Re: [LDB] "Canonical" Quenya and Quettahostanie
- [Another plea for people to please take a little extra time and prettify
posts, including text quoted from other posts. In particular, please 1)
pay attention to line-wraps: make them break somewhere before 80
characters; and 2) put some blank lines between block quotes and
paragraphs (i.e., where there is no indentation in the first line of
paragraphs). Thanks, Carl]
Kai MacTane wrote:
> To paraphrase one of Mr. Welden's points, he notes the distinctionMy opinion is that considerations like these need and should not
> between "things Tolkien wrote [in Quenya]", and what he calls "canonical
> Quenya", [. . .] For those who have been evaluating _Quettahostanie_,
> I'd like to point out that the concept of "Attestation Levels" encoded
> in the system does make a fairly similar distinction, though it draws
> its boundary lines in slightly different places. [. . .] I'd like to see
> if people here think they're reasonable -- in short, should the
> Silmarillion (and its appendix) be considered a source for "canonical"
> Quenya (what Quettahostanie lists in the "Published" level), or should
> its offerings be demoted to "Unpublished"?
be made at all in the database, which should as far as possible
give *data* free of theories/views/judgments. In other words,
scrap the "Attestation Levels". What I would like to find in an
Elvish database are attestation *details*: references to all loci
where a looked-up form is attested. I agree about the importance
of the distinction Bill Welden pointed out, but if I am given the
attestation details for a word I can see for myself to what extent
it occurs in canonical sources.
Some forms, like _Gondor_, are used hundreds of times in
Tolkien's texts, but ideally I think they should all be listed.
The only attestation level distinction that is needed is that
between attested and unattested forms. I suppose it is
reasonable to include certain unattested forms, like singulars
reconstructed from attested plurals? (I obviously think non-Tolkien
compounds and coinages do not belong in the database; does
not Boris Shapiro's useful PPQ adequately take care of those?)
[As will come as a surprise to no one, I vehemently oppose any notion of
allowing non-Tolkienian coinages into any serious database of Tolkien's
languages. Things have gotten confused enough already, with rampant
failure to distinguish data and fact from theory and invention. Carl]
- Carl Hostetter wrote:
> [As will come as a surprise to no one, I vehemently oppose any notion ofAs long as they are clearly marked as newly coined words, I think it is a
> allowing non-Tolkienian coinages into any serious database of Tolkien's
> languages. Things have gotten confused enough already, with rampant
> failure to distinguish data and fact from theory and invention. Carl]
limited concern. Indeed, with the current design of the 'database', it is
possible to ignore all such forms completely. Whether such coinages should
be considered Quenya at all, is a thorny theoretical problem that I do not
wish to delve into. Suffice it to say that a dictionary, which is what
this database certainly looks like to me, designed for a wide variety of
both scholarly and non-scholarly uses can, in my opinion, fairly include
them as long as they are clearly marked out.
Cirk R. Bejnar
[See my comments appended to Bill Welden's post, just approved. If
inauthentic forms are permitted at all, then you simply cannot avoid
the "thorny theoretical problem" of "whether such coinages should be
considered Quenya", unless you want to allow anyone to add anything
they please to the database (and are prepared to trust that they will
mark inauthentic forms as such). Carl]
- Carl Hostetter replied to Bill Welden:
> [First: I find nowhere a definition of "canonical" that distinguishesThis sense of "canonical" is an accident of modern critical
> between published and unpublished state. The usual use of the term in
> the general literary context is synonymous with "authentic", i.e., coming
> from the author's pen.
jargon. It is not listed in the American Heritage Dictionary. There,
"canonical" is said to mean: "1. Pertaining to, required by, or
abiding by canon law. 2. Of or appearing in the Biblical canon.
3. Authoritative; officially approved; orthodox." Sense 3 is the one
Bill relied on (if I did not misunderstand), and it seemed a good
word-choice to me.
> If you mean "published" (sc., during the author'sBecause that long _scilicet_ is not obvious from the bare word.
> lifetime, and thus with his approval), why not say that, . . . ?
