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Re: [Lambengolmor] Meaning of _umne_

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  • David Kiltz
    ... Patrick, any particular reason why you wouldn t consider _**ub + n + ni_ _*umbne_ _umne_ a possibility as well ? It would *seem* to me, such a
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 8, 2006
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      On 05.02.2006, at 23:58, Patrick Wynne wrote:

      > Interpretation of OQ _umne_ as strong
      > pa.t. *_ûb-_ + 1 sg. *_ni_ seems quite plausible

      Patrick, any particular reason why you wouldn't consider _**ub + n +
      ni_ > _*umbne_ >_umne_ a possibility as well ? It would *seem* to me,
      such a development is in the phonetic ball park. To be sure, I know of
      no example of 1st sg. _-ne_ suffixed to _-n-_ infix past tenses.
      (Actually I had overlooked _karne_ vs _karin_, which you thankfully
      noted). However, as Tolkien calls _-n-_ infix pa.t. 'strong' (cf. XI:
      366 about _anwe_ ), the above analysis seems possible as well, don't
      you think ?

      David Kiltz

      [I don't find the **_ub + n + ni_ theory plausible because this is not
      how nasal infixion was applied in Quenya. In forming a strong pa.t.
      of a basic verb, the nasal infix was inserted before the final consonant
      of the stem -- thus AWA > _anwe_, archaic str. pa.t. of _auta-_ 'go away,
      leave' (XI:366); TOP- 'cover, roof' > pa.t. _tompe_ (V:394); TALÁT- 'to
      slope, lean, tip' > _atalante_ 'down-fell' (V:390, 56). In derived verbs,
      the nasal infix was inserted before the derivative suffix (usually _-ta,
      -ya_), if this suffix was retained in the pa.t. -- thus _auta-_ > pa.t.
      _oante_ (< _áwa-n-tê_) (XI:366), and _farya-_ 'suffice' > pa.t. _farinye_
      (beside weak _farne_) (VT46:9 s.v. PHAR-).

      What we do NOT ever see is a pa.t. formed by insertion of a nasal infix
      between a verb stem and a pronominal ending, as you propose in
      **_ub + n + ni_. Indeed, this form would not even qualify as strong,
      since the _n_ is SUFFIXED to the basic verb *_ub-_, which means such
      a verb would be classified as weak. -- PHW]
    • Rich Alderson
      In response to a message from Thorsten Renk on Wed, 08 Feb 2006 09:41:28 -0500, Patrick Wynne wrote ... I would like to amplify on that
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 8, 2006
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        In response to a message from "Thorsten Renk" <trenk@...> on
        Wed, 08 Feb 2006 09:41:28 -0500, Patrick Wynne wrote

        > I would only note, with regard to the final paragraph in your post, that
        > there is no reason to think that a verb need have one and only one pa.t.
        > form -- and so no reason to assume that Tolkien had or was unable to
        > "settle" on one or the other. Verbs in real languages can and do have both
        > strong and weak past-tense forms happily coexisting: consider English
        > "shine", str. pa.t. "shone", wk. pa.t. "shined". The same is true of Quenya
        > and the other Elvish languages, in all their conceptual stages.

        I would like to amplify on that for a moment, in agreement with Patrick's
        conclusion.

        There are two English homophonous verbs _shine_, an intransitive/stative with
        strong past _shone_ and a transitive/causative with weak past _shined_, which
        are distinct historically but which have fallen together in the present (which
        acts as the citation form), leading to the appearance of a single verb with
        both weak and strong past tense formations differentiated semantically in the
        synchronic description of Modern English.

        There is room in the essentially synchronic description of Quenya provided in
        the lexica for the same kind of merger, the more so as we have no exhaustive
        diachronic description to affirm or to gainsay the possibility.

        Rich Alderson
      • Thorsten Renk
        ... It was not my intention to imply that _karin_ must necessarily have only one past tense. However, it strikes me as significant that * In the QL, verbs
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 9, 2006
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          > I would only note, with regard to the final paragraph in your post, that
          > there is no reason to think that a verb need have one and only one pa.t.
          > form -- and so no reason to assume that Tolkien had or was unable to
          > "settle" on one or the other.

