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

Numerals as Adjectives in Quenya

Expand Messages
  • Petri Tikka
    In Germanic languages numerals that are plural in sense pluralize the noun they describe, e.g. _one book_ and _two books_. In Finnish numerals that are plural
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 3, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      In Germanic languages numerals that are plural in sense pluralize the noun
      they describe, e.g. _one book_ and _two books_. In Finnish numerals that
      are plural in sense do not pluralize the noun they describe, they render
      the noun partitive, e.g. _yksi kirja_ "one book" and _kaksi kirjaa_ "two
      books". But what is the case in Quenya? Do numerals pluralize nouns in
      that language?

      A compound word _Otselen_ is glossed as "Seven Stars" in the Etymologies
      (V:379). It is listed under a root for the number "seven OT- (OTOS, OTOK),
      and it has the Quenya derivative of _otso_ "seven". _otselen_ is not plural
      in form; it does not have any apparent Quenya plural markers, neither _i_
      nor _r_. It can not possibly be conceived to mean "Seven Star", a single
      star marked by seven points for example, for it is associated with the
      constellation of Great Bear. Thus we have an example of a number word
      behaving as any other adjective does in Quenya when it is used as an
      attribute.

      The cases in the published corpus with numeral words and nouns together
      are rare; this is the only example of such in Quenya that I know of.
      The behaviour of numerals as adjectives is similar in Sindarin, cf.
      _edegil_ "Seven Stars" (V:369) and _Menegroth_ (XI:415). To me, it seems
      pretty obvious that numerals do not pluralize their noun in Quenya. That
      has been silently asumed before, but without real basis.

      Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
      kari.j.tikka@...
      http://www.geocities.com/petristikka/
    • David Kiltz
      ... Very interesting question. There a number of ways to handle this in different languages (branches). Altaic languages (e.g. Turkish or Korean) don t take
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 4, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        On Thursday, October 3, 2002, at 04:05 PM, Petri Tikka wrote:

        > In Germanic languages numerals that are plural in sense pluralize the
        > noun they describe, e.g. _one book_ and _two books_. In Finnish
        > numerals that are plural in sense do not pluralize the noun they
        > describe, they render the noun partitive, e.g. _yksi kirja_ "one
        > book" and _kaksi kirjaa_ "two books". But what is the case in
        > Quenya? Do numerals pluralize nouns in that language?

        Very interesting question. There a number of ways to handle this in
        different languages (branches). Altaic languages (e.g. Turkish or
        Korean) don't take agreement at all. Semitic, for example, Arabic has
        genitive plural after numerals 3-9 and 10+ take the accusative singular.

        The name of _Lebennin_ might give a clue to how Sindarin works in this
        respect. That is, if the entry NEN- in V:376 was still valid at the
        time of the creation of that name, _nin_ should be plural here.
        However, it is also conceivable that the Sindarin for "water" wasn't
        _nen_, pl. _nîn_ anymore but rather _nín_, pl _nîn_. Any evidence for
        that ?

        David Kiltz
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.