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Vocalizations in Noldorin/Sindarin

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  • Tchitrec@aol.com
    Greetings ! This post is about the way some consonants were turned to vowels or diphthong elements during the evolution from Common Eldarin to Noldorin/
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 12, 2002
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      Greetings !

      This post is about the way some consonants were turned to vowels or
      diphthong elements during the evolution from Common Eldarin to Noldorin/
      Sindarin, especially after the vowel u.

      (I will not asterisk Tolkien's own reconstructions of primitive stages,
      in order to distinguish them from other reconstructions.)

      Such vocalizations are seen for instance in N/S _eithel_ "spring, well"
      from Common Eldarin _ektelê_ (N : V:363 root KEL ; S : Silmarillion
      Appendix), N _aes_ "cooked food, meat" (V:394 root AP) from _*apsâ_, N
      _auth_ "war, battle" from _okta_ (read _*oktâ_ ? ; V:365 root KOT), N
      _maer_ "useful, fit, good" from _magrâ_ (V:371 root MAG)...

      With the help of Welsh, which offers similar - though not identical -
      evolutions (reference : _ Language and History in Early Britain_ -
      Kenneth Jackson - Edinburgh University Press 1953), the following
      developments can be assumed :

      - p and k become ch (Ach-Laut) before s and t (which itself turned to th,
      i.e. t+h, in such a position in Old Noldorin ; probably true too in the
      equivalent "Old Sindarin"). Later, this ch turns to i or u, depending on
      the preceding vowel, and forms a diphthong (or merges) with it.

      - g is regularly lenited to gh (spirant g) between a vowel and a liquid
      or nasal. Later, gh turns to i or u, depending on the following vowel,
      and forms a diphthong (or merges) with it.

      After a, the developing vowel is i, giving a diphthong ai, later ae :

      CE _maktâ-_ > ON _*maktha-_ > _*machþa-_ > _*maiþa-_ > N _maeþa-_,
      written _maetha- "to fight" (V:371 root MAK)
      CE *apsâ > ON *apsa > *achsa > *ais > N aes "cooked food, meat" (V:394
      root AP)
      CE _magrâ_ > ON _*magra_ > _*maghra_ > _*mair_ > N _maer_ "useful, fit,
      good" (V:371 root MAG)
      CE _magnâ_ > ON _magnâ_ (read _*magna_ ?) > _*maghna_ > _*main_ > N
      _maen_ "skilled, clever" (V:371 root MAG)

      After e, the developing vowel is i, giving a diphthong ei, becoming ai
      later in final syllable in Sindarin :

      CE _et-kelê_ > _*ektelê_ > ON/Old Sindarin _*ekthele_ > _*echþele_ > N/S
      _eiþel_, written _eithel_ "spring, well" (N : V:363 root KEL ; S :
      Silmarillion Appendix)
      CE _keglê_ > OS _*kegle_ > _*keghle_ > _*keil_ > S cail "fence" (UT:282)

      After i, the developing vowel is i, which merges with the preceding i -
      which appears to remain short, however :

      CE _k'riktâ-_ > ON _*kriktha-_ > _*krichþa-_ > N _criþa-_ "reap"; actually
      the form written is the infinitive _critho_ (V:365 root KIRIK)
      CE _*riktâ-_ > ON _*riktha-_ > _*richþa-_ > N _rhiþa-_ "jerk, twitch,
      snatch"; actually the form written is the infinitive _rhitho_
      (V:383 root RIK(H))

      After o, the developing vowel is u, giving a diphthong ou, later au :

      CE _okta_ (read _oktâ_) > ON _*oktha_ > _*ochþa_ > _*ouþ_ > N _auþ_,
      written _auth_ "war, battle"(V:365 root KOT)
      CE _*loksê_ > ON _*lokse_ > _*lochse_ > _*lhous_ > N _lhaws_ "hair"
      (V:370 root LOKH)


      But after u, two developments are seen :

      - the developing vowel is u, which merges with the preceding u to produce
      long ú ;
      - the developing vowel is i, giving a diphthong ui.

      In "Noldorin", the u-development occurs in most cases :

      CE _*luktâ-_ > ON _*luktha-_ > _*luchþa-_ > N _lhúþa-_, written _lhútha-_
      "to enchant"(V:370 root LUK)
      CE _*suktô_ > ON _*suktho_ > _*suchþo_ > N _sûþ_, written _sûth_ "draught"
      (V:388 root SUK)
      (Early) CE _lugni_ > ON _*lugne_ > _*lughne_ > N _lhûn_ " blue " (V:370
      root LUG)
      (Early) CE _suglu_ > ON _*suglo_ > _*sughlo_ > N _sûl_ "goblet" (V:388
      root SUG)

      but i-development occurs in

      CE _*juktâ-_ > ON _*juktha-_ > _*juchþa-_ > N _juiþa-_ , written _iuitha-_
      "to employ [C. Tolkien hesitatingly reads "enjoy", but the root is said
      to mean "employ, use"]"(V:400 root YUK)

