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Re: [Lambengolmor] The value of _ll_ in Sindarin - Comments on the _Tengwestië_ article

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  • Hans Georg Lundahl
    ... Also lh in Portuguese, like ll in Castilian, has the value of l mouillé. Hence it is unclear (as indeed any Latin spelling of any non-Latin sound, except
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 10, 2003
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      Carl wrote:

      > [...We know that he avoided _dh_ for this reason; and there is no reason to
      > think he would not avoid _lh_, which looks extremely similar to _dh_, for
      > precisely the same reason. CFH]

      Also lh in Portuguese, like ll in Castilian, has the value of l mouillé. Hence it is unclear (as indeed any Latin spelling of any non-Latin sound, except for those familiar with the conventions: sh is a Schin in English but an h in Gaelic, th Thorn or Edh in English but h in Gaelic, final a is Latin a in Castilian but Sch'wa in Catalan, sz is Schin in Polish but s in Hungarian - were Schin is spelled s! - and so on). No doubt Tolkien used Tengwar to circumvent the difficulty, and he specifically states that the Tengwa alda - ld in Quenya - is used for voiceless l (whatever be the Welsh name for that sound) in Sindarin.

      > [...These assumptions are made for the sake of argument, which is fair enough
      > -- Helge himself points the uncertainties he is navigating with the _LotR_ forms;
      > but you can't treat these assumptions as fact and then use them to "prove" that
      > Tolkien was making a contradictory statement. In fact, when contradictions are
      > arrived at, it is the _assumptions_ that must be discarded. CFH]

      A good point in _any_ branch of science, whether grammar (Tolkienian or non-Tolkienian) or astronomy or whatever.

      Hans Georg Lundahl

      Höstrusk och grå moln - köp en resa till solen på Yahoo! Resor

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Kiltz
      ... Know the truth. [There are very many facts about his languages that Tolkien could have included in the Appendices had his purpose in writing them been to
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 11, 2003
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        On 10.12.2003, at 20:46, Carl Hostetter wrote:

        > with no way to determine the etymology of most Sindarin words in _ll_,
        > so as to distinguish the correct pronunciation, what would the reader
        > do with the information?

        Know the truth.

        [There are very many facts about his languages that Tolkien could have
        included in the Appendices had his purpose in writing them been to allow
        the reader to know every linguistic truth. But that was not his purpose;
        instead, his purpose was, as he stated in the Appendices, "to represent
        the original sounds (so far as they can be determined) with _fair_ accuracy,
        and at the same to produce words and names that do not look uncouth in
        modern letters" (emphasis mine). CFH]

        > [You're entitled to your view, but in my opinion the visual parallel
        > between uncouth _dh_ and _lh_ could hardly be more striking.
        > And note that Tolkien did not merely "exclude" _dh_, he altered its
        > _representation_ to _d_, which thus, like _ll_, represents two
        > different values depending on etymology.

        1) Let me get this straight: Was there no _#lh-_ in the first edition
        of the LotR?

        If there was, why wouldn't it be used medially ? That's my point.

        [I can think of only one instance: _Amon Lhaw_. This might be an isolated
        case where Tolkien forgot his own decision. On the other hand, how else
        could he have represented it? _Ll_ would be out of the question, because
        _in initial position_ _Ll_ would be even more uncouth and foreign to
        English readers than _Lh_ (or so feels this English reader). Tolkien could
        instead have used _L_, but for whatever reason did not. In the particular,
        rare (if not unique) case, Tolkien may have weighed the balance of accuracy
        and uncouthness in favor of _Lh_ because it was in initial position; medially,
        _lh_ would tend to be pronounced by English readers as _l_ + _h_ -- as,
        indeed, it is _sometimes_ to be pronounced; so again, one would have to
        know the underlying etymology in order to decide on the correct
        pronunciation; and thus it would be no improvement, in addition to
        being uncouth. CFH]

        2) Let's not play with words! By using _d_ instead of _dh_ the spelling
        _dh_ is excluded from the text. Your point about the double value is
        valid but note that I never doubted the fact that _ll_ is meant to
        represent two different values in strict accordance with Tolkien's
        statement cited in VT42.

        I wrote:

        > So apparently we have the following scenario:
        > S. _lh_ ==== _ll_ when < *_-lC-_

        That's a typo. It should of course read <*_lt_.

        Regarding the issue of whether _ll_ is single or double voiceless _l_,
        the big point, which you seem to miss, is that Tolkien does say that
        _ll_ represents short voiceless _l_. He implies it when saying (VT42:27):

        "In the transcription of Elvish Sindarin in _The Lord of the Rings_ _ll_
        is used in the manner of modern Welsh for the medial voiceless _l_;
        as in _mallorn_ < _malhorn_ < _malþorn_ < _malt_
        ‘gold’ and _orn_ ‘tree’."

        Clearly, there is no 'conjecture' as Welsh _ll_ represents short
        voiceless _l_ (1). Also Tolkien writes "... voiceless _l_" not
        **"...voiceless _ll_". So the passage you cite must refer to a
        transitional stage, not the one reflected in the LotR and its spelling.

        [I certainly recognize this as a possible _implication_ of what Tolkien
        writes, as I have already said; but I do not consider this an explicit
        statement or proof. To my mind, Tolkien may only be referring to an
        orthographic convention in Welsh, not intending thereby to make a
        precise claim as to phonetic length. Alternatively, he _may_ have had
        such in mind, but I don't see this as a _necessary_ implication of his
        wording. CFH]

        Thus, if we take what Tolkien himself says seriously, we have a double
        representation of one and the same sound (unless _#lh-_ doesn't figure
        in the original version of the LotR, which I don't know).

        [I do take Tolkien's words "seriously"; seriously enough to consider the
        context in which statements are made, and to distinguish possible
        implication from established fact. CFH]

        If _lh_ figures the reason for not using _lh_ medially is etymology not

        [I maintain that the reason Tolkien _ll_ instead of _lh_ _may_ have
        been for visual aesthetic reasons, as explained further above. CFH]

        (Or does initial _lh_ look less uncouth to English speaking eyes that
        medial _lh_ ? Seriously.).

        [Again, see above. And thank you for giving my article serious attention,
        and for sharing your thoughts on it, and giving me an opportunity to
        further consider, explore, and clarify my own thoughts on the matter. CFH]

        David Kiltz

        (1) In Modern Welsh, that is. In Middle Welsh _ll_ could represent both
        long voiced _l_ or short voiceless _l_.
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