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160Re: Q. aorist (vs. past)

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  • Fredrik
    Jul 30, 2002
      Patrick Wynne wrote:

      >Quenya had two types of pa.t.:
      >a "strong" pa.t. formed by lengthening of the stem vowel and addition
      >of final vowel _-e_, and a "weak" pa.t. formed by addition of the suffix
      >_-ne_. _ohtakáre_ contains _káre_, strong pa.t. of _kar-_ 'make, build'

      Perhaps the phrase _i úcarer emmen_ *'those who did ill to us' contains the
      past tense, not the aorist. The editorial notes point out that "_úcarer_
      here seems to be an aorist plural of _úcar-_ 'trespass' though _úcarir_
      might be expected instead" (VT43:21). Isn't it also possible that _úcárer_
      might be expected instead? After all, we forgive those who have done ill to
      us; we may not want to say that "there are people who do ill to us as a
      periodically recurrent action, but we forgive them".


      [I don't think _úcárer_ might be expected. For one thing, _úcarer_ occurs
      twice, in both At. V and VI, making it unlikely to be a slip. Moreover, as
      noted of this form in At. V in VT43:12: "Faint pencilled markings over the
      _e_ suggest that Tolkien intended to emend _úcarer_ > _úcarir_ (though
      the form remains _úcarer_ in At. VI)." Another point -- both the Greek
      and Latin texts render this phrase with an agentive, Lat. _debitor_, Gk,
      _opheilétes_, both meaning 'debtor' in the sense 'one who is guilty of
      a misdeed'. The Q. text in At. V and VI, however, follows the traditional
      English rendition by using a phrase rather than an agentive: 'those who
      trespass against us', or rendering the Q. more literally, 'who do ill to us'.
      Note the use of present _trespass_ in the traditional English rendition;
      this is of course used in its gnomic sense, stating a general truth: in
      Christian theology, Mankind is fallen and sinful; we 'do ill, sin, trespass'
      from birth to death, past, present, and future. So yes, sin is indeed a
      "periodically recurrent action" in fallen Mankind. In such circumstances,
      forgiveness must also be viewed as a general, ongoing process.
      -- Patrick Wynne]
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