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Re: [elfscript] Re: Pre-classical Tengwar Mode

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... your cover letter will speed your order right along as well. Why, I expressed my (positive) surprise that it appeared already! And lest I am accused of
    Message 1 of 29 , Jan 14, 2004
      CFH wrote:

      > I have my copy [of the new Parma] right here. No doubt the snottiness of
      your cover letter will speed your order right along as well.

      Why, I expressed my (positive) surprise that it appeared already! And lest
      I am accused of "fabricating" dates again, let's briefly review this set of
      data: Parma 11 - 1995. Parma 12 - 1998. Parma 13 - 2002. Now try
      extrapolating the likely publication date of Parma 14! Statistical
      prognoses would seem to point to 2005 or even 2006, right? It is therefore
      very positive, and more than a little surprising, that it appears already.
      If we can have one or two issues of Parma Eldalamberon every year from now
      on, I would not complain about the rate of publication.

      Regarding the Valmaric script:

      > Given your contempt for Tolkien's "immature" work (as you would have it),
      I don't think you'll find it interesting at all.

      Immature is an ugly word. I don't believe I have used it. "Pre-classical",
      if you like. At worst "LotR-incompatible". Tolkien himself didn't have to
      be politically correct; he called his early work "very primitive"! Must I
      provide the exact page reference to The Peoples of Middle-earth? Anyway, I
      don't feel any contempt for it. But it is not what I am primarily
      interested in, and I think Tolkien himself would rather have us study his
      more developed concepts.

      I don't know whether the Valmaric script is conceptually "valid" or not. Is
      there any "internal" story associated with it? Some of Tolkien's writings
      on his scripts (and other matters) he clearly dismissed later. Regarding
      the ideas about runes now reproduced in The Treason of Isengard pp.
      460-465, he noted: "All of this has been revised and rewritten. See
      Appendices to Lord of the Rings" (p. 456). I don't know whether the
      Valmaric script was likewise dropped, or whether it was somehow kept as a
      valid (if minor) part of the mythology even after the classical Tengwar
      system emerged in Tolkien's mind. He didn't drop the Rúmilian writing
      system, after all, but kept it as part of the internal history. One
      imagines a tiny Valmar-based NGO that untiringly but unsuccessfully tried
      to argue the superiority of the Valmaric system as an alternative to the
      Feanorian revision of Rúmil's original work.

      Regarding the position of the dots in the Tyelpetéma:

      > Seriously, I agree that that is an interesting topic, and look forward to
      your _polite_ discussion of it.

      Oh, _I_ try to deliver when I have made public statements to the effect
      that I am going to write or publish something "soon". And don't worry, I
      don't think there is much potential for serious controversy here. Or has
      anyone invested an enormous amount of prestige in any particular theory
      about where two tiny dots should go?

      - HKF
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      ... I rest my case.
      Message 2 of 29 , Jan 14, 2004
        On Jan 14, 2004, at 7:00 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

        > CFH wrote:
        >
        >> I have my copy [of the new Parma] right here. No doubt the snottiness
        >> of
        > your cover letter will speed your order right along as well.
        >
        > Why, I expressed my (positive) surprise that it appeared already! And
        > lest
        > I am accused of "fabricating" dates again, let's briefly review this
        > set of
        > data: Parma 11 - 1995. Parma 12 - 1998. Parma 13 - 2002. Now try
        > extrapolating the likely publication date of Parma 14! Statistical
        > prognoses would seem to point to 2005 or even 2006, right? It is
        > therefore
        > very positive, and more than a little surprising, that it appears
        > already.
        > If we can have one or two issues of Parma Eldalamberon every year from
        > now
        > on, I would not complain about the rate of publication.

        I rest my case.
      • Mark A Miles
        I really do not know why Carl has to be so rude to constantly make attacks at you, Helge. It does not portray him or anybody else in a good light. -Mark
        Message 3 of 29 , Jan 15, 2004
          I really do not know why Carl has to be so rude to constantly make
          attacks at you, Helge. It does not portray him or anybody else in a
          good light.

          -Mark
        • Patrick H. Wynne
          Helge Fauskanger wrote, regarding Tolkien s earlier linguistic ... There is nothing wrong per se with Helge being primarily interested in Tolkien s
          Message 4 of 29 , Jan 15, 2004
            Helge Fauskanger wrote, regarding Tolkien's earlier linguistic
            writings:

            > But it is not what I am primarily
            > interested in, and I think Tolkien himself would rather have us
            > study his more developed concepts.

            There is nothing wrong per se with Helge being primarily
            interested in Tolkien's "LotR-compatible" writings; this
            is certainly also the case with the majority of people
            with a mild-to-moderate "fannish" interest in Tolkien's
            languages. What has always puzzled me, however, is why
            people with a _deep_ interest in Tolkienian linguistics, the
            dedicated scholars such as Helge, show so little interest in
            Tolkien's earlier writings.

            For the Qenya Lexicon & Qenya Phonology, the Gnomish
            Lexicon & Gnomish Grammar, and all their associated charts
            and fragments, are the Proto-Indo-European of Tolkienian
            linguistics (speaking in an external sense, of course, since
            we are dealing with _invented_ languages here, not real
            ones). And unlike the Indo-Europeanists, who are only
            able to hypothetically reconstruct the proto-language from
            its later descendants, Tolkien linguists have _extensive
            written records of the earliest forms of the languages they
            study_. Imagine if a trove of clay tablets were discovered
            somewhere in the Caucasus bearing extensive, decipherable
            written records of proto-Indo-European -- what a fervor it
            would cause! And yet the same situation (at least in an external
            sense) exists in Tolkien linguistics, but the reaction to the
            earliest material has been decidedly indifferent, even dis-
            missive. It's as if Indo-Europeanists were to dismiss the proto-
            language because it was not "mature Indo-European", and
            claimed that it was of no real interest because it had no
            practical use in helping them speak and write (say) Spanish!

            As for Helge's opinion that "Tolkien himself would rather
            have us study his more developed concepts", the physical
            evidence of the manuscripts argues against this. For why
            would Tolkien have bothered to carefully save so much
            of his earlier linguistic writings if he felt they were of no
            interest to others? He clearly saved his earlier _narrative_
            writings and drafts in the same way, and for the same
            reason -- they would someday be of historical interest
            to scholars. Tolkien even placed the early "Qenya Phonology"
            now published in Parma 14 inside a folded sheet of paper
            on which he wrote "This early sketch is preserved for historic
            interest", (p. 37) which is about as clear a statement of his
            motives as one could wish. And the manuscripts are full of such
            labels and notes, strongly suggesting that Tolkien knew,
            or hoped, that someday his linguistic papers would be
            studied by others -- not just the late material, but ALL
            the material, going back to the very beginning.

            Helge also wrote, "I don't know whether the Valmaric script
            is conceptually "valid" or not." Talk of "validity" has no place
            in serious Tolkien linguistics -- it's the equivalent of the
            inane arguments about "canonicity" that break out from time
            to time in regard to Tolkien's narrative writings. The only
            person qualified to comment on such matters died in 1973.
            For our part, isn't it enough that the Valmaric script is
            exquisitely beautiful, and that studying it provides further
            insight into the development of the later _tengwar_ and the
            mind of their creator?

