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Re: Prepositional complements (and some later remarks)

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  • Hans
    I m sorry, but I think the moderators are right: we should return to JRRT. In fact, Russian has FAR MORE passive constructions, than English! The reflexive
    Message 1 of 11 , May 16, 2003
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      I'm sorry, but I think the moderators are right: we should return to JRRT. In fact,
      Russian has FAR MORE passive constructions, than English! The reflexive
      construction for passive IS used often, and there are two passive participles
      (past and present), not one as in English or German. But that's off topic,
      indeed.

      So let's resume after David's "What are prepositions and how did they work
      historically ?", looking at JRRT's notions. He often called them (or the particles
      from which they evolved) "adverbial elements". Just a few examples:

      Q&E, root *AWA. Adverbs _oa_, _oar_, survived in Sindarin as a preposition
      _o_ (from, of) (XI:366).

      *HO: "ancient adverbial element, occurring principially as a proclitic or enclitic",
      it was the origin of a verbal prefix or a case-marker _-o_ (XI:368).

      *WO: the origin of a verbal prefix, not surviving as a word according to Q&E
      (XI:367), but obviously the origin of the preposition _ó/o_ mentioned in the earlier
      translations of prayers (VT43:29).

      From Adunaic (at the same time that Tolkien played with pronominal prefixes
      in Quenya): the normal case of nouns (zero marking) is also "the base to which
      certain adverbial 'prepositional' affixes are added; such as _ô_ 'from', _ad_, _ada_
      'towards', _mâ_ 'with', _zê_ 'at'." (IX:429). This is extremely interesting, because
      all of it has obvious parallels in Quenya. Remember the suffix _-ma_ for
      instruments with which you do something, or _má_ 'hand'. Remember the
      preposition _sê_ 'at' (VT43:30), or the locative ending _-sse_, which appeared
      as _-ze_ occasionally.

      Since prepositions modify the relation of a verb to its object, they ARE adverbial.
      This relation could as well be described by an inflection of the object (and the
      role of objects IS usually marked by inflections), so they are redundant, in principle.
      BUT redundancy is built into language naturally. Moreover, inflections have a tendency
      of fading away in languages like the modern Germanic or Romance languages or
      Sindarin. Then, the burden lays more and more heavily on the adverbial particles
      placed between verb and object, and so they become PREPOSITIONS, i.e. words
      PLACED BEFORE objects. Of course, they can have this role before, in heavily
      inflected languages like Russian or Latin or Quenya. They are connected with
      objects, however, with inflected nouns or pronouns, and since they (for semantic
      reasons) combine only with certain inflections, a synchronic view may be that
      they "govern" a case, or that the object is the object of a preposition. No, they
      don't/aren't, the defining factor is the verb and its relation to the object.

      Hans
    • David Kiltz
      ... This refers probably to the genitive in _-o_, pl _-on_ and probably also the ablative _-Vllo_. In the latter case, _3o_ or _ho_ is assimilated to the
      Message 2 of 11 , May 22, 2003
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        On Freitag, Mai 16, 2003, at 10:39 Uhr, Hans wrote:

        > *HO: "ancient adverbial element, occurring principially as a proclitic
        > or enclitic",
        > it was the origin of a verbal prefix or a case-marker _-o_ (XI:368).

        This refers probably to the genitive in _-o_, pl _-on_ and probably
        also the "ablative" _-Vllo_. In the latter case, _3o_ or _ho_ is
        assimilated to the shorter form _-Vl_ (cf. Entu, Ensi, Enta Declension
        VT36:8). _-o(n)_ is attached to the noun either in singular or plural
        respectively. But is it attached to a specific case ? The question,
        perhaps, can be answered by looking at the chart of the Entu, Ensi,
        Enta declension. The first three lines run thus:

        1) entu ensi enta en
        2) ento ente enta en
        3) ento ente etta enda.

        The authors of VT36 take the first line to represent the nominative on
        the ground of general considerations. I.e., conventionally, the nom. is
        written first in any chart. The second row, then, is taken to represent
        the forms of the acc. Lastly, the third row is considered as
        representing an alternative genitive.

        While I agree on the first row, I do not think the interpretation of
        the 2. and 3. row likely.

