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Re: "n", "(-i)na", "-ne" and past tense (was aorist stem)

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 of 8 , Aug 1, 2002
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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 4 of 8 , Aug 1, 2002
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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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