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Re: Sindarin past-tense from TIR- (was Re: [elfscript] December 16th Movie Trilogy (Help!))

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... given as the weak formation _tiriant_ (_Etymologies_ s.v. TIR-). From this we can see that the Noldorin pa.t. form was built directly on the stem
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 18, 2003
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      Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

      > The Noldorin singular past tense form of the verb _tiri-_/_tiria-_ is
      given as the weak formation _tiriant_ (_Etymologies_ s.v. TIR-). From this
      we can see that the Noldorin pa.t. form was built directly on the stem
      _tiri-_/_tiria-_.

      I see no evidence for a stem "tiri-". The actual wording in the entry TIR
      is: "N _tiri_ or _tirio_, pa.t. _tiriant_." The form _tirio_ is clearly an
      infinitive in _-o_, very well attested in Etym. This suggests that _tiri_
      occurring before it is also an infinitive, with exactly the same infinitive
      ending as in (say) _gedi_ "[to] catch" vs. the simple consonant stem _gad-_
      (both are mentioned in the entry GAT). _Tiri_ would likewise be the
      infinitive of a consonant stem _tir-_; the final _-i_ of _tiri_ is no part
      of the verbal stem, but merely the infinitive ending.

      The past tense _tiriant_ connects with the immediately preceding infinitive
      form _tirio_; it is not necessarily intended as the pa.t. of the synonym
      _tiri_ as well. _Tiriant_, as I see it, is the regular past tense of a
      derived (A-stem) verb *_tiria-_, the regular infinitive of which (at least
      in Noldorin) is the form provided: _tirio_. On the other hand, _tiri_ is
      the regular infinitive of a consonant stem, and its past tense is not
      given. I will argue that it is most likely *_tirn_, directly corresponding
      to Quenya _tirne_ mentioned in the same entry, and also indirectly attested
      in the passive participle _tirnen_ (lenited _dirnen_) "watched". Other
      examples show that passive participles are formed by adding _-en_ to a past
      tense form, e.g. the form _dolen_ "hidden" as the "p.p." (past/passive
      participle) corresponding to the past tense form _daul_ "hid" (entry DUL;
      the diphthong _au_ regularly becomes _o_ in a polysyllabic word).

      CFH:

      > Helge's proposal *_tirnin_ appears to assume a weak pa.t. stem *_tirn-_,
      which he presumably has isolated from the Noldorin name _Dalath Dirnen_
      'Guarded Plain' (_Etymologies_ s.v. TIR-). But note that this Noldorin name
      appears in the same source, indeed in the same entry, as the only attested
      Noldorin pa.t. form of the verb, _tiriant_. Thus, contrary to supporting a
      theory that the pa.t. stem of the verb derived from TIR- is the unattested
      *_tirn_, the underlying pp. *_tirnen_ 'guarded' must be explained in
      relation to the attested, coexistent stems _tiri-__tiria-_ and pa.t. form
      _tiriant_.

      CFH still confuses the infinitive form _tiri_ with a longer "stem"
      **_tiri-_, even supplying a hyphen Tolkien did not include, and jumps to
      the conclusion that _tiriant_ is the past tense of _tiri_ as well as
      _tirio_. In no way is this an obvious and inevitable interpretation of what
      Tolkien actually wrote. The past tense _tiriant_ is mentioned only after
      _tirio_.

      > The pp. *_tirnen_ is thus perhaps to be understood as derived by syncope
      from *_tiri-nen_, again suggesting a Noldorin 1st sg. pa.t. form *_tirin_.

