198Re: Past/perfect in Eldarin
- Aug 9, 2002Hans's post raises some interesting questions. I'd like to note
that ultimately Tolkien's own terminology for Eldarin parts of
speech must be given primacy of place over anything devised
by those of us who study his languages. Regarding Hans's reference
to "resultative" participles, for example, it is worth noting that
Tolkien often explicity labels some forms as "past participles",
e.g., _rákina_ "past participle of _rák-_ 'break'" (MC:223) or
the "past participle form _vanwa_" (XI:366). Similarly, Tolkien
also seems quite comfortable with the terms "past" and "perfect"
with regard to the Quenya tense system, e.g., in the discussion
of _auta-_ in _Quendi and Eldar_ (ibid.) This is not meant as a
specific rebuttal or rejoinder to the points raised in Hans's post --
but it is worth reiterating at the commencement of this thread
that _Tolkien's_ own grammatical terminology as applied to
Elvish is the only terminology that truly matters. Studying his use of
terms such as "past participle", "past tense", "perfect tense"
etc. undoubtedly has much to teach us.
-- Patrick Wynne
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