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Vala vs. wilya

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... large, great was probably no more than a passing fancy. Probably. It may be noted that according to a recent VT, the adjective _úra_ listed in this entry
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 7, 2002
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      Arden R. Smith wrote:

      > It seems to me, however, that the use of *UR- with the meaning "wide,
      large, great" was probably no more than a passing fancy.

      Probably. It may be noted that according to a recent VT, the adjective
      _úra_ listed in this entry in Etym later came to mean "nasty" instead (with
      a new derivation: _the negative element _ú-_ + the adjectival ending _-ra_
      rather than _úr-_ = strengthened form of UR + the simplest adjectival
      ending _-a_).

      Another matter: In the case of _súle_ vs. its older form _thúle_, Appendix
      E explicitly says that this letter was still used for older _th_ even after
      this sound had become _s_ (the most celebrated of all Quenya
      sound-changes). It may also seem to be implied that initial _ñ_ and _ñw_
      were still spelt with _ñoldo_ and _ñwalme_ even in the Third Age, when the
      pronunciation had been altered to _n-_ and _nw-_. But what about _vala_ vs.
      _wilya_? Originally, _vala_ denoted initial _v_ (derived from older B),
      while _wilya_ denoted initial _w_ (unchanged since ancient times). But
      later, initial _w_ also came to be pronounced _v_; indeed even the name of
      the letter turned into _vilya_.

      Well, should a word like _vende_ "maiden" still be spelt with initial
      wilya, since this word comes from earlier _wende_? Or was the spelling
      revised? We know there were certain spelling revisions, as when the old
      letter for Z ceased to have any function because Z became R, and the old
      Z-letter came to be used for double _ss_ instead. This implies that R was
      now spelt with either rómen or óre, regardless of derivation.

      In his Namárie transcript in RGEO, Tolkien used vala for the initial
      consonant of the word _vanwa_. According to both the Etymologies (entry
      WAN) and _Quendi and Eldar_, the initial _v_ of _vanwa_ represents earlier
      _w_. So was vala eventually used for any initial V-sound regardless of
      derivation, whereas wilya was only used for medial _w_? I am not sure
      whether the Namárie transcript in RGEO is entirely "reliable": As was
      pointed out already in _Introduction to Elvish_, the word _hísie_ is not
      spelt the way it should be according to the rules Tolkien set out elsewhere
      (silme being used instead of súle, though this _s_ comes from earlier
      _th_). So did Tolkien forget his own rules once again when he spelt _vanwa_
      with an initial vala?

      Given the fluid state of everything, _vanwa_ "gone, lost" might even be
      derived from *_banwâ_ in one conceptual phase, and then the word would
      properly be spelt with an initial vala. Indeed VT42:32 mentions a root
      _ba(n)_ "go" which may be relevant here.

      And what about medial _v_ in the combination _lv_? Does this in some cases
      represent earlier _lw_, and should it be spelt lambe + wilya rather than
      lambe + vala? Appendix E seems to suggest that _lw_ and _lv_ were NOT
      confused (_lv_ could even be altered to _lb_ to resist such confusion), but
      there is other evidence that points to a late _lw_ > _lv_ change. VT42:34
      mentions a word _navilwe_ "we judge"; notice the ending _-lwe_ for "we".
      Yet VT43 cites _lv_, not _lw_, as a first person plural inclusive element
      (and CFH cited the full ending _-lve_ in an Elfling message some time ago).
      So did medial _lw_ become _lv_? Perhaps, then, a word like _kelvar_
      "animals" incorporates the adjectival ending _-wa_, a _*kelwa_ being a
      "moving/running (one)" (cf. the root KEL in Etym)? Should the V of the
      pronominal ending and this noun perhaps be spelt with wilya rather than
      vala?

      Any thoughts?

      - HF
    • laurifindil
      ... wrote: ... None.
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 7, 2002
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        --- In elfscript@y..., "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@n...>
        wrote:

        <snip>

        > Any thoughts?

        None.
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        On 6/7/02 4:12 AM, Helge K. Fauskanger ... Of course, it s by no means certain that the two _úra_s, with distinct meanings and
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 7, 2002
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          On 6/7/02 4:12 AM, "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@...>
          wrote:

          > Probably. It may be noted that according to a recent VT, the adjective
          > _úra_ listed in this entry in Etym later came to mean "nasty" instead (with
          > a new derivation: _the negative element _ú-_ + the adjectival ending _-ra_
          > rather than _úr-_ = strengthened form of UR + the simplest adjectival
          > ending _-a_).

