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Reflexivity of _im_ (was Re:Re: 3rd person vs. personeless vs. unsuffixed)

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  • David Kiltz
    ... Well, we have _anim_ for myself [LRIII:423] and again in the above sentence Tolkien translates _im_ as I , also, in Luthien s chant we find ...le
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 5, 2003
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      On 04.11.2003, at 23:54, Aaron Shaw wrote:

      > Tolkien gives us an english translation of "I" for _im_ but that
      > does not necessarily imply that this has a direct correlation with
      > Sindarin (I would in fact expect such a nominative pronoun form to
      > be _ni_ [cf. Etym NI2-]). _Im_ is, in my opinion, an emphatic and/or
      > reflexive form of sorts.

      Well, we have _anim_ 'for myself' [LRIII:423] and again in the above
      sentence Tolkien translates _im_ as 'I', also, in Luthien's chant we
      find "...le linnon im Tinúviel" [III:354]. No translation is given here
      but the sentence can hardly mean anything but 'to thee I sing, I,
      Tinúviel'. _Im_ here is in agreement with the 1st sg. pr. _linnon_ 'I
      sing'. _Im_ may well be used emphatically, or be an emphatic form but
      that doesn't change the meaning of 'pronoun of the 1st sg.' one bit. I
      think one should not be misled by English "myself" as that is clearly a
      compound == "my self". In Gilraen's _linnod_ "myself" is used as a variant
      of 'me'. Still, even in Modern English (correct me if I'm wrong) you
      wouldn't say **"myself writes this inscription" but rather "I, myself,
      *write* this inscription". I think it's unlikely to the utmost that _im_
      denotes anything but a 1st. sg. and not just 'self', 'atman' or the
      like.

      Lastly, _im_ cannot be a reflexive as far as I can see, as "Narvi made
      myself them" doesn't make any sense. Note that "myself" in a phrase
      like "I myself washed it" is not a reflexive but an emphatic. In
      "I washed myself" _myself_ is a reflexive.

      Lastly, I wouldn't expect the casus rectus (nominative) of the 1. sg.
      pronoun to be _ni_ as the attested form in Quenya is _inye_ possessive
      _-(i)nya_. Besides _anim_, only oblique forms show _ni-_ (cf. S. _nin_
      (for) me [LRII:425], _nín_ 'my' [UT:40] and _enni_ '(to) me' [VT41:11]).
      Admittedly, the _-m_ in _im_ looks a little problematic. Theoretically,
      it could be e.g. < _*in-bV_. Still, the evidence seems to suggest that
      _im_ is the 1. sg. pronoun. As it is not obligatory in Sindarin, it serves,
      when used, as an emphatic.

      David Kiltz
    • Aaron Shaw
      ... I think _im_ is here treated as the determiner of _Narvi_, so I find it quite possible that _Narvi_ would be the true antecedent. I don t think it s
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 5, 2003
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        --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, Andreas Johansson <andjo@f...>
        wrote:

        > like "I, Narvi, made ...", would use a 3rd sg verb, because the
        > appositional noun is treated like the antecedent?

        I think _im_ is here treated as the determiner of _Narvi_, so I find
        it quite possible that _Narvi_ would be the "true" antecedent. I
        don't think it's possible for a determiner to be an antecedent. Or
        can it be?

        Aaron Shaw
      • Aaron Shaw
        ... Oh, I quite agree. I was not trying to imply such. But it is good to see that we agree that _im_ could very well be an emphatic form. ... Yes, and _anim_
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 5, 2003
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          --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

          > _Im_ may well be used emphatically, or be an emphatic form but
          > that doesn't change the meaning of 'pronoun of the 1st sg.' one
          >bit.

          Oh, I quite agree. I was not trying to imply such. But it is good
          to see that we agree that _im_ could very well be an emphatic form.

          >I think one should not be misled by English "myself" as that is
          >clearly a compound = "my self".

          Yes, and _anim_ is clearly a compound of _an_ + _im_. I don't
          expect _im_ to indicate "self" as in the English equivalent. You bring
          up some very good points, so it seems clear to me now that we are
          dealing with a 1st person form (which I never ruled out before, just
          questioned). What would be interesting to know is whether Sindarin
          verbal "inflections" are an agreement phenomenon or a clitized
          pronoun. If this were to be a cliticized pronoun that would suggest a
          nominative, or casus rectus as you put it, form _ni_.

          > Lastly, _im_ cannot be a reflexive as far as I can see, as "Narvi made
          > myself them" doesn't make any sense.

          Yes, quite right. I was quite wrong here.

          > Lastly, I wouldn't expect the casus rectus (nominative) of the 1. sg.
          > pronoun to be _ni_ as the attested form in Quenya is _inye_ possessive
          > -(i)nya_.

          Oh, very interesting. I'm not sure that we can be compare these languages
          so closely though in this case. They are separate entities and deserve to
          be treated as such, even if they do share a common origin. I see no
          reason why pronouns in an agglutinating language would have to
          resemble those of a more analytic tongue.


