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Re: _úcarindor_

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  • Fredrik
    ... Faint pencilled markings over the _e_ suggest that Tolkien intended to emend _úcarer_ _úcarir_ (though the form remains _úcarer_ in At. VI).
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 3, 2002
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      Patrick Wynne wrote:

      >[Your question assumes that _úcarer_ in At. V & VI is not an
      >erroneous form; I contend that it is. I suspect that when Tolkien
      >wrote At. V, he probably wrote _úcarer_ instead of the correct
      >_úcarir_ under the influence of _úcare-_ in _úcaremmar_ 'our
      >trespasses' in the preceding line _úcarer_ in At. V
      >was apparently marked for correction > _úcarir_; but when
      >Tolkien wrote At. VI he made the same slip, writing _úcarer_
      >once again. Why didn't he correct the slip in At. VI? Because
      >At. VI was a fair copy carefully rendered in beautiful calligraphy
      >(perhaps intended to be sent to a correspondent, hence its
      >being written on a postcard), and it might be that Tolkien didn't
      >wish to mar it with corrections -- note that At. VI bears another
      >obvious slip, the long _í_ in úsahtíenna_, also left uncorrected.
      >-- Patrick Wynne]

      "Faint pencilled markings over the _e_ suggest that Tolkien intended to
      emend _úcarer_ > _úcarir_ (though the form remains _úcarer_ in At. VI)."
      (VT43:12)

      In the scanned image of the Merton College postcard (VT43:4), the "faint
      markings" over the _e_ do not come out as very faint at all, especially
      when compared to the other marginal notes on the postcard. Some pixels may
      well have been lost during the scanning but their presence would not make
      the "markings" (as reproduced in _VT_) any *less* clear. These "markings"
      look very much like an exclamation mark, written in at about 45° (slanting
      down from left to right) over the letter _e_, as if to draw attention to
      it. If it is an _i_, it is written upside down, and with a rather odd
      backwards slant.

      From the image, there seems to be no reason to suspect the presence of an
      _i_ here at all, unless you are very actively and imaginatively looking for
      one.

      Quite as importantly, the letter _e_ was not crossed out. Elsewhere on the
      postcard Tolkien inserted other correction marks where letters were to be
      replaced or removed: the _n_ of _carina_ was crossed out, as was the _h_ of
      _hrá_. Not so in this case.

      Therefore, from At. V alone there seems to be no reason to assume that
      Tolkien ever intended to emend _úcarer_ > _úcarir_. Tolkien highlighted the
      word, but it is impossible to know for what reason or what (if anything) he
      intended to do with it. Moreover, if it is an exclamation mark, then
      Tolkien never indicated the form _úcarir_ at all. This form was added by
      the editors in the _VT_ analysis.

      The interpretation is reinforced when At. V is compared to the fair copy of
      the text, At. VI. Tolkien made several corrections to At. V (and _Aia_ III
      appearing below it), and these corrections are all reflected in the fair
      copy texts of At. VI and _Aia_ IV. The corrections include _úsahtienna_ for
      _sahtienna_, _tambe_ for _síve_, _Erumande_ for _kemende_ (VT43:12). The
      form _úcarer_, which was *not* marked for correction in At. V but
      highlighted, was *not* changed.

      We need not speculate whether Tolkien would have put in corrections on the
      At. IV postcard or not. (By the way, I see no reason to assume that Tolkien
      ever intended to send the second postcard to anyone. It may be that he
      simply used them as available writing material. The fact that he used the
      first of these postcards for drafting strongly suggests this.) The fact
      that Tolkien did not make any change to the form _úcarer_ in the act of
      writing At. VI -- even though he clearly worked from the draft text and
      incorporated the other corrections made to it -- strongly suggests that
      whatever Tolkien's thoughts were when he highlighted the word _úcarer_ in
      At. V, he did *not* mean to change its form.