            -- Patrick H. Wynne
          • jcowan@reutershealth.com
            ... This is indeed interesting from the external viewpoint. If one is primarily interested in the internal viewpoint, however (a more difficult road to hoe,
            Message 5 of 29 , Jan 15, 2004
              Patrick H. Wynne scripsit:

              > What has always puzzled me, however, is why
              > people with a _deep_ interest in Tolkienian linguistics, the
              > dedicated scholars such as Helge, show so little interest in
              > Tolkien's earlier writings.
              >
              > For the Qenya Lexicon & Qenya Phonology, the Gnomish
              > Lexicon & Gnomish Grammar, and all their associated charts
              > and fragments, are the Proto-Indo-European of Tolkienian
              > linguistics (speaking in an external sense, of course, since
              > we are dealing with _invented_ languages here, not real
              > ones). And unlike the Indo-Europeanists, who are only
              > able to hypothetically reconstruct the proto-language from
              > its later descendants, Tolkien linguists have _extensive
              > written records of the earliest forms of the languages they
              > study_.

              This is indeed interesting from the external viewpoint. If one
              is primarily interested in the internal viewpoint, however
              (a more difficult road to hoe, to be sure, considering the
              defective state of the materials), then the existence of Qenya
              and Gnomish, especially the latter, tends to be primarily a
              distraction and a stumbling-block to people who would like to
              understand Quenya and Sindarin.

              > Imagine if a trove of clay tablets were discovered
              > somewhere in the Caucasus bearing extensive, decipherable
              > written records of proto-Indo-European -- what a fervor it
              > would cause! And yet the same situation (at least in an external
              > sense) exists in Tolkien linguistics, but the reaction to the
              > earliest material has been decidedly indifferent, even dis-
              > missive. It's as if Indo-Europeanists were to dismiss the proto-
              > language because it was not "mature Indo-European", and
              > claimed that it was of no real interest because it had no
              > practical use in helping them speak and write (say) Spanish!

              But among scholars of the Romance languages, the discovery would
              create little or no stir: the "external" history of the IE
              languages, presuming it exists, is unavailable to mere mortals.
              Consequently, the situation is not really comparable.

              > As for Helge's opinion that "Tolkien himself would rather
              > have us study his more developed concepts", the physical
              > evidence of the manuscripts argues against this. For why
              > would Tolkien have bothered to carefully save so much
              > of his earlier linguistic writings if he felt they were of no
              > interest to others? He clearly saved his earlier _narrative_
              > writings and drafts in the same way, and for the same
              > reason -- they would someday be of historical interest
              > to scholars.

              JRRT certainly understood the nature of historical interest;
              however, surely he did not suppose it was the only kind of
              interest. The man didn't keep changing his languages just
              to be changing them: presumably he believed he was *improving*
              them as well. Is Tolkien the author of fiction to be judged
              on his drafts, or on his finished works? Clearly the latter,
              although the former has, indeed, great interest. Similarly
              with his conlangs.

              > Helge also wrote, "I don't know whether the Valmaric script
              > is conceptually "valid" or not." Talk of "validity" has no place
              > in serious Tolkien linguistics -- it's the equivalent of the
              > inane arguments about "canonicity" that break out from time
              > to time in regard to Tolkien's narrative writings.

              If the arguments about canonicity are inane, it can only be
              because the answer is trivial: the canonical works, if the
              word "canon" is to have any meaning whatsoever, can only be
              those approved for publication by JRRT.

              --
              John Cowan jcowan@... www.reutershealth.com www.ccil.org/~cowan
              The known is finite, the unknown infinite; intellectually we stand
              on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability.
              Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land,
              to add something to the extent and the solidity of our possessions.
              --Thomas Henry Huxley
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              ... This statement stands upon the unwarranted assumption that Quenya and Sindarin achieved some form after (Primary-world) the early grammars and lexicons
              Message 6 of 29 , Jan 15, 2004
                On Jan 15, 2004, at 10:27 AM, jcowan@... wrote:

                > This is indeed interesting from the external viewpoint. If one is
                > primarily interested in the internal viewpoint, however (a more
                > difficult road to hoe, to be sure, considering the defective state of
                > the materials), then the existence of Qenya and Gnomish, especially
                > the latter, tends to be primarily a distraction and a stumbling-block
                > to people who would like to understand Quenya and Sindarin.

                This statement stands upon the unwarranted assumption that "Quenya" and
                "Sindarin" achieved some form after (Primary-world) the early grammars
                and lexicons that was completely separate and different from their
                early (Primary-world) forms. Whereas, it is already abundantly clear
                that this assumption is patently false.

                >> Imagine if a trove of clay tablets were discovered somewhere in the
                >> Caucasus bearing extensive, decipherable written records of
                >> proto-Indo-European -- what a fervor it would cause! And yet the same
                >> situation (at least in an external sense) exists in Tolkien
                >> linguistics, but the reaction to the earliest material has been
                >> decidedly indifferent, even dismissive. It's as if Indo-Europeanists
                >> were to dismiss the proto-language because it was not "mature
                >> Indo-European", and claimed that it was of no real interest because
                >> it had no practical use in helping them speak and write (say)
                >> Spanish!
                >
                > But among scholars of the Romance languages, the discovery would
                > create little or no stir:

                Untrue. If they were actually _scholars_ of the Romance languages (as a
                family), then of course they would be interested in new evidence
                shedding light on the origins of the Indo-European tongues, as part of
                that family. Now, if they were only students of Spanish, that would be
                a different matter. And it is _here_ that Pat's analogy, and yours,
                breaks down: for unlike Quenya and Sindarin, Spanish is an
                amply-attested living language; hence, being fragmentary, you have _no
                way_ of knowing in many cases that a feature described for Qenya or
                Gnomish _isn't_ true of "Quenya" and "Sindarin" (in your sense). The
                _only_ way to get any sense of this at all is to trace the history of
                Tolkien's own thoughts and developments.

                > JRRT certainly understood the nature of historical interest; however,
                > surely he did not suppose it was the only kind of interest. The man
                > didn't keep changing his languages just to be changing them:
                > presumably he believed he was *improving* them as well.

                I presume no such thing. His tastes and ideas changed, that is true;
                but I attribute that to fluidity and experimentation, not to monotonic
                "improvement". What he might have considered an "improvement" at one
                point could be, and indeed as we see not infrequently _was_,
                reconsidered and reverted to earlier forms and features after a time:
                who is to say in _any_ given case that he did not or would not have
                done so again?

                > Is Tolkien the author of fiction to be judged on his drafts, or on his
                > finished works?

                This analogy rests on the same false assumption made above: that
                Tolkien _finished_ "Quenya" and "Sindarin". This is no more true of his
                languages than it was of his other magnum opus, "The Silmarillion". One
                might ask, is Tolkien's mythology to be "judged" on his drafts, or on
                the editorial construction published as _The Silmarillion_? "Quenya"
                and "Sindarin" have no more complete and finished states than did the
                mythology; pretending otherwise is a fiction and leads to fictional
                claims, analogies, and conclusions.
              • jcowan@reutershealth.com
                ... Of course it is. And it is false to argue that the final published draft of the _Lord of the Rings_ (or _Moby-Dick_, if you prefer) has a form completely
                Message 7 of 29 , Jan 15, 2004
                  Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                  > This statement stands upon the unwarranted assumption that "Quenya" and
                  > "Sindarin" achieved some form after (Primary-world) the early grammars
                  > and lexicons that was completely separate and different from their
                  > early (Primary-world) forms. Whereas, it is already abundantly clear
                  > that this assumption is patently false.

