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Elision, _ly-_, and _'n_

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  • Terry A. Dock
    Hello again, Petri pointed out that if _nai elen siluva lyenna_ was a case of elision of _elyenna_ to _lyenna_, then _*nai elen siluv elyenna_ was likely too.
    Message 1 of 1 , May 30, 2002
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      Hello again,

      Petri pointed out that if _nai elen siluva lyenna_ was a case of elision of
      _elyenna_ to _lyenna_, then _*nai elen siluv' elyenna_ was likely too. Pavel
      wrote exactly the same: "Besides, if elision were to happen at all, it would
      happen on the first vowel - _*siluv' elyenna_."

      My guess it that they both are right and that it suggests that _lyenna_ is
      not *_elyenna_ after elision of the first vowel.

      To support this point of view I will quote the well known greeting: _Elen
      síla lúmenn' omentielvo._ (LR:79) As we see, it's the final A that was left
      out, not the initial O. Morevover, as in the case of _*siluv' elyenna_,
      neither A nor O/E are stressed. It seems to me that in such cases it is
      generally the final vowel and not the initial one that undergoes elision.
      Maybe _'n_ is the exception (regardless of its full form, _in_ or _en_ or
      Tolkien knows what...).

      Pavel also noted: "It is not unlikely that elision can happen in the case of
      non-identical vowels if they are, say, both front or both back and so the
      elision is in effect a case of assimilation." Well, the sentences above seem
      to support theory, don't they? As a matter of fact, we have A/O elisions (or
      assimilation, as Pavel put it) attested in LR. Depending on the origin of
      _'n_ we may also have an E/I elision, if this one comes from *_in_.

      In light of this, I would tend to think that:
      1. _lyenna_ lacks no initial vowel;
      2. it is alright to have words starting with LY, as Petri already noted in
      his original message;
      3. elision sometimes happens when similar (both front or back) or identical
      unstressed vowels are in contact.

      --Terry
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