      Such a "pa.t." form would be awfully easy to confuse with a PRESENT-TENSE
      (or aorist?) form like _ú-chebin_ "I do not keep", wouldn't it? No,
      _tirnen_ would rather come from *_tir-nê-nâ_, i.e. consonant stem _tir-_ +
      old past tense marker _-nê_ + old participial ending _-nâ_. Compare _tirne_
      as the Quenya past tense (< *_tir-nê). A "past participle" indeed; the
      early Lindar apparently had this great idea that past participles could be
      formed by adding _-nâ_ to past-tense forms. Compare _thoren_ as the "pp."
      of a verb "fence"; Tolkien explicitly derived it from _thaurênâ_, which
      would be the past tense *_thaurê_ "fenced" (formed by A-infixion from the
      root THUR, compare the pa.t. _daul_ vs. the root DUL) + the participial
      ending _-nâ_.

      The form **_tiri-nen_ > _tirnen_ once again reflects CFH's strange desire
      to turn the simple infinitive marker seen at the end of _tiri_ into an
      integral part of the verbal stem, even if he must postulate a syncope to
      get rid of it in the attested p.p. _tirnen_.

      > Helge's other proposal, *_idiren_, presumably is formed on analogy with S
      _agor_ (XI:415),

      Correct so far...

      > which Tolkien derives from primitive *_akâra_ (the circumflex here
      represents a macron in the published text) and describes as characterized
      by "the 'augment', or reduplicated base-vowel, and the long stem-vowel"
      (thus explaining the appearance of S _o_ for earlier long *_â_; note too
      the apparent stem-vowel *_-a_, _not_ *_-e_). There is, of course, no
      evidence that any Sindarin verb derived from TIR- employs this pa.t.
      formation; but I would point out that if this formation mechanism is to be
      applied, the result is not Helge's *_idire-_, but instead *_idíra-_ <
      *_itîra_.

      As for the final vowel before the pronominal ending, CFH surely recalls the
      Turin Wrapper form _agorech_ instead of **_agorach_ -- which his reasoning
      above would lead us to expect. For all we know, -e- may have become a
      universal connecting vowel before pronominal suffixes in this kind of past
      tense, perhaps by analogy with such forms as _onen_ "I gave" or _*drammen_
      "I hewed" (where this connecting vowel is historically justified).

      In the form _akâra_, even the FINAL -a may be an echo of the stem-vowel
      (some kind of ómataina added to the root KAR). If the stem TIR formed its
      past tense by the same pattern, maybe we would see *_itîri_ as the
      primitive form?

      Just like the long vowel of _akâra_ has been shortened in _agor_ (where _â_
      became _au_ and then _o_), it may be assumed that *_itîr-_ would produce
      *_idir_ rather than *_idír_, though the long vowel would perhaps still
      persist at the stage sometimes called Middle Sindarin (a post-Tolkien
      term).

      CFH returns to _tirnen_ in a later letter:

      > On further reflection, I think it is better to instead view N *_tirnen_
      as simply an analogical formation based on the very frequent occurrence of
      p.ps. in _-nen_ among both basic and derived verbs in Noldorin, e.g. N.
      _dant-_ 'to fall', _dannen_ 'fallen' < DAT-, DANT-; N _presto_ 'to affect,
      trouble, disturb', _prestannen_ 'affected' < PERES-; etc.

      On still further reflection, CFH may reach the insight that _prestannen_ is
      the past tense *_prestant_ "disturbed, affected" + the actual past
      participle marker _-en_ (the longer form -nen only occurs incidentally, so
      to speak, where there happens to be or arise an -n- before this shorter
      ending). In_prestannen_, we have intervocalic _nt_ becoming _nn_, a regular
      development. _Dannen_ "fallen" may suggest that the past tense "fell" is
      *_dant_, formed by nasal infixion from the root DAT; again we have
      intervocalic nt > nn.

      The past participle marker _-en_ historically evolves from _-e_ (the vowel
      all past tense-forms originally seem to have ended in, still so in Quenya)
      + the participial ending _-nâ_, worn down to _-n_ in Noldorin/Sindarin. In
      many cases, the older past tense marker was _-ne_ (as in Quenya), and then
      the Noldorin/Sindarin p.p. comes to end in _-nen_, of course.

