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170Re: "n", "(-i)na", "-ne" and past tense (was aorist stem)

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  • gentlebeldin
    Jul 31, 2002
      --- In lambengolmor@y..., David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

      > The passive participle is not formed by a compound employing "to
      > be". The suffix of the p.p. is either *_-tos_ etc. or _-nos_ etc..
      > Maybe I misunderstood you ?

      I wasn't very clear, I'm afraid. What I meant is: if the passive can
      be constructed by a participle + (apart from it) a form of "to be",
      we could as well have a form of that verb as a PART of the passive
      participle in another language.

      > Right, but I don't think you can explain the _-na_ in th p.p. from
      > _NA-_ "to be".

      I could, but I couldn't prove it. There are only so many allowed CV
      combinations, it may be a mere coincidence. If we knew other
      (inflected) forms of _na_ and found them used as endings, that would
      be another matter.

      Moreover, there are much simpler explanations. Participles are
      adjectives formed from verbs. The suffix _-na_ (or _naa_ in PE) is
      used to form adjectives, and some are formed from the naked
      (timeless) verbal stem:

      SKAL- (screen, hide) gives *skalnaa >_halda_ (veiled, shadowed,
      V:431)
      DUL- (hide, conceal) gives *ndulnaa > _nulla_, _nulda_ (secret, V:394)
      The latter example shows that -ln- could develop both into -ld- and -
      ll-. Another such "primitive verbal adjectives" could be _melda_
      (beloved, < *melnaa).
      Those didn't retain information about tense (past, present) or voice
      (passive, active), that's implied from context here (or irrelevant).

      Participles are whole classes of adjectives, retaining some of those
      characteristics as tense and voice. It depends on the language:
      Russian has any combination of active/passive with past/present (plus
      adverbial participles, so good luck studying it!), while English or
      Quenya (and even Italian) are more economical. :-)

      Both adjectival endings _-na_, _-ina_ are met outside participles,
      in "normal" adjectives, so I find it sort of risky to state that
      the "n" bears the information "past tense". Especially since there
      are forms of past tense without any "n". I'm not only speaking of the
      few examples _caare_, _(undu-)laave_, _tuule_,... quoted up this
      thread! The perfect also implies that the action is finished, i.e. it
      began in the past, and it doesn't contain an "n".

      So all we can say for certain is: there is ONE verb form containing
      _-ne_ meaning past tense. Whether the suffix _-ne_ can be identified
      as a past tense of _na_, is another matter. I like the theory, but
      chances are slim to prove it. I'm aware of alternatives.

      Hans
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