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Re: Prepositions and nominal suffixes attested in Elvish

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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