Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Sindarin _ned_

Expand Messages
  • Florian Dombach
    ... Besides, I find it quite unlikely that Tolkien would write _ned_, if for *_nedh_, with _ando_ /d/ in the _Tengwar_ version (as he did), even if he did wish
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 23, 2004
      Pent Carl F. Hostetter:

      > It could also be argued that Tolkien was avoiding _-dh_ in the "King's
      > Letter" as "uncouth" (cf. UT:267, VT42:20), and thus that _ned_ is actually
      > for *_nedh_; but Willis/Salo make no such claim and do not "correct" the
      > form to *_nedh_, and further, Tolkien had no such compunction against
      > _dh_ in the name _Edhelharn_ in the same text.

      Besides, I find it quite unlikely that Tolkien would write _ned_, if for *_nedh_,
      with _ando_ /d/ in the _Tengwar_ version (as he did), even if he did wish to
      avoid /dh/ in the Roman version. Note that at another point where his Roman
      transcription differs from pronunciation does indeed show a _tengwa_
      corresponding to the pronunciation (i.e. _Cordof_ with final _ampa_ for /v/).

      > And worst of all, Willis/Salo assert that this _nedh_ means "in, inside,
      > mid-: Ety/376", implying that this gloss is attested in the _Etymologies_,
      > when in fact the _only_ gloss given there is 'mid-'.)

      Nor is the form in _Etymologies_ given as *_nedh_, as it is in Willis' dictionary
      (implying that it's a preposition), but rather as _nedh-_, clearly making it a
      prefix (which is in fact is precisely what Tolkien calls it).

      > The only way that I can see to salvage anything of Willis/Salo's
      > assertion that S _ned_ is derived from a root meaning 'in', would
      > be to instead relate it to the newly-attested base NE-/NÊ- *'in, inside'
      > (VT45:38); but note that this base was deleted from the _Etymologies_
      > by Tolkien at least a decade before the composition of the "King's
      > Letter", and leaves the _-d_ of _ned_ utterly unaccounted for.

      Well, that need not mean all too much. Just look at the clearly
      mentioned absence of _*Finw_ in Noldorin, which in later Sindarin
      does appear (as _Finu_ and _Fim_) in Sindarin. Ok, that is not quite
      the same case, since _Finw_ didn't first exist and then was deleted,
      but it shows Tolkien's tendency to sometimes return to older ideas
      good enough I believe.

      [Absolutely. Still, I believe that the status of bases -- attested, deleted,
      deduced, etc. -- should nonetheless be borne in mind as a _potential_
      factor in weighing possibilities and likelihoods, even if not always
      determinative. CFH]

      But I find your own idea quite interesting, although we would, as you
      wrote, have to assume *_notî_ > S *_noed_ > _ned_ (as opposed to
      *_nôtî_, which would seem to underlie Q _únóti_ and which would >
      S *_nûd_ or *_nýd_ instead).

      [Quite right. First, though, let me note that I did and do not intend to offer
      my own analysis of 11 years ago (made at a time when my own understanding
      of Sindarin phonology was much less) _in place of_ the current thinking, and
      in fact think my suggestion only to be _more_ plausible, not really likely to be
      what Tolkien had in mind; and so defending it is not really my point, nor
      something I would like to spend much more time on, beyond what I already
      wrote. However, I would note several factors: first, Q *_únóti_ in Tolkien's
      earlier, oral version of "Galadriel's Lament" was (so far as I know) deduced by
      the transcriber from Tolkien's recording, not from a written text; so it seems
      _possible_ that the form is in fact *_únoti_. Second, we don't really know the
      part of speech of Q *_únóti_: it looks most like a plural noun, but apparently
      plays a predicative role (_inyar únóti nar_ *'year numberless are') and so is
      seemingly adjectival; it could well be a noun used as an adjective. But in any
      event, it's not clear to me what interplay of lengthening with grammatical
      function is to be expected for this form. CFH]

      Ofr suil,
      Florian "Lothenon" Dombach

      ===================================================We speak as is right, and as King Finwe himself did before he was led
      astray. Let them sa-si, if they can speak no better.
    • hisweloke
      ... This is exact, for 99% of these etymological notes, as implied by the Foreword you quoted. In recent versions, however, I took the liberty to add
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 23, 2004
        Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

        > see for example the etymology of _ned_, presumably provided by
        > David Salo,* in Didier Willis' _Sindarin Dictionary_
        > (<http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/>)

        This is exact, for 99% of these etymological notes, as implied by the
        Foreword you quoted.

