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Topic: Ardalambion

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Chief Maiar
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Posts: 375
Date: Mar 6, 2007
Ardalambion

Well, i found this page in my favourites, its about Tolkien's languages, i just thought if some people who are familiar with them (Tyrhael for example) could have a quick look at the Quenya guide and tell if it is worth going through...

http://www.uib.no/people/hnohf/
thats the address to the main page (sorry for possible spelling errors, but im in a hurry =/)

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Mar 6, 2007
The Quenya section is good for the most part, but he (Helge) fails to mention a couple things:

1) Word order when using "to be". This is not as it appears in English; JRRT wrote that XXX na is "is XXX", but na XXX is "be (command) XXX"!

2) The possibility of verbs other than _lav-_, _anta-_, _um-_, etc. using vowel lengthening to form the past tense (we have both _káre_ and _karne_ attested for _kar-_, in independent sources... _karne_ appears once in the 1930s, but _káre_ appears both before and after that. The two may be able to coexist. But _túle_ and only that, not _*tulle_ from -ne is attested for _tul-_), though we see _wille_ for _wil-_ and not _wíle_. There's also _lúve_ from _lumna-_, though _merne_, _turne_, _tirne_, in the 30s. It seems JRRT kept changing his mind about how to pa.t. basic verbs ending in -r. However, Helge added in transitive vs. intransitive for the pa.t., i.e. _ulle_ vs. _ulyane_, which is good.

3) How some nouns ending in -e pluralize in -er, e.g. _tyeller_, _ingwer_, and gen. pl. with -e can be -eron as well as -ion. He mentions in the Q course that this may be a Vanyarin dialectal thing, though that's debatable; the Noldor were the ones who liked to pluralize in -r rather than -i.

4) The order of cases and pronominal suffixes, i.e. -sserya vs. -ryasse; different cases have different orders attested.

5) Other "special" or "irregular" (though JRRT called them regular, which means we don't know enough about them yet as to why they're regular, but there must be some sort of class) verbs in the past tense, like _kaine_ and _keante_ for _kaita-_, _sinte_ and _isinte_ for _ista-_, _farne_ AND _farinye_ for _farya-_, etc.

BUT if you use Parma Tyelpelassiva's articles as supplements for those very issues (well, 1 & 2 & 5) together with Ardalambion, it works out. Ardalambion can be a very good source — just don't use ONLY Ardalambion, as it leaves out some important stuff. And it's better to crossreference sources anyway.

-- Edited by Tyrhael at 19:55, 2007-03-06

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Chief Maiar
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Date: Mar 6, 2007
Thanks for the quick answer. Now all i need to do is read it about another 20 times and I'll understand it (maybe) . Anyway, thank you very much, and if i may ask, what are the Parma Tyelpelassiva's articles ?

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Mar 6, 2007
For Parma Tyelpelassiva, see this link: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~trenk/elvish/

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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How hard was it to learn Elvish? Also is it a language you can speak, read and write fluently?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Mar 12, 2007
Not even Tolkien could speak one of his Elvish languages fluently. He once said in a TV interview: 'I should'nt want to sit around talking Elvish to chaps.. you can't anyway, because it's too complicated. I never finished it'. Tolkien in Oxford BBC 1968.

But that's a brief statement regarding a complicated matter.

http://www.elvish.org

I recommend this site and especialy the FAQ, as well as the linked article 'Elvish as She Is Spoke' for a good look at the issue, as well as what Mr. Hostetter has characterized 'the artificial, simplified, patch-work systems' (found on the web).

But I suggest reading the whole FAQ, because that quote, in context, is not as negative as it sounds here.

Galin

-- Edited by Galin at 17:31, 2007-03-12

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Mar 12, 2007
You have a good point, Galin — the FAQ, articles, and essays on that site are all highly recommended — and I daresay Mr. Hostetter certainly knows what he's talking about when it comes to Tolkienian linguistics.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Mar 13, 2007
Of course I paid for Carl's article just before he posted it on ELF...

But I got plenty of other good articles in any case...


Anyway, Mr. Hostetter has indeed tried his hand at writing Neo-elvish, and I would guess he isn't trying to discourage anyone from doing so -- he's just pointing out what one really is doing when doing so. And I would agree that there is simply not enough distinction on the web as to the sources being used, and especially not enough distinction as to unattested Neo-elvish versus actual Elvish.

