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Valarin: Blessed, Unblessed versus Unmarred, Marred.

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  • Didier Willis
    In Elvish theology, it is well known that the current state of Arda, resulting from its corruption by Melkor is Arda Marred , _Arda Sahta_ in one source
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 17, 2003
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      In Elvish theology, it is well known that the current state of Arda,
      resulting from its corruption by Melkor is "Arda Marred", _Arda
      Sahta_ in one source (X:405, see also VT43:22-23 for a possibly
      related word) and _Arda Hastaina_ in another source (X:254).

      Both forms are similar to some extent: _Hastaina_ is transparently
      a participle (_hasta- + -(i)na_) and _Sahta_ is here used as an
      adjective. The English term is simply a direct translation of
      these concepts.

      The original design of Eru was "Arda Unmarred", _Arda Alahasta_
      (X:254), and at the end of the world, it is hoped that Eru will
      restore "Arda Healed", _Arda Envinyanta_ or _Vincarna_ (X:408),
      participial forms whose literal meanings are evidently "renewed"
      and "made anew".

      An interesting point in all these forms is that when the Elves
      describe the world they live in, they refer to its actual state,
      the only state they really know from experience: Arda Marred.
      All the other states, either before their times or in a projected
      eucatastrophe, are refered comparatively to this corrupted state:
      Un-marred, Re-made.

      When studying the strange Valarin language, it easy to make
      unprovable assertions, because of the scarcity of the sources.
      Yet, a close comparison of several forms might show interesting
      features that I have not seen discussed until the present day.
      I'll therefore present some of my conclusions, for the linguists
      of this list to further enlight the discussion.

      On one hand we have V. _Mânawenûz_ (Manwë) "Blessed One", which
      can also also be related to (V:371) MAN- "holy spirit". It is
      also said elsewhere that Q. _Aman_ and _Manwe_ both contain the
      V. element _aman_, _man_ (XII:357). The former word, _a-man_,
      cleary shows a reduplication of the root vowel, perhaps as a mark
      of emphasis (cf. Q. ithil, estel, indis, etc.). And on the other hand,
      (Arda) Unmarred and Unmarred are respectively _Amanaišâl_ and
      _Dušamanûdhân_ (XI:401).

      In his essay about Valarin, Helge K. Fauskanger notes: "The
      word _dušamanûðân_ 'marred' would seem to be a passive
      participle by its gloss; if we had known the verb 'to mar',
      we could have isolated the morphemes used to derive such
      participles." (<http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/valarin.htm>)
      This statement, however, assumes that the English gloss
      is representative of the Valarin word, i.e. that the
      word literally means "marred" and that our only problem
      is that we don't know where to break the morphemes.

      Breaking these long words into elementary morphemes would
      indeed be very hypothetical, but we can nevertheless
      notice that both words have a common point: they both seem
      to contain the _-man-_ element! However, how can we take
      into account this weird fact: that "marred" and "unmarred"
      seem, on the surface, to contain the very opposite term as
      the one we would expect?

      Going further from this point, will all necessary precautions,
      we can perhaps account for a different interpretation:

      a[REDUP.]-man(a)["BLESS"]-(i-)šâl[ADJ.]
      duš[NEG.]-a[REDUP]-man(û)["BLESS"]-ðân[ADJ.]

      Whether _-(i-)šâl_ and _-ðân_ are actually adjectival or participial
      endings is not the important point here. We will hardly know
      their exact meaning and nuance.

      But what we would have here, if this theory bears any validity,
      is a positive form _Amanaišâl_ "Blessed", and a negative form
      _Dušamanûdhân_ "Unblessed". That is, exactly the reverse
      of the Elvish forms.

      Beyond the linguistic interest that one may find in such issues,
      it would throw a new light on the way the Valar themselves
      conceived their world, the world they saw from the origin, as
      opposed to the Elves who only came later when Melkor's evil deeds
      where already achieved. The original design of Eru is not "Arda
      Unmarred" but "Arda Blessed". The world under Melkor's dominion
      is not "Arda Marred" but "Arda Unblessed"... I can't say for sure
      that there is any truth in all this demonstration, but I would
      not be astonished to discover that Tolkien wove such
      theological ideas under linguistic clothes: a pun of some sort,
      with an hidden meaning.

      Comments are of course welcome.

