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Re: Miqilis?

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  • pa2rick <pwynne@gvtel.com>
    ... This is certainly a possible interpretation of _miqilis_. However, your assumption that _all_ of the forms ending in _-lis_ in QL contain the same
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 23, 2002
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      Ales Bican wrote, responding to my interpretation of _miqilis_:

      > **While this is a very likely interpretation of _miqilis_ (and I
      > thought about it myself), it is possible that the segment _-lis_
      > is not a short variant of the (diminutive) suffix _-litse_, but it
      > is the same _-lis_ that appears in a number of Qenya
      > words in QL.

      After giving a list of these forms in _-lis_, Ales adds:

      > It seems to be some kind of abstract suffix. Hence if we have
      > _miqe_ "a kiss" and _miq-_ "to kiss" (61R), than _miqilis_
      > might mean "kissing".

      This is certainly a possible interpretation of _miqilis_. However,
      your assumption that _all_ of the forms ending in _-lis_ in QL
      contain "the same _-lis_", which is "some kind of abstract
      suffix", is far too general. In the list you provided, there appear to
      be at least _three_ different but homophonous suffixes _-lis_,
      each with a distinct application and probably a distinct
      etymology.

      [N.B. All forms in the following discussion are from QL unless
      otherwise noted.]

      Certainly in _maksilis (st)_ 'lordship', from noun-stem _maksi-_
      'hold, grip, power, possession', _-lis_ appears to be an abstract
      suffix; _sintilis (ss)_ 'a sparkling as of crystal', from _sinty-_
      'sparkle' might be another instance (though note the difference
      in the stem endings: _st_ vs. _ss_). The ending _-s_, _-sse_ is
      well-attested as an abstract noun ending in QL, which gives for
      example _meles (ss)_, _melesse_ 'love' (< _mel-_ 'to love'),
      and _piqis_, _piqisse_ 'grief' (< PIQI). A suffix _-lis_, _-lisse_
      may have been generalized from instances in which _-s_,
      _-sse_ was added to nouns ending in _-le_ -- for example,
      _siqilisse_ 'lamentation' < _siqile_ 'sighing, lament' < _siqi-_
      'sigh'.

      There also appears to be a suffix _-lis_ meaning 'land, place'.
      This appears in _arqilis_ 'desert' (*'arid land' < _arqa_ 'arid,
      parched, dry'), _Inwilis_ 'Faëry' (*'Inwir-land' < _inwe_ 'one of
      the royal house of the Eldar'), _indolis_ 'domicile' (*'house-
      place', i.e. *'place where one resides', < _indo_ 'house').
      Perhaps _lattulis_ 'window' belongs with this group too,
      meaning lit. *'shutter-place' < _lat (latt-)_ 'flap, small hinged
      door, lid' (or, if _lattu-_ is a dual, then *'place with a pair of
      shutters'). If this seems an odd etymology for 'window', it is
      hardly any odder than the etymology of English _window_
      itself, which originally meant 'wind's eye'! In these instances,
      the suffix _-lis_ might derive from the multiplicative root LI, ILI
      'many', whence _lie_ 'people, folk' -- note that even in QL, the
      word _nóre_ means both 'family' and 'country, nation'.

      Finally, there are instances in which _-lis_ appears to be a
      diminutive. The clearest example is _turinqilis_ 'princess',
      probably lit. *'little queen' < _turinqi_ 'queen'. Another possible
      example is _qindelis_ 'a nun', in which the diminutive ending
      acts as a particularizing or singular ending when added to the
      collective noun _qinde_ 'women as a whole'. In these forms
      (as perhaps in _miqilis_), the ending _-lis_ might be a
      reduction of _-litse_. The suffix _-litse_ itself appears to contain
      two distinct elements, the first of which is diminutive _-l_, _-il_,
      seen in forms such as _katl_, _kakil_ 'chuckle' (i.e. *'a little
      laugh' < _kaka-_ 'laugh'), _lipil_ 'a tiny glass' (< LIPI),
      _Elwenillo_ 'Littleheart' (< _elwen_ 'heart'), and probably
      _turillo_ 'prince' (*'little king') and _turille_ 'princess' (*'little
      queen'). The element _-tse_ apparently serves as a diminutive
      or hypocoristic in such forms as _melitse_ 'darling' (< _mel-_
      'to love'), _eulitse_ (< _eule_ 'lamb'), and _heritse_ term
      applied to "an Inwe" (< _heri_ 'Lady').

