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Re: [Lambengolmor] Bilabial V in Quenya

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Just a couple of brief comments arising from Petri s latest post on the change of _w_ to _v_ in late Quenya: ... You mean Vanyarin , surely? ... The same
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 8, 2002
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      Just a couple of brief comments arising from Petri's latest post on the
      change of _w_ to _v_ in late Quenya:

      On Sunday, September 8, 2002, at 06:10 AM, Petri Tikka wrote:

      > This change did not occur in the Valarin dialect.

      You mean "Vanyarin", surely?

      > The sound is unknown in Finnish, Tolkien's inspiration for Quenya.
      > Through the years as he gradually perfected Quenya, he seems to have
      > made the phonology of Quenya closer and closere to Finnish. This would
      > be one example of it.

      The same change of _w_ to _v_ also occurred in Latin, another of
      Tolkien's chief influences in creating Quenya.

      Your observation about Tolkien making the phonology of Quenya closer to
      that of Finnish over the years is intriguing. Could you give us some
      other examples of this?

      Carl
    • Petri Tikka
      ... [...] ... Yes, of course. ... By the way, if it wasn t enitrely clear, the sound W has never occurred in the development of Finnish from
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 8, 2002
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        --- In lambengolmor@y..., Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@e...> wrote:
        [...]
        > On Sunday, September 8, 2002, at 06:10 AM, Petri Tikka wrote:
        >
        > > This change did not occur in the Valarin dialect.
        >
        > You mean "Vanyarin", surely?

        Yes, of course.

        > > The sound is unknown in Finnish, Tolkien's inspiration for Quenya.
        > > Through the years as he gradually perfected Quenya, he seems to have
        > > made the phonology of Quenya closer and closere to Finnish. This would
        > > be one example of it.
        >
        > The same change of _w_ to _v_ also occurred in Latin, another of
        > Tolkien's chief influences in creating Quenya.

        By the way, if it wasn't enitrely clear, the sound W has never occurred in
        the development of Finnish from proto-Finno-Ugrian. This is also, in
        another way, a bad example of the closening to Finnish over the years,
        since early Qenya seemed to have about as much Ws as mature Quenya. Both
        the early and late _Oilima Markirya_ seemed to have only a couple of words
        with W (MC:213-213, 221-222). But there are real examples of a nearing of
        Finnish and Quenya phonology in its external hisroy, cf. below.

        > Your observation about Tolkien making the phonology of Quenya closer to
        > that of Finnish over the years is intriguing. Could you give us some
        > other examples of this?
        >
        > Carl

        1. _findl_, _petl_, _tantl_, _nark_ (Q) and other words ending with
        multiple consonants are unacceptable in Finnish phonology and in later
        Quenya,cf. L:425.

        2. KT is a common consonant cluster in Q (e.g. _ekta-_, _mekta_ and
        _palukta_), but it is unacceptable in the phonology of both Finnish and
        mature Quenya. Earlier KT developed to HT in both languages, e.g. a
        body of _kaksi_ "two" _kaht-_ < *_kakte_ in Finnish and _ehte_ "spear"
        from EKTE in Quenya (V:355).

        3. There are some known "Qenya" words that begin with two successive
        vowels that would normally be diphtongs, but are inidcated as seperate
        vowels by _¨_, e.g. _kaïkta-_ (Q), _oïkta_ (VT40:8). This phenomenon is
        unknown in mature Quenya and Finnish, and is probably allowed in neither
        of them.

        I can not currently think of any other firm examples of change in the
        external history of the Quenya phonology that brought it closer to
        Finnish. I can neither think of anything that distanced it from Finnish
        phonology. As an example of how close their phonology is, L:425 states
        that Quenya permitted "the 'dentals' _n_, _l_, _r_, _s_, _t_ as final
        consonants". This is exactly the same in Finnish!

        Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
        kari.j.tikka@...
        http://www.geocities.com/petristikka/


        [Thanks, Petri! Carl]
      • gentlebeldin
        Your [Petri Tikka s] examples are interesting, but the impression is slightly marred by a certain vagueness in terminology. Are you speaking of internal or
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 9, 2002
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          Your [Petri Tikka's] examples are interesting, but the impression is
          slightly marred by a certain vagueness in terminology. Are you
          speaking of internal or external history of Quenya? An ill-defined
          (and undefinable, in my humble opinion) term like "mature Quenya"
          makes it easy to confuse the two very different matters.

          --- In lambengolmor@y..., "Petri Tikka" <kari.j.tikka@w...> wrote:

          > 2. KT is a common consonant cluster in Q (e.g. _ekta-_, _mekta_ and
          > _palukta_), but it is unacceptable in the phonology of both Finnish
          > and mature Quenya. Earlier KT developed to HT in both languages,
          > e.g. a body of _kaksi_ "two" _kaht-_ < *_kakte_ in Finnish and
          > _ehte_ "spear" from EKTE in Quenya (V:355).

          The development EKTE > _ehte_ reflected in Etymologies was internal,
          obviously.

          What does the acronym "Q" mean? Qenya, Quenya or the Qenya Lexicon?
          Your "(Q)" is used like a reference, but it isn't one of the common
          abbreviations (and a reference without a page number would be Elfling
          style).

          > [...]
          > I can not currently think of any other firm examples of change
          > in the external history of the Quenya phonology

          Why "other"? You're explicitly speaking of external history only now.

