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Re: The w and hw tengwar

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  • Måns Björkman
    I suspect you are right in saying that we won t come to an agreement regarding the w/wh tengwar. (On that much we agree! ;-) Perhaps future publications will
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 12, 2005
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      I suspect you are right in saying that we won't come to an agreement
      regarding the w/wh tengwar. (On that much we agree! ;-) Perhaps future
      publications will prove one of us right, perhaps not. I think I will
      leave it at this for now.

      Yours,
      Måns



      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "j_mach_wust" <machhezan@g...> wrote:
      >
      > I fear we won't come to an agreement on the "reversed rómen/lambe
      > hypothesis". My hypothesis that they're reverted rómen/lambe seems not
      > to convince you, and your hypothesis that they're independent tengwar
      > won't convince me. I see underlying rómen and lambe, and I find
      > arguments for it; you see independent tengwar, and you find arguments
      > for it.
      >
      > Måns and me wrote alternatly:
      > > > Some more samples of DTS 17 being closer to the book-hand: The
      > > > tengwa hyarmen of the book-hand and of DTS 17 have both a straight
      > > > longer stroke, whereas it's curved in DTS 18; the tengwa esse
      > > > looks more composed in the book-hand and in DTS 17 than in DTS 18;
      > > > the down part of the tengwa rómen has a very marked lambe-like
      > > > curl in DTS 18 whereas it doesn't in the book-hand and in DTS 17.
      > >
      > > I agree that the letters in DTS 17 are much more constrained in
      > > their design than those in DTS 18.
      >
      > At a first glance I thought you were admitting that DTS 17 is closer
      > to the "radical form" and that therefore, you'd have to agree that the
      > unambiguous "rómen nuquerna" of DTS 17 absolutly must be considered.
      > At a second glance, I realize that you'll still not agree since you've
      > only conceded that it is "constrained" and not that it would be closer
      > to the "radical form"...
      >
      >
      > > But the deviations of DTS 18 are very small, and often not greater
      > > than in, say, DTS 10 (which I think is a prime example of the
      > > book-hand).
      >
      > I was only thinking of (that is, comparing to) the chart from app. E,
      > DTS 9.
      >
      > > None of the examples you give (<hyarmen> being more
      > > curved, <esse> being "less composed", <rómen> having a larger lower
      > > curl) remove any significant traits from the letters.
      > >
      > > I argue that if the /W/ tengwa of DTS 18 is meant to be a <rómen
      > > nuquerna>, then it has lost the significant trait of the inward bow,
      > > and thus been distorted more than any other letter in that sample.
      >
      > The significancy of the traits is a circular argument: They only
      > become significant because you believe that it's different tengwar.
      >
      >
      > > If the pointed style is
      > > indeed closer to the "radical form" than the decorated verse-hand,
      > > shouldn't we somewhere, in some sample, expect a "genuine" turned
      > > <lambe>?
      >
      > That's right, my hypothesis implies a still more "radical", but
      > unattested form where lambe and "lambe nuquerna" look identical. I'd
      > only expect a "genuine" "reversed lambe" on DTS 9.
      >
      >
      > > > > the pointed-style /W/
      > > > > tengwa may have gotten this shape for many reasons (desire to
      > > > > distinguish it more clearly from <hyarmen>, to rely less heavily
      > > > > on a thin /-slanting line, or
      > > >
      > > > These arguments exclusively apply to DTS 17; why don't they apply
      > > > in DTS 18 as well? I'd like to have arguments that don't depend on
      > > > DTS numbers or on:
      > > >
      > > > > merely artistic license).
      > >
      > > Well, suffice to say that the one, singular attested sample of a
      > > /W/-tengwa with the shape of a turned <rómen> remains a mystery (if
      > > not a very great one), and that all other samples form a continuum
      > > leading up to the "cursive <hwesta sindarinwa>" in DTS 37.
      >
      > In science, you only need a single counterexample for a theory to be
      > rebutted. (For sure, this is not science but philology, that is,
      > interpretation.) I claim that my interpretation produces no mysterious
      > left-overs.
      >
      >
      > > > Do the shapes required by a reversed rómen occur?
      > >
      > > Well, a curve possibly corresponding to the bow of a reversed
      > > <rómen> may perhaps be found in <silme> or <vilya>, or the "e"
      > > tengwa of this mode. The rest of a reversed <rómen> (the upward
      > > swash and the right leg) could of course be written as in the
      > > /W/-tengwa.
      >
      > I've found a sample of a straightened rightward bow, that is, of the
      > same alternation as between the "rómen nuquerna" tengwar of DTS 17 and
      > 18: Compare DTS 20 rómen with other rómen, or compare the first three
      > occurences of rómen in the second line of DTS 51 with the fourth one
      > (you'll probably insist that it's unique)!
      >
      > The Lowdham-texts show also another example of a sign with variable
      > heighth: the Anglosaxon &-sign: It's short in DTS 50 and tall in DTS 51.