      Didier.
    • Patrick H. Wynne
      Didier has proposed that Valarin _Amanaišâl_ in _Aþâraphelûn Amanaišâl_ Arda Unmarred actually means * blessed rather than unmarred , and that V.
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 18, 2003
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        Didier has proposed that Valarin _Amanaišâl_ in _Aþâraphelûn
        Amanaišâl_ 'Arda Unmarred' actually means *'blessed' rather
        than 'unmarred', and that V. _Dušamanûðân_ in _Aþâraphelûn
        Dušamanûðân_ 'Arda Marred' actually means *'unblessed'
        rather than 'marred'.

        This interpretation seems quite likely, although Didier has
        overlooked a piece of evidence which clarifies the probable
        meaning of the Valarin element *_aman-_ in these forms.
        In "Quendi and Eldar" (XI:399), Tolkien notes that Q. _aman_
        'blessed, free from evil' was derived from Valarin, and though
        Pengolodh does not give the original Valarin form, it was
        said to mean 'at peace, in accord (with Eru)'.

        So the literal meaning of _Aþâraphelûn Amanaišâl_ is
        probably *'Arda at Peace' or *'Arda in Accord (with Eru)',
        while _Aþâraphelûn Dušamanûðân_ means *'Arda not
        at Peace' or *'Arda not in Accord (with Eru)'.

        The apparent negative prefix *_duš-_ in _Dušamanûðân_
        'marred', *'not in accord with Eru' seems deliberately
        intended to recall in both form and function the Greek prefix
        _dys-_, which according to Liddell and Scott's "An Inter-
        mediate Greek-English Lexicon" is a prefix "like _un-_ or
        _mis-_ (in _un-lucky_, _mis-chance_), _destroying the good
        sense_ of a word, or _increasing its bad sense_."

        Another Valarin word that appears to have clear but
        hitherto unnoted cognates in the languages of Middle-earth
        is _Phanaikelûth_, Valarin name for the Moon said to literally
        mean 'bright mirror' (XI:401).

        The element meaning 'bright' is probably *_phanai-_, which
        closely resembles Q. _fana_ 'veil, raiment' (RGEO:74),
        applied to "the radiant and majestic figure of one of the
        great _Valar_" -- for "The High-Elves said that these forms
        were always in some degree radiant, as if suffused with a
        light from within" (ibid.). Compare also Q. _faina-_ 'emit
        light', < base PHAY- 'radiate, send out rays of light' (V:381).

        This leaves *_kelûth_ to mean 'mirror', and this Valarin
        form closely resembles Khuzdul _kheled_ 'glass' in
        _Kheled-zâram_ 'Mirrormere', lit. 'glass-pool' (VI:466 n.39).
        Kh. _kheled_ was borrowed into Sindarin as _heleð_
        'glass', which appears in the lake-name _Hele(ð)vorn_
        'black glass' (ibid.)

        -- Patrick H. Wynne
      • Robert Wilson
        On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 16:00:16 -0000 Patrick H. Wynne ... I have noted this resemblance, and several others between Khuzdul and Valarin:
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 18, 2003
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          On Sat, 18 Oct 2003 16:00:16 -0000 "Patrick H. Wynne" <pwynne@...>
          writes:

          > This leaves *_kel�th_ to mean 'mirror', and this Valarin
          > form closely resembles Khuzdul _kheled_ 'glass' in
          > _Kheled-z�ram_ 'Mirrormere', lit. 'glass-pool' (VI:466 n.39).
          > Kh. _kheled_ was borrowed into Sindarin as _hele�_
          > 'glass', which appears in the lake-name _Hele(�)vorn_
          > 'black glass' (ibid.)

          I have noted this resemblance, and several others between Khuzdul and
          Valarin:

          Valarin _a�ata_/_�ata_ "hair of head" (XI:399) and Khuzdul _shath�r_
          "cloud(s)" (LR, VII:174)

          Valarin _machall�m_ "one of the seats of the Valar in the Ring of Doom"
          (XI:399), and _m�chan_ "authority, authoritative decision" (XI:399) and
          Khuzdul _Mahal_ (S:44)

          Ardalambion also lists Valarin _m�chan�z_, pl. _m�chanum�z_
          ""Authorities", used of the greatest Valar, called _Aratar_ in Quenya",
          but without a citation...

          [These forms appear in XI:402. -- PHW]

          Valarin _ulu_/_ullu_ "water" (XI:400,401) and Khuzdul _�l_ "streams"
          (VI:466)

          Also, black speech _gh�sh_ "fire" (LR) seems like it could be related to
          valarin *_igas_ "heat" (isolated from _A��raigas_ "appointed heat" (XI:401).

