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Re: [elfscript] Re: Happy New Year Elf Script v3

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  • Dave
    ... From: j_mach_wust To: Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 1:11 AM Subject: [elfscript] Re: Happy New Year
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 2, 2006
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@...>
      To: <elfscript@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 1:11 AM
      Subject: [elfscript] Re: Happy New Year Elf Script v3


      > David J. Finnamore wrote:
      >
      >> Apparently, Kyrmse doesn't share
      >> the opinion that we have insufficient knowledge to devise a usable
      >> phonemic tehtar mode for English, since he bothered to propose one.
      >
      > Dave "Hisilome" replied:
      >
      >> <<<Where? I'm just curious. All I could find where phonemic and
      >> orthographic _full_ modes...>>>
      >
      > I didn't know his tehtar proposal either. It's a pdf you can access at
      > Ronald's site:
      >
      > http://www.geocities.com/otsoandor/
      >
      > I like his analysis of English "full writing" better than that proposal.


      <<< I agree (and thanks for the link!). There's simply too little material
      to go on, especially for the usually more controversial vowels and
      diphthongs (and even for the -i/-y sound that was also at issue [where we do
      have a sample to guide us] Ronald Kyrmse chose a different option from the
      attested one).
      All in all, how many authentic (Tolkien) samples do we have for English
      orthographic tehta writing? There are the doodles from AI (illustration
      184/DTS 39), but apart from that?

      DTS 41 is maybe (?) also phonemic, but most of it is Latin. I remember
      reading some interesting speculation about the _buubls_ at the bottom
      (middle right) of the envelope, forget where though. If it really means
      "doodles", well, it would probably qualify as phonemic (u-tehta [not
      o-tehta] on long carrier to express the sound of English double "u", and
      assuming that "d" is misspelt as "b").
      As for Latin, it's more like Quenya and Sindarin in that the difference
      between phonemic and orthographic spelling wouldn't be so big to begin with,
      due to the much clearer and more consistent relationship between sound and
      spelling. Also, Latin vowels have (had...) a much more uniform pronuncation
      as far as we know, again more like Quenya. For the elven tongues at least,
      the distinction between phonemic/phonetic and orthographic spelling isn't at
      all meaningful, and for me that's part of the appeal of, say, the "classical
      Quenya mode". In Sindarin, we have the major distinction between tehta and
      full writing modes, but again, orthographic and phonemic spelling are
      basically one and the same.

      Personally, I also prefer to use tehta modes for orthographic English
      tengwar texts, and full modes for phonemic English tengwar texts. Maybe
      that's because this was also the way Tolkien seems to have preferred it,
      judging by the specimens we have. So if one wants to stick as closely to the
      "authentic" texts as possible, this is probably the way to go.

      Having said all that, I've followd the "development" of D. Finnamore's New
      Year message with interest, including your proposal for a phonemic tehta
      transcription. About the latter, I have only two little questions: what
      exactly are the two underdots for palatalization based on? Did I understand
      you correctly in message #5090 that this is just your extrapolation (from
      Quenya it would seem?), or did you (as so often) notice something I
      overlooked? (I wasn't sure when saying that "this is only my personal
      opinion" whether you were referring to the use of the underdots being
      optional, depending on the English "dialect", or to the use of underdots for
      palatalization _at all_ in English modes.)

      The other thing: the usage of the grave accent on silme nuquerna to spell
      the English word "us", is that based on DTS 41 mentioned above? More
      precisely, on the spelling of _kladiowl&s_?
      "&" = the sound that follows "l"--in your article on Tolkien's Phonetic
      English modes, you say that "this tehta represents the schwa-sound". (If we
      accept this, I guess it's a good representation of the "u" in "us", in
      particular when the word is pronounced lightly, i.e. doesn't receive
      particular stress, as would be the case in the text we're dealing with.)
      I gather you assume that Tolkien wrote the Latin words in this specimen as
      if pronouncing them in modern English. For "kladiowl&s" I might follow
      along. I'm less sure about "fatarum", for example. If that also were to
      represent modern English pronunciation, wouldn't we then expect the first
      "a" and the "u" to also be schwas? Same for the "e" in "scandens". And same
      doubts also apply to the "ab icursu..." (misspelt for "incursu"?) phrase.
      Well, just curious what your opinion is. Maybe Tolkien wasn't entirely
      consistent here. After all, it's just--doodles! :) >>>

      Greetings,

      Hisilome
    • j_mach_wust
      Dave Hisilome wrote: ... Måns list is quite useful: http://at.mansbjorkman.net/teng_general_english.htm#eng_phon As you ve said, I d however also include
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 2, 2006
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        Dave "Hisilome" wrote:
        ...
        > All in all, how many authentic (Tolkien) samples do we have for
        > English orthographic tehta writing? There are the doodles from AI
        > (illustration 184/DTS 39), but apart from that?