        Firstly, the difference between 1 and 2 in masc, and fem., namely
        _-tu_, _-si(<ti)_ vs _-to_, _-te_ finds its exact correspondents in the
        demonstratives _su/so_. _si/se_ (cf. Et:385 sub S-). The entry in the
        Etymologies indicates that the distinction between _su/so_ is not one
        of case. Hence the same is likely for _entu_ and _ento_. A possible
        distinction might be that one form refers to actual males/females while
        the other is used more metaphorically. But that's pure speculation at
        this point. It may also be suggestive that pure _en_ occurs in the
        first two rows, whereas an (old) accusative is normally characterised
        by V+ (e.g. nom. _cirya, vs ac. _ciryá_). We find such a + form in the
        third row (_enda_). Note, however, that (en) is given as variant (?).
        Lastly, the assumption of an "uninflected" genitive for Quenya seems a
        little flawed to me.

        Things such as _airetári-lírinen_ or _ambar-metta_ should rather be
        treated as compounds. The hyphen seems to indicate that, while such
        compounds could apparently be formed rather freely in Quenya. Two
        elements of a compound can have various relations. Where two nouns are
        involved the most frequent (virtual) case relation is that of a
        genitive. That means simply that, the first element functions as an
        attribute to the second. So, the fact that _ambar-metta_ can, of
        course, be paraphrased as _metta i ambaro_ doesn't allow for the
        assumption of an endingless genitive. Note that in Indo-European
        languages compounds where the first member is indeed inflected occur.
        However, they aren't in a majority. The older the language the less
        likely this is to happen.

        The authors also note a difference in English between _Here is her
        book_ and _the book he has is hers_(VT36:20). I don't see how this is
        related to the issue. Suffice it to say that both _her_ and _hers_ are
        inflected forms. Also, they don't normally appear in compounds. (Unless
        there is a "her-cat" next to a "she-cat"). So I take it the latter
        examples or English pronouns strictly refer to the use of the pronoun
        _enta_ etc.. Still, how would such a distinction (attributive vs
        predicative) work with a *demonstrative* pronoun. Note that _his_ and
        _her_ are possessive pronouns. That is, they are inherently
        "genitival". The formal distinction _her_ vs _hers_ is a very late
        innovation to avoid confusion with _her_ (=¬c/dat.). E.g. **the book
        is her == she is the book. There is no distinction for _his_ or _its_
        since they're unambiguous. Cf. also _I see the colour of that yonder_
        vs _this is the colour of that yonder_. I don't see how you would fit
        _enta_ vs _entan_ in here.

        In other Germanic languages we find strong and weak forms of the
        adjective in these functions but that doesn't bear on the matter. That
        means, in my eyes, there is no base for the assumption of a third
        "genitive" case.

        In my view, the third row must be regarded as representing the
        accusative. If this is correct, we can also answer the question to what
        "case" (if any) Quenya inflectional suffixes are attached to. If,
        indeed, the third form in the third row _etta_ is an accusative, then
        it seems clear that this is not a derivational basis since the
        inflected forms of _enta_ all show the stem _ent-_ (with one noticeable
        exeption: _etya_).

        So it would seem likely, that also _-o_ was not attached to the
        accusative. But what about _-ho_ ? It was apparently attached to _-Vl_.
        This _Vl_ must, it would seem, contain an element _l_ since a final d
        would have > r in auslaut. Or maybe *_Vd+3V_ > _VllV_ can be assumed?
        Maybe via *_VddV_. What do you think ?

        > Since prepositions modify the relation of a verb to its object, they
        > ARE adverbial.

        Unless, of course, we're dealing with a NOMINAL SENTENCE in which case
        they are ADNOMINAL.

        David Kiltz
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        In message 438, David Kiltz discusses the so-called _Entu_, _Ensi_, _Enta_ Declension , first presented and analyzed by Christopher Gilson ... This last is a
        Message 3 of 11 , May 22, 2003
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          In message 438, David Kiltz discusses the so-called "_Entu_, _Ensi_,
          _Enta_ Declension", first presented and analyzed by Christopher Gilson
          in _Vinyar Tengwar 36. A few comments:

          > The authors of VT36 take the first line to represent the nominative on
          > the ground of general considerations. I.e., conventionally, the nom.
          > is written first in any chart. The second row, then, is taken to
          > represent the forms of the acc.