        In recent versions, however, I took the liberty to add additional a
        few notes (especially for compounds and new words) and to change some
        notes that clearly required to be updated with new information. The
        etymological text hasn't much changed otherwise since the first
        version of the dictionary -- and that's actually the main reason why
        these etymological reconstructions are planned to be removed in some

        By the way, the dictionary is better referred as "Hisweloke's Sindarin
        dictionary", preferably with an indication of version, for the reasons
        given on the above-mentioned web page - for additional reference, see
        also elfling-d mailing-list message #454. (1)

        > this proposal is no more _unlikely_ than the current, seemingly
        > universal notion that _ned_ here in fact means 'in', and is to be
        > derived from a base *NED-. [...] Willis/Salo's etymology _ned_
        > < *NED fails, first, on phonological grounds: for original final
        > *_-d_ would yield S _-dh_, _not_ **_-d_ (cf. S _enedh_ 'middle'
        > (UT:264) which apparently, like N _enedh_, < ÉNED-).

        Correct. Regarding this point, and indeed very possibly the related
        issue of _enedh_ and _ened_, the discussion between Bertrand Bellet
        and Carl Hostetter himself on the sindict mailing-list is
        enlightening, cf. messages #196, #197. (2)

        > Worse, Willis/Salo derive S _nedh_ (<< N _nedh_) from _precisely
        > the same supposed base NED_, _without_ noting or accounting for
        > the discrepant phonological derivation. And worst of all,
        > Willis/Salo assert that this _nedh_ means "in, inside, mid-:
        > Ety/376", implying that this gloss is attested in the
        > _Etymologies_, when in fact the _only_ gloss given there is
        > 'mid-'.)

        As for the first, "worse" item, I make no claim that the dictionary
        project is accurate on all points. As the above-mentioned discussion
        on sindict attests, the issue is not that simple. There is indeed a
        clear failure to correctly interpret it, in current versions of the
        dictionary. (But let's also say that I am not unhappy if such an error
        has incidentaly made Bertrand and your own remarks possible --
        discussion and criticism is a good way to improve our knowledge.)

        As for the second, "worst" item, I will object that this is certainly
        not the way references should be used. It is nowhere stated (and for
        many long entries it is even not true) that the glosses or definitions
        are exactly taken, _verbatim_, from Tolkien's books. There is actually
        a permanent effort (and of course it implies a risk of error -
        comments such as Carl's one are of course welcome to point these
        errors) to refine and classify the definitions, basing them on other
        sources and/or theories. It is by no mean a mere "reversed" version of
        the _Etymologies_ (and other sources), but it tries to build upon the
        bricks we know, while trying to be as accurate as possible at the same
        time. Most real dictionaries have the same fallbacks when indirect
        definitions are involved. And if references are indeed provided, it is
        certainly not to misrepresent the source, BUT that's all the other way
        round: it is intended to direct readers to the original source(s) so
        that, notably, they can check it _in context_. If readers want the
        genuine defintions, they ought to refer to the primary material.

        > b) this just introduces yet another layer of unsupported
        > assertion.

        If the work was finished, to my taste and as I envisioned it so long
        ago, all entries would have encyclopaedic discussions (of the sort
        provided in recent versions for _arnen_ "(?) royal", *_gwin_ "wine",
        _mass_ "bread" vs _mast_, *_bassoneth_, etc. -- to quote but a few

        But as an unfinished project (as clearly noted on the web site) and
        actually a very lone project currently (with lots of users but very
        little contributive feedback), it suffers from the lack of
        completeness. I accept therefore the above criticism, though its
        wording is perhaps a bit too rude (Pesch "Elbish" book in German,
        on-line wordlists on wwww.sindarin.de or council of Elrond, etc. are
        not that cautious with sources, references and marking of
        deduced/reconstructured entries... I tried to do better, and still
        hope to improve, but that's certainly not perfect. Errare humanum est).

        > (Nonetheless, apparently on the authority of Willis/Salo's
        > dictionary entry, a supposed S _ned_ *'in' proliferates in
        > "Neo-Sindarin", having become the preferred translation of 'in'
        > in all of its English senses, i.e., not constrained even to the
        > more restricted sense assigned to the form in the dictionary. [...]

