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Re: [quenya] Re: An observation

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    A few P.S.s: 1) It would really help, Quildarener , if you would not quote such huge chunks of long posts when you respond to them (and you should CERTAINLY
    Message 1 of 29 , Oct 2, 2005
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      A few P.S.s:

      1) It would really help, "Quildarener", if you would not quote such
      huge chunks of long posts when you respond to them (and you should
      CERTAINLY not quote the ENTIRETY of a post just to tack a paragraph
      of response at the end).

      2) You should recognize that when you make a post that is several
      pages long with many interleaved comments, it is not always possible
      to respond right away even if one is inclined to do so. As these
      thing progress and accrue points and counterpoints -- and esp. when
      the actual points are diluted with the introduction and/or invention
      of numerous points that were never under discussion in the first
      place -- it takes more and more effort and time for those of us
      interested in making coherent responses to what the other person
      actually writes to do so.

      3) You should also recognize that some of us at least have jobs and
      other commitments that don't always give us the leisure to spend
      hours every day engaged in point and counterpoint just any time you
      think we should. That is, we don't dance to your tune, or work on
      your timetable. Just because you can fire off a response immediately
      doesn't mean you are yourself owed an immediate response.
    • quildarener
      ... such ... should ... paragraph ... possible ... when ... invention ... and ... you ... immediately ... Many of these are reasonable points. (I m tacking
      Message 2 of 29 , Oct 2, 2005
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        --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...>
        wrote:
        > A few P.S.s:
        >
        > 1) It would really help, "Quildarener", if you would not quote
        such
        > huge chunks of long posts when you respond to them (and you
        should
        > CERTAINLY not quote the ENTIRETY of a post just to tack a
        paragraph
        > of response at the end).
        >
        > 2) You should recognize that when you make a post that is several
        > pages long with many interleaved comments, it is not always
        possible
        > to respond right away even if one is inclined to do so. As these
        > thing progress and accrue points and counterpoints -- and esp.
        when
        > the actual points are diluted with the introduction and/or
        invention
        > of numerous points that were never under discussion in the first
        > place -- it takes more and more effort and time for those of us
        > interested in making coherent responses to what the other person
        > actually writes to do so.
        >
        > 3) You should also recognize that some of us at least have jobs
        and
        > other commitments that don't always give us the leisure to spend
        > hours every day engaged in point and counterpoint just any time
        you
        > think we should. That is, we don't dance to your tune, or work on
        > your timetable. Just because you can fire off a response
        immediately
        > doesn't mean you are yourself owed an immediate response.

        Many of these are reasonable points. (I'm tacking this on as a
        response to the entirety of your post, but I'll try to work on that
        in future posts.) But I don't necessarily post every day or even
        more than two or three times a week nowadays (it's been a quiet
        weekend so I've posted more). And it's been TWO MONTHS since the
        post you're referring to. I did make allowances for other demands on
        your time, but it seemed fair to interpret that long a lapse as
        rudeness, indifference or rejection of my points (or as conceding
        them, but I somehow doubted that)--hardly a sign of unbridled
        impatience. Also, when you open up a large subject like neo_Quenya
        with sweeping and at times puzzling claims (used to criticize
        others' posts) you let yourself in for at least a fair amount of
        questions and complaints in return. That said. I'll check your other
        post, sign off and try not to post (or expect) too demanding a reply.
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... Well, similarly, when you 1) Put out lots and lots of translations of arbitrary English prose into a poorly-attested dead language, and/or 2) Fire off
        Message 3 of 29 , Oct 2, 2005
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          On Oct 2, 2005, at 4:23 PM, quildarener wrote:

          > when you open up a large subject like neo_Quenya with sweeping and
          > at times puzzling claims (used to criticize others' posts) you let
          > yourself in for at least a fair amount of questions and complaints
          > in return.

          Well, similarly, when you

          1) Put out lots and lots of "translations" of arbitrary English prose
          into a poorly-attested dead language, and/or

          2) Fire off scurrilous charges against someone else without a scrap
          of evidence or citation, and/or

          3) Present broad parodies of another person's positions or motives,
          again without a scrap of evidence or citation,

          then you likewise let yourself in for at least a fair amount of
          questions and complaints in return.

          That being said: can we get past this now? If I say something that
          puzzles you, ask me for a clarification, and I will attempt to give
          it. And if you find yourself needing to characterize my positions or
          motives, then please provide at least _one_ citation of my words that
          (might) support that characterization.

