The Sindarin suffixed article: agreement in number
- Since the following assertion cannot be yet proved (at least, by
myself) using linguistic epicheirema as it is solely based on
"The History of Middle-earth", it shall be posed as a question.
Having dealt with the Sindarin article in the forms _i_ and _in_
describing the singular and the plural accordingly, one might
stumble upon the justifiable question: �Why, when the article in
the suffixed forms _-n_ and _-in_ can represent both numbers,
does the independent article have a clearly different form? And if
it does stand for both numbers, why bother with a different form
in the first place?�
The only published example in which we are presented with such
a case, is of course the 3rd version of the �King�s Letter� (IX:129, 131)
in the phrases _erin dolothen Ethuil_ and _uin Echuir_ in particular,
in which _-in_ clearly denotes the singular. Though in another attested
case, in the phrase _Dagor-nuin-Giliath_ (Sil, ch 13), we have the
preposition _nu_ (or _no_) becoming _nuin_. In this occasion of the
use of the suffixed article, _-in_ functions as analogue to the
independent article _in_.
Could what we are dealing with in the �King�s Letter� be another
idiom of the Gondorian dialect of Sindarin? A loose (Historical)
epicheirema could be that Aragorn might well consort with the
pure elvish dialect in his everyday life, but since his crowning,
he would more likely use Gondorian Sindarin, especially in an
official document as the above. There would be no reason to use
formal Sindarin, since if he wanted to further formalize the document,
he would use Quenya. Furthermore, the King�s Letter seems to be written
in Gondorian Sindarin, since the author uses the Sindarin names for
seasons, used only by the D�nedain and thus in their own dialect of
Sindarin, ergo the official language of Gondor.
Are there any real points (besides "The History of Middle-earth") to
make the above stand as a possibility?
- Minas Tsulis wrote:
> Why, when the article inA nearly identical question is explicitly answered in detail by
> the suffixed forms _-n_ and _-in_ can represent both numbers,
> does the independent article have a clearly different form? And if
> it does stand for both numbers, why bother with a different form
> in the first place?
Tolkien himself, at the beginning of the Gnomish Grammar, recently
reprinted in _Parma Eldalamberon_ #11. The first section, with the
title "The article", says:
"root _î_. This gave in the plural either _î_ or _în_ and in the
genitive _în_, but ... _în-_ also developed in other cases_." (PE11:7;
the circumflex representing a macron).
Summarizing, there it is explained that the article _în_, though it
originally had a grammatical function (it was the plural or genitive
form of _î_), had in the "present usage" of Gnomish or Goldogrin a
phonological function instead (it was chiefly prevocalic).
Of course there may be significant differences between the Goldogrin
and the later Sindarin article system; for instance, the Goldogrin
genitive singular article was _na(n)_ according to the same Grammar,
while a quick search in the Index of _The Silmarillion_ shows many
Sindarin names where that article is _en_ instead: _Bar-en-Danwedh_,
_Cabed-en-Aras_, _Haudh-en-Arwen_, _Haudh-en-Elleth_,
_Haudh-en-Ndengin_, _Haudh-en-Nirnaeth_, or _Taur-en-Faroth_.
Nevertheless, I find no evidence by which we should think that the
duality of the Goldogrin nominative article _i_/_in_ was essentially
different in Sindarin.