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Re: [Lambengolmor] Re: Q _kiryassea_ adj?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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