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189Re: _úcarindor_

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  • pa2rick
    Aug 7, 2002
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      --- In lambengolmor@y..., Fredrik <gwaihir@s...> wrote in response
      to Carl Hostetter's comment (re the form _úcarer_ 'do ill, trespass'
      in At. V, VI) that "If what you say is true of the aorist interpretation,
      it is every bit as true of your past-tense interpretation":


      > In the post that Carl is responding to, I said that where Patrick
      > Wynne in his _VT_ analysis assumes an _i_ to be present, I
      > see an exclamation mark. I did not say this in support of a
      > past-tense interpretation.

      Later in this same message, Fredrik wrote:

      > However, I do not think it reasonable to support the hypothesis
      > that there is an aorist form present in _i úcarer emmen_ by
      > turning the postcard upside down and pointing out that Tolkien's
      > marks could be interpreted as an _i_.

      Certainly one of the most irritating aspects of online discourse
      is the tendency people have to restate someone's opinion in
      a distorted form, then to argue against the distorted version
      rather than against what was originally said. This is what Fredrik
      is doing here.

      I have never said, and do not believe, that the faint pencilled
      markings above the _e_ of _úcarer_ represent the letter _i_.
      This is what was stated regarding this form in VT: "Faint
      pencilled markings over the _e_ suggest that Tolkien intended
      to emend _úcarer_ > _úcarir_ (though the form remains _úcarer_
      in At. VI)." (VT43:12)

      Please note that the mark or marks in question are described
      here only as "faint pencilled markings" -- precisely because what
      they represent is unclear. Also note that it is only said that these
      markings "suggest" Tolkien's _intent_ to emend _úcarer_ to
      _úcarir_. Nowhere in these remarks is there an assertion
      that an _i_ is explicitly present. The same thinking underlies
      my comment in message #176 that "_úcarer_ in At. V was
      apparently marked for correction > _úcarir_"

      The reason that I have supposed these "markings" were
      intended to indicate that _úcarer_ should be changed to
      _úcarir_ is this -- _úcarer_ in and of itself appears to be
      an anomalous form; if it is a pa.t., then we should expect
      _úcárer_, and if it is aorist then we should expect _úcarir_.
      Given these two possibilities, it is probably significant that
      in emending At. V, Tolkien made markings of some sort
      above the _e_ in this form -- "as if to draw attention to
      it", as Fredrik himself stated in message #177. Why would
      Tolkien draw attention to the _e_ in _úcarer_? The likeliest
      explanation is that he felt it should be emended to the
      expected aorist form _úcarir_.

      As for the retention of _úcarer_ in At. VI, this might indicate
      that the _e_ in both occurrences of this form was deliberate
      rather than (as I have previously posited) an error. It may
      be that in writing At. V Tolkien was considering changing
      the aorist pl. ending to _-er_. When emending At. V he
      was undecided on this point, and so marked the _e_ in
      _úcarer_ "to draw attention to it", i.e. he was contemplating
      changing this ending back to _-ir_. Then when writing At. VI
      he decided to stick with the "new" aorist pl. ending _-er_.
      If this was the case, the change was probably short-lived; cf.
      _i karir quettar ómainen_ 'those who form words with voices'
      (XI:391) in _Quendi and Eldar_.

      To reiterate: I do _not_ think the markings over the _e_ are
      themselves a letter _i_, upside-down or right-side up. The
      mark or markings (whatever it or they may be) were meant
      to call attention to the _e_, probably indicating that Tolkien
      was uncertain about it and considering its emendation, in
      which case the likeliest candidate for the emended form
      would be _úcarir_, the normal aorist pl. form.

      -- Patrick Wynne
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