                  Of course it is. And it is false to argue that the final published draft
                  of the _Lord of the Rings_ (or _Moby-Dick_, if you prefer) has a form
                  "completely separate and different" from its earlier drafts. Yet it is
                  not absurd nor unwarranted to study those works based on the final forms
                  achieved by authorial intent. (Nor is it absurd to study the relationship
                  between draft and final form -- the activities are merely different.)

                  Similarly, while it is true that we do not have a canonical grammar-book
                  or dictionary of Quenya or Sindarin, we do have a canonical *corpus*
                  of those languages, viz. the poems and prose published by Tolkien.
                  In the effort to understand and appreciate these works, it is very
                  necessary to use manuscript information cautiously.

                  > Untrue. If they were actually _scholars_ of the Romance languages (as a
                  > family), then of course they would be interested in new evidence
                  > shedding light on the origins of the Indo-European tongues, as part of
                  > that family.

                  I fear you overestimate the omnivorousness of scholars.

                  > [U]nlike Quenya and Sindarin, Spanish is an
                  > amply-attested living language; hence, being fragmentary, you have _no
                  > way_ of knowing in many cases that a feature described for Qenya or
                  > Gnomish _isn't_ true of "Quenya" and "Sindarin" (in your sense).

                  Correct, indeed. Thus we cannot make grammaticality judgements in the
                  full sense about a purported Sindarin utterance, no more than we can
                  about a purported Hittite utterance. This is nothing unique to conlangs,
                  but rather a property of dead languages.

                  > [T]he _only_ way to get any sense of this at all is to trace the history of
                  > Tolkien's own thoughts and developments.

                  Surely. But one may look at the whole corpus and attempt to derive
                  a conspectus, or one may evaluate it from a particular standpoint.
                  Both activities are difficult but perhaps worthwhile; I see no purpose
                  in privileging one over the other as "legitimate scholarship".

                  > > JRRT certainly understood the nature of historical interest; however,
                  > > surely he did not suppose it was the only kind of interest. The man
                  > > didn't keep changing his languages just to be changing them:
                  > > presumably he believed he was *improving* them as well.
                  >
                  > I presume no such thing. His tastes and ideas changed, that is true;
                  > but I attribute that to fluidity and experimentation, not to monotonic
                  > "improvement".

                  Improvement need not be monotonic: talk to a local biologist on the point.
                  When Tolkien introduced a change, he did so because he considered that
                  the new form better represented his taste *at the time*, whatever he
                  may have decided later.

                  --
                  Long-short-short, long-short-short / Dactyls in dimeter,
                  Verse form with choriambs / (Masculine rhyme): jcowan@...
                  One sentence (two stanzas) / Hexasyllabically http://www.reutershealth.com
                  Challenges poets who / Don't have the time. --robison who's at texas dot net
                • Carl F. Hostetter
                  ... Hence my oft-repeated statement that if you want to study Quenya and Sindarin of _The Lord of the Rings_, you already have all that there is to study, in
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jan 15, 2004
                    On Jan 15, 2004, at 1:38 PM, jcowan@... wrote:

                    > Similarly, while it is true that we do not have a canonical
                    > grammar-book or dictionary of Quenya or Sindarin, we do have a
                    > canonical *corpus* of those languages, viz. the poems and prose
                    > published by Tolkien.

                    Hence my oft-repeated statement that if you want to study Quenya and
                    Sindarin of _The Lord of the Rings_, you already have all that there is
                    to study, in the novel itself. Anything else is only tentatively and
                    conditionally a part of the languages as he conceived of them during
                    the final revisions to the text before publication. Nor did the
                    languages stay unchanged beyond that publication, even in matters
                    already exhibited in the novel.

                    >> Untrue. If they were actually _scholars_ of the Romance languages (as
                    >> a family), then of course they would be interested in new evidence
                    >> shedding light on the origins of the Indo-European tongues, as part
                    >> of that family.
                    >
                    > I fear you overestimate the omnivorousness of scholars.

                    And I fear that you confuse linguists with polyglots.

                    > we cannot make grammaticality judgements in the full sense about a
                    > purported Sindarin utterance, no more than we can about a purported
                    > Hittite utterance. This is nothing unique to conlangs, but rather a
                    > property of dead languages.

                    Indeed.

                    > one may look at the whole corpus and attempt to derive a conspectus,
                    > or one may evaluate it from a particular standpoint. Both activities
                    > are difficult but perhaps worthwhile; I see no purpose in privileging
                    > one over the other as "legitimate scholarship".

                    Who ever did that?

                    >>> The man didn't keep changing his languages just to be changing them:
                    >>> presumably he believed he was *improving* them as well.
                    >>
                    >> I presume no such thing. His tastes and ideas changed, that is true;
                    >> but I attribute that to fluidity and experimentation, not to
                    >> monotonic "improvement".
                    >
                    > Improvement need not be monotonic: talk to a local biologist on the
                    > point. When Tolkien introduced a change, he did so because he
                    > considered that the new form better represented his taste *at the
                    > time*, whatever he may have decided later.

                    Precisely my point!

                    We seem to be in such close agreement that I find it hard to fathom how
                    you could have presented your arguments as being in opposition to what
                    Pat had said.
                  • John Cowan
                    ... Certainly. However, some parts of that anything else are very closely related, some parts are doubtfully related, and other parts perhaps not related at
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jan 15, 2004
                      Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                      > Hence my oft-repeated statement that if you want to study Quenya and
                      > Sindarin of _The Lord of the Rings_, you already have all that there is
                      > to study, in the novel itself. Anything else is only tentatively and
                      > conditionally a part of the languages as he conceived of them during
                      > the final revisions to the text before publication. Nor did the
                      > languages stay unchanged beyond that publication, even in matters
                      > already exhibited in the novel.

                      Certainly. However, some parts of that "anything else" are very closely
                      related, some parts are doubtfully related, and other parts perhaps not
                      related at all. All of this is straightforward and transparent.

                      By the same token, if one wants to study the languages in their earliest
                      rather than their LOTR forms, one must treat with great caution any evidence
                      from later periods. It may be, after all, that some points not written
                      down until later were already in Tolkien's mind from the earliest stage:
                      or perhaps not.

                      > > I fear you overestimate the omnivorousness of scholars.
                      >
                      > And I fear that you confuse linguists with polyglots.

                      By no means. But many scholars are specialists who have no interest
                      in anything outside their immediate field.

                      > > one may look at the whole corpus and attempt to derive a conspectus,
                      > > or one may evaluate it from a particular standpoint. Both activities
                      > > are difficult but perhaps worthwhile; I see no purpose in privileging
                      > > one over the other as "legitimate scholarship".
                      >
                      > Who ever did that?

                      No one, I trust.

                      > Precisely my point!
                      >
                      > We seem to be in such close agreement that I find it hard to fathom how
                      > you could have presented your arguments as being in opposition to what
                      > Pat had said.

