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Re: Q. aorist (vs. past)

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  • Fredrik
    ... Perhaps the phrase _i úcarer emmen_ * those who did ill to us contains the past tense, not the aorist. The editorial notes point out that _úcarer_ here
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 30, 2002
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      Patrick Wynne wrote:

      >Quenya had two types of pa.t.:
      >a "strong" pa.t. formed by lengthening of the stem vowel and addition
      >of final vowel _-e_, and a "weak" pa.t. formed by addition of the suffix
      >_-ne_. _ohtakáre_ contains _káre_, strong pa.t. of _kar-_ 'make, build'
      >(V:362).

      Perhaps the phrase _i úcarer emmen_ *'those who did ill to us' contains the
      past tense, not the aorist. The editorial notes point out that "_úcarer_
      here seems to be an aorist plural of _úcar-_ 'trespass' though _úcarir_
      might be expected instead" (VT43:21). Isn't it also possible that _úcárer_
      might be expected instead? After all, we forgive those who have done ill to
      us; we may not want to say that "there are people who do ill to us as a
      periodically recurrent action, but we forgive them".

      /Fredrik

      [I don't think _úcárer_ might be expected. For one thing, _úcarer_ occurs
      twice, in both At. V and VI, making it unlikely to be a slip. Moreover, as
      noted of this form in At. V in VT43:12: "Faint pencilled markings over the
      _e_ suggest that Tolkien intended to emend _úcarer_ > _úcarir_ (though
      the form remains _úcarer_ in At. VI)." Another point -- both the Greek
      and Latin texts render this phrase with an agentive, Lat. _debitor_, Gk,
      _opheilétes_, both meaning 'debtor' in the sense 'one who is guilty of
      a misdeed'. The Q. text in At. V and VI, however, follows the traditional
      English rendition by using a phrase rather than an agentive: 'those who
      trespass against us', or rendering the Q. more literally, 'who do ill to us'.
      Note the use of present _trespass_ in the traditional English rendition;
      this is of course used in its gnomic sense, stating a general truth: in
      Christian theology, Mankind is fallen and sinful; we 'do ill, sin, trespass'
      from birth to death, past, present, and future. So yes, sin is indeed a
      "periodically recurrent action" in fallen Mankind. In such circumstances,
      forgiveness must also be viewed as a general, ongoing process.
      -- Patrick Wynne]
    • Fredrik
      ... Yes, the form _úcarer_ remained in At. VI. To my mind, the pencilled markings over the _e_ suggest that Tolkien *considered* changing _úcarer_
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 30, 2002
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        Patrick Wynne wrote:

        >[I don't think _úcárer_ might be expected. For one thing, _úcarer_ occurs
        >twice, in both At. V and VI, making it unlikely to be a slip. Moreover, as
        >noted of this form in At. V in VT43:12: "Faint pencilled markings over the
        >_e_ suggest that Tolkien intended to emend _úcarer_ > _úcarir_ (though
        >the form remains _úcarer_ in At. VI)."

        Yes, the form _úcarer_ remained in At. VI. To my mind, the pencilled
        markings over the _e_ suggest that Tolkien *considered* changing _úcarer_ >
        _úcarir_, but since the change did not carry over to At. VI he may have
        thought twice about it.

        In any case: Do you mean to suggest that _úcarer_ was a slip for _úcarir_?
        I find it less unlikely that Tolkien omitted an accent mark than that he
        wrote _e_ for _i_ by mistake.

        Then again, if _úcarer_ was *not* a slip, then both _úcarer_ and _úcarir_
        must be regarded as grammatical forms. If so, do they mean the same thing?
        Perhaps there is some distinction that would explain the intentional use of
        _e_ in this case. Such as, the two forms expressing past tense and aorist,
        respectively.

        >Note the use of present _trespass_ in the traditional English rendition;
        >this is of course used in its gnomic sense, stating a general truth: in
        >Christian theology, Mankind is fallen and sinful; we 'do ill, sin, trespass'
        >from birth to death, past, present, and future. So yes, sin is indeed a
        >"periodically recurrent action" in fallen Mankind. In such circumstances,
        >forgiveness must also be viewed as a general, ongoing process.

        You omit the words "against us" in the text at hand. Forgiving the
        trespasses of those who do (or have done) ill to us is one thing. Forgiving
        the trespasses of those who do ill from birth to death (being fallen)...
        that is quite another.

        /Fredrik
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        This discussion concerned, among other things, the interpretation of Tolkien s pencilled markings above the form _úcarer_ in At. V (VT43:12), with the
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 8, 2002
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          This discussion concerned, among other things, the interpretation of
          Tolkien's pencilled markings above the form _úcarer_ in At. V
          (VT43:12), with the suggestion of Patrick Wynne in _VT_ that they were
          and indication of Tolkien's considering changing it to *_úcarir_ (the
          expected aorist form) being questioned, and other interpretations,
          including past-tense (i.e., *_úcárer_) and plural nominal forms.

          I would like to point out that Tolkien's contemporary Sindarin
          translation of the line in question employs the form _gerir_ (VT44:21),
          which certainly looks like an aorist verb, and does not look either
          like a Sindarin past-tense or a Sindarin plural noun.

          Carl
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