        Måns' list is quite useful:

        http://at.mansbjorkman.net/teng_general_english.htm#eng_phon

        As you've said, I'd however also include DTS 41 as far as it clearly
        is written in English pronunciation, that is to say, at least the word
        "cladiolus" and maybe "boobles". By the way, it was David Salo who
        proposed the reading "doodles":

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/26566

        ...
        > For the elven tongues at least, the distinction
        > between phonemic/phonetic and orthographic spelling isn't at all
        > meaningful, and for me that's part of the appeal of, say, the
        > "classical Quenya mode".

        I guess you're only saying that because by comparison to English,
        there is very few distinction between phonemic and orthographic
        spelling in languages like Quenya, Sindarin or, for instance, Spanish.
        Nonetheless, we can clearly distinguish phonemic and orthographic
        transcriptions of such languages. In Quenya, we have for instance on
        one hand the theoretical claim that the s-sound that originally was þ
        (TH) is still written with súle (orthographic approach), but on the
        other hand, that s-sound is written with silme in the known tengwar
        texts (phonemic approach).

        ...
        > Personally, I also prefer to use tehta modes for orthographic
        > English tengwar texts, and full modes for phonemic English tengwar
        > texts. Maybe that's because this was also the way Tolkien seems to
        > have preferred it, judging by the specimens we have.

        I'm not so sure about that. There is little data. I thought that also
        in the orthographic modes, there are more samples of "full writing"
        than of tehtar modes.

        ...
        > what exactly are the two underdots for
        > palatalization based on? Did I understand you correctly in message
        > #5090 that this is just your extrapolation (from Quenya it would
        > seem?), or did you (as so often) notice something I overlooked? (I
        > wasn't sure when saying that "this is only my personal opinion"
        > whether you were referring to the use of the underdots being
        > optional, depending on the English "dialect", or to the use of
        > underdots for palatalization _at all_ in English modes.)

        It was my opinion about the indication of the palatalization in words
        such as "due", "new", "mute", "suit". Or, even more generally
        speaking, I was talking about which differences between the varieties
        of English I consider should be represented in a phonemic
        transcription and which shouldn't, similar to what I've tried to
        explain in the section "Some Thoughts on How to Spell Words" in the
        following pdf:

        http://machhezan.tripod.com/phonetic_tengwar_modes/treebeard_6dec2003.pdf

        > The other thing: the usage of the grave accent on silme nuquerna
        > to spell the English word "us", is that based on DTS 41 mentioned
        > above? More precisely, on the spelling of _kladiowl&s_?
        > "&" = the sound that follows "l"--in your article on Tolkien's
        > Phonetic English modes, you say that "this tehta represents the
        > schwa-sound". (If we accept this, I guess it's a good
        > representation of the "u" in "us", in particular when the word is
        > pronounced lightly, i.e. doesn't receive particular stress, as
        > would be the case in the text we're dealing with.)
        ...

        Exactly. Unfortunately, we don't have any sample of the (stressed)
        vowel of "nut" in a phonemic tehtar mode. We know that in phonemic
        "full writing", this sound wasn't represented in the same way as the
        (unstressed) schwa vowel (for instance in the last and the first
        syllable of "AmericA" or in "gladiolUs").

        Having another look at the sarati samples, I've found that the sample
        R22 is comparable to the phonemic tehtar modes because it also
        distinguishs two different uses of the dot according to its position
        (though it's not above-below but rather left-right). It is a quite a
        long text (I've counted 318 letters excluding the tehtar), and it has
        many occurences of the "nut" vowel, of initial schwa, of medial schwa,
        of syllabic N M L R analyzed as combinations with preceding schwa, and
        one occurence of the indefinite article "a", all represented by a
        single dot on the opposite side of the following letter. So based on
        R22, we could use a dot below the following tengwa.

