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Re: Q _kiryassea_ adj?

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  • machhezan
    ... This semantical difference corresponds exactly to the distributional difference that (b) is always accompanied by the noun or pronoun it specifies while
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 12, 2004
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      David Kiltz wrote:
      > I wonder, however, whether Tolkien didn't mean a) "what is
      > on board ship" in the sense of 'whatever, anything that is
      > on board ship' and b) by "that is on board ship" simply
      > meant 'used restrictively, specifying'; that is, as an
      > adjective/relative clause.

      This semantical difference corresponds exactly to the distributional
      difference that (b) is always accompanied by the noun or pronoun it
      specifies while (a) isn't ever, that is, (a) forms the head of a noun
      phrase while (b) is only a specifier. However, that difference doesn't
      correspond to any difference in spelling. I even believe that the
      semantical difference isn't but a reflect of the distributional one,
      that is, the more specific meaning of (b) is only a reflect of it's
      use as a specifier.

      > That is because I don't think a use as in *_cénan
      > kiryassea_ = 'video quod in navi est' without a specified
      > noun is possible, as _kiryassea_ would, in that case, be a
      > noun, not an adjective.

      Is there any evidence that Quenya noun phrases can't be formed by
      adjectives? If not, then I'd say that the confusion of "that is on
      board" (b) and "what is on board" (a) indicates that Quenya adjectives
      aren't only used as specifiers of noun phrases but also as their
      heads, like e.g. in Latin or in German, not like in English.

      suilaid
      j. 'mach' wust
    • David Kiltz
      ... I agree. Of course _what_ is used that way and by virtue of its function ( indefinitum ) can refer to anything/everything. Still, my point was that I think
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 13, 2004
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        On 13.02.2004, at 01:25, machhezan wrote:

        > This semantical difference corresponds exactly to the distributional
        > difference

        I agree. Of course _what_ is used that way and by virtue of its
        function ('indefinitum') can refer to anything/everything. Still, my
        point was that I think it was used by Tolkien not to say anything about
        the use of _kiryassea_ as the head of a noun phrase (or as a noun,
        formed by zero-derivation from an adjective). Rather, that it simply
        indicated that _kiryassea_ can refer to any, well, semantic field, if
        you will. That is, e.g. people, cattle, goods etc.. But see below.

        > Is there any evidence that Quenya noun phrases can't be formed by
        > adjectives? <snip>
        > That Quenya adjectives
        > aren't only used as specifiers of noun phrases but also as their
        > heads, like e.g. in Latin or in German, not like in English.

        Well, it depends on whether you want to keep the term 'adjective' even
        in a case like German "das Gute siegt" or "Evil evil mars" like Olssen
        [1988: Das 'substantivierte' Adjektiv im Deutschen und Englischen. In:
        FoL 22, S.337-372]. Where he describes 'das Gute' or 'Evil' as elliptic
        (ellipsis of N). This follows cases such as German "zieh' das Grüne an"
        'put on the green one (sc. dress)'. In the latter case, German indeed
        differs from English in that 'das Grüne' can be the head of a NP.
        However, a phrase like "das Gute siegt" is entirely different. 'Das
        Gute' here needs no complement and there is no ellipsis. Rather, it
        serves as an abstract (hence it is neuter, things like 'der Gute/die
        Gute' would, again, be elliptic, as 'man/woman' aut sim. are to be
        understood). So, I think it's right, as it's normally done, to treat
        'das Gute' as a noun (which it syntactically and semantically is). In
        such cases, of course, English works similarly, that is, it can use
        adjectives as nouns (header of a NP) without formal derivation. Cf.
        "Oft evil evil mars".

        Cases like a) "das ist ein Guter (e.g. Kaffee)" vs b) "that's a good one"
        (/coffee) are different. (That fact that Modern English can, in such
        cases, use adjectives only as specifiers (i.e. has to insert some kind
        of 'prop noun') is probably due to pragmatic reasons, i.e. because
        English has lost grammatical gender distinction.)

        Now for Quenya. I solely based my assessment on Tolkien's statement
        that _kiryassea_ is an adjective. Case b ('an evil one') then might be
        possible in Quenya if we take the word 'adjective' in a very broad
        sense. Envisage a situation where you tell someone "do you see the Elf
        over there? He's my friend." "Which one? I see two, one on the quay and
        one on board ship". "_Kiryassea meldonya_ (sc. 'the one on board ship
        is my friend'). If we take _kiryassea_ here to be the head, then I
        would tend to say yes, it is permissible, because the term 'adjective'
        could be extended to such a use, although _kiryassea_ is functionally a
        noun here. Still, it's a conditioned function in ellipsis.

        Now case a ('evil...') is what Edouard Kloczko touched upon
        > (Looks more to me like a noun; what/that
        > is on board ship == the content of a ship == shipment ?)

        Case a, I'd venture to say, is not possible in Quenya. For two reasons:

        1) _Kiryassea_ in that case would be truly a noun (unconditioned), and
        hence, Tolkien wouldn't have called it an adjective (not without a
        further remark, however).

        2) As far as I know, there are no attestation of zero-derivation
        conversion of adjectives to nouns in Quenya. Unless, you take words
        like _Vala_ 'angelic Power' and _Vása_ 'the Consumer' as original
        adjectives. But I think they are rather originally verbal 'has power',
        'consumes'. (These forms are in themselves remarkable, being old
        formations, they seem to be modelled after Valarin formations. That,
        however, is another matter).

        So, to sum up, I think adjectives (if taken in the broadest or, X-bar
        sense) can be headers of a noun phrase (no evidence to the contrary is
        known to me) but only in case b (of course, as they are no adjectives
        in case a).

