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Re: spelling of diphthongs (again)

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  • hisilome
    ... Namaarie ... same ... that ... you ... of ... of ... yanta ... The /j/ ...
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 4, 2005
      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@y...>
      wrote:
      > Dave Hisilome wrote:
      > > Last year, J. 'Mach' Wust wrote (elfscript # 4273), in reply to
      > > Florian Dombach's speculation that in Quenya, diphthongs might
      > > originally have all been spelt without reversing the "normal"
      > > reading direction (for which _nainie_ and _caita_ from the
      Namaarie
      > > inscription were quoted), but that this might (story-internally)
      > > have changed in the later ages under the influence of "mannish"
      > > orthography:
      > >
      > > >The modes where the letters bear the preceding tehtar use the
      same
      > > >letters for the second elements of diphthongs as for the initial
      > > >approximants /j/ and /w/. This could hardly initiate a system
      that
      > > >splits them up.
      > >
      > > With the exception of Sindarin as attested in KL, version 3, as
      you
      > > also note in your essay "What is General Use?".
      > >
      > > In fact, for the Sindarin mode where "tengwar bear the preceding
      > > tehtar" (often called "Standard" or "Mode of Gondor"), we seem to
      > > have no examples for /w/ at all, be it initial or as second part
      of
      > > a diphthong.
      > >
      > > As for /j/, as you also point out, yanta is used for the initial
      > > sound, but anna for the second part of diphthongs (in marked
      > > contrast to English, where anna is used in both positions, just as
      > > any /w/ is always represented by vala)--so here we do in fact see
      > > the same kind of split for initial and diphthong representation as
      > > in modes in which tengwar bear the following tehtar (such as the
      > > "classical" Quenya mode).
      >
      > Well, no, in Sindarin, yanta is used initially and for second parts
      of
      > diphthongs. What messes things up is the transcription into Latin
      > letters that doesn't represent all the yanta letters in the same
      way:
      > Initial yanta is represented by i, but second-part-of-diphthong
      yanta
      > is represented by e. Don't tell me these are different sounds.
      The /j/
      > in the word yes isn't identical to the /j/ in the word boy either.

      <<<<<No, of course they are different.>>>>>
      <<<<<Yes, but _ai_ and _ui_ are spelled with anna. And I don't know
      if the second part of _ae_ and _ai_ are indeed identical to initial
      yanta as in _iorhael_ etc. Aren't the second sounds, the "glides", in
      all the four above diphthongs all rather similar to the sound
      represented by "y" in "boy", since you bring up that example? Tolkien
      himself somewhere stated, I think, that the difference between _ae_
      and _ai_ in Sindarin was rather small. So why use anna in _ai_ and
      _ui_ and not yanta as well? I don't think the second parts of _ai,
      ui_ correspond anymore to the "j" in "yes" (and thus the initial
      sound of _iorhael_) than the second parts of _ae, oe_, so Sindarin
      spelling is inconsistent in itself, not only in its Romanization.
      So: if "boY" is different from "Yes" (which it is), and _Iorhael_ is
      identical to "Yes" (which it is), then I think _oE, aE_ cannot be the
      same as "Iorhael".

      Your write yourself that
      ">For Sindarin, I assume that it's the same but for syllable-initial
      y-
      ,which is represented by yanta, not by anna."

      From this, one would gather that one might expect to see anna for
      initial y-, but doesn't (which was why I said your statement that"The
      modes where the letters bear the preceding tehtar use the same
      >letters for the second elements of diphthongs as for the initial
      >approximants /j/ and /w/" is too broad, and you admit that the
      phrasing might be confusting :)). And one might expect that since
      anna would correspond to the sound in _ui, ai_ (second part of
      diphthongs)--at least that's how I read it, maybe I'm wrong. I agree
      then, that y- and _uI, aI_ are different (and the latter more
      like "boY", but would you really pronounce, say, the _i_ in _Iorhael_
      exactly like the _e_ in _Iorhael_? And how does the _e_ in _Iorhael_
      differ from the _i_ in, say, _drannail_? There should be a slight
      difference, agreed, or they wouldn't be spelled and identified as
      different diphthongs by the Professor, but I'd say neither of them
      corresponds exactly to the "y" in "yes."