      For Patrick's above scenario to hold, Tolkien not only made a slip when
      writing the fair copy of the text, unthinkingly copying a previous slip.
      For some reason, he also passed over the correction that he had previously
      made, without looking at the draft text at hand and without it ringing any
      bells in his mind. Not only did he write the "erroneous form" out twice --
      once very carefully -- without any reaction. He was also capable of first
      noticing his blunder and then forgetting all about it, even with his own
      notes in front of him. I am not much impressed by this hypothesis.

      /Fredrik
    • Fredrik
      ... Read At. VI , of course. Sorry about the typo. It should be added in this context that Tolkien *did* put in corrections on the At. VI postcard: _mal_
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 3, 2002
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        In my previous posting, I wrote:

        >We need not speculate whether Tolkien would have put in corrections on the
        >At. IV postcard or not.

        Read "At. VI", of course. Sorry about the typo.

        It should be added in this context that Tolkien *did* put in corrections on
        the At. VI postcard: "_mal_ remains in line 10 of At. VI, although a
        checkmark was added in the margin to the left" (VT43:12).

        /Fredrik
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... If what you say is true of the aorist interpretation, it is every bit as true of your past-tense interpretation. There is in fact _every_ reason to
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 4, 2002
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          On 8/3/02 7:20 AM, "Fredrik" <gwaihir@...> wrote:

          > From the image, there seems to be no reason to suspect the presence of an
          > _i_ here at all, unless you are very actively and imaginatively looking for
          > one.

          If what you say is true of the aorist interpretation, it is every bit as
          true of your past-tense interpretation. There is in fact _every_ reason to
          "suspect the presence of an _i_ here", since even if your theory that
          _úcarer_ is intended to be a past-tense form, the form as written is
          strange: the strong past tense if formed by _lengthening of the root vowel_,
          and addition of the stem-vowel _-e_ (and _únótime_ shows that the two
          sequential long vowels resulting from a negative prefix attached to a stem
          with long vowel is no impediment). Thus, whether you explain _úcarer_ as
          aorist or as past, you are left with the fact that its formation conforms
          with neither the usual aorist nor the usual past-tense modifications.

          In a statement of general fact like "we forgive those who trespass against
          us", and given the choice between an aorist or a past-tense interpretation
          of the verb "trespass", the aorist is preferable to the past. And since the
          marks that Tolkien makes can be interpreted as "i"s, which would align with
          an aorist meaning, this interpretation seems by far the likeliest.

          Does this mean that it is _impossible_ that Tolkien intended _úcarer_ to be
          a past-tense form? No, of course not. But that interpretation is certainly
          no more likely than the aorist (in fact, in my opinion, it is less likely),
          and requires the same recognition that Tolkien wrote the unusual (if not
          erroneous) form twice, even after remarking on its oddity (and possibly
          considering its alteration).


          --

          |======================================================================|
          | 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." |
          |======================================================================|
        • Fredrik
          ... In the post that Carl is responding to, I said that where Patrick Wynne in his _VT_ analysis assumes an _i_ to be present, I see an exclamation mark. I did
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 7, 2002
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            In message 180, Carl Hostetter wrote:
            >
            >If what you say is true of the aorist interpretation, it is every bit as
            >true of your past-tense interpretation.

            In the post that Carl is responding to, I said that where Patrick Wynne in
            his _VT_ analysis assumes an _i_ to be present, I see an exclamation mark.
            I did not say this in support of a past-tense interpretation.

            Assuming that there was a verb *_úcar-_, the regular past pl. would be
            *_úcárer_ and the aorist pl. would be *_úcarir_. Tolkien did not write any
            of those. He twice wrote _úcarer_, which looks like a plural noun. Perhaps
            it is a plural noun?

            Such an interpretation does not seem entirely out of the question. In
            _apsenet tien i úcarer emmen_, the pronominal ending _-t_ (probably <
            impersonal _ta_, VT43:20) might be determinative, not anaphoric, and refer
            to the relative clause _i úcarer emmen_. In _tiruvantes_, _(n)te_ is used
            determinatively (UT:317).

