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

Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien, Jonah, and Job

Expand Messages
  • Wayne G. Hammond
    ... This is my interpretation also. Wayne
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 4, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Larry wrote:

      >Just for the sake of clarity, what we are talking about here
      >is a translation from French, not a translation from Hebrew
      >that Tolkien did for the portion of Isaiah and Jonah. That's
      >the impression I devloped and have in my notes. I'll be in the
      >Bodleian later this summer and can check again. Same thing
      >with the draft...Jones was soliciting Tolkien's opinion on the
      >English of the translation, not its accuracy from the original
      >language. Please do correct me if your impression is different.

      This is my interpretation also.

      Wayne
    • alexeik@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/3/4 12:14:08 PM, Wayne Hammond wrote:
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 4, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        In a message dated 6/3/4 12:14:08 PM, Wayne Hammond wrote:

        <<I agree with Larry's argument about the level of Tolkien's knowledge of
        Hebrew, but can add that Tolkien wished to know more, and in April 1957 he
        wrote to his grandson Michael George (an unpublished letter) that he was
        immersing himself in the language so that, when he retired, he could
        participate in a Bible translation project, i.e. _The Jerusalem Bible_. But
        there is no evidence that he got very far with this study before other
        matters became too pressing.
        >>

        I think there's also the evidence of Adûnaic, which seems specifically
        designed to incorporate elements characteristic of Semitic languages. Of course,
        this doesn't mean that Tolkien "knew Hebrew", but it does suggest that he had
        delved into it deeply enough to be generally aware of the unique non-European
        features of its grammar (and naturally used it as inspiration for his own
        linguistic subcreation).
        Alexei
      • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
        Alexei said: I think there s also the evidence of Ad?naic, which seems specifically designed to incorporate elements characteristic of Semitic languages. Of
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 4, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          Alexei said:

          I think there's also the evidence of Ad?naic, which seems specifically
          designed to incorporate elements characteristic of Semitic languages. Of
          course,
          this doesn't mean that Tolkien "knew Hebrew", but it does suggest that he
          had
          delved into it deeply enough to be generally aware of the unique
          non-European
          features of its grammar (and naturally used it as inspiration for his own
          linguistic subcreation). >>

          I'm sorry, but I have no idea what that A word is or what it means.
          There's also the evidence of what?


          Elizabeth Apgar Triano
          lizziewriter@...
          amor vincit omnia
        • Michael Martinez
          ... The Tolkien linguists have identified Hebrew influence in Adunaic, Khuzdul, and Elvish (the latter being some comments by Helge Fauskanger). Carpenter
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 4, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, alexeik@a... wrote:
            >
            > I think there's also the evidence of Adûnaic, which seems specifically
            > designed to incorporate elements characteristic of Semitic languages.
            > Of course, this doesn't mean that Tolkien "knew Hebrew", but it does
            > suggest that he had delved into it deeply enough to be generally
            > aware of the unique non-European features of its grammar (and
            > naturally used it as inspiration for his own linguistic subcreation).
            > Alexei

            The Tolkien linguists have identified Hebrew influence in Adunaic,
            Khuzdul, and Elvish (the latter being some comments by Helge
            Fauskanger). Carpenter says one of Tolkien's early alphabets was
            apparently modelled in part on Hebrew.

            There are tons of references to Tolkien and Hebrew. It's impossible
            to determine where everyone got their ideas/information from. Some
            other authors besides me have identified him even more closely with
            Hebrew and the Jerusalem Bible (there seems to be a virtual tidal wave
            of religious Tolkien books these days -- too many for me to keep up with).
          • Michael Martinez
            ... Adunaic is the name of the language Tolkien devised for his Edainic peoples. It replaced an earlier language, Taliska, which had been devised for the
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 4, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Apgar Triano"
              <lizziewriter@e...> wrote:
              >
              > I'm sorry, but I have no idea what that A word is or what it means.
              > There's also the evidence of what?

              Adunaic is the name of the language Tolkien devised for his Edainic
              peoples. It replaced an earlier language, Taliska, which had been
              devised for the so-called mythology for England (THE BOOK OF LOST
              TALES) and was a pseudo-Germanic language.

