Finnish words from QL (was Re: Kalevala & Qenya)
- Petri Tikka wrote the following, to which I would like to add some
further notes on the occurrence of these forms in the Kalevala
excerpts in C. N. E. Eliot's _Finnish Grammar_. Translations
(Runo#.line#) and annotations in double quote marks are Eliot's:
> [...] I think it would be interesting to find out all possibleFinnish lexical influences on Qenya from the _Qenya Lexicon_. Here is
what I could find (numbers refer pages of _Parma Eldalamberon_ 12):
> AFA 'open, begin' (29) | stem _ava_ 'open'Ei Tuoni sanoja anna 'Tuoni does not give words' (16.323) "3rd.
> _anta-_ 'gives' (31) | _anta-_ 'give'
sing. pres. neg. of _antaa_ 'to give'."
> _aurinka_ 'sunlit, sunny' (33) | _aurinko_ 'Sun'Kalanluinen kanteloinen 'a fish-bone harp' (40.224) "Dimin. of
> _kantl_ 'a large harp', _kantele_ 'harping' (45) | kantele 'harp'
_kantelo_ = _kantele_, 'a kind of harp with five strings'."
Kust' on koppa kanteletta? 'Of what is the body of the harp?'
(40.235) "Part. sing. of _kantele_ (stem _-lehe_) 'harp'."
> _kava-_ 'dig' (45) | _kaiva-_ 'dig'Kuolo kullervo-urohon 'The death of the hero Kullervo' (36.344)
> _kólema_ 'hardship', _kuo_ 'pain' (47) | _kuolema_ 'death'
Kuolema kova-osaista 'The death of the ill-fated one' (36.346)
> _kulu_ 'gold' (49) | _kulta_ 'gold'Tuonen kumpu kuumottavi 'The hill of Tuoni loomed' (16.158)
> KUPU 'hump' > _kumpo_ 'pile' (49) | _kumpu_ 'hillock, hump'
> _kú_ 'Crescent Moon' | _kuu_ 'moon'Kuuna kullan valkeana 'While the golden moon shines'
(16.360) "Essive of _kuu_ 'moon'. Genitive sing. of _kulta_ 'gold'."
> Ó 'be, exist' (69) | stem _o_ 'be, exist'Oisi kutrit kärventynnä '(Thy) ringlets would be singed'
_olisi_, here used for _olisivat_."
> _pelto_ 'hedge, hedged field' (73) | _pelto_ 'field'Pään on peltohon sysäsi 'Drove the hilt into the ground'
> _pínea_ 'small' (73] | _pieni_ 'small'person'
> _qualme_ 'death', _qualma_ 'deadly' (76) | _kalma_ 'death, dead
> _táma_ 'this' (87) | _tämä_ 'this'Vene täältä tuotanehe 'The boat will be brought'
(16.175) "Adv. 'thence'; abl. of _tämä_ 'this';
are written with two _ä_'s when used adverbially."
> _tie_ 'line, direction, route, road' (90) | _tie_ 'route, road'Akka tieltä kääntyköhön 'Let an old woman turn from the
(16.274) "Ablative sing. _tie_ 'a way'."
> _tereva_ 'piercing, acute, shrill, sharp' (91) | _terävä_'acute,
Tempasi terävän miekan 'Grasped the sharp sword' (36.220)
sing. of adj. _terävä_ 'sharp', formed from _terä_ 'edge',
> _tulu-_ 'move, come' (95) | _tul-_ 'come'Tuoni toisi tullessansa 'Tuoni would have brought (thee) in his
coming' (16.191) "Inessive of 2nd infin. of _tulla_ 'to come' with
pron. affix of 3rd person."
> _tunto_ 'notice, regard, perception' (95) | _tunto_ 'perception'Tuosta tunnen kielastajan! 'From this I know the liar!'
(16.204) "1st sing. pres. of _tuntea_."
> _vene_ 'small boat, vessel, dish' (100) | _vene_ 'small boat'Tuo venettä Tuonen tytti 'Bring a boat, daughter of Tuoni'
(16.163) "Part. sing. of _vene_ 'a boat'; stem _venehe_ ... obj. of
> _ya(n)_ 'and' (104) | _ja_ 'and'Itse lausui ja pakisi 'Herself talked and conversed' (16.174)
I would also add a few items to Petri's list:
HUHU- 'whoop', _húta- 'whoop' (41) | huutaa 'cry out, shout'
Jo huhuta huikahutti 'Now shouting cried loudly' (16.160)
KANGA- 'weave', _kangale_ 'a web' (45) | kangas 'cloth, fabric, web'
Kultakangasta kutovi 'There she wove a golden fabric' (Kirby, 8.7)
karka 'fang, tooth, tusk' (48) | kärki 'point'
Kären käänti rintahansa 'Turned the point to his breast'
(36.339) "Accusative sing. of stem _kärke_, nom. _kärki_, here
point of the sword'."
lutta-, lutu- 'flow, float' (57) | lautta 'raft, float' (n.)
