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aorist stem (was _-Vndo)

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  • David Kiltz
    ... Granted. However, I see no compelling reason for the assumption that _-Vnd_ is derived from the aorist stem (indeed from any temporal stem). The _i_
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 30, 2002
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      Patrick Wynne wrote [in mess.157]:

      > So David's statement that "the aorist can, after all, be used as a
      > past tense" is to my knowledge untrue.

      Granted.

      However, I see no compelling reason for the assumption that _-Vnd_ is
      derived from the aorist stem (indeed from any temporal stem). The _i_
      doesn't have to have anything to do with the aorist. I still maintain
      the opinion that the notion of "past" is contained in the _n_.
      A form in _-Vndo_ doesn't show us whether the root syllable once was
      long since with the stress is on the second syllable, in CVCV:ndo, the
      first syllable can only, as far as I know, be short. So I see nothing that would
      exclude the interpretation as a past participle active.
      And even *if* the lengthening of the root vowel as seen in _rákina_ is
      indicative of the past, so should the _n_ be which, after all, is a
      prominent marker of the past (I don't think I've got to give examples
      for that). So whatever the _i_ between the root and the ending, it
      apparently doesn't contradict a "past" interpretation.

      David Kiltz

      [I wasn't denying a "past" interpretation of _rákina_! My whole
      point in noting that the long vowel in passive past participles
      such as _rákina_, _rúkina_ was also indicative of the Q. pa.t.
      was to refute your assertion that the stem in these forms
      could be aorist. -- Patrick Wynne]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • gentlebeldin
      ... That s true, there are lots of other explanations, and not only internal ones. We know that JRRT created his languages following a linguistic ideal, and we
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 30, 2002
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        --- In lambengolmor@y..., David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

        > Granted.
        >
        > However, I see no compelling reason for the assumption that _-Vnd_ is
        > derived from the aorist stem (indeed from any temporal stem). The _i_
        > doesn't have to have anything to do with the aorist.

        That's true, there are lots of other explanations, and not only
        internal ones. We know that JRRT created his languages following a
        linguistic ideal, and we know (more or less) which languages inspired
        him. It's entirely possible that he simply was impressed by the SOUND
        of endings like -ina (adjectival suffix), -indo or -ando (gerund) in
        Italian, and introduced them (with different grammatical function)
        into Quenya. What didn't fit into a believable etymology, was
        dismissed, and we know that the etymological explanations changed with
        time.

        Just take the names: one of the explanations of _Tuurin_ is in
        Etymologies: TUR- (mastery) + ID- (mind), Q _Turindo_ > _Tuurin_ (V: 442).
        Of course, ID- can't explain the variant _-ando_.

        > I still maintain
        > the opinion that the notion of "past" is contained in the _n_.

        It's one possible origin of an _n_, sure. The strong past tense may be
        formed without any "n", but the weak form contains a suffix _-ne_.
        Unfortunately, there's no reason to assume this is the only possible
        origin.

        Remember: the weak past tense in some Germanic languages is formed
        without ablaut, by a suffix derived from the past tense of "do" ("-t"
        or "-d"). What if the weak past tense of Quenya verbs comes from a
        compound of a verbal stem with a hypothetical past tense of "be"
        (_nee_), and the suffix of the PASSIVE participle from a compound with
        "be" itself (_na_)? The passive construction in German or English
        works this way.

        In both cases, the _n_ would have nothing to do with marking past
        tense (that would be the suffix _ee_, or the lengthening of the stem
        vowel, or whatever), it comes from "be" (i.e. the stem ANA2-, V:386).
        In a language where nasal infixion plays such a big role, you can get
        an "n" from almost everywhere. :-)

        Hans
      • David Kiltz
        ... ... Well, I agree the weak past in Germanic is most probably to be connected with I.-E. *_dheh1-_. However, it is not attached to the stem ! The
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 30, 2002
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          On Dienstag, Juli 30, 2002, at 07:25 Uhr, gentlebeldin wrote:

