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Re: i and y in Quenya: two phonemes or one?

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  • gentlebeldin
    ... Possibly, they do: There s the pronominal suffix _-lye_ and the suffix _-lie_, as in _Eldalie_. This could rule out the possibility of allomorphs: they
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 6, 2002
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      --- In lambengolmor@y..., Ales Bican <ales.bican@s...> wrote:
      > As far as I can see they seems to agree with Trubetzkoy's third rule
      > (they never occur in the same phonetic environs) and not to agree
      > with the forth rule (one does not occurs beside the other).

      Possibly, they do: There's the pronominal suffix _-lye_ and the
      suffix _-lie_, as in _Eldalie_. This could rule out the possibility
      of allomorphs: they have to be variants of the same phoneme,
      predictable from the environment where they occur.

      However, the _i_ in diphthongs like _ai_ and the _y_ in combinations
      like _ly_ don't seem to be independent phonemes. Both just modify the
      pronunciation of the preceding sound, and this is confirmed by the
      spelling in Tengwar (_ai_ as a-tehta over _yanta_, _ly_ as dots under
      _lambe_, cf. "Namaarie" in _The Road Goes Ever On_). So if we reduce an
      allomorph /y/ to the position "beginning of word, in front of a vowel",
      and /i/ to "beginning of a word or after consonant", your hypothesis
      could be defensible.

      The question whether a vocal and a consonant can be similar enough to
      count as allomorphs, is subjective. _y_ is a half-vowel, after all.

      Hans
    • atarinke
      ... Hrm... I don t quite like the idea of having a consonant and a vowel as one phoneme (but I haven t read Grundzüge, so what do I know ;). I guess it could
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 6, 2002
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        Ales Bican wrote:

        > I thought about it today: are sounds _i_ (as in _Quendi_) and _y_
        > (as in _Yavanna_) two phonemes or variants of one phoneme in
        > Quenya?

        Hrm... I don't quite like the idea of having a consonant and a vowel
        as one phoneme (but I haven't read Grundzüge, so what do I know ;). I
        guess it could be possible however and if one accepts such a view one
        might also want to look at /w/ and /u/. I do however have a few
        objections to adopting it in this case.

        Firstly, others (Hans and Petri I think) have already mentioned that
        you'd have to think of diphthongs and the palatalised consonants as
        separate phonemes in order for such a view to work. Whether one
        prefers /Cy/ together with /i/ or /C/+/y/ with /i/ and /y/ seems like
        a matter of choice but a choice does seem necessary.

        Secondly, I think I might have found a (admittedly single) possible
        minimal pair distinguishing them, namely _heruion_ (IX, p291) meaning
        "of lords" and an unattested but probably possible word _heru-yon_,
        "lord-son". Now, _heru-yon_ is unattested and would in all
        probability be seen as quite archaic (yondo being the standard form)
        but I would still say it's a possible Quenya word. I here think that
        the /i/ in _heruion_ is syllabic while the /y/ in _heru-yon_ is not
        so the difference in meaning would come across.

        Now, this is not a good minimal pair, I know. In part because one of
        its constituents is made up by me, in part because they differ in the
        position of the stress as well. But I do think _heru-yon_ is a
        possible Quenya word, even if _heru-yondo_ or _heruion_ (with the
        patronymic -ion suffix) would be more probable. And the difference in
        stress lacks importance in this case since stress in Quenya does not
        carry any information (is not phonemic), correct?

        On the other hand, I'm a physics undergrad, not a linguist, so all of
        the above might just be (and probably is) nonsense. Anyway,

        sincerely
        Martin Blom
      • gentlebeldin
        ... I have to agree: any example of syllabic /i/ before another vocal would be sufficient to rule out the hypothesis in question, because /y/ is possible in
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 7, 2002
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          --- In lambengolmor@y..., "atarinke" <martin.blom@c...> wrote:

          > Secondly, I think I might have found a (admittedly single) possible
          > minimal pair distinguishing them, namely _heruion_ (IX, p291)
          > meaning "of lords" and an unattested but probably possible word
          > _heru-yon_, "lord-son". Now, _heru-yon_ is unattested and would
          > in all probability be seen as quite archaic (yondo being the standard
          > form) but I would still say it's a possible Quenya word. I here think
          > that the /i/ in _heruion_ is syllabic while the /y/ in _heru-yon_ is not
          > so the difference in meaning would come across.

          I have to agree: any example of syllabic /i/ before another vocal
          would be sufficient to rule out the hypothesis in question,
          because /y/ is possible in the same environment. If you don't trust
          your _heru-yon_, we could refer to _yúyo_ ("both") from Etymologies
          (V:448).

          But... is _i_ after _u_ syllabic? I've never heard a diphthong /ui/ in
          Quenya explicitly mentioned, but it was one in Sindarin. The mere
          fact that /y/ in the beginning of syllables appears as /i/ in
          Sindarin (while /ky/ simply has turned into /k/) speaks in favor of
          the hypothesis of Ales Bican. Sindarin vocalic /y/ seems to come from
          a former diphtong /ui/, in any case it doesn't come from the old semi-
          vowel _y_.