          I _do_ have some long (and I hope deep) thoughts on the matter of neo-
          Elvish "translation", which I have expressed quite fully in "Elvish
          As She Is Spoke". I don't wish to rehash them all in this forum, nor
          do I have permission to publish that paper, since it was an invited
          paper and is assigned for publication (late this year or early next)
          in the proceedings of the Marquette conference of last Fall. But I
          WILL say that in it and by it I DO offer a means to identify and
          (hopefully) avoid the most common pitfalls in neo-Elvish translation
          (or, really, in any poorly-attested dead language), which if heeded
          and not simply dismissed out of hand by neo-Elvish ideologues, WILL
          tend to make for BETTER neo-Elvish. It even ends with SPECIFIC
          suggestions for how to seek to "use" Tolkien's languages in a manner
          more faithful to Tolkien's own thoughts and interests in his
          languages. So I am by NO MEANS attempting to stop others from using
          Elvish!
        • Atwe
          Sére ar nilme, otorninyar. Nai televa* ohta** sina... Alye tule ar *atarquete lambi Eldaive *Alcardasse***. *: since the stem is given as _tele-_ in Etym **:
          Message 4 of 29 , Oct 3, 2005
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            Sére ar nilme, otorninyar. Nai televa* ohta** sina...

            Alye tule ar *atarquete lambi Eldaive *Alcardasse***.


            *: since the stem is given as _tele-_ in Etym
            **: rather in the sense of "quarrel", not "war" here
            ***: http://aglardh.middangeard.hu (shameless
            self-advertisement)

            Atwe


            Thomas Ferencz

            -- love is the shadow that ripens the wine --

            Let's discuss Eldarin languages - http://aglardh.middangeard.hu



            __________________________________
            Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
            http://mail.yahoo.com
          • quildarener
            ... be ... By contributions I was referring to your writings outside of specific Tolkien texts and vocabulary lists, which latter as I understand it involve
            Message 5 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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              --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...>
              wrote:
              >
              > On Oct 2, 2005, at 2:56 PM, quildarener wrote:
              >
              > > Considering that Hostetter has come close to cancelling out his
              > > undeniable contributions (if he has not passed the point already)
              >
              > If the fact that you don't like what I say "cancels out" my
              > "contributions", then I expect that you will no longer be able to
              > avail yourself of those "contributions". Thus you will no longer
              be
              > able use any form or fact that citation of which contains "VT" --
              > since every one of those is _my_ "contribution". If you fail to
              > adhere to this, we'll know that you're just blustering.


              By "contributions" I was referring to your writings outside of
              specific Tolkien texts and vocabulary lists, which latter as I
              understand it involve collaboration with other members of the
              Editorial Team. Without reflecting on your scholarship or your right
              to the Tolkien language material, I would point out that you and the
              rest of the E.T. have exclusive and jealously guarded control of
              this material and that only that circumstance forces the rest of us
              to rely on your release of it as a source of later Tolkien grammar
              and vocabulary. My or others' use of it is not related to whether
              we like what you say or not. I still maintain that your harsh
              treatment of others who use the material, at least in the past, has
              considerably soured others' enjoyment of and progress in Tolkien
              Elvish language study, as you have said that their complaints have
              soured yours. So I don't agree that my continued use of the words
              contradicts this or amounts to blustering.



              >
              >> I'm not aware that I've "attacked" _any_ scholar; certainly, not
              for
              > being scholarly! What I "attack" are sophists and liars.
              >
              > > and done his best in the past to bully, threaten and sue their
              own
              > > contributions off the web,
              >
              > I have _never_ sued _anyone_ for _anything_: this is a vicious
              lie
              > and desperate libel. To my knowledge, the only person _ever_ to
              have
              > engaged a lawyer in any matter of Tolkienian linguistics is Helge
              > Fauskanger, against Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate
              (and
              > pre-emptively at that). And the only people who have ever bullied
              > others out of Web forums, including by outright censorship, in
              > matters Tolkienian, are David and Dorothea Salo. I have never
              banned
              > anyone from participation in any of the various forums I
              moderate,
              > nor have I ever attempted to have anyone banned from any other
              forum.
              > What I DO do is exercise the very right to free speech that you
              > pretend to be defending while at the same time seeking to deny to
              me,
              > in pointing out erroneous claims, deliberate misrepresentations,
              > fallacious assumptions and assertions, etc.


              Not wishing to aggravate this issue but standing firm on my
              contention, I will let the record of your and others' posts on
              Tolklang, Elfling and other sites speak for itself to anyone else
              who's interested. If we cannot agree on this, they at least can make
              up their own minds.


              >
              > > And lack of interest, indifference or outright prejudiced
              hostility
              > > should not be confused with the worth or quality of the effort.
              >
              > I couldn't have put it better myself.


              Then you should understand my reaction to your criticism and
              Patrick's post. The quality of your work, if not its promptness (for
              reasons perhaps beyond your control), has at least not been impugned.
            • quildarener
              ... and ... let ... complaints ... prose ... scrap ... motives, ... Subject to my saying here that I disagree with the above and subject to my reply to your
              Message 6 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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                --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...>
                wrote:
                >
                > On Oct 2, 2005, at 4:23 PM, quildarener wrote:
                >
                > > when you open up a large subject like neo_Quenya with sweeping
                and
                > > at times puzzling claims (used to criticize others' posts) you
                let
                > > yourself in for at least a fair amount of questions and
                complaints
                > > in return.
                >
                > Well, similarly, when you
                >
                > 1) Put out lots and lots of "translations" of arbitrary English
                prose
                > into a poorly-attested dead language, and/or
                >
                > 2) Fire off scurrilous charges against someone else without a
                scrap
                > of evidence or citation, and/or
                >
                > 3) Present broad parodies of another person's positions or
                motives,
                > again without a scrap of evidence or citation,
                >
                > then you likewise let yourself in for at least a fair amount of
                > questions and complaints in return.
                >
                > That being said: can we get past this now?


