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Re: Questions About Exercises [Possessive Case]

PostAuthor: findegil » Tue May 04, 2010 2:09 pm

órerámar wrote:
But as shown by i·coimas Eldaron, the waybread made and used by the Eldar alone

Well, this is an incomplete citation. The "Of Lembas" says "...The Eldar did not give it to Men, save only to a few whom they loved, if they were in great need". In other words, they did seldom give it away for the reasons explained, but they did. The bread could be eaten by others. This justifies the genitive apart from the fact that there was a tendency to prefer that form.


The relevant passage in "Quendi and Eldar" tells us that a shift from lambe Eldaiva to lambe Eldaron for 'the language of the Eldar' could be justified only if it meant that the whole language was adopted by another people. Should really a take-over like that be comparable to some occasional gifts for a few others in great need? I'm afraid I can't follow you there.

órerámar wrote:
The possessive of the general plural must at most have been a rare form, considering that the only instance on record is Eldaiva/Eldaive in one single text ("Quendi and Eldar") and that there was an increasing "tendency to prefer the [genitives] or use them in place of the [possessives]". The form is also conspicuously missing in the Plotz declensions.


In the same paragraphe WJ:369, where Tolkien states that there was a tendency to prefer the derivative genitives and says that "alkar Oromeo" or "alkar Oroméva" could both be used for "the splendour of Orome", he continues however explaining that those forms do not say exactly the same thing.


What he explains is that they didn't originally. To me it's obvious that the account in "Quendi and Eldar" is essentially etymological. It gives us the historical background of the two case forms but doesn't describe the actual use of them in Middle-earth Quenya. Otherwise there would be too many contradictions with the bulk of the extant corpus. Even a text as canonical as Galadriel's Lament doesn't conform!

órerámar wrote:
Well, as the instrumental (ciry)ainen corresponds to (lass)ínen, I think analogy points to *(oront)íva as counterpart of (Eld)aiva.


Sorry, but I do not think that these forms are simply the counterparts of the others. Lassínen (lasse +inen) and orontiva (oron - stem oront + iva) are suffixed in a different way.


As no such plural as *orontiva is attested, we can't very well be certain how it would be suffixed, can we? The universal instrumental marker is -nen (PE 17,p.62). The instrumental plurals are formed by adding this suffix to the archaic accusative, thus ciryai-nen, lassí-nen (acc.pl. ciryai, lassî ) and presumably *orontí-nen (acc.pl. *orontî). The only general plural possessive on record is similarly formed by the suffix -va: Eldai-va (acc.pl. *Eldai). Analogy would yield *lassíva and *orontíva; but of course Tolkien may have thought otherwise, if he ever decided on the matter.

órerámar wrote: The rule seems to be that words with three syllables or more and of which the last syllables are short get a stress and that stress is placed where normally the secondary stress is, (cf. RGO) : Orome - Oroméva.


I agree, something like this seems to be rule when inflexions are added to stems ending in -â, -ê, and -ô, as shown by pairs like ciryali:vanimáli(on) and Valinóreva: Eldaliéva; but it doesn't apply with -î: tárí-va, lassí-nen.

órerámar wrote: Yes, táríva has finally confirmed that two "i" would merge into a long "í"


Two "i"?? The stem târî- has one long i, which is shortened finally (nominative tári) but remains long when the suffix -va is added.

órerámar wrote:
But why wrestle with this dubious form, which we can easily do without? I can't think of any situation where neither the genitive *orontion nor the possessive *orontelíva would work equally well.


Because, as Tolkien demonstrates in WJ:369, you may more or less translate into the same thing in English, but it is not the same.


Nevertheless he himself apparently didn't find much use for the general plural possessive.
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Re: Questions About Exercises [Possessive Case]

PostAuthor: órerámar » Wed May 05, 2010 8:48 pm

"findegil"

The relevant passage in "Quendi and Eldar" tells us that a shift from lambe Eldaiva to lambe Eldaron for 'the language of the Eldar' could be justified only if it meant that the whole language was adopted by another people. Should really a take-over like that be comparable to some occasional gifts for a few others in great need? I'm afraid I can't follow you there.

