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RE: [Lambengolmor] "Quenya of _Namaarie_"

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  • Pavel Iosad
    Hello, ... As a matter of fact, we are dealing with at least _three_ _Namárië_ s, as there s also the draft version in _The Treason of Isengard_. Pavel --
    Message 1 of 12 , May 31 4:18 PM
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      Hello,
      Arden Smith wrote:

      > Even in the case of "Namárie" we're dealing with two different
      > Quenyas: [...]

      As a matter of fact, we are dealing with at least _three_
      _Namárië_'s, as there's also the draft version in _The Treason
      of Isengard_.

      Pavel
      --
      Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...

      'I am a philologist, and thus a misunderstood man'
      --JRR Tolkien, _The Notion Club Papers_

      ------------------

      [Arden was of course referring to versions published by Tolkien, i.e.
      within Tolkien's lifetime. But if we expand his distinction to include
      draft versions, there is in addition to the early draft Pavel is
      referring to the variant pre-publication version on the Caedmon recordings
      (now published on CD by HarperCollins). And there are a number as yet
      unpublished draft versions in the Marquette archives. Carl]
    • Arden R. Smith
      ... Yes, indeed! In fact, there are *two* recordings of Galadriel s Lament on Caedmon LP #TC1478, _J. R. R. Tolkien Reads and Sings His The Lord of the
      Message 2 of 12 , May 31 7:36 PM
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        Carl wrote:

        >[Arden was of course referring to versions published by Tolkien, i.e.
        >within Tolkien's lifetime. But if we expand his distinction to include
        >draft versions, there is in addition to the early draft Pavel is
        >referring to the variant pre-publication version on the Caedmon recordings
        >(now published on CD by HarperCollins). And there are a number as yet
        >unpublished draft versions in the Marquette archives. Carl]

        Yes, indeed! In fact, there are *two* recordings of Galadriel's
        Lament on Caedmon LP #TC1478, _J. R. R. Tolkien Reads and Sings His
        The Lord of the Rings_: one spoken and one sung. Phonetic
        transcriptions of both renditions appear in _An Introduction to
        Elvish_, ed. Jim Allan (Frome: Bran's Head, 1978), p. 158. These
        might be regarded as the same version with regard to the underlying
        text, but there are a number of differences in pronunciation between
        the two recordings.

        --
        ********************************************************************
        Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

        "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"
        "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
        "Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

        --Lewis Carroll,
        _Through the Looking-glass_
        ********************************************************************
      • williamwelden
        ... I don t know about comprehensive and Creed , but the question is one close to my heart. I can certainly contribute to a thread which might then be mined
        Message 3 of 12 , Jun 1, 2002
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          Boris Shapiro wrote:

          > In a message on Elfling Pavel has argued that there could
          > be no general "Namaarie-style Quenya", for that particular
          > phase of Quenya begins and ends with "Namaarie"...

          and then:

          > ... comprehensive ... Creed ...

          I don't know about "comprehensive" and "Creed", but the
          question is one close to my heart. I can certainly contribute to a
          thread which might then be mined for a creed (or at least a FAQ).

          The statement is bold (as you say), and true as far as it goes; but
          it fails to take into account the most important transformation in
          all of the (external) history of Quenya: a transformation in which
          _Namárie_ played a pivotal role.

          This will be a _compare and contrast_ exercise. _Quenya_ and
          _natural language_.

          Almost all of our energy has been directed toward the
          similarities. I don't think I will get any argument when I say that
          Quenya is extraordinary in this regard: what fictional language is
          more realistic? Lewis' Old Solar is just a scattering of nouns.
          Klingon is purely synchronic. I am particularly touched by
          LeGuin's Kesh, but it is a sketch compared to the tapestry of
          Quenya. Quenya will always be for me the bright window through
          which I first glimpsed the vivid reality of Middle-earth. I
          acknowledge this at the outset so that I can let it go, because it
          obscures the point I want to make.

          Which is this: that Quenya is also different from natural
          language, and the way in which it is different changed on the day
          that the first copy of _Fellowship_ hit the newsstands.

