The _nahamna_ files
- View SourceClarification:
As I mentioned in my first post on the subject (_nahamna_) the
hypothesis outlined by me was done as a heuristic means. To see whether
it could stand, to falsify or corroborate other assumptions or simply
put facts in line.
It was not intended to dismiss the possibility of _nahamna_ == "to
hy´the". It would, however, in my opinion, show, that it, in itself, is
a possibility that cannot be affirmatively be refuted. I may not have
made that clear enough.
Why did I write it ?
1) The hypothesis is a possibility and, in my view, not absurdely
unlikely. It elaborates on Ales hinting to the connection of HAM-
"ground" with "humble" and the patent fact that it can be analysed as
2) Nothing definite can be said as of now. The discussion focused on
_nahamna_ == "to hy´the". Contrasting this assumption may show flaws or,
indeed, corroborate it.
My personal opinion about the _nahamna_ problem is:
1) I think there is a fair possibility that the assumption outlined by
me earlier is correct.
It would, then, second the possibilty that Ales mentiones in his
"Atalante Fragments" in Note 3.
Its weak spot is undoubtedly how it accounts for the OE translation.
Namely by assuming that it does not mirror the Elvish text in every
point. There are good reasons to think it does mirror it. Still, in my
eyes, the situation doesn't necessarily imply it.
Again, it is a perfectly reasonable assumption that "to hy´the"
directly represents _nahamna_. However, it remains an assumption.
2) In my eyes, the assumption that _nahamna_ reflects "to hy´the" is,
at least, as likely as the adjectival hypothesis. In this context, I
consider Ales' words "If hamna was derived from HAM-, it would mean
something like *"place for grounding/landing"" to be most significant.
_Hy´th_ in OE does not just denote a harbour/haven. It can, but is
mostly simply used for a "landing place" (that is, not necessarily a
So, indeed, it may well be analysed as _na-hamna_ (the latter being a
noun as _namna_ "statute" from root NAM- "to utter a judgement")
meaning "an instance of landing, a land-fall", and hence, "landing
place". Alternatively, _-na_ may be seen as directly deriving nomina
loci as does, apparently, _-ná_ in Sindarin (Nandorin) (cf. _Lindon_ <
Petri Tikka wrote in response to me:
>> A "glued" preposition is not a preposition at all. It's a nominalThis is a misunderstanding. A nominal prefix creates a new word per
>> prefix. While a preposition _na_ might mean the same as
>>_-nna_ a nominal prefix creates a new word.
> Not always; cf. below.
definitionem. That's what I meant.
Of course, you're right in pointing out that Tolkien sometimes runs
prepositions together with the next word. In that case, however, they
still are prepositions.
Carl Hostetter wrote:
>This presentation fails to account for a critical fact concerning theIt doesn't mention it. It accounts for it by implication, by assuming a
>first stage of the (indeed) evolving text: Tolkien's Old English
>translation accompanies only the _first_ version.
discrepancy between the first version and the OE translation. Cf. supra.
> the striking similarity of the putative element _hamna_ 'haven' toThis seems to be a recurrent theme as exemplified by KHOP- etc..
> various >Germanic cognates (of uncertain etymology) to English
> "haven", including: Icelandic _höfn_, Danish _havn_, and Swedish
Note that the Germanic etymon has been connected with PIE _*kap-_
"seize, grasp, take" (Latin _capere_ "to seize", OIrish _cachtaim_
"take captive" OHG _haft_ "ccaptivity"). Hence it would refer to a bay
in the sense of German "Einfassung".
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