320RE: [Lambengolmor] Re: Tyelpetema and phonetics vs. phonology in Quenya
- Feb 18, 2003Hello,
Ales Bican has raised several most interesting points in response to my
proposals regarding the various domains of phonetics and phonology in
Quenya with regard to the status of the tyelpetéma, for which I am most
grateful. Now, on to the specifics.
>**First of all, I think there is no published writing of Tolkien'sIndeed you are correct. Nevertheless the lack of vowel lengthening in
>where he would state Quenya does not permit, to simplify it, long
>vowels before consonant clusters. Or course, I may be wrong, so
the perfect of _lelya-_, which exhibits nasal infixion, or in the
present tense of verbs like _lanta_- shows that this shortening in
closed syllables is regularly forced by the phonotactics. It would
nicely be described by a generative-style phonology, where the
morphological module would give a form like _lántar_, and the 'phonology
proper' module would then give the actual output _lantar_).
[snip examples of bimoraic segments before clusters]
> Diphthongs, at least for purposes of the stress, areTrue. See below, however.
> treated like long vowels and are bimoraic.
> [_aista-_ 'to dread' (V:358) -- PHW]Also _aistana_ 'blessed' in AM, and _aista-_ in _Alcar i Ataren_.
This may have to do with etymology, since *_aistana_, the editors inform
us, can be connected with an old base like GAYA(S)- (VT43:38), which
gives a formation like _*(g)aiastanâ_. Now the syncope of the second _a_
is a bit hard to explain, it being in a long syllable. Or are we dealing
with a special status of the _st_ group (it would also be possible to
write the long vowel of _Hrísto_ off to the suggestion)? I am however at
a loss at the moment as to how to explain it.
>It must also be realized that what is written as Cy does not have toUnless it were a coarticulated palato-labial nasal plosive, which is
>stand for a palatal(ized) sound. Surely _my_ in _lamya-_ "to sound"
>(Etym s.v. LAM) cannot stand for a palatal _m_, as no palatal _m_
>exists (as far as I know it is impossible).
nowhere phonemic, though imaginable. (Well, there are no phonemic
palato-whatever coarticulated stops, though it is not inconceivable that
a _kp_ shift to a palato-labial before, say, front vowels. Just
guessing, you might figure out)
>It might be a palatalized _m_ (which is not unusual).We the Slavic-speaking ought to know ;-)
> The question is whether the _y_ in _lamya_As I suggested, it might as well stand for a [t_jj], or, in your
> stands for [j] or whether _my_ is a digraph for [m'] (palatalized _m_,
> I will use the apostophe for palatalization).
notation, [t'j], with the [j] approximant rather than the more of a
fricative than it is in, say, Russian.
>And the same can be applied to other Cy combinations:This is true, and in fact, can be used as an argument for my
interpretation. If we consider the _my_ palatalized (which we apparently
agree upon), it does mean that palatalization is a phonemically relevant
feature. Offhand, I think that at least in Europe, languages which have
a palatal series but do not consider palatalization phonemically
relevant prevail over those which do both. Off the top of my head, the
only instance of the second-type language is Macedonian. On the other
hand, it has, as far as I remember, all but eliminated the old Slavic
palatalization opposition. I am eager to be corrected though.
> it is hard to say whether _ry_ inIn the official IPA table (cf., for instance,
>_máryat_ stands for [R] (palatal _r_, I will use capitals for palatals)
> or [r'] or [rj] (resp. [r'j]).
http://www2.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/fullchart.html; this one is quite in
accord with the latest version of the IPA handbook I have access to),
palatal taps/flaps or trills are not shaded (which means the
articulation is considered possible), but do not have a symbol assigned,
which means that no described languages has a phonemic sound of those
types. Thus Quenya would be entirely untypological here, were there a
palatal [r] (I am a bit uncomfortable with [R], as it stands for the
uvular fricative in X-SAMPA)
>I wonder how is this dealt with in the tengwar[...]So do I.