          Can _i_ be syllabic after _u_? If the spelling in Tengwar can be a
          hint, we should doubt it. JRRT writes _ui_ in _luini_ with an u-tehta
          over _yanta_ (cf. _Namárie in _The Road Goes Ever On).

          Syllabic /i/ before a vocal in the beginning of a word would be
          another matter. At some point, JRRT definitely thought of words like
          _ia_, Ialosse_, _Iolosse_ (look at the entries EY- and GEY- in
          Etymologies, V:396 and V:398). But then, he struck them out,
          and "eternal" was derived from OY-, V:423, giving _Oiolosse_ with a
          diphtong.

          So the question is still undecided, I'd say.

          Hans

          [As for the remark " I've never heard a diphthong /ui/ in Quenya
          explicitly mentioned", Appendix E to _The Lord of the Rings_
          states: "In Quenya _ui_, _oi_, _ai_ and _iu_, _eu_, _au_ are
          diphthongs (that is, pronounced in one syllable)." (LR:1090)
          -- Patrick Wynne]
        • Ales Bican
          ... **So the _j_ is not pronounced there, right? Speaking of which, what is it like in Finnish? I do not know a lot about it. Does Finnish have j as a separate
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 8, 2002
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            Petri Tikka wrote:

            > There is a situation that is very much like this in Finnish.
            > Let me phrase this similarly to your statements:
            > However, we have words like _paijata_ "stroke, pet" and _juoksi(j)a_
            > "runner". I am not convienced that this can be an evidence of _j_ and
            > _i_ occurring beside each other, as the _j_ between the vowels is only an
            > orthographic phenomenon, not observed in spoken speech. Furthermore,
            > some linguistics and common people would spell these sequences as
            > _paiata_ and _juoksia_.

            **So the _j_ is not pronounced there, right? Speaking of which, what
            is it like in Finnish? I do not know a lot about it. Does Finnish have
            j as a separate phoneme distict to /i/?

            > Hence I think the two sounds occurring in _Quendi_ and _Yavanna_
            > are not two variants of one invariant /i/ -- the vocalic [i] is an
            > independent phoneme from [y], just as [w] is independent from
            > [u], there being no correlation between them in "The Etymologies"
            > or elsewhere.

            **Well, is [w] really independent from [u]? Now that I think about
            it, is [w] not just a variant of [u]? These two sounds are very
            similar. As far as I am aware [w] occurs only before vowels and [u]
            only before consonants, and we never find combinations -uw- or
            -wu- in Quenya.

            > Besides, if your theory is true, why is it _áya_ and not
            > **_aya_?

            **Do you mean why the _a_ is long? An answer may be in _The
            Qenya Phonology_ in PE: "Medial _y_ [a dot over it] gave _i_
            [a bow below it] [...] This relaxing of y > i [the same diacritics]
            is later than above changes so that _áya_ [a dot over y; the ´
            denotes stress not length] gave _áya_ [a macron over the first a]"
            (13).

            In other words, the change y > i [with the diacritics] and the
            stress on the first _a_ in _aya_ produce _áya_, and that may be
            the reason of _háya_ with _á_ instead of _a_.

            By the way, _The Qenya Phonology_ contains much information about
            the _i_, but I have always found it difficult to interpret. For
            example, I am not quite sure what Tolkien meant by _y_ with a
            dot over it. Maybe the editors of _Qenyqetsa_ could help us (not
            to mention that many people do not even have the Parma, since it
            is out of print).

            [You have as much information about the dotted _y_ as I do. Evidently,
            it is a "tenser" form of semivocalic _i_ (with underposed arch). Carl]

            > So, IM(quite)HO, the usage of _y_ in the orthography of
            > Quenya can be outlined thus:
            >
            > 1. In the beginning of a word, and between single consonants,
            > it stands for a vocalic consonant.

            **Do you mean "between single vowels" like in _yúyo_ "both"?

            > 2. After a consonant it palatalizes the preceeding cosonant.

            **Unless combinations like _ly_ are just digraphs, see my reply
            to Hans.

            > 3. After a diphthong it stands for a medial easing sound.

            **This is likely, yes. -- I must say that my statement that _i_ in
            _haia_ is a part of the diphthong may not be true. We know how Quenya
            words are transcribed in Latin letters and sometimes even in Tengwar,
            but we usually do not know how they are realized in speech.

            The word _haia_ may be pronounced as either [ha-ja], [hai-a] or
            [hai-ja]. In my opinion, the pronounciation [ha-ja] is possible,
            though I do not find it very likely.

            It is possible that _haia_ could be pronounced as [hai-ja] and then
            the spelling _haiya_ would indicate it. This may be similar to the
            pronounciation of _sarnie_ "shingle, pebble-bank" (VT43:11) which
            may be pronounced as [sar-ni-je] and this may be indicated by its
            alternative form _sarniye_ (ibid.) (unless _sarniye_ is a form from
            which _sarnie_ was derived, cf. _mie_ "mist" said to be derived from
            _miye_ (stess on i) (PE13:150L)).

            Now _sarniye_ would clearly be an istance of [i] and [j] standing
            beside one another. However, if it is possible to pronounce _sarnie_
            as [sar-ni-e] and _haia_ as [hai-a], the [j] would be, in my opinion,
            only to ease the pronounciation of hiatus.