              Adunaic was incorporated into the LORD OF THE RINGS mythology. It is
              mentioned in the Appendices.
            • Bianca Iano
              ... It s been a while since I looked at Helge s website, but IIRC, he identifies some common features like plural forms ending in im , and triconsonantal
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 5, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                Michael Martinez wrote:

                > The Tolkien linguists have identified Hebrew influence in Adunaic,
                > Khuzdul, and Elvish (the latter being some comments by Helge
                > Fauskanger). Carpenter says one of Tolkien's early alphabets was
                > apparently modelled in part on Hebrew.

                It's been a while since I looked at Helge's website, but IIRC, he
                identifies some common features like plural forms ending in "im",
                and triconsonantal roots in Adunaic, etc. I'm no philologist,
                but the borrowings didn't seem to me to be based on any systematic
                desire to create a thoroughly Semitic language. Specialists could
                probably tell you more.

                Nor to my ear do phrases like "Ephalak idon Yozayan" sound like
                any Semitic language spoken in this universe :).

                With all due respect, I find it hard to believe JRRT planned to work
                up his Hebrew during retirement so he could translate the book of Job (?)
                from the original. Unless by translating one means being able to check
                words in a dictionary using an already existing translation as an aid
                and polishing up the English?

                Not meaning to tread on any toes here ...

                Bianca
              • Larry Swain
                ... Hi Alexei, I ll start by saying that I am somewhat less than expert on Tolkien s languages, to be honest. I ll respond to the things I ve seen about
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 6, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  > In a message dated 6/3/4 12:14:08 PM, Wayne Hammond wrote:
                  >
                  Hi Alexei,

                  I'll start by saying that I am somewhat less than expert on Tolkien's languages, to be honest. I'll respond to the things I've seen about Adunaic and its dependence on Hebrew, though.

                  One thing I've seen is that plurals in adunaic are in -im which is a Hebrew plural. That's true....one of the plurals, the masculine, in Hebrew is -im. But other languages have that as well, and it is not hard to go from a -"ium" ending in Latin third declension i-stem genitive plurals to sometimes an -im by medieval Latin writers. If there were other plurals in Adunaic that were in -oth or -ot, then I think a good case of modeling on Hebrew could be made, but not on -im alone.

                  I've also read that in changing to the plural Adunaic changes the vowels of the stem, like Hebrew. But again other languages do this, notably Old Norse where depending on the case and number the stem vowels change. So its possible, but again not enough on this alone.

                  I've also read that Adunaic has triconsonantal primitive roots like Hebrew...but this is true of all Semitic languages and if true is probably more demonstrative of a basic knowledge of certain things about Hebrew/Semitic languages than anyone with linguistics training would know than knowing the language.

                  Is there more? This is suggestive, but far from conclusive.

                  I think Michael mentioned the early alphabet that Carpenter mentions that was based on Hebrew. I wonder about this too, and have a theory that at the moment is baseless. I suspect though that Tolkien was probably thinking about the well known fact that the NW Semitic alphabet delevoped from Ugaritic gave rise to the Phoenician and Hebrew alphabets. The latter of course became the language of the Bible. The former passed its alphabet onto the Greeks and through them to the Romans and then to the rest of Europe. I suspect that he was playing around with the origins of the alphabet and trying to develop a different one from the "roots" so to speak, rather than modeling it directly on Hebrew. Of course this is just a guess since I've not seen the original (and might just need to go and see if I can find it), but given Tolkien's early interests in these sorts of things and what is known about his mind, I suspect that this is more likely than an imitation of a known language.

                  Just some thoughts.

                  Larry Swain

                  found> I think there's also the evidence of Adûnaic, which seems specifically
                  > designed to incorporate elements characteristic of Semitic languages. Of course,
                  > this doesn't mean that Tolkien "knew Hebrew", but it does suggest that he had
                  > delved into it deeply enough to be generally aware of the unique non-European
                  > features of its grammar (and naturally used it as inspiration for his own
                  > linguistic subcreation).
                  > Alexei
                  >
                  --
                  _____________________________________________________________
                  Web-based SMS services available at http://www.operamail.com
                  From your mailbox to local or overseas cell phones.

                  Powered by Outblaze
                • alexeik@aol.com
                  In a message dated 6/6/4 3:39:16 AM, Bianca wrote:
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 11, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    In a message dated 6/6/4 3:39:16 AM, Bianca wrote:

                    <<I'm no philologist,
                    but the borrowings didn't seem to me to be based on any systematic
                    desire to create a thoroughly Semitic language. Specialists could
                    probably tell you more.

