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Re: [Lambengolmor] Apposition

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Oct 2, 2002
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      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

      [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! :
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