      Maybe Sindarin doesn't fit into any nice patterns (as English modes
      do on this particular point). ;)>>>>>

      Hisilome
    • hisilome
      Before I forget it: J. Mach Wust, how _would_ you explain the unusual spellings of _nainie_ and _caita_ in Namaarie? Just boring spelling errors? Just
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 4, 2005
        Before I forget it: J. 'Mach' Wust, how _would_ you explain the unusual
        spellings of _nainie_ and _caita_ in Namaarie? Just "boring" spelling
        errors? Just curious if you have another theory...;-)

        Hisilome
      • j_mach_wust
        ... However small these differences are or not, they are significative. Sindarin /ae/ and /ai/ are different phonemes, since a minimal pair of words may differ
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 4, 2005
          Dave Hisilome wrote:
          > --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@y...>
          ...
          > > What messes things up is the transcription into Latin
          > > letters that doesn't represent all the yanta letters in the same
          > > way: Initial yanta is represented by i, but
          > > second-part-of-diphthong yanta is represented by e. Don't tell me
          > > these are different sounds. The /j/ in the word yes isn't
          > > identical to the /j/ in the word boy either.
          >
          > <<<<<No, of course they are different.>>>>>
          > <<<<<Yes, but _ai_ and _ui_ are spelled with anna. And I don't know
          > if the second part of _ae_ and _ai_ are indeed identical to initial
          > yanta as in _iorhael_ etc. Aren't the second sounds, the "glides",
          > in all the four above diphthongs all rather similar to the sound
          > represented by "y" in "boy", since you bring up that example?
          > Tolkien himself somewhere stated, I think, that the difference
          > between _ae_ and _ai_ in Sindarin was rather small. So why use anna
          > in _ai_ and _ui_ and not yanta as well?

          However small these differences are or not, they are significative.
          Sindarin /ae/ and /ai/ are different phonemes, since a minimal pair of
          words may differ only in this sound (I don't know whether we know
          acual minimal pairs).

          > I don't think the second
          > parts of _ai, ui_ correspond anymore to the "j" in "yes" (and thus
          > the initial sound of _iorhael_) than the second parts of _ae, oe_,
          > so Sindarin spelling is inconsistent in itself, not only in its
          > Romanization.
          > So: if "boY" is different from "Yes" (which it is), and _Iorhael_ is
          > identical to "Yes" (which it is), then I think _oE, aE_ cannot be
          > the same as "Iorhael".

          However, they actually are the same in DTS 49.

          In "top-bottom" modes, any letter that is used for initial glides is
          also used as a second element of diphthong.

          ---------------------------
          j. 'mach' wust
          http://machhezan.tripod.com
          ---------------------------
        • hisilome
          ...
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 4, 2005
            j 'mach' wust wrote:
            > > So: if "boY" is different from "Yes" (which it is), and _Iorhael_
            >>is
            > > identical to "Yes" (which it is), then I think _oE, aE_ cannot be
            > > the same as "Iorhael".
            > >
            > However, they actually are the same in DTS 49.

            <<<<<_Spelled_ the same way, yes...but _maybe_ in Sindarin (as in all
            living languages), not _everything_ that's spelled identically is
            necessarily pronounced exactly the same way? I can only ask you
            again: would you really pronounce the _i_ in _Iorhael_ exactly like
            the _e_ in _Iorhael_? Personally, I find that hard to do. I also seem
            to recall (sorry that I can't think of the exact source) that Tolkien
            himself wrote something to the effect that diphthongs in -e are
            pronounced similar to those in -i, only that instead of pronouncing a
            quick "i" after the initial sound (as in "ai"), one should try to
            pronounce a quick "e"--doesn't sound like the /j/ of "yes" (a
            palatal) to me. :)>>>>>

            >In "top-bottom" modes, any letter that is used for initial glides is
            >also used as a second element of diphthong.

            <<<<<Hm. That sounds slightly but significantly different from your
            previous wording, which left me with the impression that any letter
            that is used for initial glides in TB modes is used for the _exact
            same_ (or corresponding) sound as a second element of a diphthong.
            The way you put it now, I have no problem with the statement.>>>>>

            Greetings,

            Hisilome
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