391Re: Q. _Tarantar_ 'Trotter'
- Mar 31, 2003Patrick H. Wynne tence:
> I was recently asked by Michael Urban if I had any idea onAnother possibility, beside the ones you mentioned, for its etymology
> 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.
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.
> Whatever the source of *TARAT-, a root of this form should yield a Q.Cf. also _vanta-_ "to walk" < BAT- "tread" (LR: 351-2). This might,
> 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'.
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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