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411Re: ÓNI, ONYE

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  • Hans
    Apr 26, 2003
      Patrick Wynne wrote:

      > In fact, pretty much any "A with B" construction could be viewed as "dual"
      > in the sense of describing a "union of two things or persons, or of two
      > groups thought of as units".

      While this is true, it seems to me that the specific dual character of
      *WO > _ó_/_o_ was emphasized only later, in _Quendi and Eldar_. That
      Q&E was written later than the chart containing _óni_, _onye_, etc.
      (VT43:29), seems to be confirmed by the fact that we read there about
      *WO that "This does not remain in Q as an independent word" (XI:367).
      Indeed, in the latest version of _Aia María_, _olesse_ does no longer occur.
      A preposition (even with an appended pronoun) would be an independent

      [Indeed. Facts stated by Tolkien at one point in the conceptual history
      of his languages have no _necessary_ bearing on any other stage of that
      long history. The willingness to _force_ such facts to apply at all other
      stages and in all attested examples is a phenomenon of a regularizing and
      simplifying mind asserting its desires over both history and evidence, and
      is thus anti-scholarly. The proper approach is to examine _all_ the evidence
      bearing on a particular element or device, weighing each example and/or
      statement against the others, and then making such observations and
      claims as this evidence, as a whole, permits. CFH]

      It's interesting that we find _o_ not as a preposition, but as a conjunction in
      the Notion Club Papers, _O sauron túle_ (IX:246), replacing _Ar_ in an earlier
      variant. It seems to be used in the sense "with (them)", which is close to "and".
      This closeness in JRRT's understanding is confirmed by a preliminary version
      of a sentence in _The Return of the King_: _Sinome nimaruva yo hildinyar tenn'
      Ambar-metta!_ (XI:56), where _yo_ (the non-dual counterpart of *_wo_ according
      to XI:367) was replaced by _ar_ in the final version: _Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar
      tenn' Ambar-metta!_ (LR:946). VT43:33 mentions a root _ara_ "along side", and
      the closely related _as-_ is used in the sense "with" (VT43:30), so it seems that
      Quenya _ar_ has a more commitative sense than the English "and".

      Patrick further wrote:

      > nominative endings such as _-nye_, _-(e)lye_, etc. could in fact be attached
      > to prepositions to serve as objects. The chart in question indicates that these
      > forms coexisted with forms such as _óni_, _óle_, in which the endings _-ni, -le_
      > actually are accusative in form.

      While I agree on the first part, I'd like to see some evidence why _-ni, -le_ are
      accusative in form. The sentence quoted above shows that _ni-_ was used as
      nominative "I" in _nimaruva_, and the well-known _tye-meláne_ in _The Lost
      Road_ (V:68 in my DelRey paperback) shows the long form _tye_ as accusative
      "thee". _le_ seemed to coexist with a form *_lye_, as we know from a
      communication by Helge Fauskanger in Elfling message #14958 (May 11, 2000):
      _lyenna_ (obviously "upon you") is found in an JRRT autograph dating from 1968.

      [So says Helge. I wonder whether the word in question could instead be
      _tyenna_? Tolkien's _t_s and _l_s are sometimes difficult to distinguish, as he
      had a habit of placing the cross-bar of his _t_s far to the right of the vertical
      member, and also of "blending" it with the start of a following consonant. CFH]

      So it seems to me that _-ni, -le_ are just short forms, which (as the long forms)
      can be both nominative and accusative. This would be in accordance with the
      Plotz Letter, saying that accusative vanished from spoken Quenya, and the
      difference to nominative "was adequately expressed by word order" (VT6:14).
      Indeed, attaching a pronoun to a preposition clearly marks it as an object!

      Still, there should have been a formal difference in Book Quenya, and it's curious
      that it didn't survive. In languages like German, English, Italian,... the difference
      between acc. and nom. is no longer expressed in nouns, but still visible in
      pronouns. Given the fact that JRRT much hesitated even with the nominative forms
      of the pronouns, it seems unlikely that he had a clear vision of hypothetical
      accusative forms in Book Quenya, though.

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