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696Re: Sindarin _ned_

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  • Florian Dombach
    Jun 23, 2004
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      Pent Carl F. Hostetter:

      > It could also be argued that Tolkien was avoiding _-dh_ in the "King's
      > Letter" as "uncouth" (cf. UT:267, VT42:20), and thus that _ned_ is actually
      > for *_nedh_; but Willis/Salo make no such claim and do not "correct" the
      > form to *_nedh_, and further, Tolkien had no such compunction against
      > _dh_ in the name _Edhelharn_ in the same text.

      Besides, I find it quite unlikely that Tolkien would write _ned_, if for *_nedh_,
      with _ando_ /d/ in the _Tengwar_ version (as he did), even if he did wish to
      avoid /dh/ in the Roman version. Note that at another point where his Roman
      transcription differs from pronunciation does indeed show a _tengwa_
      corresponding to the pronunciation (i.e. _Cordof_ with final _ampa_ for /v/).

      > And worst of all, Willis/Salo assert that this _nedh_ means "in, inside,
      > mid-: Ety/376", implying that this gloss is attested in the _Etymologies_,
      > when in fact the _only_ gloss given there is 'mid-'.)

      Nor is the form in _Etymologies_ given as *_nedh_, as it is in Willis' dictionary
      (implying that it's a preposition), but rather as _nedh-_, clearly making it a
      prefix (which is in fact is precisely what Tolkien calls it).

      > The only way that I can see to salvage anything of Willis/Salo's
      > assertion that S _ned_ is derived from a root meaning 'in', would
      > be to instead relate it to the newly-attested base NE-/NÊ- *'in, inside'
      > (VT45:38); but note that this base was deleted from the _Etymologies_
      > by Tolkien at least a decade before the composition of the "King's
      > Letter", and leaves the _-d_ of _ned_ utterly unaccounted for.

      Well, that need not mean all too much. Just look at the clearly
      mentioned absence of _*Finw_ in Noldorin, which in later Sindarin
      does appear (as _Finu_ and _Fim_) in Sindarin. Ok, that is not quite
      the same case, since _Finw_ didn't first exist and then was deleted,
      but it shows Tolkien's tendency to sometimes return to older ideas
      good enough I believe.

      [Absolutely. Still, I believe that the status of bases -- attested, deleted,
      deduced, etc. -- should nonetheless be borne in mind as a _potential_
      factor in weighing possibilities and likelihoods, even if not always
      determinative. CFH]

      But I find your own idea quite interesting, although we would, as you
      wrote, have to assume *_notî_ > S *_noed_ > _ned_ (as opposed to
      *_nôtî_, which would seem to underlie Q _únóti_ and which would >
      S *_nûd_ or *_nýd_ instead).

      [Quite right. First, though, let me note that I did and do not intend to offer
      my own analysis of 11 years ago (made at a time when my own understanding
      of Sindarin phonology was much less) _in place of_ the current thinking, and
      in fact think my suggestion only to be _more_ plausible, not really likely to be
      what Tolkien had in mind; and so defending it is not really my point, nor
      something I would like to spend much more time on, beyond what I already
      wrote. However, I would note several factors: first, Q *_únóti_ in Tolkien's
      earlier, oral version of "Galadriel's Lament" was (so far as I know) deduced by
      the transcriber from Tolkien's recording, not from a written text; so it seems
      _possible_ that the form is in fact *_únoti_. Second, we don't really know the
      part of speech of Q *_únóti_: it looks most like a plural noun, but apparently
      plays a predicative role (_inyar únóti nar_ *'year numberless are') and so is
      seemingly adjectival; it could well be a noun used as an adjective. But in any
      event, it's not clear to me what interplay of lengthening with grammatical
      function is to be expected for this form. CFH]

      Ofr suil,
      Florian "Lothenon" Dombach

      ===================================================We speak as is right, and as King Finwe himself did before he was led
      astray. Let them sa-si, if they can speak no better.
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