486Re: [Lambengolmor] The Noldorin pa.t. _mudas_
- Sep 20, 2003On Samstag, Juli 12, 2003, at 06:07 Uhr, Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
> That Tolkien envisioned irregularitiesIn full knowledge that such 'irregularities' derive from earlier
> in the Elvish languages is well attested, whether it be the
> "irregular vocalism" of Q. _málo_ 'friend' < base MEL- (V:372),
> the "irreg. pret." _(e)halle_ of Q _halta-_ 'to leap' (PE12:39), the
> "quite irregular" Gn. verb _na-_ 'is', or the "irregular pret."
> _tîli_ of Gn. _teltha-_ 'cover in' (PE11:70), to cite but a few
regularities (a point not in dispute, I know), which only reinforces
the point made on _mudas_, namely to take the form seriously.
A few comments on the above forms:
1) Q. _málo_ may well be a Telerin form, from MEL- with 'a'- infixion
2) Q. _halta_, pret. _(e)halle_. Leaving aside the anlauting 'e',
_halle_ is a regular past tense form, but not for a _-ta_ verb (be it <
sundóme+t or _-tâ_). Possibly a new present stem was formed in _-t_ but
the old past tense retained. It would seem harder to explain it the
other way round. Maybe the present was reformed to avoid homophony with
Q. _halla_ 'tall' [LR3:507].
3) The 'irregularity' of _na_ is, of course, in line with what is known
from many real languages. In the case of Q(u)enya, we're dealing mostly
4) The preterite of Gn. _teltha_ seems to be in the same line as #2.
Example 2 and 4 apparently show that past tense forms could end up 'in
the wrong category' or rather, that present tense stems exhibit a
tendency to 'renovate' (something which is beautifully mirrored by
Indo-European languages, especially at earlier stages, abounding in
(often concurrent) present stem formations)(1).
So maybe the pa.t. _mudas_ was actually formed from an (earlier)
_mó-_. Thus the 'd' could be interpreted as corresponding to the 'th'
seen in Early
Noldorin verbs (cf., e.g. PE13:131).
Neither th > s nor th > d are trivial in Sindarin/Noldorin be it
internally or externally. So, the interpretation of pa.t. mudas <
mú-da-s as a gender specific past tense form like N. _madathas_
(PE13:131) is just an alternative hypothesis.
We may still be dealing with a writing error, as the forms _mudo-_ and
_mudas_ [V:373] seem to lack the vowel length seen in N. _mûl_
(<_*mól-_) [ibidem] but this is always an awkward assumption.
Lastly it might be considered that we have here a transitory concept
(externally) for a Noldorin/Sindarin past tense, as the _-(a)th_ was
taken by the future/prospective at the time of the Lord of the Rings
(cf. _linnathon [LR1:114]).
(1) Innovation in the field of the present stem/tense can also be seen
in other language families, e.g. Uralic, Altaic etc.)
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