> Second: inclusion of inauthentic forms will require a vetting process farI agree totally: it would be to invite complications. Keeping the
> more complicated than that needed if only authentic forms are permitted.
project as uncomplicated as possible makes it more likely to actually
- --- In lambengolmor@y..., Beregond. Anders Stenström <beregond@u...> wrote:
> Carl Hostetter replied to Bill Welden:Not adding "inauthentic" forms would make it easier, but so would not
>> Second: inclusion of inauthentic forms will require a vetting process
>> far more complicated than that needed if only authentic forms are
> I agree totally: it would be to invite complications. Keeping the
> project as uncomplicated as possible makes it more likely to actually
> come off.
> Meneg suilaid,
adding "inauthentic" analysis, "inauthentic" singular forms, "inauthentic"
undeclined forms, "inauthentic" synonyms, "inauthentic" antonyms, etc..
It would enlarge the possibility of this project ever coming to fruit,
but it would also make it much poorer. The "vetting process" would
be difficult, but the making of linguistical databases is, by definition,
_extremely hard_. The vetting process would be eased by adding,
to all non-Tolkienian forms, complete analysis and basis for the "new
words" from attested writings.
Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
- on 25/7/02 1:22 pm, Petri Tikka at kari.j.tikka@... wrote:
> Not adding "inauthentic" forms would make it easier, but so would notThat is why, as an initial stage (which would itself take a very long time),
> adding "inauthentic" analysis, "inauthentic" singular forms, "inauthentic"
> undeclined forms, "inauthentic" synonyms, "inauthentic" antonyms, etc..
> It would enlarge the possibility of this project ever coming to fruit,
> but it would also make it much poorer.
no such analysis or forms ought to be included in a Tolkienian linguistic
database. Surely the best methodology is to gather as much data as possible
before extrapolating from it.
Anyone so inclined could provide analysis and extrapolation elsewhere. That
way, you would have the most reliable catalogue of the Tolkienian languages
possible; and elsewhere you would have commentaries plainly distinguishable
from it, whose authors could take responsibility for their own work.
In my abortive database I included, at the most, an indication that a word
was, for example, a plural form or a noun when it was (to my mind)
indisputable from the context but would be unclear out of context. (This was
relatively easy, in the vast majority of cases, because the context was
generally English rather than, say, Quenya.)
The process of creating a thesaurus, which _Quettahostanie_ appears
encompass, seems to me quite alien to the aims of a linguistic catalogue,
and should also be kept separate.
- At 7/25/02 10:07 AM , John Garth wrote:
>That is why, as an initial stage (which would itself take a very long time),It's certainly possible for us to simply start loading attested Tolkienian
>no such analysis or forms ought to be included in a Tolkienian linguistic
>database. Surely the best methodology is to gather as much data as possible
>before extrapolating from it.
forms into QH as it stands, and not bother with compounded/coined
(post-Tolkienian) material until later (if at all). Just because the
capability is there doesn't mean we have to use it immediately. However:
>Anyone so inclined could provide analysis and extrapolation elsewhere. ThatThere is a certain level of utility in having things centralized, and hence
>way, you would have the most reliable catalogue of the Tolkienian languages
>possible; and elsewhere you would have commentaries plainly distinguishable
>from it, whose authors could take responsibility for their own work.
easily searchable through one interface. Granted, this is of no particular
use for the academic community. But for the Quenya-composition folks, it
would be nice to be able to search for attested Tolkienian words *and*
newer coinages all at once. (Also note that QH will display Tolkien's forms
higher up in the results than the non-Tolkien forms, all other things being
equal -- for more details, see the guide to search results in the
documentation. Essentially, it depends on just what the user enters as
search terms, but attestation level is the second-level sort criterion.)
>The process of creating a thesaurus, which _Quettahostanie_ appearsI'm a bit confused by how QH acts as a thesaurus -- do you mean the listing
>encompass, seems to me quite alien to the aims of a linguistic catalogue,
>and should also be kept separate.
of synonyms? I had actually intended that to be a bit more of a research
tool; there are places where it can be useful to compare and contrast
different words that refer to similar or identical things.
"Wind in wings,/Two angels falling
To die like this/With a last kiss..."
--Siouxsie and the
"Face to Face"