          > --- In lambengolmor@y..., David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:
          >
          >> Granted.
          >>
          >> However, I see no compelling reason for the assumption that _-Vnd_ is
          >> derived from the aorist stem (indeed from any temporal stem). The _i_
          >> doesn't have to have anything to do with the aorist.
          >
          > That's true, there are lots of other explanations, and not only
          > internal ones.
          <snip>
          > Just take the names: one of the explanations of _Tuurin_ is in
          > Etymologies: TUR- (mastery) + ID- (mind), Q _Turindo_ > _Tuurin_ (V:
          > 442).
          > Of course, ID- can't explain the variant _-ando_.
          >
          >> I still maintain
          >> the opinion that the notion of "past" is contained in the _n_.
          >
          > It's one possible origin of an _n_, sure. The strong past tense may be
          > formed without any "n", but the weak form contains a suffix _-ne_.
          > Unfortunately, there's no reason to assume this is the only possible
          > origin.
          >
          > Remember: the weak past tense in some Germanic languages is formed
          > without ablaut, by a suffix derived from the past tense of "do" ("-t"
          > or "-d"). What if the weak past tense of Quenya verbs comes from a
          > compound of a verbal stem with a hypothetical past tense of "be"
          > (_nee_)

          Well, I agree the weak past in Germanic is most probably to be connected
          with I.-E. *_dheh1-_. However, it is not attached to the stem ! The
          construction most probably started in the III weak class (cf. Goth.
          _haban_, _thahan_) which are formed with an "essive" suffix also found
          in e.g. Lat. _tacére_ "to be silent". Already in Indo-European, these
          formations can be seen as in Lat. rubé-facio (_facere_ deriving,
          ultimately from the same root as Engl. "to do"). I won't elaborate on
          this here, the important point to note is, that this formation do not
          derive from the root (as in Quenya) or the stem but from a longer form
          (ultimately an instrumental of a root noun) and later spread by analogy
          in Germanic.

          > , and the suffix of the PASSIVE participle from a compound with
          > "be" itself (_na_)? The passive construction in German or English
          > works this way.

          The passive participle is not formed by a compound employing "to be".
          The suffix of the p.p. is either *_-tos_ etc. or _-nos_ etc.. Maybe I
          misunderstood you ?

          > In both cases, the _n_ would have nothing to do with marking past
          > tense (that would be the suffix _ee_, or the lengthening of the stem
          > vowel, or whatever), it comes from "be" (i.e. the stem ANA2-, V:386).
          > In a language where nasal infixion plays such a big role, you can get
          > an "n" from almost everywhere. :-)

          Right, but I don't think you can explain the _-na_ in th p.p. from
          _NA-_ "to be".
        • Ales Bican
          ... **I do not think the occurence of _n_ in a word has to imply that it is a marker of the past. Strong pasts of the _láve_ type do not have this component.
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 30, 2002
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            David Kiltz wrote:

            > Patrick Wynne wrote [in mess.157]:
            >
            > > So David's statement that "the aorist can, after all, be used as a
            > > past tense" is to my knowledge untrue.
            >
            > Granted.
            >
            > However, I see no compelling reason for the assumption that _-Vnd_ is
            > derived from the aorist stem (indeed from any temporal stem). The _i_
            > doesn't have to have anything to do with the aorist. I still maintain
            > the opinion that the notion of "past" is contained in the _n_.
            > A form in _-Vndo_ doesn't show us whether the root syllable once was
            > long since with the stress is on the second syllable, in CVCV:ndo, the
            > first syllable can only, as far as I know, be short. So I see nothing that would
            > exclude the interpretation as a past participle active.
            > And even *if* the lengthening of the root vowel as seen in _rákina_ is
            > indicative of the past, so should the _n_ be which, after all, is a
            > prominent marker of the past (I don't think I've got to give examples
            > for that).

            **I do not think the occurence of _n_ in a word has to imply that it
            is a marker of the past. Strong pasts of the _láve_ type do not have
            this component. And as for the strong pasts of the _quente_ type, the
            _n_ there may be explained as a nasal infixion, I think.