I dabble in name-making at times, or the occasional short 'translation' attempt. It takes very little effort to distinguish my 'fan-elvish' (*) and something Tolkien wrote at some point in his life. *Orodnor is my construction for example, despite that all I'm doing is using Tolkien's Orodruin and Faenor and making a 'new' name (I think) with a supposed meaning in Elvish. But yet I use an asterisk (not to be confused with Tolkien's own 'hypothetical' forms however). Is it Elvish? Is it 'good' Elvish? Does it take into account what might happen in Sindarin compounds?

Maybe; but if so it isn't Tolkien's Elvish in any case (even if he would 'agree' with it as representing good Grey-elven), and I mark it so -- not that Tyrhael or anyone here doesn't make something clear -- but compared to what goes on on the web in general and often enough (in my opinion) including quoting from sites that don't even intend to represent Tolkien's Elvish, there's simply not enough distinction out there to my mind. And the amount of 'translation' one finds at various websites, sometimes of long and difficult English examples (or whatever language), really tends to give the impression that learning Quenya is like learning Italian or even Latin... but it is not so.

I'm not trying to discourage Neo-Elvish of course, and I think looking into Tolkien's invented languages is very rewarding and fun. Neo-elvish is one expression that some love it seems, just like fan-fiction; nothing wrong with it of course, as I said, I enjoy a bit of a 'dip' too, with the occasional name. But it is what it is, and I think Carl Hostetter is just setting the record straight before one 'dives in' to (trying to) write in Quenya or Sindarin. 

Just a little rant

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Mar 13, 2007
I know what you mean, Galin, though I often fail to add the neo- label. And it's frustrating when I have to translate something in the Plaza Translation Desk that uses words which aren't attested, or ones where only the cognates are attested — speculation can often prove wrong, like with *ess (really eneth). I'm somewhat against 'updating' Qenya and Noldorin to fit into later Qu. or S. ... what if the root changed, like GIL > ÑGIL? Though the problem of 'reconstructing' Sindarin pronouns and suffixes is even more annoying — I daresay we know more about Goldogrin and Noldorin pronouns than Sindarin!

But often I waver in philosophies when I translate into neo-Elvish for people — some days I might add disclaimers that whatever I write will certainly be different than anything JRRT would have written, some days I add markers for which words are reconstructed, 'updated', etc. ... but some days I don't.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Mar 13, 2007
And if one is asked quite often for a translation, it's probably a bit annoying to try and keep adding Neo- or whatever. I certainly understand that.

I makes it easier when one (like me) only tries a 'Neo-name' every now and again

I certainly don't direct this at Tyrhael (even if you don't always add Neo- or something) or anyone here; it's more of a general thing I would like to see more of all over the web. 


-- Edited by Galin at 03:04, 2007-03-14

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Mar 13, 2007
For a funny (somewhat relevant) non sequitur on neo-Eldarin, there was recently a thread in Council of Elrond.com asking about translations of a line of the Pater Noster, in which I quoted the various versions in the Átaremma in VT ... but I also quoted Carl Hostetter's and Patrick Wynne's Attolma, which I mistakenly believed to have been Tolkien's, though of the 1930s-40s era Qenya rather than the snapshot of Quenya found in LotR of the 50s! After that, Carl Hostetter himself showed up to point out my mistake — I quickly edited in the credit into my post, but he explained that he wasn't concerned about giving proper _credit_ to him and Mr. Wynne, but about distinguishing neo-Elvish from _Tolkien's_ Elvish, stating "I just don't want anyone confusing our Neo-Quenya with Tolkien's own. Far too much of that going on as it is!" That was embarrassing, though enlightening in hindsight.


-- Edited by Tyrhael at 23:54, 2007-03-13

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Mar 14, 2007

Thanks for that Tyrhael!

Hmmm, CoE, I don't actually read there...

...yet



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Mar 25, 2007
Galin, I greatly appreciate your taking the time to read my long essay thoughtfully and to really understand what I had to say, both about the actual nature of Tolkien's languages and about how they are used by others; and in particular that I was by no means trying to discourage their use. Indeed, I ended the essay on what I intended to be a hopeful note, with a specific suggestion about how to make better "Neo-Elvish" compositions. It's gratifying to see that you understood me in that.