          This last is a very flat statement, concealing a considerable amount of
          the actual process of arriving at the proposal that the second row
          reflects the accusative inflection, which in fact involves (VT36:18-19)
          a detailed formal and structural comparison between the two halves of
          the chart in question; i.e. between the inflection of _entu_, _ensi_,
          _enta_, _en_, and that of the apparently dual forms of a stem _as-_
          (perhaps from demonstrative *_sa-_ 'that' or 'it'; cf. N _ha_ 'it'
          (V:385), Q _san_ 'then', i.e. *'at that (time)' (MC:216), and, perhaps,
          the conjunction _sa_ 'that' in the so-called "_Merin_ Sentence", for
          which see: <http://www.elvish.org/elm/merin.html>).

          > Lastly, the assumption of an "uninflected" genitive for Quenya seems a
          > little flawed to me. Things such as _airetári-lírinen_ or
          > _ambar-metta_ should rather be treated as compounds.

          Were those the only examples of an uninflected genitive cited by Chris
          in forming his argument, I might agree with you. However, Chris also
          cited two other, very clear, examples (VT36:20): _Valinóre Yénie_ 'the
          Annals of Valinor' (X:200), and _Coron Oiolaire_ 'Mound (of)
          Ever-Summer' (S:357).


          |======================================================================|
          | 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." |
          |======================================================================|


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Hans
          ... No, this refers to the page I quoted, where we further read that the ancient adverbial element occurred also as enclitic, as attached to noun stems (the
          Message 4 of 11 , May 23, 2003
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            --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

            > On Freitag, Mai 16, 2003, at 10:39 Uhr, Hans wrote:
            >
            >> *HO: "ancient adverbial element, occurring principially as a proclitic
            >> or enclitic", it was the origin of a verbal prefix or a case-marker _-o_
            >> (XI:368).
            >
            > This refers probably to the genitive in _-o_, pl _-on_ and probably
            > also the "ablative" _-Vllo_.

            No, this refers to the page I quoted, where we further read that the ancient
            adverbial element occurred also as "enclitic, as attached to noun stems (the
            usual place for the simpler 'prepositional' elements in PQ)." (XI:368) Since
            medial _h_ was lost, this became _-ô_, a genitive inflexion, properly a
            partitive genitive. I didn't have in mind the ablative.

            > In the latter case, _3o_ or _ho_ is assimilated to the shorter form _-Vl_
            > (cf. Entu, Ensi, Enta Declension VT36:8).

            VT36 doesn't say so, and I doubt it, honestly speaking. The shorter
            form with _Vl_ is more likely the result of loss of a final vowel, imho.

            > _-o(n)_ is attached to the noun either in singular or plural respectively.
            > But is it attached to a specific case ?

            In the sentence quoted above, JRRT spoke of "noun stems", not nouns
            having an inflectional suffix already.

            > 1) entu ensi enta en
            > 2) ento ente enta en
            > 3) ento ente etta enda.
            >
            > The authors of VT36 take the first line to represent the nominative on
            > the ground of general considerations.

            That's not entirely true: Chris Gilson compared the chart against others,
            like the Bodleian Declensions and the Plotz Letter, and made a rather
            convincing observation concerning the first row of the lower, obviously
            dual part. By the way, the conclusion was that the first row is a subjective
            case, that is not necessarily the unmarked case, the one which is the base
            for inflexions. It was not unmarked in the Bodleian Declensions, but had a
            suffix _-n_ in the singular.

            > demonstratives _su/so_. _si/se_ (cf. Et:385 sub S-). The entry in the
            > Etymologies indicates that the distinction between _su/so_ is not one
            > of case

            It doesn't indicate that in my copy. Instead, there are listed three N
            forms _ho_, _hon_, _hono_ for "he", three _he_, _hen_, _hene_ for "she"
            and two _ha_, _han_ for "it". Alternative forms or cases? They are followed
            by three plurals _huin_, _hîn_, _hein_. Are they alternative forms of "they"?
            Are they the respective plurals of masculine, feminine, neuter gender? Or
            are they cases of "they"? The last two forms, _hîn_ and _hein_, look familiar:
            _Narvin hain echant_, "Narvi made them", _teithant i thiw hin_ "drew these
            signs" (LR: 297) and here _hain_ is certainly accusative, "them", and I
            wouldn't be too much surprised if it's literally "the signs their", genitive.
            Now if the last three forms can be different cases, why not _su_/_so_ or
            _si_/_se_? Which cases, that would be the question. Certainly the first one
            would be a specifically subjective one, denoting a subject, i.e. an animate.

            > Lastly, the assumption of an "uninflected" genitive for Quenya seems a
            > little flawed to me.

