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857Re: [Lambengolmor] Nurn and the Sea of Núrnen / Nûrnen

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  • ejk@free.fr
    Nov 20, 2005
      Edward Kloczko wrote :

      > Do we have in some unpublished mss. an Elvish root for 'sad' with
      > a Sindarin/Noldorin word _nûr_?

      PHW wrote :

      > [Fortunately, we don't need to resort to the unpublished mss. --
      > which in any event could not be cited here -- to find a probable
      > etymological source for _Núrnen_ 'Sad Water'. GL gives _nur-_
      > (_nauri_) 'growl, grumble', _nurn_ 'plaint, lament, a complaint',
      > and _nurna-_ 'bewail, lament, complain of' (PE11:61). QL gives
      > the root as NURU-, whence _nuru-_ 'growl (of dogs), grumble,
      > carp, etc.' and _nur_ 'a growl, a complaint' (PE12:68). Compare
      > Q. _nurrula_ 'mumbling' < _nurru-_ 'murmur, grumble' in the
      > final version of "The Last Ark" (MC:222-23).
      > So S./N. *_nûr_ (or perhaps *_nûrn_) in _Núrnen_ 'Sad Water' is
      > apparently 'sad' in the sense 'bewailing, lamenting, complaining,
      > grumbling', no doubt a reference to the general mood of the
      > hapless laborers in "the great slave-worked fields" beside the
      > lake.]

      All of these Elvish words, including the late Quenya verb _nurru-_,
      have a short _u_; the discrepancy between the name of the sea
      _Nûrnen/Núrnen_ and the region _Nurn_ still remains.

      I am not a native speaker of English, but I see not much semantic
      relation between N./S. _*nûrn_ adj. 'sad' and Gnomish _nurn_ noun
      'plaint, lament, a complaint'.

      If we had a Noldorin/Sindarin compound *_nûrn_ + _nen_ it would
      be *_Núrnnen_. _Pelennor_ < *_pelen_ adj. 'fenced, encircled' +
      _nor_ 'land' (see LOTR-Readers Companion:512).

      elfiquement vôtre,

      Edouard Kloczko

      [I'll take Edouard's three points in order:

      1) -- My citation of forms in _nur-_ from GL, QL, and MC was
      not intended to account for the discrepancy in vowel length
      between _Nurn_ and _Núrnen/Nûrnen_. It is possible that the
      varying vowel length is due to differing parts of speech, e.g.,
      adj. *_nûr_ 'sad' vs. noun *_nurn_ 'sadness'.

      Also, please note that I did not cite _all_ derivatives of NURU-
      given in QL, since I was more concerned with the _meaning_
      of the derivatives rather than the vowel length -- QL also gives
      forms with long vowels: _nûru- (pret. _nurûne_) 'growl (of dogs),
      grumble, carp, etc.' and _Núri_ (a name of the death-goddess
      Fui), and the full entry for _nur_ 'a growl, a complaint' includes
      the stem-forms _nûr-, nurr-_ (PE12:68).

      2) -- You cannot see a connection between the senses 'sad'
      and 'plaint, lament'? Eng. _plaint_ means 'a complaint or
      lamentation', while a _lament_ or _lamentation_ is 'a passionate
      expression of grief or sorrow'. According to Buck's _Dictionary
      of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages_,
      entry for "sad" (16.36) -- "In many languages the words for 'sad'
      are simply derivs. of those for 'grief, sorrow' ... and so mean lit.
      'grieving' or 'sorrowful'. Since Elvish NURU- has connotations
      of 'lamenting, bewailing' (i.e., expressions of grief or sorrow),
      it seems quite plausible to associate this root with 'sad(ness)'.

      3) -- It seems to me unlikely that *_nûrn_ + _nen_ would yield
      *_Núrnnen_ with _rnn_; simplification of _rnn_ >_rn_ in such
      an instance seems probable. Can you cite an example of _rnn_
      as a consonant cluster in Nold./Sindarin? In any event, _Núrnen_
      is just as likely to consist of _nûr_ + _nen_. -- PHW]
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