        That, I hope, might also be an answer to E. Kloczko's first post. That
        is, something like "salut mon cher" would be possible but something
        like + "le cher" == 'what is dear/expensive == e.g. 'a precious stone', I
        think is not.

        Note that all these assertions are based on Tolkien's wording. Therefore
        all statements regarding Quenya usage are (at times highly) putative.
        Remarks on general grammatical phenomena are not, unless explicitly
        marked as such.

        -David Kiltz



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • machhezan
        ... I prefer morphology to semantics or syntax for the decision whether it s noun or adjective. Since there are cases like _Gutes mit Bösem vergelten_ to
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 13, 2004
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          David Kiltz wrote:

          > So, I think it's right, as it's normally done, to treat 'das Gute' as a
          > noun (which it syntactically and semantically is).

          I prefer morphology to semantics or syntax for the decision whether
          it's noun or adjective. Since there are cases like _Gutes mit Bösem
          vergelten_ 'to repay good with evil' which show the adjectival endings
          _-s_ and _-m_, I consider these words adjectives, in a "broad sense",
          if you will, yet I prefer broad senses to petty discriminations (if I have
          a choice!).

          [I would consider these distinctions to be far from "petty". As linguists,
          we should _always_ bear in mind that there is not a one-to-one
          correspondence between form and function, only stronger or weaker
          correlations. Indeed, the failure to recognize that Tolkien's languages
          behave just like "real" languages in this regard contributes mightily to
          the mistaken but all too common belief that they are far more artificial
          than they are, and than Tolkien intended them to appear. CFH]

          Of course, the meaning of _das Gute_ is highly abstract, I'd say this
          word is a theological-philosophical term, perhaps even more than
          the English word _the good_. It wouldn't surprise me if most languages
          formed such abstract words by derivation.

          However, I think we can neither exclude nor confirm the possibility that
          certain adjectives could express abstract concepts by themselves, that is,
          when they're not used as specifiers of another word. At least the two
          mentioned occurences of _kiryassea_ don't provide any evidence for this
          question.

          [We do however have an explicit statement from Tolkien regarding this
          phenomenon in general in "Early Qenya": "Adjective may be freely used as
          nouns; their declension then is, of course, identical with that of ordinary
          nouns, according to the KALMA, SINQE, PILIN classes" (with some distinction
          in the plural): PE14:77. From a much later period, we also see the apparent
          adjectival form *_ñavëa_ used as a noun menaing 'consonant', in the plural
          form _ñávëar_, VT39:8. CFH]

          suilaid
          j. 'mach' wust
          http://machhezan.tripod.com
        • pkmarmor
          Carl commented - ... Compare the (?late) Quenya example in XI:367 ... the adj. _onóna_ twin-born , also used as a noun one of a pair of twins . pkm
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 16, 2004
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            Carl commented -
            >
            > We do however have an explicit statement from Tolkien regarding
            > this phenomenon in general in "Early Qenya": "Adjective[s] may be
            > freely used as nouns..."

            Compare the (?late) Quenya example in XI:367 "... the adj.
            _onóna_ 'twin-born', also used as a noun 'one of a pair of
            twins'."

            pkm
          • Jerome Colburn
            ... And _Apanónar_ Afterborn, _Firyar_ Mortals , _Fírimar_ those apt to die WJ:387. Much earlier, _Engwar_ the Sickly LR:245.
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 17, 2004
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              At 11:44 PM 2/16/04 +0000, pkmarmor wrote:

              >Carl commented -
              > >
              > > We do however have an explicit statement from Tolkien regarding
              > > this phenomenon in general in "Early Qenya": "Adjective[s] may be
              > > freely used as nouns..."
              >
              >Compare the (?late) Quenya example in XI:367 "... the adj.
              >_onóna_ 'twin-born', also used as a noun 'one of a pair of
              >twins'."

              And _Apanónar_ "Afterborn," _Firyar_ "Mortals", _Fírimar_ "those apt to
              die" WJ:387. Much earlier, _Engwar_ "the Sickly" LR:245.

              +-------------------------+
              + Airesseo Kolvorno +
              + Jerome Colburn +
              + jcolburn@... +
              +-------------------------+
              "Do you not be happy with me as the translator of the books of you?" -- New
              Yorker cartoon
            • Paula Marmor
              ... Similarly _Vanya_ is ...from an adjectival derivative _*wanja*_ from the stem _*WAN_... , and _Linda_ is clearly a derivative of the primitive stem
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 18, 2004
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                --- Jerome Colburn identified more adjectives used as nouns.

                Similarly _Vanya_ is "...from an adjectival derivative _*wanja*_
                from the stem _*WAN_...", and _Linda_ is "clearly a derivative of
                the primitive stem _*LIN_ (showing ... adjectival _-á_)"
                (XI:382-3).

                Presumably _Sinda_ and the early clan names _Minyar_ 'Firsts',
                _Tatyar_ 'Seconds', and _Nelyar_ 'Thirds' (XI:380, 421) are formed in
                the same way.


                Paula Marmor
              • Beregond. Anders Stenström
                Another set of nominalized adjectives is, I think, the High-elven names for the days of the week, from _Elenya_ to _Valanya_. If they are thus in origin
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 19, 2004
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                  Another set of nominalized adjectives is, I think, the High-elven
                  names for the days of the week, from _Elenya_ to _Valanya_. If
                  they are thus in origin adjective attributes of an understood _ré_,
                  _Tárion_ (the alternative name for _Valanya_) would similarly be
                  a genitive attribute.

                  Suilad,

                  Beregond
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