        It is certainly not my fault if people misuse the material offered to
        them... And I wouldn't care much about what proliferates or not in
        Neo-Sindarin (whose users are most of the time known to reject some
        newer conceptions or evidences that do not fit their needs for a
        "usable" languages)... "Liquid mutations", "infinitive vs. gerund",
        "hennaid - thanks", "-ech for thou" and all well known Neo-Sindarin
        theories, while often criticized, _do_ proliferate also, despite of
        us. Even if/when I correct the _ned_ and _nedh_ entries in the
        dictionary, that will not change the face of Neo-Sindarin, because
        they will need this word (beside the fact that it was already used for
        "in" long before this dictionary). So what? Scholarship will progress
        anyway, thanks to criticisms such as this one, and Neo-Elvish has not
        part to play in this, as fan-fiction has no part either to play in
        studies of Tolkien's mythos.



        [I largely agree with what Didier says, and so won't bother to respond
        point by point. I _would_ however like to say that while it is indeed
        true that Didier is not responsible for how others use his work, there
        is still incumbent upon any _serious_ work of scholarship to maintain
        a distinction between what is known and what is conjecture --
        linguistics even developed a convention for succinctly conveying
        precisely this distinction. Now, my own impression of the dictionary
        was that it was intended to be scholarly and accurate; and as such, if I
        see a form and some glosses given, without qualification, and a cross-
        reference to a source, I expect that if I look up that source I will find
        there precisely that form and those glosses. If I don't, I consider that an
        error and, if intentional, misleading to boot. I'm sure that Didier will
        appreciate how normal such an expectation is in linguistics, and how
        easy it will be for a user of his dictionary not to understand that such
        cross-references are not provided as citation of _support_, but merely
        as an index to a place in the corpus that has some at least tangential
        bearing on the form in question. Now, this may all be made clear
        somewhere in the front-matter of the dictionary, but even if so it is so
        contrary to convention and expectation in linguistic glossaries, which
        Didier's work certainly has the form of, that I consider it insufficient,
        and I urge you to minimize reliance on such contra-conventional
        presentation in later version of the work. I will also note that
        incompleteness has, in itself, no necessary bearing on correctness. CFH]
      • BertrandBellet75@aol.com
        Carl Hostetter discussed the difficulties in the relationship of _ned_ (IX:129-31) with the root NED in the Etymologies (V:376) and questions its common ...
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 25, 2004
          Carl Hostetter discussed the difficulties in the relationship of _ned_
          (IX:129-31) with the root NED in the Etymologies (V:376) and questions its common
          interpretation as a word for "in". He concluded so :

          > Thus, there is no evidence to support, and thus no particular reason to
          > accept, the notion that S _ned_ is related to either NE-/N *'in,
          > inside' or N- 'middle, centre', or arises from an unattested base
          > *NED 'in' (this being in fact phonologically impossible); and thus no
          > reason even to think that it means 'in' at all.

          Indeed from NED we would expect a form _*nedh_ which is attested but only as
          a Noldorin prefix "mid-" (V:376).There is little doubt about the genuineness
          of the -d, as Florian Dombach just pointed out. It would then need a root
          NET. There is indeed some evidence for this variation, as discussed on Sindict
          (no. 196 and 197) : for instance we read in jottings reproduced in VT41:16 :


          "_enet_ for 'middle'. _en-_ 'mid' (as prefix), _enet_ [?extended](related to
          _enek_ 'six'? as middle part of twelve). _endor_, S[indarin] _ennor_
          'Mid-Land' [altered from: 'Mid-Earth']. _enetya_ adj. 'middle', S. _ened_ (_enaid_).
          ... [?needs] distinguishing from _en_ == _hen_ 'again'". Another group of
          related notes appears on the recto of this same sheet (ibid.): "_en-_ 'again' as
          [in] _enquantuva_ is prob[ably] [?] 'further, beyond' [?in respect of time
          influenced by ? only in] Q. _enta_, only with verbs. [?root] _�n_ [using a
          circumflex to represent a macron in the original]. Basis of 'middle' was _hen_ -
          HEN or [?extended] HENET. T[elerin] _Hendor_, Q. _endor_, S. _ennor_. Q.
          [?_endea_] HENET [deleted: HENED]. S. _ened_ 'centre', adj. _enaid_. Q.
          [deleted: _enda_ 'central, middle'] _entya_ 'central, middle' [<] _enetya_. _ente_
          'centre'. [Deleted: _ende_ a variant of _n�d_.]"

          We can also notice that in the Appendix D to the History of Galadriel and
          Celeborn in UT we have both S _#ened_ in _Enedwaith_ (always so) glossed
          "Middle-folk" and _enedh_ in _Lond Daer Enedh_ "Great Middle Haven" in a footnote
          (UT:343 in the HarperCollins 1998 edition). I failed to notice the latter in
          my Sindict post (no. 196) so my conclusion there was false and should be
          changed to: _ened_ and _enedh_ coexisted in Sindarin.