>With this are connected what I would call primary and secondary CyThat isn't as obvious. Apparently you mean that certain word-initial
>combinations. Primary Cy combinations are those that existed from
>Primitive Quendian (resp. Common Eldarin). They occur exclusively
consonants were palatalized, but then your use of 'combinations' is
somewhat misleading. Combinations of C+_j_ were clearly present on the
CE level, since medial combinations of this kind consistently turn out
as tyelpetéma-consonants in Quenya, but also cause i-affection in
> What we do notIndeed. That is what the whole problem hinges on, anyway.
> know is whether e.g. _n + y_ in _vanya_ produced [N] or [n'j]/[nj].
> The same holds for _máryat_ and _hiruvalye_. There are somesounds.
> indications that (some) secondary Cy combinations stand for two
> I think I mentioned it in earlier posts: (a) in VT42:27 TolkienIndeed. This is a very instructive example.
> mentioned that "_atatya_ remained [unreduced] because the second _a_
> was not syncopated, being in a long syllable";
Now the gist of my explanation is the following: sound-changes can be
broadly divided into two classes, viz., phonetically driven and
phonologically driven, and we should clearly distinguish the two fields
when dealing with this part of the Eldarin language system.
Syncope, for instance, is driven phonetically. From a phonological (here
phonotactical) point of view, there is nothing inherently wrong with
three consecutive syllables sharing a similar nucleus, phonetics
however, aiming at easing of articulation, is the driving force behind
the simplification of the 'redundant' elements. Since this is a phonetic
rather than a phonological phenomenon, we should consider the _ty_ as a
phonetic unit. According to my suggestion, _ty_ is *phonetically*
bimoraic, and therefore the second syllable of _atatya_ is indeed
(As a rather important aside, I have quite forgotten to explain how, in
my theory, the syllable boundary splits the [t_j] and the [j] if they
are permissible word-initially. It is possible to suggest that
bisegmental sequences are forbidden on both the phonetical and the
phonological levels, so word-initially the _ty_'s and sundry could be
pronounced without the glide owing to these constraints, but with it
intervocalically. In post-pausal position, as after the nasals, it would
of course be also pronounced in a single segment, but this does not
create a lot of problems with regard to syllable division, since the
preceding syllable would be closed anyway)
[snip _óne_/_óle_ stuff]
> However, there is another fundamental thing to remember: publishedIndeed.
> sources are from different stages of the development of Quenya and
> they do not have to compatible.
>Another thing must also be mentioned. Quenya does not like sequencesWhich further suggests that they are phonologically single, as Ales
>of consonants much and if there is a sequence, it does not consist
>of more than two members. In other words, we do not see combinations
>of three and more consonants in Quenya. Nevertheless, we see
>combinations CCy: _nty_, _ndy_, _rty_ (_lty_ not attested), _sty_,
notes. One should however note the Ñoldorin shift _Quendya_ > _Quenya_
(XI:361), which suggests the instability of the aforementioned
combinations (this instability, coupled with the general abhorrence of
voiced stops, contributes to the total loss of the [d_j]), and thus
their somewhat indefinite status.
> The theory about morphemic boundary from _Introduction to Elvish_ wasIt doesn't stand up to evidence anyway, since _hir+uva+lye_ is stressed
> snipped, Pavel rejects it himself.
> _lyenna_ - the only example ofIndeed. It can be suggested that the instability referred to above
> initial _ly_ - is somewhat doubtful,
> Anyway, _lyenna_ is clearly a grammatical word. [...]