I have not compared lambe Eldaron and coimas Eldaron - you have. I have opposed the "wine" and "bread" and I have explained what each suffixe would mean, so Huanarmo would see the difference. My citing of the passage of giving bread to those in need served to underline the fact that food however special it is cannot be claimed as a total private property because it is something to give to those in need. The frequency of these gifts is of no importance. Therefore my believe is, whether 3rd Age or earlier, food would never have taken a possessive genitive.

órerámar wrote:The possessive of the general plural must at most have been a rare form, considering that the only instance on record is Eldaiva/Eldaive in one single text ("Quendi and Eldar") and that there was an increasing "tendency to prefer the [genitives] or use them in place of the [possessives]". The form is also conspicuously missing in the Plotz declensions.


Yes, it is - but singular and partitive plural are mentioned.

In the same paragraphe WJ:369, where Tolkien states that there was a tendency to prefer the derivative genitives and says that "alkar Oromeo" or "alkar Oroméva" could both be used for "the splendour of Orome", he continues however explaining that those forms do not say exactly the same thing.

What he explains is that they didn't originally. To me it's obvious that the account in "Quendi and Eldar" is essentially etymological. It gives us the historical background of the two case forms but doesn't describe the actual use of them in Middle-earth Quenya. Otherwise there would be too many contradictions with the bulk of the extant corpus. Even a text as canonical as Galadriel's Lament doesn't conform!


That can be interpreted either way and I see more than only an etymological explantation in this text. I see evolution, but the fact that there was a tendancy in favor of one form, does not mean that one has to eradicate the former usage. I find the paragraphe very accurately worded. I compare this to the situation of real world languages. Because people do not use in spoken language the simple past in French, does not mean that one should not learn it or not use it in writing. A tendancy is not a complete abandon, like this is said of the distinction of nominative/accusative.

As no such plural as *orontiva is attested, we can't very well be certain how it would be suffixed, can we? The universal instrumental marker is -nen (PE 17,p.62). The instrumental plurals are formed by adding this suffix to the archaic accusative, thus ciryai-nen, lassí-nen (acc.pl. ciryai, lassî ) and presumably *orontí-nen (acc.pl. *orontî). The only general plural possessive on record is similarly formed by the suffix -va: Eldai-va (acc.pl. *Eldai). Analogy would yield *lassíva and *orontíva; but of course Tolkien may have thought otherwise, if he ever decided on the matter.


I do not think that we will find an agreement here. You cite the Plotz Declension from which we gather that the difference between nominative and accusative was abandoned, because it was adequately expressed by word order. Therefore, if we have no accusative anymore, we cannot add the suffixe to this form. In PE17, it is indeed said that most nouns have an instrumental in -nen (not universal). But Tolkien speaks of singular examples only. For some of the other suffixes, he gives the plural but not for all.

Consequently, if there is no accusative, and none appears in 3rd Age texts, Spoken Quenya might form plural possessives simply by adding plural suffix to singular / stem and the result is in most cases the same as in the Plotz Declension:
lasse + iva = ei >í
cirya +iva = ai
lasse + li + inen = i + i > í lasselínen
tárínen would not be different from singular


órerámar wrote: Yes, táríva has finally confirmed that two "i" would merge into a long "í"


Two "i"?? The stem târî- has one long i, which is shortened finally (nominative tári) but remains long when the suffix -va is added.


You are quite right. I was so focused on this plural issue that I made a shortcut. Well actually it would confirm that suffixes are simply added to stems.
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Re: Questions About Exercises [Possessive Case]

PostAuthor: findegil » Thu May 06, 2010 3:58 pm

órerámar wrote:
"findegil"

The relevant passage in "Quendi and Eldar" tells us that a shift from lambe Eldaiva to lambe Eldaron for 'the language of the Eldar' could be justified only if it meant that the whole language was adopted by another people. Should really a take-over like that be comparable to some occasional gifts for a few others in great need? I'm afraid I can't follow you there.

I have not compared lambe Eldaron and coimas Eldaron - you have. I have opposed the "wine" and "bread" and I have explained what each suffixe would mean, so Huanarmo would see the difference.


I made the comparison, yes, because in my view your explanation of the meaning of Eldaiva doesn't chime in with Tolkien's use of this form.

órerámar wrote: My citing of the passage of giving bread to those in need served to underline the fact that food however special it is cannot be claimed as a total private property because it is something to give to those in need. The frequency of these gifts is of no importance.


