> >> I've already shown that these are insufficient criteria,
> >> languages as in Tolkien's languages, and that such criteria do
> >> _not_ in themselves render an utterance authentic (or even
> >> grammatical).
> > As I showed in my reply that it does not render them
> > either (without further evidence from Quenya itself, which often
> > lack). Perhaps you could make your meaning clearer with
> > from my neo-Quenya of what you find specifically ungrammatical.
> I didn't say they anything about showing something to be
("or even grammatical," etc.)
However, where some "translation" into _any_ poorly-
> understood language (which Quenya is _for all of us_, even the
> studied of us) cannot be shown to be grammatical, then where it
> exhibits the features I've listed before (literal translation,
> dependency on English idiom/syntax, circumlocution, etc.), it is
> _very_ likely _not_ to be grammatical and idiomatic, just as any
> "translations" into "real" languages by a novice translator (as,
> again, for Quenya we _all_ are) rarely are idiomatic, save
The problem with your argument being, asa I've already said, that we
don't have the same abundant fund of Quenya usage as a standard to
decree what is idomatic and what is not, as we do for English (which
(again)makes your English example inadequate and misleading; at
least when Thorsten Renk chose a deliberately "worst-case" example
to criticize neo-Quenya, he used Elvish (though Sindarin, not
> > Judging from your list of neo-Quenya characteristics, it seems
> > be that my Quenya conforms too well with the known grammar
> Hardly! The ungainly circumlocutionary compounds you rely so
> on are _nothing_ like those found in Tolkien's writings; nor do
> gainly compounds appear in Tolkien's writings in anything like
> proportion they do in your "translations":
I've already explained my use of compounds in an early response to
your first post and do so again below; also why I don't consider
Tolkien's use to be the last word on Quenya. And all these examples
pertain to vocabulary rather than grammar.
> o "cantarattacainen", intended to mean '24' -- _yunque_ is the
> attested Quenya word for '12' and also occurs as such in
> Qenya Grammar"); and _yukainen_ '20' occurs in the "EQG:, which
> thus a safer bet than *_attacainen_; and the only evidence for
> number formation as '24' that we have, again the EQG, suggests
> it should rather be _canta yukainen_ (cf. _minya yukainen_ '21',
My preferred translation of 24, which occurs in every title of this
thread, was *attarastar, with *attacainen given only as a secondary
alternative. I belatedly (msg. 1804) substituted attested yurasta
(PE 14:17), which your post doesn't mention (and which supports the
reconstruction *rasta for 12 from Et. RASAT). As so often in
Tolkien's corpus, there are problems with all these choices, the
problem in the case of the Qenya ones being that numeral values
changed drastically after the time it was written (QL lempe = "ten"
vs. later Quenya "five," for instance) while hypothetical ones like
*attarastar and *attacainen are at least consistent with
LotR/Etymologies style Quenya, which many Quenyarists make their
center of gravity in choices of this kind, making them preferable to
Qenya alternatives (especially for numbers, as I just indicated). I
agree that compounds can be ungainly but are sometimes the only way
of conveying an idea (other than even more circumlocutionary
individual words) based on actually attested (and consultable)
Tolkien; when attested words turn up in applicable senses (see above
and below) I prefer to substitute them. In this case, an actually
attested yurasta based on an LotR-era stem for 12 is obviously
preferable to hypothetical constructions from a later or earlier
era. Nor is it obvious why canta yukainen is any less "ungainly"
than attacainen or attarastar (I can easily split te ;the latter can
easily be split in two if you find the compounds so personally
> o "nooretuurea", intended to mean 'government' used adjectivally --
> apparently 'land-ruling', with a needless specification of 'land'
> evidenced in the Quenya terms associated with ruling or kingship.
Not needless, given the other attested meanings of tuure
(QL "strength, might," Et. "mastery, victory;" note that noore is
also translated "nation, people," suggesting a specifically
political context (a "unified" people), My nooretuure coinage was
meant to suggest "nation-power/rule," i.e., that which rules a
nation, government, as opposed to "power" in general. (Cf. also the
specific Etymologies glosses for tur- "rule, govern.")
(I deal with your objection to neo-Quenya coinages having to
be "explained" in Elfling 32160.)