                    Nor to my ear do phrases like "Ephalak idon Yozayan" sound like
                    any Semitic language spoken in this universe :).>>

                    That's strange, because to mine it does. It doesn't closely reflect any
                    particular Semitic language, but it does suggest to me the kind of aesthetic effect
                    Semitic languages in general could have on an outsider for whom they
                    represent something alien and exotic. All of the sounds in the quoted phrase can be
                    found in Semitic languages in comparable combinations, and the shapes of the
                    words reflect elements that are common features of Semitic (eg, the _-ak_ ending
                    of 2sg. possessives; the _-an_ ending of many Arabic plurals and Hebrew
                    extended verbs, etc.) -- even the orthographic use of _ph_ reflects the use of _ph_
                    in transliterations of Hebrew and Aramaic where it points up the origin of
                    that sound as a lenited _p_. The sound _z_ (common in Semitic) tends to be used
                    by Tolkien as a sign of alienness, being characteristic of Adûnaic, Khuzdul and
                    the Black Speech but absent from most recorded forms of Eldarin languages
                    (except for very early Quenya, where it primarily serves to illustrate the
                    phenomenon of rhotacism). The point is that Tolkien's linguistic subcreations are
                    rarely close imitations of primary-world languages, but more usually
                    elaborations of aesthetic reactions to certain of their features, so one shouldn't expect
                    Adûnaic to be a "thoroughly Semitic language", even though it does indeed
                    reflect both phonetic and structural aspects of Semitic. It's commonplace to
                    point out that Quenya and Sindarin respectively resemble Finnish and Welsh; and
                    yet Quenya is obviously not "a thoroughly Finno-Ugric language", any more than
                    Sindarin is "a thoroughly Celtic language". Their sound-systems reflect certain
                    characteristic features of Finnish and Welsh that Tolkien particularly liked,
                    but leave out others that were judged less attractive (Quenya lacks the
                    "umlauted" vowels of Finnish; Sindarin omits the ubiquitous short-_y_ "schwa" vowel
                    of Welsh, etc.). On the structural level the subcreated languages share
                    certain salient features with their primary-world models (eg, a great variety of
                    case-suffixes in Quenya/Finnish; initial consonant mutation in Sindarin/Welsh,
                    etc.), but by and large don't reproduce the primary-world languages' grammars
                    closely at all. I see the relation of Adûnaic to Semitic languages as being of
                    exactly the same degree: Tolkien incorporated aspects of Semitic phonetics
                    that he found particularly suggestive or striking aesthetically (while ignoring
                    others), and singled out one aspect of Semitic grammar (vowel variation within
                    triconsonantal roots -- a far more complex and sophisticated phenomenon than
                    Ablaut in Germanic languages) as particularly interesting and distinctive and
                    worthy of being experimented with in a subcreated language. This last choice
                    would indeed have necessitated his being exposed to the conjugation of a Hebrew
                    (or Arabic) verb. I don't see that this would have been beyond his reach, or
                    that it would have required devoting a great deal of time to intensive study of
                    Hebrew.
                    Alexei
                  • Carl F. Hostetter
                    ... Also in Tolkien s later concept of Valarin, also with, I feel the same intended effect of alienness, both to the Indo-European and the Eldarin ear. For
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 11, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On Jun 11, 2004, at 4:45 PM, alexeik@... wrote:

                      > The sound _z_ (common in Semitic) tends to be used
                      > by Tolkien as a sign of alienness, being characteristic of Adûnaic,
                      > Khuzdul and
                      > the Black Speech

                      Also in Tolkien's later concept of Valarin, also with, I feel the same
                      intended effect of alienness, both to the Indo-European and the Eldarin
                      ear.

                      For what it's worth, I have yet to encounter any evidence, published or
                      unpublished, that Tolkien had made any special study of Hebrew or any
                      Semitic language, beyond that that any philologist and comparative
                      linguist of his age would naturally encounter.
                    • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                      Pardon my linguistic ignorance, but what is an extended verb? Thanks in advance. ---djb ... From: alexeik@aol.com Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 16:45:58 EDT To:
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 14, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Pardon my linguistic ignorance, but what is an "extended verb?" Thanks in
                        advance. ---djb

                        Original Message:
                        -----------------
                        From: alexeik@...
                        Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 16:45:58 EDT
                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Tolkien, Jonah, and Job



                        In a message dated 6/6/4 3:39:16 AM, Bianca wrote:

                        <<I'm no philologist,
                        but the borrowings didn't seem to me to be based on any systematic
                        desire to create a thoroughly Semitic language. Specialists could
                        probably tell you more.