> By this I mean that ['grammatical words']
> bear certain grammatical marks (it is therefore marked) and such
> forms may behave otherwise than other, unmarked, forms. An example
> of this may be _ciryant_ which appears in the Plotz Letter. In Letters
> no. 347 Tolkien stated that Quenya did not tolerate final consonants
> other than dentals; he repeated the same idea in VT42:7, mentioning
> _t, n, l, r_ (he forgot _s_). Hence _ciryant_ contradicts this
> statement, but as it is a grammatical (inflected) word, it is
> allowed to exist.
contributed towards the gradual elimination of the strict phonotactical
system. The presence of sequences usually realised bisegmentally in
initial position and the suppression of the bisegmentality can be a
driving force behind this weakening of structure. The weakening leads to
possible overriding of phonotactics by the constraints of grammar (resp.
the _ciryant_ case) or phonetics (which is what we are discussing).
After all, it must be noted that the mere fact of the phonologically
irregular stress in _hiruvalye_ points that the form is marked,
otherwise its formation would be blocked by a rule higher on the
hierarchy (i. e. more marked)
>**In other words, an initial _d_ is not found (though _Aldudénie_ mightBut cf. L:1094-5, where the phrase definitely says that the /b g gw/
>be an example of this under certain assumptions), which does not
>necessarily mean it is forbidden.
were only met in conjunction with the nasals, and /d/, from the turn of
the phrase, is only met after /n l r/. (There's also Christopher's
apparent slip in UT, where he gives the name of a Númenórean city as
_Almaida_, it should apparently be #_Almalda_)
> One would be inclined to say thatBy the way, if you asked me, I'd give these as probable candidates for
> a medial _ky_ is not permitted if _Erukyerme_ (UT) and _Ekyanáro_
> (VT41:14) were not attested.
palatal rather than palatalized stops; the articulatory mecanism is the
same as behind the palatal status of _hy_, for which see my original
post. If we suggest that _ty_ is palatal, then these are just
alternative orthographies, if it is palatalized, Quenya falls into the
Macedonian category. A third possibility is that _ky_ is an alternative
orthography for palatalized _ty_, but this is unlikely.
>> In the above discussion I have carefully avoided using the wordsThe distinction between 'palatal' and 'palatalized' can be blurry,
>> 'palatal' or 'palatalized' with reference to _tyelpetéma_ consonants,
>> since we should first determine whether they are the former or the
>> latter. I suggest they are palatalized.
>**I think members of the tyelpetéma are palatal consonants.
>Tolkien himself said that Quenya had a palatal series (tyelpetéma,
>LotR, Ap. E).
especially for one who isn't deep into synchronic phonology. Tolkien
surely knew about it, but it wasn't his primary area of interest (which
is probably why we seldom get any coherent synchronic picture of
Tolkien's invented languages - it doesn't possess an independent value
for Tolkien, and is justified by writing poetry, cf. the passage in 'The
Secret Vice'). If _ty_ were palatal, it is difficult to justify why
Tolkien described it as 'similar to English _t_ in _tune_' (L:1088)',
since the sound is not palatal (but rather, in British speech,
pronounced with a glide!). Also he might have included the Spanish ñ as
a description of NY in the Appendix (though this is of no value as an
[Snip another example of probable confusion between 'palatal' and
>> One obvious reason is that we would then have problems withinterpreting
>> _r_. A *palatal* _r_ (as opposed to palatalized) is simplynonexistent
>> in the world's languages, and even if it is, the nearest _I_ can cometo
>> a palatal trill or flap is a retroflex approximant [...]fact
> **That is an importand fact, but actually it may mean nothing. The
> that a palatal _r_ seems to be nonexistent does not mean that it doesSee above, on the IPA table.
> not exist in Quenya. Although I am not familiar with any language
> possessing a palatal _r_, I read it occurred in a language called
> Malayalam (I read this in _Trends in Phonological Theory_ by Eli
> Fischer-Jorgensen p. 65).
> It is also supposed to have existed in oldThat is rather off-topic, but that is somewhat strained to me. As I
> Czech (as a reflex of _rj_), but this does not mean anything.
understand, the transition from palatalized [r] to the Czech r-haczek
(coarticulated [r] and [Z] as in 'pleasure') only implies the addition
of the fricative character and removal of the flap, and does not
necessarily imply a back-and-forth place of articulation shift.