        Unfortunately, R22 has no instance of a final schwa (except for the
        many occurences of the word "the" wich is however written as if it
        were "eth", so I don't think this can be a model for a transcription
        of other words with final schwa such as "Edna", "data", "etcetera"). A
        short carrier with a dot below might be used. However, I'm not so sure
        whether there should be any final short carriers at all in such a mode
        or whether tehtar modes allow carrier to be used in any other way than
        with a tehta above; it is certainly not attested.

        Another problem of using the dot below the following tengwa in
        accordance to R22 is that such a use can collide with two dots below
        being used for a following j. Consider for instance the phrase "a cute
        one" or the word "accuse". Here, the k-letter quesse would have both
        the two dots for the following j below and the single dot for the
        preceding schwa, that is, it would have three dots below. We might
        just not care and use three dots below anyway, or we might place the
        two dots for the following j above the tengwa since its position seems
        to be variable.

        I have now updated my phonemic transcription of David's greetings so
        they use the dot below:

        http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/elfscript/files/j_mach_wust/haepi_njuu_jiir.png


        Anyway, I hope that in the next numbers of Parma Eldalamberon to be
        published we will finally find a phonemic tehtar mode with a sample of
        the "nut" vowel. I think this is not so improbable because I assume
        that Arden R. Smith has now published all of Tolkien's alphabets
        previous to the tengwar, so now it's time for the early tengwar documents.

        ---------------------------
        j. 'mach' wust
        http://machhezan.tripod.com
        ---------------------------
      • Dave
        ... From: j_mach_wust To: Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 10:27 PM Subject: [elfscript] Re: Happy New Year
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 2, 2006
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@...>
          To: <elfscript@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, January 02, 2006 10:27 PM
          Subject: [elfscript] Re: Happy New Year Elf Script v3

          j_mach_wust wrote:

          > All in all, how many authentic (Tolkien) samples do we have for
          > English orthographic tehta writing?

          Måns' list is quite useful:

          http://at.mansbjorkman.net/teng_general_english.htm#eng_phon

          <<< Right, I should have known to look there...still, even taking all those
          samples into account, it's not much to base a "mode" on. Thanks also for
          pointing me to the little discussion about "buubls"/"doodles". >>>


          ...I guess you're only saying that because by comparison to English,
          there is very few distinction between phonemic and orthographic
          spelling in languages like Quenya, Sindarin or, for instance, Spanish.
          Nonetheless, we can clearly distinguish phonemic and orthographic
          transcriptions of such languages. In Quenya, we have for instance on
          one hand the theoretical claim that the s-sound that originally was þ
          (TH) is still written with súle (orthographic approach), but on the
          other hand, that s-sound is written with silme in the known tengwar
          texts (phonemic approach).

          <<< Correct, but as you say, those instances are few and far between--part
          of the reason maybe being that Elvish, and Quenya in particular, was simply
          comparatively more resistant to change than mortal tongues (in addition to
          the TH/S issue, there's the X[maHta]/H complex [harma/aha/hyarmen], the ng/n
          issue [noldo/nuumen], and one could argue that the oore/roomen distinction
          is a phonemic element).
          On the other hand, Spanish or German are mortal tongues just as English, but
          it seems that they have a) proved a bit less susceptible to change and, more
          importantly, b) that probably more efforts at "updating" the orthography
          where made whenever it threatened to drift too far from actual
          pronunciation--though I'm by no means an expert on these issues. >>>

          ...
          > Personally, I also prefer to use tehta modes for orthographic
          > English tengwar texts, and full modes for phonemic English tengwar
          > texts. Maybe that's because this was also the way Tolkien seems to
          > have preferred it, judging by the specimens we have.

          I'm not so sure about that. There is little data. I thought that also
          in the orthographic modes, there are more samples of "full writing"
          than of tehtar modes.