      >
      > And that's not enough: There are also samples of that look like an
      > inverted _2_: In the second part of DTS 50, the deleted one on line 25
      > (you'll probably argue it isn't a lambe at all) and the very last one
      > of line 27 (you'll probably argue it's really composed like the others).
      >
      > The mere existence of single instances of these variations make it
      > more probable that the same kind of variation is found in the supposed
      > "lambe nuquerna" and "rómen nuquerna".
      >
      >
      > > I don't think your arguments for the /W/-tengwa in
      > > DTS 18 being a distorted <rómen nuquerna> are very strong either,
      > > and in my opoinion they are further weakened by the occurrence of a
      > > closely similar tengwa in other sources.
      >
      > You're speaking of the wh-tengwa in DTS 37, right? This tengwa isn't
      > any more similar to the one of DTS 18 than the one of DTS 17 is.
      > However, the similarities of DTS 17 and 18 are undoubtingly much
      > bigger than the ones between DTS 18 and 37, so I tend to associate the
      > wh-tengwa of DTS 18 with the one of DTS 17. Especially because DTS 37
      > uses the same w-tehta as other later modes, vala, I believe that the
      > wh-tehta of DTS 37 is a cursive form of hwesta sindarinwa (coexisting
      > with the straight form and probably predating it as an intermediate
      > form between from the "rómen nuquerna").
      >
      >
      > > I don't require that turned forms of letters are in perfect symmetry
      > > with their normal form. In fact, even if we did not know it for a
      > > fact, <esse nuquerna> has many characteristics that strongly imply
      > > that it is a turned <esse>: it has the same sound value as <esse>,
      > > it is used as an allograph of that tengwa in several sources, and in
      > > all sources it is consistently drawn as two bows turned opposite to
      > > those in <esse>, clearly hinting at a relationship. The supposed
      > > <rómen nuquerna> lacks all these characteristics.
      >
      > It's obvious that it lacks the first two characteristics of bearing
      > the same sound value and being an allograph. It's an important point
      > in my argumentation that the supposed "rómen nuquerna" and "lambe
      > nuquerna" have different sound values and are not allographs of rómen
      > and lambe. Looking at DTS 21 (the only sample I remember that has both
      > except for the charts), however, I think that the differences in shape
      > between esse and esse nuquerna are as big as the differences in shape
      > between the lambe/rómen etc.: Esse looks like two silme, esse nuquerna
      > like a _3_.
      >
      > And still another difference between an upright tengwa and a reversed
      > one: In all instances of malta in DTS 18, the closing horizontal
      > stroke begins in the telco, whereas in all instances of nwalme, it
      > exeeds it, most of the times very markedly. I believe it's common for
      > reversed forms to deviate from the upright forms. Have you ever seen
      > anybody drawing a schwa or a reversed a (the IPA signs corresponding
      > to [6] or to [Q])? I don't call these "distorsions", but "natural"
      > deviations.
      >
      >
      > > > Of course, the similarity is the most important argument for a
      > > > closer relationship of these letters. But it's not the only thing
      > > > that speaks for a closer relationship: Another hint is the fact
      > > > these letters were abandoned, that is, "lambe nuquerna" was
      > > > totally abandoned and "rómen nuquerna" was reanalyzed and changed
      > > > in shape. I don't know of other abandoned tengwar at all.
      > >
      > > Well, that might be just a matter of scarce sources. But speaking of
      > > abandoned tengwar, the initial "schwa" tengwa comes to mind (the one
      > > looking like a stem with a horisontal bar connecting it to the
      > > following tengwa). (In "a merry", DTS 16-18.)
      >
      > Right, this tengwa wasn't used in DTS 24 any more. There is also much
      > variance in the representation of schwa! But the schwa representation
      > was already complex in the "Bombadil modes", so I'm not surprised that
      > it changed, whereas according to your hypothesis, there were two
      > clearly distinct tengwar for /w/ and /W/.
      >
      >
      > > > What development is parallel to a "reversed rómen" shape
      > > > originating in a hwinde/hwesta sindarinwa shape? I don't know any
      > > > at all.
      > >
      > > I can't think of any either, but I don't find that very surprising
      > > given that we only have two document pages that constitute samples
      > > of the pointed style (except the "Namárie" headline in DTS 20).
      >
      > It doesn't need to be one of the "few" parallels in tengwar, I'd also
      > be interested in one of the "many parallels in Roman writing" you
      alluded.
      >
      >
      > > It is probably true that DTS 16-18 predate the Etymologies, and the
      > > <waiya>-tengwa might be "experimental", as you say. Still, it
      > > doesn't feel to me like a probable scenario that <hwesta sindarinwa>
      > > was developed from reanalysis of <rómen nuquerna>. Note that it is
      > > the "upright", normal <hwesta sindarinwa> of DTS 9 that is found in
      > > the Etymologies, not the cursive form of DTS 37.