                      I didn't. As I've been trying to convey to you and many others for years,
                      I write primarily to increase understanding, not to convince anyone of
                      my "position". My response to the challenge "Stand!" is Falstaff's --
                      "So I do, against my will."

                      --
                      John Cowan jcowan@... www.reutershealth.com ccil.org/~cowan
                      Dievas dave dantis; Dievas duos duonos --Lithuanian proverb
                      Deus dedit dentes; deus dabit panem --Latin version thereof
                      Deity donated dentition;
                      deity'll donate doughnuts --English version by Muke Tever
                      God gave gums; God'll give granary --Version by Mat McVeagh
                    • Helge K. Fauskanger
                      ... Tolkien s LotR-compatible writings; I m glad to read this, for the impression I sometimes get when reading the little manifestos of members of Wynne s
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                        Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

                        > There is nothing wrong per se with Helge being primarily interested in
                        Tolkien's "LotR-compatible" writings;

                        I'm glad to read this, for the impression I sometimes get when reading the
                        little manifestos of members of Wynne's group, is that in their view,
                        people who are interested in Tolkien's languages can be divided into two
                        groups. Their relative proportions illustrate the principle "many are
                        called, but few are chosen":

                        1 (a tiny minority): The real, SERIOUS Tolkien-linguists! They own pretty
                        much everything JRRT or CJRT ever published, plus each and every back issue
                        of Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon. They can conduct endless,
                        abstract academic discussions of the absorbingly interesting internal
                        contradictions in Tolkien's material. A microscopic sub-minority within
                        this already tiny minority has even gained the incredible honor of Being
                        Chosen By Christopher Tolkien to edit and occasionally publish some of his
                        father's linguistic manuscripts, which is the ultimate proof of the
                        inherent superiority of this angle on Tolkien-linguistics.

                        2 (the vast majority): The vulgar, utterly unworthy masses. These would be
                        the people who are obsessed with figuring out how to say "I am cheese" in
                        Quenya/Sindarin, who write bad pseudo-Elvish poetry, and who can't wait to
                        have huge Tengwar tattoos etched into their butts. They could never be
                        bothered to read Tolkien's own books (most of them probably haven't even
                        read the LotR but are content with watching the bizarre movies of a fat
                        slasher-film director from New Zealand), and have learnt everything they
                        mistakenly think they know about Tolkien's languages from stuff they found
                        online (all too often the spate of wild, unfounded theories produced by
                        that Fauskanger guy).

                        A few people from Group #2 may conceivably mature into respectable, serious
                        scholars and be accepted into Group #1, but in general, the members of
                        Group #2 are utterly irredeemable.

                        > What has always puzzled me, however, is why people with a _deep_ interest
                        in Tolkienian linguistics, the dedicated scholars such as Helge, show so
                        little interest in Tolkien's earlier writings.

                        Since hardly anybody would try to compose in, say, Gnomish, the early
                        material must be studied either entirely for its own sake, or it may be
                        scrutinized in the hope of finding clues relating to the later forms of
                        Tolkien's languages (writers clinging to the hope that a certain piece of
                        information will not be obsoleted by later publications, or at least using
                        this information to fill a gap _until_ info about Tolkien's more developed
                        ideas becomes available and can be substituted). Wynne seems to imply that
                        "dedicated scholars" really ought to have an academic interest in
                        everything Tolkien ever wrote about his languages, and I guess I should be
                        flattered when he counts me as a scholar even though I have largely failed
                        to display such interest as regards the earliest material. (I guess he
                        thinks there is just a little hope that I may yet mature into Group #1,
                        join Lambengolmor and develop a suitably condescending attitude towards the
                        hordes chanting "I am cheese" in pseudo-Quenya -- or what do you say,
                        Wynne?)

                        Comparing the earliest material to "the Proto-Indo-European" of Tolkienian
                        linguistics, implying that we should all find this stuff very interesting,
                        is a dubious comparison. For one thing, people studying PIE already had a
                        thorough knowledge of modern European languages, whereas we (i.e. everyone
                        except CJRT and Wynne's group) have only seen fragments of Tolkien's
                        developed versions of the Eldarin languages. We are asked to be interested
                        in what Tolkien himself called the "very primitive" beginnings of something
                        we still have not been allowed to fully enjoy in its more developed forms.
                        (Yes, FORMS; please don't ascribe to me the idea that the languages exist
                        in uniform, stable, "mature" variants from the publication of LotR on.
                        Obviously there are still conceptual developments going on. But we do know
                        that everything Tolkien wrote after the publication of LotR was meant to be
                        somehow compatible with the samples of Elvish occurring in that book; this
                        we can never know for sure when dealing with pre-LotR material, and often
                        the material is obviously incompatible.)

                        Moreover, PIE evolves into modern languages by means of natural linguistic
                        processes of sound-changes etc., which are in no way similar to the
                        _conceptual_ development from (say) early Gnomish to Sindarin. The former
                        process is diachronic, the latter "parachronic" -- entirely separate from
                        the internal timeline, and moreover planless and impossible to predict.

                        Wynne:

                        > Imagine if a trove of clay tablets were discovered somewhere in the
                        Caucasus bearing extensive, decipherable written records of
                        proto-Indo-European -- what a fervor it would cause!

                        The fervor would be rather less if we presuppose an alternative world where
                        the descendants of PIE had become extinct so that all that was known of
                        Spanish, English, Sanskrit etc. was a tiny written corpus the same size as
                        the published corpus of Quenya and Sindarin. If Spanish, English etc. were
                        at least known as relatively well-developed literary languages, as I
                        believe Q and maybe S also have the potential to be if they could be
                        presented in a unified, normalized format, THEN there would also be some
                        interest in the roots of these languages -- be they clay tablets or early
                        Tolkien manuscripts.

                        > As for Helge's opinion that "Tolkien himself would rather have us study
                        his more developed concepts", the physical evidence of the manuscripts
                        argues against this. For why would Tolkien have bothered to carefully save
                        so much of his earlier linguistic writings if he felt they were of no
                        interest to others?

                        Apparently Tolkien was the kind of person who hardly ever threw away
                        anything he had written. Yes, I can well imagine that he preserved some of
                        his papers for "historical interest" (though I think I detect some
                        self-irony here; Tolkien didn't happen to add a little ":)" after writing
                        this, did he?) Yet this is the same person who tried very, very hard not to
                        introduce any internal contradictions in published material relating to his
                        invented world, and the same person who said he wished he had time to
                        produce what he called an "elementary...grammar" of Quenya and Sindarin
                        (Letters:403), because such a work would be "of interest to some, and
                        agreeable to me" (Letters:381). If this project had ever come to fruition,
                        Tolkien surely would NOT have tried to present layers upon layers of
                        evolving and hence contradicting ideas ("In the thirties I thought the
                        Quenya genitive ending should be -n, but then I changed my mind because I
                        thought -o sounded so very genitival...") He would have produced what has
                        now become anathema to certain self-styled "serious scholars" who detest
                        any normalizing of the languages: something like "definite" versions of
                        Quenya and Sindarin. I do think this was, at least vaguely, the ultimate
                        "goal" which he imagined himself to be working "towards" (though it is
                        questionable whether he would ever have reached it, no matter how long he
                        had lived).

                        > He clearly saved his earlier _narrative_ writings and drafts in the same
                        way, and for the same reason -- they would someday be of historical
                        interest to scholars.