          <<< Hm hoom. Let's see. Orthographic tehta modes (English): DTS 5 (well
          there's the spelling of "war", but by and large...), DTS 10 (Brogan
          greetings, second part), DTS 62. Orthographic full modes (English): DTS 36,
          37, 39, 47, 56, 58.
          Sure, there are more specimens for the latter, but if you look at the length
          of the specimens in question, you find that DTS 36 and 37 each contain nine
          words (and are largely indentical on top of that), 39 has 11 words (if you
          count _yomo knnatta_--I've seen this interpreted as _knyatt_ (Mellonath
          Daeron Index) or "knyatta", but doesn't the wavy line/bar on top indicate a
          preceding nasal in the general mode?? what's that all about...), DTS 47 has
          four words (five if you count the tengwar shorthand for "of the" as two
          words), DTS 56 (English part) consists of "JRR Tolkien", and 58 gives two
          different spellings each for "Imladrist" and "Rivendell". Total count, even
          if we're very generous: about fourty.
          As for the orthographic mode samples, togehter we have almost 70 words (and
          I suspect if we'd be counting tengwa letters, there'd also be more), not to
          mention the fact that all these samples, contain continuous text without
          repetitions.
          OK, it's not really as convincing as I thought :), but yet there seems to be
          a slant towards the orthographic tehta modes. As someone, I think it was you
          (I hope I'm not wrong) speculated here recently, this may have been a
          concession Tolkien made to the "general public" (DTS 5: title page of LotR;
          DTS 10: written for a young "fan"; DTS 62: a dedication--so yes, one could
          say that), and (in private) he really preferred full modes, even for
          orthographic writing. What's certain is that he seems to have preferred
          phonemic writing for English texts, and the by far the largest amount of
          such text was in full writing. >>>

          ...
          > what exactly are the two underdots for
          > palatalization based on?...

          It was my opinion about the indication of the palatalization in words
          such as "due", "new", "mute", "suit". Or, even more generally
          speaking, I was talking about which differences between the varieties
          of English I consider should be represented in a phonemic
          transcription and which shouldn't, similar to what I've tried to
          explain in the section "Some Thoughts on How to Spell Words" in the
          following pdf:

          http://machhezan.tripod.com/phonetic_tengwar_modes/treebeard_6dec2003.pdf

          <<< I'm quite familiar with that file. :) That's also where you write about
          that _kladiowl&s_ schwa, etc.
          What I was asking in a rather long-winded manner was simply: did Tolkien
          himself ever use the two underdots to indicate palatalization in any English
          tengwar text? I couldn't find any instance, but I thought maybe you had. I
          gather, though, that it's really "just" extrapolated from Quenya (?).
          BTW, I'd say "mute" is always palatalized, even in "US usage", while I agree
          that the others would often/usuallly not be. >>>


          > The other thing: the usage of the grave accent on silme nuquerna
          > to spell the English word "us", is that based on DTS 41 mentioned
          > above? More precisely, on the spelling of _kladiowl&s_?
          ...

          Exactly. Unfortunately, we don't have any sample of the (stressed)
          vowel of "nut" in a phonemic tehtar mode. We know that in phonemic
          "full writing", this sound wasn't represented in the same way as the
          (unstressed) schwa vowel (for instance in the last and the first
          syllable of "AmericA" or in "gladiolUs").

          <<< Ah, this is the really interesting part. The Walrus and the Carpenter...
          PE 13 has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while now, but I've failed to
          give it more than a cursory glance, though R22, with its continuous texts,
          did catch my attention. I'll have to give it a more careful reading. >>>

          ...
          So based on R22, we could use a dot below the following tengwa.

          <<< Quite daring extrapolation, really, but why not? So far, we don't have
          much else to go on for this particular point, it seems. >>>

          ...

          Another problem of using the dot below the following tengwa in
          accordance to R22 is that such a use can collide with two dots below
          being used for a following j.

          <<< Again, isn't this usage only attested in the "classical" Quenya mode?
          >>>

          Consider for instance the phrase "a cute
          one" or the word "accuse". Here, the k-letter quesse would have both
          the two dots for the following j below and the single dot for the
          preceding schwa, that is, it would have three dots below. We might
          just not care and use three dots below anyway, or we might place the
          two dots for the following j above the tengwa since its position seems
          to be variable.

          <<< Based on what concrete tengwar text samples? Yeah, too lazy/tired to go
          through all of them right now... >>>

          Greetings,

          Hisilome
        • j_mach_wust
          ... ... have you noticed that these are really... phonemic tehtar mode samples? (though in the case of DTS 36 and 37, it may be discussable) ... Yes, in DTS 23
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 2, 2006
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            Dave "Hisilome" wrote:
            > <<< Hm hoom. Let's see. Orthographic tehta modes (English): DTS 5
            > (well there's the spelling of "war", but by and large...), DTS 10
            > (Brogan greetings, second part), DTS 62. Orthographic full modes
            > (English): DTS 36, 37, 39, 47, 56, 58.

