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126Re: [LDB] "Canonical" Quenya and Quettahostanie

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  • Beregond. Anders Stenström
    Jul 24 1:46 PM
      [Another plea for people to please take a little extra time and prettify
      posts, including text quoted from other posts. In particular, please 1)
      pay attention to line-wraps: make them break somewhere before 80
      characters; and 2) put some blank lines between block quotes and
      paragraphs (i.e., where there is no indentation in the first line of
      paragraphs). Thanks, Carl]

      Kai MacTane wrote:

      > To paraphrase one of Mr. Welden's points, he notes the distinction
      > between "things Tolkien wrote [in Quenya]", and what he calls "canonical
      > Quenya", [. . .] For those who have been evaluating _Quettahostanie_,
      > I'd like to point out that the concept of "Attestation Levels" encoded
      > in the system does make a fairly similar distinction, though it draws
      > its boundary lines in slightly different places. [. . .] I'd like to see
      > if people here think they're reasonable -- in short, should the
      > Silmarillion (and its appendix) be considered a source for "canonical"
      > Quenya (what Quettahostanie lists in the "Published" level), or should
      > its offerings be demoted to "Unpublished"?

      My opinion is that considerations like these need and should not
      be made at all in the database, which should as far as possible
      give *data* free of theories/views/judgments. In other words,
      scrap the "Attestation Levels". What I would like to find in an
      Elvish database are attestation *details*: references to all loci
      where a looked-up form is attested. I agree about the importance
      of the distinction Bill Welden pointed out, but if I am given the
      attestation details for a word I can see for myself to what extent
      it occurs in canonical sources.
      Some forms, like _Gondor_, are used hundreds of times in
      Tolkien's texts, but ideally I think they should all be listed.
      The only attestation level distinction that is needed is that
      between attested and unattested forms. I suppose it is
      reasonable to include certain unattested forms, like singulars
      reconstructed from attested plurals? (I obviously think non-Tolkien
      compounds and coinages do not belong in the database; does
      not Boris Shapiro's useful PPQ adequately take care of those?)

      Meneg suilaid,


      [As will come as a surprise to no one, I vehemently oppose any notion of
      allowing non-Tolkienian coinages into any serious database of Tolkien's
      languages. Things have gotten confused enough already, with rampant
      failure to distinguish data and fact from theory and invention. Carl]
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