          Prior to publication, Quenya was a sort of workshop in which
          Tolkien could try out his _lámatyáve_, his sense of what was
          pleasing in language. I will call this "workshop Quenya".
          Tolkien's development of Quenya has often been characterized
          as a progression from primitive to polished, but it seems to me
          rather to be a series of sketches, with experimental features
          more often discarded than making an immediate and lasting
          contribution to the language. One day subject inflections precede
          the verb, but before long follow again with no proclitic legacy
          (other than a clarification in Tolkien's mind of word-order in
          Common Eldarin). Features appear and are rejected only to
          appear and be rejected again many years later (e.g., _lá_ = `no').
          What is constant in Quenya was mostly there to begin with.

          Note that Tolkien's essays and compositions do not document
          distinct stages of the development of the language, as might at
          first be expected. They are, instead, the driving force behind the
          development, so that almost all of the change in the language
          happens between some first draft and some final draft. This,
          together with the fact that most drafts are incomplete and that
          subsequent drafts tend to become progressively sketchier and
          less complete, accounts for quite a bit of the difficulty in
          preparing this material for clear presentation.

          Whether this wandering Quenya would have converged (or
          "matured") in the absence of publication is academic. What
          happened instead was that the nature of Quenya changed, and it
          changed overnight. It became a literary illusion, no different than
          the History of the Third Age or the Geography of Gondor.

          A skillful author (and Tolkien was among the best in this regard)
          will give us glimpses of a greater reality: exactly the sort of
          glimpses we would get if we had really been there. Of course, if
          we really _were_ there, we could explore what intrigued us
          (counting the layers of rock in the weathered outcrops of the
          White Mountains or cornering an Elf and demanding the word for
          `if'), but this is fancy. The glimpse is well constructed, but it is
          only our own minds that fill in the details (or rather assume their
          existence).

          Actually, the transformation in Quenya was subtler. Tolkien held
          the principle of "canonical Quenya" (as I will call this literary
          illusion, in order to maintain consistency with my earlier posts on
          the subject) in high respect, and was reluctant to change it; but
          workshop Quenya was still a passion for him, and the tension
          between the two fractured the language: Quenya became
          _partitioned_. The word _ar_ `and' is canonical (and therefore
          fixed); words for `if' came and went: they still belong to the
          workshop.

          Note that these are the _only_ two aspects of Quenya. At least
          there is no "mature" Quenya which we could query as if the Elves
          were still with us.

          We know that the fixed portion of Quenya chafed ("The history of
          the Eldar is fixed and the adoption of Sindarin by the Exiled
          Noldor cannot now be altered." XII:331 – many more examples
          remain unpublished). Tolkien took advantage of the second
          edition revisions to change bits of it. It was clear to him that every
          bit of information that he published (or sent to correspondents in
          letters) passed out of his hands into canonical Quenya where he
          could no longer change it; and he was very deliberate and
          careful about doing so. For example, the workshop partition of
          Quenya continued to change after publication, perhaps as much
          and as fast as it had beforehand; but letters written in the last
          years of Tolkien's life (see, e.g. Letters, number 347 to Richard
          Jeffery from December of 1972, p. 426 in particular) give only the
          most conservative glimpses, consistent with the 1955 version of
          the language, of the grammar and history underlying what was
          published. It now makes perfect sense to me why Dick Plotz
          never received his verb conjugation. I am rather surprised that he
          got the nouns.

          _Namárie_, of course, was a linchpin of canonical Quenya, and
          contained more grammar than all other bits of Elvish combined,
          and quite a bit of vocabulary. It constrained everything which
          followed, including workshop Quenya, but only and exactly in
          those aspects fixed by the published text. To say, then, that "there
          could be no general `_Namárie_-style Quenya'", while true
          enough when speculating about the workshop partition of
          Quenya (which is, of course, where all of the speculation takes
          place), does not take account of the fact that there is (by
          definition) no overlap between _Namárie_ and workshop
          Quenya. That Quenya is SVO (and many other facts of vocabulary
          and grammar) was established once and for all, and honored
          even behind the scenes.

          But it was only the Elvish text and a (loose) gloss which were
          published. These admitted, naturally, of a range of interpretation.
          It is unlikely that Tolkien's "clearer and more normal style" of
          word-order would have been the same when the published
          version of _Namárie_ was finished as it was in 1966 when the
          commentary for RGEO was being written. The gloss "beyond
          (the borders of)" for _pella_, from that commentary, looks to me
          like an attempt to change the derivation of this word to be from
          the root PEL (V:380), which never exactly meant "border" before.

