511Present or Perfect ?
- Oct 30, 2003I'm coming back to a question already discussed earlier.
In his article on the Sindarin verb, H. Fauskanger notes:
> "garo "[to] have, hold" is said to have the 1st person present tenseI cannot find this attested, as the entry in The Etymologies [V:360]
sub 3AR- simply translates _gerin_ 'I hold, have' but doesn't qualify
it further. Now, the few Late Noldorin and Sindarin forms in 1st sg.
_-in_ are mostly interpreted as present tense and likened to Quenya
aorist forms in _-in_. While an ON 3rd sg. present _trenare_ 'he
recounts, tells to an end' [V:374] sub NAR2- is actually attested,
_gerin_ and _ú-chebin_ [LRIII:423] may both be interpreted as perfects.
_ú-chebin_ is translated 'I have kept no' and this fits (resultative
state) perfectly (no pun). As for _gerin_, it has to be said that verbs
of the meaning 'to have, hold' often (in I.-E.) derive from 'perfects'
or, in Germanic, so called preterito-presents. Cf. Goth., ONorse,
OEnglish _áih, á, ág_ 'I have' (<_*Heik'-h2a_) with perfect morphology,
or indeed Modern English 'I have got'. The 'i' in the ending would then
< _*ie_ found also in Quenya perfects.
Note that _gerir_ (_cerir_) in line 8 of the Sindarin 'Pater Noster'
[VT44:21] may well mean 'have done [sins]', 'have sinned' rather than
simply '[who] sin'.
Comments are welcome.
[I'm inclined to interpret N. _gerin_ 'I hold, have' as an aorist, since
this fits both the gloss and the apparent derivation < aorist stem
*_kari- + 1 sg. _-n_. Likewise I would stick with Bill Welden's interpre-
tation of _gerir_ (lenited < *_cerir_) in the Sindarin Paternoster as the
"third person plural aorist form of the verb _caro_ 'to do', seen also in
line 4" (VT44:30). Note that S. _gerir_ is apparently the direct cognate
of Q. aorist _karir_ in _i karir quettar ómainen_ 'those who form words
with voices' (XI:391. Interpretation of _ú-chebin_ 'I have kept no' as
an aorist 'I do not keep' in Gilraen's _linnod_ might also be a viable
interpretation, since this verb describes Gilraen's habitual or ongoing
state of hopelessness (past, present, and future). -- PHW]