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Quenya pronouns 1: _ni_ (was Re: Quenya accusative pronouns)

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  • 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 1 of 17 , May 25, 2003
      --- 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.

    • David Kiltz
      ... Orthotone vs enclitic variants ? David Kiltz
      Message 2 of 17 , May 26, 2003
        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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