                Subject to my saying here that I disagree with the above and subject
                to my reply to your other post (to which you may wish to respond),
                willingly.


                If I say something that
                > puzzles you, ask me for a clarification, and I will attempt to
                give
                > it. And if you find yourself needing to characterize my positions
                or
                > motives, then please provide at least _one_ citation of my words
                that
                > (might) support that characterization.
                >
                > I _do_ have some long (and I hope deep) thoughts on the matter of
                neo-
                > Elvish "translation", which I have expressed quite fully
                in "Elvish
                > As She Is Spoke". I don't wish to rehash them all in this forum,
                nor
                > do I have permission to publish that paper, since it was an
                invited
                > paper and is assigned for publication (late this year or early
                next)
                > in the proceedings of the Marquette conference of last Fall. But
                I
                > WILL say that in it and by it I DO offer a means to identify and
                > (hopefully) avoid the most common pitfalls in neo-Elvish
                translation
                > (or, really, in any poorly-attested dead language), which if
                heeded
                > and not simply dismissed out of hand by neo-Elvish ideologues,
                WILL
                > tend to make for BETTER neo-Elvish. It even ends with SPECIFIC
                > suggestions for how to seek to "use" Tolkien's languages in a
                manner
                > more faithful to Tolkien's own thoughts and interests in his
                > languages. So I am by NO MEANS attempting to stop others from
                using
                > Elvish!

                While I don't expect you to rehash your paper, whose contents sound
                more promising than its derisive title, I do think you should use
                points from it or its underlying assumptions to explain what I find
                puzzling or contradictory. I do not myself claim to be entirely
                happy with my neo-Quenya, but see its awkwardness as something
                forced by the nature of the original material rather than
                incompetence in or ignorance of Quenya per se.
              • quildarener
                ... Alassinen, Atwe, var tana estel ninya naa. ... Etymologies kosta- = quarrel (verb could be used as noun or taken as verbal noun, cf. erka n. and v.,
                Message 7 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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                  --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, Atwe <percival64@y...> wrote:
                  > Sére ar nilme, otorninyar. Nai televa* ohta** sina...

                  Alassinen, Atwe, var tana estel ninya naa.

                  >
                  > Alye tule ar *atarquete lambi Eldaive *Alcardasse***.
                  >
                  >
                  > *: since the stem is given as _tele-_ in Etym
                  > **: rather in the sense of "quarrel", not "war" here


                  Etymologies "kosta-" = "quarrel" (verb could be used as noun or
                  taken as verbal noun, cf. erka n. and v., etc.).

                  Mal queen polle est(it?)as "narohta."
                • Carl F. Hostetter
                  ... Do you really mean to say that if you do those things, that it is _not_ to be expected that you will get (what you call) questions and complaints in
                  Message 8 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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                    On Oct 5, 2005, at 12:38 PM, quildarener wrote:

                    > --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...>
                    > wrote:
                    >
                    >> Well, similarly, when you
                    >>
                    >> 1) Put out lots and lots of "translations" of arbitrary English
                    >> prose into a poorly-attested dead language, and/or
                    >>
                    >> 2) Fire off scurrilous charges against someone else without a
                    >> scrap of evidence or citation, and/or
                    >>
                    >> 3) Present broad parodies of another person's positions or
                    >> motives, again without a scrap of evidence or citation,
                    >>
                    >> then you likewise let yourself in for at least a fair amount of
                    >> questions and complaints in return.
                    >>
                    >> That being said: can we get past this now?
                    >
                    > Subject to my saying here that I disagree with the above

                    Do you really mean to say that if you do those things, that it is
                    _not_ to be expected that you will get (what you call) "questions and
                    complaints" in return?

                    Or do you mean that you disagree that you have done those things?

                    In either case, I find your mere assertion of disagreement unconvincing.

                    > and subject to my reply to your other post (to which you may wish
                    > to respond),

                    I certainly never expect that anything I say must go unresponded to.
                    What I do expect is that responses will be to what I actually say,
                    and that claims will be backed up with evidence.

                    > While I don't expect you to rehash your paper, whose contents sound
                    > more promising than its derisive title,

                    The derivation of the title, and its aptness both to neo-Elvish and
                    to the argument presented therein, is itself explained in the paper.
                    (For those that don't know, the title is an allusion to what is
                    popularly called "English As She Is Spoke", a rather (in)famous
                    "guidebook" of "English" for Portuguese readers, written by a couple
                    of would-be instructors who themselves were not fluent in English).

                    > I do think you should use points from it or its underlying
                    > assumptions to explain what I find
                    > puzzling or contradictory.