            If it is a determinative pronoun, _apsenet tien i úcarer emmen_ would mean
            'forgive to-them that which [be] ill-deeds to us'. Of course there are
            complications. The copula can be omitted in Quenya (VT42:33, VT43:30), so
            that may not be much of a problem. But 'them' who? Perhaps there was a word
            *_tie_ (VT43:21) that could be used to mean 'people', 'others', 'they'?

            Does this seem plausible? I am sure there are many other possibilites.
            However, I do not think it reasonable to support the hypothesis that there
            is an aorist form present in _i úcarer emmen_ by turning the postcard
            upside down and pointing out that Tolkien's marks could be interpreted as
            an _i_.

            /Fredrik
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            ... That would indeed be unreasonable. But if you mean to imply that that is how the interpretation of the marks Tolkien made against _úcarer_ was arrived
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 7, 2002
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              On 8/7/02 3:47 AM, "Fredrik" <gwaihir@...> wrote:

              > However, I do not think it reasonable to support the hypothesis that there
              > is an aorist form present in _i úcarer emmen_ by turning the postcard
              > upside down and pointing out that Tolkien's marks could be interpreted as
              > an _i_.

              That would indeed be unreasonable. But if you mean to imply that that is how
              the interpretation of the marks Tolkien made against _úcarer_ was arrived
              out, you are utterly mistaken. Tolkien very often did not dot his "i"s, if
              writing with any haste or notationally (as here); and what you see as an
              underposed dot can easily be seen as underlining for emphasis or even by way
              of querying (another very common practice).

              The fact remains that, semantically and syntactically, an aorist verb is by
              far the expected form. The fact also remains that Tolkien did either remark
              upon (if your reading of the mark is correct) or consider changing (if it is
              an "i") the form. Together, these facts far more strongly suggest that
              Tolkien at least considered changing _úcarer_ to *_úcarir_, than they do a
              past-tense (or any other) interpretation.

              I should note as a tangent that it is not an editor/analyst's obligation to
              present every _possible_ interpretation or explanation. We often must select
              and present only those that seem likeliest to us. Our obligation is only to
              avoid misleading our readers into thinking certain what is only tentative.
              Hence Pat's use of the word "suggests" when presenting the aorist
              interpretation.


              --

              |======================================================================|
              | 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." |
              |======================================================================|
            • pa2rick
              ... to Carl Hostetter s comment (re the form _úcarer_ do ill, trespass in At. V, VI) that If what you say is true of the aorist interpretation, ...
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 7, 2002
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                --- In lambengolmor@y..., Fredrik <gwaihir@s...> wrote in response
                to Carl Hostetter's comment (re the form _úcarer_ 'do ill, trespass'
                in At. V, VI) that "If what you say is true of the aorist interpretation,
                it is every bit as true of your past-tense interpretation":


                > In the post that Carl is responding to, I said that where Patrick
                > Wynne in his _VT_ analysis assumes an _i_ to be present, I
                > see an exclamation mark. I did not say this in support of a
                > past-tense interpretation.

                Later in this same message, Fredrik wrote:

                > However, I do not think it reasonable to support the hypothesis
                > that there is an aorist form present in _i úcarer emmen_ by
                > turning the postcard upside down and pointing out that Tolkien's
                > marks could be interpreted as an _i_.

                Certainly one of the most irritating aspects of online discourse
                is the tendency people have to restate someone's opinion in
                a distorted form, then to argue against the distorted version
                rather than against what was originally said. This is what Fredrik
                is doing here.

