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Re: Quenya accusative pronouns

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  • Ales Bican
    Patrick Wynne wrote in response to Hans wish to see some evidence ... **However, it must be noted that development of monosyllabic words (MWs) differed from
    Message 1 of 17 , May 23, 2003
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      Patrick Wynne wrote in response to Hans' wish "to see some evidence
      why _-ni, -le_ are accusative in form":

      > One reason for assuming _óni_ contains acc. _-ni_ is phonological,
      > and a key piece of evidence occurs in the very sentence Hans cites:
      > _tye-meláne_ 'I love thee' (V:61). The Etymologies gives the base
      > of 'I' as NI- (2), and a consistent phonological rule throughout the
      > external history of Q(u)enya is that original short final _*-i_
      > becomes _-e_, e.g. *_liñwi_ 'fish' > Q _lingwe_ (V:369 s.v. LIW-).

      **However, it must be noted that development of monosyllabic
      words (MWs) differed from development of polysyllabic ones.
      For instance, it seems that certain short vowels were lost finally
      (cf. _abaro_ > CE _abar_, WJ/XI:371). This could not happen in MW,
      because the very word would be lost then. Also, we know that long
      vowels were reduced to short ones finally. However, MWs seem not
      to reduce them, cf. _ní_ "woman" < NÍ (Etym) or _vá_, apparently
      from _bá_ (WJ/XI:370). The Plotz Letter informs us that "all long
      vowels were reduced to short vowels finally" in Spoken Quenya.
      Again MWs seem not follow the rule, because we have _sí_ "now"
      in "_Namárie_", for instance.

      > Thus it is likely that the subject pronoun _-ne_ 'I' in _tye-
      > meláne_is from earlier *_-ni_.

      **That is certainly possible (though the subject pronoun for
      "I" could have been simply *_-ne_ then (i.e. with the original
      _e_, not from _i_)).

      I think we do not have explicit examples of development of final
      short _-i_ in MWs, but it is possible that even in them the _-i_
      turned to _-e_. Or at least in the Etym (and _Lost Road_) era.
      We may also note that Etym gives _no_ "under", apparently from
      *_nu_. This would then show change of final _-u_ to _-o_
      (parallel to change of _-i_ to _-e_) in a MW. Nevetheless, "_Namárie_"
      gives _nu_ "under" instead. If we suppose that the "_Namárie_"
      version of the preposition has the same origin, i.e. *_nu_, then it
      might be that Tolkien changed his mind and decided that vowels
      (or at least _u_ and _i_) did not undergo any change. Of course, the
      origin of _nu_ might have been *_nó_, but we should then ask why
      the long vowel was shortened if another long vowel in _sí_ was not.

      > Note that the various versions of the Átaremma consistently
      > maintain the distinction between nom. _emme_ 'we' and
      > acc. _me_ 'us', e.g. _emme avatyarir_ 'we forgive' versus _úa
      > mittanya me_ 'do not lead us' in At. I (VT43:8).

      In a reply to Beregond Patrick wrote:

      > I have shown that _-ni_ in _óni_ must derive from *_-nî_, the
      > lengthened vowel strongly suggesting that it is accusative
      > ["because *_ô-ni_ would regularly yield **_óne_"]; I have shown
      > that _-me_ in _óme_ is identical in form with accusative _me_
      > 'us' in the Átaremma and elsewhere, and that _te_ in _óte_
      > appears to be identical to accusative _te_ 'them' in _a laita
      > te_ 'praise them'. It is not unreasonable then to suppose that
      > the other forms in this same chart, _óle_ et al., are based on
      > accusative forms as well, with of course the exception of
      > _onye, olye_, in which the endings _-nye, -lye_ are attested
      > as nominative.

      However, _me_ seems to be a nominative form as well, cf. _men_
      in the same text. The form is not *_mén_, so it points rather to
      nominative. I have mentioned that the form _sí_ "now" did not
      undergo the shortening. Now consider _sín_ in SD/IX:310: the
      vowel is not shortened when an ending _-n_ is added (whatever
      its function). In Etym such a shortening is seen, because the base
      SI- lists _sin_ besides _sí_. This is therefore another piece that
      suggests that Tolkien changed his mind as regards the development
      and behavior of MWs, because the form _sin_ appears in an
      earlier version of the _Atalante_ Fragments (see LR/V:46).
      Moreover, it is usually nominative (the least marked form) that
      acquires case ending (more precisely, it is the least marked form
      serves as nominative).

      The fact that the reflex of final short CE _-i_ in _-e_ in Quenya is
      not, in my view, sufficient for assuming that _-ni_ in an accusative
      form, because as I have tried to show the behavior of CE
      monosyllabic words is slightly different to the behavior of CE
      polysyllabic words.

      The question is whether_-ni_, _-le_ etc. in the _ó-_ chart (VT43:29)
      are suffixes or whether the _ó-_ is a prefix. What I want to say is
      which of the segments could stand alone, that is, which of them is
      a separate word -- if any of them.

