Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

"before" and "after"

Expand Messages
  • David Kiltz
    ... Just as they have e.g. in English... the world of those who will be after us still lies before us . To judge afterwards what was before . _Before_ here
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 6, 2002
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      On Freitag, September 6, 2002, at 11:47 Uhr, Patrick Wynne [217] wrote:

      > Elements meaning 'before' and 'after' in Elvish have a disconcerting
      > tendency to reverse their meaning depending on context

      Just as they have e.g. in English... "the world of those who will be
      after us still lies before us". "To judge afterwards what was before".
      _Before_ here refers one time to the future and one time to the past. As
      we can see both ways this is only natural.

      It's just a question of using a descending or ascending time model.
      Let's, e.g. take a film tape that runs through a camera (projector).
      Our point of reference is the lens that represents the moment of the
      film we see. Now you can focus on the tape that runs out of the camera.
      That is what we saw *before*. Focussing on the tape going in you can
      equally say it is "before" the point of being seen. This is by no means
      contradictory... The relative values are necessarily so due to the
      nature of the phenomenon [time] or its description.

      David Kiltz

      [In all these examples "before" means the same thing: 'to the fore,
      in front of', with respect to a point of view. What changes is the
      attendant metaphor. Spatially, that which is before us is that which lies
      in front of us, and, with an attendant implication of traversal to the
      fore, is what we will traverse in the future. The first example David
      gives uses this of time metaphorically, presenting future time as a land
      we have yet to traverse. Temporally, that which is before us is that
      which has gone in front of us, ahead of us. (The translation of the QL
      root Pat mentioned, N�,NOWO, NONO, as both 'ahead, in front' and 'after,
      of time', shows the two differing metaphors, spatial and temporal
      respectively.) The translation of _apacenye_ as 'foresight' relies on the
      spatial metaphor to refer to looking forward from our present point of
      view to what lies _before_ us, though what is seen is what will come
      _after_ our present. Indeed, the apparent contextual change of meaning in
      the _apa-_ words between 'before' and 'after' may only be due to the
      English metaphors of time employed in the translation, not to the literal
      meanings of the Elvish words. _apacenye_ is perhaps to be translated
      literally as *'aftersight', or less literally (but still more literally
      than 'foresight') as 'sight of that which is after the present'. Carl]
    • Boris Shapiro
      Aiya! So it seems that we have three prepositions of similar meaning. _epe_ 1) before (*_A naa calima epe B_ - VT42:32, VT44:38) 2) after (_epesse_ -
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 7, 2002
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        Aiya!

        So it seems that we have three prepositions of similar meaning.

        _epe_
        1) "before" (*_A naa calima epe B_ - VT42:32, VT44:38)
        2) "after" (_epesse_ - XII:339)

        _apa_
        1) "fore-" (_apacenye_ - X:216)
        2) "after" (_Apanoonar_ - XI:387)
        "behind" (_ap-pata_ - XI:387)

        _noo_
        1) "before" (_merin sa haryalye alasse noo vanyalye Ambarello_ - MS),
        "ahead, in front" (PE12:66)
        2) "*next" (_Nootuile_ - XII:135),
        "after (of time)" (PE12:66)


        Let's try to make it clear. _epe_ "before" (A is bright before B) is
        obviously not temporal, so it is spatial. _epe_ "after" (after-name)
        is temporal.

        _apa_ "fore-" is spatial (to see what lies before one), _apa_
        "after" (after-born) is temporal. But is _ap(a)_ "behind" temporal or
        spatial?

        _noo_ "ahead, in front" is spatial, but is _epe_ "before" (before
        you leave Middle-earth) spatial or temporal? _noo_ "after (of time)"
        is temporal, but is _noo_ "*next" spatial or temporal? I'm a bit
        bewildered.



        Namaarie! S.Y., Elenhil Laiquendo [Boris Shapiro]


        : masse sii nar i nuunatani · elessar · elessar? :


        [I think the question to ask is, what is the _primary_ sense of each word?
        Looking at the occurrences of _apa-_, I think we can fairly surely take
        'after' as the primary meaning (and taking the translation of _apacenye_
        as 'foresight' being non-literal, as I suggested before, since it refers
        more literally to sight of something that occurs after the present time).
        With _epe_ and _nу_, it is much harder to say. _nу_ in particular seems to
        have had its primary meaning changed by Tolkien, since its usages in both
        the "_merin_" sentence ('before') and the QL ('after, of time') are
        temporal and apparently irreconcilable. Carl]
      • Irene A Gates
        ... Before we start using it as data: do we know that the _merin_ sentence (_merin sa haryalye alasse nó vanyalye Ambarello_ I hope that you have happiness
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 9, 2002
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          Carl wrote:

          > _nó_ in particular seems to
          > have had its primary meaning changed by Tolkien, since its usages in both
          > the "_merin_" sentence ('before') and the QL ('after, of time') are
          > temporal and apparently irreconcilable.

