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[elfscript] Re: Tengwar Challenge 10

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  • d_daniel_andries@webtv.net
    ... is pronounced, ... They should write according to Tolkien s usage. Remember that this mode is largely orthographic rather than phonemic. The orthography is
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 20, 2004
      Teithant Mach:
      >The writing of final _r_ follows the pronunciation
      >of Tolkien's English: Rómen, where the _r_
      is pronounced,
      >where it isn't, óre. That's a problem for those who pronounce
      >every _r_: How should they write?

      They should write according to Tolkien's usage. Remember that this mode
      is largely orthographic rather than phonemic. The orthography is set by
      Tolkien's example. Whether or not the person transcribing a text into
      tengwar pronounces final or preconsonantal 'r' or treats it as silent is
      immaterial; he is not transcribing according to his spoken dialect, but
      rather according to what Tolkien's example dictates.

      >By the way, this explains the corrections of óre to rómen
      >that are found in all three versions of the King's Letter.

      The treatment of rómen vs. óre is the biggest inconsistency in the
      King's Letter. Still, the rules we quote seem to be the standard.

      > > 'convince', 'difference' - Write the 'n' before 'ce' as
      > > númen rather than as a tehta. Strictly speaking, [s]
      > >cannot be nasalised.
      >I also recommend not to use the bar on silme (nuquerna),
      >but what has this to do with nasalization of [s]?

      Simple sibilants, such as that represented by IPA symbol [s], cannot be
      nasalised. The 'c' in the ultimae of 'convince', 'difference' = [s]. A
      diacritical mark that has the purpose of nasalising a consonant should
      not be placed over a letter representing a consonant tat cannot be
      nasalised. Therefore, silme (nuquerna) (= [s]) should not bear the nasal
      tehta.

      Cuio mae, Danny.
    • machhezan
      ... I think the problem is that we have two ways of understanding Tolkien s usage. We can understand it either phonetically: r-letters depend on pronunciation,
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 21, 2004
        I wrote:
        > >The writing of final _r_ follows the pronunciation of
        > >Tolkien's English: Rómen, where the _r_ is pronounced,
        > >where it isn't, óre. That's a problem for those who
        > >pronounce every _r_: How should they write?

        Danny answered:
        >They should write according to Tolkien's usage. Remember
        >that this mode is largely orthographic rather than
        >phonemic. The orthography is set by Tolkien's example.
        >Whether or not the person transcribing a text into tengwar
        >pronounces final or preconsonantal 'r' or treats it as
        >silent is immaterial; he is not transcribing according to
        >his spoken dialect, but rather according to what Tolkien's
        >example dictates.

        I think the problem is that we have two ways of understanding
        Tolkien's usage. We can understand it either phonetically: r-letters
        depend on pronunciation, or 'typographically': r-letters depend on the
        following letters.

        What arguments do we have to favour one of the two? Your argument that
        the observed mode is "largely orthographic" doesn't help much. Of
        course, the spelling is orientated by the traditional orthography, but
        it's well known that some features follow pronunciation nonetheless,
        e.g. the choice between súle and anto for <th> or between quesse and
        silme nuquerna for <c>. The choice between rómen and óre for <r> can
        also be explained as a reflection of two different pronunciations.
        This allows a consistent explanation of the distribution of óre and
        rómen, while the 'typographical' explanation is more arbitrary (why
        should the r-letter depend on the following letter?).

        There's one difference between the letters <th, c> and <r>: All major
        dialects of English have two different pronunciations of <th, c>,
        while only some have two different pronunciations of <r>. Tolkien had
        two different pronunciations of <r>, but I daresay that most Tolkien
        researchers haven't (assuming that most come from the U.S.), so the
        neglect of that feature might be an unconscious impact of the
        researchers' own dialects of English.

        >Simple sibilants, such as that represented by IPA symbol
        >[s], cannot be nasalised. The 'c' in the ultimae of
        >'convince', 'difference' = [s]. A diacritical mark that has
        >the purpose of nasalising a consonant should not be placed
        >over a letter representing a consonant tat cannot be
        >nasalised.

        No obstruents can be nasalized unless you consider e.g. an [m] to be a
        nasalized [b]; what you're referring to is prenasalization.

        Prenasalisation of fricatives requires a more complex articulatory
        movement than prenasalization of stops. However, there are names like
        _Nsama, Nseleni, Nshawu, Nsuze_ that suggest prenasalized fricatives,
        so I wouldn't deny their existence.

        In this question it's me who goes for the 'typographical' explanation:
        I woulnd't use the bar over silme (nuquerna) because it isn't a
        primary letter.

        ---------------------------
        j. 'mach' wust
        http://machhezan.tripod.com
        ---------------------------
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