By the way, although Matt Blessing at Marquette and editors Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull graciously allowed me to republish my essay on the Web, I hope that anyone with more than a passing, superficial interest in Tolkien will buy or borrow the Marquette 2004 proceedings, which has some truly excellent articles: [url=http://www.marquette.edu/library/information/news/2006/jrrt_proceedings.html]The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder[/url]. For an academic publication, and for one of such quality, it's really very inexpensive, having been subsidized by the Tolkien Archives Fund, an endowment established by the late Dr. Blackwelder. The museum exhibition catalogue, available on the same page, is also excellent, with numerous manuscript reproductions not available elsewhere.

Cheers,

Carl


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-- Carl F. Hostetter
Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Mar 25, 2007
Are you THE Carl Hostetter? If so it is a priveledge to have you here on TF.

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: Apr 28, 2007
Yup, he sure is. I am a member of E.L.F. and that is his Elvish Name indeed. I get the Vinyar Tengwar and know his style of writing.

Welcome Carl. And thanks for sending me the number 48.

 And maybe I can get a hold of my Friend Michael Martinez. It would make for interesting discussions on this board.


I am a member of C of E Galin What do you mean by you can't read it there?


-- Edited by ArwenLegolas at 05:00, 2007-04-28

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: May 1, 2007
RE: neo-Elvish

[rant]

Galin et al,

I sometimes wonder how hard it would be to at least try to pick a point in the external chronology and try to shape the neo-Elvish to the known vocab and grammar of that time, i.e. say "this is an attempt at translating into 1930s Noldorin" rather than homogenizing and blending. Vocabulary, (reconstructed) pronominal suffixes ...

This came from looking at Hiswelóke's wordlist and wishing for context: For example, I might want to use a word for "shield". Both _amath_ and _thand_ come up. I see that the former comes from VT45, so I _assume_ it to be a later word published from new papers, and use it over _thand_. However, looking more carefully reveals that VT45 is comprised of additions and corrections to the Etymologies, making _amath_ a word in 1930s Noldorin! Though so many words in neo-S are taken from the Etymologies, anyway. But _thand_ comes from a piece in UT probably written around 1969, so that shifts up the preference list over _amath_, as it's written after LotR. Though being internally consistent with chronology is probably more important than keeping to later forms - the earlier forms aren't "drafts" but have their own beauty and importance too.

Regarding pronominal suffixes, I remember reading that there are charts and charts and charts of unpublished ones, which makes me think that perhaps Noldorin/Sindarin may indeed have changed its suffixes more than Quenya's "we" suffixes. That would be ironically fitting.

This makes it easy to understand perhaps (not that I'm saying I have any "insider information" ... that's an infamous phrase, there) why they haven't yet been published. Trying to publish things in the proper context and chronology _is_ a good idea (for reasons I'll state).

if VT was to publish one of these chart with, say, that the 2nd person infam. sg. and pl. in that chart were *-g and *-ch, then people might start saying they were THE official suffixes for "you", and start using them in _all_ their neo-Sindarin without realizing or caring that these suffixes were only one scheme in a constantly changing Elvish! No matter that some 2nd pers. suffixes might be, say, *-l and *-dh in late 60s or early 70s Sindarin, for example!

This makes me appreciate PE's sketches of Goldogrin and Qenya - I feel more confident with the grammars and vocabulary we have for those, and only wish people would ask for translations into those languages, lovely as they are, and disregard "canon". Not that they should be regarded as LotR-style Elvish (if that exists ... First Edition version or Second Edition version?), but at least we know more about the grammar and vocab for those and could probably represent them more faithfully - if we tried, that is. I know Roman and Thorsten have done poetry in Early Qenya and Goldogrin, and Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne translated Attolma into what looks like 1930s or 40s Qenya. If only that were a more popular trend.

Time to re-read EASIS and see what I pick up. smile

[end rant]

-- Edited by Tyrhael at 23:57, 2007-05-01

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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RE: Ardalambion

Well, after re-reading EASIS, I got the inspiration to translate something while trying to stay fairly consistent with words and grammatical devices from sources close in chronology. So I picked neo-Gnomish and decided on "I am cheese" (lol), but then decided to try something more interesting, like "Alas! I am afraid that all this babble has curdled my mind."

There are no doubt errors, but I tried to translate something similar to the English original (while using mostly words from the ENF slips from PE13, though "this" is from earlier sources and a few other words are constructed; I suppose it was inevitable that I couldn't stay 100% consistent).