          --
          Robert Wilson
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          A reminder to all members to please post messages to this list in either ISO Latin 1 or UTF-8 encoding. Otherwise, any non-ASCII characters in your messages
          Message 4 of 6 , Oct 19, 2003
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            A reminder to all members to please post messages to this list in
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          • Edward J. Kloczko
            ... In XII:357 (n.18) Tolkien gives the meaning in Valarin of _aman, man_ as : The Valarin element _aman, man_ blessed, holy learned from Oromë .
            Message 5 of 6 , Oct 20, 2003
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              Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

              > This interpretation seems quite likely, although Didier has
              > overlooked a piece of evidence which clarifies the probable
              > meaning of the Valarin element *_aman-_ in these forms.
              > In "Quendi and Eldar" (XI:399), Tolkien notes that Q. _aman_
              > 'blessed, free from evil' was derived from Valarin, and though
              > Pengolodh does not give the original Valarin form, it was
              > said to mean 'at peace, in accord (with Eru)'.

              In XII:357 (n.18) Tolkien gives the meaning in Valarin of _aman,
              man_ as :"The Valarin element _aman, man_ 'blessed, holy'
              learned from Oromë".

              [Interesting, but not germaine to the current discussion. The
              note you cite is from "The Shibboleth of Feanor",which was
              written c. 1968 or later, some eight or nine years _later_ than
              "Quendi and Eldar", which dates to 1959-60. I have been lim-
              iting the discussion to only those Valarin forms cited in Q&E,
              which presumably form a relatively self-consistent linguistic
              construct. -- PHW]

              It is the Valarin name of Aman which means 'at peace, in accord
              (with Eru)', not "Aman" as such in Quenya. It could be argued
              that what the Elves translated as "blessed" in Quenya was
              literally in Valarin 'at peace, in accord (with Eru)'.

              [This mostly repeats what I have already said in the passage
              you cited above: that Q. _aman_ meant 'blessed, free from evil',
              and that according to Pengolodh the "original Valarin form" from
              which this Q. _aman_ was derived "was said to mean 'at peace,
              in accord (with Eru)'". So I don't understand what your point of
              disagreement is, unless you are assuming that Q&E says that
              the Q. name _Aman_ applied to the land of the Valar was
              derived from a Valarin name for their land meaning 'at peace,
              in accord (with Eru)'. But this is certainly _not_ the case! Q&E
              does _not_ say that it is "the Valarin name of Aman" which
              means 'at peace, in accord (with Eru)'" -- Q&E states that the
              Q. word _aman_ 'blessed, free from evil' was chiefly used
              as the name of the land of the Valar, presumably _in Quenya_.
              Note that Q. _aman_ is given uncapitalized and that Tolkien says
              that it was "chiefly" used to refer to the land of the Valar, not
              that it was _only_ so used; the clear implication is that Q. _aman_
              was also used as a common adjective. And this Quenya adj. was
              borrowed from a Valarin form (presumably also an adj.) meaning
              'at peace' etc., -- but _nothing_ is said of the particular application
              of this original Valarin form _in Valarin_. We do not know what
              the Valar named their own country in their own language. -- PHW]

              > So the literal meaning of _Aþâraphelûn Amanaisâl_ is
              > probably *'Arda at Peace' or *'Arda in Accord (with Eru)',
              > while _Aþâraphelûn Dusamanûðân_ means *'Arda not
              > at Peace' or *'Arda not in Accord (with Eru)'.

              Then Amanaisâl would be the same name as the place-name "Aman"
              in Valarin, which it isn't. The meaning was close for sure, but it is
              probabaly not that of 'at Peace' or 'in Accord (with Eru)' then.

              [No, because as shown above, Tolkien does NOT say in Q&E that the
              Valarin element from which Q. _aman_ was derived was used by the
              Valar themselves to form their own name in Valarin for the land in
              which they dwelt. -- PHW]

              <snip>

              > Another Valarin word that appears to have clear but
              > hitherto unnoted cognates in the languages of Middle-earth
              > is _Phanaikelûth_, Valarin name for the Moon said to literally
              > mean 'bright mirror' (XI:401).

              I have in my dictionnary of Valarin, in "Dictionnaire des langues ds
              Hobbits, etc". p. 27, pointed to the same direction, so to speak.

