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Re: [Lambengolmor] S. _agor_ 'made, did' and the Sindarin past tense

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  • David Kiltz
    ... I think it s possible to interpret _onen_ (LR:1036) as
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 17, 2003
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      On Donnerstag, Oktober 16, 2003, at 10:49 Uhr, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

      > An authorial note to the c. 1959-60 essay "Quendi and Eldar" describes
      > what Tolkien calls "a primitive past tense" formation, "marked as such
      > by the 'augment' or reduplicated base-vowel, and the long stem-vowel".
      > ... This supplies a class of Sindarin past-tense formation not
      > exhibited in either the Noldorin of _The Etymologies_ or the Sindarin of
      > _The Lord of the Rings_ ... -- nor anywhere else in the published corpus

      I think it's possible to interpret _onen_ (LR:1036) as < *_a-ân-en_
      suggesting that _-e_ was at least at home in the 1sg. Perhaps we even
      have to posit an *_a-âna-in_ originally. This would mean that we do not
      have total parallelism with Quenya _equen_ (XI:415n.29) but still could
      account for the long vowel by means of an attested past tense
      formation. Obviously, _-en_ for the 1st sg. would have been taken from
      other, more profuse past tense forms.

      [This is an interesting idea, particularly in light of the "printing
      history" of _ónen_/_onen_. The form as published in the first edition,
      first printing had an initial long vowel: _ónen_. Over subsequent
      reprintings, the acute accent fell away -- so far as Douglas Anderson
      knows, probably unintentionally. In any event, the form clearly did
      have a long vowel at one time, which _might_ be accounted for as
      indicating the presence of a primitive augment. I will note, however,
      that my statement stands: the past-tense formation described by
      Tolkien for S _agor_ < *_akâra_ is not attested elsewhere in the
      published corpus, since even by the interpretation you propose here,
      the final _-e_ of _óne-n_ does not fit the pattern Tolkien describes.
      Nor would *_a-âna-in_ solve the problem, since *_-a-in_ would
      yield S _-aen_. Nonetheless, the essential point remains: _ónen_, our
      sole example of a strong past-tense Sindarin verb in _The Lord of the
      Rings_, is not necessarily inconsistent with a primitive strong past-
      tense formation with augment/reduplication cum lengthening. CFH]

      > Given the semantic relationship between the simple past and the past
      > perfect tenses, it is not surprising to find formal similarities [i.e.
      > the augment] between them.

      Yes and no. One has to be careful not to carry the Indo-European
      parallel too far. In Indo-European past tense (augmented aorist and
      present (==imperfect)) are formally and historically entirely distinct
      from the perfect. The latter indicating an accomplished state (in the
      present!) or, even earlier, simply a 'state', whereas the 'past'
      reference is only very late and secondary.

      Still, to interpret the augment in Elvish as indicating 'past' is
      certainly a valid point.

      The question remains whether that augment in Elvish works quite as in
      I.E. In the latter, *_e-_ was a particle indicating 'past'. In Elvish
      it seems to be a 'left-branching' _sundóma_ extension, which may
      have originally denoted 'totality' aut sim. rather than 'past' in a
      strict sense.

      David Kiltz

      [Regarding the prefixed I.E. particle *_e-_ indicating 'past' -- there
      is a striking parallel to this in QL, which lists a prefix _e-_ under the
      root E, whose derivatives are primarily demonstrative (_ena_ 'that by
      you', _en-, ek-, et-_ 'that (by you)', etc.; PE12:34). The function of
      this Qenya prefix _e-_ is not specified, but in the H-entries of QL
      there are two examples of _e-_ used as an augment in past tense
      forms of verbs (derived from roots in which the root-vowel is not
      E but rather A and I respectively): _halta-_ ‘to leap’, irreg. pret.
      _halle, ehalle_ (PE12:39 s.v. HALA); and _kitya-_ ‘to tickle’, pa.t.
      _ekitsine_ (PE12:47 s.v. KITI-). A relationship between a deictic stem
      meaning 'that' and a sense of past time is also found in the _Etymo-
      logies_, which states that the base YA- 'there, over there' was also
      used of time in the sense 'ago'; hence the derivatives Q _yana_ 'that
      (the former)' and _yá_ 'formerly, ago'. -- PHW]
    • David Kiltz
      ... The question is whether the 1. sg. of S. _agor_ could have been _*agoren_. [I don t think that was the question, really; the question was whether S _ónen_
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 28, 2003
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        On 17.10.2003, at 11:44, David Kiltz wrote:

        > [Carl Hostetter wrote:]
        >
        > the past-tense formation described by Tolkien for S _agor_ < *_akâra_
        > is not attested elsewhere in the published corpus, since even by the
        > interpretation you propose here, the final _-e_ of _óne-n_ does not
        > fit the pattern Tolkien describes. Nor would *_a-âna-in_ solve the
        > problem, since *_-a-in_ would yield S _-aen_.

        The question is whether the 1. sg. of S. _agor_ could have been _*agoren_.