      -- Patrick Wynne
    • Ales Bican
      ... **I am aware of this. I should have made myself more clear, because I did not mean to imply that the suffix _-lis_ was always the same suffix in all those
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 27, 2002
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        I wrote:

        > > It seems to be some kind of abstract suffix. Hence if we have
        > > _miqe_ "a kiss" and _miq-_ "to kiss" (61R), than _miqilis_
        > > might mean "kissing".

        Patrick responded:

        > This is certainly a possible interpretation of _miqilis_. However,
        > your assumption that _all_ of the forms ending in _-lis_ in QL
        > contain "the same _-lis_", which is "some kind of abstract
        > suffix", is far too general.

        **I am aware of this. I should have made myself more clear, because
        I did not mean to imply that the suffix _-lis_ was always the same
        suffix in all those words.

        The message I sent to the lambengolmor list was the second version of
        my response. In the first version, which was meant to be sent to
        Elfling (that is why I also sent my reply to Elfling in the end), I
        suggested the possible connection of _miqilis_ with _miqilitse_ and
        discussed the suffix _-lis_. Since Patrick was quicker than me, I
        restricted the second version only on the suffix _-lis_. I thought
        it would be convenient to cite all instances of words ending in
        _-lis_.

        Since I saw that we may deal with several homophonous suffixes, I
        just wrote that it is some kind of abstract suffix.

        > In the list you provided, there appear to
        > be at least _three_ different but homophonous suffixes _-lis_,
        > each with a distinct application and probably a distinct
        > etymology.

        **There is yet another one: _-is_ in _niqilis_ "fine snow" (66L) which
        is from _is (iss-)_ "light snow" (43R).

        [This analysis of the form does not explain the _-l-_. It seems
        to me that the form is instead to be analyzed as _niqi-_ 'snow' + the
        (now familiar to us all!) diminutive ending _-lis_ 'fine'. Carl]

        > [N.B. All forms in the following discussion are from QL unless
        > otherwise noted.]

        **Page numbers would be welcome.

        [But not really necessary when citing (esp. a large number of) forms
        from the Lexicons, which are arranged alphabetically, with alphabetic
        cross-references. Carl]

        > Certainly in _maksilis (st)_ 'lordship', from noun-stem _maksi-_
        > 'hold, grip, power, possession', _-lis_ appears to be an abstract
        > suffix; _sintilis (ss)_ 'a sparkling as of crystal', from _sinty-_
        > 'sparkle' might be another instance (though note the difference
        > in the stem endings: _st_ vs. _ss_). The ending _-s_, _-sse_ is
        > well-attested as an abstract noun ending in QL, which gives for
        > example _meles (ss)_, _melesse_ 'love' (< _mel-_ 'to love'),
        > and _piqis_, _piqisse_ 'grief' (< PIQI).

        **We may deal with at least three abstract suffixes: _-sse_, _-sta_
        and _-ste_. The second is not very common: _piqesta_ "bitterness"
        (74L). Perhaps the same _-sta_ is found in _qindesta_ "convent"
        (77R), perhaps meaning something like "a collection/group of women/
        nuns" (see below). As regards _-ste_: _rauste_ "hunting, preying" from
        RAWA/RAVA *"run, chase" (79L, R); _seste_ "similarity" from _se_
        "as, like"; _teluste_ "extremity" from _telu_ "end, close; to finish,
        to end" (91L). All three suffixes seem to have a short variant _-s_.