                        Or maybe he just wasn't the kind of person who threw away anything, as I
                        said. Surely he never expected the general readership to be thrilled by the
                        fact that Frodo used to be called Bingo, or that at one point Boromir was
                        destined to be killed by Aragorn after conspiring with Saruman (just look
                        up the notes published in _The Treason of Isengard_, folks!) What makes
                        these early drafts interesting is precisely the finished novel: If the LotR
                        had never been published, would anyone have cared much about Tolkien's
                        draft material? Similarly, to the extent the early writings on "Qenya" and
                        "Gnomish" are interesting, it is the more developed versions of Quenya and
                        Sindarin that retroactively _make_ them interesting -- at least to
                        academics who want to study their external evolution.

                        > Helge also wrote, "I don't know whether the Valmaric script is
                        conceptually "valid" or not." Talk of "validity" has no place in serious
                        Tolkien linguistics

                        Not in _strictly academic_ Tolkien-linguistics, perhaps, but
                        Tolkien-linguistics can be quite serious even if it is not academic, and I
                        resent this condescending attitude towards people who do not share Wynne's
                        angle on this study. Let us finally get vaguely on-topic: consider the
                        Tengwar. Many, many people around the world want to study the Tengwar.
                        Let's say that Tolkien had never provided Appendix E with its substantial
                        discussion of this script. We would have been left to study the Tengwar
                        samples actually occurring in the book (on the title page, on the Ring and
                        above the Moria Gate; maybe we would also have the Namárie and A Elbereth
                        Gilthoniel transcripts in _The Road Goes Ever On_). We would have been able
                        to figure out much from these samples, though the different modes employed
                        would be somewhat confusing. Many would use the Tengwar to the extent these
                        symbols were understood -- there would be calligraphy, wedding ring
                        inscriptions and tattoos just like we are used to, but these inscriptions
                        would not be written out with quite the same confidence, since we would not
                        have Tolkien's own description of this writing system.

                        Then, long after Tolkien's death, his papers on the writing systems are
                        finally to be published. For years and years, people have been yearning to
                        learn more about the Tengwar as this writing system appears in LotR. At
                        last, people think, we will indeed know more! But surprisingly, the
                        publishers will NOT publish this information -- at least not _yet_. For,
                        you see, they must do things in the _proper_ order. A decade or two must be
                        spent on publishing the older writings on the Rúmilian Sarati and the
                        Valmaric script before we can have anything at all about the Tengwar! Yes,
                        maybe there are thousands of people who would like to know more about the
                        Tengwar whereas only a tiny group of hardcore academics give a damn about
                        Tolkien's earlier attempts -- but our dedicated group of publishers won't
                        be swayed by the desires of the vulgar masses, of course! Who cares about
                        the people who just want to write "I am cheese" on their wedding-rings (or
                        whatever)?

                        In this alternative universe, we have Wynne expressing his concern: "What
                        has always puzzled me, however, is why people with a _deep_ interest in
                        Tolkien's scripts, the dedicated scholars such as Helge, show so little
                        interest in Tolkien's earlier writings on the scripts."

                        Since we happily live in the _other_ universe where Tolkien himself
                        presented a fairly detailed description of the Tengwar system and didn't
                        leave this job to others after his death, we are in a far better position
                        to enjoy the earlier writings on Rúmilian and Valmaric for their own sake.
                        Our primary desire to learn and internalize the Tengwar has largely been
                        satisfied (though some points remain to be clarified), and after studying
                        the Tengwar some of us may indeed develop an academic interest in the
                        conceptual predecessors of this script, even though we would not normally
                        think of producing actual inscriptions in the earlier scripts. But if
                        Tolkien himself had not published the information that appears in Appendix
                        E, I should still have wanted any publication committee working on his
                        manuscripts after his death to give priority to this relatively late
                        material instead of spending years and years editing conceptually invalid
                        manuscripts on abandoned scripts like Valmaric. The early Rúmilian and
                        Valmaric material should also be published eventually, but the publishers
                        ought to recognize that people are primarily interested in the Tengwar (and
                        they shouldn't look down on people who just want to have FUN with the
                        Tengwar, instead of studying Tolkien's scripts from a strictly academic
                        angle). The publishers ought to recognize that it is primarily the
                        _comparison_ of Rúmilian/Valmaric with Tengwar that make the conceptual
                        predecessors interesting, and then people must be allowed to explore the
                        Tengwar first.

                        Similarly, I should have preferred a publication project dealing with
                        Tolkien's _languages_ to give priority to the later variants of Quenya and
                        Sindarin, for whether you want to call them "mature" or not, it is
                        necessarily the later manuscripts which define Tolkien's ideas about these
                        languages as they apperar in LotR. (Again: it is fully recognized that even
                        the late manuscripts do not present a uniform, unchanging vision of these
                        languages, but it would be these manuscripts and not the early "Qenya" and
                        "Gnomish" material that could form the logical raw material for normalized,
                        semi-useable versions of these languages -- though the uncompromising
                        academics are of course horrified by the very idea of any active
                        post-Tolkien editing. They still think it worthwhile to read the published
                        Silmarillion, I believe.) The academics should not look down on people who
                        just want to have FUN with Tolkien's languages, as opposed to writing
                        treatises about why Tolkien may have decided to change the Quenya genitive
                        ending from -n to -o.

                        Like it or not (and it is clear that some people in Wynne's group really
                        don't like it), most people interested in Tolkienian linguistics are NOT
                        academics. Maybe they are not really "scholars" either, which is not an
                        insult: Not being a scholar is not a personality flaw, after all. Unless
                        non-academic activities are strictly forbidden (like on the Lambengolmor
                        list), mailing lists devoted to Tolkien's scripts and languages soon tend
                        to become dominated by requests and discussions having to do with the
                        _practical use_ of said scripts and languages. People present poems and
                        texts in Quenya and Sindarin, or their best attempts at approximating the
                        grammar Tolkien intended. And they discuss Tengwar inscriptions for
                        anything from wedding rings to tattoos. The academics may well be horrified
                        to see Tolkien-linguistic forums "degenerate" like this. Wake up, folks!
                        Get down from the ivory tower! THIS IS WHAT MOST PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN.
                        They want to learn the Tengwar, and they want to learn (unified versions
                        of) Quenya and Sindarin. Fresh students in particular are rarely prepared
                        to deal with half a century of shifting conceptual phases, often confusing
                        even to those who have studied these matters for years.

                        What the academics often overlook is the very sincere desire of
                        non-academics to get it right, which to me demonstrates that the
                        non-academics are indeed worthy of being called Tolkien-linguists. Though
                        they don't produce Tengwar inscriptions or Eldarin poems for any
                        prestigious "scholarly" purpose, they love these scripts and languages for
                        their own sake and try hard to understand Tolkien's intentions. In forums
                        such as this they often stick their neck out by asking for comments on
                        their compositions. If their serious (though not necessarily "scholarly")
                        interest is recognized and not looked down upon, the academics may discover
                        that many of these newbies will eventually develop academic interests and
                        start to look into earlier conceptual phases (so dear to Wynne and his
                        colleagues) for their own sake. But let us not pretend that all of us are,
                        or should be, academics from the start. What initially attracts people to
                        this field must almost of necessity be LotR-style Tengwar and
                        LotR-compatible Quenya and Sindarin; hence any publication projects should
                        also (have) give(n) priority to the corresponding conceptual stages. This
                        would not imply that the earlier stages are void of inherent value and
                        interest, but when the appointed publication committee demonstrably has a
                        somewhat limited capacity, priorities do become an issue. I will maintain
                        that the earlier conceptual stages are best appreciated in the light of the
                        later ones.