      > In any event, whatever the explanation of the Noldorin p.p. *_tirnen_,
      its co-attestation with N sg. pa.t. _tiriant_ demonstrates that it cannot
      simply be assumed or asserted to be based upon a pa.t. stem *_tirn-_. Nor,
      above all, can we use such an assumption or assertion as an excuse to
      ignore the fact that the _attested_ verb, _tiri-_/_tiria-_ is _derived_.

      For the umpteenth time: _Tiri_ (notice that there is NO final hyphen in
      Tolkien's text) is IMNSHO just the infinitive of the very much non-derived
      (basic, primary) verb *_tir-_. Surely CFH must have noticed that many
      Noldorin verbs have infinitives in -i, derived from older -ie? In the entry
      NAR2 Tolkien derives _treneri_ "[to] tell" from older _trenarie_, which he
      explicitly calls an "inf." form: Dead giveaway! Likewise, we would have the
      inf. *_tirie_ "to watch" > later inf. _tiri_ (and likely *_tirn_ as the
      pa.t., directly cognate with Quenya _tirne_ and underlying the past
      participle _tirnen_ "watched, guarded" < *_tir-nê-nâ_). It is the following
      synonymous verb *_tiria-_, infinitive _tirio_, which is derived and has the
      past tense _tiriant_ (and then also a distinct past participle
      _*tiriannen_, I guess). Let us make this crystal clear:

      STEM INF. PA.T. P.P.
      *tir- tiri *tirn tirnen
      *tiria- tirio tiriant *tiriannen

      (I don't asterisk _tirnen_ just because it happens to be lenited [_dirnen_]
      in the source.)

      While *_tirn_ is my best guess as the past tense of _tir-_, *_idir_ may be
      considered as well. As for CFH's statement that "there is...no evidence
      that any Sindarin verb derived from TIR- employs this pa.t. formation", he
      is of course right that there is no direct or conclusive evidence. But once
      we realize that _tiri_ is the infinitive form of a PRIMARY verb *_tir-_,
      Tolkien's statement in WJ:415 surely becomes relevant: "Past tenses of
      this form [the _agor_ type] were usual in Sindarin 'strong' or primary
      verbs." Now Tolkien only says that they were usual, not universal, but this
      does open up the _possibility_ of *_idir_ as one past tense of _tir-_. In
      other words, I would initially put my money on *_tirn_, but if Tolkien's
      angry ghost appears to me saying "This is totally wrong!", I will
      immediately respond: "Ah...it is *_idir_, then?"

      Well, this is getting off topic: nothing about the scripts. By all means,
      since we do happen to have the past tense of a verb meaning "watch"
      directly attested, we may just as well use it: _Im ha(n) tiriant minui_ "I
      [emphatic] it saw first" (with the word order SOV, as in the Moria Gate
      inscription: _Im Narvi hain echant..._). Otherwise CFH and I should
      continue this discussion on Elfling. Ooops...a practical problem in his
      end. Well, I think we have pretty much exhausted this topic anyway.

      - HKF
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      I accept Helge s correction regarding my use of _tiri-_ as a stem-form, and thank him for it (as I have previously noted, I was clearly writing too late and
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 18, 2003
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        I accept Helge's correction regarding my use of "_tiri-_" as a
        stem-form, and thank him for it (as I have previously noted, I was
        clearly writing too late and too hastily that night). Fortunately, the
        status of *_tiri-_ has no bearing on my conclusions regarding his
        proposed past-tense forms, *_tirnin_ and *_idiren_, and above all no
        bearing on the main point: that given the (sole) attested pa.t. form
        _tiriant_, which Tolkien gives as the pa.t. of both alternates _tiri_
        and _tirio_, it makes no sense to invent a different pa.t. form based
        on conjecture concerning a putative past participle. Even if Helge's
        contentions regarding *_tirnen_ are accepted -- despite being
        unprovable -- *_tirnen_ in no way proves that any such pa.t. form as
        *_tirnin_ ever existed in Noldorin or Sindarin.