          Aaron Shaw
        • Andreas Johansson
          ... I think Pavel has demonstrated to satisfaction that there is no simple answer to that question - either Tolkien changed the rules, or the rules are, well,
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 5, 2003
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            Quoting Aaron Shaw <lemnas@...>:
            > What would be interesting to know is whether Sindarin
            > verbal "inflections" are an agreement phenomenon or a clitized
            > pronoun.

            I think Pavel has demonstrated to satisfaction that there is no simple answer
            to that question - either Tolkien changed the rules, or the rules are, well,
            intricate. Or both, of course.

            Andreas
          • David Kiltz
            ... Certainly they are separate entities. Yet, I believe it is justified to compare them because they are genetically related. The typological difference
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 5, 2003
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              On 05.11.2003, at 17:32, Aaron Shaw wrote:

              >> Lastly, I wouldn't expect the casus rectus (nominative) of the 1. sg.
              >> pronoun to be _ni_ as the attested form in Quenya is _inye_ possessive
              >> -(i)nya_.
              >
              > Oh, very interesting. I'm not sure that we can be compare these
              > languages so closely though in this case. They are separate entities and
              > deserve to be treated as such, even if they do share a common origin.
              > I see no reason why pronouns in an agglutinating language would have to
              > resemble those of a more analytic tongue.

              Certainly they are separate entities. Yet, I believe it is justified to
              compare them because they are 'genetically' related. The typological
              difference (which isn't really all that big, cf. S. _guren_ 'my heart'
              with Q. _órenya_ [VT41:11]) doesn't matter here I think. Note that
              independent pronouns aren't effected by 'agglutination vs analysis'.
              E.g. Turkish has the independent pronouns _ben, sen, o_ 'I, you,
              he/she/it' just as an analytical language, say English. Compare also
              English, an 'analytical' (or even isolating') IE language, with Old Indic
              which is rather more agglutinative (inflective). The similarity of the
              pronouns is there because these languages are historically related,
              that is, have sprung from one root. Eng. _I_, Thou < PIE _*eg'oH_,
              _*tuH_ and Old Indic _aham, _tvam_ < PIE _*eg'H-om_, *_tu(H)-om_.
              Typology doesn't bear on this matter, as far as I can see.

              > What would be interesting to know is whether Sindarin
              > verbal "inflections" are an agreement phenomenon or a clitized
              > pronoun. If this were to be a cliticized pronoun that would suggest a
              > nominative, or casus rectus as you put it, form _ni_.

              I don't know whether I understand you right. Historically, verbal
              endings have their origin in pronouns (clitics). Inflecting languages
              don't normally employ an independent pronoun with a verb unless the
              endings have been worn down to a certain degree. In the latter case
              languages tend to make the use of independent pronouns with a verb
              obligatory. Still, inflecting languages and thus inflected verbs do
              agree with the subject of the sentence. So, actually, it's an agreement
              phenomenon + they are (originally) cliticized pronouns (or forms
              thereof). So, Sindarin has its 1. sg. verbal marker in -n.

              But no, as far as I know, Sindarin doesn't attach forms of the
              independent pronoun to the verb (inflected or not) synchronically. That
              means, while the ending _-n_ would be related to _nin_, _enni_ etc., it
              is not the synchronical equivalent of the independent pronoun 'I' in
              Sindarin.

              David Kiltz
            • Aaron Shaw
              ... Both true statements. It just makes one (perhaps just me as I know much less than I wish ;)) wonder whether these similarities might also be misleading.
              Message 6 of 11 , Nov 5, 2003
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                --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, David Kiltz <dkiltz@g...> wrote:

                >Yet, I believe it is justified to compare them because they
                >are 'genetically' related.

                >The similarity of the pronouns is there because these languages are
                >historically related, that is, have sprung from one root.

                Both true statements. It just makes one (perhaps just me as I know
                much less than I wish ;)) wonder whether these similarities might
                also be misleading. Unless we can theoretically "unlayer" a word, so
                to speak, who can say what suffixes, infixes, etc. might have occured
                in one language and not the other. I suppose I am merely
                questioning our _knowledge_ of how Quenya and Sindarin pronouns are
                to be derived. I personally don't know much about this - are we
                fairly sure in our knowledge of how these forms were derived? (both
                morphologically and semantically?). I just am not sure whether a
                suffix on a quenya pronoun would make that much of a difference in
                the derivation of a Sindarin form. =)

                [It is indeed a dangerous thing to assume that any particular feature,
                of Quenya, phonological, morphological, semantic, or otherwise,
                will have a direct cognate in Sindarin, as, to pick just a few examples,
                the example of Q. _esse_ 'name' but S. _eneth_ 'name' in Tolkien's
                translations of the Lord's Prayer, the plural _-r_ of Quenya nouns, or
                the future-tense marker Q _-(u)va_ but S _-ath-_, show. CFH]

                >Inflecting languages don't normally employ an independent pronoun
                >with a verb unless the endings have been worn down to a certain
                >degree.

                Yes, "pro-drop" or rich inflectional languages versus modern English
                for example. I am just curious whether these "personless" forms
                originally were derived from a clitic + verb (or later inflection)
                with a later loss of an agreement morpheme, or whether these are
                entirely differing forms that at no point in time were inflected.

