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Re: Q. _Tarantar_ 'Trotter'

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  • Petri Tikka
    ... Another possibility, beside the ones you mentioned, for its etymology might be TA3- high, lofty, noble (V:389) + _anta-_ to present, give (V:348),
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 31, 2003
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      Patrick H. Wynne tence:

      > I was recently asked by Michael Urban if I had any idea on
      > what the etymology of _Tarantar_ 'Strider' might be, and I thought I
      > might share the results of my investigation into this name with the
      > Lambengolmor, in order to get some educated feedback. Words
      > discussed are in Quenya unless otherwise noted.

      Another possibility, beside the ones you mentioned, for its etymology
      might be TA3- "high, lofty, noble" (V:389) + _anta-_ "to present, give"
      (V:348), derived from NA- "to, towards". So it might ultimately
      mean "go towards height". Although it does not seem very applicable
      to "trotting" (though it is movement also), it could have a suitable side
      meaning (Aragorn's rise to power and his generousity as a king), fitting
      Aragorn's description of it not sounding so ill in the high tongue
      (LR:845). Though all this is a little bit far-fetched, I know.

      [I have to agree with your own assessment in the last sentence,
      if you'll pardon my saying! ;-) On the other hand, it's always useful
      to examine a wide variety of possibilities in matters such as this.
      -- PHW]

      > Whatever the source of *TARAT-, a root of this form should yield a Q.
      > verb _*tarta-_ 'to trot'. With nasal infixion this would yield a stem
      > _*taranta-_ : compare the manner of nasal infixion in such
      > structurally similar words as _atalante_ 'the Downfallen' (IX:247),
      > _Atalantie_ 'Downfall' (L:347) < _talta-_ 'slip, slide down,
      > collapse' (MC:223); and _oante_ < _áwa-n-tê_, pa.t. of _auta-_
      > 'go away' (XI:366). With addition of agentive _-r_, this
      > nasal-infixed stem _*tara-n-ta-_ would yield our _Tarantar_ 'Trotter'.

      Cf. also _vanta-_ "to walk" < BAT- "tread" (LR: 351-2). This might,
      beside nasal infixion, be an instance of metathesis between from
      _-tn_, i.e. _*-nta-_ < _*-tna-_ < _-t-_ + _-na_ verbal ending (cf.
      _faina-_ "to emit light" < PHAY- "radiate, sent out rays of light,
      LR:381).

      The examples you cite of nasal infixion have both something to do with
      past (_downfallEN_, pa.t.), while agentality is something, if associated
      with a specific time at all, connected with the future. I would thus
      consider nasal infixion examples rather far-fetched to explain _-nt-_
      in _Tarantar_, if it derives from *TARAT- 'to beat the ground rapidly
      with the feet' < TARA (2) 'batter, thud, beat' (PE12:89). It might have
      the verbal ending _-na_, cf. the examples above. But the problem with
      this is that the word would have two, not just one, markers of
      verbality beside the meaning of the stem.

      Petri Tikka Helsinki, Finland
      kari.j.tikka@...
      http://www.geocities.com/petristikka/

      [Indeed, the cited examples of nasal infixion refer to the past tense.
      However, I was citing them to demonstrate the manner in which
      nasal infixion occurred in triconsonantal stems of the form CvCvC:
      thus TALÁT- yielded the nasal-infixed form _atala-n-te_. Similarly,
      nasal infixion of a stem *TARAT- (whatever the purpose of the
      nasal infixion might be) would yield the form _*tara-n-t-_. This
      does not mean that the nasal infixion in _*tarant-_ would have
      to connote the past tense -- as the examples _*la(n)sro-ndo_
      'hearer, listener' < LAS- and _*kwentro_ 'narrator' < KWET- show,
      nasal infixion of biconsonantal stems in agentive forms is an
      attested phenomenon, and I am proposing that _tarant-_ in
      agentive _Tarantar_ might be an example of this same agentive
      nasal-infixion occurring in a triconsonantal stem, *TARAT-.
      In these forms the nasal infix marks agentality, not tense.

