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Re: [Lambengolmor] Re: Qenya (EQG) and Esperanto compound tenses

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  • Helios De Rosario Martínez
    ... In opposition to Qenya, in Esperanto _estas veninta_ ( has come ) it is the active participle _veninta_ that is in singular form, not _estas_. Excuse me
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 19, 2007
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      First I wanted to correct a detail from my original post:

      > For instance, 'has come' is rendered in Qenya as _e tulien_ or
      > _tuliende_ (_túlien(d-)_ being the past active participle of _tul-_
      > 'come', and _e_ the present singular form of 'to be'); likewise, in
      > Esperanto it would be _estas veninta_ (_veninta_ being the past active
      > participle of _veni_ 'to come' and _estas_ the present singular of
      > _esti_ 'to be').

      In opposition to Qenya, in Esperanto _estas veninta_ ('has come') it is
      the active participle _veninta_ that is in singular form, not _estas_.
      Excuse me for the mistake.

      On the other hand, Jason wrote:

      > In my own experience and study, artificial languages tend to be
      > extremely regular as compared with "real" ones at large in the wild.
      > Real languages may start out regular, but they erode over time,
      > and in this way, many irregular forms evolve.

      But Qenya (and Noldorin, etc.) were conceived as languages derived from
      older ones, so the erosion you speak of can be expected, and in fact it
      occurs. Still in the EQG conjugation we see (PE14:58) that many past
      forms are "irregularly" formed (with changes in the stem vowels and
      consonants) due to phonological reasons. Tolkien actually labels
      _nampie_, the past of _mapa-_ 'seize' as an "irregular dissimilation of

      Actually, had Qenya been created following that principle of "erosion",
      I would expect EQG to show a greater irregularity, because I think that
      the differences between its grammatical features and those of both
      earlier and later writings might be due to historical reasons. Tolkien's
      linguistic texts, specially the longer ones, were often inscribed within
      the literary framework of his _legendarium_, as the writings of Elven
      sages like Rúmil or Pengoloð, transitional human characters like
      Eriol/Ælfwine, or later copies of their original work. This is the case
      of both EQG and the "Qenyaqetsa", which are "closely related and largely
      complementary", as Carl and Bill Welden comment on (PE14:40). But the
      historical references in these two works have substantial differences.
      In the Qenyaqetsa we read (PE12:2):

      "'Tis said that in England, or the land of Lósien (Lúthien) as Elves &
      Gnomes name it, and Íverin (...) but of the manner of speech of the
      Elves of England was nought known before the time of Eriol for no man of
      the English had written or spoken it".

      This contrasts with the rather modern terms in which the context of the
      Elven languages is described in EQG (PE14:62):

      "It was a representative of _Western Ilkorin_ of the same branch as that
      which produced the present Ilkorin of Ireland, England, Wales and
      Scotland. Related Ilkorin was probably once spoken in Scandinavia and
      the lands bordering on the North Sea and the English Channel. Over the
      whole of Europe now, including however only the westerly parts of Russia..."

      This could be just a stylistic difference, but it could also be that
      Tolkien intended EQG to be a later account of the Qenya language. In
      that case, the grammar it describes could differ from the grammar
      observed in both earlier and later writings because EQG was actually
      describing a different (later) historical stage of Qenya!

      But back to the point, even if this theory is wrong, I don't think that
      Qenya had to be more regular than other languages just _because_ it is
      an artificial one.

      Finally, Carl commented on:

      > I asked Helios to omit a paragraph from the original form of his post,
      > in which he offered an apologia for proposing the possibility of
      > Esperanto influence on Qenya, given the auxiliary purpose and
      > highly regular nature of Esperanto.

      Well, I don't see that Jason mentioned the auxiliary nature of Esperanto
      in his argument. And it wasn't certainly my intention to mean that. I
      just wanted to prevent the initial rejection that readers could have to
      the comparison between Qenya and Esperanto, due to the fact that
      relevant works about the matter (at least those found in a quick search
      over the net, as I have not found anything on that topic in books or
      journals) insist on the unlikeness between these two artificial
      languages. But of course, as argued in the review of the message, that
      question was off the point and could be omitted, since I was discussing
      particular _grammatical_ similarities, and previous discussions on Qenya
      vs. Esperanto did not deal with that, but on the nature and
      "speakability" of these languages.

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