                        Wynne:

                        > For our part, isn't it enough that the Valmaric script is exquisitely
                        beautiful, and that studying it provides further insight into the
                        development of the later _tengwar_ and the mind of their creator?

                        Some, I guess, may well want to study Valmaric for its own qualities. But
                        it should never be implied that it will necessarily throw much light on the
                        Tengwar as such, or that one cannot fully understand and use the Tengwar
                        without any knowledge or Valmaric (and Rúmilian). Similarly, early or even
                        somewhat later "Gnomish" is of very limited value if you really want to
                        study and understand LotR-style Sindarin -- unless, of course, you have
                        access to the later Sindarin material and can determine where Gnomish is
                        indeed similar to it!

                        Deep down, maybe I do aspire to eventually become one of those hardcore
                        scholars who write long treatises about the external evolution of the
                        languages. I may yet do so, if so much material is eventually published
                        that the long lines can finally be discerned (the current Wholesale
                        Publication Project has only reached the twenties, right? 1973 is sooo far
                        away...) But unlike the seeming attitude of some who work in the field, I
                        do try to take into account what most people _want to know about_, not
                        necessarily what would bring me most academic prestige as a "devoted
                        scholar" in certain circles. For this reason I am currently more concerned
                        with providing comprehensive wordlists, as well as writing or updating
                        attempted Quenya/Sindarin grammar tools, than I am with producing academic
                        treatises of less practical value -- even if, in some cases, I might indeed
                        find such things somewhat interesting myself.

                        - HKF
                      • Patrick Wynne
                        ... Oh, I think your attitude is already quite condescending enough, Fauskanger. What an utterly charming man you are. -- Patrick H. Wynne [Non-text portions
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                          Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                          > (I guess he
                          > thinks there is just a little hope that I may yet mature into Group #1,
                          > join Lambengolmor and develop a suitably condescending attitude
                          > towards the
                          > hordes chanting "I am cheese" in pseudo-Quenya -- or what do you say,
                          > Wynne?)

                          Oh, I think your attitude is already quite condescending enough,
                          Fauskanger.
                          What an utterly charming man you are.

                          -- Patrick H. Wynne

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Mark A Miles
                          ... You know what I don t understand - and forgive me, Patrick, if I tar you with the wrong brush. However, I as a European do not find Helge condescending or
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                            On Monday, January 19, 2004, at 01:48 pm, Patrick Wynne wrote:

                            >> (I guess he thinks there is just a little hope that I may yet mature
                            >> into Group #1,
                            >> join Lambengolmor and develop a suitably condescending attitude
                            >> towards the
                            >> hordes chanting "I am cheese" in pseudo-Quenya -- or what do you say,
                            >> Wynne?)
                            >
                            > Oh, I think your attitude is already quite condescending enough,
                            > Fauskanger. What an utterly charming man you are.

                            You know what I don't understand - and forgive me, Patrick, if I tar
                            you with the wrong brush. However, I as a European do not find Helge
                            condescending or rude; instead I find Carl rude. However, he finds
                            Helge rude/condescending/whatever. Is this a cultural thing? (It might
                            also behoove you to remember that Helge's first language is not English
                            - rather it is Swedish. I am not saying that he doesn't have an
                            excellent command of the English language - far from it! - however, I
                            am sure that Scandinavian idioms and means of expression do come
                            through, which I might get, but you yanks across the water don't!)

                            -Mark
                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                            Thus the World According to Helge. Back in the real world, the actual division is simple and non-sinister: between scholars of Tolkien s languages, and
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                              Thus the World According to Helge.

                              Back in the real world, the actual division is simple and non-sinister:
                              between scholars of Tolkien's languages, and non-scholars. Just as
                              there are scholars of Shakespeare and non-scholars, scholars of film
                              and non-scholars, scholars of physics and non-scholars, etc. etc. What
                              separates the scholar from the non-scholar has nothing to do with
                              vulgarity or any of the other characteristics Helge has spewed forth
                              from his angered imagination: it has only to do with method and aim:
                              scholars use the scholarly method, and aim at discovering new truths
                              and enlarging knowledge; while non-scholars have other methods and aims
                              (probably as uncountable as their are individual enthusiasts). And
                              there is not a single thing wrong with this. (EXCEPT: when one
                              _claiming_ to be a scholar presents himself as An Authority to the
                              non-scholars, and allows them to use _his_ work to fabricate and
                              promote all manner of error, and the "scholar" sits back and watches it
                              all happen, content with being the source of all "knowledge".)

                              The scholars give us _The History of Middle-earth_, _Parma
                              Eldalamberon_, _Vinyar Tengwar_, the _Lambengolmor_ list, _Tengwestië_,
                              _I·Lam Arth_, Elm, _Mellonath Daeron_, etc.

                              The non-scholars give us Elfling and ElvishLinguistics and a host of
                              other mailing lists, _Tyalië Tyelellieva_, Movie Sindarin, Grelvish,
                              and uncountable other forums and fabrications characterized by truth
                              and untruth in undistinguished mixture.

                              Some prefer the latter. Some the former.

                              Carl


                              On Jan 19, 2004, at 7:50 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                              > Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
                              >
                              >> There is nothing wrong per se with Helge being primarily interested in
                              > Tolkien's "LotR-compatible" writings;
                              >
                              > I'm glad to read this, for the impression I sometimes get when reading
                              > the
                              > little manifestos of members of Wynne's group, is that in their view,
                              > people who are interested in Tolkien's languages can be divided into
                              > two
                              > groups. Their relative proportions illustrate the principle "many are
                              > called, but few are chosen":
                              >
                              > 1 (a tiny minority): The real, SERIOUS Tolkien-linguists! They own
                              > pretty
                              > much everything JRRT or CJRT ever published, plus each and every back
                              > issue
                              > of Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon. They can conduct endless,
                              > abstract academic discussions of the absorbingly interesting internal
                              > contradictions in Tolkien's material. A microscopic sub-minority within
                              > this already tiny minority has even gained the incredible honor of
                              > Being
                              > Chosen By Christopher Tolkien to edit and occasionally publish some of
                              > his
                              > father's linguistic manuscripts, which is the ultimate proof of the
                              > inherent superiority of this angle on Tolkien-linguistics.
                              >
                              > 2 (the vast majority): The vulgar, utterly unworthy masses. These
                              > would be
                              > the people who are obsessed with figuring out how to say "I am cheese"
                              > in
                              > Quenya/Sindarin, who write bad pseudo-Elvish poetry, and who can't
                              > wait to
                              > have huge Tengwar tattoos etched into their butts. They could never be
                              > bothered to read Tolkien's own books (most of them probably haven't
                              > even
                              > read the LotR but are content with watching the bizarre movies of a fat
                              > slasher-film director from New Zealand), and have learnt everything
                              > they
                              > mistakenly think they know about Tolkien's languages from stuff they
                              > found
                              > online (all too often the spate of wild, unfounded theories produced by
                              > that Fauskanger guy).
                              >
                              > A few people from Group #2 may conceivably mature into respectable,
                              > serious
                              > scholars and be accepted into Group #1, but in general, the members of
                              > Group #2 are utterly irredeemable.
                            • John Cowan
                              ... As an American, I find Helge outrageously snarky and mocking, though he has a sense of humor; Carl is nasty and hostile, and he doesn t. -- Do what you
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                Mark A Miles scripsit:

                                > You know what I don't understand - and forgive me, Patrick, if I tar
                                > you with the wrong brush. However, I as a European do not find Helge
                                > condescending or rude; instead I find Carl rude.