      Also, on what do you base the statement that "agentality is
      something, if associated with a specific time at all, connected
      with the future"? I doubt that this is true of language in
      general, or Elvish in particular. At least, that's not the way
      another favorite conlang of mine, Esperanto, works -- the
      agentives _parolanto_, _parolinto_, _parolonto_ can all be
      glossed in English as 'speaker', but literally mean 'one who
      is speaking', 'one who has spoken', and 'one who is going
      to speak' respectively. Some inventive souls have even
      proposed forms such as _parolunto_ 'one who would speak'!

      -- Patrick H. Wynne]
    • David Kiltz
      ... It would seem to me that we re not dealing with an (otherwise unattested, AFAIK) extension by a preceding syllable but rather with a kind of mirror root :
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 31, 2003
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        On Montag, März 31, 2003, at 03:03 Uhr, Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

        > the Etym. hints at some sort of relationship
        > between DAT-, DANT- 'fall down' and TALÁT- 'to slope, lean, tip' [...]
        > Perhaps we are to suppose from this that DAT- 'fall down' > LAT- >
        > TALÁT- 'slope,
        > lean, tip'? Extended forms of biconsonantal roots almost always
        > involve the addition of a _following_ syllable (-vC) rather than a
        > _preceding_ syllable (Cv-)...

        It would seem to me that we're not dealing with an (otherwise
        unattested, AFAIK) extension by a preceding syllable but rather with a
        kind of "mirror root": DAT-, TAD- > Q. _lat-_, _tal_.
        The latter can also be seen in _talta-_ with sundóma taina +t extension
        [MC:223].

        A similar case is the root DEL- LED- it would seem. In [XI:363] Tolkien
        writes: "In Quenya *_del_ seems to have become *_led_ by dissimilation.
        The past form clearly shows *_led_, while _lelya_ may also be derived
        from *_ledja_, since _dj_ became _lj_ medially in Quenya."
        I'm not exactly sure where the dissimilation is supposed to have
        occured. _del_ > _led_ as such, certainly isn't a dissimilation but
        would, as such, look like a metathesis.

        Whether DAT- exhibits a similar kind of dissimilation or whether
        something like a "mirror root " is involved, it seems fair to connect
        _lat-_ with _tal-_, as Patrick suggests.

        [I rather prefer your explanaton of the relationship between DAT-
        and TALÁT- to my own. Another example of a "mirror root" in the
        Etym. itself is DAL- 'flat', said to be "variant or alteration of LAD"
        (V:353). -- PHW]

        > Q. _Tarantar_ 'Trotter' points to an unattested root *TARAT-.

        Maybe, and this is very hypothetical, agental formations in _-r(o)_ are
        formed in two different ways from stems CVCta-: Just by adding _-r(o)_
        when the element "t" is the causative suffix _-tá_ and by adding
        _-r(o)_ + nasal infixion when it derives from a _Vt_ extension.
        _Envinyatar_ "Renewer" is a good example for the former. The
        word in question might be one for the latter.

        [Quite a plausible possibility, I'd say. -- PHW]

        David Kiltz


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ales Bican
        ... [snip; Patrick goes on trying to find out the origin of the word, mentioning this:] ... **It may be just a coincidence, but the name _Tarantar_ is similar
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 31, 2003
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          "Patrick H. Wynne" wrote:

          > In the typescript text "C" of the Epilogue to _The Lord of the
          > Rings_, "the letter of the King ... begins _Aragorn Tarantar_ (at
          > which Sam explains 'that's Trotter') _Arathornsson_ &c." (IX:121).
          > _Tarantar_ was subsequently altered on the typescript to the
          > now-familiar _Telcontar_, and Sam's gloss changed to 'that's
          > Strider'.

