367Re: [Lambengolmor] ómentie
- Mar 19, 2003Edouard 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 DescriptiveThe quotation on account of which an earlier Sotheby catalogue
> Bibliography", Dii48, p. 361
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.Much of it is, though. I give my reading of the passage here.
> [. . .] the complete text is not clearly readable.
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
1 [con]tinuative of \thil Q sil 'shine white' = is now
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".