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393Re: [Lambengolmor] Re: Similarities between Elvish and real-world languages

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  • Hans Georg Lundahl
    Mar 31, 2003
      Edouard J. Kloczko wrote:

      > I believe also that we should not reject what the author has to say:
      > "It is [...] idle to compare chance-similarities between names made
      > from 'Elvish tongues' and words in exterior 'real' languages, especially
      > if this is supposed to have any bearing on the meaning or ideas in
      > my story" (Letters, p. 380).
      >
      > And also: "Actual congruence (of form + sense) occur in unrelated
      > real languages, and it is impossible in constructing imaginary
      > languages from a limited number of component sounds to avoid
      > such resemblance (if one tries to -- I do not)" (Letters, pp. 384-385).

      It must be borne in mind that this was not in answer to queries about
      loans from Icelandic (Icel. _alft, alpt_ == swan, Q _alqua_, S _alph_) or
      Finnish (_tule_) or Welsh, but supposed loans from Hebrew and
      Sanskrit (_Gilgalad_ supposedly == _Gilead_, _Galahad_!) depending on
      whether he was accused of parodying the Old Testament or of
      reinventing some Hindoo or Mithraistic cult mythology (like dance of
      Shiva and Vashti supposedly depicted in the tengwar!). If the
      questions had been somewhat more intelligent or Tolkien somewhat less
      sensitive about being misunderstood, his answers might have come closer to
      the candour of the author of Verdurian, Mark Rosenfeld, who admits to using
      nearly loans - _cuo_ for dog, like Gaelic _cú_ and Lithuanian _shuo_, for
      instance. Q _Ravi_ comes rather close to Gmn _Löhwe_ -- though not close
      enough to be a loan. Rather it is more onomatopoetic than _Löhwe_.

      Hans Georg Lundahl

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