The Telerin word "gâialâ"
- In XII:363, Tolkien mentions a Telerin adjective _gâialâ_ (the source
has macrons) equivalent in sense to the Quenya _aika_ "fell, terrible,
dire" (XII:347 for the translation). The form of it is somewhat
strange, since it preserves a long final vowel, shortened in other
words of similar shape: on the same page (XII:363) we have T _arâta_
from an implicitly Common Eldarin form _arâta_, and T _gâia_ from CE
_*gâyâ_ "terror, great fear" (Tolkien's reconstruction), the very
noun on which _gâialâ_ is based.
True, it is not exactly the only Telerin word with a final long
vowel: there is also _abá_ (XI:371) expressing prohibition or
refusal. But that is a rather special word, and does not seem to be a
normal, independent item: it is described as an exclamation, a
particle, a prefix (XI:370). Its Quenya cognate _avá_ is quite
peculiar too; Tolkien even mentions that it was stressed on the last
syllable, in exception to the general rule for disyllabic words.
It can also be observed that the Sindarin word _goeol_ given just
after _gâialâ_, apparently meant to be the S cognate of the T word,
points towards a Common Telerin prototype *gâyâlâ (my reconstruction)
through an intermediate pre-Sindarin form *gôiôla (ô stands for a long
Seeing this, I wonder if _gâialâ_ is not a scribal mistake for
*gâiâla, Tolkien inadvertantly putting a macron on the third rather
than the second a? Or do we see here a specifically Telerin
phenomenon, a kind of "switch in quantities" (does such a thing
exist ?) ?
- tchitrec <Tchitrec@...> wrote:
> Seeing this, I wonder if _gâialâ_ is not a scribal mistake forWhether a switch in quantities exists in the Tolkien langauges or not,
> *gâiâla, Tolkien inadvertantly putting a macron on the third
> rather than the second a? Or do we see here a specifically Telerin
> phenomenon, a kind of "switch in quantities" (does such a thing
> exist ?) ?
> Bertrand Bellet
it certainly does in classic Attic: Menélêos regularly becomes Menéleôs
(the circumflex here replacing the long vowel letters and the accent
being denoted by the acute - a form like Meneleôs could not originally
be accented Menéleôs, but Menelêos could be accented Menélêos and
kept its accent after the switch in quantity, the metathesis quantitatis).
Hans Georg Lundahl
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- --- In email@example.com, "tchitrec" <Tchitrec@a...> wrote:
> I wonder if _gâialâ_ is not a scribal mistake for *gâiâla, TolkienProbabaly it is a typo (not a scribal error of Tolkien) for _gâiala_.
> inadvertantly putting a macron on the third rather than the second a?
In such difficult matters, the typos are not a rare find, and are most
[There certainly are typographical errors in the published texts, but in
fact they are surprisingly few, considering the nature of the texts and
the fact that the vast majority of the texts were typeset by publishers
with no linguistic training to speak of. CFH]
For example, _Peoples of Middle-earth_ has a few typos: as on p. 392
_Nôwê_ but Index p. 470 _Nôwë_; which is most probably the correct
spelling. Or is it? It is said to be "archaic" in form (ibid. p. 392).
It could be a "Common Telerin" form with a long final vowel.