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Re: Quenya rhotacism

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  • Lukas Novak
    I have always supposed that the form _olor_ arose by analogy with the other cases (comp. Latin _honos_/_honor_) . This seems to me to be the most natural
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 3, 2004
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      I have always supposed that the form _olor_ arose by analogy with
      the other cases (comp. Latin _honos_/_honor_) . This seems to
      me to be the most natural explanation.

      Lukas
    • Darrell Martin
      Greetings: If one wished to test a hypothesis that some invented Tolkien language I is based on some primary-world language P, how ought one go about it?
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 3, 2004
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        Greetings:

        If one wished to test a hypothesis that some invented Tolkien language I is "based on" some primary-world language P, how ought one go about it?

        What features and criteria would be sufficient demonstration of an influence? What documentation would be expected?

        Darrell


        Darrell A. Martin darrellm@...
        a native Vermonter currently in exile in Illinois
        http://www.darrell-martin.net/genealogy


        [I would say that phonetic character, sc. inventory and permitted patterns, and especially the phonological developments that produced them, must rank as the chief influence on Tolkien's languages from primary-world languages. If you can demonstrate a persuasive similarity between the phonological development of language I from Common Eldarin and that of language P from Proto-Indo-European (assuming P is an IE language), I would count the influence demonstrated. Other influences exist as well, of course, as with grammatical mutation in Sindarin and Welsh, or the rich inflectional systems of Quenya and Finnish (and to a lesser extent Latin). For Tolkienian and/or primary-world languages where phonological information is spotty or non-existent (e.g., Khuzdul, Black Speech), one must instead rely on synchronic features, such as an inventory of phonemes and permitted sound patterns, apparent derivational mechanisms, etc. etc. CFH]
      • Lukas Novak
        ... Perhaps because of the difference of the stress pattern? In felga felya the felg fely syllable is stressed, whereas in ulgundo ulundo the ulg ul
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 4, 2004
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          Andreas Johansson wrote:

          > (And yes, I'm aware of Q _ulundo_ < _ulgundô_, which raises
          > the question why we're not seeing **fela instead.)

          Perhaps because of the difference of the stress pattern?
          In "felga>felya" the "felg>fely" syllable is stressed, whereas
          in "ulgundo>ulundo" the "ulg>ul" syllable is not stressed?
          To me it makes sense - but who is me :-) ?

          Lukas
        • Andreas Johansson
          ... I d rather expect the words to syllabify as fel.ya and u.lun.do, respectively, but the idea that the difference is due to the difference in stress might be
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 5, 2004
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            Quoting Lukas Novak <lukas.novak@...>:

            > Andreas Johansson wrote:
            >
            > > (And yes, I'm aware of Q _ulundo_ < _ulgundô_, which raises
            > > the question why we're not seeing **fela instead.)
            >
            > Perhaps because of the difference of the stress pattern?
            > In "felga>felya" the "felg>fely" syllable is stressed, whereas
            > in "ulgundo>ulundo" the "ulg>ul" syllable is not stressed?
            > To me it makes sense - but who is me :-) ?

            I'd rather expect the words to syllabify as fel.ya and u.lun.do, respectively,
            but the idea that the difference is due to the difference in stress might be
            correct nonetheless. I don't think I've ever heard any other decent internal
            explanation, while the obvious external one, that the good Professor changed
            the rules during the composition of Etym, has been advanced repeatedly.

            Another possible internal explanation that struck me right now is that it
            could simply be due to the different following vowel. No closely parallel case
            is known to me, but the phenomenon as such, the same consonant behaving
            variously depending on the following vowel, is examplified by the different
            fate of primitive *w before *a and *o, for instance. (I'm unfortunately unable
            to provide a proper citation for that, having again left my library back in
            Sweden. Carl?)

            [Comparison of derivatives of Etym. WÔ- (Q _o-_/_ó-_) and bases in WA-,
            such as WA3- (Q _vára_), WAN- (Q _vanya_), etc. exhibit this contrast.
            See also the statement in _Quendi and Eldar_ that initial _w-_ was "lost in
            Quenya before _ô_" (XI:367). (Please note that I make no promise of
            providing citations in the future!) CFH]

            Andreas
          • Ales Bican
            ... **So would it surprise me. I did not want to say that it should really be a gamma but the development in QPh I mentioned last time (i.e. _r _ ... **I
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 5, 2004
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              Andreas Johansson wrote:

              >>>In Etym, under TARAG, we se *_targâ_ as the ancestral form of Q >_tarya_.
              >>>
              >> ... I cannot quite understand the change of _g_ to _y_. Perhaps the _y_ in
              >> _tarya_ is a misreading for _g_ and we will have the very first word with
              >> _rg_? And looking at development of _gh_ (written as gamma) in PE12:24
              >> where _rgh_ gave _rg_, it may even be that the _y_ is a misreading for a
              >> gamma.
              >
              > Well, as there's to the very best of my knowledge no (other) Q word with a
              > gamma in it, it would rather surpise me.