                                As an American, I find Helge outrageously snarky and mocking, though he
                                has a sense of humor; Carl is nasty and hostile, and he doesn't.

                                --
                                Do what you will, John Cowan
                                this Life's a Fiction jcowan@...
                                And is made up of http://www.reutershealth.com
                                Contradiction. --William Blake http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
                              • Carl F. Hostetter
                                ... Helge probably means the same thing, but just to be explicit: Tolkien certainly wished to be able to _explain_ the samples of Elvish occurring in _The Lord
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                  On Jan 19, 2004, at 7:50 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                                  > we do know that everything Tolkien wrote after the publication of LotR
                                  > was meant to be somehow compatible with the samples of Elvish
                                  > occurring in that book;

                                  Helge probably means the same thing, but just to be explicit: Tolkien
                                  certainly wished to be able to _explain_ the samples of Elvish
                                  occurring in _The Lord of the Rings_ in terms of the shifting
                                  conceptions in the languages that followed its publications. Such
                                  explanation might be entirely different from the explanation Tolkien
                                  would have given _during_ the drafting of _LotR_, though. And in some
                                  cases even Tolkien seemed unable to offer a satisfying
                                  reinterpretation. But none of this stopped his conception from changing
                                  (and here Helge's artificial rule breaks down).

                                  > this we can never know for sure when dealing with pre-LotR material,
                                  > and often the material is obviously incompatible.)

                                  I find this an astonishingly hypocritical statement coming from Helge,
                                  whose presentation of Tolkien's languages, in particular of what he
                                  calls "Sindarin", derives _almost entirely_ from material written long
                                  _before_ the publication of _LotR_: namely, the _Etymologies_. It is
                                  Helge and David's silent _assumption_ that what is true of Noldorin or
                                  Qenya in the _Etymologies_ is almost always true of Sindarin and Quenya
                                  of _LotR_; an assumption that they obscure even further by replacing
                                  the names of the languages themselves in their writings.

                                  Nor does Helge's conviction that Tolkien's earlier writings are
                                  "obviously incompatible" with later material stop him or David from
                                  _using_ that material, again silently and hypocritically, when it suits
                                  their utilitarian goals: thus we have David and Helge asserting
                                  repeatedly that _-ch_ is the "Sindarin" pronominal ending meaning 'you
                                  (sg.)', when in fact the sole (arguably) _Sindarin_ example we have of
                                  this ending can, by internal logic, have pretty much any pronominal
                                  meaning ('we', 'they', etc.) _except_ 'you (sg.)' (Tuor being an
                                  _infant_ after all), simply because David thinks he saw a similar
                                  Noldorin ending somewhere in Tolkien's papers, and because he thinks we
                                  "need" a S. ending meaning 'you (sg.)' (_attested_ S _le_ being
                                  insufficient for his purposes).

                                  The lesson is: Tolkien's earlier writings are "obviously incompatible"
                                  when Helge and David find them of no value to their utilitarian goals,
                                  or because they conflict with their pre-formed assumptions and
                                  assertions.


                                  --
                                  =============================================
                                  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
                                  As for the rest of Helge s extended tirade, it serves as a perfect example again of the basic distinction between the demands of scholarship and the desires of
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                    As for the rest of Helge's extended tirade, it serves as a perfect
                                    example again of the basic distinction between the demands of
                                    scholarship and the desires of enthusiasts. Helge pretends to know what
                                    is correct and required concerning material that he has never seen, and
                                    asserts the superiority of his opinion in condescension over that of
                                    those of us who have actually seen the material and understand its
                                    nature and thus what is _actually_ the proper and necessary mode of its
                                    presentation.

                                    Uninformed, selfish desire vs. scholarly, rigorous necessity. I choose
                                    the latter.


                                    --
                                    =============================================
                                    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
                                    P.S. Also, I think I ll not trust the decision as to what is or is not obviously incompatible to David and Helge, given their track record so far. It was
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                      P.S. Also, I think I'll not trust the decision as to what is or is not
                                      "obviously incompatible" to David and Helge, given their track record
                                      so far. It was they, for example, who assured us (and assure us still,
                                      as of this writing) that the Noldorin past-tense ending in _-as_ is
                                      "totally abnormal" and cannot "possibly be historically justified"
                                      (Helge, "Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb System"
                                      <http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sverb-rec.htm>); that "no historical
                                      explanation of a past tense "-(a)s has been offered, presumably because
                                      no realistic one is available" and that "If [_-as_] is a productive
                                      past tense form, there would obviously be a significant confusion
                                      between past tenses and
                                      nominals in a large number of verbs" (David, Elfling message 27459
                                      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/27459>).

                                      Note that _if_ these judgments were accurate, they would stand
                                      regardless of how many examples of past-tense verbs in _-as_ we have.
                                      And thus they would have to stand now just as much as they did when
                                      written. But of course they are _not_ accurate, nor were they when they
                                      were made. They were motivated solely by a desire to accommodate a
                                      tidy, pat, and pet presentation of the past-tense verb of "Sindarin",
                                      and thus to _remove_ a realistic complexity that Tolkien deliberately
                                      built into _his_ languages.

                                      "Obviously incompatible" vs. realistically complex. Uninformed, selfish
                                      desire vs. scholarly, rigorous necessity. Utility vs. reality.
                                      Prescriptive vs. descriptive. Again, I choose the latter. Others are
                                      free, with Helge and David, to choose the former. But don't pretend
                                      that those of us who don't choose with them have any obligation to
                                      accommodate their choice.


                                      --
                                      =============================================
                                      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
                                      ... So tell us, John, under which of snarky , mocking , or humorous do you categorize Helge s ceaseless provocation and inveterate lying? For the lie forms
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                        On Jan 19, 2004, at 12:14 PM, John Cowan wrote:

                                        > As an American, I find Helge outrageously snarky and mocking, though
                                        > he has a sense of humor; Carl is nasty and hostile, and he doesn't.

                                        So tell us, John, under which of "snarky", "mocking", or "humorous" do
                                        you categorize Helge's ceaseless provocation and inveterate lying?

                                        For the lie forms the basis of Helge's every "argument" with those who
                                        dare to disagree with him, which invariably follows this pattern:

                                        1) Ignore what the other party actually wrote or said.

                                        2) Fabricate an outrageous mischaracterization of your "opponent's"
                                        actual words and positions. Avoid providing any evidence to support
                                        your mischaracterizations (since, of course, none exists, and it would
                                        put the lie to the lie). Instead, fabricate claims and wording, while
                                        mixing in plenty of hyperbole and dripping contempt.

                                        3) "Demonstrate" how this deliberately absurd fabrication is, _mirabile
                                        visu_, in fact absurd.

