Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Annwfn, Rhiannon, Arawn & Morris-Jones

Expand Messages
  • Candon McLean
    Greetings! First I d like to say, hello. I m glad to be on this list (an excellent idea Carl)! The Welsh word _annwfn_ does have a controversial etymology as
    Message 1 of 5 , May 30, 2002
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Greetings!

      First I'd like to say, hello. I'm glad to be on this list (an
      excellent idea Carl)!

      The Welsh word _annwfn_ does have a controversial etymology as both
      elements have multiple meanings, e.g. _an-_ 'un-' or 'in;' _dwfn_
      'deep' or 'world,' and so on (See Geiradur Pryfysgol Cymru (GPC)
      entries _an-_, _annwfn_, and _dwfn_). So we could have 'unworld,'
      'undeep,' 'inworld,' 'indeep.' And the interpretations of what these
      glosses mean is another contentious point.

      I prefer 'unworld' (otherworld?) and 'inworld' as these seem to capture
      what (little) we know of Celtic religion from the indigenous writings
      and the archeological temple finds.

      I believe that these multiple intrepretations would not have been lost
      on Tolkien, and perhaps both _ud�n_ and _ann�n_ were both influenced by
      Welsh _annwfn_.

      Rhiannon does not mean as Pavel has suggested 'mistress,' rather most
      scholars agree that it is derived from _*rigantona_.

      _rig_ is not a 'crown' but 'king' (see GPC entry _rhi_).

      _-ant_ is 3rd person present. So _rigant_ 'he who kings/rules,'
      compare Brittonic _briganti_ (see GPC entry _braint_).

      _-on_ is a thematic suffix which has been given various
      interpretations, the more conservative being 'great,' but it may have a
      completive meaning which could be interpreted as 'end of,' compare
      Gaulish _samonios_ (Olmsted: 190-194 _The Gaulish Calander_, 1992).

      _-a_ is a feminine suffix.

      Rhiannon would then mean something like 'great one(feminine) who
      rules). Notice also that this etymology (or one similar) would have
      been available to Tolkien (see MacCulloch "Celtic Mythology" pg. 95, in
      _Mythology of All Races_ vol. 3 1918, where he glosses _Rhiannon_ as
      'great queen' which is essentially the same etymology).

      As far as I know, no one has given an etymology for _Arawn_. I have
      played with it a bit, and perhaps _Arawn_ could be derived from
      _ar-_ an intesifying affix (see GPC _ar-) and

      _rhawn_ 'mane, 'head of hair' (see GPC _rhawn)

      If the name is early enough, the Brittonic form would be *_arr�n_, and
      this could give Mod. Welsh _Arawn_.

      There is nothing in the Mabinogion that suggests that _Arawn_ had a
      'great mane,' but compare the feminine name _Ronnwen_ which could be
      'white/fair mane'(see Bromwich pg. 498-499, _Trioedd Ynys Prydein_
      1978.

      The Celts were known for their swept back hair like a horse (see James
      Pg. 64 _The World of the Celts_, 1993. This is relevant if the name is
      as old as the Brittonic period.

      Also, a being who rules the Otherworld, which is arrived at through a
      forest, might well have a magnificent mane of hair indicated
      otherworldliness and a closeness with nature.

      Anyway it's an idea. I'm not wedded to it.

      A warning about Morris-Jones. His syntax is excellent, but his
      phonology, and hence his etymologies are not accurate. Morris-Jones'
      phonology isn't accepted today nor was it accepted in his own time (see
      Allen James _John Morris-Jones_ in the _Writers of Wales_ series. for
      an intermediate stage see Jackson _Language and History in early
      britian_).

      Tolkien was an excellent philologist, and he would have been aware of
      the contorversy with Morris-Jones' etymologies. Tolkien, I believe,
      may have been influenced by Morris-Jones, but he certainly would not
      have accepted Morris-Jones' etymologies blindly (even if there were not
      controversy).

