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Comments on Thorsten Renk's "The Q(u)enya Past Tense"

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  • Helios De Rosario Martinez
    There are a couple of points which I find interesting to add to Thorsten Renk s The Q(u)enya Past Tense at:
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 19, 2006
      There are a couple of points which I find interesting to add to
      Thorsten Renk's "The Q(u)enya Past Tense" at:


      About the _-ie_ past tense:

      Its presence in suffixed pa.t. forms of "The Lost Road" (e.g.
      _kárielto_ 'they made' vs. _káre_ '[he] made'), is comparable to the
      development of the pa.t. explained at "The Qenya Verb Forms". There, pa.t.
      of "regular verbs" is normally marked by _-ie_ plus the suffixes which
      denote gender, number and voice; but impersonal singular active past
      tense has _-e_ < _-ie_ (PE14:31, _i_ glide and breve over the _e_ in
      the primitive form). Thus, _tul-_ 'to bring, come' is _tûle_ 'came'
      (imp. sing.), but _tûlien_ or _tûliendo_ 'he came', etc. (PE14:28,
      macron over the _u_ in all cases).

      Additionally, though it is not a great finding at all, it may be worth
      noting that the _-ie_ past tense did not really disappear, but became
      a perfect tense (cp. _tûlien_ 'he came' cited above vs. _utúlien_ 'I
      am come' in _Eärello Endorenna utúlien..._, LR:967).

      On the other hand, in the last paragraph just before the
      acknowledgements, Thorsten says:

      "In the QL, all such verbs [with stem in _-r-_] form past tense by
      vowel lengthening, best examplified by #_kar-_ 'to make, do' pa.t.
      _káre_ (PE12:45). But already in the EQG, this has been changed to a
      suffix _-ne_, cf. _kar-_ 'to make' pa.t. _karne_ pr.t. _kare_
      (PE14:58). In the Qenya of 'The Lost Road', the past tense form
      _ohtakáre_ (LR:47) appears, suggesting a change of mind back to vowel

      I think, however, that the scenario of these facts may not be Tolkien
      trying to settle whether pa.t. of _kar-_ should be _káre_ or _karne_,
      but something closer to what Thorsten said previously, in the
      introduction about cases from _Etym._:

      "verbs are not limited to one past tense, we find an example in which
      alternative past tenses exist without apparent differences in meaning,
      cf. _onta-_ 'to beget, create', pa.t. _óne_, _ontane_ (LR:379)..."

      In relation to this, it may be interesting to look at the
      "English-Qenya Dictionary", where there is a handful of verbs
      conjugated in present and pa.t. (there labelled "preterite"), and
      among them:

      "Do. '_kara_': _kare_, pret. _kârie_, but pret. is also frequently
      _karne_" (PE15:71).
      [All Qenya forms are in Valmaric script and then transliterated, with
      the exception of the base _kara_, which is untransliterated by
      Tolkien; _kârie_ with macron over the _a_.]

      There we see the pa.t. form _karne_ already found in EQG, PE14:58 (EQG
      being closely related to that dictionary, cf. PE15:65-66), as an
      alternative to _kârie_, which conforms the conjugation of "regular
      verbs" like _tul-_ (pa.t. _túlie_) in EQG (PE14:57). This proves that
      distinct pa.t. forms were possible, though the text of EQG only showed
      _karne_. In addition, though the pa.t. _kârie_ of the English-Qenya
      Dictionarly does not occur in 'The Lost Road' as such, it does occur
      in the suffixed form _kárielto_, which is apparently in complement to
      unsuffixed _káre_, _ohtakáre_, etc. (see above).

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