Re: [Lambengolmor] Meaning of _umne_
> I would only note, with regard to the final paragraph in your post, thatIt was not my intention to imply that _karin_ must necessarily have only
> 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.
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
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
- 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 nasalThat's certainly a strong point. Just to clarify, there are two
> infix between a verb stem and a pronominal ending, as you propose
> in **_ub + n + ni_.
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
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.