        > There also appears to be a suffix _-lis_ meaning 'land, place'.
        > This appears in _arqilis_ 'desert' (*'arid land' < _arqa_ 'arid,
        > parched, dry'), _Inwilis_ 'Faëry' (*'Inwir-land' < _inwe_ 'one of
        > the royal house of the Eldar'), _indolis_ 'domicile' (*'house-
        > place', i.e. *'place where one resides', < _indo_ 'house').
        > Perhaps _lattulis_ 'window' belongs with this group too,
        > meaning lit. *'shutter-place' < _lat (latt-)_ 'flap, small hinged
        > door, lid' (or, if _lattu-_ is a dual, then *'place with a pair of
        > shutters').

        **This is certainly possible. However, I am not quite sure about
        these ones. I think it might be possible that _-lis_ in these cases
        is still the same abstract _-lis_, though the final derivatives are
        not abstracts any longer.

        _arqilis_ might be *"dryness, aridness"; it is possible that this
        abstract was used for "desert" (Czech 'poust' "desert", related to adj.
        'pusty' "waste, desert", is in fact "waste-ness, desert-ness").
        The same with _Inwilis_: it might be *"Inwe-ness", hence "Faëry".
        In case of _lattulis_, since it is related words are _lá_ "open
        space", _láta-_ "stread, extend" and _latsina_ "open, level, broad"
        (50R), it might be "open-ness, spread-ness". I like, however, the
        idea of the dual, though it does not explain homonym _lattin_ (51R).

        > If this seems an odd etymology for 'window', it is
        > hardly any odder than the etymology of English _window_
        > itself, which originally meant 'wind's eye'!

        **'wind's eye' is not at all odd. Czech 'okno' "window" is related
        to 'oko' "eye". Cf. also Sanskrit 'gavákSa-' literally meaning
        "bull's eye".

        [Most English speakers have no knowledge of the origin of "window",
        since it has no apparent formal relationship to "eye". It is indeed
        an odd fact, when first learned. Carl]

        > Finally, there are instances in which _-lis_ appears to be a
        > diminutive. The clearest example is _turinqilis_ 'princess',
        > probably lit. *'little queen' < _turinqi_ 'queen'. Another possible
        > example is _qindelis_ 'a nun', in which the diminutive ending
        > acts as a particularizing or singular ending when added to the
        > collective noun _qinde_ 'women as a whole'.

        **While I agree with the interpretation of _turinqilis_, I am not
        quite sure about _qindelis_. First of all there is the fact you
        mention, sc. that _qinde_ is a collective while _qindelis_ is just
        one nun. However, this would not such a big problem -- more problematic
        is that _qinde_ by itself probably means "nun(s)", cf. _i.aira qinde_
        "nuns" (lit. *"holy women") and _qindesta_ "convent" (*"group
        of nuns"?; 77R). Another question is why it was not derived directly
        from _qin_ "woman, female".

        > In these forms
        > (as perhaps in _miqilis_), the ending _-lis_ might be a
        > reduction of _-litse_. The suffix _-litse_ itself appears to contain
        > two distinct elements, the first of which is diminutive _-l_, _-il_,
        > seen in forms such as _katl_, _kakil_ 'chuckle' (i.e. *'a little
        > laugh' < _kaka-_ 'laugh'), _lipil_ 'a tiny glass' (< LIPI),
        > _Elwenillo_ 'Littleheart' (< _elwen_ 'heart'), and probably
        > _turillo_ 'prince' (*'little king') and _turille_ 'princess' (*'little
        > queen').

        **Seen also in _qimelle_ "little woman" (77L) and comparable to _-le_
        in _nen-le_ "brook" (Etym s.v. NEN).

        > The element _-tse_ apparently serves as a diminutive
        > or hypocoristic in such forms as _melitse_ 'darling' (< _mel-_
        > 'to love'), _eulitse_ (< _eule_ 'lamb'), and _heritse_ term
        > applied to "an Inwe" (< _heri_ 'Lady').

