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Re: New _Tengwestië_ article: Early Ilkorin Phonology

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  • Roman Rausch
    Regarding Helios De Rosario Martínez s article, Early Ilkorin Phonology ( ):
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 12, 2008
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      Regarding Helios De Rosario Martínez's article, "Early Ilkorin Phonology" (<http://www.elvish.org/Tengwestie/articles/DeRosarioMartinez/earlyilkorin.phtml>):

      Being involved in the topic myself I have read the article with great
      interest and have some comments to make. The special characters are
      changed in the following post (macron to circumflex etc.) so that it
      will hopefully be readable.

      >Long vowels in prehistoric forms are normally marked in ND with a
      >macron (¯), but in the NW instances Tolkien also uses an acute
      >accent (´) or a colon (:) for long vowels, except in t'lê'pe,
      >where the acute accent means that long ê is stressed (cf. PE13:135).
      [...]
      >mîye

      There is no mention that the acute accent often represents stress (as
      is also written in PE13:135), even if not grouped with the macron or
      colon. And stress is very important in understanding the derived forms
      in the case of _y_. The data is explained remarkably well if one
      assumes different developments depending on whether _y_ comes before
      or after the stress. It can be summarized as following:

      _y_ before accent | _y_ after accent
      Quenya i|y | y
      Telerin i | r
      Noldorin i|j | dh
      Ilkorin ? | gg

      I cite relevant examples in parts III.3.2. and IV.1.2. of my article.
      One can compare the Noldorin changes with an almost identical
      stress-dependent development in Welsh as mentioned in Morris-Jones'
      _Welsh Grammar_. Therefore I believe that _míye_ has the stress, not
      the length marked by the accent with the development indicated in the
      second column: Q. _mie_ < _*miye_, T. _mire_, N. _midh_, Ilk. _migg_.

      >Under this model, the development of preh. pisye would be explained
      >as *pisje > *pisðe, which by assimilation > *pisze or *pisse (or one
      >after the other), and eventually > fiss through regular loss of
      >final vowel and Ilkorin Sound Shift.

      Following the previous idea: There is no stress marked in _pisye_, but
      looking at the resulting forms, Q. _pihye_, T. _pirie_, N. _hí_ it
      seems that it should be _*pisyé_, otherwise one would expect _dh_ in
      Noldorin (I cannot say what _*sdh_ would have evolved into).

      Therefore I believe that _pisye_ shows a development different from
      _míye_. Looking at the first column of the table above it appears that
      _y_ is kept in all the languages (but may become vocalic depending on
      its environment). Hence, I would expect that _sy_ was inherited by
      Ilkorin and later changed to _ss_ by a different mechanism.

      With the little amount of examples availible there is of course a
      chance that the change of _y_ is not dependent on stress in Ilkorin,
      but the bottom line is: Assuming _migg_ < _*miðe_ does not require the
      assumption of _*pisðe_.

      >the change from dentals to velars is not unknown in Elvish languages
      > — one example occurs in Gn. feigien worse < faiðn (PE13:114)

      I'm not convinced here. Both forms are written beside each other, but
      can one really be sure that _feigien_ is derived from _faiðn_ and not
      vice versa? The adjectival ending is _-(k)ka_ (_fêka_, _fekka_), so
      maybe _*feiX'n/*feigh'n_ > _faiðn_?

      Also, one has to assume a comparative ending involving _d_ which may
      be similar to N. _-iad_ < _*jat-_ (PE13:125), but looking at the
      counterpart _mawr_ 'good', adj. _maien_, _mairien_ 'better' one rather
      sees _-ien_ once appended to a form combined with the adjectival
      ending _-r_ and once not. So maybe we are even dealing with
      _*feik-ien_ > _faigien_ (with suffix _-k(a)_) and _*fei-j'n_ > _faiðn_
      (without suffix and _y_ > _dh_)?

      I find it difficult to believe that the interdental spirant _ð_,
      becoming intervocalic, suddenly changes to a velar stop, although
      intervocalic _ð_ is perfectly acceptable in Goldogrin/Noldorin phonology.

      >And in Old Norse (which is not a West Germanic language, however),
      >sometimes /j/ was lengthened to /jj/ according to Holtzmann's Law
      >(Prokosch, 1939: §33c), and eventually hardened to /gg/, as here
      >in mîye > migg.

      This is very interesting and seems to be a likely development for
      Ilkorin, given that some fairly complex sound changes of Welsh are
      closely imitated in Noldorin of that time.

      Being self-educated in linguistics I assumed that /gg/ from a single
      /j/ would be unlikely and therefore tentatively suggested /ž/ or /dZ/
      for Ilk. _gg_ by pure speculation (cf. the pronounciation of initial
      _j-_ in English and French).

