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29Quenya intervocalic -d-'s revisited

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  • Pavel Iosad
    May 31, 2002
      Aiya Lambengolmor,

      Well, here's one to discuss the latest publications.
      I've already posted ths on TolkLang, but I guess
      there won't be trouble if I try to initiate the
      discussion here as well.

      While I was re-reading VT43 again, the following caught my eye on p. 33,
      "the contemporary list of prepositions mentioned in the discussion of
      _aselye_ above gives the root _ara_ 'along side' (in apparent contrast
      with another root, _ada_ 'against, opposed to, opposite)...'

      Carl informs me that the 'roots' in question are apparently Eldarin,
      not Quenya. Thus the initial point I raised on TolkLang is sated.
      However, it is still obvious that these two roots would merge if all
      we surmise about the behaviour of Quenya consonants holds true.
      Nevertheless, given the roots' opposite meanings, I would suggest that
      it is possible that the _d_ > _r_ shift should be blocked by the
      necessity of disambiguation. It doesn't seem likely that antonyms
      should be homonyms in a language (oh yes, there's Mandarin _míng_ which
      means both 'bright' and 'dark', but still...). Therefore the question
      is still valid - can sound changes be blocked by semantic necessities
      in Quenya? Can then the _d_ in _Aldudénië_ be written off to
      disambiguation requirements?

      (who is more and more amazed at he pace the list appears to have taken!)
      Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...

      'I am a philologist, and thus a misunderstood man'
      --JRR Tolkien, _The Notion Club Papers_


      [I should point out that there is a measure of fluidity to the list of
      prepositional elements in question, so that simply because two elements
      are found together in the list, and neither is crossed out, does not
      _necessarily_ mean that Tolkien intended both to coexist. I would further
      point out that since these are Eldarin elements, even if these two
      elements did coexist in the parent language, it is not necessarily the
      case that they would both survive into Quenya. It may well be that one of
      the convergent elements would be selected over the other, which would
      then have no reflexes in the descendant language. Still, your question
      about the influence of semantics on phonological development remains,
      and is quite interesting. Carl]
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