              **So would it surprise me. I did not want to say that it should really be a
              gamma but the development in QPh I mentioned last time (i.e. _r<gamma>_
              > _rg_) struck my attention. Gamma is after all similar to _y_.

              > And _g_>_gh_>_y_ is hardly very odd. Greek's done it before front vowels,
              > f'rinstance, and Noldorin seems to much the same in _Diriel_<_Dirghel_
              > (mentioned under DER in Etym), where the second element is from GYEL.

              **I do not claim that it cannot be possible. I would only like to understand
              the development. If this happened in Greek before front vowels, it is
              understandable, since after spirantization _g_ could have been assimilated
              to _i_ or _e_, sc. fronted to become palatal fricative and then become (or
              remained fricative?) palatal appoximant _y_. However, I can hardly see
              motivation in the case of _targâ_ > Q _tarya_.

              > Unchanged _-rg-_ wouldn't agree with the statement in Appendix E that
              > Q only had _g_ in _-ng-_, but of course, the Professor may have changed
              > his mind between writing Etym and LotR.

              **Sure he could and very likely did, as suggests e.g. _ei_ in _inimeite_
              (Etym s.v. INI).

              >There's also Q _felya_ from PHELEG- - no primitive form listed, but almost
              >certainly *_phelgâ_; cf AT _felga_ and ON _phelga_. This would be a parallel
              >development.

              **Two instances make it more probable but still I am interested in what A&C
              will say about it.


              Ales Bican

              --
              What's in a name? That which we call a rose
              by any other name would smell as sweet. (Juliet, _Romeo and Juliet_)
            • Andreas Johansson
              ... Because I m a dudhead, I forgot to mention you get rG rj also in Swedish. I m not sufficiently into the phonological development of my native language to
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 6, 2004
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                Quoting Ales Bican <ales.bican@...>:

                > Quoting Andreas Johansson:
                > > And _g_>_gh_>_y_ is hardly very odd. Greek's done it before front vowels,
                > > f'rinstance, and Noldorin seems to much the same in _Diriel_<_Dirghel_
                > > (mentioned under DER in Etym), where the second element is from GYEL.
                >
                > **I do not claim that it cannot be possible. I would only like to understand
                >
                > the development. If this happened in Greek before front vowels, it is
                > understandable, since after spirantization _g_ could have been assimilated
                > to _i_ or _e_, sc. fronted to become palatal fricative and then become (or
                > remained fricative?) palatal appoximant _y_. However, I can hardly see
                > motivation in the case of _targâ_ > Q _tarya_.

                Because I'm a dudhead, I forgot to mention you get rG > rj also in Swedish.
                I'm not sufficiently into the phonological development of my native language
                to tell exactly in what environments, but it seems to have failed to take
                place medially before a back vowel (e.g. _morgon_ ['mOr`gOn] "morning"),
                but it did happen finally (e.g. _varg_ [var`j] "wolf"*), so no front vowel is
                _required_ for it. You do get it before 'a' (e.g. _vargar_ ['var`jar`] "wolves"),
                but then this is a front [a], not back [A] like in Q, and all examples of -rga-
                I can think of have a morpheme boundary in them anyway.

                * This is of course not the cognate of "wolf" - that's _ulv_ [8lv]. But I
                suspect it's very much connected to Tolkienian "warg"!

                Andreas

                PS Phonetic transcriptions above follow the X-SAMPA system, which is described
                here: http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/x-sampa.htm . Note further that
                values are for my dialect - in particular, a retroflex trill is far from the
                only variant of Swedish /r/ heard! Indeed, in casual speech some of those
                would be retroflex approximants for me.
              • David Kiltz
                ... In addition to Andreas Johansson s examples from Swedish, I might add that in some German dialects the same happens. In the Rhineland area you have /ju:t/
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 6, 2004
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                  On 05.01.2004, at 23:27, Ales Bican wrote:

                  > I can hardly see
                  > motivation in the case of _targâ_ > Q _tarya_.