            Of course, there's an uninflected (without quotation marks!) genitive in
            Quenya. The same page XI:368 says "though 'possession was indicated by
            the adjectival suffix -va, or (especially in general descriptions) by a 'loose
            compound'... Orome róma would mean 'an Orome horn', sc. one of Orome's
            horns". The flaw in the argument in VT36 is: if genitive is expressed by
            word order here, it doesn't need an inflexion, i.e. it isn't a case at all, much
            as accusative vanished from spoken Quenya. Now that doesn't mean that
            the genitive was always uninflected and expressed by word order alone,
            and it would be reasonable if the remains of those inflexions would show
            up in pronouns, not in nouns. So the suggestion in VT36:20 is a
            possibility... one of several. My guess would be, that the first two lines, much
            as in the Bodleian Declensions, denote subjective and normal cases, which are
            not exactly like nominative and accusative: subjective case was marked only
            when needed. Quenya became a language of nominative/accusative type only
            later, and the subjective/normal case reappeared in Adunaic.

            > So it would seem likely, that also _-o_ was not attached to the accusative.

            Of course, it wasn't, see above. Those enclitics attached to noun stems, much
            as in Adunaic the normal (uninflected) case was (among other things) "the base
            to which certain adverbial 'prepositional' affixes are added; such as _ô_ 'from',
            _ad_, _ada_ 'to, towards', _mâ_ 'with', _zê_ 'at'." (IX:429) It's very interesting
            how many of the early concepts of Quenya entered into Adunaic, and how
            many of them resurfaced after its abandoning.

            Hans
          • David Kiltz
            ... S- demonstrative stem _su, so_ he ; _si, se_ she . What else would _he_ and _she_ be than nominatives ? In Sindarin, _hain_ and _hin_ (_i thiw hin_ is
            Message 5 of 11 , May 26, 2003
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              On Samstag, Mai 24, 2003, at 01:10 Uhr, Hans wrote:

              >> demonstratives _su/so_. _si/se_ (cf. Et:385 sub S-). The entry in the
              >> Etymologies indicates that the distinction between _su/so_ is not one
              >> of case
              >
              > It doesn't indicate that in my copy.

              "S- demonstrative stem _su, so_ "he"; _si, se_ "she". What else would
              _he_ and _she_ be than nominatives ?

              In Sindarin, _hain_ and _hin_ (_i thiw hin_ is certainly "the signs
              these") can be used for the accusative. But one shouldn't adduce
              Sindarin forms as if they were Quenya, I think.

              > Of course, there's an uninflected (without quotation marks!) genitive
              > in Quenya. The same page XI:368 says "though 'possession' was
              > indicated by the adjectival suffix _-va_, or (especially in general
              > descriptions) by a 'loose compound'... _Orome róma_ would mean
              > 'an Orome horn', sc. one of Orome's horns".

              Of course there isn't. And you just gave the line where Tolkien says
              so: 'Loose compound'. That's exactly it. So there is no *case*. The
              nominative can be used and the function is indicated by word order.
              That means, there are no *formal* markings in such constructions, hence
              it is not a case. Unlike the accusative, it was never marked in such
              constructions. Please, make a distinction between form and function, I
              think it's vital here.

              > My guess would be, that the first two lines, much
              > as in the Bodleian Declensions, denote subjective and normal cases,
              > which are not exactly like nominative and accusative: subjective
              > case was marked only when needed. Quenya became a language
              > of nominative/accusative type only later, and the subjective/normal
              > case reappeared in Adunaic.

              I think that is a very good guess. This would chime in with my
              assumption that only row 3 represents the accusative. In the inner
              history of Quenya, then, the accusative would get the _-t_ only later.

              David Kiltz
            • David Kiltz
              ... Based on what ? My suggestion seems to be phonetically plausible. Whereas loss of long -ô seems not. David Kiltz
              Message 6 of 11 , May 26, 2003
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                On Samstag, Mai 24, 2003, at 01:10 Uhr, Hans wrote:

                >> In the latter case, _3o_ or _ho_ is assimilated to the shorter form
                >> _-Vl_
                >> (cf. Entu, Ensi, Enta Declension VT36:8).
                >
                > VT36 doesn't say so, and I doubt it, honestly speaking. The shorter
                > form with _Vl_ is more likely the result of loss of a final vowel,
                > imho.

