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438Prepositions and nominal suffixes attested in Elvish

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  • David Kiltz
    May 22, 2003
      On Freitag, Mai 16, 2003, at 10:39 Uhr, Hans wrote:

      > *HO: "ancient adverbial element, occurring principially as a proclitic
      > or enclitic",
      > it was the origin of a verbal prefix or a case-marker _-o_ (XI:368).

      This refers probably to the genitive in _-o_, pl _-on_ and probably
      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
      "genitive" case.

      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
      exeption: _etya_).

      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, they
      > ARE adverbial.

      Unless, of course, we're dealing with a NOMINAL SENTENCE in which case
      they are ADNOMINAL.

      David Kiltz
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