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Re: Some notes on PE17

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  • Ugo Truffelli
    ... Even though it s an interesting hypothesis, it seems to me quite improbable. I ve already highlighted in #1004 that the documents identified with the first
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 17, 2008
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      --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, Fredrik <frestro@...> wrote:

      > As for the idiom itself, a similar example may be _i karir quettar
      > ómainen_ 'those who form words with voices' in _Quendi and Eldar_
      > (XI:391). In later writings, _ómainen_ would probably be a plural
      > form (cf. instr. sg. _parmanen_, PE17:180); but the older singular
      > form was _-inen_ (_kiryainen_, PE16:113), and I am under the
      > impression that by 1959 the older pattern was still valid as far as
      > the instrumental case is concerned.

      Even though it's an interesting hypothesis, it seems to me quite
      improbable. I've already highlighted in #1004 that the documents
      identified with the first half of the 30s clearly seem to suggest the
      emergence of _-inen_ as instr. pl. rather than sg. The latter was
      first identified in _-in_ (QD3 and ED give it as an alternative
      form, while BD as the only one), but already in the song included
      in "Lost Road" we find the form _-nen_. From this occurrence we always
      find the pair sg/pl _-nen/-inen_. "Galadriel's Lament" has _surínen_
      and _lírinen_ and the "Masson Letter" (1955, cf PE17:4) says "_most
      nouns have an instrumental in _-nen_", just to cite a few exemples of
      the period immediately earlier.

      The statement cited previously in PE17:161 is preceded by "_Quenya
      idiom in describing the parts of body of several persons the _number_
      proper to each individual is used, the _plural_ of parts existing in
      _pairs_ (as hands, eyes, ears, feet) is seldom required." Well, in the
      light of these words I find it too difficult to see _ómainen_ as a
      usage of such an idiom, because _óma_ is neither a part of the body
      that can have more than one number in a person, nor falls into the
      category of "part existing in a pair". And if the idiomatic usage wants
      the sg or dual for the (normal) pl (in order to specify the "number
      proper to each individual"), we may easily suppose that the non-
      idiomatic usage should require the plural. And in fact we find
      _ómainen_.

      > As an aside, it seems only natural to me as a Swedish speaker to
      > use the singular form in expressions such as "all the students
      > raised their handS" or "those who form words with voiceS". In
      > Swedish it might be "alla eleverna räckte upp handen" and "de
      > som formar ord med rösten" -- in the latter case, the plural form
      > ("rösterna") would sound strange, as if they had more than one
      > voice each.

      Italian instead, while agreeing with Quenya about parts of the body
      such "hands" (so your exemple would be "tutti gli studenti alzarono
      la loro mano", while "le loro mani" would have meant "both hands
      each"), allows both "voce" (voice) and "voci" (voices) ("coloro che
      formano parole con la voce/le voci").

      -- Ugo Truffelli
    • Fredrik
      ... I agree with much of what you say. But of course I did not mean to suggest that _voice_ (the concept) might somehow fall into the category of parts [of
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 21, 2008
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        Ugo Truffelli wrote, in reply to me:

        > The statement cited previously in PE17:161 is preceded by "_Quenya
        > idiom in describing the parts of body of several persons the _number_
        > proper to each individual is used, the _plural_ of parts existing in
        > _pairs_ (as hands, eyes, ears, feet) is seldom required." Well, in the
        > light of these words I find it too difficult to see _ómainen_ as a
        > usage of such an idiom, because _óma_ is neither a part of the body
        > that can have more than one number in a person, nor falls into the
        > category of "part existing in a pair".

        I agree with much of what you say. But of course I did not mean to
        suggest that _voice_ (the concept) might somehow fall into the category
        of "parts [of the body] existing in pairs".

        My question was, is the idiom an isolated example? Why did Tolkien find
        it proper to Quenya grammar? Perhaps it was not suggested to him by
        anything in particular in Elvish; it might be an anomaly, a whim even.
        "[Body] parts existing in pairs", and that's it! Perhaps.

        However, if we do not look just to the literal words on the page, we may
        ask ourselves whether the idiom presented itself because it follows from
        some larger pattern in the language? I don't know; that's why I put it
        as a question.

        You are probably right about my suggested "similar case", if I was
        mistaken as to when (in the external history of Quenya) forms such as
        _ómainen_ ceased to be plurals.

        > And if the idiomatic usage wants
        > the sg or dual for the (normal) pl (in order to specify the "number
        > proper to each individual"), we may easily suppose that the non-
        > idiomatic usage should require the plural.

        Seems reasonable enough, if "idiomatic" here means something like
        "irregular". Or perhaps Tolkien just wanted to point to the Quenya idiom
        as contrasted with a literal translation from English. In which case the
        word does not really tell us much about "non-idiomatic" usage (which to
        me suggests Elvish as spoken by a foreigner).

        Best regards,
        /Fredrik
      • gildir_2
        ... How does this item read? If I get the text then I can add it to the errata list. Suilaid o Mellonath Daeron, Gildir, Per Lindberg
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 23, 2008
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          --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, "cgilson75" <cgilson75@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, Fredrik <frestro@> wrote:
          >
          >> Some questions and observations on PE17:
          >> 10) On page 189 s.v. WE (and in the editorial comment on WEG, p. 191), a
          >> root WEK is referred to. I cannot find it in the list of "Eldarin Roots
          > > and Stems". Was it deleted?
          >
          > This item was not deleted in the manuscript; but it was
          > accidentally left out of PE 17.

          How does this item read? If I get the text then I can add it to
          the errata list.

          Suilaid o Mellonath Daeron,
          Gildir, Per Lindberg
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