                    But I have done so. I listed specific areas of defectiveness in neo-
                    Elvish, which are those covered (in more detail, of course) in the
                    paper itself: e.g., dictionary translation, reliance on English
                    syntax and idiom, etc.

                    > I do not myself claim to be entirely happy with my neo-Quenya, but
                    > see its awkwardness as something forced by the nature of the
                    > original material rather than incompetence in or ignorance of
                    > Quenya per se.

                    Absolutely! That is EXACTLY the point made in my paper! (And of
                    course by my repeated pointing out that Quenya is a "dead" and poorly-
                    attested language.) And since I never accused you or anyone else of
                    "incompetence" or "ignorance", I really cannot understand why you
                    would think that THAT has anything to do with my argument, as opposed
                    to the very nature of Tolkien's invented languages, and of Tolkien's
                    means and motives in creating them.
                  • Carl F. Hostetter
                    ... Well, if so, then you are guilty of changing the subject, since you made your comment regarding by contributions in response to and in the context of Pat s
                    Message 9 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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                      On Oct 5, 2005, at 12:27 PM, quildarener wrote:

                      > --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...>
                      > wrote:
                      >
                      >> On Oct 2, 2005, at 2:56 PM, quildarener wrote:
                      >>
                      >>> Considering that Hostetter has come close to cancelling out his
                      >>> undeniable contributions (if he has not passed the point already)
                      >>
                      >> If the fact that you don't like what I say "cancels out" my
                      >> "contributions", then I expect that you will no longer be able to
                      >> avail yourself of those "contributions". Thus you will no longer
                      >> be able use any form or fact that citation of which contains "VT"
                      >> -- since every one of those is _my_ "contribution". If you fail
                      >> to adhere to this, we'll know that you're just blustering.
                      >
                      > By "contributions" I was referring to your writings outside of
                      > specific Tolkien texts and vocabulary lists,

                      Well, if so, then you are guilty of changing the subject, since you
                      made your comment regarding by contributions in response to and in
                      the context of Pat's remark, which was:

                      "Carl F. Hostetter is personally responsible for, or has played a key
                      role in, the publication of more Quenya than anybody other than
                      Christopher Tolkien himself."

                      Changing definitions in mid-stream like that, to something more to
                      your liking, without telling us is hardly conducive to productive
                      discussion.

                      > which latter as I understand it involve collaboration with other
                      > members of the
                      > Editorial Team.

                      So? That doesn't make it any LESS my contribution, it just means that
                      it isn't my EXCLUSIVE contribution, which of course I never claimed.
                      But NOTHING published in VT since issue 9 has been done so without my
                      involvement.

                      > Without reflecting on your scholarship or your right to the Tolkien
                      > language material,

                      I have no "right" to Tolkien's writings. I have been given a
                      photocopy of materials by Christopher Tolkien, and asked to work on
                      ordering, editing, and (eventually) publishing them, in a scholarly
                      fashion, and only with the consent and approval of the Tolkien Estate.

                      > I would point out that you and the rest of the E.T. have exclusive
                      > and jealously guarded control of this material

                      No we don't. The Tolkien Estate has the exclusive control of the
                      material. Period. And if that control is now much more closely
                      "guarded" than it was before, it is ONLY because of the antics of
                      such as David Salo and Helge Fauskanger, who in their overmastering
                      pride cannot accept that that the Tolkien Estate, and not they, are
                      the heirs, protectors, and yes, OWNERS, of Tolkien's writings.

                      > I still maintain that your harsh treatment of others who use the
                      > material,

                      If you will provide a specific example or two, and show me where my
                      treatment of ANYONE who was simply "using the material" was harsh,
                      then perhaps we'll have something to discuss here. Otherwise, this is
                      just another vague and probably baseless characterization on your
                      part, resting on some fundamental misapprehension on your part, just
                      like your assertions regarding rights and control of Tolkien papers
                      exhibited above.

                      >> What I DO do is exercise the very right to free speech that you
                      >> pretend to be defending while at the same time seeking to deny to
                      >> me, in pointing out erroneous claims, deliberate
                      >> misrepresentations, fallacious assumptions and assertions, etc.
                      >
                      > Not wishing to aggravate this issue but standing firm on my
                      > contention, I will let the record of your and others' posts on
                      > Tolklang, Elfling and other sites speak for itself to anyone else
                      > who's interested.

                      Excellent, let's please do that. I am COMPLETELY happy to refer
                      people to my ACTUAL words -- and in fact wish that YOU would avail
                      yourself of that practice before you issue your vague, parodical
                      claims regarding my positions and motivations and history.
                    • Carl F. Hostetter
                      Consider the following sentence: I go close-eye this-time Now ask yourself, what language is this? If we note that every word in the sentence is an attested
                      Message 10 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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                        Consider the following sentence:

                        "I go close-eye this-time"

                        Now ask yourself, what language is this?

