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374Re: ómentie

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Mar 21 5:35 AM
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      On Friday, March 21, 2003, at 08:14 AM, Edward J. Kloczko wrote:

      > Yes _únótime_ has two long syllables, but I did not imply in my post
      > that such a pattern was not permitted in Quenya.

      Ah, but you did, when you wrote yesterday (in message 369): "the direct
      ancestor of Q. _omentie_ could not have had a long ó, because the next
      following syllable is long: _ent_ (om-ent-i-e); cf. 'this prefix was
      normally unstressed [...] when the next following syllable was long'".

      > A word such as _ósanwe_ was a "new compound", made up in Aman, of
      > which the word _sanwe_ was clearly recognised by the Eldar.

      This is a plausible hypothesis, but you've stated it as a fact. Please
      qualify your hypotheses so as not to seem to be asserting what is in
      fact not certain.

      > Anyway, that does not explain why an (?Old) Quenya _ómentie_ would
      > yield _omentie_? Tolkien should have cited _ómentie_ when explaining
      > _omentie_ in WJ, p. 367. Tolkien wrote "o-mentie" only.

      No one has shown or claimed that _ómentie_ represents an "Old Quenya"
      form (with "Old" in the linguistic sense, i.e., as opposed to Middle or
      Modern). The idea that _ómentie_ may represent an _older_ (but still
      _linguistically Modern_) form of the _omentie_ is based solely on my
      supposition that a questionable word written by Tolkien reads "later".
      I've come to think that "like" (which Anders suggested and I also noted
      as possible) is the more probable reading.

      > According to the explanations given by Tolkien in "War of the Jewels",
      > if _omentie_ was in the past (Old Quenya) _ómentie_, then the Telerin
      > cognate word must have been _wómentie/vómentie_, but instead Tolkien
      > gave _womentie/vomentie_.

      Given that Q _o-_/_ó-_ and T _wo-_/_vo-_ are known to have arisen from
      a variably-lengthened element even in Common Eldarin, I fail to see how
      the Quenya presence or absence of lengthening (due to stress) of the
      prefix in _any_ form of Quenya can have any bearing on the Telerin
      reflex. Telerin may, in the course of its development, simply have
      selected the unlengthened (unstressed) form of the prefix for such
      word-patterns as _womentie_, while Quenya did not.

      Returning to the matter of the two attested forms _omentie_ (XI:367) /
      _ómentie_ (the Sotheby's letter under discussion), both vs.
      _omentielmo_, there are two types of variability we must deal with:
      internal (within Quenya), and external (Tolkien). Hypothesizing reasons
      for a difference between _ómentie_ but _omentielmo_ is not difficult,
      since the two words have different syllable patterns. Thus a purely
      internal variation seems quite sufficient. But for _omentie_ vs.
      _ómentie_, while we can somewhat more vaguely construct a purely
      internal hypothesis (basically, by simply appealing to the known
      variability of stress in prefixes and chalking it up to individual
      usage), we must also recognize that Tolkien was not always consistent
      in marking vowel length, even within the same documents. Thus, for
      instance, as I noted in my editorial notes on the _Ósanwe-kenta_
      (VT39), Tolkien wrote both _osanwe_ and _ósanwe_ in that essay.


      --
      =============================================
      Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org

      ho bios brachys, he de techne makre.
      Ars longa, vita brevis.
      The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
      "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take such
      a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."
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