            ... have you noticed that these are really... phonemic tehtar mode
            samples? (though in the case of DTS 36 and 37, it may be discussable)

            > did Tolkien
            > himself ever use the two underdots to indicate palatalization in any
            > English tengwar text? I couldn't find any instance, but I thought
            > maybe you had. I gather, though, that it's really "just"
            > extrapolated from Quenya (?).

            Yes, in DTS 23 (full writing) in the word "news". In DTS 39, we see
            the word "new" transcribed not with the two dots tehta above/below
            númen, but with noldo. However, this might work for /nj/, but not for
            /mj/ as in "mute". In that word, we'd still need a j-tehta.

            The use is basically based on the Quenya modes, that's true. However,
            the use of a tehta is in accordance with the representation of the
            combinations of consonant + /w/ with a tehta (in Sindarin and
            English), and more generally, I think the use of consonant + /w/ or
            /j/ is just a special case of the use of (any letter) + /w/ or /j/ as
            seen in the "full writing" diphthongs.

            That the position of the j-tehta is not fixed is based entirely on the
            Quenya samples: Within the text, that is to say, in combination with a
            letter that bears a vowel tehta above (like palatalized Quenya letters
            necessarily do), the j-tehta is placed below, but in combination with
            an isolated letter, the preferred position of the j-tehta is above
            (DTS 65, but I had the impression that this was already known from the
            description of the tyelpetéma; ah, here's some about that:
            <http://at.mansbjorkman.net/teng_names.htm#vaia>).

            ---------------------------
            j. 'mach' wust
            http://machhezan.tripod.com
            ---------------------------
          • Dave
            ... From: j_mach_wust To: Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:43 AM Subject: [elfscript] Re: Happy New Year
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 2, 2006
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "j_mach_wust" <j_mach_wust@...>
              To: <elfscript@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2006 2:43 AM
              Subject: [elfscript] Re: Happy New Year Elf Script v3

              Dave "Hisilome" wrote:
              > <<< Hm hoom. Let's see. Orthographic tehta modes (English): DTS 5
              > (well there's the spelling of "war", but by and large...), DTS 10
              > (Brogan greetings, second part), DTS 62. Orthographic full modes
              > (English): DTS 36, 37, 39, 47, 56, 58.

              ... have you noticed that these are really... phonemic tehtar mode
              samples? (though in the case of DTS 36 and 37, it may be discussable)

              <<<Hmm. Yep. Guess it was too late. :) Like you say, though, DTS 36/37 seem
              to be "sitting on the fence". Well, but that makes the case even more
              compelling in favour of orthographic _tehta_ as opposed to orthographic
              _full_ modes. I still fail to see how you can say then that "I thought that
              also in the [English]orthographic modes, there are more samples of 'full
              writing' than of tehtar modes"? Which samples are you referring to?

              And on a rather unrelated note, what is your reading of the _knnatta_ in DTS
              41? Why would one see it transcribed as _knyatt_ (Mellonath Daeron DTS
              Index: where's the final "a"? why a "y" instead of double "n"?) or _knyatta_
              (McKay's ISS I think, again: where does the "y" come from?)--minor point
              maybe, just occured strange to me that two sources would both see a "y"
              where I only see a wavy line, which should indicate a preceding nasal
              (?)...the DTS Index speculates this could be referring "to the Kenyan leader
              Yomo Kenyatta". Fair enough, but the transcription of what Tolkien actually
              wrote should be _knnatta_, should it not? >>>


              > did Tolkien
              > himself ever use the two underdots to indicate palatalization in any
              > English tengwar text? I couldn't find any instance, but I thought
              > maybe you had. I gather, though, that it's really "just"
              > extrapolated from Quenya (?).

              Yes, in DTS 23 (full writing) in the word "news". In DTS 39, we see
              the word "new" transcribed not with the two dots tehta above/below
              númen, but with noldo.

              <<< Ah, that explains it. I was looking through the "Lay of Leithian"
              passage (DTS 23), but I was searching for _underdots_. Also, overdots are
              used in various other instances (vowel combinations) as well in that text,
              so I overlooked this one...My mistake. Thanks! >>>

              Hisilome
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