Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

(Non-)etymological spelling

Expand Messages
  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... another root/stem than that sated to be ANA(1) in Etymologies? Such as HAN- or 3AN-. ... rough notes it s clear that this is the case. And what root is
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 10, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      Laurifindil wrote:

      >Do you mean that Tolkien actually stated that the word _anna_ was from
      another root/stem than that sated to be ANA(1) in Etymologies? Such as HAN-
      or 3AN-.

      Arden R. Smith replied:

      > In most instances it's implied rather than stated, but on one page of
      rough notes it's clear that this is the case.

      And what root is provided, if any? According to the system Tolkien uses in
      most sources, the primitive root would have to be *GAN. Then we could have
      primitive _*gannâ_, early Quenya _3anna_ and later Quenya _anna_. A root
      HAN or 3AN would yield Quenya *_hanna_ with the initial consonant intact;
      in _Quendi and Eldar_ it is explicitly said that primitive initial _h_
      survived in the dialects of Aman (WJ:365). The only divergent examples I
      have seen occur in the abortive essay "Notes on Óre" published in VT41.
      Here Tolkien seems uncertain about whether the initial consonant of the
      root he variously gives as HOR and 3OR is to come out as _h_ or zero in
      Quenya; we have such wonderfully indecisive forms as "(h)ore" (VT41:13).
      VT43:14 mentions a root HAN "add to..., honour (espec. by gift)" that could
      be relevant for _anna_ "gift", but then we must presuppose a conceptual
      phase in which primitive *_h-_ is lost in Quenya as well (and then this HAN
      can't be the source of _han_ "beyond" and _hantale_ "thanksgiving"). So
      what is it, HAN/3AN or *GAN?

      > If the scribe of the RGEO "Namárie" had used etymological spellings, he
      should also have used anna rather than the short carrier in _aldaron_,
      since _alda_ derives from PQ _*galadaa_.

      Initial G turned into the spirant 3 already in pre-history. This 3 survived
      long enough to be explicitly recorded in Rúmilian orthography (3alda for
      alda), but Tolkien apparently meant spoken 3 to have been lost long before
      Feanor invented the Tengwar. Feanor apparently discarded the distinction
      between 3 and zero in his new writing system, since it had no phonetic
      counterpart in the spoken Quenya of his own time. The impression I get from
      published material is that this distinction was never upheld in Feanorian
      orthography. On the other hand, Valinorean Quenya still had _z_, initial
      _w_, initial _ñ_ and _ñw_, as well as _th_ (the latter merging with _s_ in
      Feanor's own lifetime, against his advice), so his original orthography had
      distinct signs for these sounds. The only question remaining is to what
      extent these distinctions were upheld in later ages as well, when they had
      been given up in spoken Quenya. We know that the original _z_ letter was no
      longer used for old _z_ after it merged with _r_, since this sign was later
      used for _ss_ instead. But the others?

      > 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.

      How can we tell? Unless Tolkien made an explicit statement to this effect,
      how can we know whether any unexpected spellings are not simply mistakes?
      The Namárie transcript in particular is riddled with inconsistencies, and I
      suspect that it was prepared in a hurry. (Even the calligraphy itself could
      be better, considering other calligraphic works by JRRT.) As for the súle
      vs. silme distinction, Appendix E states that older _th_ was "still written
      with a different letter", with no qualification to the effect that one
      didn't "need" to use this spelling. Then it is tempting to assume that
      Tolkien's Tengwar spelling of _hísie_ in RGEO is a mistake. (I could never
      bring myself to spell "Noldo" with an initial _númen_ when the very letter
      denoting the old _ñ_ is called Noldo...)

      - HF
    • Arden R. Smith
      ... The etymological forms given have _3_, with no explicit indication of what stage of the language is indicated. No root is provided, but I agree with you
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 10, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

        >And what root is provided, if any?

        The etymological forms given have _3_, with no explicit indication of
        what stage of the language is indicated. No root is provided, but I
        agree with you that it would have to be *GAN-.

        >The Namárie transcript in particular is riddled with inconsistencies, and I
        >suspect that it was prepared in a hurry. (Even the calligraphy itself could
        >be better, considering other calligraphic works by JRRT.)

        That might well be, but I've seen this poem (and excerpts from it)
        written many times in tengwar by Tolkien, and I have *never* seen a
        version that uses the letter thúle in the word _hísie_, nor anna in
        _aldaron_.

        --
        ********************************************************************
        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_
        ********************************************************************
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.