Lauttoa Manalan lapsi 'A ship, child of Manala' (16.164) "=
_lauttaa_ ... part. sing. of _lautta_ 'ship'."
SINI ('pale blue' ?), _sine_ 'pale (bluish) green' (83) |
Sinisukka äijön lapsi 'The old man's child with blue stockings'
(36.336) "'Blue-stockinged', a compd. of _sini_ 'blue', and
It should be noted that Eliot's _Finnish Grammar_ also includes an
excerpt from the beginning of the Gospel of St. John, and a Finnish
popular song, with the same sort of detailed annotations. The latter
Lahella laiva pieni minua outtelee 'A little ship awaits me in the
bay'; with the annotation on _pieni_: "Nominative sing. 'little'."
And of course the grammar itself contains copious example sentences
and forms, so many of the words in the list above occur there
frequently. But I do think it is significant that most of the
lexical material that Tolkien adapted more or less directly in both
form and meaning from Finnish into the language of QL can be found in
these excerpts from the Kalevala, which we know Tolkien encountered
Petri Tikka wrote (on the subject of Qenya words similar to Finnish):
> > _kantl_ 'a large harp', _kantele_ 'harping' (45) | kantele 'harp'And Christopher Gilson supplied the citation:
> Kalanluinen kanteloinen 'a fish-bone harp' (40.224) "Dimin. ofWith this, one has to compare Welsh _cathl_ 'hymn, lay, song'. Together
> _kantelo_ = _kantele_, 'a kind of harp with five strings'."
> Kust' on koppa kanteletta? 'Of what is the body of the harp?'
> (40.235) "Part. sing. of _kantele_ (stem _-lehe_) 'harp'."
wth [Old] Irish _cétal_ it points to an earlier *_knt-l-_ (syllabic
nasals yield -en- in Goidelic, hence *kentl- > *kétl- > *kédl > kédal
(orthographic _cétal_)). Now these two words [*_kntl_ and _kantele_] do
show a remarkable similarity, both in the form and content (surely the
meanings are akin).
I think it possible to suggest that here we see a reflection of
Tolkien's early conception of the Elvish languages as a sort of
'mediators' between the language of North-Western Europe. The words in
Celtic and Finnish are, to the best of my knowledge, unrelated, but
Tolkien supplies a story-internal explanation for the perceived
Or is it just wishful thinking?
Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...
Nid byd, byd heb wybodaeth
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Pavel Iosad" <edricson@d...>
> Petri Tikka wrote (on the subject of Qenya words similar to Finnish):[...]
>> _kantl_ 'a large harp', _kantele_ 'harping' (45) | kantele 'harp'
>Specifically, Tolkien would have encountered this Celtic etymology in
> With this, one has to compare Welsh _cathl_ 'hymn, lay, song'. Together
> wth [Old] Irish _cétal_ it points to an earlier *_knt-l-_ (syllabic
> nasals yield -en- in Goidelic, hence *kentl- > *kétl- > *kédl > kédal
> (orthographic _cétal_)). Now these two words [*_kntl_ and _kantele_] do
> show a remarkable similarity, both in the form and content (surely the
> meanings are akin).
J. Morris Jones's _Welsh Grammar_ (pp. 17, 150), with mention also of
a variant Irish form _céol_; Breton _kentel_ 'lesson'; and
interestingly enough Old Welsh _centh(i)liat_ 'singer', a gloss of
Lat. _canorum_. The second (principal) mention is in connection with
his explanatation of the development of original nasal + stop +
resonant combinations like -ntl-, which brings out the connection of
these words with the root *_kan-_ 'to sing': Lat. _canere_, W _canu_,
If my interpretation of the Naffarin verse is correct -- message 492
-- then this particular sound-sense association was long-standing in
Tolkien's private language, with Naff. _cangor (luttos)_ == *'song,
poetry'. So the combined resemblance with Finn. _kantele_, _kantelo_
'harp' would certainly have attracted Tolkien's attention.