> _aranie_ ('kingdom', isolated from _aranielya_ 'thy kindom'), an
> abstract noun based on _aran_ 'king', provides a better, more
> model here,
"Kingdom" obviously misleading here, since the government in the 24
storyline is a (nominally) democratic one of the "real" world, not
an "Elvish" Middle-Earth monarchy (though of course aranie would be
fine for a real-world kingdom). *Canie given its other glosses again
too vague and misleading compared with a tur- derivative
("commanding, demanding," as well as ruling, all within the same
semantic area but not specifically glossed itself as
meaning "govern;" caano "commander, governor" better reserved for
those specific meanings rather than as a basis for a *canie; and
indeed the -ie suffix is less misleading when used for an actual
verbal noun ("commanding,") than for an abstract (similarly
*turie "(the act of) governing" rather than government as an
and _cáno_ 'ruler, governor', a better basis; so
> something like *_cánie_ is much more Elvish
(see my comment on "Elvish" above)
Better still is the actually _attested_ words
> likely meaning for *'rule(rship), government', _túrinasta_,
> _túrindie_, used initially by Tolkien to translate "kingdom" in
> Lord's Prayer,
I wholly agree that this would be preferable as a form, but I was
previously unaware that turinasta had this meaning; in Ardalambion's
Quenya wordlist, more accessible than Vinyar Tengwar to myself and
many other real and potential Neo-Quenyarists, it is in fact only
quoted in the sense "kingdom" (same objections as aranie) and as a
rejected alternative at that. I try to stay as close as possible to
actually attested meanings that can be checked by other neo-
Quenyarists. If in fact I may use turinasta for "government" without
being savaged for using a "rejected" word with a not actually
glossed meaning (the usual no-win scenario of neo-Quenyarists
operating among purists), I will gladly do so; it accords nicely
with the similar formation tengwesta, "system of signs," suggesting
in this instance "system of power/rule."
but not apparently associated literally with 'king'
> but rather with _túrin(d)_ 'ruler, master'. The point being, that
> where _Tolkien_ constructs words pertaining to government by
> _abstraction_ from more concrete nouns, _your_ "Quenya"
> prefers to make _more specific_ constructions by stringing
> qualifying terms.
I construct abstract nouns too and do not rely exclusively on
compounds, as a more careful look through my headlines and other neo-
Quenya compositions would have told you. But compounds are
frequently required to express more complex modern notions than
occur in Tolkien's writings. (See -ndil examples below).
> o "Ossendilmahtala", intended to mean 'terrorist-fighting' --
> *_ossendil_, apparently 'fear-friend', does not convey the sense
> "terrorist", which is one who _terrorizes_, who _causes_ terror;
> better would be a compound on the model of attested _ohtakaro_
> 'warrior', lit. *'one who makes war', s.v. KAR-; thus *_ossekaro_
> 'one who wages fear'. Or one could use an agentive form of the
> attested verb _ruhta-_ 'terrify' (XI:415), e.g. *_ruhtando_
> 'terrorist'. Either of these is _much_ more concrete in meaning
> *_ossendil_, and far less clearly _ad hoc_ in construction).
> Furthermore, in _Tolkien's_ system of nomenclature, _ossendil_ is
> most likely to be used or taken as meaning 'Friend of Osse' (cf.
> Aulendil, etc.), and thus 'sailor, mariner'!
Again, since we are obviously not dealing with in Middle Earth in
this context, the literal sense of osse and not its reference to the
Vala would be naturally understood. (Here ain we're given the purist
assumption that Tolkien's specific Middle_Earth frame of reference
must be the governing one.) I notice you yourself are not above
forming compounds to express ideas, thereby conceding their
necessity;it would be interesting to see how far you could get in
your own version of my text or any other without using those or
equally awkward paraphrases, as opposed to plucking out a (very) few
examples easily criticized out of context on the mistaken assumption
that I did the same instead of first considering the same
alternatives you did. Ossendil, far from being an "ad hoc"
formation, is an example of far wider possibilities in translating
words with -ist or the like in the sense of "devoted to" (a meaning
which you fail to mention): ossendil = "one devoted to terror" as
with (*Hristondil/Elpinondil, "Christian, one devoted to Christ;
*Ertiendil, "one devoted to unity, Unitarian;"
lieturendil "D/democrat," one devoted to "people power;" etc. (If we
must have a Middle earth frame of reference consider also the
political implications of the Numenorean term Elendili, "the Elf-
friends" versus the King's Men.) My objection to ruhtar is the clash
with QL rukta "smoke (v.);" why use a word with two meanings in the
corpus when we can avoid ambiguity with a "terror" compound (and
terrorists do not simply "cause" terror, they engage in it as
regular occupation and way of life) and reserve *ruhtar
for "smoker," for which we otherwise lack a word?
