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409Re: ÓNI, ONYE

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  • David Kiltz
    Apr 16, 2003
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      On Dienstag, April 15, 2003, at 06:31 Uhr, Carl Hostetter wrote:

      > I don't think it is valid to restructure a sentence and then assume
      > that it has any _necessary_ bearing on the grammatical relationships
      > of the parts of the original sentence.

      1) Yes and no. There are two different aspects (of relationship) here.
      A. The formal level. On the formal level, e.g. _elye_ might as well be
      accusative.

      [Note that I said "_necessary_ bearing". If one restructures a
      sentence and then uses it to make grammatical arguments concerning
      the functions of the parts of the sentence, the burden is on them to show
      that it is valid to do so in each particular case. CFH]

      B. Edouard, however, wrote "since they are not subject".
      This I do not agree with. Languages may vary as to how they encode a
      prepositional participant of a noun phrase (Semitic would use the
      genitive) but in a sentence like _I Heru aselye_ "the Lord is with
      thee", _asleye_ is, in my eyes, B. *functionally* the subject (namely
      Mary). Just as in the preceding parts of the prayer. "...Full of grace"
      "blessed thou art amongst women".

      [Whereas I would say that _-elye_ is _functionally_ the object of the
      preposition _as-_, but _formally_ indistinguishable from the nominative/
      subject form. That being said, I would welcome a typological study of
      attested Quenya to investigate whether and to what degree it varies
      from a western-Indo-European type in this and other matters.
      Moreover, it seems to me that asserting that _aselye_ 'with thee' is the
      subject is equivalent to saying that, in the sentence: "The grass is green",
      "green" is the subject (and, therefore, a noun). CFH]

      > Besides, how would you explain away the fact that in _I Heru aselye_
      > 'the Lord is with thee', the subject is _Heru_, leaving _-elye_ as the
      > object?

      Functionally, the first phrase can be rephrased as "thou art one the
      Lord is with". Here, I think it becomes clear that the case *encoding*
      does by no means necessarily imply anything about the function in a
      sentence. Or, with other words, I'm using "subject" and "object" as
      functional (semantical) categories, not formal ones.

      [You have yet to establish that your restructuring of the sentence has
      any necessary bearing on the interpretation of either the form or the
      function of the elements of the original sentence. CFH]

      So there is nothing to "explain away". When you say "leaving _-elye_
      as the object", you are referring to how an Indo-European language
      would typically encode a prepositional participant. That doesn't,
      however, change the fact (in my eyes) that it isn't the object of the
      sentence (functionally).

      [Again, I would say that _functionally_ it is the object (not of the
      sentence, but of the preposition), though _formally_ it is
      indistinguishable from a nominative/subject form. CFH]

      So, in short, I find that both you and Edouard fail to make a necessary
      distiction between the formal and functional level of the language here.

      [I don't feel that I have failed to make the necessary distinction; rather,
      the distinction I make of form vs. function seems to be the opposite of the
      one you make. CFH]

      > The fact that the object_-elye_ has the same _form_ as an object as
      > it does as a subject does _not_ mean that it cannot fill two grammatical
      > roles. Especially in a language that we know lost the formal distinction
      > between nominative and accusative generally.

      Absolutely with you. Never doubted that for a second.
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