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Re: [quenya] Help, please !

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... rule gets a teensy bit more complex. You affix -ea to the verb, and you lengthen (accent) the vowel, *unless* the vowel is followed by a consonant
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 2, 2002
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      Kai MacTane wrote:

      > When conjugating derived verbs (ones that end in -a, -ya, -ta or -na) the
      rule gets a teensy bit more complex. You affix -ea to the verb, and you
      lengthen (accent) the vowel, *unless* the vowel is followed by a "consonant
      cluster" (two or more consonants, including y).

      Carl F. Hostetter responded:

      > All of this is pure conjecture on Helge's part, based on a single,
      unglossed (by Tolkien) example (_órea_) of (as yet) uncertain status (even
      to me). It is misleading to present this as factual, and the "examples" you
      provide as anything other than unattested fabrications.

      (Ah, there is the F word again...one favorite of CFH's, along with
      "counterproductive", "dishonorable" and of course "copyright".) No, this
      info is in no way confirmed or certain, and I think I make that quite clear
      in the relevant section of my Quenya course.

      > mapa- > mápea ("are/is seizing")

      [CFH:] *Unattested.

      Unattested, yes. But then the nominative plural of (say) _norsa_ "a giant"
      is not attested either. However, if anyone were to assert that Tolkien
      didn't mean the plural form to be _norsar_, they should probably invest in
      a new Ouija board.

      If _ora-_ "to urge" appears as _órea_ in one particular tense, it seems to
      be a VERY fair assumption that _mapa-_ "to seize" would appear as _mápea_
      in the same tense. Of course, the suggestion that _órea_ represents a
      "present" or continative form comes from CFH himself. If he has discovered
      something new about this form that has made him doubt his own
      identification, we would all be glad to hear about it.

      As for forms like _cendea_ "is reading" from _cenda-_ "to read", it does
      represent an extrapolation based on our general understanding of Quenya
      phonology. Before a consonant cluster, the stem-vowel cannot be lengthened
      and would therefore remain short (attested parallels exist for the perfect
      tense). I do think that if _ora-_ appears as _órea_ in one tense, it is
      entirely plausible to assume that _cenda-_ would appear as _cendea_ in the
      same tense. The main question is what tense or form _órea_ really
      represents. I guess this could easily remain as conjectural as the precise
      meaning of Sindarin _aen_.

      CFH's colleague Bill Welden recently observed that regarding details of
      Quenya grammar, "answers will never be clear" and would often depend on the
      interpretation of a single form. This could well be one such case. Yet I
      would expect A-stem verbs to be able to make the same distinction between
      aorist and continuative forms as the primary verbs can make (e.g. _quete_
      "says" vs. _quéta_ "is saying"). Especially in a constructed language I
      would expect considerable structural symmetry. Maybe CFH is aware of
      _another_, more certain way of maintaining this distinction in the case of
      A-stem verbs? We would of course be glad to hear about that as well.

      - HF
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      On 6/2/02 6:56 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger ... No, that is not the main question at all, which if you d curb your usual knee-jerk
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 2, 2002
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        On 6/2/02 6:56 PM, "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@...>
        wrote:

        > The main question is what tense or form _órea_ really represents.
        >
        No, that is not the main question at all, which if you'd curb your usual
        knee-jerk reaction and actually read what I wrote, you'd see. The real
        questions are: Is _órea_ just a passing fancy of Tolkien's, as the
        contrasting forms on the very same page suggest may be the case? Is a
        present continuative ending in _-ea_ likewise just a passing fancy, like so
        many other grammatical devices in Tolkien's writings?

        > Especially in a constructed language I would expect considerable structural
        > symmetry.
        >
        That is a most unreasonable expectation, especially of Tolkien's languages.
        But I expect this does explain your willingness to eschew any reasonable
        standards of evidence, so that you can cling to this "solution" to what
        _you_ have decided is a problem and apply it to every verb is sight.

        > Maybe CFH is aware of _another_, more certain way of maintaining this
        > distinction in the case of A-stem verbs?
        >
        Who says this distinction _has_ to be maintained across all verb classes? It
        may well be that some verb classes simply don't have a formal aorist/present
        continuative distinction. In other words, Quenya might behave just like real
        languages in not having perfect parallelism across all verb classes.


        |======================================================================|
        | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
        | |
        | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
        | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
        | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
        | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
        | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
        |======================================================================|
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