> "And these are just the most immediately obvious deficiencies."
To one jumping to conclusions, imagining that he can read my mind
from a text as he imagines he can read Tolkien's from his, instead
of considering first that I might have had good reasons for what I
did and asking me to explain them.
> for instance, that you use _mí_ 'in' a _great_ deal more
> than Tolkien did, in a language that has a well-represented
> ending. Etc., etc.
But don't appear to notice (here) that the locative has several
meanings ("in, on, at," etc.") for which mi provides a less
ambiguous substitute; also mi may offer a more euphonious
construction already ending in -sse (e.g. *tyarasse) for a word.
These are considerations that arise in actual extended use of Quenya
which you will find if you ever undertake it to the degree that I
and others have.
> All of which adds up to a "Quenya" that is _readily_
> from Tolkien's own.
As different writers in any language differ in style depending on
their approach and subject matter. Again you make the unwarranted
assumption that anything written in Quenya must or should be closely
modelled on Tolkien's style, disregarding the limited genres in
which he wrote, the limited extent of the texts, the difference in
demands in writing about a real-world versus a Middle Earth or
relgious context; despite your claim to have "thought about this a
lot more than I have" (when you don't even know how long I've
thought about it, which has in fact been over quite a few years)
none of these considerations seem to enter your thinking.
>> > Anyone puzzled by my "biscuit bird" reference can check the
> > archives under those words, specifically your post 15522.
> Well, they can now that you've provide a reference for your claim
> (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/15522>); wherein
> reader can readily see that this occurs in the context of
> distinguishing _scholarly_ from _utilitarian_ pursuits, on a list
> whose _stated purpose_ is _scholarship_. I quote:
> > Tolkien was a consummate linguist, philologist, and
> > His linguistic writings, from beginning to end, express his
> > profound thoughts on language and his linguistic aesthetic (just
> > his mythology expresses his most profound thoughts on life, the
> > universe, God, mankind, mortality, and so much more). All this
> > there, just waiting for the efforts of Tolkien scholars to
> > them to light.
> > And here this list is, debating whether "biscuit-bird" is a
> > suitable construction for "duck".
At least implying that such debates, which go on side by side with
others of the more profound kind you mention, are unworthy of the
Elfling list (or any other "serious" list). And here we are debating
the neo-Quenya translations of government and terrorist. As I've
aready asked, if you consider those other profound
literary/linguistic themes so much worthier of your attention, with
such a huge backlog awaiting it, why aren't you pursuing them
instead of intruding into neo-Quenya territory, which you admit you
find less interesting, and attacking its users?
> But in fact, I do consider "biscuit-bird" to be a _horrible_
> circumlocution, _clearly_ a desperate, laughable, ad hoc
> about as un-Elvish and un-Tolkienian as it gets. (The attested
> for duck, _qá_ in the "Qenya Lexicon", you will note, is
> onomatopoetic, as are many of Tolkien's words for various bird-
So they are. But if you will check the original writer's context as
well as your own, you'll see that his suggestion was extremely
tentative, was made in ignorance of the QL word and in fact closely
translates an original Finnish word for a specific species of duck.
Other writers in the thread did suggest quaa and so the correct
overall word was arrived at. Discussions that you are personally
impatient with may benefit others and in some cases may even arrive
at insights that you lack.
> > I've also seen it in a previous (but apparently since changed)
> > Lambengolmor home-page message to the effect that "Anyone
> > interested in whether duck may be translated as biscuit bird is
> > referred to the more congenial environment of the Elfling
> > list."
> Your memory, as so often it seems, is completely mistaken here. I
> said _nothing_ about "biscuit-bird" there; the reference was
> to wanting to know how to say "I am cheese" in Elvish (which was
> honest-to-goodness request made, I think on TolkLang, way back
Yes, it was a request for translation, a common function of Tolkien-
language websites, whether that interests you or not.
> > In both your tone of disdain for neo-Quenya vocabulary as a
> > subject for discussion is abundantly clear.