I find no support for this total exclusivity in Tolkien's text. The language of the Eldar was certainly not claimed as a total private property: it could be spoken by others and was so at a very early stage. Yet in the scenario of "Quendi of Eldar", it was properly called lambe Eldaiva, not lambe Eldaron.

órerámar wrote:
The possessive of the general plural must at most have been a rare form, considering that the only instance on record is Eldaiva/Eldaive in one single text ("Quendi and Eldar") and that there was an increasing "tendency to prefer the [genitives] or use them in place of the [possessives]". The form is also conspicuously missing in the Plotz declensions.


Yes, it is - but singular and partitive plural are mentioned.


Of course they are, but my point is that the general plural possessive is not. This could plausibly signify that the form Eldaiva was an ephemeral idea of Tolkien's, already discarded when he wrote the Plotz letter.

órerámar wrote: I see evolution, but the fact that there was a tendancy in favor of one form, does not mean that one has to eradicate the former usage. I find the paragraphe very accurately worded. I compare this to the situation of real world languages. Because people do not use in spoken language the simple past in French, does not mean that one should not learn it or not use it in writing.


True enough, but for the evolution of the Elvish languages there is an additional factor to consider: they are one man's artistic work, and their creation was an ongoing process during most of his lifetime. That gave him the possibility of changing and "retconning" as often as he liked (with some restrictions once LOTR had been published), an as we know he used it profusely.

órerámar wrote:
As no such plural as *orontiva is attested, we can't very well be certain how it would be suffixed, can we? The universal instrumental marker is -nen (PE 17,p.62). The instrumental plurals are formed by adding this suffix to the archaic accusative, thus ciryai-nen, lassí-nen (acc.pl. ciryai, lassî ) and presumably *orontí-nen (acc.pl. *orontî). The only general plural possessive on record is similarly formed by the suffix -va: Eldai-va (acc.pl. *Eldai). Analogy would yield *lassíva and *orontíva; but of course Tolkien may have thought otherwise, if he ever decided on the matter.


I do not think that we will find an agreement here. You cite the Plotz Declension from which we gather that the difference between nominative and accusative was abandoned, because it was adequately expressed by word order. Therefore, if we have no accusative anymore, we cannot add the suffixe to this form.


Quite right, I see now that my wording was loose. What I meant to say is: in the quoted forms the suffixes -nen and -va are added to the plural stem, which is formally identical with the archaic acc.pl.
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Re: Questions About Exercises - Catching up!

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Sun May 23, 2010 5:27 pm

Having recovered from Middle-earth Weekend in Birmingham (good weather and an estimated 14,000 people over two days!) I've just spent an hour or so catching up on the discussions.

I've corrected the various points in Lesson 16 and its answers.

May I say, re: Lesson 19 that if I were talking about THE Two Trees of Valinor I would be inclined to use Aldu rather than Aldar Atta, working on the principle that the latter can mean any old two trees. I believe that this is an example given by either or both of Thorsten and Helge.

I think I've managed to follow all the ins and outs of the discussion between Findegil and Óreráma, but am not exactly clear where that leaves us, so two questions:
Is there something I should be correcting in either Lesson 20 or 21?

Please can someone produce a lesson with plenty of examples of vowel lengthening? In other words mixed examples where it should or should not be lengthened.
I'm well aware that I haven't got this into my brain properly yet, and am therefore likely to be confusing others. For instance I have used the word curuninen in one of my sentences, looking at it now I find myself wondering whether something in there should be lengthened, and if so what, and why?

I should be able to put some more exercises together in the next week or so. Please let me know if there is a really important subject which you're waiting impatiently for.
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Re: Questions About Exercises - Catching up!

PostAuthor: findegil » Tue May 25, 2010 2:26 pm

Tuilinde wrote: For instance I have used the word curuninen in one of my sentences, looking at it now I find myself wondering whether something in there should be lengthened, and if so what, and why?


IIRC the word curuni is known only from the Qenya Lexicon; but in terms of LOTR-style Quenya we may regard it as a compound of curu- (as in Curumo) and the archaic 'woman'. This means that the final i is originally long and should remain so when the instrumental inflexion -nen is added, thus curunínen.
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Re: Questions About Exercises

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Tue May 25, 2010 4:47 pm

Thank you, Findegil, I will correct that.
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