          The distinction "canonical Quenya" has not really caught on:
          when I have seen it used, it most often refers simply to anything
          that Tolkien wrote. Such a distinction ("anything Tolkien wrote") is
          important, but not as powerful a tool as "canonical" as I have
          used it here.

          For example, for many years we had two stories about
          _omentielvo_: Plotz' story that it was simply a correction (along
          with the "inclusive/exclusive" bit), and Carpenter's more fanciful
          tale of Frodo's mistake and its subsequent correction by a scribe
          (and something not quite interpretable about the dual). Many
          factors were weighed (both were second-hand reports), but
          nobody asked about canonicity: Plotz' explanation was released
          deliberately by Tolkien into the realm of canon; but Carpenter's
          was lifted from Tolkien's notes without his cooperation. We
          would have done better to hold it in this light.

          One more example: I have made vague reference to _Cirion's
          Oath_ (UT:305) in this regard. It is often taken to have the force of
          canon, because it is, in grammar and vocabulary, utterly
          consistent with _Namárie_. But if you have followed my
          argument you will see that this is a consequence, not of both
          being drawn from an unattested grammar of Mature Quenya, but
          simply of its having been composed subsequent to and under
          the influence of the published canonical _Namárie_. It can add
          nothing to our knowledge of canonical Quenya, because it is not
          canonical. Note in particular, the third-person plural ending
          _-nte_, one of my favorites in the whole declension (because of
          its natural connection both with Eldarin and Indo-European
          structure), is still only workshop. Tolkien would have felt perfectly
          free to change it (and remember that he was moving away from
          primary-world influence at this time). He would have been very
          aware of the freedom he would have sacrificed in publishing it or
          sending it to a correspondent.

          The distinction of canon has not been brought into the current
          discussion, further clouding the issue of the relationship
          between _Namárie_ and _Quenya_. The earliest version of
          _Namárie_ is definitely in a class by itself and also (most
          important) it is not canon. The published version is also in a
          class by itself, _and_ as the most important text of canonical
          Quenya has had a profound impact on all subsequent
          development of the language.

          Perhaps the term _canon_ was not the best for what I want to
          convey. I would welcome other suggestions, but I would like to
          see the concept kept in the forefront of discussions.

          I hope this gets the ball rolling.

          --Bill
        • And Rosta
          As something of an aside in a longer message making a different ... As I occasionally do, I here feel the need to interpose a corrective to our own local
          Message 4 of 12 , Jun 1, 2002
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            As something of an aside in a longer message making a different
            overall point, Bill Welden says:
            > This will be a _compare and contrast_ exercise. _Quenya_ and
            > _natural language_.
            >
            > Almost all of our energy has been directed toward the
            > similarities. I don't think I will get any argument when I say that
            > Quenya is extraordinary in this regard: what fictional language is
            > more realistic? Lewis' Old Solar is just a scattering of nouns.
            > Klingon is purely synchronic. I am particularly touched by
            > LeGuin's Kesh, but it is a sketch compared to the tapestry of
            > Quenya. Quenya will always be for me the bright window through
            > which I first glimpsed the vivid reality of Middle-earth.

            As I occasionally do, I here feel the need to interpose a
            corrective to our own local version of bardolatry....

            If by 'fictional language' you mean 'invented language that appears
            in a work of literary fiction', you won't get any argument, but
            this in itself is no great testimony to the extraordinariness
            of Quenya; rather it reflects the rarity of those skilled and
            motivated enough to produce publishable fiction multiplied by the
            rarity of those skilled and motivated enough to invent a language.
            The very paucity of rivals to Quenya reveals this, with Tsolyani
            being the only worthy contender.

            But if by 'fictional language' is meant 'invented language', which
            thereby locates Quenya among a much larger pool of rivals, to
            Quenya's potential greater glory-by-comparison, then we must
            realize that realism is proportional to, among other things,
            derivativeness and functional incompleteness.

