Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Apposition

Expand Messages
  • Boris Shapiro
    Aiya! What do you think is the exact meaning of the term apposition in that quote about the last declinable word ( ...in the case of two declinable names in
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      Aiya!

      What do you think is the exact meaning of the term "apposition" in
      that quote about the last declinable word ("...in the case of two
      declinable names in apposition only the last is declined", UT:317)?

      [Any decent English dictionary will give a sufficient definition. Here is one
      for the _American Heritage Dictionary_:

      "1. Grammar a. A construction in which a noun or noun phrase is placed with
      another as an explanatory equivalent, both having the same syntactic relation
      to the other elements in the sentence; for example, Copley and the painter in
      The painter Copley was born in Boston. b. The relationship between such nouns
      or noun phrases. 2. A placing side by side or next to each other." CFH]


      We know about examples (namely in "Oilima Markirya") of this rule
      being ignored (_raamainen elvie_), and I wonder could there be any
      regular reason for that? Perhaps "apposition" is the clue. While
      *_Elendil Voronda_ surely has two "names" in apposition, *_raamar
      elvie_ hasn't. If I understand the term correctly. I won't translate
      the Russian definition I use into English, but according to it
      simple noun + adjective combinations are not always cases of
      apposition. But that is also true of cases like _isilme ilcalasse_!

      [Inversions and other alterations of normal word order are among of the
      hallmarks of poetic diction. CFH]


      Namaarie! S.Y., Elenhil Laiquendo [Boris Shapiro]


      : sii man i yulma nin enquantuva? :
    • Boris Shapiro
      Aiya! CFH [Inversions and other alterations of normal word order are among CFH of the hallmarks of poetic diction. CFH] Yes, but regardless of word order
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 2, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Aiya!

        CFH> [Inversions and other alterations of normal word order are among
        CFH> of the hallmarks of poetic diction. CFH]

        Yes, but regardless of word order noun + adjective combinations are
        not appositions!

        [In the strictest grammatical sense, that is true. The key point of
        apposition, in this sense, is that the two elements in apposition bear
        exactly the same syntactic relationship to the rest of the sentence as
        each other. Obviously, this is not the case with (strict) noun + (strict)
        adjective pairs. CFH]

        The key feature of apposition is that it is a noun [phrase] (or an adjective
        used as a title, as in Elendil's case) which attributes another noun [phrase].
        Thus in "Elendil the Faithful" "the Faithful" is the appositive element of
        "Elendil", while in "a faithful Nъmenуrean" "faithful" is only the attribute
        of "Nъmenуrean". The question is: if _isilme ilcalasse_ does not seem to be a
        case of apposition, why is the last-declinable-word rule applied to it?


        [OK, first, let's get straight the data we're talking about. The phrase
        "_isilme ilkalasse_" is line 17 of the third and latest version of the
        poem _Oilima Markirya_ (given at MC:221-22). It corresponds syntactically with
        lines 18 and 19 of the same poem: "_isilme pнkalasse_ / _isilme lantalasse_".
        This version of the poem is untranslated, and so the phrases in question
        are untranslated; but they seem to correspond to lines 16-18 of the
        preceding version of the poem (MC:213-14), which _is_ translated (MC:215-16):
        "_silda-rбnar_, / _minga-rбnar_, / _lanta-rбnar_", "'in the moon gleaming, /
        in the moon waning, / in the moon falling'". So it is reasonable to interpret
        the later phrases as (noun verb+present participle+locative) sequences of the
        same meaning. Similarly, _rбmainen elvie_ (third version l. 9; apparently
        noun+instrumental plural adjective) corresponds to _tinwelindon talalнnen_ 'on
        wings like stars' (second version l. 8).

        [Second, let's note that Tolkien does not say that the last-declinable-word
        "rule" does _not_ apply in other (non-appositive, in the strict grammatical
        sense) cases. Indeed, in a language with an LDW rule for apposition, it would
        not be surprising to see a similar rule applied in other syntactic environments
        having a sequence of potentially declinable words (i.e., where there is a
        choice of which word or words to decline). Of course, we don't really know for
        certain that any such "rule" obtains in this specific case, since poetic
        diction and metrical constraints will often dictate grammatical choices (where
        a choice exists) that may not be made in normal prose.

        [Third, although _ilkalasse_ *'gleaming-in', _ pнkalasse_ *'waning-in', and
        _lantalasse_ *'falling-in' are pretty clearly formed with present participles
        in _-la_ + locative ending, and thus serve as declined adjectives, it is to
        be noted that adjectives and nouns in Quenya, as in many other languages,
        often blend across category; and that this blurring of categorical boundaries
        is likewise a hallmark of poetic diction. So if, in fact, the LDW rule is
        responsible for the selection of declined element in these phrases (and it is
        not at all clear that it is), it may have something to do with this
        interchangability.

        [Ultimately, though, there seems to be no reason to assume that Tolkien's
        statement about _Elendil Vorondo_ (prose, noun noun) either does or does not
        apply to constructions like _isilme ilkalasse_ (poetry, noun adjective) or
        _rбmainen elvie_ (poetry, noun adjective), or to assume that all these data
        must reflect (in origin or intention) a single underlying "rule" with which
        they must be reconciled; or even that the LDW "rule" is _never_ "broken" in
        poetry or prose, even in the case of strict apposition. Rather, we have the
        fact that, in poetry at least, sometimes it is the noun, and sometimes the
        adjective, that is declined. CFH]


        Namaarie! S.Y., Elenhil Laiquendo [Boris Shapiro]


        : yasse laa lantar lassi · i noore nossenyo tennoio! :
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.