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Re: Overlap between periods? (was: "Mature" and "perfected")

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  • Hans
    ... (VT44:36). ... I d suggest to call it just Quenya , then. OF COURSE, there is some element of continuity included! In fact, Quenya is (no matter whether
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 12, 2002
      --- In lambengolmor@y..., "Petri Tikka" <kari.j.tikka@w...> wrote:

      > But what if the stages overlap? For example: Tolkien wrote Elessar's
      > Coronation Oath (LR:946) in the late 40s. It was publised in the mid-
      > 50s. In the mid-60s he wrote an almost identical version of it
      > How is one to refer to this type of Quenya that was identical in several
      > texts?

      I'd suggest to call it just "Quenya", then. OF COURSE, there is some
      element of continuity included! In fact, Quenya is (no matter whether we
      look at it from an external or internal point of view) rather
      conservative. At least, that's the impression you get from meaningful
      sentences written in Qenya and Quenya, no matter whether they were
      meant for publication. Look at the lines published in Carpenter's
      well-known biography (p. 83):

      "Ai lintulinda Lasselanta
      Pilingeve suyer nalla ganta
      Kuluvi ya karnevalinar
      V'ematte singi Eldamar"

      This is Quenya phonology, already, and even part of the vocabulary
      looks very familiar... and it's 1915 or 1916.

      The "Lost Road" and the "Notion Club Papers" hint at the truth: those
      words and sentences came to JRRT because they sounded and felt right.
      Another example of relative invariance: Alboin's fragments (V:51) are
      almost identical to Lowdham's fragments (IX:246), and the latter
      aren't really earlier than "Lord of the Rings"! So they'd certainly be
      "mature" enough, but the inclusion/exclusion of texts into/from
      "mature Quenya" doesn't seem to be based on objective criteria,
      anyways. It's arbitrary and thus inherently inaccurate, meaningless
      for scholarly discussion.

      All of his life, JRRT tried to understand those fragments, i.e. to
      interpret their etymology and grammatical structure. The latter part
      was REALLY variable, but that's true for every language. German
      grammar is changing during my lifetime, and I'm not even fifty.
      But JRRT didn't change words or sentences more than he absolutely had
      to, not only because they were published (most weren't!), but because
      they contained truth (yes, I agree: harmony and euphony are a sort of

      So if we feel like naming stages, we don't need very many for
      phonology: Qenya and Quenya (and the difference isn't big). There's a
      late stage (re-introducing _z_ even intervocalic, for instance, cf.
      VT43:8--12), but it's easily internalized (Vanyarin).
      Vocabulary was relatively stable, first based on QL, from the late
      thirties based on Etymologies, still later (at need) some additions
      (but sometimes returning to QL, as it seems).
      There were more changes in grammar, of course. Some were internalized:
      ancient past tense (XI:415), past tense and perfect getting closer,
      ancient allative suffix _-da_>_-d_>_-r_ (XI:366), ancient plural
      marker _-m_ (cf. V:401, root 3O- in Etymologies), but still leaving
      Quenya very conservative internally. German dialects are more variable
      (not all being mutually intelligible).
      The case system changed, and so did the system of pronouns (including
      the change prefix->postfix). But still, I could name only three or
      four major phases. I'll have a look into some earlier declensions now,
      maybe they'll help to make this more precise. And maybe they help to
      understand the specifics of the grammar of earlier writings like
      Fíriel's song. I mean, if somebody thinks he HAS TO write in Quenya,
      why not a love poem to Fíriel in her own style?! Elendil said "Fíriel
      was fair" (V:69), and I believe him! :-)


      [The phonological similarity between Qenya as evidenced in the early
      poem "Narqelion" and the Quenya of Tolkien's later writings is even
      more striking when one eliminates Carpenter's errors in transcription:

      Ai lintuilind(ov)a Lasselanta
      Piliningwe súyer nalla qanta
      Kuluvai ya karnevalinar
      V'ematte sinqi Eldamar.

      The full poem was reprinted (in both transcript and holograph)
      in VT 40, with an analysis by Christopher Gilson.

      -- Patrick Wynne]
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