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Re: [Lambengolmor] Is _enge_ "irregular"?

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  • Atwe
    ... re statements by me and by Sébastien Bertho in Elfling messages #30283 and #30284, respectively, that _enge_, ... I stand corrected in my opinion, the
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 1, 2004
      --- "Patrick H. Wynne" <pwynne@...> wrote,
      re statements by me and by S�bastien Bertho in Elfling
      messages #30283 and #30284, respectively, that _enge_,
      pa.t. of _ea_ 'exists', is "irregular":

      > I disagree with Thomas's and S�bastien's
      > characterization of _enge_ as an "irregular"
      > past tense.

      I stand corrected in my opinion, the past tense of
      _ea-_ is regular to its kind. To support our
      characterisation a little bit, although the pa.t. of
      this verb is regular, it may be that the verb itself
      is irregular in the sense that its paradigm is not
      whole, for instance it might lack a perfect form (on a
      sidenote: what would be the perfect of _tea-_?)


      Thomas Ferencz

      -- love is the shadow that ripens the wine --

      [I am puzzled by your final statement -- on what
      evidence do you assume that the paradigm of _ea_
      'exists' might not be whole or lack a perfect form?
      There are very few Quenya verbs indeed for which
      all tenses -- aorist, present, past, perfect, future --
      are attested, and yet it is generally supposed (correctly,
      I think) by Tolkienian linguists that this is simply
      due to our fragmentary evidence, not to rampant
      irregularity in the Quenya verbal system.

      As for the perfect tense of _tea_ 'indicates', is there
      any reason to suppose it might not have been
      *_etengie_, after pa.t. _tenge_? In "Quendi and
      Eldar" Tolkien notes that _av�nie_, perfect tense
      of _auta-_ 'go away, leave', had "intrusion of _n_
      from the past [_v�ne_] (the forms of past and perfect
      became progressively more closely associated in
      Quenya)" (XI:366). -- Patrick H. Wynne]
    • lambendil
      ... Of course, from these statements it appears that the pa.t. _enge_ of _ea_ is regular, as is pa.t. _tenge_ for _tea_, _for this class of verb_. But two
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 2, 2004
        In Lambengolmor message #729 Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

        > [...] _ea_ 'exists' originally contained an intervocalic _ñ_
        > [...] with intervocalic _ñ_ vanishing in later Quenya (VT39:6-7).
        > In this same passage Tolkien also notes that the "former
        > presence of intervocalic _ñ_" accounts for Q. _tea_ 'indicates',
        > with pa.t. _tenge_ 'indicated'. [...] it appears that
        > _ea_ (pa.t. _enge_) is perfectly parallel to _tea_ (pa.t.
        > _tenge_), suggesting that these past tenses are, in fact,
        > the _regular_ past tenses of a class of verbs derived
        > from bases originally ending in _ñ_ (*EÑ and *TEÑ
        > respectively).

        Of course, from these statements it appears that the pa.t. _enge_ of
        _ea_ is regular, as is pa.t. _tenge_ for _tea_, _for this class of
        verb_. But two occurences is a small number to draw conclusion and
        build a class of verb (but we have to work on small paradigms because
        of the relative smallness of the whole Elvish corpus)

        [Given the small size of the Elvish corpus, it is dangerous to assume
        some form is "irregular" simply because it does not occur frequently
        in the fragmentary corpus available to us. And since the corpus is
        small and fragmentary, it is all the more compelling and suggestive
        of regularity when two verbs such as _ea_ (pa.t. _enge_) and _tea_
        (pa.t. _tenge_) have perfectly parallel conjugations that can be
        accounted for by known rules of regular phonological development.
        The verb class of _ea_ and _tea_ was probably small to begin with,
        bases ending in _Ñ_ being infrequent (at least in the _Etymologies_)
        But "small" is not synonymous with "irregular". -- PHW]

        It is very likely that the Eldar, being well aware of the structure
        and history of their language as a whole might have considered these
        forms as regular, on a diachronic point of view.

        But it could not be the same for the Atanion Lambengolmor of the
        later ages, having not the same understanding of the evolution of
        Eldarin tongues. For them, these forms could have appeared as
        irregular, on a synchronic point of view, when compared to the
        majority of regular pa.t. formation _-ne_.

        [The paragraph above consists entirely of unsupported assertions.
        What is your evidence for the amount of Eldarin historical phonology
        known or unknown to Mortal students of Quenya within Tolkien's
        sub-created world? It seems equally likely that sufficient information
        was known by Mortals about the historical development of Quenya
        for _ea_ (_enge_) and _tea_ (_tenge_) to seem as regular to them as
        it does to us. And if _we in the modern world_, with only fragmentary
        evidence to go on, are able to discern that these forms are regular,
        isn't it likely that Tolkien would imagine that Mortals _within his
        sub-creation_ would be capable of doing so as well? -- PHW]

        So, if _enge_ can be considered as regular on a diachronic point of
        view, it appears as irregular synchronically speaking.

        [No, for the reasons given above. -- PHW]

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