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Re: The survival of Q. _vea_ 'sea'

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  • Helios De Rosario Martinez
    Patrick Wynne mentioned in message #821 of this list the name _Vëantur_, besides _Vëandur_, as occurrences of Quenya _vea_ sea in late writings. Another
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 19, 2005
      Patrick Wynne mentioned in message #821 of this list the name _Vëantur_,
      besides _Vëandur_, as occurrences of Quenya _vea_ 'sea' in late writings.

      Another interesting issue of the name _Veantur_, is the _n_ after _vea_.
      This was already discussed in Elfling, where Anders Stenström suggested that
      the word for 'sea' might have been changed by Tolkien from _vea_ to *_vean_
      (msg. #8320), and Helge Fauskanger replied that probably the suffix _-tur_
      alternated with _-ntur_, perhaps by analogy with _-ndil_ and _-ndur_, as
      "there is also _Feanturi_ for 'Masters of Spirits', and we know that _fea_
      'soul, spirit' wasn't changed to **_fean_" (msg. #8417). Actually in UT:210
      we may have another example of _-ntur_: _Malantur_, that could come from
      the Q. stem _mala-_ 'gold'. Cp. _malta_ < *_malatâ_ 'gold' in LR:1096, as
      well as root MALA(2) related to 'yellow' in QL, (S)MAL- in Etym. and VT45:32,
      etc. (I thank Patrick Wynne for pointing out these counterarguments in the
      editorial process of this post).

      However, it is interesting to see that this "intrusive" _n_ after _vea_ also
      occurred in _Veaneldar_, a name for the 'Sea-elves' in a table of the divisions
      of the Qendi written in the early thirties (V:403). This case was explained
      by Christopher Gilson as the genitive form of _vea_, that "serves to break
      up the hiatus that would occur if it were formed with the uninflected stem,
      **_vea-eldar_" (VT36:20). Obviously, such an explanation cannot be transferred
      to the case of _Veantur_, written in a conceptual stage when the the common
      Quenya genitive inflexion was _-o_ (pl. _-(r)on_), not _-n_. But it led
      me to think that _Veantur_ could show _another_ inflexion of _vea_, as an
      alternative explanation to the variation _-tur_ / _-ntur_.

      I was thinking in particular on the old plural in _-m_: *_veam_ > Q. *_vean_
      (see a discussion on this old plural suffix by Patrick Wynne in VT47:25).
      This could have been used as a collective noun ('the seas'), used frequently
      instead of, or alternatively to the singular _vea_, and thus the old plural
      would have been preserved.

      I am aware that this collective function would have been properly covered
      by the general or complete plural *_vear_; but the old plural might have
      been favoured, not only by "fossilization" due to a frequent use, but in
      compounds with another _r_ by dissimilation (instead of **_Veartur_, for
      instance): the other possibility, the Old Quenya plural *_veai_, would have
      been less euphonic. The partitive plural *_veali_ perhaps was a good alternative,
      though, like happened with _má_ 'hand', pl. _máli_ (VT47:6, 12, 17-18).

      And all this discussion could also be applied to the name _Fëantúri_.

      Another interesting issue is the etymology of _vea_ 'sea'. Philip Jonsson
      mentioned in Elfling (msg. #8379) its possible relation to the root WAY-
      'enfold' of the Etymologies (and I would add VAYA 'enfold, wind about' in
      PE12:100), under which we may find several terms associated to the sea (though
      specifically related to the 'Outer Sea'). These roots show forms beginning
      with _vai-_, derived from primitive forms with long _a_; but *_vaya_ (first
      _a_ short) would actually give _vea_, like _fëa_ < _phaya_ (first _a_ with
      breve, X:349), as David Salo noted in Elfling msg. #8496. (I thank again
      Patrick for his observations on this matter.)

      But complementarily, I think that a relation with WEY- 'wind, weave'
      (referring to the movement of the sea) is also possible, as in Etym. it is
      told that in Q. _wei_ > _wai_, and thus WEY-, WAY- were confused.
      Moreover, the word *_weya_ itself could have given Q. _vea_, if that
      _eya_ behaved like the pre-accented hiatus _éia_ (with inverted breve
      under _i_) > _ea_ as told in the Qenya Phonology (PE12:12, where
      _áia_ > _ea_ is also mentioned).

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