        **While it is possible that _-tse_ serves as a diminutive or
        hypocoristic suffix, I do not think it is the case in examples cited.
        _-tse_ in _melitse_, _heritse_ and probably even in _eulitse_ is,
        in my opinion, a feminine suffix.

        A short variant of this suffix would be seen in _aris, arits-_
        "daughter, maid", derived from _ar_ "child" (32L). Other instances
        of this may be _akairis_ "bride" (46L) and perhaps _kargaris_ "spider"
        ("she-spider"?; 45L).

        A variant of this suffix is apparently _-ss(e)_, because _akairiss-_
        alternates with _akairits-_. Another, similar, suffix is _-ste_, seen in
        _Teleste_ "she little elf" (91L).

        Hence _melitse_ might be "she-darling", _eulitse_ "she-lamb" and
        in case of _heritse_ feminineness would be multiplied (though here
        _-tse_ is most likely to be a hypocoristic suffix).

        Ales Bican

        [I see nothing necessarily or even apparently feminine about 'darling'
        (which is itself in origin a diminutive form, 'little dear', as for
        _mel(i)-_ + _-(li)tse_); nor about 'lamb'. But both are clearly
        diminutive. It is not uncommon that diminutive endings are applied to
        specifically feminine forms; but that does not make the diminutive ending
        necessarily feminine. While interjecting, I'll also note that it may be
        that the ending in all these cases is in fact _-litse_ (not _-tse_), with
        syncope of *_-lilitse_ > _-litse_ in _melitse_ and _eulitse_, and of *_-
        rilitse_ > _-ritse_in _heritse_. Carl]

        --
        Words are useless, especially sentences, they don't stand for anything,
        how could they explain how I feel? (Madonna, _Bedtime Story_)
      • Ales Bican
        ... **However, the problem is that _niqi-_ is rather white than snow . We have base NIQI white and derivatives _ninqe_ white , _niqis (ss)_ (_niqi-_
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 28, 2002
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          I wrote:

          > **There is yet another one: _-is_ in _niqilis_ "fine snow" (66L) which
          > is from _is (iss-)_ "light snow" (43R).

          Carl responded:

          > [This analysis of the form does not explain the _-l-_. It seems
          > to me that the form is instead to be analyzed as _niqi-_ 'snow' + the
          > (now familiar to us all!) diminutive ending _-lis_ 'fine'. Carl]

          **However, the problem is that _niqi-_ is rather "white" than "snow".
          We have base NIQI "white" and derivatives _ninqe_ "white", _niqis (ss)_
          (_niqi-_ "white" + _is_ "(light) snow"). As regards the _-l-_, it might
          be a diminutive affix (cf. _katl_ "chuckle" Patrick mentioned) or an
          adjective marker.

          [Actually, the _root_ NIQI means 'white'; but among the derivatives of
          NIQI are many forms in _niqi-_ meaning 'snow'; while 'white' itself is
          _ninqe_. Carl]

          > > [N.B. All forms in the following discussion are from QL unless
          > > otherwise noted.]
          >
          > **Page numbers would be welcome.
          >
          > [But not really necessary when citing (esp. a large number of) forms
          > from the Lexicons, which are arranged alphabetically, with alphabetic
          > cross-references. Carl]

          **Sure, but words would be easier to locate. I had, for instance,
          problems with _Elwenillo_. And I must note, it was *not* an objection
          or complaint.

          [I would myself tend to give the page numbers, so no argument here. But
          I do understand Pat's reason for omitting them from Lexicon references,
          and wouldn't reject a post for not using them in that case. Carl]

          > **'wind's eye' is not at all odd. Czech 'okno' "window" is related
          > to 'oko' "eye". Cf. also Sanskrit 'gavákSa-' literally meaning
          > "bull's eye".
          >
          > [Most English speakers have no knowledge of the origin of "window",
          > since it has no apparent formal relationship to "eye". It is indeed
          > an odd fact, when first learned. Carl]

          **I had not either, until I read Patrick's post. What I meant is that
          it is not odd that words for "window" were connected with words for
          "eye".