                        Nor to my ear do phrases like "Ephalak idon Yozayan" sound like
                        any Semitic language spoken in this universe :).>>

                        That's strange, because to mine it does. It doesn't closely reflect any
                        particular Semitic language, but it does suggest to me the kind of
                        aesthetic effect
                        Semitic languages in general could have on an outsider for whom they
                        represent something alien and exotic. All of the sounds in the quoted
                        phrase can be
                        found in Semitic languages in comparable combinations, and the shapes of
                        the
                        words reflect elements that are common features of Semitic (eg, the _-ak_
                        ending
                        of 2sg. possessives; the _-an_ ending of many Arabic plurals and Hebrew
                        extended verbs, etc.) -- even the orthographic use of _ph_ reflects the use
                        of _ph_
                        in transliterations of Hebrew and Aramaic where it points up the origin of
                        that sound as a lenited _p_. The sound _z_ (common in Semitic) tends to be
                        used
                        by Tolkien as a sign of alienness, being characteristic of Adûnaic, Khuzdul
                        and
                        the Black Speech but absent from most recorded forms of Eldarin languages
                        (except for very early Quenya, where it primarily serves to illustrate the
                        phenomenon of rhotacism). The point is that Tolkien's linguistic
                        subcreations are
                        rarely close imitations of primary-world languages, but more usually
                        elaborations of aesthetic reactions to certain of their features, so one
                        shouldn't expect
                        Adûnaic to be a "thoroughly Semitic language", even though it does indeed
                        reflect both phonetic and structural aspects of Semitic. It's commonplace
                        to
                        point out that Quenya and Sindarin respectively resemble Finnish and Welsh;
                        and
                        yet Quenya is obviously not "a thoroughly Finno-Ugric language", any more
                        than
                        Sindarin is "a thoroughly Celtic language". Their sound-systems reflect
                        certain
                        characteristic features of Finnish and Welsh that Tolkien particularly
                        liked,
                        but leave out others that were judged less attractive (Quenya lacks the
                        "umlauted" vowels of Finnish; Sindarin omits the ubiquitous short-_y_
                        "schwa" vowel
                        of Welsh, etc.). On the structural level the subcreated languages share
                        certain salient features with their primary-world models (eg, a great
                        variety of
                        case-suffixes in Quenya/Finnish; initial consonant mutation in
                        Sindarin/Welsh,
                        etc.), but by and large don't reproduce the primary-world languages'
                        grammars
                        closely at all. I see the relation of Adûnaic to Semitic languages as being
                        of
                        exactly the same degree: Tolkien incorporated aspects of Semitic phonetics
                        that he found particularly suggestive or striking aesthetically (while
                        ignoring
                        others), and singled out one aspect of Semitic grammar (vowel variation
                        within
                        triconsonantal roots -- a far more complex and sophisticated phenomenon
                        than
                        Ablaut in Germanic languages) as particularly interesting and distinctive
                        and
                        worthy of being experimented with in a subcreated language. This last
                        choice
                        would indeed have necessitated his being exposed to the conjugation of a
                        Hebrew
                        (or Arabic) verb. I don't see that this would have been beyond his reach,
                        or
                        that it would have required devoting a great deal of time to intensive
                        study of
                        Hebrew.
                        Alexei



                        The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                        Yahoo! Groups Links






                        --------------------------------------------------------------------
                        mail2web - Check your email from the web at
                        http://mail2web.com/ .
                      • alexeik@aol.com
                        In a message dated 6/14/4 1:58:04 PM, Diane Joy wrote: A verb
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 14, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          In a message dated 6/14/4 1:58:04 PM, Diane Joy wrote:

                          <<Pardon my linguistic ignorance, but what is an "extended verb?" Thanks in

                          advance. ---djb>>

                          A verb with various affixes in addition to its basic root and
                          number/gender/person indicators, thus modifying its meaning.
                          Alexei
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.