Re: [Lambengolmor] Re: "Subjunctive"
- [I'm letting this through, but in general, follow-up messages of this
sort, basically simply acknowledging a correction, will not be accepted
on this list. Any such response should be made in conjunction with
offering new information on the question at hand. Otherwise, make your
acknowledgments privately. CFH]
I never learned the other conditional. I am sorry for the mistake, I know
about the two different ways to do subjunctive. I am not a native speaker
of spanish, however I have been taking spanish classes for 4 years and
have been to spanish countries. But thanks for the information, you learn
something new everyday. :)
- --- In lambengolmor@y..., "Hans" <gentlebeldin@h...> wrote:
> [OK, folks, let's bring this back to Tolkien's languages. CFH]Er... yeah, I'm afraid this is a well-deserved rebuke.
[I wouldn't call it a "rebuke", just a reminder that posts to this list
are, according to the guidelines, supposed to deal in some manner with
Tolkien's languages. That by no means excludes discussion of grammatical
features of other languages for purposes of comparison or illustration
or even speculation; but each such discussion should touch on Tolkien's
languages at some point. When we start _debating_ the grammatical
features of other languages, and comparing them to one another, we're
drifting off course. CFH]
Quenya may not have a conditional, but it's well known that JRRT thought
of a subjunctive once. Now the English subjunctive II is almost identical
with forms of past tense, and the German forms are close, too (though
with umlaut). Interestingly, the Quenya word glossed as a subjunctive
("should flow", IX:247) coincides with an (augmentless) perfect,
"ullier", forms usually translated by JRRT with past tense. Of course,
that's one of the cases of later reinterpretations. In "Lost Road",
the word "ullier" was glossed "poured" (V:51). Nonetheless, there
can't be much doubt JRRT thought of a subjunctive later: the Adunaic
forms in the Notion Club Papers were meant to be translations of the
"Avallonian" ones, and the respective word _du-phursâ_ is glossed
"so-as-to-gush" (IX:247, again), and that's certainly not an
- -I'm sorry if this is drifting away from Quenya but my response will
(hopefully) set some things straight. This will ultimately be
beneficial for the discussion of the Quenya forms.
On Friday, October 4, 2002, at 09:54 PM, Hans wrote:
> --- In lambengolmor@y..., David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:
>> Germanic languages mostly employ the subjunctive for conditionals
>> often with an extra auxiliary (e.g. English _would_ or German_würde_).
> I'm sorry, David, but I have to disagree. The German "würde" is a
> modern development, following the general tendency of replacement of
> the older, strong inflections by analytical (or, as you call it,
> periphrastic) constructions. German still has two genuine subjunctives,
> "er komme/ er käme" in the case of the verb "to come".
Hans, but that's exactly what I said. Germanic languages (such as
German, even Modern German ;-) do use the subjunctive. In addition,
formations with an auxiliary arise. (Certainly with the idea of
disambiguating). I don't see how this is not "Germanic" although it is
a younger formation (which I never denied).
>> Note that the Romanic languages' conditional is really a periphrastic
>> formation (e.g. comparare habebam etc.).
> That's not true for Italian. The conditional is much used to express
> wishes politely (not unlike German or English or some other
> languages!), but forms like "vorrai" (I would) are real inflections,
> not periphrastic constructions or agglutinations.
1) Your analysis of the form is factually wrong. Even Italian _vorrai_
is ultimately _velle_ (or rather Proto-Romanic _volere_) + habui. The
only difference between Italian and Spanish is that Italian uses the
perfect as second part, Spanish the imperfect. By "really" I meant
2) The semantics are irrelevant to the question of periphrasis or not.
I never said they weren't employed like that.
>> No explicit marker for the conditional is needed in Quenya.
> That's true, unfortunately. A language lacking a word for "if"
> certainly doesn't need a conditional.
Well, Tolkien writes that "if this uncertainty [i.e. a conditional
proposition for the future] is emphasized Quenya can say _nauva_ "will
be". So, Quenya does not require a specific marker if the semantics of
the sentence are clear.
It would be interesting to see whether the _-uva_ forms are a "pure"
future tense or rather some kind of prospective.
- David Kiltz wrote:
DK> It would be interesting to see whether the _-uva_ forms are a "pure"
DK> future tense or rather some kind of prospective.
I have been having this impression for already a long time. More
specifically, I suspect that the -uva formation is originally
prospective/optative and only one of its usages evolved into pure
future. I imagine that Tolkien might have been inspired by the origin
of Greek future tense or English usage of the auxiliary "will" -
originally a modal verb.