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818Re: Forgotten Words of Elvish: _Flend_

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  • Patrick H. Wynne
    Sep 5, 2005
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      --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, David Kiltz <derdron@g...> wrote:

      > Leaving aside the question whether rivers (or trees, v.i.)
      > were classed as 'things' in Elvish, _flind_ can go back e.g.
      > to _*sp(i)lindi_, an adjectival form; or _*sp(i)lindê_, a more
      > concrete formation 'the swift thing'. _Flend_ should
      > go back to _*sp(i)lindâ_ as Patrick has noted.

      I would be more inclined to reconstruct the full primitive form of N.
      _flind, flinn_ as *_sp(i)linde_, with short _-e_. I can't find any
      examples in the ENF word-lists of a primitive adjective ending in
      _-i_, but there are at least three examples there of primitive adjs.
      in short _-e_:

      *_ekse_ > N. _ech_ 'far away' (PE13:142)
      *_pingwé_ > N. _hiw_ 'rich' (PE13:147)
      *_t:loise_ > N. _tlui_ 'slender' (PE13:154)

      [The acute accent in *_pingwé_ indicates stress rather than length
      -- many primitive adjs. in ENF are marked as being stressed on the
      final vowel, e.g., *_mburyá: > N. _boir, boer_ 'hot, raging' --
      cp. the noun *_mbúrya:_ > N. _bordh_ 'heat, rage' (PE13:139).]

      There is thus no suggestion in ENF that *_sp(i)linde_ (or *_-ê_)
      would be a "more concrete formation". At any rate, N. _flind,
      flinn_ is clearly translated as an adjective, 'fleet-footed, swift'.

      Also please note that the primitive form I proposed as underlying
      _Flend_ was *_sp(i)linda_ with short final _-a_, not *_sp(i)lindâ_.
      There are many primitive adjectives in ENF ending in long *_-â_,
      but there are also many that end in short *_-a_, such as *_ur'-irda_
      > _orerdh_ 'without bowels, pitiless' (PE13:144), which I cited as an
      example of final A-affection. Others include *_sleiwa_ > N. _lhui_
      'pale', *_tegna_ > N. _tain_ 'straight', and *_stalga_ > N. _thala_
      'valiant' (PE13:149,153). If Yahoo groups allowed us to use more
      sophisticated typography, I would transcribe the final _-a_ in my
      reconstructed form with both a macron and breve.

      > So maybe, _flend_ is simply an alternative adjectival form (i.e.
      > *_sp(i)lindâ_ next to _*sp(i)lindi_), or one necessary because
      > of 'animacy' or similar coding. At any rate, I think it can not be
      > assumed that a form in _-â_ was used in _Flend_ to denote a
      > "thing". Indeed, the word _orerdh_ < _*ur-irda_ cited by Patrick
      > might speak against that assumption as well. While things would
      > indeed have no pity, it seems a bit pointless to accuse a stone
      > or the like of being 'pitiless' unless in a very 'poetic' diction,
      > speaking with empathy and assigning at least a certain degree
      > of animacy to a thing.

      I would definitely not assert that at the time the ENF word-lists
      were written the primitive adj. ending *_-a_, _-â_ was regularly
      and consistently used across the board as a marker indicating
      things rather than animates -- as you note, *_ur'-irda_ >
      N. _orerdh_ 'without bowels, pitiless' argues against this!
      However, it still strikes me as possible, even probable, that
      *_sp(i)linde_ was used of persons and *_sp(i)linda_ of things,
      i.e., that the difference in final vowel was used to make the
      animate/inanimate distinction _in this particular pair of adjs._,
      even though this semantic distinction of *_-e_ vs. *_-a_ was
      not universal throughout the language.

      For this seems to be the case with Gn. _dairog_ 'merry (of persons)'
      and _dairiol_ 'merry (of things)'. _In this particular pair of adjs._,
      the ending _-og_ is used to mark the adjective referring to people,
      while _-iol_ marks that referring to things. But this distinction
      between the use of _-og_ and _-iol_ does NOT appear in Goldogrin
      as a whole -- in GL there are adjectives in _-og_ which seem most
      logically to apply to things, e.g., _âlog_ 'of wood, wooden' and
      _crithog_ 'circular', and there are adjectives in _-iol_ which seem
      most logically to apply to persons, e.g., _cauthiol_ 'tasteful,
      endowed with good taste -- discreet, circumspect' and _gwenniniol_
      'maidenly, girlish'.

      -- Patrick H. Wynne
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