            I tried to listen to Tolkien's reading of Namárie but my ears are not
            trained enough, so I would like to hear opinions of others (I think he
            said [mor-ni-e] without [j].)


            Ales Bican

            ps. I would like to thank Carl that he corrected my spelling of
            Trubetzkoy's name. When I sent my letter to the list, I spelled it
            as 'Trubeckoy' (in Czech we spell it 'Trubeckoj'). Carl was of
            course right, it is the spelling used in Anglophonic countries,
            I checked it. It is nice to have someone who modifies our letters,
            even though without our knowledge.

            [I reserve the right to edit posts for spelling, grammar, etc.,
            just as I would any contribution to _Vinyar Tengwar_. Regarding
            Trubetzkoy, the determining factor in my changing your (modified)
            Czech spelling was to put it into agreement with the name as spelled
            as the author of the book you were citing, as standard bibliographic
            form would require. Carl]

            --
            Mi dissero che a 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
            ... **You are right, this would be the same phonetic environs. ... **I am afraid I do not understand you here. ... **Speaking of and Tengwar, Arden
            Message 5 of 16 , Aug 8, 2002
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              gentlebeldin wrote:

              > > As far as I can see they seems to agree with Trubetzkoy's third rule
              > > (they never occur in the same phonetic environs) and not to agree
              > > with the forth rule (one does not occurs beside the other).
              >
              > Possibly, they do: There's the pronominal suffix _-lye_ and the
              > suffix _-lie_, as in _Eldalie_.

              **You are right, this would be the same phonetic environs.

              > This could rule out the possibility
              > of allomorphs: they have to be variants of the same phoneme,
              > predictable from the environment where they occur.

              **I am afraid I do not understand you here.

              > However, the _i_ in diphthongs like _ai_ and the _y_ in combinations
              > like _ly_ don't seem to be independent phonemes. Both just modify the
              > pronunciation of the preceding sound, and this is confirmed by the
              > spelling in Tengwar (_ai_ as a-tehta over _yanta_, _ly_ as dots under
              > _lambe_, cf. "Namaarie" in _The Road Goes Ever On_).

              **Speaking of <yanta> and Tengwar, Arden Smith wrote on Elfscript
              (to quote him): "I have seen the tengwa _yanta_ used to represent
              word-initial /y/ in Q(u)enya, but only in other words, e.g. _Yavanna_."
              (Re: [elfscript] úr (e) and yanta (was: Re: úr >> úre ), 6 Jun 2002).
              This may hint something.

              As for _ly_, the _y_ may just denote palatalization, sc. _ly_ would
              stand for either palatal l or palatalized l (I would say the former).
              The _ly_ might be a single phoneme (and single sound), because
              "[Quenya] does not tolerate more than a single basic consonant
              initially in any word" (SD/IX:417-8) and we have _lyenna_ (occurring
              in the sentence _nai elen siluva lyenna_ mentioned by Helge Fauskanger
              on Elfling ([elfling] 1968: "Lyenna" = upon you, 11 May 2002).

              Nevertheless, it is not so easy. It is well-known that Quenya has
              words beginning in _ty_ (e.g. _tyalie_). So the _ty_ would be a
              single sound. Yet Tolkien stated that "_atatya_ remained [unchanged]
              because the second _a_ was not syncopated, being a long syllable"
              (VT42:27). To this Carl Hostetter noted: "A long syllable is one
              that contains either a long vowel (or diphthong), or, as in this
              case, a short vowel followed by two (or more) consonants" (VT42:31).

              But about the word _martya-_ "destine" (Etym, MBARAT-)? If
              we supposed a primitive form *_maratjâ_, why was the second
              _a_ syncopated? And even if the verbal _-jâ_ had been added to
              the stem aften the syncope (i.e. to *_mart-_), the _ty_ would
              preceded a long syllable, because combinations vowel + sonant
              was regarded as a diphthong, at least in Qenya (see PE12:3).

              It seems that Tolkien was either inconsistent (resp. he kept changing
              his mind) or Quenya had two distict _ty_'s: one being a single
              consonant and the other being a combination of _t_ and _y_.
              Let us also note that Tolkien wrote in _Qenya Grammar Excerpt_:

              _ty_ is by origin (i) a single sound, a fronted variety of _k_,
              (ii) the result of the combination of _k_ (_q_) _t_ + _y_ and
              initially also occas[ionally] of _p_ + _y_. In sound it is now
              a very forward palatal stop foll[owed] by a distinct _y_
              off-glide; in some dialects it is practically E[nglish] _ch_
              with or without a clear _y_ off-glide. (PE13:63)

              In both _atatya_ and _martya_ the _ty_ must be a result of _t_ +
              _y_, though.

              A perhaps similar inconsistency may be seen in the pronominal
              suffixes. In Namárie we have _máryat_ suggesting _ry_ is a single
              sound. One would expect the same about the pronominal suffix
              _-nye_. Yet it seems to cause shortening of previous syllables,
              cf. _onye_ vs. _óni_ (presumptively *"with me"; VT43:29).