                Based on what ? My suggestion seems to be phonetically plausible.
                Whereas loss of long -ô seems not.

                David Kiltz
              • David Kiltz
                ... As Hans notes, _Orome_ here has genitival function without (overt) case markings. Such constructions also occur in English: _Mount Doom_ = Mount of doom
                Message 7 of 11 , May 26, 2003
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                  On Donnerstag, Mai 22, 2003, at 04:32 Uhr, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                  >> Lastly, the assumption of an "uninflected" genitive for Quenya seems a
                  >> little flawed to me. Things such as _airetári-lírinen_ or
                  >> _ambar-metta_ should rather be treated as compounds.
                  >
                  > Were those the only examples of an uninflected genitive cited by Chris
                  > in forming his argument, I might agree with you. However, Chris also
                  > cited two other, very clear, examples (VT36:20): _Valinóre Yénie_ 'the
                  > Annals of Valinor' (X:200), and _Coron Oiolaire_ 'Mound (of)
                  > Ever-Summer' (S:357).

                  I think the answer is found in Hans post:

                  > "though 'possession was indicated by the adjectival suffix -va, or
                  > (especially in general descriptions) by a 'loose compound'... Orome
                  > róma would mean 'an Orome horn', sc. one of Orome's horns.

                  As Hans notes, _Orome_ here has genitival function without (overt) case
                  markings. Such constructions also occur in English: _Mount Doom_ ==
                  "Mount of doom" Hence, we do not have another genitive case here but
                  probably something that is formally == nominative but functionally a
                  genitive of possession or association.

                  David Kiltz

                  [I agree with your statement regarding functionality, but I would myself be
                  more expansive than to write that the uninflected genitive "== nominative", as
                  that seems to imply more than I would commit to. Rather, I would simply
                  note that uninflected forms in Quenya are used for genitive and nomnative
                  functions (as well as accusative). Further, I do not agree that we cannot
                  speak of an uninflected genitive "case"; it seems to me that by your argument,
                  we can speak neither of nominative nor accusative _cases_ in Quenya, either;
                  which is clearly not the case (no pun intended). CFH]
                • Hans
                  ... I don t think this is _the_ answer: simply case is used in different meanings. This is not a mistake, but general practice, as the following quote from
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 27, 2003
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                    --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

                    > As Hans notes, _Orome_ here has genitival function without (overt)
                    > case markings. Such constructions also occur in English:
                    > _Mount Doom_ == "Mount of doom" Hence, we do not have another
                    > genitive case here but probably something that is formally ==
                    > nominative but functionally a genitive of possession or association.

                    I don't think this is _the_ answer: simply "case" is used in
                    different meanings. This is not a mistake, but general practice, as
                    the following quote from the entry "case" in the _American Heritage
                    Dictionary_ may show:

                    "11 b. Case In some varieties of generative grammar, the thematic or
                    semantic role of a noun phrase as represented abstractly but not
                    necessarily indicated overtly in surface structure. In such
                    frameworks, nouns in English have Case even in the absence of
                    inflectional case endings."

                    Consequently, "nominative" is sometimes used to denote a function,
                    namely being the subject (JRRT calls that "subjective" in Adunaic,
                    and it is inflected in that language), and sometimes it may denote
                    the absence of infectional endings, that's called "normal case" in
                    Adunaic (and may be used for subjects and direct objects).

                    The logical flaw in VT36, imho, is the conclusion that since an
                    *uninflected* genitive exists, the only slightly inflected (but
                    *inflected*!) third row in the chart could be a genitive. It's
                    possible, but I don't see sufficient evidence.

                    [Since as you say it _is_ possible, then it cannot be a logical flaw to
                    propose it. It would however be a fallacy to say that it was _proven_
                    to be so, but of course Christopher Gilson never said that. CFH]

                    As I wrote already, I think Quenya made a subjective/normal
                    distinction at that time (since even the later "Bodleian Declensions"
                    do so). This means marking of the subject in cases of ambiguity, so
                    the marking of direct objects would be superfluous, an accusative
                    inflexion simply wasn't needed.

                    The distinction _su_/_so_ may have been one of subjective/normal case
                    earlier, but at the time of the _Etymologies_, it may have been
                    reinterpreted already, and the final _-u_ was considered an older
                    form, replaced by _-o_ later. Cf. the entry ÓROK-: "*_órku_ goblin:
                    Q _orko_, pl. _orqi_."

                    Hans
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