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Sindarin pronouns in -n ?

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  • David Kiltz
    In Lambengolmor message #653 I argued that Sindarin _nin_ could be interpreted as 1. sg. pronoun in the accusative. Prima facie, an accusative in _-n_ may seem
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 10, 2004
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      In Lambengolmor message #653 I argued that Sindarin _nin_ could be
      interpreted as 1. sg. pronoun in the accusative. Prima facie, an
      accusative in _-n_ may seem uncouth but there might be another instance
      recorded. Namely, in the 'King's Letter' [IX}: "...Perhael i sennui
      Panthael estathar aen...". 'Samwise who should rather be called
      Fullwise'.

      _Aen_ might be interpreted here as 3rd sg. acc. 'him'. This
      interpretation isn't new, it was e.g. suggested by Bill Welden in PE 8.
      Cf. also two (more or less) recapitulatory posts by me:
      http://tolklang.quettar.org/messages/Vol40/40.41 and
      http://tolklang.quettar.org/elfling-mirror/094nn/09418.
      (My interpretation of _aen_ differs from the one tentatively given
      here).

      My interpretation is 'Samwise who better Fullwise they(one)-
      should-name him'. This construction equals e.g. the Old Irish
      'passive', cf. _carthar_ 'one loves': 1 sg. _no-m charthar_, 2. sg.
      _no-t charthar_ 3. _carth(a)ir_ 'I'm loved, thou art loved, he/she/it
      is loved/ one loves'.

      It is also very much paralleled by a Qenya construction described in
      the 'Early Qenya Grammar in Manuscript [PE14:56] "...(b) -r for the
      impersonal (...): this becomes a *passive* if pronominal elements are
      added, for these are in the *accusative* (rarely dative)." I would find
      it hard to interpret _aen_ in the above phrase as dative (< *an-e ?)
      for both phonetic and syntactic reasons.

      An interesting but possibly unsolvable question is whether Tolkien saw
      _estathar_ here truly as a plural or as an 'impersonal'. The only clear
      attestation of verbal _-r_ as plural in Sindarin I know of is _Dor Firn
      i Guinar_ [S:226]. Of course, there is massive evidence for plural _-r_
      in Noldorin cf. PE13:126ff. The difference doesn't even have to be
      significant as many languages use 3rd pl. verbs in a general 'one does'
      sense.

      However, because I adduced Old Irish as a parallel example, I would
      like to point out that in this language, e.g., _no-t charat_ 'they love
      you' and _no-t charthar_ 'you're loved', are clearly distinct.
      So, we might have another instance of a Sindarin pronoun with an
      accusative ending in -n. It seems unlikely that _-n_ here is an old
      accusative marker. Rather, the development (or interpretation) of these
      forms as accusatives must have been more complex. Note that this
      interpretation doesn't contest the fact (as I see it) that genitival
      forms also end in _-n_ (cf. ered e.mbar nín 'mountains of my home'
      [UT:40]).

      -David Kiltz
    • Beregond. Anders Stenström
      ... Can you explicate that? Looking purely at what the phrase means, it does not seem out of bounds to suppose that _est(a)-_ means utter a name or use a
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 12, 2004
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        David Kiltz wrote:

        > accusative in _-n_ may seem uncouth but there might be
        > another instance recorded. Namely, in the 'King's Letter' [IX}:
        > "...Perhael i sennui Panthael estathar aen...". 'Samwise who
        > should rather be called Fullwise'.
        > . . . I would find it hard to interpret _aen_ in the above phrase
        > as dative (< *an-e ?) for both phonetic and syntactic reasons.

        Can you explicate that? Looking purely at what the phrase
        means, it does not seem out of bounds to suppose that _est(a)-_
        means 'utter a name' or 'use a name', the name thus being its
        accusative object and _aen_ a dative. The interpretation would
        then be 'they(one)-shall-[utter-as-a-name] Fullwise to-him', or
        'they(one)-shall-[use-as-a-name] Fullwise for-him'.

        Meneg suilaid,

        Beregond
      • Beregond. Anders Stenstr�
        ... Or the interpretation of _i sennui Panthael estathar aen_ might be who rather Fullwise they(one)-shall-[use-as-a-name] for-whom , with _aen_
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 13, 2004
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          I wrote:

          > it does not seem out of bounds to suppose that _est(a)-_
          > means 'utter a name' or 'use a name', the name thus being its
          > accusative object and _aen_ a dative. The interpretation would
          > then be 'they(one)-shall-[utter-as-a-name] Fullwise to-him', or
          > 'they(one)-shall-[use-as-a-name] Fullwise for-him'.

          Or the interpretation of _i sennui Panthael estathar aen_ might
          be 'who rather Fullwise they(one)-shall-[use-as-a-name] for-whom',
          with _aen_ < *_an-i_, '(to/for) whom'. (This may have been
          suggested before, but it was not mentioned in the two posts that
          David Kiltz referred to.)

          But then again, _aen_ may not be a pronoun at all, but a modal
          particle that turns 'they shall' into 'they ought to'. I think these
          two ideas indicate the essential possibilities for interpreting the
          phrase.