> I am perfectly willing to have a serious discussion of the
> That's what "Elvish As She Is Spoke" is all about. That's what
> numerous exchanges here have been about. But it sure seems to me
> _you_ aren't interested in engaging this discussion, or brooking
> suggestion that "neo-Quenya" is at all different in character
> Tolkien's own,
As I've repeatedly said both here and on Elfling, I don't consider
Tolkien's actual writing as setting the limits for Quenya
translation/composition possibilities. I do think the gap between
the different styles is not as vast as you and other purists like to
make out, that they do have a common vocabulary and grammar, and
that you and others are far too quick to police others' Quenya for
not conforming to your own limited views of what Quenya should be
but instead only in making unsupported accusations
> about me and presenting parodies of my actual positions.
I've supported every one of my accusations, as do your own posts
here and elsewhere; many of your positions invite parody with little
> > Your statement that Tolkien would not have even recognized neo-
> > Quenya suggests an unwarranted attempt to speak in his name.
> No, it isn't. I have _established bases_ for making my
> derived from long study and consideration of the details and
> of Tolkien's own compositions, constructions, and methods, to
> most "neo-Quenya" "translation" bears little resemblance, and
> in obvious contrast with.
None of which justifies stating what Tolkien would or wouldn't have
recognized (as opposed to saying much neo-Quenya doesn't resemble
Tolkien's style, a statement which, if exaggerated, does have some
support in the texts). And however informed your opinion, it remains
an opinion, liable to oversight, narrow thinking and error. It
should not constantly be stated as ex cathedra global fact, nor
should other's differing opinions be swept aside in favor of your
> > Also questionable is that Quenya to be "grammatical," (and free
> > from ridicule) must somehow magic new Tolkien words out of thin
> > (in which case we're REALLY making things up) because Tolkien
> > (presumably) would have done so rather than relying on compounds.
> I have _never_ suggested that _anyone_ "magic new Tolkien words
> of thin air" (which is QUITE impossible anyways), and would find
> attempt appalling. (It is not the _fact_ of compounds, but of the
> _number_ and _nature_ of those actually constructed that is at
> (among other issues); the very number and nature of which mark neo-
> Quenya as _noticeably_ ad hoc, _noticeably_ the product of
> to "translate" into a poorly-understood language.)
Compounds, loan translations, extending existing roots with affixes,
giving old words new meanings and paraphrases are the only
alternatives to completely new words to express concepts not already
found in Tolkien. All these involve "making things up," which was
the sum of your original criticism of my Quenya posts. Compounds,
loan translation ("dictionary translation")and paraphrases were
speficially cited by you as flaws in neo-Quenya which my post had in
spades. I've repeatedly asked you to explain what alternatives to
these you had in mind and you reply with a few gingerly examples no
better (if not worse )and no different in principle from my own--no
statement of general principles as alternatives to your attacks on
neo-Quenya. If you were reserving these for your book, you shouldn't
have made an attack on other's Neo-Quenya that requires explaining
them to justify it (at the time and place in which you make the
argument, not months afterward, with readers of the message board
required to pay a price for your opinion). When you otherwise refuse
to explain, without proof or demonstration, how your neo-Quenya will
avoid "flaws" present in your own examples, I can only speculate
what you mean and I have done so. If indeed there are no
alternatives to the above methods, then Quenyarists are doing the
best they can and it's pointless to criticize them. If neo-Quenya
can be done better, then you should show this with your own-neo-
Quenya posts. If you're not willing to do this (and probably even if
you were), then you shouldn't attack others for using thier own
widely practiced and reasonable methods on principle.
My use of compounds discussed above.
So this is just
> another of your unsupported, red-herring, straw-man accusations,
> again doing violence to any attempt at having a serious
> and rendering any further discussion with you clearly pointless.
Your one-sided, intolerant, my-way-or-the-highway idea of
discussion, at any rate. (In all our "discussion" you have yet to
reply to points I made on Elfling in response to your original
indictment of neo-Quenya.) A respite from such "discussion" would be
a consummation most devoutly to be wished, if it involves no further
gratutitous attacks on my or anyone else's Neo-Quenya based on
arbitrary statements rather than proof citing as their authority
your own as yet largely unseen and unpublished book. And if you
don't like being accused of (alleged) red-herring accusations, you
shouldn't make (or initiate) them yourself. ("It's easy when you
just make stuff up.")