      Quite inconsistenly, there are also cases with u > o opening by A or E-umlaut :

      CE _*suktâ-_ > ON _*suktha-_ > _*sochþa-_ > _*souþa- > N _sauþa-_, written
      _sautha_ "drain" (V:388 root SUK) ; I don't see why it is different from
      the case of CE _*luktâ-_
      CE _tupsê_ > ON _*tupse_ > _*tochse_ > _*tous_ > N _taus_ "thatch" (V:395
      root TUP)

      Conversely, i-development seems somewhat regular in Sindarin ; I found
      the following forms :

      CE _nuktâ-_ > OS _*nuktha-_ > _*nuchþa-_ > S _nuiþa-_, written _nuitha-_
      "stunt" (XI:413)
      CE _g-ruktâ-_ > OS _*gruktha-_ > _*gruchþa-_ > S _gruiþa-_, written
      _gruitha-_ "terrify"(XI:415)
      And the word _uluithiad_ "unquenchable" (IX:62) points to the same
      direction; the central element may come from a CE form_*luktjâ-_.

      Thus it seems that at some point - in the last times of his work on the
      Etymologies, seeing _iuitha-_ ? - Tolkien chose the i-development.

      However, the form of _Lúthien_ (according to the Etym, from _luktiênê_,
      V:370) was not changed. Another surviving case of u-development might
      also be hidden in _rûth_ "anger" (Silmarillion Appendix) if it comes from
      the stem RUKU which appears to be associated with fear (XI:389) ; the
      primitive form may be *ruktê - final vowel uncertain. Interestingly, both
      names come from Doriath.

      To say that the evidence is scanty is mild. Is it possible, nevertheless,
      that in the late linguistic scenario such an u-development was a
      peculiarity of the variety of Sindarin spoken in Doriath ?


      Nai Anar caluva tielmanna !

      Bertrand Bellet


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Hans Georg Lundahl
      Tchitrec@aol.com skrev: CE _*juktâ-_ ON _*juktha-_ _*juchþa-_ N _juiþa-_ , written _iuitha-_ to employ [C. Tolkien hesitatingly reads enjoy , but
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 14, 2002
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        Tchitrec@... skrev:

        CE _*juktâ-_ > ON _*juktha-_ > _*juchþa-_ > N _juiþa-_ , written _iuitha-_
        "to employ [C. Tolkien hesitatingly reads "enjoy", but the root is said
        to mean "employ, use"]"(V:400 root YUK)

        employ vs enjoy, cp latin uti vs frui, on whose relations in meaning see further St Augustine (who is basically saying we must employ earthly life in order later to enjoy God) whom Tolkien would certainly have read.

        Hence a root meaning employ could yield a derivative meaning enjoy by a shift of meaning easily understood. Or Tolkien could have changed his mind about what the root meant by an association as easily understood.

        Hans Georg Lundahl

        Gratis e-mail resten av livet på: www.yahoo.se/mail
        Busenkelt!

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


        [One of the meanings of "enjoy" is "to have the use or benefit of". Carl]
      • David Kiltz
        On Samstag, September 14, 2002, at 05:02 Uhr, Hans Georg Lundahl [230] ... This may be relevant in this context: To employ, use; enjoy is exactly the range
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 14, 2002
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          On Samstag, September 14, 2002, at 05:02 Uhr, Hans Georg Lundahl [230]
          wrote:

          >
          > Tchitrec@... skrev:
          >>
          >> CE _*juktâ-_ > ON _*juktha-_ > _*juchþa-_ > N _juiþa-_ , written
          >> _iuitha-_ "to employ [C. Tolkien hesitatingly reads "enjoy", but the
          >> root is said to mean "employ, use"]"(V:400 root YUK)
          >
          > employ vs enjoy, cp latin uti vs frui, on whose relations in meaning
          > see further St Augustine (who is basically saying we must employ
          > earthly life in order later to enjoy God) whom Tolkien would certainly
          > have read.

          This may be relevant in this context:

          "To employ, use; enjoy" is exactly the range of meaning the Germanic
          verb *bruk- (Goth. _brukjan_, OE _brucan_, OHG _bruhhan_[all "u"s are
          long]) has. It is derived from the same root as Latin _frui_, frux and
          fructus. The primary meaning seems to have been "take in food, use
          food", hence "use in general" and "enjoy".

          Given the fact that J.R.R. Tolkien was of course intimately acquainted
          with Germanic, it is very likely we have a parallel development here.
          Indeed, similarity of semantic fields, as well as resemblances in
          grammar and word shape between Elvish and Germanic are manifold.

          David Kiltz
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