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Re: _Dagmor_ (Beren's sword) < *_dag-baur_ *'slay-need'?

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  • Richard Derdzinski
    ... I have seen this analysis and I have found there as many as _six_ compounds built like _Dagmor_ according to my theory (ie. _dag-_ verb slay + _baur_
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 15, 2006
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      --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" wrote:
      > [As I also wrote to Ryszard, my opinion is ultimately
      > that *'slay(ing)-need' is an exceedingly clunky construction,
      > one that I think Tolkien would
      > not have found pleasing or suitable at all
      > (...)
      >(see Thorsten Renk's detailed
      > analysis of all such Noldorin compounds in _Etym._:
      > <http://www.phy.duke.edu/~trenk/elvish/noldorin/compounds.html>).

      I have seen this analysis and I have found there as many as _six_
      compounds built like _Dagmor_ according to my theory (ie. _dag-_ verb
      'slay' + _baur_ noun 'need' = compound: VERB-NOUN). Notice this
      fragment of Thorsten's analysis:

      "In some cases, verbs seem to be part of the compound. This is most
      clearly evident from _megli_ < _mad-lî_ 'bear' (LR:369) which seems to
      be nothing but the short description 'eats honey'. In other cases, a
      translation would require a participle (although only the verb sten is
      part of the compound), cf. _Glingol_ < _lingikâle_ '*hanging light'
      (VT45:19,27). In all cases the verb stem is the first element.
      However, since only roots are found and not inflected verbs, it would
      be premature to use this to draw any conclusions on word order in
      Noldorin. The (rather short) list is:

      * _Drambor_, _Dramborleg_ '*beat-fist' (LR:354)
      * _Glingol_ < _lingikâle_ '*hang-light' (VT45:19,27)
      * _hadlath_, _haglath_ 'sling, *throw-string' (LR:363,368)
      * _Maglor_ 'Gold-cleaver' (LR:371)
      * _megli_ < _mad-lî_ 'bear, *eats honey' (LR:369)
      * _Rhibdath_, _Rhimdath_ 'Rushdown' (LR:384)"

      [source: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~trenk/elvish/noldorin/compounds.html%5d

      If my theory is right _Dagmor_ would be built like eg. _hadlath_
      (V:363, 368):

      _hadlath_ < *_had-lath_ = *'throw-string' ie. *'string for throwing,
      string which is used to throw [stones]'

      _Dagmor_ < *_dag-baur_ = *'slay-need (n.)' ie. *'need of slaying, need
      to slay'

      What about such an analysis?

      [My own deep suspicion that Tolkien would never have thought this
      construction suitable remains, since it arises not from any issue of
      combining verbs and nouns, but rather from the unsuitability of this
      _particular_ combination. As I said, the problem is that the proposed
      meaning *'slay-need' is clunky and unappealing: it sounds to my ear
      very much like something we would find in "Elvish As She Is Spoke",
      not in Elvish as Tolkien conceived it. CFH]

      --Richard Derdzinski
    • David Kiltz
      ... The six examples given above can, I think, all be interpreted as consisting of a verbal element with different kinds of complements. They can, then, be
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 17, 2006
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        On 15.11.2006, at 21:12, Richard Derdzinski wrote:

        > * _Drambor_, _Dramborleg_ '*beat-fist' (LR:354)
        > * _Glingol_ < _lingikâle_ '*hang-light' (VT45:19,27)
        > * _hadlath_, _haglath_ 'sling, *throw-string' (LR:363,368)
        > * _Maglor_ 'Gold-cleaver' (LR:371)
        > * _megli_ < _mad-lî_ 'bear, *eats honey' (LR:369)
        > * _Rhibdath_, _Rhimdath_ 'Rushdown' (LR:384)"
        >
        > If my theory is right _Dagmor_ would be built like e.g.. _hadlath_
        > (V:363, 368):
        >
        > _hadlath_ < *_had-lath_ = *'throw-string' i.e.. *'string for throwing,
        > string which is used to throw [stones]'
        >
        > _Dagmor_ < *_dag-baur_ = *'slay-need (n.)' ie. *'need of slaying, need
        > to slay'

        The six examples given above can, I think, all be interpreted as
        consisting of a verbal element with different kinds of complements.
        They can, then, be divided into three groups according to the
        function of their respective second elements: A) 1-3, B) 4+5, C) 6.
        In group A the second element, a noun, can be interpreted as the
        subject of an underlying verbal phrase: 1. "a fist that beats,
        hammers" 2. "a light that hangs" 3. "a string that throws".
        Group B is different in that the second element can be interpreted as
        the object of a verbal phrase: 4. "(something/someone) that cleaves
        gold", 5. "(sth./so.) that eats honey". #6, which forms a group of
        its own, can be interpreted as a verbal phrase with an adverb:
        "rushes down".

        I will not go into a lengthy discussion of various types of
        compounds. One can, of course, as Richard Derdzinski does, interpret
        #3 (or group A) as a determinative (or endocentric) compound with
        nominal governing (I hope this makes sense in English, I'm trying to
        translate German 'nominales Determinativkompositum'). In the case of
        _dagmor_ *'need of slaying' could mean a number of things. Need used
        for killing ? or (a situation of) need characterized by killing ? or
        even need that kills ?.

        Personally, I find the verbal interpretation more elegant. If it is
        correct, we're dealing with secondary (German 'uneigentlichen')
        compounds here. That is, with original syntagmas where the juxtaposed
        elements have fused. (Something similar, albeit not yet fully turned
        into a compound, can be found in French _tire-bouchon_ or Spanish
        _saca corchos_). The first element would then be an endingless 3.
        pers. sg. "aorist" fitting, I think, the general nature of those
        compounds "typically, usually does...". (Without opening a whole new
        Pandora's box, I'd like to mention that in Eldarin, the endingless
        form of a verb might originally have had a function similar to what
        is typically described as 'participle' in the european tradition of
        grammatical terminology).

        In that vein, I'd interpret _Dagmor_ as "sth./so. that slays darkness/
        night/gloom" (2nd element < *_môrê_). On a wholly subjective note
        (again), 'Slayer of darkness' seems to fit the style of Prof.
        Tolkien's stories better than "The need to kill".

        David Kiltz
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