Re: [Lambengolmor] "before" and "after"
- Carl wrote:
> _nó_ in particular seems toBefore we start using it as data: do we know that the "_merin_" sentence
> 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.
(_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 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
On Samstag, September 7, 2002, at 03:17 Uhr, Boris Shapiro  wrote:
A few remarks:
> So it seems that we have three prepositions of similar meaning.
> 1) "before" (*_A naa calima epe B_ - VT42:32, VT44:38)
> 2) "after" (_epesse_ - XII:339)
> 1) "fore-" (_apacenye_ - X:216)
> 2) "after" (_Apanoonar_ - XI:387)
> "behind" (_ap-pata_ - XI:387)
> 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)
> _apa_ "fore-" is spatial (to see what lies before one), _apa_
> "after" (after-born) is temporal.
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
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].
- 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
"But in _actual language_ time and place had distinct expressions."
And there Tolkien's text breaks off.