on Westron and DTS 49 yanta (was: Ómatehtar & Sindarin again)
- Benct Philip Jonsson wrote...
> > > And then Anna with two dots below for initial _i_ before a vowel...and wrote...
> > > and for _i_ between two vowels.
> Because it meets my eye and my phonological feeling better.That's true! Why yanta in DTS 49? To me, this belongs within the big
unanswered questions about tengwar.
And makes me think... I see a parallel: Greek was for the old Romans what
Quenya and Sindarin were for the Gondorians: Language of wisdom and poetry.
Both Romans and Gondorians adopted words from these languages to their own
language. I claim that both used their own orthography for the rendering of
Let's suppose the Gondorian orthography is what Tolkien calls the 'general
use' (cf. DTS 58), an ómatehtar mode that uses the calmatéma for palatals
(or palatoalveolars). The (Gondorian) King's Letter is written in that mode
as well as the (very Gondorian) Return of the King Jacket (DTS 38).
The Romans wrote Greek words with their own orthography, which is shown by
the fact that they added two letters to their alphabet so that it could
write Greek loans: Y and Z (the original Roman alphabet ended with X). The
letters of the Roman alphabet are cousins of the Greek letters because the
alphabets are kindred. The Roman cousin of the Greek Z letter was lost
(substituted by the G letter), so its adding was but a reintroduction. The
Roman cousin of the Y letter, however, was still in use: it's the V letter
(which at that time covered the sounds /u/ and /w/).
Why was that letter reintroduced to the Roman alphabet even though it was
already there? The answer is that the sounds covered by this (these)
letter(s) in the respective languages had dissimilated so much that people
feeled the need of having two different letters: Original Greek /u/ as
later French /u/ had become /y/ (I really hope this isn't false), while
Latin /u/ hadn't changed.
There might have happen something similar with the case of anna vs. yanta.
The Gondorian, I mean the 'common use' sign for /j/ is supposed to be
_anna_. Maybe the sound covered by anna could have dissimilated so much from
the Sindarin /j/ sound that the Gondorians felt the need of having different
letters. Original Gondorian Westron /j/ could have become /dzh/ but still be
written with the original letter, anna. (The same has happened in English,
where /dzh/ is still represented with the j-letter.)
If there's any instance of 'common use' Quenya or Sindarin /j/ _not_
represented with yanta, then this hypothesis is proved to be wrong. That's
because it predicts 'common use' Quenya and Sindarin to use yanta, not anna.
I mean, I'm predicting that the Manney Inscription (DTS 46) uses yanta
without knowing it. Could people who possess VT 21 please check this out
(I'm still waiting for it)?