General questions Re: Tolkien/Elvish
- Dear all,
I am a graduate student in medieval languages & book history and am
currently working on Tolkien language scholarship from a reception
studies perspective. I was hoping to pose a couple questions which
perhaps you have thought about yourselves.
Namely, would you consider yourself and your work part of a larger
Tolkien readership community? Part of an even larger fantasy
readership community? What about Tolkien fan communities?
How would you characterize yourself vis-a-vis Tolkien studies? Would
you consider yourself mainly a fan? An enthusiast? A scholar? Or an
author in your own right?
How does composing in Quenya or debating niceties of Tolkienian
linguistics affect your relationship to the JRRT corpus?
These are a couple examples. I would immensely appreciate hearing
any thoughts & if anyone would be willing to fill out a more in-depth
survey for me, please email me at anna.dysert@....
[Please reply to Ms. Dysert directly, not on the list. Ms. Dysert, when you have finished your study, feel free to report the results to the list. CFH]
- I have received an email from someone who has said my university
email address wasn't behaving. If you are considering responding,
directing an email to dysert_a at yahoo.ca would be just fine as well.
Thank you again! apologies for the off-topic
- In PE17:68 I find the description of the formation of participles:
"Simple past participle passive _kari-nwa_, adj. _-ina_, after vowel stems
_-nwa, sinwa, sîna_ 'known, certain, ascertained'. After intransitives
often = active participle, _va_nwa_. This has a past form _kárienwa_
As it is printed, 'this' seems to refer to the previously mentioned active
participle. However, given the style of Tolkien's notes, this may be an
accident and 'this' may in fact refer back to 'simple past participle
passive' at the beginning of the sentence. I wonder of anyone with access
to a copy of the original note could clarify if the text arrangement on
the original document can provide any clue as to what is meant here?
- I took another look at the photocopy of the manuscript, and the
arrangement of the text does suggest that the "This" in the third
sentence of the passage Thorsten quoted refers back to the first
sentence. Of course these are somewhat rough phrases and not entirely
grammatical as sentences, but I think the meaning of the third one is
that _kárienwa_ is a rare past passive participle.
The facet of the arrangement that suggests this is that the second
sentence, "After intransitives often = participle active, _va-nwa_," is
substantially indented from the rest of the text, as if Tolkien may
have meant it as a sort of parenthetical note, with the beginning of
the third sentence lined up horizontally with the first sentence, as
though continuing the interrupted thought. But this is only a
suggestion, since the alignment of the texts on the margin of the
manuscript page is irregular. And it is clear that Tolkien composed
these three sentences is in the order given, i.e. the second sentence
is not a later insertion.
Of the two possible interpretations of the ambiguous "This" in context,
I think its reference to the passive rather than active examples
preceding makes more logical sense as well; since the reason _va-nwa_
can be understood in an active sense is because the verb is inherently
intransitive. In other words the suffix _-nwa_ seems normally to add a
passive sense, or "select" that sense from the two possibilities when
the inherent meaning of the verb is transitive.
I hope this is helpful.
--- In email@example.com, "Thorsten Renk" <trenk@...> wrote:
> In PE17:68 I find the description of the formation of participles:
> "Simple past participle passive _kari-nwa_, adj. _-ina_, after vowel stems
> _-nwa, sinwa, s?na_ 'known, certain, ascertained'. After intransitives
> often = active participle, _va-nwa_. This has a past form _kárienwa_
> As it is printed, 'this' seems to refer to the previously mentioned active
> participle. However, given the style of Tolkien's notes, this may be an
> accident and 'this' may in fact refer back to 'simple past participle
> passive' at the beginning of the sentence. I wonder of anyone with access
> to a copy of the original note could clarify if the text arrangement on
> the original document can provide any clue as to what is meant here?
> * Thorsten
- I have another kind of clue, Thorsten.
Tolkien was a fan of Nordic languages, he may well have made a calque of the procedure where past participles like "g�ngen, kommen" are "active" = intransitive, because the verb is intransitive and as such cannot have a personal passive.
But if anyone with access to the original note has more to say, so be it.