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Sindarin Collective Number

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  • bassman0614
    My question may be a tad nit-pickish, but I haven t been able to get a good answer from other sources. In the collective number of Sindarin nouns, is the
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 25, 2002
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      My question may be a tad nit-pickish, but I haven't been able to get
      a good answer from other sources. In the collective "number" of
      Sindarin nouns, is the corresponding verb singular or plural? I see
      it either way... plural would make sense, as there are more than one
      thing, but as seen in "Dagor Nuin Giliath," it takes a singular
      article (Nuin - Nu I); Additionally, in other languages, such as the
      neuter plural of Ancient Greek (a collective) takes a singular verb.
      Does anyone have a definitive answer?

      Hantalë Len!

      ~ Yonwë
      Bill White
    • Danny Andriës
      ... Actually, this question would be more appropriate on the Elfling list, where it was a recent topic of discussion. Unfortunately, the jury is still out
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 26, 2002
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        Teithant bassman0614:
        >My question may be a tad nit-pickish, but I haven't been able to get
        >a good answer from other sources. In the collective "number" of
        >Sindarin nouns, is the corresponding verb singular or plural?

        Actually, this question would be more appropriate on the Elfling list, where
        it was a recent topic of discussion. Unfortunately, the jury is still out
        concerning this one!

        Cuio mae, Danny.

        _________________________________________________________________
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      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... Only if (like David Salo) you throw out Tolkien s own statement on the matter: _ath_ ... was a collective or group suffix, and the nouns so formed [were]
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 26, 2002
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          On 3/26/02 4:20 AM, "Danny Andriës" <tegilbor@...> wrote:

          > Teithant bassman0614:
          >> My question may be a tad nit-pickish, but I haven't been able to get
          >> a good answer from other sources. In the collective "number" of
          >> Sindarin nouns, is the corresponding verb singular or plural?
          >
          > Actually, this question would be more appropriate on the Elfling list, where
          > it was a recent topic of discussion. Unfortunately, the jury is still out
          > concerning this one!

          Only if (like David Salo) you throw out Tolkien's own statement on the
          matter:

          "_ath_ ... was a collective or group suffix, and the nouns so formed [were]
          _originally singulars_. But they were later treated as pl[ural]s, especially
          when applied to people(s)." (Emphasis mine.) _Letters_ 427.

          Hence nouns in _-ath_ are at least sometimes still singular, as originally,
          but in many cases, in particular in names of peoples, they are plural.


          |======================================================================|
          | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
          | |
          | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
          | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
          | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
          | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
          | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
          |======================================================================|
        • Danny Andriës
          ... Any comparison of me to Mr. Salo is unfair; I am not the scholar and linguist that he is. And I would never dream to throw out Tolkien s statements
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 26, 2002
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            Teithant CF Hostetter:
            >"Danny Andri�s" wrote
            > > Teithant bassman0614:
            > >> In the collective "number" of
            > >> Sindarin nouns, is the corresponding verb singular or plural?
            > >
            > > the jury is still out
            > > concerning this one!
            >
            >Only if (like David Salo) you throw out Tolkien's own statement on the
            >matter:

            Any comparison of me to Mr. Salo is unfair; I am not the scholar and
            linguist that he is. And I would never dream to throw out Tolkien's
            statements concerning his own creations.

            >Hence nouns in _-ath_ are at least sometimes still singular, as originally,
            >but in many cases, in particular in names of peoples, they are plural.

            "Yes and no" ... how very Elvish of you! Sure, we know that collectives
            referring to peoples take a plural verb, but what about 'i elenath', 'i
            'aladhath', etc.? How do we know which are regarded as singular and which as
            plural? Bassman asked for a'definitive' answer. I don't view 'sometimes' as
            being definitive, and my reply to him reflected this belief. Who knows which
            collective nouns are still counted as singular?

            Cuio mae, Danny.

            _________________________________________________________________
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          • Carl F. Hostetter
            ... I ll bear that in mind should I ever want to compare you personally with David Salo. Which I certainly was not doing here. This was a general statement.
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 27, 2002
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              On 3/26/02 10:59 PM, "Danny Andriës" <tegilbor@...> wrote:

              > Teithant CF Hostetter:
              >> "Danny Andriës" wrote
              >>> Teithant bassman0614:
              >>>>
              >>>> In the collective "number" of Sindarin nouns, is the corresponding verb
              >>>> singular or plural?
              >>>>
              >>> the jury is still out concerning this one!
              >>>
              >> Only if (like David Salo) you throw out Tolkien's own statement on the
              >> matter:
              >
              > Any comparison of me to Mr. Salo is unfair;
              >
              I'll bear that in mind should I ever want to compare you personally with
              David Salo. Which I certainly was not doing here. This was a general
              statement.

              >> Hence nouns in _-ath_ are at least sometimes still singular, as originally,
              >> but in many cases, in particular in names of peoples, they are plural.
              >>
              > "Yes and no" ... how very Elvish of you! Sure, we know that collectives
              > referring to peoples take a plural verb, but what about 'i elenath', 'i
              > 'aladhath', etc.? How do we know which are regarded as singular and which as
              > plural? Bassman asked for a'definitive' answer.
              >
              No, he asked (see above) "In the collective "number" of Sindarin nouns, is
              the corresponding verb singular or plural?" The definitive answer to _this_
              question is that it is sometimes singular, as originally, but now
              (apparently) usually plural, especially in the names of peoples.

              > I don't view 'sometimes' as being definitive, and my reply to him reflected
              > this belief.
              >
              The fact that the answer is neither "yes" nor "no" does not make the answer
              any less definitive.

              > Who knows which collective nouns are still counted as singular?
              >
              Only Tolkien would be able to answer this for any given noun.


              |======================================================================|
              | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
              | |
              | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
              | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
              | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
              | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
              | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
              |======================================================================|
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