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632Re: Q _kiryassea_ adj?

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  • machhezan
    Feb 13 9:33 AM
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      David Kiltz wrote:

      > So, I think it's right, as it's normally done, to treat 'das Gute' as a
      > noun (which it syntactically and semantically is).

      I prefer morphology to semantics or syntax for the decision whether
      it's noun or adjective. Since there are cases like _Gutes mit Bösem
      vergelten_ 'to repay good with evil' which show the adjectival endings
      _-s_ and _-m_, I consider these words adjectives, in a "broad sense",
      if you will, yet I prefer broad senses to petty discriminations (if I have
      a choice!).

      [I would consider these distinctions to be far from "petty". As linguists,
      we should _always_ bear in mind that there is not a one-to-one
      correspondence between form and function, only stronger or weaker
      correlations. Indeed, the failure to recognize that Tolkien's languages
      behave just like "real" languages in this regard contributes mightily to
      the mistaken but all too common belief that they are far more artificial
      than they are, and than Tolkien intended them to appear. CFH]

      Of course, the meaning of _das Gute_ is highly abstract, I'd say this
      word is a theological-philosophical term, perhaps even more than
      the English word _the good_. It wouldn't surprise me if most languages
      formed such abstract words by derivation.

      However, I think we can neither exclude nor confirm the possibility that
      certain adjectives could express abstract concepts by themselves, that is,
      when they're not used as specifiers of another word. At least the two
      mentioned occurences of _kiryassea_ don't provide any evidence for this
      question.

      [We do however have an explicit statement from Tolkien regarding this
      phenomenon in general in "Early Qenya": "Adjective may be freely used as
      nouns; their declension then is, of course, identical with that of ordinary
      nouns, according to the KALMA, SINQE, PILIN classes" (with some distinction
      in the plural): PE14:77. From a much later period, we also see the apparent
      adjectival form *_ñavëa_ used as a noun menaing 'consonant', in the plural
      form _ñávëar_, VT39:8. CFH]

      suilaid
      j. 'mach' wust
      http://machhezan.tripod.com
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