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Re: Q verbal intensive prefix a-

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  • pa2rick
    ... The excerpt from Appendix D to Quendi and Eldar published in VT 39 discusses just this process of a-infixion, which it also calls vocalic strengthening
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 16, 2002
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      --- In lambengolmor@y..., "Hans" <gentlebeldin@h...> wrote:

      > There are traces of a-infixion in Etymologies and other sources:
      > root MIL-IK with the derivation _maile_ "lust" (V:415), containing
      > also the (later obviously abandoned) derivation of _Melko_
      > frorm _*Mailikô_, and the etymology of _maeg_ via the 'strong
      > adjective' _*maikâ_ "sharp, penetrating" from the root _mik_
      > "pierce" (IX:337). In both cases, an intensification was intended,
      > as the 'strong' in the latter example indicates explicitly. Maybe
      > those are the stem variations Boris had in mind.

      The excerpt from Appendix D to "Quendi and Eldar" published
      in VT 39 discusses just this process of a-infixion, which it also
      calls "vocalic strengthening" (p.11 Note 7), whereby _u_ > _au_
      and _i_ > _ai_. Particularly relevant to Hans's comments is the
      following passage (p. 10):

      "The examples of _ai_, _au_ of this origin are not very numerous.
      They were mostly "intensive", as in _rauko_ "very terrible creature"
      (*RUK); _taura_ "very mighty, vast, of unmeasured might or size"
      (*TUR). Some were "continuative", as in _Vaire_ "Ever-weaving"
      (*WIR)."

      Boris's search for an intensive verbal _prefix_ puts me in mind
      of _an-_ in _ancalima_ 'exceedingly bright', which Tolkien
      says consisted of _an-_ "superlative or intensive prefix" +
      _kalima_ 'shining brilliant' (L:278-79), though _ancalima_ is,
      of course, an adjective rather than a verb.

      -- Patrick Wynne
    • Hans
      ... Ah, good that VT39 is among the five back issues I ordered last week! :-) I remembered one more instance of _au_ from a-infixion: _saura_ (foul,
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 16, 2002
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        --- In lambengolmor@y..., "pa2rick" <pwynne@g...> wrote:

        > The excerpt from Appendix D to "Quendi and Eldar" published
        > in VT 39 discusses just this process of a-infixion, which it also
        > calls "vocalic strengthening" (p.11 Note 7)

        Ah, good that VT39 is among the five back issues I ordered last
        week! :-)

        I remembered one more instance of _au_ from a-infixion: _saura_
        (foul, evil-smelling, putrid) from THUS-, V:439.

        And I found a more direct hint at an a-prefix: _atalante_ is derived
        from TALÁT. It could be an augment, but the general idea wasn't fully
        formed yet at that time, I think. Indeed, the entry in Etymologies
        says specifically "Atalante (a-prefix==complete)".

        Again, this doesn't seem to be limited to verbs, and "complete"
        doesn't contradict the interpretation "exceedingly" of _an-_.
        Maybe that's closer to what Boris was looking for.

        Hans
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        In Sindarin, there is _ aníra ‘(he) desires’ (IX:128–29), perhaps more literally _a-níra_ * (he) greatly desires (cf. _níra_ n. ‘will, as a
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 17, 2002
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          In Sindarin, there is _ aníra ‘(he) desires’ (IX:128–29), perhaps more
          literally _a-níra_ *'(he) greatly desires' (cf. _níra_ n. ‘will, as a
          potential or faculty’, VT39:30; though it is possible that it is
          instead _an-íra_, with the same literal meaning; cf. the base ID- ‘heart,
          desire, wish’, V:361).

          Carl
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