        I reject, however, Helge's small-minded and opportunistic response to
        an error I made in my first post, and myself corrected within hours,
        despite the fact that now three days later he has read my own
        correction (as he responds to a different part of my corrective post).
        Such petty behavior _ought_ to be beneath him.

        On to specific points:

        On Oct 18, 2003, at 2:48 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

        > The past tense _tiriant_ connects with the immediately preceding
        > infinitive form _tirio_; it is not necessarily intended as the pa.t.
        > of the synonym _tiri_ as well.

        I disagree. Tolkien's wording makes it quite clear that _tiri_ and
        _tirio_ are alternate forms, for which the past tense is _tiriant_: "N
        _tiri_ or _tirio_, pa.t. _tiriant_".

        > As for the final vowel before the pronominal ending, CFH surely
        > recalls the Turin Wrapper form _agorech_ instead of **_agorach_

        I dealt with Helge's unwarrented assumptions and assertions about
        _agor_ and _agorech_ and their relationship in a post I made to the
        Lambengolmor list two days ago, and to which I refer the interested
        reader: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lambengolmor/message/496>

        > If the stem TIR formed its past tense by the same pattern, maybe we
        > would see *_itîri_ as the primitive form?

        Perhaps, yes, as I have already implied in my Lambengolmor post.

        > Just like the long vowel of _akâra_ has been shortened in _agor_
        > (where _â_ became _au_ and then _o_), it may be assumed that *_itîr-_
        > would produce *_idir_ rather than *_idír_,

        But the long vowel of *_akâra_ was _not_ shortened: as your own figure
        indicates, it was diphthongized and then monophthongized. No such
        process would occur in *_itîra-_ / *_itîri-_, so I see no reason why
        the vowel would not remain long, esp. in stressed position.

        > at the stage sometimes called Middle Sindarin (a post-Tolkien term).

        Which is to say, a non-Tolkien term.

        > CFH returns to _tirnen_ in a later letter:
        >
        >> On further reflection, I think it is better to instead view N
        >> *_tirnen_ as simply an analogical formation based on the very
        >> frequent occurrence of p.ps. in _-nen_ among both basic and derived
        >> verbs in Noldorin, e.g. N. _dant-_ 'to fall', _dannen_ 'fallen' <
        >> DAT-, DANT-; N _presto_ 'to affect, trouble, disturb', _prestannen_
        >> 'affected' < PERES-; etc.
        >
        > On still further reflection, CFH may reach the insight that
        > _prestannen_ is the past tense *_prestant_ "disturbed, affected" + the
        > actual past participle marker _-en_ (the longer form -nen only occurs
        > incidentally, so to speak, where there happens to be or arise an -n-
        > before this shorter ending). In_prestannen_, we have intervocalic _nt_
        > becoming _nn_, a regular development.

        Despite Helge's false implication, I am of course quite fully aware of
        the actual historical processes underlying such past participles as N
        _prestannen_. That is precisely why I said that N *_tirnen_ is perhaps
        an _analogical_ formation, not a regular phonological development. I
        did not say -- as can plainly be seen from Helge's own quotation of my
        post -- that there is or ever was a past-participial ending _-nen_; I
        said only that past participles _in_ _-nen_ are very frequent. It is
        the frequency of such sequences that lead to analogical formations,
        just as we see with the pervasively analogical N/S pa.t. in _-nt_.

        > The past participle marker _-en_ historically evolves from _-e_ (the
        > vowel all past tense-forms originally seem to have ended in, still so
        > in Quenya) + the participial ending _-nâ_, worn down to _-n_ in
        > Noldorin/Sindarin.

        I disagree with this unqualified assertion. This _-en_ may also have
        arisen from *_-inâ_, and thus be cognate with the Quenya past
        participial ending _-ina_ exhibited by such relatively late Quenya
        forms as _rákina_ 'broken', etc.

