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448Re: Quenya pronouns 1: _ni_

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  • Ales Bican
    May 28, 2003
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      I argued that long vowels in monosyllables were not reduced, even though
      the Plotz Letter says that "all long vowels were reduced to short vowels
      finally". Hans replied:

      > In fact, the Plotz Letter says so explicitly, the sentence you quoted
      > continues: "... and before final cons. in words of two or more
      > syllables".

      **I am aware of it. The whole sentence reads: "all long vowels were
      reduced to short vowels finally and before final cons. in words of
      two or more syllables". While I think that shortening of long vowels in
      monosyllables did not take place even in Book Quenya, I mentioned it,
      because it seems to be that the sentence is not purely unambiguous.
      Perhaps it could also be read like "all vowels were reduced to short
      vowels finally _in all words_ and before final cons. _only_ in
      words of two or more syllables".

      Speaking of which, there are two things that have made me puzzle
      for a long time. Which long vowels in words of two or more syllables
      were reduced? The long _í_ from _ei_ in dat. pl. of _lasse_ (sc.
      _lassin_) was already reduded in Book Quenya. The other thing is
      connected with this: in PL Tolkien also says that the diphthong _ai_
      was reduced to _e_. Should we read this that the reduction happened
      only finally or both finally and before final cons.? If so, dat. pl.
      of _cirya_ should be *_ciryen_, right?

      > 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.

      **It could happen if monosyllables were unstressed, for instance
      when functioning as enclitics.

      > > **That is certainly possible (though the subject pronoun for
      > > "I" could have been simply *_-ne_ then (i.e. with the original
      > > _e_, not from _i_)).
      > I can't see any reason to assume that. The _-ne_ in _meláne_ has a
      > natural explanation, and in any other case I know of, the form is
      > _ni_ or derived from it.

      **I do not claim I would defend it -- I believe the explation suggested
      by Patrick Wynne is the correct one, nevertheless one can never be
      sure what Tolkien might have imagined.

      [examples of _ni_ forms snipped]

      > So we can see two alternative developments: *_-ni_ > _-ne_ > _-n_,
      > or instead strengthening of the suffix _-ne_ > _-nye_.

      **Or perhaps _-ni+e_ > _-nye_ or, which I find more likely, _-ni+ye_
      > _-nye_ (just like _-le+ye_ and ?_ke+ye_ > _tye_).

      > It seems likely that the possessive suffix was formed by combining _ni_
      > with the adjectival suffix _-ya_, *_-niya_ > _-nya_.

      **Or it might have been _-ni+a_ > _-nya_ (note that _-a_ is seen in

      > 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_.

      **Let me note it is _onye_.

      > 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).

      **They (_inye_ and _elye_) seem to be emphatic forms showing augmented
      stem-vowels comparable to _a-nar_ and _i-sil_.

      > I'll return to "you" (and other pronouns) in other posts.

      **I hope you will do. Unfortunately, David Kiltz did not return to
      his opinion on Cy combinations in Q and PQ as he said he would
      (strange reminder, I know : ) .

      Ales Bican

      Jag är hellre glad nu än om 25 år. (Agnes in _Fucking Åmål_)
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