                  In addition to Andreas Johansson's examples from Swedish, I might add
                  that in some German dialects the same happens. In the Rhineland area
                  you have /ju:t/ for SG (=Standard German) _gut_ etc. (the 'j' being
                  pronounced very similar to English 'y' but with some palatal friction).
                  In fact, moving towards the Ruhrgebiet you will hear /gürjen/ for the
                  PN 'Jürgen', that is /j/ and /g/ are exchanged. Phonetically, what
                  happens is that 'light', that is palatalized /g/ becomes a fricative
                  which naturally yields /j/. Now (for your point) velar or
                  non-palatalized /g/ should become /G/ (I mean the velar voiced back
                  spirant). However the opposition /G/ : /j/ is leveled in favour of /j/.
                  The reason for that would seem to be that a /G/ would normally be
                  pronounced further down the throat than /g/ hence in the process of
                  spirantization the point of articulation is moved either way (to the
                  front or the rear of the gum). Possibly because the process of
                  spirantization started with palatalized /g'/, i.e. g before front
                  vowels and was then analogously extended to all instances of /g/. Or
                  else, because the pronunciation of /g/ has already been somewhat
                  fronted before, so that the output is /j/ without significant movement
                  of the point of articulation, if any at all. In fact, there *is* a very
                  slight difference between /j/ in _jeck_ 'crazy' and _jut_ 'good', the
                  latter being pronounced somewhat more to the back, between the palatum
                  and the velum.

                  I think that a scenario along these lines looks rather likely. At any
                  rate, the development exhibited by Quenya is well documented in real
                  world languages, as /j/ = /y/ is attested even in the history of
                  English (although the output of /g/ +- pal. are different).

                  -David Kiltz
                • Lukas Novak
                  ... I rather agree - I did not mean to imply where exactly the syllable boundary lies. ... Yes, but it seems that Q phonology avoids _w_ and _y_ glides
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 6, 2004
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                    Andreas Johansson wrote:

                    > I'd rather expect the words to syllabify as fel.ya and u.lun.do,
                    > respectively,

                    I rather agree - I did not mean to imply where exactly the syllable
                    boundary lies.

                    > Another possible internal explanation that struck me right now is that it
                    > could simply be due to the different following vowel.

                    > [Comparison of derivatives of Etym. WÔ- (Q _o-_/_ó-_) and bases in WA-,
                    > such as WA3- (Q _vára_), WAN- (Q _vanya_), etc. exhibit this contrast.
                    > See also the statement in _Quendi and Eldar_ that initial _w-_ was "lost in
                    > Quenya before _ô_" (XI:367). (Please note that I make no promise of
                    > providing citations in the future!) CFH]

                    Yes, but it seems that Q phonology avoids _w_ and _y_ glides
                    consistently before the phonologically related vowels: the rounded
                    vowels in case of _w_, and the highest vowel (_i_) in case of _y_.
                    I would not on this ground expect that the following _u_ is the reason
                    why _g_ disappears rather than changes into _y_ (we have "yulda",
                    so _yu_ is allowed).

                    Lukas
                  • Lukas Novak
                    ... I can think of 2 possible motivations: analogy, or getting the pronunciation nearer to the preceding dental/alveolar _r_ (_l_). Together with the attempt
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 6, 2004
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                      Ales Bican wrote:

                      > I can hardly see motivation in the case of _targâ_ > Q _tarya_.

                      I can think of 2 possible motivations: analogy, or getting
                      the pronunciation nearer to the preceding dental/alveolar
                      _r_ (_l_). Together with the attempt to retain the long syllable
                      (which excludes just dropping the sound), because of
                      its being stressed.

                      Lukas
                    • Andreas Johansson
                      ... I never said it was a _good_ explanation, but if it has any validity, surely the consonant dropped at the gh stage, and gh is nearer to u than to
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 7, 2004
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                        Quoting Lukas Novak <lukas.novak@...>:

                        > I would not on this ground expect that the following _u_ is the reason
                        > why _g_ disappears rather than changes into _y_ (we have "yulda",
                        > so _yu_ is allowed).

                        I never said it was a _good_ explanation, but if it has any validity, surely
                        the consonant dropped at the 'gh' stage, and 'gh' is nearer to 'u' than to 'a'.

                        One might also argue that what we need explained isn't why 'gh' dropped in
                        _ulundo_, which is the normal fate of 'gh' in Q, but why it failed to drop in
                        _tarya_ and _felya_. In this light your suggestion re: maintaining length of a
                        stressed syllable seems the more relevant explanation.

                        Andreas
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