's no "guarantee" that anything Neo-Tolkienian is
                > authentic in any way.

                In fact, it is _not_ authentic in _any_ way.

                > There is a much higher likelihood of the 25,000 words in Williams'
                > English-Cornish Dictionary being accepted as authentic,

                As authentic _what_? As accepted Neo-Cornish? You bet! As authentic
                (what you call Traditional) Cornish? It most certainly is not. You
                yourself draw a distinction between Traditional and Neo-Cornish; they
                are not interchangeable.

                And let's be honest here: in the case of _any_ artificial language
                lacking a community of fluent speakers (only Esperanto has, to my
                knowledge, achieved this status), the work of one or more "authorities"
                on the language will not be subject to a "vote": they will in fact
                _define_ the language. You will have people who accept their authority
                citing them as sources and their writings as proof (How else could it
                be? By what other measure can you judge the authority or evidentiary
                status of elements of a non-native artificial language?) -- and as we
                have seen throughout the history of artificial languages, you will very
                often have _other_ people following _other_ authorities, with resulting
                schisms (of course, because the work of each such authority defines
                their own artificial language). The difference between a scholar of
                Cornish and a student or speaker of what you call Neo-Cornish is that
                the former accepts only the actual written evidence of Cornish as facts
                about the language, while the latter will accept the writings and
                productions of their authorities as facts about the language. And the
                difference between a scholar of Tolkien's languages and a student of
                Neo-Elvish is that the former accepts only the actual evidence of
                Tolkien's writings as facts about the languages, while the writings and
                productions of their authorities as facts about the languages.

                And there is not one thing wrong with that, so long as the students,
                and _especially_ the authorities, don't misunderstand or deliberately
                misrepresent the fact that they are _defining_ new languages, _not_
                speaking or reviving the pre-existing language.

                > I think it's easy for people with "a little" linguistics to grossly
                > overgeneralize, and to just make things up when it suits them.

                Yep.

                > It's just as easy for people with "a lot" of linguisics to err.

                Yep.

                > An infinite variety of Neo-Tolkienians is possible.

                Yep.

                > And at the end of the day, what does it get you?

                Indeed.

                > Part of the study of Tolkien's languages naturally involves
                > reconstruction and conjecture. So does the study of
                > Proto-Indo-European. No reconstruction is anything but conjectural,
                > however obvious the reconstruction might be.

                Indeed. But no scholar of Proto-Indo-European will ever pretend that
                those reconstructions are anything more than theoretical, or that we
                know how to speak Proto-Indo-European.

                > Authentic Tolkienian is found in the writings of the man himself.

                Exactly so.

                > Jackson's films have thrilled millions, and Legolas is cute, and when
                > the Elves speak it is sexy. (One might say that about many
                > films. In "Shunkmanitu t'anka 'ob wachi" (Dances with Wolves) the
                > Lakota does sound cool.) So ElfScript descends into alphabet magic:
                > "How do I write 'I am eternally eternal' in Elvish? I am getting a
                > tattoo on Friday."
                >
                > I think Professor Tolkien would not have approved.

                I think you are right.
              • BP Jonsson
                ... Nobody has contested that. ... And some are trying to do exactly the same with Tolkien s languages. You, Mr. Hostetter seem to find this morally
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 6, 2003
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                  "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:

                  >But no, it is _not_ possible to "learn Gothic", not in the sense that
                  >"learn" means when unqualifiedly applied to languages, such as "learn
                  >Japanese" or "learn German". _No one knows_ how Gothic was actually
                  >spoken. _No one knows_ for sure what was and what was not grammatical
                  >in spoken Gothic. _All we know_ is theory derived from _written_ Gothic
                  >and other theoretical results.
                  >
                  >And precisely the same is true of Tolkien's languages.


                  Nobody has contested that.


                  >Tolkien was able to write and speak (to some extent; we have only
                  >second-hand reports, not transcriptions, so know way of knowing what
                  >Tolkien actually said, or how artificial or rehearsed it was) sentences
                  >composed of words and grammatical devices according (for the most part)
                  >with the predominant theories of the day concerning Gothic (and, no
                  >doubt, with his own personal theories and convictions). Nor was he
                  >entirely successful even at that, even in writing, as he himself
                  >pointed out.

                  And some are trying to do exactly the same with
                  Tolkien's languages. You, Mr. Hostetter seem to
                  find this morally reprehensible. I wonder why?
                  Just as Tolkien knew what hat he was wearing
                  when he pursued scholarship and when he pursued
                  linguistic creation, so do I know what hat I'm
                  wearing when I'm working as a scholar and when
                  I engage in linguistic creation, whether a-priori
                  or a-posteriori, and I'm sure that all other
                  adult people know what hats they are wearing at
                  any given time. So where is the problem?

                  /BP 8^)
                  --
                  B.Philip Jonsson mailto:melrochX@... (delete X)
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
                  A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
                  __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
                  \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
                  / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
                  / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /Gaestan ~\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
                  /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
                  Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
                  ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
                  || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
                  "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Carl F. Hostetter
                  ... May I remind you that my reply was to the claim that we can learn Gothic ? ... And you, Mr. Jonsson, are _completely_ wrong, as you would know if you had
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 6, 2003
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                    On Saturday, September 6, 2003, at 05:21 AM, BP Jonsson wrote:

                    > "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >> But no, it is _not_ possible to "learn Gothic", not in the sense that
                    >> "learn" means when unqualifiedly applied to languages, such as "learn
                    >> Japanese" or "learn German". _No one knows_ how Gothic was actually
                    >> spoken. _No one knows_ for sure what was and what was not grammatical
                    >> in spoken Gothic. _All we know_ is theory derived from _written_
                    >> Gothic
                    >> and other theoretical results.
                    >>
                    >> And precisely the same is true of Tolkien's languages.
                    >
                    > Nobody has contested that.

                    May I remind you that my reply was to the claim that we can "learn
                    Gothic"?

                    >> Tolkien was able to write and speak (to some extent; we have only
                    >> second-hand reports, not transcriptions, so know way of knowing what
                    >> Tolkien actually said, or how artificial or rehearsed it was)
                    >> sentences composed of words and grammatical devices according (for
                    >> the most part) with the predominant theories of the day concerning
                    >> Gothic (and, no doubt, with his own personal theories and
                    >> convictions). Nor was he entirely successful even at that, even in
                    >> writing, as he himself pointed out.
                    >
                    > And some are trying to do exactly the same with Tolkien's languages.
                    > You, Mr. Hostetter seem to find this morally reprehensible.

                    And you, Mr. Jonsson, are _completely_ wrong, as you would know if you
                    had read even just my most recent posts to this list, in which I have
                    _repeatedly_ denied that there is anything improper in doing so. My
                    issue is _only_ with the blurring of the line between scholarship and
                    creativity, specifically between fact and hypothesis: Tolkien never
                    attempted to pass his Gothic off as "genuine" or "authentic" Gothic.

                    (If anyone wonders why I feel so strongly the need, and claim the
                    right, to correct the charges and misrepresentations leveled against
                    me, how can you wonder after reading this? Here Mr. Jonsson, a
                    prominent contributor to this and other Tolkienian-linguistics lists,
                    lazily maintains a completely false opinion of me, because he can't be
                    bothered to read my words, but instead simply accepts the distortions
                    and misrepresentations fostered by Helge Fauskanger as true.)
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