              Well, I am somewhat off-topic. My point was that if _ly_ in
              _-lye_ is a single sound (which I cannot either prove or
              dissprove), it is not an instance of _y_ being in the same
              position as _i_.

              > The question whether a vocal and a consonant can be similar enough to
              > count as allomorphs, is subjective. _y_ is a half-vowel, after all.

              **I am not sure again if I understand you. In Slovakian (a Slavic
              language very similar to Czech) [i] and [j] are treated like
              allomorphs, for instance.


              Ales Bican

              --
              Mi dissero che a 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
              ... **Well, I have not either. My German is very poor and the book was not translated to Czech. I do not know whether it was translated to English (was it?).
              Message 6 of 16 , Aug 8, 2002
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                atarinke wrote:

                > > I thought about it today: are sounds _i_ (as in _Quendi_) and _y_
                > > (as in _Yavanna_) two phonemes or variants of one phoneme in
                > > Quenya?
                >
                > Hrm... I don't quite like the idea of having a consonant and a vowel
                > as one phoneme (but I haven't read Grundzüge, so what do I know ;).

                **Well, I have not either. My German is very poor and the book
                was not translated to Czech. I do not know whether it was translated
                to English (was it?). But many books reiterated Trubetzkoy's ideas,
                so I know them.

                > I guess it could be possible however and if one accepts such a view one
                > might also want to look at /w/ and /u/. I do however have a few
                > objections to adopting it in this case.

                **You are right. There might be a problem with [u] and [w]. I realize
                the both _u_ and _w_ may occurs at the beginning of words before
                vowels: _wilya_, _Uinen_, though in case of _u_, the _u_ is always
                a part of the diphtong _ui_.

                > Firstly, others (Hans and Petri I think) have already mentioned that
                > you'd have to think of diphthongs and the palatalised consonants as
                > separate phonemes in order for such a view to work.

                **I have already mentioned palatal/palatalized consonants. As for
                diphthong, it is a difficult question whether they are monophonematic
                or biphonematic. It is not certain even in living languages.

                > Whether one
                > prefers /Cy/ together with /i/ or /C/+/y/ with /i/ and /y/ seems like
                > a matter of choice but a choice does seem necessary.
                >
                > Secondly, I think I might have found a (admittedly single) possible
                > minimal pair distinguishing them, namely _heruion_ (IX, p291) meaning
                > "of lords" and an unattested but probably possible word _heru-yon_,
                > "lord-son". Now, _heru-yon_ is unattested and would in all
                > probability be seen as quite archaic (yondo being the standard form)
                > but I would still say it's a possible Quenya word.

                **I am convinced that _heru_ plus a patronymic ending _-ion_
                would produce *_heruion_, because we have _Eruion_ "son of
                god" (VT44:12). And whether we can have *_heruyon_, I am
                not sure, I think such a form would become *_heruion_.

                As for _heruion_ itself, it depends on how it was pronounced. The
                morpheme boundary is evidently between _u_ and _i_, so it might
                be pronounced as [he-ru-i-on]. If this was the case, the [i] may
                then occur between vowels and be distinct to [y]. However, if it was,
                and I believe it was, pronounced as [he-rui-on], then it is parallel
                to _haia_/_haiya_.

                > I here think that
                > the /i/ in _heruion_ is syllabic while the /y/ in _heru-yon_ is not
                > so the difference in meaning would come across.

                **It would. -- I wonder whether the pair _heruion_ "of lords" /
                *_heruion_ "son of lord" was distinguished in speech. I would say
                no, though I cannot prove or disprove it.

                > Now, this is not a good minimal pair, I know. In part because one of
                > its constituents is made up by me, in part because they differ in the
                > position of the stress as well. But I do think _heru-yon_ is a
                > possible Quenya word, even if _heru-yondo_ or _heruion_ (with the
                > patronymic -ion suffix) would be more probable. And the difference in
                > stress lacks importance in this case since stress in Quenya does not
                > carry any information (is not phonemic), correct?

                **I think so.

                > On the other hand, I'm a physics undergrad, not a linguist, so all of
                > the above might just be (and probably is) nonsense.

                **Not at all.


                Ales Bican

                ps. It may be also convenient to remark that Tolkien adapted
                Maria's name to Quenya as _María_ not *_Maria_, because I believe
                this form would become *_Marya_.

                --
                Mi dissero che a 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_)
              • gentlebeldin
                ... It s just a reformulation: if only one variant is possible in a certain environment, it s predictable which one, knowing only the environment. ... That s
                Message 7 of 16 , Aug 9, 2002
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                  --- In lambengolmor@y..., Ales Bican <ales.bican@s...> wrote:

                  > > This could rule out the possibility
                  > > of allomorphs: they have to be variants of the same phoneme,
                  > > predictable from the environment where they occur.
                  >
                  > **I am afraid I do not understand you here.
                  It's just a reformulation: if only one variant is possible in a
                  certain environment, it's predictable which one, knowing only the
                  environment.

                  > Well, I am somewhat off-topic. My point was that if _ly_ in
                  > _-lye_ is a single sound (which I cannot either prove or
                  > dissprove), it is not an instance of _y_ being in the same
                  > position as _i_.