                        If we note that every word in the sentence is an attested English
                        word, or is composed of attested English elements; and that it
                        follows the typical English declarative sentence structure SVO; and
                        that it is in fact, strictly speaking, grammatical in English
                        (correct pronominal subject form, correct subject-verb agreement,
                        correct tense form, etc.); and that its meaning ("I am going to bed/
                        sleep now") is interpretable to the community of English speakers and
                        scholars; then we can, by the same criteria used for what some would
                        call simply "Quenya", or "neo-Quenya", or even "authentic Quenya",
                        confidently call the language of this sentence English.

                        But of course there is not one native speaker of English who would
                        think this sentence grammatical as that term is generally used (i.e.,
                        in other than the strictest analytical sense), to say nothing of
                        "authentic", English. If it were uttered by someone in earnest, we
                        would instantly know that they are non-native speakers of English, in
                        fact someone who obviously must struggle greatly to make themselves
                        understood to English speakers in even the simplest of grammatical
                        circumstances. And it fails the English test for precisely the same
                        reason as (nearly all) neo-Elvish does: it is obviously ad hoc,
                        obviously circumlocutionary in its paraphrase words, and obviously
                        unidiomatic. But this sort of sentence is _typical_ of neo-Elvish
                        "translations".

                        And so by precisely the same "measure" of "goodness" of neo-Elvish
                        "translations" -- use only of attested forms and elements,
                        interpretability, and (in the strict sense) grammaticality -- we
                        would call this sentence English, even "good" English, or "authentic"
                        English, when of course it is none of those things, but instead,
                        precisely paralleling "neo-Elvish", really a sort of "neo-English".

                        Now, I should hasten to point out that though I accept these obvious
                        facts, I am NOT arguing that no one should "translate" into (neo-)
                        Elvish. I have done so myself in the past, and found it enjoyable,
                        and even now occasionally do so for special requests. There's no
                        denying that it can be both fun and intellectually stimulating to do
                        so. By all means, let's have more of it on this list (that IS the
                        purpose of this list, after all). BUT let's also keep in mind and be
                        honest about both the nature of Tolkien's languages AND the nature of
                        neo-Elvish and "translations" into it. Just because one can make
                        oneself understood using only attested Elvish words and elements does
                        NOT mean that one is speaking Elvish, or that Elvish is a living,
                        speakable language. And if these facts discourage any would-be
                        "speaker" of Elvish, then it's better to find out its nature right up
                        front, before investing too much of oneself in a falsehood.

                        (This does not, BTW, exhaust the deficiencies of neo-Elvish
                        translation. I offer it only as a succinct example of the KINDS of
                        deficiencies there are, and of my perspective on the _results_ of neo-
                        Elvish translation.)
                      • quildarener
                        ... Two obvious replies to this as an example of the awkwardness of neo- Quenya are that 1) There would be no need for so awkward a translation in neo-Quenya
                        Message 11 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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                          --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...>
                          wrote:
                          > Consider the following sentence:
                          >
                          > "I go close-eye this-time"
                          >
                          Two obvious replies to this as an example of the awkwardness of neo-
                          Quenya are that

                          1) There would be no need for so awkward a translation in neo-Quenya
                          itself: "I am going to bed now" could easily be translated "Si(n)
                          lelyan caimanna." The specific example isn't suited to Hostetter's
                          point.

                          2) We know much more about English grammar and especially usage than
                          we do about Quenya as a standard by which to judge "grammaticality."
                          Much of that would be in the eye of the English (etc.)speaking/Quenya
                          studying beholder.
                        • Carl F. Hostetter
                          ... I m sorry, but this obvious reply is utterly beside the point. I never said that this particular sentence could not be translated into neo-Quenya (though
                          Message 12 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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                            On Oct 5, 2005, at 2:36 PM, quildarener wrote:

                            > --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@e...>
                            > wrote:
                            >
                            >> Consider the following sentence:
                            >>
                            >> "I go close-eye this-time"
                            >
                            > Two obvious replies to this as an example of the awkwardness of neo-
                            > Quenya are that
                            >
                            > 1) There would be no need for so awkward a translation in neo-
                            > Quenya itself: "I am going to bed now" could easily be translated
                            > "Si(n) lelyan caimanna." The specific example isn't suited to
                            > Hostetter's point.

                            I'm sorry, but this "obvious reply" is utterly beside the point. I
                            never said that this particular sentence could not be translated into
                            neo-Quenya (though in fact I don't recall seeing any idiom for "to go
                            to sleep/bed" in Quenya, so we don't really know how it would be said
                            in Quenya; at best we could "translate" the English idiom), nor did I
                            offer it as an example of such. I specifically said it is offered as
                            an example of the KINDS of deficiencies we see in neo-Elvish. In
                            other words, this specific example is used to exemplify generic
                            characteristics of translation into neo-Elvish (indeed in
                            "translations" into ANY dead, poorly-attested language). And for that
                            purpose this specific example is perfectly suited to my point.

                            > 2) We know much more about English grammar and especially usage
                            > than we do about Quenya as a standard by which to judge
                            > "grammaticality." Much of that would be in the eye of the English
                            > (etc.)speaking/Quenya studying beholder.

