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391Re: Q. _Tarantar_ 'Trotter'

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  • Petri Tikka
    Mar 31, 2003
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      Patrick H. Wynne tence:

      > I was recently asked by Michael Urban if I had any idea on
      > what the etymology of _Tarantar_ 'Strider' might be, and I thought I
      > might share the results of my investigation into this name with the
      > Lambengolmor, in order to get some educated feedback. Words
      > discussed are in Quenya unless otherwise noted.

      Another possibility, beside the ones you mentioned, for its etymology
      might be TA3- "high, lofty, noble" (V:389) + _anta-_ "to present, give"
      (V:348), derived from NA- "to, towards". So it might ultimately
      mean "go towards height". Although it does not seem very applicable
      to "trotting" (though it is movement also), it could have a suitable side
      meaning (Aragorn's rise to power and his generousity as a king), fitting
      Aragorn's description of it not sounding so ill in the high tongue
      (LR:845). Though all this is a little bit far-fetched, I know.

      [I have to agree with your own assessment in the last sentence,
      if you'll pardon my saying! ;-) On the other hand, it's always useful
      to examine a wide variety of possibilities in matters such as this.
      -- PHW]

      > Whatever the source of *TARAT-, a root of this form should yield a Q.
      > verb _*tarta-_ 'to trot'. With nasal infixion this would yield a stem
      > _*taranta-_ : compare the manner of nasal infixion in such
      > structurally similar words as _atalante_ 'the Downfallen' (IX:247),
      > _Atalantie_ 'Downfall' (L:347) < _talta-_ 'slip, slide down,
      > collapse' (MC:223); and _oante_ < _áwa-n-tê_, pa.t. of _auta-_
      > 'go away' (XI:366). With addition of agentive _-r_, this
      > nasal-infixed stem _*tara-n-ta-_ would yield our _Tarantar_ 'Trotter'.

      Cf. also _vanta-_ "to walk" < BAT- "tread" (LR: 351-2). This might,
      beside nasal infixion, be an instance of metathesis between from
      _-tn_, i.e. _*-nta-_ < _*-tna-_ < _-t-_ + _-na_ verbal ending (cf.
      _faina-_ "to emit light" < PHAY- "radiate, sent out rays of light,

      The examples you cite of nasal infixion have both something to do with
      past (_downfallEN_, pa.t.), while agentality is something, if associated
      with a specific time at all, connected with the future. I would thus
      consider nasal infixion examples rather far-fetched to explain _-nt-_
      in _Tarantar_, if it derives from *TARAT- 'to beat the ground rapidly
      with the feet' < TARA (2) 'batter, thud, beat' (PE12:89). It might have
      the verbal ending _-na_, cf. the examples above. But the problem with
      this is that the word would have two, not just one, markers of
      verbality beside the meaning of the stem.

      Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland

      [Indeed, the cited examples of nasal infixion refer to the past tense.
      However, I was citing them to demonstrate the manner in which
      nasal infixion occurred in triconsonantal stems of the form CvCvC:
      thus TALÁT- yielded the nasal-infixed form _atala-n-te_. Similarly,
      nasal infixion of a stem *TARAT- (whatever the purpose of the
      nasal infixion might be) would yield the form _*tara-n-t-_. This
      does not mean that the nasal infixion in _*tarant-_ would have
      to connote the past tense -- as the examples _*la(n)sro-ndo_
      'hearer, listener' < LAS- and _*kwentro_ 'narrator' < KWET- show,
      nasal infixion of biconsonantal stems in agentive forms is an
      attested phenomenon, and I am proposing that _tarant-_ in
      agentive _Tarantar_ might be an example of this same agentive
      nasal-infixion occurring in a triconsonantal stem, *TARAT-.
      In these forms the nasal infix marks agentality, not tense.

      Also, on what do you base the statement that "agentality is
      something, if associated with a specific time at all, connected
      with the future"? I doubt that this is true of language in
      general, or Elvish in particular. At least, that's not the way
      another favorite conlang of mine, Esperanto, works -- the
      agentives _parolanto_, _parolinto_, _parolonto_ can all be
      glossed in English as 'speaker', but literally mean 'one who
      is speaking', 'one who has spoken', and 'one who is going
      to speak' respectively. Some inventive souls have even
      proposed forms such as _parolunto_ 'one who would speak'!

      -- Patrick H. Wynne]
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