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963Re: Rhotacism and stress (was Re: "Tolkien in Oxford")

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  • Harm J. Schelhaas
    Nov 7, 2006
      On reflection, I think that I should relay the following thought to the list.

      As I had shown Beregond's [Anders Stenström's] initial post and Christie's
      lot description to a Smial meeting of the Dutch Tolkien Society Unquendor,
      I've been relaying the discussion on "Tolkien in Oxford" here on Lambengolmor
      to an interested member of Unquendor. She is a professional linguist, and
      used to belong to Unquendor's working group on Elvish Linquistics, when that
      existed long before the time of VT, but dropped out of that field for a long time.

      (I myself have no solid background in linguistics, which is why I follow this
      group with keen interest, but usually do not take part myself.)

      On reading the rhotacism discussion, she at first thought people here were
      discussing whether the r in "_mondósaResse_" could have developed from an s.
      When I pointed out that the discussion was rather why the s ("_mondóSaresse_")
      hadn't turned into an r, her reply was that rhotacism of the first consonant in
      the second element of a compound is so unheard of, that she as a linguist had
      not realized that one would think of it at all, and that Tolkien apparently would
      have thought the same. Hence the retention of the s.

      -- Harm J. Schelhaas

      [Thanks for reporting this. I have no trouble believe it to be so, though I would
      caution that even if so, it surely depends on the age of the compound and to
      what degree it is perceived to be a compound by the speakers of the language.
      Not that either of those are necessarily at issue in this particular example, but
      something to bear in mind lest it be regarded as a rule in all cases. CFH]

      [And while I'm at it, another gentle reminder to all members to please sign your
      posts with your real names, and to refer to other contributors by real name. I don't
      mind the use of _epessi_ and other nicknames in email adresses, but I think it
      behooves us to use real names in posts and citations. Thanks. CFH]
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