855Re: _Uvanwaith_ 'the Nomenlands'
- Nov 19, 2005--- In email@example.com, Jerome Colburn
> At 05:19 AM 11/13/05, Patrick Wynne annotated Helios...
> De Rosario Martinez's post:
> >[Given that Quenya _man_ 'who?' is interrogative -- cf.
> >"the Eldarin interrogative element _ma, man_" (XII:357,
> >n. 18) -- it seems an unlikely candidate for the second
> >element in N. _uvan-_ 'noman', the literal sense of which
> >would then be 'not-who?'. ... -- PHW ]
> A word for "no one" formed with the elements for "not" and
> "who?" is found in Greek and would have been familiar to
> Tolkien: _outis_, which is what Odysseus named himself to
> Polyphemus (Odyssey ix. 366), rendered into English as
> [Greek _tis_, according to Liddell and Scott, is _an indefinite
> pronoun 'any one, any thing'_ as well as an interrogative
> 'who? what?'
> And there is no evidence that I know of that Eldarin _ma,What about the "Early Qenya Grammar" indefinite article suffix
> man_ and derivatives were ever used as anything other than
> pure interrogatives. -- PHW]
_-ma_ 'a, some, certain' ? This is also possibly etymologically
connected with the particle _mai_ 'if, whenever'. (See PE14:42,
Given the overlap between indefinites and interrogatives in
"real" languages it is hard to believe that Tolkien did not have
at least an historical connection in mind between these
forms _-ma_, _mai_ and the interrogative _man_ 'who' which
appears around this time in the poem "Oilima Markirya". And
by the same token, even if we suppose that these indefinites
had been rejected by the time of "Etymologies", the plausibility
of an Eldarin interrogative becoming an indefinite (or vice versa)
in Q. and N. through the normal processes of semantic and
syntactic change would still seem to hold.
Interestingly enough, in Galadriel's Lament when she uses the
pronoun _man_ her question is rhetorical. Which is to say that
what she is actually implying is: "no one will refill the cup for me
now." This is not to suggest that the pronoun was actually used
this way literally in Quenya. But it does suggest that the element
did not have far to drift in meaning to make sense in the proposed
etymology -- for what that is worth :-)
-- Christopher Gilson
[In a word, OOPS. Chris's point about the early Qenya suffixed
indefinite article _-ma_ 'a, some, certain' certainly suggests
that I was probably being overly hasty (hom-hoom!) in dismissing
Helios's and Jerome's theories.
Moreover, in addition to the Qenya forms cited by Chris, GL
gives "_ma-_ ? root of indef[inite]. cp. _-(u)m_, suffix" (PE11:55),
with derivatives _madhon, [madh]ir_ 'someone' (m. & f.) and
_ [madh]eg_ 'something', in which the endings _-dhon, _-dhir,
-dheg_ are probably mutated forms of _don, dir_ 'who' (m. & f.)
and _deg_ 'what' (PE11:30).
So perhaps Helios is right in proposing that _uvan-_ is from
_ú-_ 'no, not' and _man_ -- save that the latter element is not
interrogative 'who?' but rather indefinite 'someone', a later
recurrence of the earlier indefinite sense of the stem _ma-_
seen in GL and the EQG. If so, then _uvan-_ would in fact be
quite similar etymologically to Greek _outis_, as Jerome
suggested. -- PHW]
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