                > But no, as far as I know, Sindarin doesn't attach forms of the
                > independent pronoun to the verb (inflected or not) synchronically.

                No, I wouldn't assume so either.

                >it is not the synchronical equivalent of the independent
                >pronoun 'I' in Sindarin.

                An old _ni_ inflection would be, which after vowel dropping has
                become _-n_. This suggests to me that the only true "nominative"
                forms were archaic ("Sindarin" as we know it then seemingly lacking
                true "nominative" forms?) and that all others (currenly _im_?) are
                emphatic - syntactically and possibly in form as well. While
                certainly emphatic forms retain the person, I just am not sure
                whether they can truly be treated as normal "pronouns" in both
                interpretation or syntax. I don't know much about the diachronic
                views on modern romance languages but they must be similar in
                development? Does anyone know more about these?

                Aaron Shaw
              • David Kiltz
                ... I perfectly agree. I adduced Q. _inye_ etc. solely because you had suggested that a 1. sg. in Sindarin should be _ni-_ referring to the entry NI2- in _The
                Message 7 of 11 , Nov 5, 2003
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                  On 05.11.2003, at 21:51, Aaron Shaw wrote:

                  > Unless we can theoretically "unlayer" a word, so to speak, who
                  > can say what suffixes, infixes, etc. might have occured in one
                  > language and not the other

                  I perfectly agree. I adduced Q. _inye_ etc. solely because you had
                  suggested that a 1. sg. in Sindarin should be _ni-_ referring to the
                  entry NI2- in _The Etymologies_. I simply wanted to illustrate that the
                  order of elements nasal+vowel isn't irreversible. Of course, the fact
                  that Q. has _inye_ doesn't prove anything for Sindarin.

                  On the other hand it is known that 1st and 2nd person pronouns
                  (especially singular) tend to be very archaic.

                  David Kiltz

                  [While I agree with David's statement in general, it isn't clear to me
                  that _inye_ exhibits the reversibility of CV- (and VC-) bases. Rather,
                  it appears that the basic element is modified, not reversed, to _-nye_,
                  and the _sund�ma_ _i_ prefixed. Note that _elye_ seems also to be
                  formed in this same manner. CFH]
                • David Kiltz
                  ... Quite. Seemingly reversible might have been better. I meant to say that _iN_ (N = any nasal) is quite possible, whatever the exact process that leads to
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 6, 2003
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                    On 06.11.2003, at 08:51, Carl Hostetter wrote:

                    > While I agree with David's statement in general, it isn't clear to me
                    > that _inye_ exhibits the reversibility of CV- (and VC-) bases. Rather,
                    > it appears that the basic element is modified, not reversed, to _-nye_,
                    > and the _sundóma_ _i_ prefixed. Note that _elye_ seems also to be
                    > formed in this same manner. CFH]

                    Quite. 'Seemingly reversible' might have been better. I meant to say
                    that _iN_ (N == any nasal) is quite possible, whatever the exact process
                    that leads to that form. Indeed, I think Carl's suggestion is a very
                    good idea. So in _elye_ you would assume influence of the 1st person
                    pronoun? In strict analogy we would expect _+ele_ <_*elê_ <_*ele-e_,
                    wouldn't we?

                    [As my friend and colleague Christopher Gilson once observed,
                    "Go not to the Lambengolmor for counsel, for they will say both
                    perhaps and maybe". CFH]

                    While not noted as such in _The Etymologies_, we might have cases of a
                    stem that is virtually INI, ELE with the possibility of left and right
                    branching vowels. Just as e.g. ANA 2/NÁ 2 which yields _ná_ 'is', _nat_
                    'thing' and _anwa_ 'actual, true' [V:348/374].

                    As for the 'm' in S. _im_, there is, perhaps, a faint possibility that
                    it has been influenced by the 1st pl. That would, however, be
                    typologically unusual.

                    David Kiltz
                  • Jerome Colburn
                    ... ...well, perhaps more likely, I, myself, write inscriptions, I, myself, am writing this inscription, or I, myself, wrote this inscription. But
                    Message 9 of 11 , Nov 11, 2003
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                      At 02:10 PM 11/5/03 +0100, David Kiltz wrote:
                      >On 04.11.2003, at 23:54, Aaron Shaw wrote:
                      >
                      >Still, even in Modern English (correct me if I'm wrong) you
                      >wouldn't say **"myself writes this inscription" but rather "I, myself,
                      >*write* this inscription".

                      ...well, perhaps more likely, "I, myself, write inscriptions," "I, myself,
                      am writing this inscription," or "I, myself, wrote this inscription."

                      But **"myself writes this inscription" reminds me of the dialectal English
                      ascribed to Irish speakers and commonly found in folk texts, where "myself"
                      stands for Gaelic _mise_. Yet that too is emphatic rather than reflexive.

                      +-------------------------+
                      + Airesseo Kolvorno +
                      + Jerome Colburn +
                      + jcolburn@... +
                      +-------------------------+
                      "Do you not be happy with me as the translator of the books of you?" -- New
                      Yorker cartoon
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