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Re: [elfscript] Re: Christmas gift: Namarie analysis

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    For Christmas, I uploaded to my site an analysis of Tolkien s Tengwar transcript of Namárie, by Vicente Velasco: http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/namteng.pdf
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 4, 2005
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      For Christmas, I uploaded to my site an analysis of Tolkien's Tengwar
      transcript of Namárie, by Vicente Velasco:

      http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/namteng.pdf

      j. 'mach' wust comments:

      > Thanks for uploading this commentary. Unfortunately, I must tell you that
      Vicente S. Velasco's commentary on DTS 19/20 is far from being
      recommendable. [Velasco] implies that the Quenya spelling described in app.
      E is identical to the spelling of DTS 19/20. Therefore, it's not an
      analysis but rather a thought-experiment about what the transcription of
      Galadriel's lament would look like if it were spelt strictly according to
      app. E (though he wasn't aware of this since he deduced certain claims
      about Quenya diachrony). He ignores that there are many different attested
      ways of spelling Quenya, and that therefore by no means we can imply that
      DTS 19/20 should be spelt according to app. E.

      Yes and no. It may be noted that the Quenya spelling described in Appendix
      E is there called the normal spelling of the language, providing some basis
      for regarding it as a "standard" -- though it is clear that Tolkien did not
      always play by his own rules.

      > Jim Allan is cited for an opinion he never expressed. The reference to
      him is made after the following sentence (on page 6): "Thus it [the word
      _hísie_] should be rendered as [_hísie_ in tengwar spelt with thúle]." In
      the reference to Jim Allan, it says: "Jim Allan expressed this same
      opinion, shared by a lot of other scholars." (...) And then, Jim Allan does
      not say how hísie should be written, but that Tolkien's spelling in DTS
      19/20 is different from what he would have expected based on app. E: "Since
      _hísië_ corresponds to S _hith-_ one would expect it to be written [_hísie_
      in tengwar spelt with thúle].

      I don't think Mr. Allan is terribly misrepresented by Vicente, unless one
      is prepared to make a big issue of Vicente's somewhat normative "should"
      vs. Allan's more descriptive 'neutral observation' of the discrepancy. The
      rule that _s_ from earlier _th_ is to be represented by the letter Súle
      rather than Silme is set out in Appendix E, a part of our core cannon, and
      nothing is there said about exceptions or alternative spellings. In PM:332,
      Tolkien again states that "the older [th] was always kept distinct in
      writing from original _s_". Also, we are told that the loremasters "were
      able to insist later that the distinction between older [th] and _s_ should
      at least always be preserved in writing" (PM:356). So a "loremaster" asked
      to comment on Tolkien's transcription of the word _hísie_ would
      unquestionably dismiss this as a misspelling. On the authority of Tolkien's
      own writings, we have little choice but to conclude that in this case he
      forgot (or for some reason opted to ignore) his own rules. He "should"
      indeed have used _súle_ here, as Vicente and others have noted.
      .
      > the reconstructions of historical pronunciations that were made based on
      the spellings of the words "ve" and "enquantuva" are pointless.

      Well. In published sources at least, Tolkien doesn't explicitly say that V
      representing earlier W was still written as Vilya rather than Vala (the way
      he insists that the historical spelling persisted in the case of S from
      earlier TH). Also, in some positions W may have become V so early that it
      had already happened by the time the Tengwar spelling was established. But
      it may be noted that Vicente's suggested historical reconstruction based on
      the spelling of _ve_ (Vicente assuming that _vala_ represents V from
      earlier B) is seemingly confirmed by the likely Sindarin cognate _be_. It
      appears with a suffixed article in the King's Letter: _ben_ "according to
      the".

      I don't necessarily agree with every minute detail in Vicente's analysis,
      nor have I formally "recommended" it in the way Laurifindil suddenly
      presupposes, though obviously I wouldn't have accepted it as a contribution
      to Ardalambion if I thought it was seriously flawed. I'm sure Vicente would
      accept and appreciate constructive criticism, but it should probably be
      presented in a somewhat more diplomatic format than dismissing his entire
      effort ("far from being recommendable"? I cannot agree).

