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Parma Eldalamberon Issue 21

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  • cgilson75
    QENYA NOUN STRUCTURE by J. R. R. Tolkien Edited by Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith Published September 11, 2013. In _Parma
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 20, 2013
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      QENYA NOUN STRUCTURE by J. R. R. Tolkien
      Edited by Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith
      Published September 11, 2013.

      In _Parma Eldalamberon_ no. 21 we continue presenting J. R. R. Tolkien's historical-comparative descriptions of the Eldarin languages written in the years just before he began to write _The Lord of the Rings_ and revised in the years just after its completion.  In this issue titled _Qenya Noun Structure_ the focus is on the etymological origins of the noun declensions.

      In the _Tengwesta Qenderinwa_ where Tolkien described the root-formations and modifications of Primitive Quendian and Eldarin he touched briefly on the sounds that could occur word-finally.  In "Primitive Quendian: Final Consonants" he describes these in more detail, with particular emphasis on the suffixed elements that eventually yielded the inflexional endings of Qenya.  This piece dates from 1936.

      Sometime before this, but after the "Secret Vice" poems of 1931, Tolkien had composed a Qenya Grammar called _Tengwesta Qenyava_, of which the only substantial portion to survive is the "Declension of Nouns."  This details the different categories of noun-stems according to phonetic shape, insofar as these determined the variations in the inflexions for number and case.  The resulting declensional types are exemplified by charts of their main paradigms and listings of the inflected forms of exceptional subtypes and historical variants, in much of which Tolkien cites forms in both tengwar and roman transcriptions.

      In the 1940s Tolkien changed certain details of the Qenya declensions, and the etymological motives for this are found in reworkings of the material in "Primitive Quendian: Final Consonants."  These revisions culminated in a piece from the early 1950s called "Common Eldarin: Noun Structure."  This is the first of three parts of a treatment of CE syntax (later parts of which will treat Verb Structure and Pronouns), which describes the shapes that noun-stems could take in Common Eldarin, the root-modifications and affixes that marked the earliest cases, the origin of other elements that came to mark number and case in Quenya, and the semantic associations of different noun-stem types.  There is also a final section on the traditions of name-giving among the Eldar.

      You can order this issue at our webpage:

      Or contact me:

      Christopher Gilson
      1240 Dale Avenue, No. 40
      Mountain View, CA  94040
      cgilson75@...

    • John Rateliff
      ... Quick question, from someone who has a copy on order: is it known what happened to the parts that didn t survive? It s relatively rare that we know Tolkien
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 20, 2013
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        On Sep 20, 2013, at 1:54 PM, <cgilson75@...> <cgilson75@...> wrote:

        Sometime before this, but after the "Secret Vice" poems of 1931, Tolkien had composed a Qenya Grammar called _Tengwesta Qenyava_, of which the only substantial portion to survive is the "Declension of Nouns."  


        Quick question, from someone who has a copy on order:  
        is it known what happened to the parts that didn't survive? It's relatively rare that we know Tolkien deliberately destroyed manuscript, but we do know of some examples. Is this one of them?
        --John R.
      • elendil_voronda
        Hello John, I received my copy on Friday. From my understanding of the Introduction given by Chris Gilson (p. viii-ix), it seems that the _Tengwesta Qenyava_
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 21, 2013
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          Hello John,


          I received my copy on Friday. From my understanding of the Introduction given by Chris Gilson (p. viii-ix), it seems that the _Tengwesta Qenyava_ was never carried through. Even the presentation of noun declensions was not complete.


          On the other hand, it is clearly implied (p. xvii) that a “Quenya Grammar” from the 1940s is still extant and includes documents dealing with “Quendian & Common Eldarin Verbal Structure”, “Quenya Verbal System”, “Personal Pronouns” and “The Demonstrative, Relative, and Correlative stems”. I expect to see these as part of a future _Parma Eldalamberon_ issue.


          Also, it seems that there exist still at least some fragments of a “Common Eldarin grammar” from the 1950s (see p. xviii-xix). It would be logical to bundle all verbal and pronominal grammatical writings in a single _Parma_ issue, so I hope we will soon learn how much materials on verbs is available.


          Cheers,

          Damien



          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


          On Sep 20, 2013, at 1:54 PM, <cgilson75@...> <cgilson75@...> wrote:

          Sometime before this, but after the "Secret Vice" poems of 1931, Tolkien had composed a Qenya Grammar called _Tengwesta Qenyava_, of which the only substantial portion to survive is the "Declension of Nouns."  


          Quick question, from someone who has a copy on order:  
          is it known what happened to the parts that didn't survive? It's relatively rare that we know Tolkien deliberately destroyed manuscript, but we do know of some examples. Is this one of them?
          --John R.
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