                I have never said, and do not believe, that the faint pencilled
                markings above the _e_ of _úcarer_ represent the letter _i_.
                This is what was stated regarding this form in VT: "Faint
                pencilled markings over the _e_ suggest that Tolkien intended
                to emend _úcarer_ > _úcarir_ (though the form remains _úcarer_
                in At. VI)." (VT43:12)

                Please note that the mark or marks in question are described
                here only as "faint pencilled markings" -- precisely because what
                they represent is unclear. Also note that it is only said that these
                markings "suggest" Tolkien's _intent_ to emend _úcarer_ to
                _úcarir_. Nowhere in these remarks is there an assertion
                that an _i_ is explicitly present. The same thinking underlies
                my comment in message #176 that "_úcarer_ in At. V was
                apparently marked for correction > _úcarir_"

                The reason that I have supposed these "markings" were
                intended to indicate that _úcarer_ should be changed to
                _úcarir_ is this -- _úcarer_ in and of itself appears to be
                an anomalous form; if it is a pa.t., then we should expect
                _úcárer_, and if it is aorist then we should expect _úcarir_.
                Given these two possibilities, it is probably significant that
                in emending At. V, Tolkien made markings of some sort
                above the _e_ in this form -- "as if to draw attention to
                it", as Fredrik himself stated in message #177. Why would
                Tolkien draw attention to the _e_ in _úcarer_? The likeliest
                explanation is that he felt it should be emended to the
                expected aorist form _úcarir_.

                As for the retention of _úcarer_ in At. VI, this might indicate
                that the _e_ in both occurrences of this form was deliberate
                rather than (as I have previously posited) an error. It may
                be that in writing At. V Tolkien was considering changing
                the aorist pl. ending to _-er_. When emending At. V he
                was undecided on this point, and so marked the _e_ in
                _úcarer_ "to draw attention to it", i.e. he was contemplating
                changing this ending back to _-ir_. Then when writing At. VI
                he decided to stick with the "new" aorist pl. ending _-er_.
                If this was the case, the change was probably short-lived; cf.
                _i karir quettar ómainen_ 'those who form words with voices'
                (XI:391) in _Quendi and Eldar_.

                To reiterate: I do _not_ think the markings over the _e_ are
                themselves a letter _i_, upside-down or right-side up. The
                mark or markings (whatever it or they may be) were meant
                to call attention to the _e_, probably indicating that Tolkien
                was uncertain about it and considering its emendation, in
                which case the likeliest candidate for the emended form
                would be _úcarir_, the normal aorist pl. form.

                -- Patrick Wynne
              • David Kiltz
                ... Are you sure it would be _úcárer_ with two long vowels following each other ? David Kiltz [As I ve already pointed out in this thread, the word
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 8, 2002
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                  On Mittwoch, August 7, 2002, at 03:12 Uhr, pa2rick wrote [in mess. 189|:

                  > _úcarer_ in and of itself appears to be an anomalous form; if it is a
                  > pa.t., then we should expect _úcárer_

                  Are you sure it would be _úcárer_ with two long vowels following each
                  other ?

                  David Kiltz

                  [As I've already pointed out in this thread, the word _únótime_
                  (Galadriel's Lamaent) shows that there is no phonological prohibition
                  against two long vowels in adjoining syllables. Carl]
                • Erestel
                  ... anomalous form; if it is a pa.t., then we should expect _úcárer_ ... vowels following each other ? ... _únótime_ (Galadriel s Lamaent) shows that there
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 8, 2002
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                    > 189 / Patrick : _úcarer_ in and of itself appears to be an
                    anomalous form; if it is a pa.t., then we should expect _úcárer_

                    > 190 / David : Are you sure it would be _úcárer_ with two long
                    vowels following each other ?

                    > 190 / Carl : As I've already pointed out in this thread, the word
                    _únótime_ (Galadriel's Lamaent) shows that there is no phonological
                    prohibition against two long vowels in adjoining syllables.


                    I don't know wether _*úcárer_ would be possible or not ; I just
                    wonder if _únótime_ example is sufficient to validate _*úcárer_ ;
                    Indeed there are 4 syllables in _únótime_ so that the pronunciation
                    might be more evident than in _*úcárer_ (?)...

                    Jérôme
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