          [However, Tolkien himself specifically noted that _Enedwaith_ is a "misspelling"
          for _Enedhwaith_, the conscious result of his desire to avoid the "uncouth"
          _dh_ (VT42:20); so _Enedwaith_ cannot count as evidence for _ened_ and
          _enedh_ as mere variant spellings < N�D-. Moreover, while it is phonologically
          consistent to propose that _ned_ < *NET, no such base is in evidence, the
          material quoted above not withstanding. I had of course considered this
          material while writing my post, but noticed that in fact all the bases listed
          are extensions of the base HEN 'middle', from which it is not possible to
          form *NET: the closest you get is HENET 'centre', but that yields S _ened_
          'centre', not _ned_; and in any case the meanings have all to do with 'middle,
          centre', not 'in', the supposed meaning of _ned_. So none of this in fact supports
          _ned_ *'in'. CFH]

          Another probable source for the interpretation of _ned_ as "in" before the
          publishing of the Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies is the prefix
          _ne-_ seen in two verbs:

          - _nestegi_ insert (V:388) from the root STAK "split, insert"
          - _neledhi_ *enter (Tolkien Artist and Illustrator p. 157) probably from LED
          "go, fare, travel" (V:368) - I follow Didier Willis' interpretation in
          Hiswel�k� pp. 74-78.

          VT45:38 now confirms the existence of this prefix _ne-_ and related it to a
          root NE-/N�-.

          Carl also points out a semantic problem :

          > Note too that NED does occur, as a cross-reference in a deleted entry
          > to what would become N�D- and �NED-, but, significantly,
          > where both bases in _-D-_ refer to 'middle, centre' _in distinction_ to
          > the base form without _-D-_; cf. VT45:38 s.v. NE-/N�.)

          True, but it is likely that these related roots in form and meaning
          interfered. That words for "in", "inside", "into", "between" and "among" are related
          has good parallels in Primary World languages: for instance in Latin _in_ "in
          (static with ablative, dynamic with accusative)", _inter_ "between, among",
          _internus_ "internal", _interior_ "interior", _intrare_ "enter", _intus_
          "inside (static)", _intro_ "inside (dynamic)" etc. are all related.

          Moreover, Tolkien's notes suggest that NED, *NET, ENED, ENEK are all akin,
          being elaborations of the simpler NE-/N�- by already known processes, namely
          prefixion of the sund�ma and extension by a consonant. The situation of NE-/N�-
          and its derivatives is actually reminiscent of the root KWE pertaining to vocal
          speech, which had the extended forms KWENE and KWETE, or KWA pertaining to
          completion with its elaborations KWAN and KWATA (XI:392).

          [There is no doubt that NE-/N�- 'in' and N�D-/�NED- 'middle, centre' were
          related bases when conceived; and if a base *NET- 'in' in fact existed with them
          then yes, it would obviously be related to NE-/N�- as well. But there further
          seems to be little doubt that the _-D_ extension in the latter forms distinguishes
          not just the forms but the meanings. Unless one can produce indepenedent
          evidence that these forms and meanings both came to be interchangeable (as it
          is true does often happen in "real" languages), _and_ further can account for
          phonological difficulty of S _-d_ < _-D_, I don't see much reason to think that
          this is the case here. CFH]

          Another possibility is that the _d_ is not old and is a late modification of
          *_dh_. According to Tolkien, the preposition _o, od_ "from" may come from
          _*aud_ but this would yield a form ending in -_dh_ (when not swallowed in
          mutation), so he suggests an influence of _ed_ "out of". Something similar may
          have happened to _ned_. This might have happened to _ned_ too.

          [Quite so: appeals to analogical forces cover a multitude of phonological sins!
          But does this level of conjecture really justify asserting that _ned_ means 'in'? I
          don't myself think so. CFH]

          Therefore, while I agree that there is indeed a phonological difficulty, I
          do not regard it as crippling and think that there is still some base to the
          common interpretation of _ned_ as "in". Or rather some of the meanings of
          "in": as for other prepositions, our limited information gives us an idea of
          its semantics, but does not allow us to define its precise range of use.

          Bertrand Bellet

          Language has both strengthened imagination and been freed by it. Who shall
          say whether the free adjective has created images bizarre and beautiful, or
          the adjective been freed by strange and beautiful pictures in the mind ? -
          J.R.R. Tolkien, A Secret Vice

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.