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Re: Sindarin _ned_

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  • 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 1 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 2 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]
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