            > So whatever the _i_ between the root and the ending, it
            > apparently doesn't contradict a "past" interpretation.

            **I think the _i_ is a part of the _ina_ suffix. Cf. _hastaina_
            "marred" (MR:254). And I think this suffix is adjectival in origin,
            because we have many adjectives ending in _-ina_ (or _-in_);
            the _-na_ suffix would an allomorph of this.

            Patrick Wynne commented:

            > [I wasn't denying a "past" interpretation of _rákina_! My whole
            > point in noting that the long vowel in passive past participles
            > such as _rákina_, _rúkina_ was also indicative of the Q. pa.t.
            > was to refute your assertion that the stem in these forms
            > could be aorist.

            **Note that the lengthening of the stem-vowel is not exclusively
            a marker of pasts, it is also a marker of continuative stems.

            *****

            Patrick also wrote:

            > So David's statement that "the aorist can, after all, be used as a
            > past tense" is to my knowledge untrue. I'm not aware of any instances
            > of Tolkien translating a Q. aorist as a pa.t.; if David knows of any,
            > I'd be interested to have them pointed out. But even if a few such
            > examples exist, the _majority_ of the evidence points to the Q. aorist
            > being analogous to the Eng. gnomic present.

            **Well, I am neither a David nor the David *smile*, but what about
            these instances: _antaróta_ "he gave it" and _antalto_ "they gave"
            in Fíriel's Song? Perhaps even _kaire [...] kirya_ "ship lay" (OM1)
            if _-re_ is (as I believe it is) a feminine pronominal ending
            (cf. _kirya kalliére_ "ship shone" (ibid.)).


            Ales Bican

            --
            Mi dissero che e quell'epoca per quindici giorni e quindici notti
            i retori Gabundus e Terentius discussero sul vocativo di _ego_,
            e infine vennero alle armi. (Umberto Eco, _Il nome della rosa_)

            [As for David's statement that "A form in _-Vndo_ doesn't show us
            whether the root syllable once was long since with the stress is on
            the second syllable, in CVCV:ndo, the first syllable can only, as
            far as I know, be short" -- this is not true. Cf. _ómaryo_ and
            _Rómello_ in Galadriel's Lament, in which the stress falls on
            the penult with retention of the long vowel in the initial syllable.
            The forms _antaróta_ 'he gave it' and _antalto_ 'they gave'
            from Fíriel's song might be present-tense forms, analogous
            to the "historical present" of Latin. -- Patrick Wynne]
          • gentlebeldin
            ... I wasn t very clear, I m afraid. What I meant is: if the passive can be constructed by a participle + (apart from it) a form of to be , we could as well
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 31, 2002
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              --- In lambengolmor@y..., David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

              > The passive participle is not formed by a compound employing "to
              > be". The suffix of the p.p. is either *_-tos_ etc. or _-nos_ etc..
              > Maybe I misunderstood you ?

              I wasn't very clear, I'm afraid. What I meant is: if the passive can
              be constructed by a participle + (apart from it) a form of "to be",
              we could as well have a form of that verb as a PART of the passive
              participle in another language.

              > Right, but I don't think you can explain the _-na_ in th p.p. from
              > _NA-_ "to be".

              I could, but I couldn't prove it. There are only so many allowed CV
              combinations, it may be a mere coincidence. If we knew other
              (inflected) forms of _na_ and found them used as endings, that would
              be another matter.

              Moreover, there are much simpler explanations. Participles are
              adjectives formed from verbs. The suffix _-na_ (or _naa_ in PE) is
              used to form adjectives, and some are formed from the naked
              (timeless) verbal stem:

              SKAL- (screen, hide) gives *skalnaa >_halda_ (veiled, shadowed,
              V:431)
              DUL- (hide, conceal) gives *ndulnaa > _nulla_, _nulda_ (secret, V:394)
              The latter example shows that -ln- could develop both into -ld- and -
              ll-. Another such "primitive verbal adjectives" could be _melda_
              (beloved, < *melnaa).
              Those didn't retain information about tense (past, present) or voice
              (passive, active), that's implied from context here (or irrelevant).

