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Re: Bilabial V in Quenya

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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