                                        4) Pretend that this "demonstration" has any bearing on reality.

                                        5) When caught in the lie, blame the victim.

                                        Me, I call this contempt: for the truth, for the "opponent", and for
                                        the intelligence of others. I call it intellectually and ethically
                                        bankrupt. I call it anti-scholarly. I call it arrogant. I call it
                                        lying.

                                        (Note that this program pretty much outlines Helge and David's
                                        "scholarship" of Tolkien's languages, as well: 1) Where convenient,
                                        ignore what Tolkien actually wrote, and select those portions of the
                                        data that fit your pet notions of "validity" and "maturity". 2) Dismiss
                                        the "inconvenient" parts of what Tolkien wrote as a mistake on
                                        Tolkien's part and/or as "obviously incompatible". 3) Fabricate lots of
                                        "examples" as circular support for your "theory". 4) When caught in the
                                        lie, accuse the ones daring to disagree of all manner of nefarious
                                        motivations -- but never, of course, admit that you were wrong.)


                                        --
                                        =============================================
                                        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."
                                      • ravenduongladash
                                        ... for ... Cross posting from Elfling-d... Carl has asserted that Helge is arrogant. Here is the standard definition ... I would like Carl to back up his
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                          > Me, I call this contempt: for the truth, for the "opponent", and
                                          for
                                          > the intelligence of others. I call it intellectually and ethically
                                          > bankrupt. I call it anti-scholarly. I call it arrogant. I call it
                                          > lying.

                                          Cross posting from Elfling-d...
                                          Carl has asserted that Helge is arrogant. Here is the standard
                                          definition
                                          of that word:

                                          > arrogant
                                          >
                                          > 1. Making, or having the disposition to make, exorbitant claims of
                                          > rank or estimation; giving one's self an undue degree of importance;
                                          > assuming; haughty

                                          I would like Carl to back up his claim, and demonstrate for us
                                          a) how
                                          this definition applies to Helge; and
                                          b) how it does _not_ characterize
                                          himself perfectly.

                                          Silence will be interpreted as conceding that he had no basis for his
                                          name-calling.

                                          Sound familiar?

                                          cya
                                          Graeme
                                        • Carl F. Hostetter
                                          Unlike Graeme, I am not afraid to answer these questions, nor am I afraid of the truths that underlie it. Helge is arrogant in that he places his agenda and
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                            Unlike Graeme, I am not afraid to answer these questions, nor am I
                                            afraid of the truths that underlie it.

                                            Helge is arrogant in that he places his agenda and rhetoric above truth
                                            and accuracy.

                                            Helge is arrogant in that he expects that others will be too stupid to
                                            notice his intellectual and ethical bankruptcy.

                                            Helge is arrogant in that he places his opinions concerning how others
                                            should proceed with the work given them above the opinions of those
                                            tasked to do the work, or of the person who tasked them with the work.

                                            Helge is arrogant in that he places his opinions of "validity" and
                                            "maturity" ahead of reason and of the evidence of Tolkien's own
                                            writings.

                                            Need I continue?


                                            I make no claims of authority or expertise.

                                            I cite evidence for my claims and admit error when I am wrong.

                                            I believe that truth is more important than convenience or ego.

                                            I believe that everything Tolkien wrote is worth studying, and that we
                                            know far less than we think we know about his languages.

                                            Need I continue?


                                            Now, Graeme, will you perhaps return the favor and answer the questions
                                            as they were first put to you?



                                            On Jan 19, 2004, at 5:41 PM, ravenduongladash wrote:

                                            > Carl has asserted that Helge is arrogant. Here is the standard
                                            > definition of that word:
                                            >
                                            >> arrogant
                                            >>
                                            >> 1. Making, or having the disposition to make, exorbitant claims of
                                            >> rank or estimation; giving one's self an undue degree of importance;
                                            >> assuming; haughty
                                            >
                                            > I would like Carl to back up his claim, and demonstrate for us
                                            > a) how this definition applies to Helge; and
                                            > b) how it does _not_ characterize himself perfectly.
                                            >
                                            > Silence will be interpreted as conceding that he had no basis for his
                                            > name-calling.
                                            >
                                            > Sound familiar?
                                            >
                                            > cya
                                            > Graeme
                                          • Mark A Miles
                                            Can you give examples? Playing devil s advocate, -Mark
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                              Can you give examples?

                                              Playing devil's advocate,
                                              -Mark

                                              On Monday, January 19, 2004, at 10:58 pm, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                                              > Unlike Graeme, I am not afraid to answer these questions, nor am I
                                              > afraid of the truths that underlie it.
                                              >
                                              > Helge is arrogant in that he places his agenda and rhetoric above truth
                                              > and accuracy.
                                              >
                                              > Helge is arrogant in that he expects that others will be too stupid to
                                              > notice his intellectual and ethical bankruptcy.
                                              >
                                              > Helge is arrogant in that he places his opinions concerning how others
                                              > should proceed with the work given them above the opinions of those
                                              > tasked to do the work, or of the person who tasked them with the work.
                                              >
                                              > Helge is arrogant in that he places his opinions of "validity" and
                                              > "maturity" ahead of reason and of the evidence of Tolkien's own
                                              > writings.
                                              >
                                              > Need I continue?
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > I make no claims of authority or expertise.
                                              >
                                              > I cite evidence for my claims and admit error when I am wrong.
                                              >
                                              > I believe that truth is more important than convenience or ego.
                                              >
                                              > I believe that everything Tolkien wrote is worth studying, and that we
                                              > know far less than we think we know about his languages.
                                              >
                                              > Need I continue?
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Now, Graeme, will you perhaps return the favor and answer the questions
                                              > as they were first put to you?
                                              >
                                            • Carl F. Hostetter
                                              ... Just read Helge s and my posts in this group of today, and many previous posts; or my posts to Elfling-d.
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Jan 19, 2004
                                                On Jan 19, 2004, at 6:31 PM, Mark A Miles wrote:

                                                > Can you give examples?
                                                >
                                                > Playing devil's advocate,
                                                > -Mark

                                                Just read Helge's and my posts in this group of today, and many
                                                previous posts; or my posts to Elfling-d.
                                              • Mark A Miles
                                                I was looking for concrete, not abstract, examples - evidence. -Mark
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Jan 20, 2004
                                                  I was looking for concrete, not abstract, examples - evidence.

                                                  -Mark

                                                  On Monday, January 19, 2004, at 11:34 pm, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                                                  >
                                                  > On Jan 19, 2004, at 6:31 PM, Mark A Miles wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >> Can you give examples?
                                                  >>
                                                  >> Playing devil's advocate,
                                                  >> -Mark
                                                  >
                                                  > Just read Helge's and my posts in this group of today, and many
                                                  > previous posts; or my posts to Elfling-d.
                                                • Carl F. Hostetter
                                                  ... And you will find them in the posts I referred to. Go, look at the archives like I said. I m not going to repeat things here just for you.
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Jan 20, 2004
                                                    On Jan 20, 2004, at 3:27 AM, Mark A Miles wrote:

                                                    > I was looking for concrete, not abstract, examples - evidence.

                                                    And you will find them in the posts I referred to. Go, look at the
                                                    archives like I said. I'm not going to repeat things here just for you.
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