      Candon

      __________________________________________________
      Do You Yahoo!?
      Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
      http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      ... Indeed! Which if anything makes it all the more significant that Tolkien nonetheless accepted Jones s etymology in this case, at least to the extent of
      Message 2 of 5 , May 30, 2002
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        On 5/30/02 12:07 PM, "Candon McLean" <candon3@...> wrote:

        > Tolkien was an excellent philologist, and he would have been aware of
        > the contorversy with Morris-Jones' etymologies. Tolkien, I believe,
        > may have been influenced by Morris-Jones, but he certainly would not
        > have accepted Morris-Jones' etymologies blindly

        Indeed! Which if anything makes it all the more significant that Tolkien
        nonetheless accepted Jones's etymology in this case, at least to the extent
        of echoing it in his own notes.


        |======================================================================|
        | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
        | |
        | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
        | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
        | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
        | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
        | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
        |======================================================================|
      • Pavel Iosad
        Hello, ... Indeed. A one-on-one Welsh - English transposition would be very very unreliable. ... I d also vote for these, esp. inworld , as it would agree
        Message 3 of 5 , May 30, 2002
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          Hello,

          Clandon wrote:
          > The Welsh word _annwfn_ does have a controversial etymology as both
          > elements have multiple meanings, e.g. _an-_ 'un-' or 'in;' _dwfn_
          > 'deep' or 'world,' and so on (See Geiradur Pryfysgol Cymru (GPC)
          > entries _an-_, _annwfn_, and _dwfn_). So we could have 'unworld,'
          > 'undeep,' 'inworld,' 'indeep.' And the interpretations of what these
          > glosses mean is another contentious point.

          Indeed. A one-on-one Welsh -> English transposition would be very very unreliable.

          > I prefer 'unworld' (otherworld?) and 'inworld' as these seem
          > to capture
          > what (little) we know of Celtic religion from the indigenous writings
          > and the archeological temple finds.

          I'd also vote for these, esp. 'inworld', as it would agree with the Irish notions of the _sidh_ in the hills of the country, and then Pwyll's hunt from Arberth directly to Annwfn's realm.

          > I believe that these multiple intrepretations would not have been lost
          > on Tolkien, and perhaps both _udыn_ and _annыn_ were both
          > influenced by Welsh _annwfn_.
          >
          > Rhiannon does not mean as Pavel has suggested 'mistress,'

          Mea culpa. That was an imperfect translation into English of something I found in a book translated from French into Russian :-(

          >rather most scholars agree that it is derived from _*rigantona_.
          >
          > _rig_ is not a 'crown' but 'king' (see GPC entry _rhi_).

          RIG- has the meaning of 'crown' in the Etymologies, and I was referring to that.

          I was just about to mention _rhi_ when your most excellent letter came. There's also _rhiain_ (pl. _rhianedd_) 'maiden'. I fancy it might have a connection to the root.

          [...]
          > Rhiannon would then mean something like 'great one(feminine) who
          > rules). Notice also that this etymology (or one similar) would have
          > been available to Tolkien (see MacCulloch "Celtic Mythology"
          > pg. 95, in
          > _Mythology of All Races_ vol. 3 1918, where he glosses _Rhiannon_ as
          > 'great queen' which is essentially the same etymology).

          I fancy that was the etymology I was referring to, albeit indirectly and thus falsely.

          [...]

          And Carl wrote previously:

          >> may it be noted that the realm of _Annwfn_ as portrayed in _Pwyll
          >> Pendefig Dyfed_ is of no association to 'hell' at all.

          >True enough. But 1) later associations often are quite altered from the
          >primitive/formative semantics indicated by etymology;

          That's precisely what appears to have happened.

          >and 2) Tolkien did not reject Jones's derivation. What the Welsh made
          >of the word/name they inherited as _Annw(f)n_ has no necessary bearing
          >on what the word's antecedents originally meant.