          Before we start using it as data: do we know that the "_merin_" sentence
          (_merin sa haryalye alasse nó vanyalye Ambarello_ 'I hope that you have
          happiness before you pass from the world') is authentic? And even if it is,
          do we know that it means what it's purported to mean?

          In a message to Elfling dated 24 April 1999 David Salo tentatively dated
          the "_merin_" sentence to the period 1954-1959. In that same period,
          Tolkien was working on _The Athrabeth_, in which Finrod says, on the
          subject of Elvish and Human forms of mortality:

          "If we are indeed the _Eruhin_, the children of the One, then He will not
          suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any Enemy, not even by
          ourselves. This is the last foundation of _Estel_, which we keep even when
          we contemplate the End: of all His designs the issue must be for His
          Children's joy." (X:321)

          So based on internal evidence, the interpretation 'I hope that you have
          happiness after you pass from the world' is as reasonable as (albeit hardly
          any more tactful than) the one usually given.

          Irene

          ---
          Irene A Gates Webmaster, aviculturist, linguaphile
          Campbellville, Ontario, Canada <112321.3163@...>

          "The function of the expert is not to be more right than other people,
          but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons"
          -- Dr David Butler, in the Observer, 1969
        • David Kiltz
          On Samstag, September 7, 2002, at 03:17 Uhr, Boris Shapiro [227] wrote: ... ... As Carl already mentioned, _apa_ in _apacenye_ is hardly
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 10, 2002
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            On Samstag, September 7, 2002, at 03:17 Uhr, Boris Shapiro [227] wrote:
            A few remarks:

            > Aiya!
            >
            > So it seems that we have three prepositions of similar meaning.
            >
            > _epe_
            > 1) "before" (*_A naa calima epe B_ - VT42:32, VT44:38)
            > 2) "after" (_epesse_ - XII:339)
            >
            > _apa_
            > 1) "fore-" (_apacenye_ - X:216)
            > 2) "after" (_Apanoonar_ - XI:387)
            > "behind" (_ap-pata_ - XI:387)
            >
            > _noo_
            > 1) "before" (_merin sa haryalye alasse noo vanyalye Ambarello_
            > - MS),
            > "ahead, in front" (PE12:66)
            > 2) "*next" (_Nootuile_ - XII:135),
            > "after (of time)" (PE12:66)

            <snip>

            > _apa_ "fore-" is spatial (to see what lies before one), _apa_
            > "after" (after-born) is temporal.

            <snip>

            As Carl already mentioned, _apa_ in _apacenye_ is hardly spatial. It
            does not mean "what I see [spatially] in front of me" but what I see in
            times ahead. I think there is no doubt it is temporal. So the use in
            Quenya is actually straight forward. _apa_ refers to events that take
            place in the future as related to the point of reference. The events
            that will lead to the justification of the name of "foresight" lie in
            the future at the time the name is given. Also, the birth of Men lies
            in the future at the moment of reference, (scil. the birth of the
            Elves).

            P.S. It might be interesting to note that Adunaic possesses
            prepositions that somewhat recall the Elvish ones phonetically. Cf.
            _ob-roth_ "fore-cutting" and _nad-roth_ "hind-track" [XII:376].

            David Kiltz
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            I had forgotten that an interesting text by Tolkien discussing just this problem has been published, in Verlyn Flieger s fascinating book, _A Question of Time:
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 15, 2002
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              I had forgotten that an interesting text by Tolkien discussing just
              this problem has been published, in Verlyn Flieger's fascinating book,
              _A Question of Time: J.R.R. Tolkien's Road to _Faërie_ (Kent State,
              1997; and recently available in trade paperback, see Amazon.com). The
              text is given on pp. 69-70. Some excerpts:

              "Our language is confused using _after_ and _before_ both (in certain
              circumstances) of the _future_. We sometimes think and speak of the
              future as what lies before us, we look ahead, are provident,
              forward-looking, yet are ancestors preceded us and are our
              fore-fathers; and any event in time is _before_ one that is later. We
              speak as if events and a succession of human lives were an endless
              column moving forward into the unknown.... As far as a single
              experiencing mind goes, it seems a most natural transference of spatial
              to linear language to say that the past is _behind_ it and that it
              _advances_ forwards into the future, that later events are _before_ or
              in _front_ of earlier ones.

              "In Elvish sentiment the _future_ was not one of hope or desire, but a
              decay and retrogression from former bliss and power.... Their
              position, as of latter day sentiment, was one of exiles driven forward
              (against their will) who were in mind or actual posture ever looking
              backward.

              "But in _actual language_ time and place had distinct expressions."

              And there Tolkien's text breaks off.

              Carl
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.