          Carl commented my suggested analysis of _eulitse_ and _melitse_:

          > [I see nothing necessarily or even apparently feminine about 'darling'
          > (which is itself in origin a diminutive form, 'little dear', as for
          > _mel(i)-_ + _-(li)tse_); nor about 'lamb'. But both are clearly
          > diminutive.

          **You may be right, but since I am not sure I wrote that these words
          might be analyzed thus and thus. I would not say they are clearly
          diminutive and I thought this was your objection about David Salo's
          attitude toward _Elpino_.

          [But they _are_ diminutive: I mean, 'darling' (< 'dear-ling' =
          'little dear') and 'lamb' = 'little sheep' _are_ diminutives. Carl]

          At any rate, I see something feminine in "darling" and especially in
          _melitse_. I do not know but I would rather imagine a woman as a
          darling than a man, but sure I am a man. : ) Anyway, MELE seems
          to be somewhat connected with feminines, cf. _mella_ "girl", which is
          probably just *"beloved". And there is another thing I overlooked last
          time. There is an adjective _melitsa_ "beloved, favourite". It is
          possible that _melitse_ is derived from this adjective. In that case
          the final _e_ would more likely be a feminine marker than a
          masculine one.

          [I can only say that I more often hear women call men "darling" than
          vice versa. Carl]

          As regards _eulitse_, it is unglossed in QL, so my interpretation was
          necessarily a guess. This may not be your case, of course.

          [I followed your lead on that; I know nothing more than what is in QL.
          Carl]

          > It is not uncommon that diminutive endings are applied to
          > specifically feminine forms; but that does not make the diminutive ending
          > necessarily feminine. While interjecting, I'll also note that it may be
          > that the ending in all these cases is in fact _-litse_ (not _-tse_), with
          > syncope of *_-lilitse_ > _-litse_ in _melitse_ and _eulitse_, and of *_-
          > rilitse_ > _-ritse_in _heritse_. Carl]

          **That is certainly possible. (By the way, the change you mention here
          is normally called haplology, not syncope, if I am not mistaken, but I
          understood what you meant.)

          [Re: haplology: quite right. The term eluded me at the time, for some
          reason. Carl]


          Ales Bican

          --
          Words are useless, especially sentences, they don't stand for anything,
          how could they explain how I feel? (Madonna, _Bedtime Story_)
        • Ales Bican
          ... **Well, the whole entry goes like this: NIQI white _ninqe (i)_ white. _niqis (ss)_ snow. _niqissea_ snowy. _niqilis_ fine snow. _niqileninqe_ snow-white.
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 3, 2003
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            I wrote:

            > **However, the problem is that _niqi-_ is rather "white" than "snow".
            > We have base NIQI "white" and derivatives _ninqe_ "white", _niqis (ss)_
            > (_niqi-_ "white" + _is_ "(light) snow").

            Carl responded:

            > [Actually, the _root_ NIQI means 'white'; but among the derivatives of
            > NIQI are many forms in _niqi-_ meaning 'snow'; while 'white' itself is
            > _ninqe_. Carl]

            **Well, the whole entry goes like this:
            NIQI white
            _ninqe (i)_ white.
            _niqis (ss)_ snow.
            _niqissea_ snowy.
            _niqilis_ fine snow.
            _niqileninqe_ snow-white.
            _niqetil (d), niqetilde_ snow-cap.
            _niqisya, niqista-_ to snow. [pret. _-stine_ or _-stane_.
            _nikte-_ to whiten, cleanse. [_niqente_.

            As far as I can see the only speculative word is _niqileninqe_ "snow-
            white"; the others can be more or less easily explained as containing
            the element _niq(i)_ meaning "white".

