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Re: Announcing a new list: Lambengolmor

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  • Sébastien Bertho
    Aiya ! ... I think it is a very good news to have a list focusing on _scholarship_ in the Tolkienian linguistic field ! I hope the list will indeed prove
    Message 1 of 3 , May 30, 2002
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      Aiya !

      > The purpose of the Lambengolmor list will be to serve as a _scholarly_
      > forum for the _linguistic_ discussion of Tolkien's languages.

      I think it is a very good news to have a list focusing on _scholarship_ in
      the Tolkienian linguistic field ! I hope the list will indeed prove useful
      and that we'll have the opportunity to discuss the material recently
      published (last Parma Eldalamberon and the latest issues of Vinyar Tengwar).
      It seems to me that these publications have been somewhat a little ignored
      on the other lists (except as "new words" providers), whereas there are many
      very interesting features that would deserve to be discussed.

      > To achieve this purpose, the list will be strictly moderated (initially,
      > by myself): that is, _every_ post to the list will be subject to approval.

      It's not a bad thing, if it is for the sake of scholarship. That will avoid
      worthless discussions or spamming.

      > Further to this moderation, the norms of scholarship that have been
      > developed over centuries in the print media will be enforced for this
      > list: primarily, this means that participants are expected to be
      > _conversant with the literature of the subject_,* to _position their work
      > with respect to that literature_, and to _cite their sources_. Referring
      > others to the literature for answers to their questions is an accepted and
      > common scholarly practice that avoids needless repetition of work.
      > Copyright will be strictly respected.

      This makes sense and is pretty acceptable ! For the fact of "reffering
      others to the literature for answers", it can be recalled that people who
      can't afford to buy all the books of the "primary" sources (i.e. all the
      volumes of HoME, or M&C, etc.) always have the possibility to consult these
      works in public librarys.

      > Other points of moderation: there will be _no_ personal attacks permitted,
      > nor claims of such by parties offended by factual criticism. If you have a
      > personal beef with someone, settle it off list. Replies that clearly miss
      > the point of their antecedent posts will be rejected.

      That's reasonable. I hope everyone will abide to this guideline.

      > Composition will be permitted only to the extent that it furthers
      > scholarship (at a minimum, they must be accompanied by thorough
      > translations, notes, and source citations).

      Thought I used to make some compositions in the (not so far) past, I'm not
      very fond of compositions now. I think there are now too many "living
      elvish" composers, and it is virtually impossible to follow the flow of
      daily new compositions on Elfling. There is already so much work to do
      with the published attested material !

      > Queries regarding ways to translate something will almost certainly be
      > rejected. For all these types of post, Elfling has proved eminently suited
      > and receptive; we don't need another forum for such.

      A very good idea too. As you say, Elfling is perfect for the translation
      questions.

      These last monthes, I found myself desperatly trying to skip boring "what is
      ... in elvish" questions and numerous and often huge compositions or
      translation on Elfling. The result of this filtering is quite often
      disappointing. I welcome warmly a list strictly dedicated to _scholarship_
      and only _scholarship_ !

      > Questions regarding the history of Tolkien's languages (both internal and
      > external), etymology, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics are, of
      > course, encouraged.

      This is exactly the kind of questions and answers that I expect from this
      list !

      > As a consequence of this strict moderation and adherence to scholarly
      > norms, I don't expect this list to have a high volume (and hope that it
      > doesn't, for as long as I am moderator); but as a further consequence I
      > do expect it to have a very high signal-to-noise ratio.

      So do I !

      > Personally, I think that TolkLang could have served the purposes I've set
      > out, but for whatever reason it hasn't. This list may be no more
      > successful.
      > If not, then so be it: perhaps there is simply not enough interest in
      > Tolkienian linguistics (proper, as a scholarly endeavor) on the Internet
      > to support such a list.

      I hope that it won't be the case ! I think there is actually a great
      interest in Tolkienian linguistics but perhaps most of the students are too
      enthousiastic. Wait and see if this list will be able to serve the purpose
      you expect.

      > So, there it is. I'm willing to do my part, for now; the rest is up to
      you.

      By the way, I think there is a problem with the server or with the settings
      of this mailing list : I have received the announcement three times, and
      when I wanted to reply, my mail software had two times the adress of the
      list in the addressee field.

      I think I will come back soon with some questions about the latest
      publications.

      Namárië.

      Sébastien Bertho
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      I have allowed Sébastien s post to pass, though I don t want to make a habit of having me too posts with little or no linguistic content. The best way to
      Message 2 of 3 , May 30, 2002
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        I have allowed Sébastien's post to pass, though I don't want to make a habit
        of having "me too" posts with little or no linguistic content. The best way
        to show support or agreement with list moderation, goals, or practices is to
        simply join in and set a good example for everyone else. That being said, I
        am grateful to Sébastien for his thoughtful words of support, and to those
        others of you who have written me privately.

        I wanted also to highlight two things Sébastien said:

        > we'll have the opportunity to discuss the material recently
        > published (last Parma Eldalamberon and the latest issues of Vinyar Tengwar).
        > It seems to me that these publications have been somewhat a little ignored
        > on the other lists (except as "new words" providers), whereas there are many
        > very interesting features that would deserve to be discussed.

        and:

        > There is already so much work to do with the published attested material !

        As good friend and fellow list-member Arden Smith would say: "Boy howdy!"
        The neglect heaped upon recent publications from Tolkien's papers has been
        disheartening to say the least. It seems that, after being shaken down for
        "useful" or "valid" words, devices, and other bits, the publications are
        rarely if ever discussed again. This is an absurd situation for a community
        supposedly devoted to the scholarly study of Tolkien's languages and their
        invention, and I hope this list will help correct this.

        We have in the last several issues of _Parma Eldalamberon_ the germ and
        initial fulfillment of Tolkien's linguistic aesthetic and most profound
        thoughts on language. In a very real sense, everything that would follow
        would represent variations on the themes he set forth in these works. My
        other good friend and fellow list-member Patrick Wynne has noted that he
        could spend the rest of his life simply studying and writing about the Qenya
        and Gnomish lexicons, and what they reveal about Tolkien's linguistic and
        mythological inventions, so rich are they with detail and hidden gems. Well,
        given our other obligations to Tolkien's legacy, neither he nor the rest of my
        colleagues are likely to have that chance (not that we're complaining, mind
        you!) But _you_ all have it. (Moreover, the editors of these works are all right
        here, ready to answer any questions you might have regarding the texts.) I hope
        that some of you will avail yourselves of this amazing opportunity to be
        scholars of a subject near and dear to your heart -- and to Tolkien's.


        |============================================================================================================================================|
        | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
        | |
        | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
        | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
        | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
        | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
        | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
        |============================================================================================================================================|
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