            To take the latter first, if a grammar of Quenya were written
            as though it were natural language, the description would clearly
            be drastically incomplete; Quenya's realism would lie in its
            resemblance not to fully-fledged living languages, but rather
            to a dead language, of which only fragments are known, imperfectly,
            gleaned from highly fragmentary evidence. In this sense, then,
            realism is somewhat a reflection of a lack of ambition or
            achievement, vis a vis creating a fully fledged (simulacrum
            of a) living language.

            As for derivativeness, the more derivative (from Real World
            natural languages) the materials worked with, the more realistic
            the product. Since the grammatical devices of Quenya and the
            sound changes it underwent are pretty much all drawn from
            European languages and their histories, it is not surprising
            that Quenya should seem realistic. But a more derivative
            invented language might be still more realistic (e.g. an
            invented Romance language created by someone with a decent
            knowledge of Romance diachrony).

            Given the specific properties of Quenya -- its degree of
            derivativeness, and Tolkien's concentration on exactly those
            things that give the patina of realism -- the elaborate
            history & its synchronic traces in half submerged patternings
            and irregularities, Quenya is indeed extraordinary and
            without equal. But move the goalposts, change the criteria
            for what counts as realistic, and add in other criteria for
            extraordinariness (such as functional completeness), and
            his achievement is, though still inspirational, less
            extraordinary.

            I realize that these remarks are not germane to the main thrust
            of your post, but I think it's important to recognize that
            Tolkien's greatness lies in his work when taken collectively,
            as a totality, or perhaps also specifically in _The Lord of
            the Rings_, though this cannot be separated from the mythopoeia
            that underlies it so profoundly. If we isolate Quenya from
            the rest of the oeuvre it remains a delight and the epicentre
            of the conlang canon, but not so ineluctably sans pareil.

            --And.
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            One purpose I would like to put this list to is a forum for feedback on _Vinyar Tengwar_. Given the irregular nature of its publication, and further given the
            Message 5 of 12 , Jun 4, 2002
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              One purpose I would like to put this list to is a forum for feedback on
              _Vinyar Tengwar_. Given the irregular nature of its publication, and further
              given the fact that there has for years now usually been too much new,
              primary material in each issue to allow for a lengthy or active letters
              section (not that anyone's complained, mind you!), I think a mailing list
              such as this may be the most practical way for readers of _VT_ to
              communicate with one another about its contents.

              There is something in particular that I would like to solicit input on from
              any readers of _VT_ that are on this list: namely, errata. If you've noticed
              typos of any sort (spelling, punctuation, grammar, citation error,
              misquotation, etc.) in any issue of _VT_ (well, 10 and up, since issues
              earlier than that can only be "reprinted" by photocopying), I want to know
              about them so that I can correct them in future reprintings.

              If you'll provide me with errata (_off list_, that is, to:
              Aelfwine@...) I'll compile a list of them and put them on a Web page
              at:
              http://www.elvish.org/VT/errata.html
              and update it periodically with new errata as they are found.

              As an added incentive (beyond the satisfaction of invaluable service to
              future humanity, that is), the first person to alert me of a genuine but
              previously unnoticed erratum for any issue will receive a complimentary copy
              of the corrected issue when it is next reprinted.

              Oh, please help me out by prefixing VT ERRATUM: to the subject line of any
              erratum report e-mail.

              Thanks!


              |======================================================================|
              | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
              | |
              | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
              | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
              | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
              | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
              | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
              |======================================================================|
            • Arden R. Smith
              ... If future reprintings are going to be revised, I suggest that this fact be stated clearly on the reprints, otherwise confusion will most definitely ensue
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 7, 2002
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                Carl F. Hostetter wrote on 4 June 2002:

                >There is something in particular that I would like to solicit input on from
                >any readers of _VT_ that are on this list: namely, errata. If you've noticed
                >typos of any sort (spelling, punctuation, grammar, citation error,
                >misquotation, etc.) in any issue of _VT_ (well, 10 and up, since issues
                >earlier than that can only be "reprinted" by photocopying), I want to know
                >about them so that I can correct them in future reprintings.

                If future reprintings are going to be revised, I suggest that this
                fact be stated clearly on the reprints, otherwise confusion will most
                definitely ensue when differing citations from revised and unrevised
                versions start showing up.