            First of all there is _ninqe_ "white", then _niqis_, presumably _niq(i)
            + is_ "white + snow"; _niqissea_ would be an adjectival derivative
            thereof; _niqisya_ and _niqista_ seem to be verbal derivatives thereof
            (_niqis + ya/ta_). _nikte-_ seems to be _niq + te_, showing the change
            _q_ > _k_ before _t_.

            As regards _niqetil(de)_, although it is translated as "snow-cap", I
            think it is not a literal translation but rather an English idiom
            (though I was not able to find it my dictionary; I found only
            'snow-capped'). _tilde_ is translated as "point" and "tip, peak" in
            QL resp. PME (QL:92R). I believe _niqetil_ means just "white-peak"
            (cf. Tolkien's statement in _Quendi and Eldar_: "_nique_ does not
            refer to snow" (WJ:417), thought this may not be relevant, since the
            underlying base _nique_ (_niku-_) was reinterpreted).

            So except for the dubious _niqilis_ we are left with _niqileninqe_
            "snow-white". I think it is safe to say that the segment _ninqe_ is
            the same as _ninqe_ "white". If the translation "snow-white" is
            (which may not be the case, though) a literal one, then _niqele-_
            would be "snow". In that case it might be just "whiteness", sc.
            "snow", if _-le_ is an abstract suffix.

            This is my view and it may not be the best one. I am eager to see
            yours (Carl's), and for that matter any other else's.

            [My own view is that _niqi-_ does in fact mean 'snow', as a concrete
            noun derived ultimately from, but not sharing precisely the same meaning
            as, the primitive root NIQI 'white' with abstract meaning. This view, in
            my opinion, more succinctly explains the derivative given, and avoid the
            gymnastics required to develop an explanation for such words as
            _niqileniqe_ 'snow-white' and _niqetilde_ 'snow-cap' if one assumes that
            the reflex _niqi-_ must have the same meaning as the root. Carl]

            > **Sure, but words would be easier to locate. I had, for instance,
            > problems with _Elwenillo_. And I must note, it was *not* an objection
            > or complaint.
            >
            > [I would myself tend to give the page numbers, so no argument here. But
            > I do understand Pat's reason for omitting them from Lexicon references,
            > and wouldn't reject a post for not using them in that case. Carl]

            **I understand it, too. As I said, it was not any complaint or
            objection. I think I should have formulated it otherwise, since my aim
            was just to ask for page numbers, since it would ease my searching.
            And I certainly did not want to imply that posts without references
            should be rejected (I am against rejecting, anyway).

            > **You may be right, but since I am not sure I wrote that these words
            > might be analyzed thus and thus. I would not say they are clearly
            > diminutive and I thought this was your objection about David Salo's
            > attitude toward _Elpino_.
            >
            > [But they _are_ diminutive: I mean, 'darling' (< 'dear-ling' =
            > 'little dear') and 'lamb' = 'little sheep' _are_ diminutives. Carl]

            **I see: you meant the English words. We misunderstood. However,
            I would not call 'lamb' a diminutive, just as I would not call "child"
            a diminutive, because it is 'little human'.

            Another problem is that it is _eule_ that means "lamb"; _eulitse_
            would be then "little lamb" if it was a diminutive.

            It must be pointed out that there is a gap is my theory that _eulitse_
            is a feminine form: if it is, why its masculine counterpart was not
            mentioned? One possible answer may be that _eule_ covers both
            "he-lamb" and "lamb in general". Another answer may be that the
            entry EWE is not finished or written hastily. Are there any indications
            of this in Tolkien's manuscript?

            [I'll check this when I get a chance, and let you know. Carl]

            > As regards _eulitse_, it is unglossed in QL, so my interpretation was
            > necessarily a guess. This may not be your case, of course.
            >
            > [I followed your lead on that; I know nothing more than what is in QL.
            > Carl]

            **Ok, though I find it strange that Tolkien did not write anything which
            could shed more light on _eulitse_.


            Ales Bican

            --
            Words are useless, especially sentences, they don't stand for anything,
            how could they explain how I feel? (Madonna, _Bedtime Story_)
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