The earlier mention of these forms by Jones is in connection with the
"inorganic _y_" that appears in certain Middle Welsh word-final
consonant combinations, as in _pobyl_ for _pobl_ 'people'. In Old
Welsh the spelling is _i_ (there is an Early Middle Welsh attestation
of _cathil_ == _cathl_) and the sound can occur medially, as in
_centhiliat_. This is remarkable because QL seems to have certain
forms with an _i_ that have a similar "inorganic" origin and in a
context phonetically similar to the pattern of _centh(i)liat_:
_evandilyon_ 'gospel' (beside _evandl_ 'Christian missionary'); and
_Earendilyon_ 'sailor' == *'son of Earendl' (beside _Earendl_ "the
Qenya forms ending in an _-e_ that alternates with _-i-_ when followed
by an inflection at least sometimes reflect an earlier form in _-y-_
(or consonantal _i_) followed by a reduced vowel (schwa), as stated
explicitly for QL _ande_ 'long' and _ore_ 'seed, grain'. So to the
extent that _kantele_ is structurally equivalent to *_kantely-_ +
schwa, we can see its first _e_ as phonotactically comparable to the
_i_ of _evandilyon_. Thus its relation to _kantl_ is comparable to
the relation of _evandilyon_ to _evandl_. Since the inorganic vowel
has no inherent quality, we can suppose that its actual realization is
assimilated to the following vowel or semivowel, according to the
latter's ultimate realization. The pair _kantl_, _kantele_ is
comparable to _mantl_ 'glove' beside _mantele_ 'gauntlet'; and
rejected _qintl_ or _-ele_ 'a lyre'.
> I think it possible to suggest that here we see a reflection ofAs to whether W _cathl_ and Finn. _kantele_ are *actually* related, I
> Tolkien's early conception of the Elvish languages as a sort of
> 'mediators' between the language of North-Western Europe. The words in
> Celtic and Finnish are, to the best of my knowledge, unrelated, but
> Tolkien supplies a story-internal explanation for the perceived
> Or is it just wishful thinking?
can only note that Aimo Turunen in his _Kalevalan Sanat ja Niiden
Taustat_ explains the latter as "joko baltt[ilainen], vrt. liett[uan]
_kãnklis_, tai omaper. _kansi_, _kanta_-sanoihin liittyvä nimitys." I
don't know what all of this says literally (perhaps Petri or our other
Finnish-speaking members can illucidate further), but I think Turunen
is suggesting a connection either with Lithuanian _kãnklis_ (I also
don't know the meaning or etymology of this), or else with Finn.
_kansi_ 'lid, cover; deck (of ship)' or _kanta_ 'base; heel (of shoe);
head (of nail)'.
But I do agree with Pavel that Tolkien must have imagined a common
Elvish origin as the explanation for the resemblance between W _cathl_
'song' and Finn. _kantele_ 'harp'. This is especially suggested by
the fact that Q (_kantil_ 'a small harp' >>) _kantl_ 'a large harp' is
closer in form to W _cathl_ (Early MW _cathil_) 'song', while Q
_kantele_ 'harping' is equivalent in form to Finn. _kantele_ 'harp'.
Apparently then, Tolkien intended to suggest that these various
concepts and forms developed from a single original.
And indeed, if we imagine the typical context in which all of these
concepts have a role, i.e. the performance of a song or recital of a
poem together with the playing of a harp, then each of these -- the
harp, the song, and the playing -- is *instrumental* to the overall
purpose of the presumably underlying verbal concept, which is to
convey the sense of the song or poem to the listener. Perhaps the
various Q. forms in both _-l_ and _-ele_ are to be seen as
instrumentals derived ultimately from an enclitic application of the
form _le_ 'with' (accompaniment).
-- Christopher Gilson
- Christopher Gilson wrote:
>As to whether W _cathl_ and Finn. _kantele_ are *actually* related, IYou got the idea, Chris. Turunen's statement means: "a name [or
>can only note that Aimo Turunen in his _Kalevalan Sanat ja Niiden
>Taustat_ explains the latter as "joko baltt[ilainen], vrt. liett[uan]
>_kãnklis_, tai omaper. _kansi_, _kanta_-sanoihin liittyvä nimitys." I
>don't know what all of this says literally (perhaps Petri or our other
>Finnish-speaking members can illucidate further)
term] connected with either Baltic, cf. Lithuanian _kãnklis_, or
original [i.e. native Finnish] _kansi_, _kanta_-words."
Arden R. Smith erilaz@...
Perilme metto aimaktur perperienta.