        > Well, this is getting off topic: nothing about the scripts. By all
        > means, since we do happen to have the past tense of a verb meaning
        > "watch" directly attested, we may just as well use it:

        No, not "just as well": _better_. And what a novel idea. I wish I'd
        come up with it. Oh wait....

        > Otherwise CFH and I should continue this discussion on Elfling.
        > Ooops...a practical problem in his end.

        Again, this sort of petty behavior _ought_ to be beneath Helge. And as
        Helge is fully aware, we can carry out this and any other scholarly
        discussion of Tolkien's languages he would care to engage in on the
        Lambengolmor list, where no one hides behind the shield of censorship.

        > Well, I think we have pretty much exhausted this topic anyway.

        Hardly.



        --
        =============================================
        Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org

        ho bios brachys, he de techne makre.
        Ars longa, vita brevis.
        The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
        "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take such
        a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."
      • Helge K. Fauskanger
        ... and thank him for it (as I have previously noted, I was clearly writing too late and too hastily that night). [...] ... error I made in my first
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 25, 2003
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          Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

          > I accept Helge's correction regarding my use of "_tiri-_" as a stem-form,
          and thank him for it (as I have previously noted, I was clearly writing too
          late and too hastily that night).
          [...]
          > I reject, however, Helge's small-minded and opportunistic response to an
          error I made in my first post...Such petty behavior _ought_ to be beneath
          him.

          So what is it, really? Does Hostetter thank me or call me names when I
          point out his mistakes? It seems to be the same error he refers to in both
          of the quotations above.

          However, this is clearly not the right forum to discuss the other
          linguistic issues he brought up, since they have nothing to do with the
          scripts: such as whether *_itîr-_ etc. would produce Sindarin *_idir_ or
          *_idír_ with a long vowel, or whether the past participle ending _-en_
          descends from _-e-nâ_ or _-inâ_. I have dealt with these things in notes
          added to my article "Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb System"; interested
          list members may access it and search for Hostetter's name:

          http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sverb-rec.htm

          A brand new Appendix also deals with some criticism he presented on the
          Lambengolmor list (whether it is proper to call past tense forms in _-nt_
          "3rd person" forms, as I have done).

          - HKF
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          ... Once again, Helge would rather jump to an absurd, even contradictory, conclusion, than to simply spend a few extra moments actually reading what I wrote.
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 25, 2003
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            On Oct 25, 2003, at 8:42 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

            > Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
            >
            >> I accept Helge's correction regarding my use of "_tiri-_" as a
            >> stem-form,
            > and thank him for it (as I have previously noted, I was clearly
            > writing too
            > late and too hastily that night).
            > [...]
            >> I reject, however, Helge's small-minded and opportunistic response to
            >> an
            > error I made in my first post...Such petty behavior _ought_ to be
            > beneath
            > him.
            >
            > So what is it, really? Does Hostetter thank me or call me names when I
            > point out his mistakes? It seems to be the same error he refers to in
            > both
            > of the quotations above.

            Once again, Helge would rather jump to an absurd, even contradictory,
            conclusion, than to simply spend a few extra moments actually reading
            what I wrote. The two were very clearly _not_ the same error.

            To answer Helge's question, I'm happy to accept corrections to (actual)
            errors. But when I have _already_ corrected my own error, in a post
            that Helge has clearly seen (if not read), because he is _replying_ to
            it and _quoting_ from it, then that is nothing more than pettiness.
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            ... List members that have followed this discussion may be interested in my comments upon and corrections to Helge s new notes:
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 28, 2003
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              On Oct 25, 2003, at 8:42 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

              > I have dealt with these things in notes added to my article
              > "Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb System"; interested list members may
              > access it and search for Hostetter's name:
              >
              > http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sverb-rec.htm

