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Translations of _orthanc_

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  • varavilindo
    It is said that _orthanc_ has two major meanings (in two different tounges): in elvish (Sindarin) stony heart, [?tormented] Hills (VIII:35), Stone Fangs
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 22 11:48 AM
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      It is said that _orthanc_ has two major meanings (in two different
      tounges): in "elvish" (Sindarin) "stony heart, [?tormented] Hills"
      (VIII:35), "Stone Fangs" (VIII:35) and lastly "forked-Height" (RC:
      234); in Rohirric it is "cunning craft, invention" (VIII:35).

      The underlying etymology of the compound _or-thanc_ with translation
      "forked-Height" may be as follows:

      _or_: derived from base ORO- (V:379) giving N. _or_ prep. above;
      prefix _or-_ as in _orchall, orchel_ "superior, eminent"
      _thanc_: derived from Stem STAK- (V:388) giving N. _thanc_ and Q.
      _sanka_ meaning "cleft, split" here in adjectival form _thanc_ "forked".

      But in light of the different translations (mentioned above)
      thought of Tolkien by the time of writing _The Lord of the Rings_, we
      can easily observe many other hints how Tolkien first constructed
      _orthanc_.

      One could argue that Tolkien sometimes translated his own creations
      inexactly and non-literally, but in this instance I think that Tolkien toyed
      with various etymological explanations for his word – interesting enough
      to pull out a little analysis of _orthanc_ for each translation:

      "stony heart":

      _or_: possibly the Sindarin cognate of Q. _óre_ (XII:337) meaning "heart"
      _thanc_: certainly not derived from STAK-, but from base TAK-
      (V:389) giving N. _tanc_ "firm", which we could take (with enough
      imagination) as "stony". _tanc_ would undergo a liquid mutation when
      combined with _or_.

      "[?tormented] hills":

      _or_: may be derived from base ORO-(V:389) but unattested with the
      meaning of hill, although we can find _orod_ (under base ÒROT-
      (V:389)) "mountain", which could well be connected to *_or_ "hill".
      _thanc_: with the meaning of "torment" is nowhere else mentioned or
      reconstructable from bases. It's very possible that "tormented" is a
      misreading due to illegibility (as hinted by Chistopher Tolkien).

      "Stone Fang":

      _or_: can only mean "stone" in the context of the translation, but can
      hardly be derived from ORO-. I can not shed any further light on
      this matter.
      _thanc_: derived from abse STAK-, could fit in this context of the
      meaning _thanc_ "split, cleft".

      As we can see, Tolkien experimented with the many possibilities of
      translating _orthanc_. Whether we could add the new word meanings (e. g.
      *_or_ "heart") to our Sindarin vocabulary is questionable.

      Philipp Marquart
    • David Kiltz
      ... More so, perhaps, because there is _gûr_ (VT41;11) heart, inner mind , said (loc. cit.) to derive from CE _3ôrê_. Of course, Tolkien s idea about the
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 22 11:24 PM
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        On 22.04.2006, at 20:48, varavilindo wrote:

        > Whether we could add the new word meanings (e. g.
        > *_or_ "heart") to our Sindarin vocabulary is questionable.

        More so, perhaps, because there is _gûr_ (VT41;11) 'heart, inner
        mind', said (loc. cit.) to derive from CE _3ôrê_. Of course,
        Tolkien's idea about the derivation of Q _óre_ and the respective
        Sindarin form may have changed over time. In the times of _The
        Etymologies_, CE _3_ (i.e. a voiced velar fricative) is lost in later
        Noldorin. 'Stony heart' could also be a deliberate folk etymology by
        those well acquainted with Elvish, I think. Especially, maybe, because
        S _gûr_, Q _óre_ seem to refer not so much to the physical organ but
        to mental/emotional phenomena. Hence a 'rigid' or 'stony' heart could
        be seen as an allusion to the state of Saruman's _óre_ in the later days
        of his residence in Orthanc.

        David Kiltz
      • Beregond. Anders Stenstr�
        ... For 234 read 243. The gloss forked-height in the unfinished index would (if that index had been completed and appeared in the book) have been a
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 23 1:31 PM
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          Philipp Marquart wrote:

          > It is said that _orthanc_ has two major meanings (in two different
          > tounges): in "elvish" (Sindarin) "stony heart, [?tormented] Hills"
          > (VIII:35), "Stone Fangs" (VIII:35) and lastly "forked-Height" (RC:
          > 234)

          For 234 read 243. The gloss "forked-height" in the unfinished index
          would (if that index had been completed and appeared in the book) have
          been a complement to the main text's "Mount Fang".

          > The underlying etymology of the compound _or-thanc_ with translation
          > "forked-Height" may be as follows:
          >
          > _or_: derived from base ORO- (V:379) giving N. _or_ prep. above;
          > prefix _or-_ as in _orchall, orchel_ "superior, eminent"

          The element _or_ occurs in Sindarin with the sense 'height,
          mountain' also in (at least) _Erebor_.

          Suilad,

          Beregond
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