      If _-ni, -le_ etc. are only suffixes and cannot stands as separate words,
      I would not speak of them as of nominative or accusative forms but
      rather as subject and object forms. Nominative does not necessarily
      means subject and accusative does not necessarily mean object. Now
      the question is of course whether they are subject or object forms.
      It may be they are both (with _nye_ and _lye_ as alternatives).
      However, if _ni, le_ etc. are separate words, then we can speak
      about nominative and accusative, because the least marked forms
      would be nominative from which accusative could be formed.
      Nominatives would act as subjects and accusative as (direct) objects
      in most cases. Yet here again I do not think we can say whether
      they are the former or the latter, since the accusative as a case did
      not exist in Spoken Quenya. Now as regards the forms _-s_ and
      _-t_ (in _ós_ and _ót_, being variants of _ósa_ and _óta_), they
      are hardly separate words. They may be reduced forms of _-sa_
      and _-ta_ or plain suffixes, perhaps like _-nye_ and _-lye_, but
      these could also perhaps stand alone, cf. _tye_ and _lye_ in _lyenna_.

      > Acc. _me_ 'us' occurs in the dual form _met_ 'us two' in _Namárie_ as
      > the object of a preposition: _imbe met_ 'between us (two)'.

      **If _me_ is an accusative form, we should ask why the long vowel was
      here shortened if long vowels seem not to be shortened in MWs. The
      same with _met_ -- why is it not *_mét_?

      > And I would propose that it is this same acc. _me_ that appears in
      > _óme_ *'with us' in the chart cited in VT43:29. Similarly, the pl. pron.
      _-te_ in _óte_ on the chart appears to be masculine, [...].

      Does it? I think you meant "personal" (_-ta_ being impersonal), at least
      this is what is implied from what is said on p. 20 of VT43. But if you really
      meant masculine, what would be the corresponding feminine form?


      Ales Bican
    • Hans
      ... In fact, the Plotz Letter says so explicitly, the sentence you quoted continues: ... and before final cons. in words of two or more syllables . This is
      Message 2 of 17 , May 25, 2003
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        --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, Ales Bican <ales.bican@s...> wrote:

        > The Plotz Letter informs us that "all long
        > vowels were reduced to short vowels finally" in Spoken Quenya.
        > Again MWs seem not follow the rule, because we have _sí_ "now"
        > in "_Namárie_", for instance.

        In fact, the Plotz Letter says so explicitly, the sentence you quoted
        continues: "... and before final cons. in words of two or more
        syllables". This is obviously connected with stress, remember
        that the prefix _ó-_ becomes _o-_ when unstressed (XI:367).
        With the retraction of stress, final vowels became unstressed
        always, and shortened. This did not necessarily (or never?)
        happen in monosyllabic words.

        > **That is certainly possible (though the subject pronoun for
        > "I" could have been simply *_-ne_ then (i.e. with the original
        > _e_, not from _i_)).

        I can't see any reason to assume that. The _-ne_ in _meláne_ has a
        natural explanation, and in any other case I know of, the form is
        _ni_ or derived from it. Let's analyze a few occurrences of the 1.
        person sg. pronoun in the corpus:

        We have
        _ni_ "I" (Arctic Sentence)
        _Atarinya_ "my father" (V:61)
        _meláne_ "I love" (same page)
        _inye_ "I" (same page)
        _indo-ninya_ "my heart" (V:72)
        _nin_ "me" (same page)
        _NI_2 "I" (V:378)

        This shows a consistent picture up to Etymologies: _ni_ or _inye_ as
        "I", _-nya_ or even _ni-nya_ as possessive suffix, _ni-n_ as dative.
        The change *_-ni_ >_-ne_ in final position was purely phonological.
        A short pronominal suffix _-n_ is found in numerous entries in
        Etymologies, too. Again, this fits into the general picture: short final
        vowels (since unstressed) were lost often. So we can see two
        alternative developments: *_-ni_ > _-ne_ > _-n_, or instead
        strengthening of the suffix _-ne_ > _-nye_. It seems likely that
        the possessive suffix was formed by combining _ni_ with the adjectival
        suffix _-ya_, *_-niya_ > _-nya_. The pronoun remained through all
        stages of Quenya. It appeared as a prefix shortly:

        _nilendie_ "I have come" (IX:56)
        _nimaruvan_ "I shall dwell" (same page)

        The dative form _nin_ "for me" appears in Namárie (LR:368) and in the
        late notes on _óre_ (VT41:11). Some time between them, we have the
        forms _ónye_ and _óni_. As I said already, the argument that the pronouns
        are not nominative (or subjective) in form makes sense, in my opinion.
        They shouldn't be, because a subject doesn't need prepositions.

        > The fact that the reflex of final short CE _-i_ in _-e_ in Quenya is
        > not, in my view, sufficient for assuming that _-ni_ in an accusative
        > form, because as I have tried to show the behavior of CE
        > monosyllabic words is slightly different to the behavior of CE
        > polysyllabic words.

        Sure, but _-ni_ attached to anything are two syllables at least. Of
        course, Patrick's argument relies on the assumption that the
        custom of attaching pronominal suffixes to prepositions (which
        obviously did not exist in CE) occurred earlier than the change
        of final short -i > -e.

        It seems that _ni_ did not occur as a stand-alone word in the corpus
        after the Arctic Sentence. _inye_ seems to be derived form an
        augmented form *_i-ni_. At least, that would explain the difference
        to _elye_ "you" (LR:368).

        I'll return to "you" (and other pronouns) in other posts.

        Hans
      • David Kiltz
        ... Orthotone vs enclitic variants ? David Kiltz
        Message 3 of 17 , May 26, 2003
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          On Freitag, Mai 23, 2003, at 09:00 Uhr, Ales Bican wrote:

          > **If _me_ is an accusative form, we should ask why the long vowel was
          > here shortened if long vowels seem not to be shortened in MWs. The
          > same with _met_ -- why is it not *_mét_?

          Orthotone vs enclitic variants ?

          David Kiltz
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