              [Again, my lack of French defeats me! :-) -- PHW]

              > This leaves *_kelûth_ to mean 'mirror', and this Valarin
              > form closely resembles Khuzdul _kheled_ 'glass' in
              > _Kheled-zâram_ 'Mirrormere', lit. 'glass-pool' (VI:466 n.39).
              > Kh. _kheled_ was borrowed into Sindarin as _heleð_
              > 'glass', which appears in the lake-name _Hele(ð)vorn_
              > 'black glass' (ibid.)

              At that goes here too, see my book on see p. 26. ;-)

              Other cognates I have proposed in my book are:

              - Kh. root *SH-TH-R (> _shathur_, 'cloud') and Val. _shebeth_ 'air' (XI:401).

              - Val. *_ubôz_ '? lord', < _Ul(l)ubôz_, which could mean 'Lord of Waters' --
              one of the titles of Ulmo in 'The Silmarillion' -- and Kh. root *Z-B-D seen in
              _uzbad_ 'lord'.

              - Val. _ul(l)u_ 'water' and Khuzdul _ûl_ 'rivers' (< ? 'weak' root *W-L), is
              obvious.


              Edouard Kloczko
            • Edward J. Kloczko
              ... Tolkien s remark is quite relevant to my scheme. It was written a few years after Quendi and Eldar , that much is true, but it does not contradict the
              Message 6 of 6 , Oct 21, 2003
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                I wrote :

                > In XII:357 (n.18) Tolkien gives the meaning in Valarin of _aman,
                > man_ as :"The Valarin element _aman, man_ 'blessed, holy'
                > learned from Oromë".

                To which Patrick H. Wynne responded:

                > Interesting, but not germaine to the current discussion. The
                > note you cite is from "The Shibboleth of Feanor",which was
                > written c. 1968 or later, some eight or nine years _later_ than
                > "Quendi and Eldar", which dates to 1959-60. I have been lim-
                > iting the discussion to only those Valarin forms cited in Q&E,
                > which presumably form a relatively self-consistent linguistic
                > construct.

                Tolkien's remark is quite relevant to my scheme.
                It was written a few years after "Quendi and Eldar", that much is true,
                but it does not contradict the Valarin language presented. And even
                if Tolkien used to change his mind often, that does imply that he changed
                his mind about the structure or meaning of the word _a-man_ in Valarin,
                or that it did not exist or it existed with another meaning than 'blessed,
                holy' when "Quendi and Eldar" was written.

                And that meaning given to V._ a-man_ clearly supports my theory
                (see below) that Q. _aman_ comes from the Valarin word 'a-man' and
                not from an unknown Valarin word meaning ‘at peace, in accord (with Eru)’,
                which itself looks very close (in meaning) to a name such as _Mânawenûz_.

                I also wrote:

                > It is the Valarin name of Aman which means 'at peace, in accord
                > (with Eru)', not "Aman" as such in Quenya. It could be argued
                > that what the Elves translated as "blessed" in Quenya was
                > literally in Valarin 'at peace, in accord (with Eru)'.

                To which PHW responded:

                > ... So I don't understand what your point of
                > disagreement is, unless you are assuming that Q&E says that
                > the Q. name _Aman_ applied to the land of the Valar was
                > derived from a Valarin name for their land meaning 'at peace,
                > in accord (with Eru)'. But this is certainly _not_ the case! Q&E
                > does _not_ say that it is "the Valarin name of Aman" which
                > means 'at peace, in accord (with Eru)'" ...

                Yes, this is how I read it :

                _aman_ ‘blessed, free from evil’. Chiefly used as the name of the land
                in which the Valar dwelt. V form not given; said to mean ‘at peace, in
                accord (with Eru)’. See Manwe.

                as :

                "... Chiefly used as the name of the land in which the Valar dwelt. V form [of
                the place-name of the land] not given..."

                So, I wonder. Am I alone in reading the above : ‘at peace, in accord (with Eru)’
                meaning the unknown form given the Land of the Valar in Valarin?

                The V word 'in accord (with Eru)' appears inside the Valarin _Mânawenûz_,
                said to mean ‘One (closest) in accord with Eru’, so it could hardly be said
                as "not given".

                Or does everybody agree with PHW, e.g. Q. _aman_ < from a Valarin word
                not given by Pengolodh/Tolkien but meaning ‘at peace, in accord (with Eru)’.
                (I hope not. :-) )

                Edouard Kloczko

                [I had to edit out of this current post a fair amount of unnecessary
                citation of Edouard's previous post and my comments added to same --
                a gentle reminder to our contributors to please cite only the bare
                minimum necessary, and feel free to paraphrase or summarize. Thanks!
                -- PHW]
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