                            If you intend this as a rejoinder to my point, then again you've
                            missed it: the KINDS of deficiencies we see in both the specific
                            example given here and in neo-Elvish "translations" generally are
                            characteristic of translation into any poorly-understood and/or -
                            attested language. The fact that we can't do any better in such
                            translations due to the nature of Elvish does NOT render the results
                            "good" or "authentic" Elvish: it just makes them the best one can do.

                            Further, the fact that we can speak English only BECAUSE we know so
                            much more about its grammar and "especially usage" than we do about
                            Quenya -- which is what your point here boils down to -- is exactly
                            MY point: since we KNOW that we have precious little such information
                            for Elvish, then we KNOW that what Elvish can now be produced must
                            necessarily be woefully deficient in these respects; and thus that it
                            is likely to be ungrammatical in all but perhaps the strictest
                            analytical sense, and thus as I have said before "un-Elvish".

                            (Nor do we have to know what the correct Elvish would be in order to
                            know what it would NOT be. I know a little German, enough to string
                            words and elements together in proper order and to get the tense
                            right, and agreement, and case, etc. But I'm far from fluent, and in
                            fact can read it only slowly with the help of a dictionary, and would
                            surely never pass as a speaker of German beyond maybe 5 seconds of
                            attempted conversation. And I don't have to know what idiomatic
                            German for "I'm going to sleep now" is to know that it _isn't_ "Ich
                            gehe aufmachen-auge dies-zeit_". Interpretable to a German speaker?
                            Sure. Grammatical, strictly speaking? Yep. Correct or "authentic"
                            German? I am quite sure not. Even if I have a complete lexicon and
                            grammar, and use it to produce instead "_Ich bin gehend zu schlaf
                            nun_", I am quite sure that that is NOT idiomatic German.)

                            Further, you neglect to address the fact that the very same criteria
                            you used to defend your neo-Quenya translations as Quenya -- sc. the
                            use only of attested Quenya forms and elements -- would require that
                            we similarly defend "I go close-eye this-time" as English (that being
                            my intent). My example demonstrates that these criteria are
                            insufficient -- and thus again is perfectly suited to my point.

                            If you'd care to address my actual points, I'm happy to continue
                            discussing them with you.
                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                            P.S. While all natural languages are ultimately arbitrary in their systems (that is, there are a very large, possibly infinite, number of equally valid ,
                            Message 13 of 29 , Oct 5, 2005
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                              P.S. While all natural languages are ultimately arbitrary in their
                              systems (that is, there are a very large, possibly infinite, number
                              of equally "valid", workable possibilities for pairing sound and
                              meaning, none of the choices among which are _inherent_), that does
                              NOT mean that PARTICULAR languages do not have particular, signature
                              characteristics that can be gleaned in general even if not enumerable
                              in all specifics. (Most native English monoglots can on hearing
                              distinguish, say, French from German, or even French from Italian
                              from Spanish, without knowing how to make even one basic sentence in
                              any of those languages; we all can discern the character of languages
                              even if we can't specify it in any detail.)

                              As Tolkien said (for most of us, the first time we heard and
                              considered any such thing), languages operate on an aesthetic as well
                              as an analytical level, and even apart from any question of utility.
                              He remarked once that, if one divorces it from its meaning, the
                              English phrase "cellar door" is perhaps the most beautiful one in any
                              language; and he went on to say that the Welsh language was for him
                              full of such beauties as "cellar door". It is precisely this such
                              characteristic beauty that we find in Tolkien's two main Elvish
                              languages, when wielded in composition by Tolkien. But it is
                              precisely this such characteristic beauty that seems buried if not
                              completely lacking in the vast majority of "neo-Elvish", _even when_
                              wielded in "translation" by those who rely solely on attested Elvish
                              words and elements.

                              Tolkien's languages, as fully exemplified by his Elvish compositions,
                              are (for most of us) full of "cellar doors", and we recognize that
                              character of his languages in his compositions even when we can't
                              enunciate that character in detail. By the same token, we can readily
                              detect the un-Elvish character of (nearly all) neo-Elvish
                              "translations", being as they are instead full of "close-eyes" and
                              "this-times".
                            • Atwe
                              ... OFF: there was once a survey among foreigners who were asked to name the most beautiful Hungarian word; the winner was _hóhér_ which means
                              Message 14 of 29 , Oct 6, 2005
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                                --- "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:



                                > He remarked once that, if one divorces it from its
                                > meaning, the
                                > English phrase "cellar door" is perhaps the most
                                > beautiful one in any
                                > language; and he went on to say that the Welsh
                                > language was for him
                                > full of such beauties as "cellar door".

                                OFF: there was once a survey among foreigners who were
                                asked to name the most beautiful Hungarian word; the
                                winner was _hóhér_ which means "executioner"... :-)

                                By the same
                                > token, we can readily
                                > detect the un-Elvish character of (nearly all)
                                > neo-Elvish
                                > "translations", being as they are instead full of
                                > "close-eyes" and
                                > "this-times".