      >Roman Rausch interprets in his article that Ilk. þerr comes from
      >tésare, the primitive form of the N cognate teiar, instead of
      >from terar (whence Q. telar). In fact all these words are given
      >in the same entry of NWL, and it is likely that terar < tésare.
      >But preh. terar seems to be closer to the Ilkorin form, both by
      >phonology and by their relative position in the entry of NWL.

      As I interpet the entry, _tésare_ is the primitive form of all the
      three words mentioned. Noldorin vocalizes _s_ > _i_ (or > _j_ as part
      of a diphthong), the Qenya form _telar_ looks strange at the first
      glance, so Tolkien explains that it is from _terar_, i.e. with
      rhotacism and vowel loss followed by dissimilation. That would make
      _terar_ an old Qenya form.

      If rhotacism occurs in Ilkorin as well (it's Germanic in style after
      all), Ilk. _þerr_ might have evolved from a parallel _terar_ as well;
      otherwise I would assume _*þesr_ > _þerr_. In any case I believe that
      _tésare_ is the older form.

      >Other vowel mutations [...]
      >mîgg < smeigê

      typo: _smíg_

      Of course, I will link 'Early Ilkorin Phonology' in my work and add
      some references to it in the text.

      Roman Rausch
    • Helios De Rosario Martínez
      I thank Roman for his valuable commentaries on the article of Early Ilkorin Phonology . I have modified it to reflect some of his ideas, which improve my
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 21, 2008
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        I thank Roman for his valuable commentaries on the article of "Early
        Ilkorin Phonology". I have modified it to reflect some of his ideas,
        which improve my original hypothesis on the origin of Ilk. _migg_.

        > There is no mention that the acute accent often represents stress (as
        > is also written in PE13:135), even if not grouped with the macron or
        > colon. And stress is very important in understanding the derived forms
        > in the case of _y_.

        After a more careful examination of the sources, I think that you are
        certainly right in the case of preh. _míye_. In the cited introduction
        to the Noldorin Word-lists, its editors tell that

        "in ENF 3, 4, 8 and 10 Tolkien used the acute accent in place of the
        macron to mark vowel length when he typed reconstructed forms".

        I had applied this interpretation to all the prehistoric forms involved
        in Ilkorin phonology, except for _t'lépe_ (with the accent over a macron
        on the first _e_), because this case was explicitly marked as an exception.

        However, now I notice that _míye_ is not in any of the pages cited by
        the editors, but in ENF 13. And _dâ_, one of the prehistoric forms
        related to Ilk. _þah_, which is in ENF 13 too, has a macron to mark
        vowel length. Therefore, Roman is probably right when he says that
        _míye_ features a stressed _i_, so marked in order to explain a distinct
        development of _y_ after a stressed syllable.

        All the other Ilkorin terms for which the prehistoric forms bear an
        acute accent are in ENF 3, 4, 8 or 10. Therefore, _míye_ seems to be the
        only case, together with _t'lépe_, in which that sign should be read as
        a mark of stress.

        >> the change from dentals to velars is not unknown in Elvish languages
        >> — one example occurs in Gn. feigien worse < faiðn (PE13:114)
        >
        > I'm not convinced here. Both forms are written beside each other, but
        > can one really be sure that _feigien_ is derived from _faiðn_ and not
        > vice versa?
        [...]
        > I find it difficult to believe that the interdental spirant _ð_,
        > becoming intervocalic, suddenly changes to a velar stop, although
        > intervocalic _ð_ is perfectly acceptable in Goldogrin/Noldorin phonology.

        The change from dental to velar is rare, but not impossible. It is
        explicitly mentioned in PE11:31 s.v. _edh_, which is said to be _eg_
        before _l_, as in _egla_. I have replaced the original example for this
        one, because your hypothetical reconstructions of the development of
        _faiðn_ and _feigien_ are convincing, and therefore they do not seem to
        be a good argument for the case.

        Anyway, I acknowledge that even this new example depends on a
        phonological context different from that of *_miðe_, and that the
        hypothetical origin of _migg_ as a development of that form is one of
        the weakest ideas in the article. In fact, it is only suggested in a
        secondary place, as a possible alternative to the likelier West-Germanic
        or Old Norse-like development.

        In order to understand why the "mîðe" hypothesis was suggested
        originally in the article, perhaps I should clarify that it was the only
        idea that I was able to conceive. But one of the advantages of
        publishing in a peer-reviewed journal like _Tengwestië_ is that your
        articles can be improved by the suggestions of the editor and the
        reviewers, and in this case they gave me the idea of Holtzmann's Law, as
        explained in the "Acknowledgements". Thus I enhanced the section of
        "Development of _y_" with their suggestions, and moved the original idea
        to a secondary position, although I did not remove it. Now you give me a
        new opportunity to improve it, for which I thank you again.

        >> Other vowel mutations [...]
        >> mîgg < smeigê
        >
        > typo: _smíg_

        Yes, you are right again! It has been corrected, too.

        Helios
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