              List members that have followed this discussion may be interested in my
              comments upon and corrections to Helge's new notes:

              <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lambengolmor/message/510>



              --
              =============================================
              Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org

              ho bios brachys, he de techne makre.
              Ars longa, vita brevis.
              The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
              "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take such
              a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              It has been one week since I posted my corrections to Helge s misrepresentations of my words in revisions he made to his Sindarin verb article, yet despite
              Message 6 of 21 , Nov 4, 2003
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                It has been one week since I posted my corrections to Helge's misrepresentations of
                my words in revisions he made to his Sindarin verb article, yet despite having plenty
                of time to respond to people's posts online, he has yet to remove his false claims
                from his article. I respectfully request that he do so immediately, as should any who
                care about truth and accuracy in discussing Tolkien's linguistic inventions.

                (I'll also take this opportunity to note that Helge has an unclosed italics tag in his
                article, in the note in which he misrepresents my statement regarding the possible
                origins of the past participle ending _-en_.)



                --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@e...> wrote:
                >
                > On Oct 25, 2003, at 8:42 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:
                >
                > > I have dealt with these things in notes added to my article
                > > "Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb System"; interested list members may
                > > access it and search for Hostetter's name:
                > >
                > > http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sverb-rec.htm
                >
                > List members that have followed this discussion may be interested in my
                > comments upon and corrections to Helge's new notes:
                >
                > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lambengolmor/message/510>
              • Karyn
                ... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfscript/files/LOTRtshirt.PNG ... Can you please tell me what font you used for this? Karyn
                Message 7 of 21 , Nov 5, 2003
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                  --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "elimloth" <draco@s...> wrote:
                  > d_daniel_andries@w... wrote:
                  > [...] I would suggest _Hîr i-Chorvath: han tiriannen minui._
                  > > ('Lord of the Rings: I saw it first.') Written in the KLIII
                  > tengwar mode, [...]
                  >
                  > Like so:
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfscript/files/LOTRtshirt.PNG
                  >
                  > Elimloth

                  Can you please tell me what font you used for this?
                  Karyn
                • Carl F. Hostetter
                  I see that despite having read my messages -- he corrected the unclosed tag I noted in my message within hours of its posting -- Helge has still not corrected
                  Message 8 of 21 , Nov 5, 2003
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                    I see that despite having read my messages -- he corrected the unclosed tag I noted
                    in my message within hours of its posting -- Helge has still not corrected his
                    erroneous claims about and misrepresentations of my actual words and arguments
                    concerning his treatment of Noldorin and Sindarin past-tense verbs.

                    I hope that the open contempt for truth and accuracy, motivated by personal animus
                    and political expediency, that Helge hereby exhibits will be noted and borne in mind
                    by those of you who read his treatises and accept his claims uncritically.

                    Don't accept _anything_ Helge says as true unless you can verify it for yourself from
                    the actual sources.



                    --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...> wrote:

                    > It has been one week since I posted my corrections to Helge's misrepresentations of
                    > my words in revisions he made to his Sindarin verb article, yet despite having plenty
                    > of time to respond to people's posts online, he has yet to remove his false claims
                    > from his article. I respectfully request that he do so immediately, as should any who
                    > care about truth and accuracy in discussing Tolkien's linguistic inventions.
                    >
                    > (I'll also take this opportunity to note that Helge has an unclosed italics tag in his
                    > article, in the note in which he misrepresents my statement regarding the possible
                    > origins of the past participle ending _-en_.)
                    >
                    > --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@e...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > On Oct 25, 2003, at 8:42 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > I have dealt with these things in notes added to my article
                    > > > "Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb System"; interested list members may
                    > > > access it and search for Hostetter's name:
                    > > >
                    > > > http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sverb-rec.htm
                    > >
                    > > List members that have followed this discussion may be interested in my
                    > > comments upon and corrections to Helge's new notes:
                    > >
                    > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lambengolmor/message/510>
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