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447Re: Prepositions and nominal suffixes attested in Elvish

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  • Hans
    May 27, 2003
      --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

      > As Hans notes, _Orome_ here has genitival function without (overt)
      > case markings. Such constructions also occur in English:
      > _Mount Doom_ == "Mount of doom" Hence, we do not have another
      > genitive case here but probably something that is formally ==
      > nominative but functionally a genitive of possession or association.

      I don't think this is _the_ answer: simply "case" is used in
      different meanings. This is not a mistake, but general practice, as
      the following quote from the entry "case" in the _American Heritage
      Dictionary_ may show:

      "11 b. Case In some varieties of generative grammar, the thematic or
      semantic role of a noun phrase as represented abstractly but not
      necessarily indicated overtly in surface structure. In such
      frameworks, nouns in English have Case even in the absence of
      inflectional case endings."

      Consequently, "nominative" is sometimes used to denote a function,
      namely being the subject (JRRT calls that "subjective" in Adunaic,
      and it is inflected in that language), and sometimes it may denote
      the absence of infectional endings, that's called "normal case" in
      Adunaic (and may be used for subjects and direct objects).

      The logical flaw in VT36, imho, is the conclusion that since an
      *uninflected* genitive exists, the only slightly inflected (but
      *inflected*!) third row in the chart could be a genitive. It's
      possible, but I don't see sufficient evidence.

      [Since as you say it _is_ possible, then it cannot be a logical flaw to
      propose it. It would however be a fallacy to say that it was _proven_
      to be so, but of course Christopher Gilson never said that. CFH]

      As I wrote already, I think Quenya made a subjective/normal
      distinction at that time (since even the later "Bodleian Declensions"
      do so). This means marking of the subject in cases of ambiguity, so
      the marking of direct objects would be superfluous, an accusative
      inflexion simply wasn't needed.

      The distinction _su_/_so_ may have been one of subjective/normal case
      earlier, but at the time of the _Etymologies_, it may have been
      reinterpreted already, and the final _-u_ was considered an older
      form, replaced by _-o_ later. Cf. the entry ÓROK-: "*_órku_ goblin:
      Q _orko_, pl. _orqi_."

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