                                I believe that there are quite a lot among us who now
                                and then fall into the sin of composing/translating in
                                neoElvish (I can speak naturally for myself only and
                                maybe for those who visit my site regularly and post
                                there) who really ask themselves before posting: would
                                this appeal to Tolkien? Would he find it as an
                                interesting/plausible solution? Would he find the
                                sound of it pleasing?
                                It's perfectly possible that most of the times we'd
                                fail of those criteria. The only one who could judge
                                this passed away long ago. We can only hope that some
                                of our texts would pass the test of the "cellar door"
                                and not fall immediately into "well-deserved
                                oblivion", to quote Patrick.

                                With warm regards,

                                Thomas Ferencz

                                -- love is the shadow that ripens the wine --

                                Let's discuss Eldarin languages - http://aglardh.middangeard.hu



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                              • Carl F. Hostetter
                                ... LOL! (Can you give us an indication of how that is pronounced?) ... I know it s just a flourish here, Thomas, but in the current environment in which a lot
                                Message 15 of 29 , Oct 6, 2005
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                                  On Oct 6, 2005, at 7:43 AM, Atwe wrote:

                                  > OFF: there was once a survey among foreigners who were
                                  > asked to name the most beautiful Hungarian word; the
                                  > winner was _hóhér_ which means "executioner"... :-)

                                  LOL! (Can you give us an indication of how that is pronounced?)

                                  > I believe that there are quite a lot among us who now
                                  > and then fall into the sin of composing/translating in
                                  > neoElvish

                                  I know it's just a flourish here, Thomas, but in the current
                                  environment in which a lot baseless charges are being thrown at me
                                  and my colleagues, can I ask you to please stipulate that you know
                                  that we do not in fact consider composing or translating into neo-
                                  Elvish to be a "sin", or in fact have ever said that people should
                                  not compose or translate? It will really help to ratchet down the
                                  rhetoric and focus on the actual issues.

                                  > (I can speak naturally for myself only and
                                  > maybe for those who visit my site regularly and post
                                  > there) who really ask themselves before posting: would
                                  > this appeal to Tolkien? Would he find it as an
                                  > interesting/plausible solution? Would he find the
                                  > sound of it pleasing?

                                  Excellent! And if they keep the points of common deficiency that I
                                  listed in mind, then they will have a much better chance of
                                  approaching that standard.

                                  > The only one who could judge this passed away long ago.

                                  That depends on the criteria being judged. The ones I listed are easy
                                  to spot, and VERY frequent in neo-Elvish translations. We don't need
                                  Tolkien to spot and avoid such deficiencies as these.

                                  > We can only hope that some of our texts would pass the test of the
                                  > "cellar door"

                                  You can do more than just hope. You can also heed the common pitfalls
                                  of neo-Elvish.

                                  > and not fall immediately into "well-deserved oblivion", to quote
                                  > Patrick.

                                  That would be great, but I haven't seen it happen yet. Every
                                  translation I've seen offered here has surfaced briefly and then sunk
                                  away without a ripple.
                                • Atwe
                                  Dear Carl, ... Imagine the word being Quenya and you ll come quite close. ... Indeed it was a flourish, no offence meant. It is quite clear that the quality of
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Oct 6, 2005
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                                    Dear Carl,

                                    --- "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:


                                    > the
                                    > > winner was _hóhér_ which means "executioner"...
                                    > :-)
                                    >
                                    > LOL! (Can you give us an indication of how that is
                                    > pronounced?)

                                    Imagine the word being Quenya and you'll come quite
                                    close.



                                    > I know it's just a flourish here, Thomas, but in the
                                    > current
                                    > environment in which a lot baseless charges are
                                    > being thrown at me
                                    > and my colleagues, can I ask you to please stipulate
                                    > that you know
                                    > that we do not in fact consider composing or
                                    > translating into neo-
                                    > Elvish to be a "sin", or in fact have ever said that
                                    > people should
                                    > not compose or translate? It will really help to
                                    > ratchet down the
                                    > rhetoric and focus on the actual issues.

                                    Indeed it was a flourish, no offence meant. It is
                                    quite clear that the quality of the
                                    translations/compositions to be found on the net
                                    (let's now exclude one-liners/tattoos etc. though they
                                    also contribute to the overall picture) is very
                                    varying, from the outright horror to quite
                                    nice/creatives ones. If I consider the various texts I
                                    contributed to elfling etc. in the past 5 years there
                                    are a lot which I would do differently today or would
                                    not do at all, but there are also some that I am proud
                                    of and find them pleasing even to myself. And the same
                                    goes for a lot of others out there (well, maybe not a
                                    _lot_), like Petri Tikka, Roman Rausch to name but
                                    two.
                                    I think I rather look at this whole thing as at a
                                    development process. It is quite natural I think for
                                    anybody who approaches the Eldarin languages not from
                                    the professional linguists' angle but out of devotion
                                    to Tolkien's creation or out of simple excitement for
                                    the intricacies of a language (amateurism in the best
                                    sense of the word) to translate everything he/she can
                                    lay hands on. Then if the interest perseveres (it does
                                    for a few, although not many - look at the number of
                                    people who post _regularly_ on elfling out of the 2000
                                    or so members) this slowly changes as the person
                                    starts to appreciate the limits of the language, the
                                    limits of the available information and the simple
                                    beauty with wich Tolkien resolves his own problems and
                                    then the scope and topic of translations/compositions
                                    will almost automatically narrow itself. This also
                                    happened to me; and although I can't say I do not
                                    produce "mishmash" but maybe I produce more ingenious
                                    mishmash.