                  That's what I meant. Even if we could distinguish it as a phoneme in
                  this position, it wouldn't be the same /y/ as in _Yavanna_.

                  > > The question whether a vocal and a consonant can be similar
                  > > enough to count as allomorphs, is subjective. _y_ is a half-
                  > > vowel, after all.
                  >
                  > **I am not sure again if I understand you. In Slovakian (a Slavic
                  > language very similar to Czech) [i] and [j] are treated like
                  > allomorphs, for instance.

                  I meant that there may be different opinions on that matter. I tend
                  to regard /i/ and /j/ in German as allomorphs, too.

                  Hans
                • atarinke
                  ... Well, I agree in part. A compound *_heru-yon_ (of the same type as _Elda-lambe_) might exist for some time however, perhaps distinguishing some special
                  Message 8 of 16 , Aug 10, 2002
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                    --- Ales Bican wrote:

                    > **I am convinced that _heru_ plus a patronymic ending _-ion_
                    > would produce *_heruion_, because we have _Eruion_ "son of
                    > god" (VT44:12). And whether we can have *_heruyon_, I am
                    > not sure, I think such a form would become *_heruion_.

                    Well, I agree in part. A compound *_heru-yon_ (of the same type as
                    _Elda-lambe_) might exist for some time however, perhaps
                    distinguishing some special lord-son or in some other case like when
                    the relationship is stressed, or something like that. I don't think
                    *_heru-yon_ is impossible, nor for that matter other words with the
                    same structure. All of this is quite irrelevant however if there are
                    no [i] between vowels and for that see below.

                    > As for _heruion_ itself, it depends on how it was pronounced. The
                    > morpheme boundary is evidently between _u_ and _i_, so it might
                    > be pronounced as [he-ru-i-on]. If this was the case, the [i] may
                    > then occur between vowels and be distinct to [y]. However, if it
                    > was, and I believe it was, pronounced as [he-rui-on], then it is
                    > parallel to _haia_/_haiya_.

                    I think I might have been fooled by the morphemes here. On closer
                    thought I agree with your interpretation of ui as a diphtong. Now if
                    we assume that ai, oi and ui always are diphtongs the only possible
                    places for syllabic /i/ between vowels is after /e/. A quick search
                    on Ardalambion's corpus wordlist (by no means all Q. words but all I
                    can do a quick digital search on) reveals no such [i]. And I think
                    Hans mentioned word initial /i+V/ some posts ago in this thread,
                    again with negative results. Therefore one might ...

                    > [...] wonder whether the pair _heruion_ "of lords" /
                    > *_heruion_ "son of lord" was distinguished in speech. I would say
                    > no, though I cannot prove or disprove it.

                    And this is what it all comes down to, isn't it? Lacking natives to
                    describe it's hard to do good descriptive linguistics, no? ;) Still,
                    I think your reasoning has much to it and I like /y/=/i/ more the
                    more I think on it.

                    sincerely,
                    Martin Blom
                  • Petri Tikka
                    ... The _j_ is an easening sound here, it is sometimes not pronounced at all, but most often it is a gliding sound to help the transition to the next vowel
                    Message 9 of 16 , Aug 10, 2002
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                      --- In lambengolmor@y..., Ales Bican <ales.bican@s...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Petri Tikka wrote:
                      >
                      > > There is a situation that is very much like this in Finnish.
                      > > Let me phrase this similarly to your statements:
                      > > However, we have words like _paijata_ "stroke, pet" and _juoksi(j)a_
                      > > "runner". I am not convienced that this can be an evidence of _j_ and
                      > > _i_ occurring beside each other, as the _j_ between the vowels is only
                      > > an orthographic phenomenon, not observed in spoken speech. Furthermore,
                      > > some linguistics and common people would spell these sequences as
                      > > _paiata_ and _juoksia_.
                      >
                      > **So the _j_ is not pronounced there, right? Speaking of which, what
                      > is it like in Finnish? I do not know a lot about it. Does Finnish have
                      > j as a separate phoneme distict to /i/?

                      The _j_ is an easening sound here, it is sometimes not pronounced
                      at all, but most often it is a gliding sound to help the transition to the
                      next vowel after an _i_. The gliding sound is not the same as the _j_
                      that is not next to an _i_. In Finnish, /j/ and /i/ are seperate phonemes,
                      eg. _paju_ "willow" is never pronounced with an _i_.

                      > > Hence I think the two sounds occurring in _Quendi_ and _Yavanna_
                      > > are not two variants of one invariant /i/ -- the vocalic [i] is an
                      > > independent phoneme from [y], just as [w] is independent from
                      > > [u], there being no correlation between them in "The Etymologies"
                      > > or elsewhere.
                      >
                      > **Well, is [w] really independent from [u]? Now that I think about
                      > it, is [w] not just a variant of [u]? These two sounds are very
                      > similar. As far as I am aware [w] occurs only before vowels and [u]
                      > only before consonants, and we never find combinations -uw- or
                      > -wu- in Quenya.

                      Of course they are very similar. They probably never happen to
                      be beside each other because of euphony, just as [g] and [k]
                      are never met together: [g] can only occur with [ñ].

                      [...]