          Of course, it's by no means certain that the two _úra_s, with distinct
          meanings and derivations, didn't coexist.

          > (and CFH cited the full ending _-lve_ in an Elfling message some time ago).

          That should have been *_-lve_. A lazy citation on my part.

          > Any thoughts?

          Good questions all. The _w_ vs. _v_ question was one that Tolkien revisited
          frequently over the decades, and there is much vacillation in evidence.


          |======================================================================|
          | 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." |
          |======================================================================|
        • laurifindil
          ... adjective ... instead (with ... ending _-ra_ ... adjectival ... distinct ... time ago). ... revisited ... evidence. ... And the word Vanya shows it...
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 7, 2002
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            --- In elfscript@y..., "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...> wrote:
            > On 6/7/02 4:12 AM, "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@n...>
            > wrote:
            >
            > > Probably. It may be noted that according to a recent VT, the
            adjective
            > > _úra_ listed in this entry in Etym later came to mean "nasty"
            instead (with
            > > a new derivation: _the negative element _ú-_ + the adjectival
            ending _-ra_
            > > rather than _úr-_ = strengthened form of UR + the simplest
            adjectival
            > > ending _-a_).
            >
            > Of course, it's by no means certain that the two _úra_s, with
            distinct
            > meanings and derivations, didn't coexist.
            >
            > > (and CFH cited the full ending _-lve_ in an Elfling message some
            time ago).
            >
            > That should have been *_-lve_. A lazy citation on my part.
            >
            > > Any thoughts?
            >
            > Good questions all. The _w_ vs. _v_ question was one that Tolkien
            revisited
            > frequently over the decades, and there is much vacillation in
            evidence.
            >

            And the word "Vanya" shows it...
          • Arden R. Smith
            ... It s not that Tolkien forgot his rules, but that the rules were not absolute. Words like _hísie_ and _noldo_ were spelt etymologically, but they didn t
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 8, 2002
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              Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

              >I am not sure
              >whether the Namárie transcript in RGEO is entirely "reliable": As was
              >pointed out already in _Introduction to Elvish_, the word _hísie_ is not
              >spelt the way it should be according to the rules Tolkien set out elsewhere
              >(silme being used instead of súle, though this _s_ comes from earlier
              >_th_). So did Tolkien forget his own rules once again when he spelt _vanwa_
              >with an initial vala?

              It's not that Tolkien forgot his rules, but that the rules were not
              absolute. Words like _hísie_ and _noldo_ were spelt etymologically,
              but they didn't *need* to be.

              It would be interesting to know who the supposed scribe of the RGEO
              version of "Namárie" was. A Noldorin loremaster would presumably
              have used the "correct" etymological spellings, but a Telerin or
              Gondorian scribe with less training in historical linguistics (and
              who was young enough not to remember the former pronunciations!)
              might not.

              --
              ********************************************************************
              Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

              "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"
              "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
              "Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

              --Lewis Carroll,
              _Through the Looking-glass_
              ********************************************************************
            • laurifindil
              ... ... Tolkien had quite a good memory. Anyone familiar with the Middle Ages knows the scribal error . ... I think that the supposed scribe in that
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 8, 2002
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                --- In elfscript@y..., "Arden R. Smith" <erilaz@e...> wrote:
                >

                <snip>

                >
                > It's not that Tolkien forgot his rules, but that the rules were not
                > absolute. Words like _hísie_ and _noldo_ were spelt etymologically,
                > but they didn't *need* to be.

                Tolkien had quite a good memory.
                Anyone familiar with the Middle Ages knows the "scribal error".

                > It would be interesting to know who the supposed scribe of the RGEO
                > version of "Namárie" was. A Noldorin loremaster would presumably
                > have used the "correct" etymological spellings, but a Telerin or
                > Gondorian scribe with less training in historical linguistics (and
                > who was young enough not to remember the former pronunciations!)
                > might not.
                >

                I think that the supposed scribe in that case was a "Hobbit"; not
                Bilbo, maybe Frodo, or even a later hand of the 4th age.
              • Arden R. Smith
                ... That is a very reasonable assumption, and you are most likely quite correct. -- ******************************************************************** Arden
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 8, 2002
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                  Laurifindil wrote:

                  >I think that the supposed scribe in that case was a "Hobbit"; not
                  >Bilbo, maybe Frodo, or even a later hand of the 4th age.

                  That is a very reasonable assumption, and you are most likely quite correct.

                  --
                  ********************************************************************
                  Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

                  "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"
                  "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
                  "Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

                  --Lewis Carroll,
                  _Through the Looking-glass_
                  ********************************************************************
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