                [That's a good suggestion, and one I'll give some thought to how best to
                indicate the fact. Some revisions have, of course, already been silently
                incorporated in various reprintings. Reprintings, by the way, are usually
                able to be distinguished from original printings by the fact that their
                covers are plain paper (i.e., the same paper as the conents); whereas
                original printings used a heavier, textured papers for the cover (only).
                Carl]

                I also suggest that, in addition to posting a complete list of errata
                on the _VT_ website, you should also periodically publish lists of
                newly observed errata in _VT_ itself, for the benefit of those few
                subscribers who do not (or choose not to) have Internet access.

                [Another good suggestion. The problem there is going to be a usual lack of
                space in the printed issues. Carl]

                It would also be a good idea to announce which issues are being
                reissued with a revised text, for the benefit of the die-hard
                completists who would want to have both the old and new versions.

                [At this point, I doubt that I could produce such a list. In any event,
                none of the revisions made to date have been substantive, being limited
                to typos and the like. Corrections of argument or linguistic detail have
                always been made in letters or articles in subsequent issues. Carl]

                This would be an ideal place to note that the second printing of
                _Parma Eldalmaberon_ #11 incorporated a few corrections, and though
                it is clearly labelled as a "second impression", I don't recall that
                the fact that it is a *corrected* edition was announced anywhere. To
                the best of my knowledge, three errors were corrected in the second
                impression:

                p. 23, col. 2, l. 2: "mutatation" > "mutation";
                p. 53, col. 1, l. 13: "_lattta_" > "_latta_";
                back cover: "haprwire" > "harpwire".

                The second impression also included a change in the phone and fax
                information on the back cover, as well as (of course) new printing
                information on the inside of the back cover.

                --
                ********************************************************************
                Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

                "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"
                "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
                "Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

                --Lewis Carroll,
                _Through the Looking-glass_
                ********************************************************************
              • fr3dr1k_s
                Arden, In VT44, p. 37 n. 3 you write: Another Quenya preposition with a similar form and meaning is _epe_ after (VT42:32), seen also in _epesse_
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 8, 2002
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                  Arden,

                  In VT44, p. 37 n. 3 you write:

                  "Another Quenya preposition with a similar form and meaning is
                  _epe_ 'after' (VT42:32), seen also in _epesse_ 'after-name'
                  (UT:266, XII:339)."

                  And on the next page Bill Welden corrects his VT42 article:
                  "_epe_ 'after'. The gloss should be 'before'."

                  Are both meanings, 'before' and 'after', attested for _epe_ in
                  Tolkien's papers?

                  /Fredrik

                  [Yes. Arden's cross-reference to _VT_ 42 was an editorial oversight, due
                  to his article being written and prepared for publication before Bill's
                  letter was submitted. The cross-reference to UT and XII, of course, remain
                  valid. Carl]
                • Fredrik
                  ... I see. May I ask, then, what was Bill s motivation to correct/change the gloss of _epe_? (Note that my question concerns the attested meaning(s) of the
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 8, 2002
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                    >"_epe_ 'after'. The gloss should be 'before'."

                    I see. May I ask, then, what was Bill's motivation to correct/change the
                    gloss of _epe_?

                    (Note that my question concerns the attested meaning(s) of the word _epe_,
                    regardless of what may be guessed from the word _epessi_.)

                    /Fredrik

                    [Short answer: Bill discovered that he'd given the wrong translation for
                    _epe_ from the source document in question. Carl]
                  • williamwelden
                    ... In the document I cited, _epe_ is clearly glossed before . As a novice to this sort of work, I glossed the word based on my (incorrect) confidence that it
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 8, 2002
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                      --- In lambengolmor@y..., Fredrik <gwaihir@s...> wrote:

                      > >"_epe_ 'after'. The gloss should be 'before'."
                      >
                      > I see. May I ask, then, what was Bill's motivation to correct/change the
                      > gloss of _epe_?

                      In the document I cited, _epe_ is clearly glossed 'before'. As a
                      novice to this sort of work, I glossed the word based on my
                      (incorrect) confidence that it meant 'after', without bothering to
                      check the reference. I have learned my lesson, and spent quite a few
                      hours looking up the references for the work I did in the latest VT.

                      --Bill
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