      >
      > If I am to uphold that hwesta sindarinwa is a reanalysis of the
      > supposed "rómen nuquerna", then I have to assume that the
      > "intermediate" form seen in DTS 37 already existed when the
      > etymologies were written (as written above).
      >
      >
      > > (By the way, if the Etymologies postdates DTS 16-18, then <waiya>
      > > would be developed from the /w/-tengwa of the "Bombadil-mode",
      > > rather than the other way round. The later tengwa is thus "closed",
      > > made *less* "lambe-like" as you put it. This should be an
      > > interesting topic of research for a later time.)
      >
      > Indeed! (I hope that one day we will be able to look back and wonder
      > how we could speculate so much on so few published samples! ;-)
      >
      >
      > > I have the feeling Tolkien usually
      > > had his own language foremost in his mind when developing his
      > > scripts -- either that, or phonetic applicability in general.
      >
      > I share the feeling that most of it was based on English!
      >
      >
      > > Of the
      > > published Tengwar and Sarati texts written in the first half of the
      > > 20th century, the vast majority is in English.
      >
      > Published, but alas, not publicly available... when PE 13 was still
      > available, I wasn't that much into Tolkien's scripts yet, and now I
      > regret it so much!
      >
      >
      > > > Your hypothesis doesn't explain why he abandoned them if they were
      > > > distinct from rómen and lambe.
      > >
      > > As stated earlier, I don't think he abandoned the /W/-tengwa seen in
      > > DTS 16-18 -- in my opinion the /W/-tengwa of DTS 37 is the same one.
      > > As for the /w/-tengwa, I concede that it may very well have been a
      > > passing idea, but I don't think it must have had anything to do with
      > > <lambe>.
      >
      > Are you going to tell me you believe that the wh-tengwa of DTS 18 is
      > an allograph of hwesta sindarinwa? Is it the same tengwa? If it is,
      > what happened that it changed so much? If it is not, why was it
      > replaced? (See also above.)
      >
      >
      > > I may be confused, but I can't find any evidence in DTS 25 (The
      > > Doors of Durin (Inscription Drafts)) of the <vala>/<hwesta
      > > sindarinwa> solution. What am I missing?
      >
      > My bad, I thought of DTS 24, but I had the wrong DTS number in mind (I
      > still don't know them all by heart :-).
      >
      >
      > > > My hypothesis explains why the "lambe nuquerna" was abandoned.
      > >
      > > I am sure I have commented on this somewhere already. ;-)
      >
      > Yes you have. You've said: "As for the /w/-tengwa, I concede that it
      > may very well have been a passing idea". From this, I understand that
      > you can't explain it.
      >
      >
      > > > > > (2) It explains why there was much variations in the sign for
      > > > > > w and wh.
      > > > >
      > > > > The variation is not that big, in my opinion. It is usually just
      > > > > a matter of swoop. :-)
      > > >
      > > > It's in comparison to other sounds.
      > >
      > > Yes, you are right about that. The /w/ sign of DTS 16-18 does show
      > > an unusual amount of variation.
      >
      > I've missed the point again (gee, it's difficult to talk about these
      > things without using your fingers!): Looking at all the tengwar
      > samples, the sounds /w/ and /W/ have a bigger number of signs they can
      > be represented with (and not just in terms of allography) than the
      > other sounds. My hypothesis takes this into account.
      >
      >
      > > > My hypothesis
      > > > explains the similarities and the differences between the
      > > > "Bombadil mode" wh-tengwa and hwesta sindarinwa.
      > >
      > > While I agree that <hwesta sindarinwa> may have originated in a
      > > cursive form, I am not convinced that that cursive form in turn must
      > > have originated in a <rómen nuquerna>.
      >
      > The cursive form hwesta sindarinwa originated in would be the one of
      > DTS 37.
      >
      >
      > > To return to the origins of this thread: in a font that follows the
      > > 'pointed' style, the /W/-tengwa (for lack of a better name) should,
      > > in my opinion, appear as a turned <rómen>. But if the font follows
      > > rather the book-hand, the /W/-tengwa should be based on the forms in
      > > DTS 37, 23, and 18.
      >
      > I disagree! I'd suggest to have two different wh-tengwar for each
      > font: In the angular style, a "rómen nuquerna" and a hwesta
      > sindarinwa; in the upright book-hand style a "rómen nuquerna" (similar
      > to the one in DTS 18, but maybe a little bit more like the one in DTS
      > 17) and a hwesta sindarinwa; in a cursive book-hand style a "rómen
      > nuquerna" (as in DTS 18) and a hwesta sindarinwa (as in DTS 37).
      >
      > I believe it's important to keep these apart, just as you should keep
      > the w-tengwa of the "Bombadil-modes" apart from later w-tengwar.
      >
      > ---------------------------
      > j. 'mach' wust
      > http://machhezan.tripod.com
      > ---------------------------
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