438Prepositions and nominal suffixes attested in Elvish
- May 22, 2003On Freitag, Mai 16, 2003, at 10:39 Uhr, Hans wrote:
> *HO: "ancient adverbial element, occurring principially as a procliticThis refers probably to the genitive in _-o_, pl _-on_ and probably
> or enclitic",
> it was the origin of a verbal prefix or a case-marker _-o_ (XI:368).
also the "ablative" _-Vllo_. In the latter case, _3o_ or _ho_ is
assimilated to the shorter form _-Vl_ (cf. Entu, Ensi, Enta Declension
VT36:8). _-o(n)_ is attached to the noun either in singular or plural
respectively. But is it attached to a specific case ? The question,
perhaps, can be answered by looking at the chart of the Entu, Ensi,
Enta declension. The first three lines run thus:
1) entu ensi enta en
2) ento ente enta en
3) ento ente etta enda.
The authors of VT36 take the first line to represent the nominative on
the ground of general considerations. I.e., conventionally, the nom. is
written first in any chart. The second row, then, is taken to represent
the forms of the acc. Lastly, the third row is considered as
representing an alternative genitive.
While I agree on the first row, I do not think the interpretation of
the 2. and 3. row likely.
Firstly, the difference between 1 and 2 in masc, and fem., namely
_-tu_, _-si(<ti)_ vs _-to_, _-te_ finds its exact correspondents in the
demonstratives _su/so_. _si/se_ (cf. Et:385 sub S-). The entry in the
Etymologies indicates that the distinction between _su/so_ is not one
of case. Hence the same is likely for _entu_ and _ento_. A possible
distinction might be that one form refers to actual males/females while
the other is used more metaphorically. But that's pure speculation at
this point. It may also be suggestive that pure _en_ occurs in the
first two rows, whereas an (old) accusative is normally characterised
by V+ (e.g. nom. _cirya, vs ac. _ciryá_). We find such a + form in the
third row (_enda_). Note, however, that (en) is given as variant (?).
Lastly, the assumption of an "uninflected" genitive for Quenya seems a
little flawed to me.
Things such as _airetári-lírinen_ or _ambar-metta_ should rather be
treated as compounds. The hyphen seems to indicate that, while such
compounds could apparently be formed rather freely in Quenya. Two
elements of a compound can have various relations. Where two nouns are
involved the most frequent (virtual) case relation is that of a
genitive. That means simply that, the first element functions as an
attribute to the second. So, the fact that _ambar-metta_ can, of
course, be paraphrased as _metta i ambaro_ doesn't allow for the
assumption of an endingless genitive. Note that in Indo-European
languages compounds where the first member is indeed inflected occur.
However, they aren't in a majority. The older the language the less
likely this is to happen.
The authors also note a difference in English between _Here is her
book_ and _the book he has is hers_(VT36:20). I don't see how this is
related to the issue. Suffice it to say that both _her_ and _hers_ are
inflected forms. Also, they don't normally appear in compounds. (Unless
there is a "her-cat" next to a "she-cat"). So I take it the latter
examples or English pronouns strictly refer to the use of the pronoun
_enta_ etc.. Still, how would such a distinction (attributive vs
predicative) work with a *demonstrative* pronoun. Note that _his_ and
_her_ are possessive pronouns. That is, they are inherently
"genitival". The formal distinction _her_ vs _hers_ is a very late
innovation to avoid confusion with _her_ (=¬c/dat.). E.g. **the book
is her == she is the book. There is no distinction for _his_ or _its_
since they're unambiguous. Cf. also _I see the colour of that yonder_
vs _this is the colour of that yonder_. I don't see how you would fit
_enta_ vs _entan_ in here.
In other Germanic languages we find strong and weak forms of the
adjective in these functions but that doesn't bear on the matter. That
means, in my eyes, there is no base for the assumption of a third
In my view, the third row must be regarded as representing the
accusative. If this is correct, we can also answer the question to what
"case" (if any) Quenya inflectional suffixes are attached to. If,
indeed, the third form in the third row _etta_ is an accusative, then
it seems clear that this is not a derivational basis since the
inflected forms of _enta_ all show the stem _ent-_ (with one noticeable
So it would seem likely, that also _-o_ was not attached to the
accusative. But what about _-ho_ ? It was apparently attached to _-Vl_.
This _Vl_ must, it would seem, contain an element _l_ since a final d
would have > r in auslaut. Or maybe *_Vd+3V_ > _VllV_ can be assumed?
Maybe via *_VddV_. What do you think ?
> Since prepositions modify the relation of a verb to its object, theyUnless, of course, we're dealing with a NOMINAL SENTENCE in which case
> ARE adverbial.
they are ADNOMINAL.
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