              Participles are whole classes of adjectives, retaining some of those
              characteristics as tense and voice. It depends on the language:
              Russian has any combination of active/passive with past/present (plus
              adverbial participles, so good luck studying it!), while English or
              Quenya (and even Italian) are more economical. :-)

              Both adjectival endings _-na_, _-ina_ are met outside participles,
              in "normal" adjectives, so I find it sort of risky to state that
              the "n" bears the information "past tense". Especially since there
              are forms of past tense without any "n". I'm not only speaking of the
              few examples _caare_, _(undu-)laave_, _tuule_,... quoted up this
              thread! The perfect also implies that the action is finished, i.e. it
              began in the past, and it doesn't contain an "n".

              So all we can say for certain is: there is ONE verb form containing
              _-ne_ meaning past tense. Whether the suffix _-ne_ can be identified
              as a past tense of _na_, is another matter. I like the theory, but
              chances are slim to prove it. I'm aware of alternatives.

              Hans
            • David Kiltz
              On Dienstag, Juli 30, 2002, at 11:52 Uhr, Ales Bican wrote [in mess. ... No, it doesn t have to, but it s a strong possibility. Of course, that, reversely,
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 31, 2002
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                On Dienstag, Juli 30, 2002, at 11:52 Uhr, Ales Bican wrote [in mess.
                169]:

                > **I do not think the occurence of _n_ in a word has to imply that it
                > is a marker of the past. Strong pasts of the _láve_ type do not have
                > this component. And as for the strong pasts of the _quente_ type, the
                > _n_ there may be explained as a nasal infixion, I think.

                No, it doesn't have to, but it's a strong possibility. Of course, that,
                reversely, doesn't say anything about other past tense formations. The
                fact that past is indicated by _-n_ (suffixed or by conditioned
                soundchange, infixed) does not, of course, imply that all _-n_
                formations are to be interpreted as "past".
                As for _quente_, I think it's *_quet-ne_ > _quente_.

                >> So whatever the _i_ between the root and the ending, it
                >> apparently doesn't contradict a "past" interpretation.
                >
                > **I think the _i_ is a part of the _ina_ suffix. Cf. _hastaina_
                > "marred" (MR:254). And I think this suffix is adjectival in origin,
                > because we have many adjectives ending in _-ina_ (or _-in_);
                > the _-na_ suffix would an allomorph of this.

                Good point. Indeed, both seem to "oscillate".

                David Kiltz

                [I have excised an extremely long and superfluous quote
                from the beginning of this message. I will remind list members
                here of one of Lambengolmor's guidelines, as stated by
                Carl Hostetter in message #2: "Two of my biggest pet peeves
                about mailing lists are 1) excessive (i.e., _lazy_) quotation
                of posts in replies, and 2) inaccurate subject-lines. Posts
                that violate the former will be rejected for revision. Good replies
                should quote just enough of the antecedent post(s) to give
                the context, but no more."

                I have been fairly lenient about this requirement thus far,
                but I will begin (indeed, I have begun) sending posts
                that quote excessively back for revision. -- Patrick Wynne]
              • Ales Bican
                ... **They of course might be. I think it is not even certain whether this stage of Quenya had _the_ aorist we know from later sources. Why is the article
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 1 10:04 AM
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                  Patrick Wynne wrote:

                  > The forms _antaróta_ 'he gave it' and _antalto_ 'they gave'
                  > from Fíriel's song might be present-tense forms, analogous
                  > to the "historical present" of Latin.