        [I don't think that was the question, really; the question was whether
        S _ónen_ fits the pattern exhibited by S _agor_ < *_akâra_, which strictly
        speaking it does not, at least not demonstrably so. But since you raise
        the question, I'd say: yes, sure, it's _possible_ that the 1 sg. of S _agor_
        (sc., at the point at which Tolkie wrote that form and figure in _Quendi
        and Eldar_ -- at any other time, all bets are off) could have been
        *_agoren_. But I would say it could also have been *_agoran_. CFH]

        As for _*-ain_ > _aen_, i.e. in closed, post-tonic syllable, I'm not so
        sure. Do you have an example handy? Of course, _*ai_ > _*ae_ in
        stressed syllables.

        [Good point; in that specific environment, no, I can't bring any example
        to mind (though its prominent presence in other environments is surely
        suggestive). On the other hand, can you provide any support for supposing
        that it would yield _-en_ in that environment? CFH]

        > Patrick Wynne wrote:
        >
        > [Regarding the prefixed I.E. particle *_e-_ indicating 'past' -- there
        > is a striking parallel to this in QL, which lists a prefix _e-_ under
        > the root E, whose derivatives are primarily demonstrative ...]

        Very interesting. I thought about it along the lines of _*aquâ_ being
        an 'intensified' form of _*quâ_ [XI:415] (or even _Isil_ from SIL- 'the
        Sheen', _Anar_ from NAR- 'the Burning, Hot, Fire'). The apparent early
        conception of the QL makes it indeed more like Indo-European.

        David Kiltz


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... Or even *_agoron_, of course (depending on whether the stem-vowel *_-a_ was or was not lengthened before the 1 sg. ending). --
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 28, 2003
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          On Oct 28, 2003, at 7:02 AM, Carl Hostetter wrote:

          > it's _possible_ that the 1 sg. of S _agor_ (sc., at the point at which
          > Tolkie[n] wrote that form and figure in _Quendi and Eldar_ -- at any
          > other time, all bets are off) could have been *_agoren_. But I would
          > say it could also have been *_agoran_.

          Or even *_agoron_, of course (depending on whether the stem-vowel *_-a_
          was or was not lengthened before the 1 sg. ending).


          --
          =============================================
          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."
        • David Kiltz
          ... Well, a little misunderstanding then. That was really the question for me. As, apart from the ending _-en_ which isn t clear, S. _ón-_ may just as well be
          Message 4 of 5 , Oct 28, 2003
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            On 28.10.2003, at 13:02, David Kiltz wrote:

            > The question is whether the 1. sg. of S. _agor_ could have been
            > _*agoren_.
            >
            > [I don't think that was the question, really; the question was whether
            > S _ónen_ fits the pattern exhibited by S _agor_ < *_akâra_, which
            > strictly speaking it does not, at least not demonstrably so.

            Well, a little misunderstanding then. That was really the question for
            me. As, apart from the ending _-en_ which isn't clear, S. _ón-_ may
            just as well be < _*a-ân-_ as _*ân-_. So, at the moment, this is a 'non
            licet', i.e. __ónen_ might well exhibit the _agor_ pattern, and may
            not. For now, the case remains inconclusive and it would, in my
            opinion, be wrong to assert either the uniqueness of _agor_ or its
            not-uniqueness.

            So, strictly speaking, I would personally simply rephrase your
            "...formation not exhibited..." into "...not securely attested..." as
            no one analysis can be ruled out.

            > As for _*-ain_ > _aen_, i.e. in closed, post-tonic syllable, I'm not so
            > sure. Do you have an example handy? Of course, _*ai_ > _*ae_ in
            > stressed syllables.
            >
            > [Good point; in that specific environment, no, I can't bring any
            > example to mind (though its prominent presence in other
            > environments is surely suggestive). On the other hand, can you
            > provide any support for supposing that it would yield _-en_ in that
            > environment? CFH]

            I cannot. A very speculative case might be S. _Glinnel_, pl. _Glinnil_.
            Tolkien writes: " The old clan name _*Lindâi_ survived in the compound
            _Glinnel_ ..." [XI:378]. One might analyse this as _*Lindâi + la/o_ as
            _*Lindâ_+_El_ > _*Glenn_+_el_ or _*Lindâ+la/o_ cannot account for the
            'i' of the root. At least one problem here is that Tolkien speaks
            clearly of a 'compound' which points to an analysis of _-el_ < _El_
            'Elf' for the second element.

            Maybe a form like _Abonnen_ 'After-born' (==Q: _Apanóna_) [XI:386] could
            be interpreted as < _*Ap(a)onna-inâ_ as we have Noldorin _ed-onna_
            'beget' but that could, of course, be _*ap(a)onn-inâ_ as well and
            remains inconclusive too. Generally, a monophthongisation doesn't seem
            unlikely for phonotactic reasons given that Sindarin looses all final
            vowels (even _-*yâ_). But no, I cannot but speculate.

            David Kiltz
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