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Rhotacism and stress (was Re: "Tolkien in Oxford")

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  • hisilome
    ... My original objection was mainly to Roman s statement that in _Mondósaresse_ the _s_ is followed by the stressed vowel, which is patently false (if one
    Message 1 of 19 , Nov 6, 2006
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      --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, "Pavel Iosad" <edricson@...>
      wrote:

      > > Hm. I thought the stress in _Mondósaresse_ would lie on the _e_
      > > preceding the double consonant _ss_ (according to the
      > > pronunciation rules as for example given in the Appendices of
      > >_LotR_, although the example given there involves double _n_)?
      >
      >This is the realm of guesswork: the rule, as given, does imply that
      >we could have _s_/_r_ alternations in the paradigm relative to stress
      >(witness similar developments in Germanic due to Werner's law with
      >rhotacised and non-rhotacised forms coinhabiting the same paradigm,
      >as in OIcel _kjósa_, participle _kørinn_ 'to choose'). Indeed the
      >very word _ósanwe_ could be expected to exhibit this alternation, of
      > course. However, since no examples are provided by Tolkien, it is
      > rather pointless to speculate whether the paradigm would be levelled
      > to follow the nominative or remain true to the historical phonology;
      > what we can do is only note that something like that could be
      > possible.

      My original objection was mainly to Roman's statement that in
      _Mondósaresse_ the _s_ is followed by the stressed vowel, which is
      patently false (if one agrees that it should be followed
      _immediately_ by the stressed vowel, just as in Verner's Law it is
      the stress on the _immediately_ _preceding_ vowel that prevented
      voiceless fricatives from becoming voiced ones [and, by extension,
      _s_ from becoming _r_ via _z_]). Thus the accent of the word should
      probably not be seen here as a reason why rhotacism did not occur.

      This is why I do not fully agree with your argument: yes, one might
      assume of _ósanwe_ that, for example, the locative could be
      _óranwesse_ ("true to historical phonology", and similar to your Old
      Icelandic example), while it might just as well be _ósanwesse_
      (analogical leveling).

      I just don't see how this is relevant for _Mondósaresse_ and its
      assumed nominative, since the stress is never in the pertinent
      syllable anyway. All one can say is that if the word's second element
      is indeed derived from SAR-, rhotacism "should" probably have
      occurred (in both the nominative and the locative), but for some
      reason it didn't. Of course it is also quite possible, as Roman says,
      that SAR- is not involved at all.

      David
    • Harm J. Schelhaas
      On reflection, I think that I should relay the following thought to the list. As I had shown Beregond s [Anders Stenström s] initial post and Christie s lot
      Message 2 of 19 , Nov 7, 2006
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        On reflection, I think that I should relay the following thought to the list.

        As I had shown Beregond's [Anders Stenström's] initial post and Christie's
        lot description to a Smial meeting of the Dutch Tolkien Society Unquendor,
        I've been relaying the discussion on "Tolkien in Oxford" here on Lambengolmor
        to an interested member of Unquendor. She is a professional linguist, and
        used to belong to Unquendor's working group on Elvish Linquistics, when that
        existed long before the time of VT, but dropped out of that field for a long time.

        (I myself have no solid background in linguistics, which is why I follow this
        group with keen interest, but usually do not take part myself.)

        On reading the rhotacism discussion, she at first thought people here were
        discussing whether the r in "_mondósaResse_" could have developed from an s.
        When I pointed out that the discussion was rather why the s ("_mondóSaresse_")
        hadn't turned into an r, her reply was that rhotacism of the first consonant in
        the second element of a compound is so unheard of, that she as a linguist had
        not realized that one would think of it at all, and that Tolkien apparently would
        have thought the same. Hence the retention of the s.

        -- Harm J. Schelhaas

        [Thanks for reporting this. I have no trouble believe it to be so, though I would
        caution that even if so, it surely depends on the age of the compound and to
        what degree it is perceived to be a compound by the speakers of the language.
        Not that either of those are necessarily at issue in this particular example, but
        something to bear in mind lest it be regarded as a rule in all cases. CFH]

        [And while I'm at it, another gentle reminder to all members to please sign your
        posts with your real names, and to refer to other contributors by real name. I don't
        mind the use of _epessi_ and other nicknames in email adresses, but I think it
        behooves us to use real names in posts and citations. Thanks. CFH]
      • Roman Rausch
        ... An example for an ancient compound with rhotacism carried out seems to exist, namely: Q _Tindómerel_ * daughter/child of twilight (V:385) with the
        Message 3 of 19 , Nov 8, 2006
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          --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, "Harm J. Schelhaas"
          <harm.j.schelhaas@...> wrote:

          >When I pointed out that the discussion was rather why the s
          >("_mondóSaresse_") hadn't turned into an r, her reply was that
          >rhotacism of the first consonant in the second element of a
          >compound is so unheard of, that she as a linguist had not realized
          >that one would think of it at all, and that Tolkien apparently
          >would have thought the same. Hence the retention of the s.

          >[Thanks for reporting this. I have no trouble believe it to be so,
          >though I would caution that even if so, it surely depends on the age
          >of the compound and to what degree it is perceived to be a compound
          >by the speakers of the language. [...] CFH]

          An example for an ancient compound with rhotacism carried out seems to
          exist, namely: Q _Tindómerel_ *'daughter/child of twilight' (V:385)
          with the primitive form given as _tindômiselde_, root SEL-D.

          But in the context of _Mondósaresse_ this discussion is now pointless
          anyway - the note from "Quendi & Eldar" Andreas Johansson pointed out
          in message #950 should have the most relevance here, I think.

          Roman R.
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