          It was not my intention to imply that _karin_ must necessarily have only
          one past tense. However, it strikes me as significant that

          * In the QL, verbs frequently are listed with more than one past tense.
          For example, the subgroup of verbs derived from roots with R-hacek
          shows often nasal infixion as alternative to vowel lengthening, cf.:

          _siri-_ 'to flow' pa.t. _sinde, s�re_ (PE12:84) (macron in original)
          _liri-_ 'to sing' pa.t. linde, l�re (PE12:54) (macron in original)

          No alternative past tense is indicated for _karin_, pa.t. _k�re_ (PE12:45)

          * The list of past tenses in the Early Qenya Grammar shows verbs with
          up to three alternative past tenses, cf.

          _tantila-_ 'hop' pa.t. _tantilane, tantille, tantilante_ (PE14:58)

          No alternative past tense is given for

          _kar-_ 'to make' pa.t. _karne_ pr.t. _kare_ (PE14:58)

          * The Etymologies show (rarely) alternative past tenses for verbs, cf.

          _onta-_ to 'beget, create, pa.t. _ontane, �ne_ (V:379)

          If it is a past tense, no alternative is indicated for _karin, karne_

          * All occurrances of _ohtak�re_ are of course in actual texts, out of
          which we can't infer if an alternative past tense exists unless the verb
          occurs twice.

          It is certainly difficult to prove the absence of e.g. an alternative past
          tense form for _karin_ in the QL, it is entirely possible that it exists,
          but if so, the fact remains that in spite of the fact that we have evidence
          that Tolkien indicated alternative past tenses for some verbs in the QL,
          in the EQG and (with less certainty) in the Etymologies, he didn't actually
          do so once for _karin_. So I think while the available evidence is far
          from being conclusive, based on the facts available to me there is
          some merit to the idea that Tolkien did not consider both variants
          valid at the same time.

          * Thorsten Renk
        • David Kiltz
          ... That s certainly a strong point. Just to clarify, there are two assumptions that led me to this reconstruction: 1) The infixed past tense forms derive from
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 21, 2006
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            On 08.02.2006, at 11:23, Patrick Wynne wrote (off-list):

            > What we do NOT ever see is a pa.t. formed by insertion of a nasal
            > infix between a verb stem and a pronominal ending, as you propose
            > in **_ub + n + ni_.

            That's certainly a strong point. Just to clarify, there are two
            assumptions that led me to this reconstruction:

            1) The infixed past tense forms derive from original suffixed forms
            by regular sound change, as in Q. _lemba_ < _*lebnâ_ (Etym s.v.LEB-).

            2) that the apparent past tense marker *_-ê_ was originally a marker
            of the 3. sg.

            Ad 1) It's true that Tolkien's own wording suggests that there was an
            original distinction between nasal infixion and suffixation of _-ne_
            with subsequent metathesis.

            [One such passage making this distinction occurs in the Early Qenya
            Grammar (ms.), where Tolkien writes that the past stem was formed
            by addition of the suffixes _-ye_, _-ie_, or _-ne_, but that the most
            common of these, _-ie_, "is normally accompanied by stem strengthening
            consisting of (1) a-infixion, (2) n-infixion, (3) vowel lengthening"
            (PE14:56). -- PHW]

            I could, and probably should have written **_umb-ni_. Which brings
            us to:

            Ad 2) That, I'll admit is a very weak point, as Tolkien's writings
            suggest otherwise. It was an entirely ad hoc assumption, in order to
            explain one particular form. It seemed to me (somewhat) admissable
            because Tolkien's languages (unlike 'real-world' ones) are subject to
            re-formation/ interpretation without further notice. Also, re-
            formation of case endings (especially in past tense) based on the 3.
            sg. are frequent in the world's languages.

            Yet *_ê_ or (or, at some stage *_ie_, cf. Helios' post) is indeed
            indicative of past tense in particular and so throughout the corpus.

            David Kiltz
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