      - HKF
    • j_mach_wust
      On: http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/namteng.pdf ... In DTS 58 (The Howlett Rivendell Inscriptions), Tolkien wrote mentioned the general use (applicable to both
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 4, 2005
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        On: http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/namteng.pdf

        I wrote:
        > > Thanks for uploading this commentary. Unfortunately, I must
        > > tell you that Vicente S. Velasco's commentary on DTS 19/20 is
        > > far from being recommendable. [Velasco] implies that the
        > > Quenya spelling described in app. E is identical to the
        > > spelling of DTS 19/20. Therefore, it's not an analysis but
        > > rather a thought-experiment about what the transcription of
        > > Galadriel's lament would look like if it were spelt strictly
        > > according to app. E (though he wasn't aware of this since he
        > > deduced certain claims about Quenya diachrony). He ignores
        > > that there are many different attested ways of spelling
        > > Quenya, and that therefore by no means we can imply that DTS
        > > 19/20 should be spelt according to app. E.

        Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:
        > Yes and no. It may be noted that the Quenya spelling described
        > in Appendix E is there called the normal spelling of the
        > language, providing some basis for regarding it as a "standard"
        > -- though it is clear that Tolkien did not always play by his
        > own rules.

        In DTS 58 (The Howlett Rivendell Inscriptions), Tolkien wrote
        mentioned "the general use (applicable to both S. and Q) of the period
        of the tale - not the specialized Q 'classical' use seen in the letter
        names".

        This means that at the end of the Third Age, people were normally
        spelling Quenya according to the the general use (as attested in DTS
        38, 42, 46 and 59).

        The Lord of the Rings is supposedly a translation from a book written
        at the period of the tale (of a little later). Based on the fact that
        the Quenya transcriptions of the Lord of the Ring write always _s_ and
        never _th_, we may assume that this was done as well in the general
        use orthography of Quenya. So this supports the above evidence.

        Therefore, someone who'd learn Quenya at the period of the tale would
        only know it in a written form that doesn't distinguish _s_ from _th_.
        So if he'd write something in the unusual classical mode, he'd be very
        prone to write silme instead of thúle.

        So I think that DTS 19/20 is a very plausible sample of what a man of
        Gondor could have written.

        The s-spellings in DTS 19/20 differ systematically from the claims on
        the s-spelling in app. E. Vicente S. Velasco has not tried to explain
        this (he's not even pointed it out), but just stated that it's
        "clearly an error or at least a lapse".


        > > the reconstructions of historical pronunciations that were
        > > made based on the spellings of the words "ve" and "enquantuva"
        > > are pointless.
        >
        > Well. In published sources at least, Tolkien doesn't explicitly
        > say that V representing earlier W was still written as Vilya
        > rather than Vala (the way he insists that the historical
        > spelling persisted in the case of S from earlier TH). Also, in
        > some positions W may have become V so early that it had already
        > happened by the time the Tengwar spelling was established.

        Vicente has shown very carefully that DTS 19/20 is not written
        according to Quenya diachrony. Nonetheless, in order to make
        assertions about Quenya diachrony, he pretends it were.


        And there's something I didn't notice in the first post: The first
        note sounds as if in DTS 48, the letters for _n_ and _r_ were
        confused. This isn't true. The only feature the mode of DTS 48 shares
        with the mode of Beleriand is the vowels, whereas its consonants are
        as in the general use. So maybe Vicente S. Velasco neglected the
        systematical differences between DTS 19/20 and app. E because he
        wasn't aware of the great variation in Tolkien's tengwar use.

        ---------------------------
        j. 'mach' wust
        http://machhezan.tripod.com
        ---------------------------
      • Gildor Inglorion
        life would be a bit easier if instead of DTS xxx we were using some abbreviations, like King s Letter and Namarie I think it would be easier both to write
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 4, 2005
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          life would be a bit easier if instead of DTS xxx we
          were using some abbreviations, like 'King's Letter'
          and 'Namarie'

          I think it would be easier both to write and read :)

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