                      > > So, IM(quite)HO, the usage of _y_ in the orthography of
                      > > Quenya can be outlined thus:
                      > >
                      > > 1. In the beginning of a word, and between single consonants,
                      > > it stands for a vocalic consonant.
                      >
                      > **Do you mean "between single vowels" like in _yúyo_ "both"?

                      Yes, that's what I meant.

                      > > 2. After a consonant it palatalizes the preceeding cosonant.
                      >
                      > **Unless combinations like _ly_ are just digraphs, see my reply
                      > to Hans.

                      Of course they are digraphic, but I was talking about orthography.

                      > > 3. After a diphthong it stands for a medial easing sound.
                      >
                      > **This is likely, yes. -- I must say that my statement that _i_ in
                      > _haia_ is a part of the diphthong may not be true. We know how Quenya
                      > words are transcribed in Latin letters and sometimes even in Tengwar,
                      > but we usually do not know how they are realized in speech.
                      >
                      > The word _haia_ may be pronounced as either [ha-ja], [hai-a] or
                      > [hai-ja]. In my opinion, the pronounciation [ha-ja] is possible,
                      > though I do not find it very likely.

                      [ha-ja] is not possible because it is written with an _i_. Tolkien
                      never stated that he used _i_ as _j_ in Quenya.

                      [...]

                      > Now _sarniye_ would clearly be an istance of [i] and [j] standing
                      > beside one another. However, if it is possible to pronounce _sarnie_
                      > as [sar-ni-e] and _haia_ as [hai-a], the [j] would be, in my opinion,
                      > only to ease the pronounciation of hiatus.

                      The most likeliest explanation is that _y_ is an easening sound here,
                      not the same _y_ as in _Yavanna_. That would explain why it is
                      sometimes written, sometimes not. This situation would be exactly
                      as in Finnish.

                      > I tried to listen to Tolkien's reading of Namárie but my ears are not
                      > trained enough, so I would like to hear opinions of others (I think he
                      > said [mor-ni-e] without [j].)

                      He didn't say [j], but it wouldn't matter, for the medial easening
                      glide/sound is not [j].

                      Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
                      kari.j.tikka@...
                      http://www.geocities.com/petristikka/
                    • Ales Bican
                      ... **I see. However, it does not imply from the fact that _paju_ is never pronounced with [i] that the j and i are necessarily separate phonemes. Their
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 6, 2002
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                        Petri Tikka wrote:

                        > > **So the _j_ is not pronounced there, right? Speaking of which, what
                        > > is it like in Finnish? I do not know a lot about it. Does Finnish have
                        > > j as a separate phoneme distict to /i/?
                        >
                        > The _j_ is an easening sound here, it is sometimes not pronounced
                        > at all, but most often it is a gliding sound to help the transition to the
                        > next vowel after an _i_. The gliding sound is not the same as the _j_
                        > that is not next to an _i_. In Finnish, /j/ and /i/ are seperate phonemes,
                        > eg. _paju_ "willow" is never pronounced with an _i_.

                        **I see. However, it does not imply from the fact that _paju_ is never
                        pronounced with [i] that the j and i are necessarily separate phonemes.
                        Their distribution may be limited: [j] between vowels and [i] between
                        consonants, for instance. It may depend on the position and the
                        environment. Similarly as in the Third Age Quenya, the sound [ñ] occurs
                        only before velars ([k], [g]), that is in a position where [n] is never
                        pronounced. In the Third Age Quenya the sounds [ñ] and [n] are
                        allomorphs of the phoneme /n/.

                        > > **Well, is [w] really independent from [u]? Now that I think about
                        > > it, is [w] not just a variant of [u]? These two sounds are very
                        > > similar. As far as I am aware [w] occurs only before vowels and [u]
                        > > only before consonants, and we never find combinations -uw- or
                        > > -wu- in Quenya.
                        >
                        > Of course they are very similar. They probably never happen to
                        > be beside each other because of euphony, just as [g] and [k]
                        > are never met together: [g] can only occur with [ñ].

                        **Note that this does not make [k] and [g] allomorphs, since
                        they are in free distribution while [w] and [u] are (presumably)
                        in complementary distribution. This means that if we replace [k]
                        with [g], the replacement will change the meaning of a word.
                        For instance, there is a minimal pair _anga_ and _anka_. On
                        the other hand, you cannot freely replace [w] with [u], and there
                        is no minimal pair in Quenya involving w contra v (as far as I am
                        aware).

                        > > The word _haia_ may be pronounced as either [ha-ja], [hai-a] or
                        > > [hai-ja]. In my opinion, the pronounciation [ha-ja] is possible,
                        > > though I do not find it very likely.
                        >
                        > [ha-ja] is not possible because it is written with an _i_. Tolkien
                        > never stated that he used _i_ as _j_ in Quenya.

                        **Sure, but this does not mean it is not possible. Cf the. word-initial
                        _i_ in words like _ia_ etc. (already mentioned by Hans (gentlebeldin)).
                        And although Tolkien rejected these words, it is possible that, say,
                        _ia_ was pronounced as [ja].

