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367Re: [Lambengolmor] ómentie

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  • Beregond. Anders Stenström
    Mar 19, 2003
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      Edouard Kloczko wrote about a letter from Tolkien to Peter
      Alford in 1958, in which the form _ómentie_ can be read on the
      picture published in the catalogue for Sotheby's London auction
      13 December 2001 (and also on their website):

      > cf. Hammond's book "JRR Tolkien A Descriptive
      > Bibliography", Dii48, p. 361

      The quotation on account of which an earlier Sotheby catalogue
      was included in the bibliography concerns a radio production of
      _The Fellowship of the Ring_, a matter discussed in the first of
      four letters to Peter Alford. The explanation of Tolkien's Elvish
      inscription in Alford's copy of _The Lord of the Rings_ came in
      the third letter.

      > Tolkien wrote _ómentie_ with a long ó.
      > [. . .] the complete text is not clearly readable.

      Much of it is, though. I give my reading of the passage here.
      The first part of each line, enclosed in brackets, is hidden in the
      picture, so the bracketed words are merely my conjectures. One
      difficult point, directly related to Kloczko's question, will be
      discussed below. But first the text from the letter, with line
      numbers added:

      1 [con]tinuative of \thil Q sil 'shine white' = is now
      2 [shin]ing'
      3 [ ] lúme '(period of) time' with the allative
      4 [suffi]x or case-ending -nna : lúmenna
      5 ['upon t]he time' -- no definite 'article' = the, being
      6 [unneede]d when a noun is defined by a genitive.
      7 [ o]mentie - lma ó prefix (like
      8 [con-, syn-] ) = together : ómentie coming
      9 [together, ]meeting. -lma suffixed possessive
      10 [pronoun 'incl]usive we' (you and I/we), here
      11 [in genitive] form -lmo. 'Of the meeting of
      12 [you and me]/us'.
      13 [ High]-elven Quenya is quite a ????
      14 [? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?]??, as one might expect!

      The backslash in "\thil" represents a radix-sign, and the _th_ is
      in the original written with thorn.
      You will have noted that I have filled in an _o_ rather than an
      _ó_ at the beginning of line 7. In the light of _ómentie_ one might
      expect _ó_. This expectation is strengthened by a look at the
      inscription Tolkien was explaining (DTS 57), where the final word
      indeed seems to be _ómentielmo_. But on the other hand, with an
      _ó_ on line 7, part of the accent mark should likely have been
      visible. Also, Tolkien presumably first gave Alford the inscribed
      book, and wrote the explanation later. If so, the form of Frodo's
      greeting in the printed text, with (then) _omentielmo_, may have
      more directly determined what was written in the letter.

      The phrase in lines 13-14 that I cannot make out may possibly
      be "com-[plicated affa]ir".

      Meneg suilaid,