          Hans

          [The "Q" in Petri's post was clearly a slip for "QL", an error which your
          humble but human moderators ought to have caught. The forms _ekta-_,
          _mekta_, and _palukta_ cited by Petri are all from QL. The term "mature
          Quenya" is a well-known Fauskangerism referring in an external sense
          to Quenya in accord with _The Lord of the Rings_ and other late
          writings, and I didn't find Petri's use of it in his post to be either
          confusing or inaccurate. And Petri's point stands: the combination
          KT was allowed in the Qenya of the Lost Tales era (as in the three
          examples cited), but was not retained in Quenya of the LotR era
          and later, where it "became" (in both internal and external
          senses) HT. -- Patrick Wynne]
        • Petri Tikka
          ... I was speaking both of the internal and external devopment. Mature Quenya is a term based on Tolkien s assesment s that his early Qenya of the 1910s
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 9, 2002
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            --- In lambengolmor@y..., "gentlebeldin" <gentlebeldin@h...> wrote:

            > Are you speaking of internal or external history of Quenya? An ill-
            > defined (and undefinable, in my humble opinion) term like "mature
            > Quenya" makes it easy to confuse the two very different matters.

            I was speaking both of the internal and external devopment. "Mature
            Quenya" is a term based on Tolkien's assesment's that his early Qenya
            of the 1910s (from which the QL dates) was "very primitive", cf. XII:379.

            > The development EKTE > _ehte_ reflected in Etymologies was internal,
            > obviously.

            The development of KT to HT in Quenya was both an internal and external.

            > What does the acronym "Q" mean?

            The (Q) was intended to mean "Qenya Lexicon" published in PE#12. I can't
            quote from it, because I don't own it and it is out of print. I had to
            use Helge Fauskanger's "Index to the Qenya Lexicon" as my source:
            http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/qlindex2.htm

            > > [...]
            > > I can not currently think of any other firm examples of change
            > > in the external history of the Quenya phonology
            >
            > Why "other"? You're explicitly speaking of external history only now.
            > Hans

            Because Carl F. Hostetter's question concerned external history, the
            reference to internal history was only a sidetrack, but still illuminating.

            > [ ... Petri's point stands: the combination KT was allowed in the Qenya
            > of the Lost Tales era (as in the three examples cited), but was not
            > retained in Quenya of the LotR era and later, where it "became" (in both
            > internal and external senses) HT. -- Patrick Wynne]

            It is funny to note that modern Finnish doesen't consider the combination
            KT contrary to its phonology, as is explicit in such loan words as
            _laktoosi_ "lactose" and _kaktus_ "cactus" used by common people. This
            strange development is quite new in Finnish. A hundred years ago those
            words would have been unpronouncable to lay people.

            Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
            kari.j.tikka@...
            http://www.geocities.com/petristikka/
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            Like Hans, I too find the term mature when applied to Tolkien s languages inadequate and best avoided. Even if it in fact reflects the opposite of Tolkien s
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 9, 2002
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              Like Hans, I too find the term "mature" when applied to Tolkien's
              languages inadequate and best avoided. Even if it in fact reflects the
              opposite of Tolkien's later opinion about his earlier languages (and I
              do not grant that as given), and if in fact that judgment was about the
              internals of the languages (and not about their external presentation
              in the _Lost Tales_ notebooks and associated loose papers and jottings,
              organized on the one hand by internal roots (Qenya) and on the other by
              internal lexical items (Goldogrin), rather than grouped etymologically
              by primitive base), it is an _aesthetic_ judgment, one that Tolkien is
              certainly entitled to, as is everyone else; but as such it is _not_ a
              scientific judgment, and has no value as a term of linguistic
              scholarship.

              The term "perfected" suffers from the same deficiency. There was
              nothing lacking in the Qenya and Goldogrin of the Lexicons _as
              languages_ (certainly, no more so than the later stages of the
              languages): they have a phonology, a grammar, and (if we are to
              consider Helge's pronouncement that Tolkien ultimately "rejected" them
              as accurate) in many ways a richer, fuller, and far more modern
              vocabulary than the later stages. I fail to see therefore how they
              count as any less "perfected" than the later stages. What changed over
              time was not some nebulous level of Platonic perfection, but rather
              Tolkien's own aesthetic (as reflected in the changing phonology,
              grammar, and lexicon), as well as the fictive situations of the
              languages (becoming more and more remote in time from the present), and
              Tolkien's mode and manner of describing the languages and their
              interrelationships.

              The problem that arises in linguistic discourse is finding terms that
              distinguish between the internal development of Tolkien's languages,
              and their external development by Tolkien, without being unwieldy. For
              the former, we have Tolkien's own terms: Primitive, Common, Old,
              Middle, Modern (usually unmarked), Exilic, "of the Third Age", etc.,
              all of which are linguistically precise. To be similarly precise when
              discussing the external development, we can (and on this list should)
              associate stages of the language with 1) the documents in which they're
              found or described (e.g., "the Qenya of the Lexicons", "the Noldorin of
              the 'Lays'," etc.) or 2) the time in which they're found or described
              (e.g., "the Quenya of the late '60s", "the Noldorin of the early '30s",
              etc.

              I will note that my colleagues and I have been writing on Tolkien's
              languages, including editing his papers and describing their history
              and development, for many years now, without once having or wanting to
              use the terms "mature" and "perfected" to do so. And I daresay our work
              is hardly the poorer for it.

              Carl
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