It came out something like "Inaich! Im pathren *belfith edyg *sithain *cirthenni nuin *nintha", though I used some constructions, as (A) I didn't know how to pluralize _sitha_ "this", (B) I didn't know how the verb _cirtha_ would form its past tense (I suggested a couple possibilities), let alone the plural form of it.

I unfortunately re-read Patrick Wynne's article on the Goldogrin past tense after posting on Elfling, though unfortunately for my purposes it focused rather on the Gnomish of the Gnomish Lexicon rather than the forms found in the ENF slips of PE13.

You can see my attempt on Elfling 34070, though it's received little attention (perhaps (lamentably) because so many are interested more in using or studying the forms of Elvish after the first edition of LotR was published e.g. I've only seen a couple people try to translate poems, phrases, etc. into Gn. or Early Qe.).

Tyrhael

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Tom Bombadil
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Tyrhael, are you sure you don't want to teach the Sindarin Course? Blushes and bows to the master of the quill.

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: May 9, 2007
I'm no master - I make plenty enough errors as it is, and there are of course simply some things that I don't know - and some that I do know but misstep or forget to apply anyway.

As for the Sindarin course, I'd rather observe how it's done and notice what the underlying theories and reconstructions are, especially with pronouns, the preterite, and the mutations.

I wouldn't feel comfortable teaching; I can't really explain why, save that it would somehow feel like I was being deceitful and saying I was fluent enough to teach, which I'm not. I wouldn't want to be put in the awkward position of having people think that because I was the teacher and therefore (to some degree, anyway) a bit more experienced with Tolkien's languages, what I said would probably be true, without cross-referencing other theories or evidence. I prefer to have people at least use courses like Thorsten Renk's, if not go further and study Tolkien's own writings and corpus themselves.

What I mean can best be described by quoting Elvish.org's FAQ:

"If an author describes some grammatical construction as "correct", without explaining why by making reference to Tolkien's own words, forms, and examples, be very suspicious. [...] No one can honestly claim to know what is or is not "correct" for any such language in any non-trivial way; and thus any claim of "speaking" is pure nonsense. Pretending otherwise has the effect, whether intended or not, of insinuating the author between the student and Tolkien himself, and holding the author up as an example of correctness: an utterly false and artificial situation."

Does that help answer why I'd rather observe (and sometimes comment if I feel it's necessary) than 'teach'? smile

-- Edited by Tyrhael at 02:11, 2007-05-09

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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As far as I am concerned anyone who can speak Elvish at all, regardless of any small mistakes deserves my admiration. I don't think anyone would find you pompous just becuase you offered to teach people Sindarin. What about Quenya?

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: May 9, 2007
Tyrhael, I am by no means fluent in Sindarin, I constantly struggle with everything, I am just, like my German Grandmother would say, "Hartneckig" Stubborn. I would never go so far as to say I can just sit down and translate something without looking it up. That is why I have a 5 inch Binder standing next to me and endless resources and of course Dragonflame on my computer. Glorfindel, why don't you join us? It is a Beginners Course. I just hope that Tyrhael won't get too bored while the rest of us learn Lenitions and mutations.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I will look in on the thread often. I will try to take heed in whatever is taught there.

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Tom Bombadil
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Date: May 9, 2007
Does that mean you will join? That would be great. The One said if we get 6 people, he will open a Language thread for the Course. But to have just 3 people, it it not be feasible.

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Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: May 9, 2007
I won't get bored I'm quite looking forward to seeing how it's done. Will it be a thread?

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Date: May 10, 2007
I will see whats it about and when I think I can contribute something I will try so I am half and half but count me as in just so you can get the required numbers.

PS: 1000th post!

-- Edited by Glorfindel1235 at 13:30, 2007-05-10

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Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Tom Bombadil
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Date: May 11, 2007
Tyrhael, we are only gonna get a thread if we can find 6 people who want to take the class. It would be up to The One if we have 5 and he PMed me and said we would need 6 participants. Thank you for joining Glor. You will not be disappointed.

This course is self-paced. You send in the assigned homework to me. I PMed Galin to see if he is interested. as soon as I get an answer from him, we will start.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: May 11, 2007

Sorry! Maybe someone else :)



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Tom Bombadil
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Date: May 11, 2007
Thank you Galin, it was just a suggestion from The One I followed up on. No problem.

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