                        > > Now _sarniye_ would clearly be an istance of [i] and [j] standing
                        > > beside one another. However, if it is possible to pronounce _sarnie_
                        > > as [sar-ni-e] and _haia_ as [hai-a], the [j] would be, in my opinion,
                        > > only to ease the pronounciation of hiatus.
                        >
                        > The most likeliest explanation is that _y_ is an easening sound here,
                        > not the same _y_ as in _Yavanna_. That would explain why it is
                        > sometimes written, sometimes not. This situation would be exactly
                        > as in Finnish.

                        **I think so.


                        Ales Bican

                        --
                        Mi dissero che a 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
                        ... **I see. Now I understand, because I misunderstood you a little bit: I thought you wanted to indicate a morpheme boundary by the hyphen in *_heru-yon_; it
                        Message 11 of 16 , Sep 6, 2002
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                          Martin Blom wrote:

                          > > **I am convinced that _heru_ plus a patronymic ending _-ion_
                          > > would produce *_heruion_, because we have _Eruion_ "son of
                          > > god" (VT44:12). And whether we can have *_heruyon_, I am
                          > > not sure, I think such a form would become *_heruion_.
                          >
                          > Well, I agree in part. A compound *_heru-yon_ (of the same type as
                          > _Elda-lambe_) might exist for some time however, perhaps
                          > distinguishing some special lord-son or in some other case like when
                          > the relationship is stressed, or something like that.

                          **I see. Now I understand, because I misunderstood you a little bit:
                          I thought you wanted to indicate a morpheme boundary by the
                          hyphen in *_heru-yon_; it did not occur to me you meant an
                          _Elda-lambe_-type compound.

                          > > As for _heruion_ itself, it depends on how it was pronounced. The
                          > > morpheme boundary is evidently between _u_ and _i_, so it might
                          > > be pronounced as [he-ru-i-on]. If this was the case, the [i] may
                          > > then occur between vowels and be distinct to [y]. However, if it
                          > > was, and I believe it was, pronounced as [he-rui-on], then it is
                          > > parallel to _haia_/_haiya_.
                          >
                          > I think I might have been fooled by the morphemes here. On closer
                          > thought I agree with your interpretation of ui as a diphtong. Now if
                          > we assume that ai, oi and ui always are diphtongs the only possible
                          > places for syllabic /i/ between vowels is after /e/.

                          **Do you mean before /e/? As in _tyalie_?

                          > A quick search
                          > on Ardalambion's corpus wordlist (by no means all Q. words but all I
                          > can do a quick digital search on) reveals no such [i].

                          **_io_ and _ia_ are also possible: e.g. in _Silmarillion_ and _Ungoliante_
                          (_iu_ is a diphtong).

                          > And I think
                          > Hans mentioned word initial /i+V/ some posts ago in this thread,
                          > again with negative results. Therefore one might ...
                          >
                          > > [...] wonder whether the pair _heruion_ "of lords" /
                          > > *_heruion_ "son of lord" was distinguished in speech. I would say
                          > > no, though I cannot prove or disprove it.
                          >
                          > And this is what it all comes down to, isn't it? Lacking natives to
                          > describe it's hard to do good descriptive linguistics, no? ;)

                          **Yes. : )

                          > Still,
                          > I think your reasoning has much to it and I like /y/=/i/ more the
                          > more I think on it.

                          **Glad to hear it. However, I still may be wrong and still am open
                          to suggestions and corrections.


                          Ales Bican

                          --
                          Mi dissero che a 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_)
                        • Petri Tikka
                          ... **In Finnish, the sound [ñ] occurs only before [k] (the voiced [g] is unknown in Finnish) or another [ñ], that is in a position where [n] is never
                          Message 12 of 16 , Sep 7, 2002
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                            Petri Tikka wrote:

                            > > The _j_ is an easening sound here, it is sometimes not pronounced
                            > > at all, but most often it is a gliding sound to help the transition to
                            >> the next vowel after an _i_. The gliding sound is not the same as
                            >> the _j_ that is not next to an _i_. In Finnish, /j/ and /i/ are seperate
                            >> phonemes, eg. _paju_ "willow" is never pronounced with an _i_.

                            Ales Bican wrote:

                            > **I see. However, it does not imply from the fact that _paju_ is never
                            > pronounced with [i] that the j and i are necessarily separate phonemes.
                            > Their distribution may be limited: [j] between vowels and [i] between
                            > consonants, for instance. It may depend on the position and the
                            > environment. Similarly as in the Third Age Quenya, the sound [ñ] occurs
                            > only before velars ([k], [g]), that is in a position where [n] is never
                            > pronounced. In the Third Age Quenya the sounds [ñ] and [n] are
                            > allomorphs of the phoneme /n/.

                            **In Finnish, the sound [ñ] occurs only before [k] (the voiced [g] is
                            unknown in Finnish) or another [ñ], that is in a position where [n] is
                            never pronounced. One can say that both in Finnish and Quenya [n]
                            and [ñ] or [i] and [j] are allomorphs, but in their pronunciation
                            they are so different that they are often written with a different letter.
                            To my knowledge, in Finnish all these four sounds are considered
                            separate phonemes, not allomorphs.