> _hy_ is somewhat a problem, since it apparently _is_ palatal.I don't think so, as the strident/non-strident distinction is very
>I cannot say whether there is a difference between
>_thy_ and _sy_ (whether the distinction strident/not-strident might
>exist even among palatals).
difficult to handle by the dorsum. The IPA also confirms that the
distinction, even if existent, is apparently nowhere phonemic.
> (By the way, if combinations Cy stand for palatals, then thereLet me note that the presence of intervocalic voicing of _s_ (with or
> must have existed /S/ (i.e. a palatal _s_), realized as [Z] between
> vowels -- this was the source of _ry_ [R].)
without rhotacism) does not necessarily imply voicing of other
fricatives. True, the Germanic languages voice both the _s_ and the /f þ
x/ series, but Latin had rhotacism but not voicing of other fricatives.
This is not a very good example, since Latin does not possess
intervocalic fricatives word-internally (the initial ones stem from the
IE voiced aspirates, which were realized word-medially in Italic as
voiced unaspirated stops), and thus the morpheme boundary (as in
_de+fici+o_ or _de+fend+o_) can contribute to the lack of voicing. I am
sure other examples can be found though.
>> My suggestion is the following. The stress in _hiruvalye_ is to beThe part about 'to some degree' worries me a lot. I don't know much
>> explained by the fact that Quenya stress, not being phonological, is
>> determined by purely phonetic environs, unlike the (phonemically
>> relevant) length.
>> I would suggest that _ly_, being palatalized,
>**I think it is a palatal, being distinct to a palatalized _l_, which
>occured between _e, i_ and a consonant, cf. App. E s.v. L: "[_l_] was,
>however, to some degree 'palatalized' between _e, i_ and a consonant,
>or finally after _e, i_".
about degrees of palatalization in European languages (since the Russian
non-palatalized [l] is heavily velarized, which interferes a lot), but
it seems possible that the palatalization distinction could possess
>> Now with regard to length, there is a different situation. Stress,(it
>> phonologically irrelevant in Quenya, can be determined by the purely
>> phonetic environs. Length, being phonologically important, should be
>> judged on the phonological level. Now if _ry_ is a single consonant
>> apparently is *phonologically*),I never said it was obvious. This situation is difficult to resolve
>**I do not think it is obvious.
(just as in natural languages), since not one of the two tests
applicable to Quenya (whether the consonant makes a syllable closed;
whether it can be word/syllable-initial) is not applicable to the sound
in question - the first test is what we are discussing, the second one
is inapplicable in case of word-initial [ry] because there's just no
possible etymology for an initial [ry] (unless a RY-root is found), in
case of internal syllable-initial because the first element of a cluster
is either a nasal or a spirant fricative, both of which tend to
assimilate with [r] and blur the distinctions.
>> then the syllable division in _máryat_stronger
>> is _má+ryat_. There is the question of unattested syllable- (=word-)
>> initial _ry_, but the tendency for open syllables must be much
>> than the tendency for maximum onsets.The forcing of the vowel shortening here definitely shows that the
>**Morphological criterion might also have played its role, because
>there is a morpheme boundary between _má_ and _rya(t)_. The same
>morpheme boundary is, however, between _ma_ and _nna(r)_ in
>_mannar_ (FS, LR:72). Here the geminated (or long) _n_ may also
>be phonologically a single consonant, though phonetically a succession
>of two identical consonants. For that matter there would be the same
syllable division is _man+nar_. Had Quenya not possessed single
intervocalic nasals, the situation would be just like the Archi system
described in my original post, but it just doesn't.
>> Thus, my suggestion is the following: a CV[Cy]V sequence isphonetically
>> (for purposes of stress) divided into syllables as CV[C+y]V andIndeed there are, that's just why I posted this :-)
>> phonemically (relevant to length) as CV+[Cy]V.
>**While this may be possible, I think there are many uncertainties.
Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...
Is mall a mharcaicheas am fear a bheachdaicheas
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>