          Suilaid,

          Beregond
        • David Kiltz
          ... 1) In Indo-European languages (to which Sindarin bears great resemblance syntactically and morphologically) a denominative from name would normally take
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 14, 2004
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            On 12.06.2004, at 10:05, Beregond. Anders Stenström wrote:

            > David Kiltz wrote:
            >
            >> accusative in _-n_ may seem uncouth but there might be
            >> another instance recorded. Namely, in the 'King's Letter' [IX}:
            >> "...Perhael i sennui Panthael estathar aen...". 'Samwise who
            >> should rather be called Fullwise'.
            >> . . . I would find it hard to interpret _aen_ in the above phrase
            >> as dative (< *an-e ?) for both phonetic and syntactic reasons.
            >
            > Can you explicate that? Looking purely at what the phrase
            > means, it does not seem out of bounds to suppose that _est(a)-_
            > means 'utter a name' or 'use a name', the name thus being its
            > accusative object and _aen_ a dative. The interpretation would
            > then be 'they(one)-shall-[utter-as-a-name] Fullwise to-him', or
            > 'they(one)-shall-[use-as-a-name] Fullwise for-him'.

            1) In Indo-European languages (to which Sindarin bears great
            resemblance syntactically and morphologically) a denominative from
            'name' would normally take the accusative. The problem (I think) with
            your paraphrasing is that (again, at least in IE) syntactically such
            verbs precisely do not work that way. E.g. Goth. _namnjan_ etc. 'call,
            name' take a direct object. (The same is obviously true for verbs like
            'to call, appeler. zvatj' etc.). In Finnish _nimittä_ takes the
            partitive.

            So, a construction with *one* verb takes a direct object. Something to
            be expected. Of course, the syntax changes the moment you use an
            'instrumental' complement [as-a-name]. That's even more true for 'utter
            a name', 'use a name' where you have an object 'name' precisely because
            that meaning is not yet contained in the original verb. I. e. in such a
            construction, obviously you would need a dative as the place of the
            direct object is taken. While you may paraphrase (one) meaning of the
            verb that way, I think it's not permissible break up the verb so that
            the syntactical construction changes. (1)

            That's why I think _aen_ (if it is a pronoun) to be much more likely
            accusative. I'm not 100% excluding a dative, though. Maybe there is a
            derivative of 'name' that works that way in some language? I'm curious.

            2) Phonetically, I simply don't know whether _*an-e_ > _aen_.

            -David Kiltz

            (1) Doing so would, IMHO, be the same as to argue that 'to feed' takes
            an indirect object (dative) because it can be paraphrased as 'give food
            (to sb.) or 'to ask' as it may be paraphrased as 'to put a question to
            sb.' etc.. I think you get the point.
          • Beregond. Anders Stenstr�
            ... Neither do I. In a previous post I suggested *_an-i_ _aen_, but I now doubt it. More normally *_an-i_ would *_ain_, and the occurrence of _phain_ in
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 14, 2004
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              David Kiltz wrote:

              > 2) Phonetically, I simply don't know whether _*an-e_ > _aen_.

              Neither do I. In a previous post I suggested *_an-i_ > _aen_,
              but I now doubt it. More normally *_an-i_ would > *_ain_, and
              the occurrence of _phain_ in the same text as _aen_ (the King's
              Letter, IX:128-131) is an obstacle to any argument for *_an-i_
              that might be advanced.

              If _aen_ is to be analyzed as a compound with _an_ as its first
              element, perhaps the second element could be from the relative
              root YA- (in Etymologies, and see VT43:16)..

              > (1) Doing so would, IMHO, be the same as to argue that 'to feed' takes
              > an indirect object (dative) because it can be paraphrased as 'give food
              > (to sb.) or 'to ask' as it may be paraphrased as 'to put a question to
              > sb.' etc..

              I did not suggest that 'call, name' can be paraphrased as 'use as
              a name', but that the S verb _est(a)-_ might, for all we know,
              actually mean 'use as a name' and not 'call', despite Tolkien's use
              of _called_ in his translation of the phrase. As you noted in your
              discussion with David Salo, the translation may not be so literal as
              to gloss each word exactly.

              There is a gloss "name" given for Q _esta-_ (VT45:12), but I do
              not think there is an authorial gloss for its S cognate.

              If _est(a)-_ has the name as its direct object, it would be
              comparable (not quite similar) to the verb _nominalize_.

              Suilaid,

              Beregond
            • Pavel Iosad
              Hello, David Kiltz wrote, on the subject of assuming an indirect ... Well, in real-world languages of course a patient (that which is given, be it name name,
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 15, 2004
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                Hello,

                David Kiltz wrote, on the subject of assuming an indirect
                patientive object for 'name', 'feed' and sundry:

                >(1) Doing so would, IMHO, be the same as to argue that
                >'to feed' takes an indirect object (dative) because
                >it can be paraphrased as 'give food (to sb.) or 'to
                >ask' as it may be paraphrased as 'to put a question to
                >sb.' etc.. I think you get the point.

                Well, in real-world languages of course a patient (that
                which is given, be it name name, or food as in the case
                of 'feed') will be expected to take a more privileged
                syntactic position (sc. direct object) than the recipient.
                However, applicative constructions and/or derivatives
                (promoting peripheral arguments to core syntactic
                positions) are not quite infrequent: for instance, Russian
                _kormitj_ 'to feed' normally codes the one who is fed in
                the accusative and the food with the instrumental.
                However, its derivative _skarmlivatj_ (which means the
                same, but also carries stylistic overtones) takes the food
                as direct object and the one being fed as indirect object
                in the dative.

                Pavel
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