          But I find it rather more probable that Tolkien would refer to the text of PPD and the semantics of the words therein if he were referring to ancient Welsh/Celtic culture. In our case, it may rather be the modern meaning that is irrelevant. Ot vice versa. Both are possible.

          [...]
          >Remember the conceit (expressed perhaps most fully in _The
          >Drowning of Anad�ne_ in _Sauron Defeated_) that while Men in northwestern
          >Europe had the truest form of the mythology, it was still much changed, even
          >corrupted. Welsh _Annw(f)n_, by this conceit, may be a dim, much-blurred
          >memory of the Eldarin "underworld".

          Interesting observation. This, to me, would imply the notion of an Underworld in Elvish culture. If that means Angband, then we might indeed talk about _Annw(f)n_ as 'hell'. This would then show a word-play on two levels - the purely phonetic level (where _Annw(f)n_ would be close to _Ann�n_, and refer to the Western Otherworld - i.e. have its connotaions of _Y Mabinogi_) and the etymological level (and thus refer to 'hell' and be rather close to _Ud�n_).

          Regards,
          Pavel
          --
          Pavel Iosad pavel_iosad@...

          'I am a philologist, and thus a misunderstood man'
          --JRR Tolkien, _The Notion Club Papers_
        • Candon McLean
          ... Which is significant for _udûn_, but Tolkien s acceptance of Morris-Jones eytomogy here doesn t perclude Tolkien s use of the other interpretations of
          Message 4 of 5 , May 31, 2002
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            I wrote:

            > Tolkien, I believe, may have been influenced by Morris-Jones, but he
            > certainly would not have accepted Morris-Jones' etymologies blindly.

            Carl replied:

            > Indeed! Which if anything makes it all the more significant that
            > Tolkien nonetheless accepted Jones's etymology in this case, at least
            > to the extent of echoing it in his own notes.

            Which is significant for _ud�n_, but Tolkien's acceptance of
            Morris-Jones' eytomogy here doesn't perclude Tolkien's use of the other
            interpretations of _Annwfn_ for other Elvish words, e.g. _ann�n_.

            Indeed it seems very Tolkien to have two words of Elvish that have
            fallen together in meaning in Human languages to explain the various
            interpretations of the Welsh _Annwfn_.

            Candon


            __________________________________________________
            Do You Yahoo!?
            Yahoo! - Official partner of 2002 FIFA World Cup
            http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            ... Oh, I agree, wholeheartedly. I never meant to imply that there could be _no_ intended relationship between S. _Annûn_ and Welsh _Annw(f)n_. But if there
            Message 5 of 5 , May 31, 2002
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              On 5/31/02 9:32 AM, "Candon McLean" <candon3@...> wrote:

              > Which is significant for _udûn_, but Tolkien's acceptance of
              > Morris-Jones' eytomogy here doesn't perclude Tolkien's use of the other
              > interpretations of _Annwfn_ for other Elvish words, e.g. _annûn_.

              Oh, I agree, wholeheartedly. I never meant to imply that there could be _no_
              intended relationship between S. _Annûn_ and Welsh _Annw(f)n_.

              But if there is, it must be a different sort of relationship than that
              proposed for _Udûn_ (< *_Utubnu_) and _Annw(f)n_ (< *_n-dub-n-_). It is just
              conceivable that *_n-dub-n-_, the ancient antecedent of _Annw(f)n_ (as
              corrobated by cognates in other languages), could have some relationship
              with the Eldarin forms; but it would be much harder to argue that either
              _Annw(f)n_ or *_n-dub-n_ could have been formed upon S. _Annûn_, Q.
              _Andúne_, or their antecedents (how, for instance, could we account for the
              _f_ of _Annwfn_?)


              |======================================================================|
              | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
              | |
              | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
              | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
              | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
              | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
              | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
              |======================================================================|
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.