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180Re: _úcarindor_

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Aug 4, 2002
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      On 8/3/02 7:20 AM, "Fredrik" <gwaihir@...> wrote:

      > From the image, there seems to be no reason to suspect the presence of an
      > _i_ here at all, unless you are very actively and imaginatively looking for
      > one.

      If what you say is true of the aorist interpretation, it is every bit as
      true of your past-tense interpretation. There is in fact _every_ reason to
      "suspect the presence of an _i_ here", since even if your theory that
      _úcarer_ is intended to be a past-tense form, the form as written is
      strange: the strong past tense if formed by _lengthening of the root vowel_,
      and addition of the stem-vowel _-e_ (and _únótime_ shows that the two
      sequential long vowels resulting from a negative prefix attached to a stem
      with long vowel is no impediment). Thus, whether you explain _úcarer_ as
      aorist or as past, you are left with the fact that its formation conforms
      with neither the usual aorist nor the usual past-tense modifications.

      In a statement of general fact like "we forgive those who trespass against
      us", and given the choice between an aorist or a past-tense interpretation
      of the verb "trespass", the aorist is preferable to the past. And since the
      marks that Tolkien makes can be interpreted as "i"s, which would align with
      an aorist meaning, this interpretation seems by far the likeliest.

      Does this mean that it is _impossible_ that Tolkien intended _úcarer_ to be
      a past-tense form? No, of course not. But that interpretation is certainly
      no more likely than the aorist (in fact, in my opinion, it is less likely),
      and requires the same recognition that Tolkien wrote the unusual (if not
      erroneous) form twice, even after remarking on its oddity (and possibly
      considering its alteration).


      | 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." |
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