232Re: Bilabial V in Quenya
- Sep 8, 2002
--- In lambengolmor@y..., Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@e...> wrote:
> On Sunday, September 8, 2002, at 06:10 AM, Petri Tikka wrote:
> > This change did not occur in the Valarin dialect.
> You mean "Vanyarin", surely?
Yes, of course.
> > The sound is unknown in Finnish, Tolkien's inspiration for Quenya.
> > Through the years as he gradually perfected Quenya, he seems to have
> > made the phonology of Quenya closer and closere to Finnish. This would
> > be one example of it.
> The same change of _w_ to _v_ also occurred in Latin, another of
> Tolkien's chief influences in creating Quenya.
By the way, if it wasn't enitrely clear, the sound W has never occurred in
the development of Finnish from proto-Finno-Ugrian. This is also, in
another way, a bad example of the closening to Finnish over the years,
since early Qenya seemed to have about as much Ws as mature Quenya. Both
the early and late _Oilima Markirya_ seemed to have only a couple of words
with W (MC:213-213, 221-222). But there are real examples of a nearing of
Finnish and Quenya phonology in its external hisroy, cf. below.
> Your observation about Tolkien making the phonology of Quenya closer to
> that of Finnish over the years is intriguing. Could you give us some
> other examples of this?
1. _findl_, _petl_, _tantl_, _nark_ (Q) and other words ending with
multiple consonants are unacceptable in Finnish phonology and in later
2. KT is a common consonant cluster in Q (e.g. _ekta-_, _mekta_ and
_palukta_), but it is unacceptable in the phonology of both Finnish and
mature Quenya. Earlier KT developed to HT in both languages, e.g. a
body of _kaksi_ "two" _kaht-_ < *_kakte_ in Finnish and _ehte_ "spear"
from EKTE in Quenya (V:355).
3. There are some known "Qenya" words that begin with two successive
vowels that would normally be diphtongs, but are inidcated as seperate
vowels by _¨_, e.g. _kaïkta-_ (Q), _oïkta_ (VT40:8). This phenomenon is
unknown in mature Quenya and Finnish, and is probably allowed in neither
I can not currently think of any other firm examples of change in the
external history of the Quenya phonology that brought it closer to
Finnish. I can neither think of anything that distanced it from Finnish
phonology. As an example of how close their phonology is, L:425 states
that Quenya permitted "the 'dentals' _n_, _l_, _r_, _s_, _t_ as final
consonants". This is exactly the same in Finnish!
Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
[Thanks, Petri! Carl]
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