442Quenya pronouns 1: _ni_ (was Re: Quenya accusative pronouns)
- May 25, 2003--- In email@example.com, Ales Bican <ales.bican@s...> wrote:
> The Plotz Letter informs us that "all longIn fact, the Plotz Letter says so explicitly, the sentence you quoted
> vowels were reduced to short vowels finally" in Spoken Quenya.
> Again MWs seem not follow the rule, because we have _sí_ "now"
> in "_Namárie_", for instance.
continues: "... and before final cons. in words of two or more
syllables". This is obviously connected with stress, remember
that the prefix _ó-_ becomes _o-_ when unstressed (XI:367).
With the retraction of stress, final vowels became unstressed
always, and shortened. This did not necessarily (or never?)
happen in monosyllabic words.
> **That is certainly possible (though the subject pronoun forI can't see any reason to assume that. The _-ne_ in _meláne_ has a
> "I" could have been simply *_-ne_ then (i.e. with the original
> _e_, not from _i_)).
natural explanation, and in any other case I know of, the form is
_ni_ or derived from it. Let's analyze a few occurrences of the 1.
person sg. pronoun in the corpus:
_ni_ "I" (Arctic Sentence)
_Atarinya_ "my father" (V:61)
_meláne_ "I love" (same page)
_inye_ "I" (same page)
_indo-ninya_ "my heart" (V:72)
_nin_ "me" (same page)
_NI_2 "I" (V:378)
This shows a consistent picture up to Etymologies: _ni_ or _inye_ as
"I", _-nya_ or even _ni-nya_ as possessive suffix, _ni-n_ as dative.
The change *_-ni_ >_-ne_ in final position was purely phonological.
A short pronominal suffix _-n_ is found in numerous entries in
Etymologies, too. Again, this fits into the general picture: short final
vowels (since unstressed) were lost often. So we can see two
alternative developments: *_-ni_ > _-ne_ > _-n_, or instead
strengthening of the suffix _-ne_ > _-nye_. It seems likely that
the possessive suffix was formed by combining _ni_ with the adjectival
suffix _-ya_, *_-niya_ > _-nya_. The pronoun remained through all
stages of Quenya. It appeared as a prefix shortly:
_nilendie_ "I have come" (IX:56)
_nimaruvan_ "I shall dwell" (same page)
The dative form _nin_ "for me" appears in Namárie (LR:368) and in the
late notes on _óre_ (VT41:11). Some time between them, we have the
forms _ónye_ and _óni_. As I said already, the argument that the pronouns
are not nominative (or subjective) in form makes sense, in my opinion.
They shouldn't be, because a subject doesn't need prepositions.
> The fact that the reflex of final short CE _-i_ in _-e_ in Quenya isSure, but _-ni_ attached to anything are two syllables at least. Of
> not, in my view, sufficient for assuming that _-ni_ in an accusative
> form, because as I have tried to show the behavior of CE
> monosyllabic words is slightly different to the behavior of CE
> polysyllabic words.
course, Patrick's argument relies on the assumption that the
custom of attaching pronominal suffixes to prepositions (which
obviously did not exist in CE) occurred earlier than the change
of final short -i > -e.
It seems that _ni_ did not occur as a stand-alone word in the corpus
after the Arctic Sentence. _inye_ seems to be derived form an
augmented form *_i-ni_. At least, that would explain the difference
to _elye_ "you" (LR:368).
I'll return to "you" (and other pronouns) in other posts.
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