                                    > > and not fall immediately into "well-deserved
                                    > oblivion", to quote
                                    > > Patrick.
                                    >
                                    > That would be great, but I haven't seen it happen
                                    > yet. Every
                                    > translation I've seen offered here has surfaced
                                    > briefly and then sunk
                                    > away without a ripple.

                                    If you refer to _this list_ specifically, then I
                                    agree.

                                    With warm regards,

                                    Thomas Ferencz

                                    -- love is the shadow that ripens the wine --

                                    Let's discuss Eldarin languages - http://aglardh.middangeard.hu




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                                  • Carl F. Hostetter
                                    ... No offense taken. I just wanted it stipulated that you weren t in fact accusing us of viewing neo-Elvish translation as inherently a bad thing (however
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Oct 6, 2005
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                                      On Oct 6, 2005, at 10:47 AM, Atwe wrote:

                                      > Indeed it was a flourish, no offence meant.

                                      No offense taken. I just wanted it stipulated that you weren't in
                                      fact accusing us of viewing neo-Elvish translation as inherently a
                                      bad thing (however poorly it might be executed in practice at times).
                                      I didn't get quite that stipulation, but perhaps this will have to do.

                                      > I think I rather look at this whole thing as at a development process.

                                      Indeed. And part of my intent is to help that development along by
                                      pointing out common pitfalls and suggest a better approach.
                                    • Peter
                                      ... Why is it that some people refuse to understand that Christopher Tolkien has a right to decide who gets to publish his father s papers? Anybody who has
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Oct 9, 2005
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                                        --- In quenya@yahoogroups.com, "quildarener" <quildarener@y...> wrote:

                                        > Without reflecting on your scholarship or your right
                                        > to the Tolkien language material, I would point out that you and the
                                        > rest of the E.T. have exclusive and jealously guarded control of
                                        > this material and that only that circumstance forces the rest of us
                                        > to rely on your release of it as a source of later Tolkien grammar
                                        > and vocabulary.

                                        Why is it that some people refuse to understand that Christopher
                                        Tolkien has a right to decide who gets to publish his father's papers?
                                        Anybody who has ever worked with archives and private papers in an
                                        academic manner knows that these has to be "exclusively and jealously"
                                        guarded since most archives demand that you do not publish without
                                        their permission. Furthermore when you are working with private papers
                                        you have to be extra careful since no honest person wants to violate
                                        the trust of the owner or keeper of the papers.
                                        It is an absurd assumption that the Tolkien papers should be freely
                                        available to anyone who comes along since they are the property of the
                                        Tolkien Estate and frankly I trust Christopher Tolkien and the people
                                        he has been working with to make these papers available in a
                                        presentable and scholarly manner.
                                        "That circumstance" that the E. T. started to work with Christopher
                                        Tolkien and earned his trust and cooperation has given us the Gnomish
                                        and Qenya Lexicons, an until then unknown Tolkien writing system, the
                                        sárati of Rúmil, the answer to what was behind the secret door in the
                                        Paths of the Dead, five Catholic prayers in Elvish, page after page of
                                        linguistic philosophy, elvish grammar and elvish words. All presented
                                        in a thoroughly scholarly manner. And it doesn't seem to stop!
                                        Happy "circumstance" indeed. I am happy that this task was appointed
                                        to people who have kept an enduring interest in Tolkien's languages
                                        over decades. Many people who were active in Tolkien linguistics in
                                        1992, when I understand the E. T. started their cooperation with Chr.
                                        Tolkien, have since dropped out. David Salo seems to have "retired"
                                        after publishing his long awaited book. Lisa Star seems to have
                                        withdrawn from Tolkien linguistics as well. Luckily the E. T. hasn't
                                        lost interest and it seems that steadily and surely we will see the
                                        unfolding of Tolkien's languages from A to Z.
                                        Thank you Carl F. Hostetter, Christopher Gilson, Patrick Wynne, Arden
                                        R. Smith and Bill Welden! You give us Tolkien's world in it's own
                                        words. And for a moment or two we can feel that we are walking with
                                        the elves.

                                        Nobody forces anybody to rely on anything. You are free to read what
                                        you want and write what you want. Don't attack people for having
                                        access to information, and that complain that you are forced to rely
                                        on them when they publish that information.

                                        Sincerely,
                                        Peter Edelberg
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