                            > **Note that this does not make [k] and [g] allomorphs, since
                            > they are in free distribution while [w] and [u] are (presumably)
                            > in complementary distribution. This means that if we replace [k]
                            > with [g], the replacement will change the meaning of a word.
                            > For instance, there is a minimal pair _anga_ and _anka_. On
                            > the other hand, you cannot freely replace [w] with [u], and there
                            > is no minimal pair in Quenya involving w contra v (as far as I am
                            > aware).

                            **But might not the free distribution between [w] and [u] or
                            [j] and [i] be historical? There must be a difference between
                            _áya_ "awe" (XII:363) and _aiya_ "hail" (L:385). It might
                            be that _aiya_ is an older form of _áya_ that survived as
                            a reverential form, distinct from _áya_. It is also possible that
                            they are only distinct having different meanings by their context,
                            not by form.

                            > > [ha-ja] is not possible because it is written with an _i_. Tolkien
                            > > never stated that he used _i_ as _j_ in Quenya.
                            >
                            > **Sure, but this does not mean it is not possible. Cf the. word-initial
                            > _i_ in words like _ia_ etc. (already mentioned by Hans (gentlebeldin)).
                            > And although Tolkien rejected these words, it is possible that, say,
                            > _ia_ was pronounced as [ja].

                            **Everything is possible in Tolkienian linguistics, but that is not proof.

                            Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
                            kari.j.tikka@...
                            http://www.geocities.com/petristikka/
                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                            ... I believe the term wanted is _allophone_, not allomorph.... Carl
                            Message 13 of 16 , Sep 7, 2002
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                              Ales Bican wrote:

                              > In the Third Age Quenya the sounds [ñ] and [n] are allomorphs of the
                              > phoneme /n/.

                              Petri Tikka wrote:

                              > in Finnish all these four sounds are considered separate phonemes,
                              > not allomorphs.

                              I believe the term wanted is _allophone_, not allomorph....

                              Carl
                            • Ales Bican
                              ... **I think you are right: if [ñ] occured only before [k] in Finnish, it would be an allophone of /n/, but since it occurs also before another [ñ], it is a
                              Message 14 of 16 , Sep 15, 2002
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                                I wrote:

                                > > **I see. However, it does not imply from the fact that _paju_ is never
                                > > pronounced with [i] that the j and i are necessarily separate phonemes.
                                > > Their distribution may be limited: [j] between vowels and [i] between
                                > > consonants, for instance. It may depend on the position and the
                                > > environment. Similarly as in the Third Age Quenya, the sound [ñ] occurs
                                > > only before velars ([k], [g]), that is in a position where [n] is never
                                > > pronounced. In the Third Age Quenya the sounds [ñ] and [n] are
                                > > allomorphs of the phoneme /n/.

                                Petri replied:

                                > **In Finnish, the sound [ñ] occurs only before [k] (the voiced [g] is
                                > unknown in Finnish) or another [ñ], that is in a position where [n] is
                                > never pronounced. One can say that both in Finnish and Quenya [n]
                                > and [ñ] or [i] and [j] are allomorphs, but in their pronunciation
                                > they are so different that they are often written with a different letter.
                                > To my knowledge, in Finnish all these four sounds are considered
                                > separate phonemes, not allomorphs.

                                **I think you are right: if [ñ] occured only before [k] in Finnish, it
                                would be an allophone of /n/, but since it occurs also before another
                                [ñ], it is a phoneme distinct to /n/.
                                As regards [j] and [i], I checked a Finnish grammar book and found
                                out that one can stand beside the other (I cannot find the example
                                right now, though), which means they are separate phonemes (most
                                likely -- it depends on the actual pronunciation of the combination).
                                However, we are talking here about Quenya, not Finnish, and Quenya
                                is different to Finnish, so the situation in Quenya is also different.
                                In the Third Age Quenya, [ñ] is an allophone of /n/, because it
                                occurs only with velars /k/ and /g/. -- In case of [j] and [i], it
                                is not certain whether they are allophones, though I would say they
                                are, because of the reasons I mentioned earlier.

                                I also wrote:

                                > > On
                                > > the other hand, you cannot freely replace [w] with [u], and there
                                > > is no minimal pair in Quenya involving w contra v (as far as I am
                                > > aware).

                                Petri replied:

                                > **But might not the free distribution between [w] and [u] or
                                > [j] and [i] be historical? There must be a difference between
                                > _áya_ "awe" (XII:363) and _aiya_ "hail" (L:385). It might
                                > be that _aiya_ is an older form of _áya_ that survived as
                                > a reverential form, distinct from _áya_. It is also possible that
                                > they are only distinct having different meanings by their context,
                                > not by form.

                                **This takes us back to the triplet _vaháya_, _vahaiya_ and
                                _vahaia_ I also mentioned earlier. All three variants occur in
                                different versions of the same text (the Atalante fragments).
                                It means that each form (from the triplet) could be used at the
                                same time (i.e. in the M-e time). Hence I think the difference
                                among the particular words is not historial, but it just reflects
                                Tolkien's being undecided whether the first _a_ would also
                                be shortened. The development was like this: _âjâ_ > _âya_
                                > _aya_ > _aia_ (also written as _aiya_).


                                Ales Bican

                                --
                                Mi dissero che a 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_)
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