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Re: Attarastar ("24") (as requested)

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  • Peter
    ... Elvish ... called ... of ... Could you send out a reminder here (or preferably Lambengolmor) when it is published. It sounds very interesting. Will there
    Message 1 of 31 , Aug 28, 2005
      --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...>
      > P.S. I have written an extensive essay on this matter of "Neo-
      > "translation" in an essay I presented at Marquette last year,
      > "Elvish As She Is Spoke". It will be published in the proceedings
      > that conference, from Marquette University Press, late this year or
      > early next year.

      Could you send out a reminder here (or preferably Lambengolmor) when
      it is published. It sounds very interesting. Will there be any other
      articles on Tolkien and Elvish in the proceedings?

    • quildarener
      ... in real ... ungrammatical ... we ... examples ... ( or even grammatical, etc.) However, where some translation into _any_ poorly- ... most ... such
      Message 31 of 31 , Oct 11 11:36 AM
        > >> I've already shown that these are insufficient criteria,
        in "real"
        > >> 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
        > ungrammatical.

        ("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
        the "Early
        > 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',
        > PE14:82.)

        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.

        I note,
        > 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.")
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