                  **They of course might be. I think it is not even certain whether this
                  stage of Quenya had _the_ aorist we know from later sources. Why
                  is the article emphatized? Because there is another aorist in Quenya
                  (or rather Qenya). This aorist was similar to the Greek one (as far
                  as I can say, I do not know Greek a lot and if I said it was similar
                  to the aorist in Old Czech, you would hardly know what I am talking
                  about *smile*). The tense called aorist seems to be a past tense with
                  a perfective aspect.
                  Q _alatya_, aor. _altíne_, or _alantye_ (PE13:158R; a meaning of
                  the verb is not given but probably *"shield, protect")
                  Q _rosta-_, aor. _róse_, _róre_ (PE13:159R; probably *"rise")
                  Now as far as I am aware there is no imperfect given. Nevertheless,
                  I assume the tense existed, since Noldorin also has the aorist and
                  imperfect. See conjugations in _Early Noldorin Grammar_ in PE13
                  and an entry _mad_ on p. 163R:
                  _madath_, past imperfect, was eating
                  _maint_, aor. ate

                  As for Latin, well, I do not know Latin a lot either, but as far as I
                  can say it does not have an aorist tense. But as far as Tolkien's
                  languages go, Adunaic aorist, for instance, was used both for present
                  and past (see SD:439).
                  Since the form _anta_ seems to be structurally an a-stem aorist, I
                  would personally say it is an aorist used in past.


                  Ales Bican

                  --
                  Mi dissero che e quell'epoca per quindici giorni e quindici notti
                  i retori Gabundus e Terentius discussero sul vocativo di _ego_,
                  e infine vennero alle armi. (Umberto Eco, _Il nome della rosa_)
                • Ales Bican
                  ... **But perhaps it does. I have noticed that strong pasts are somewhat strengthened either by nasal-infixion or lengthening of the stem-vowel. And in fact
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 1 10:50 AM
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                    I wrote:

                    > > **I do not think the occurence of _n_ in a word has to imply that it
                    > > is a marker of the past. Strong pasts of the _láve_ type do not have
                    > > this component. And as for the strong pasts of the _quente_ type, the
                    > > _n_ there may be explained as a nasal infixion, I think.

                    David Kiltz commented:

                    > No, it doesn't have to, but it's a strong possibility. Of course, that,
                    > reversely, doesn't say anything about other past tense formations.

                    **But perhaps it does. I have noticed that strong pasts are somewhat
                    strengthened either by nasal-infixion or lengthening of the stem-vowel.
                    And in fact the nasal-infixion could also be interpreted as a lengthening
                    of the stem-vowel. If we say that the culmin in a syllable _quent_ is
                    _en_ and the coda is _t_, then it is comparable to syllable _láv_ where
                    the culmin is _á_ and coda _v_ (the _á_ can be interpreted as _aa_).
                    Strong pasts would then be of this pattern:
                    CV:Ce (i.e. consonant - long vowel - consonant - a past suffix).

                    > The
                    > fact that past is indicated by _-n_ (suffixed or by conditioned
                    > soundchange, infixed) does not, of course, imply that all _-n_
                    > formations are to be interpreted as "past".

                    **Of course, because nasal-infixion is very common in Quenya.
                    Similarly (as I already pointed out), the lengthening of the stem-
                    vowel is not exclusive for pasts.

                    > As for _quente_, I think it's *_quet-ne_ > _quente_.

                    **This is of course possible and it is what I also thought. However,
                    I am not really convinced now because of Telerin pa.t. _delle_ of
                    _delia-_ I mentioned in an earlier letter (entitled _ulle_), though
                    I admit that nasal-infixion before a sonant might be temptative.


                    Ales Bican

                    --
                    Mi dissero che e quell'epoca per quindici giorni e quindici notti
                    i retori Gabundus e Terentius discussero sul vocativo di _ego_,
                    e infine vennero alle armi. (Umberto Eco, _Il nome della rosa_)

                    [An entirely unambiguous example of a Quenya strong pa.t.
                    formed via n-infixion is _anwe_ in _Quendi and Eldar_, said
                    there to be "an old 'strong' past tense" of _auta-_ 'go away,
                    leave', "only found in archaic language" (XI:366). I.e., root
                    _*awa_ > pa.t. _a-n-we_. -- Patrick Wynne]
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