          [snip; Patrick goes on trying to find out the origin of the word,
          mentioning this:]

          > Q. _Tarantar_ 'Trotter' points to an unattested root *TARAT-. QL gives
          > TARA (2) 'batter, thud, beat' (PE12:89), and assuming that this root
          > survived into the 1950s, it might have yielded an extended form
          > *TARAT-, perhaps 'to beat the ground rapidly with the feet'.

          **It may be just a coincidence, but the name _Tarantar_ is similar
          to its descendant _Telcontar_. I know there were various discussions
          on the origin of the latter, but I do not remember all suggestions and
          theories.

          My opinion is that _Telcontar_ is to be segmented to _telco_ "leg"
          (see Etym s.v. TELEK), _nta_ verbal formant, _r_ agentive suffix.
          While both _telco_ and _r_ are well-known, the _nta_ element does
          not seem to occur much in the corpus -- we see another verbal formant
          _ta_ instead. Yet it cannot be said it is not found, because the form
          _nta_ is apparently a variant of _ta_ -- or was at least in QL. This
          can be nicely demonstrated on _paimeta-_ and _paimenta-_ "exact or
          inflict a penalty, punish", derived from _paime_ "the vengeance taken,
          the punishment, the penalty. -- an infliction" (p. 72).

          [Another possible example of _nta_ as a verbal formant
          was pointed out in Carl F. Hostetter's analysis of _Telcontar_ in
          VT31:33: _alkantam�ren_ '[they] made it shine' (MC:216) < AKLA-
          'shine' (V:362 s.v. KAL-). Cf. also the noun _alka_ 'ray of light'
          (V:348). -- PHW]

          Likewise, we could devide _Tarantar_ to _tar(a)_ ?, _nta_ verbal
          formant, _r_ agentive suffix. However, we do not know the origin of
          _tar(a)_. Patrick mentions the base TARA (2) from QL, but I think a
          more likely QL base is TARA (1). The meaning of this base is not
          given, but the verb _tara-_ given under the entry means "cross, go
          athwart, cross rivers, etc.". Although it is not exactly the same,
          the meaning is close to "to trot".

          Let me note that the base THAR "across, beyond" from Etym is probably
          a reflex of TARA (1) from QL. This does not, however, mean that TARA
          itself is obsolete and was replaced by THAR. Cf. bases TIN and THIN
          in Etym: they are suggested to be related.

          Yet, this base does not have to be necessarily the origin or _tar(a)_,
          Tolkien might have created another base. Just an idea.


          Ales Bican
        • Patrick H. Wynne
          I have received an e-mail from Milan Rezac, who pointed out that there is an explicit statement by Tolkien on the topic of nasal infixion and agentives to be
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 31, 2003
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            I have received an e-mail from Milan Rezac, who pointed out that
            there is an explicit statement by Tolkien on the topic of nasal
            infixion and agentives to be found in "Quendi and Eldar" (XI:317):

            "An old derivative of _*aba-_ as a quasi-verbal stem was _*abaro_ >
            CE _*abar_. This was an old agental formation, as seen also in
            _Teler_, pl. _Teleri_, made with the suffix _-ro_, added to
            _ómataina_. (Other forms of this suffix were _-rô_ added to
            stem, with or without _n_-infixion; and _-rdo_ > _rd_.)"

            I completely overlooked this statement when preparing my comments on
            _Tarantar_, and my thanks to Milan for pointing it out. The fact that
            agentive suffix _-rô_ was "added to stem, with or without
            _n_-infixion" would seem to support the possibility of a stem *TARAT-
            'to trot' > agentive _*tarantarô_ or _*tarantrô_ (cf.
            _*kwentro_) > _Tarantar_ 'Trotter' (perhaps itself a shortening of
            earlier _*Tarantaro_, with the final _-o_ dropped on analogy with
            agentives such as _Avar_ 'recusant, one who refuses to act as advised
            or commanded' (XI:371), _Teler_, _Envinyatar_ 'Renewer', etc.

            -- Patrick H. Wynne
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