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Topic: The problem of Ros

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Posts: 564
Date: Oct 21, 2010
The problem of Ros

I think the problem is briefly summed up by JRRT. With respect to ros 'foam' and ros as the red-brown colour word, Tolkien wrote: 'It is difficult to accept these two homophonic elements -- of unconnected, indeed unconnectable meanings -- as used in Sindarin, or Sindarized names.'
That's the seeming problem, and the rest of the essay delves into the proposed solution, which (as I read it) basically involved removing ros 'spray, foam' (occurring in Elros for example) from an Eldarin context and making it Beorian rather (but in the end Tolkien realized that he had already published this as Eldarin, with respect to Andros).

Let me state that to compare my knowledge of languages to Tolkien's genius and understanding would be just plain silly, so my confusion likely hails from ignorance, but that said...
... is it that problematic, or that difficult to accept these two homophonic elements of unconnectable meaning, as used in Sindarin or Sindarized names? Don't Primary World languages include homophonic elements of seemingly unconnectable meaning (within the same language I mean)?

I posted this elsewhere, and only got one bite there (so far) wink

-- Edited by Galin on Friday 22nd of October 2010 03:19:13 AM

Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Oct 22, 2010
Languages is not my area Galin so I am afraid that went way over my head. I hope you find clarification for it

My Master Sauron the Great bids thee Welcome....
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Oct 22, 2010
Lady Arwen?


Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Jan 9, 2011

I've still only had one response so far (at another forum). Granted we have a 'problem' if Tolkien thinks or says he does, as he is the Subcreator after all -- but perhaps even Tolkien himself didn't think it was a 'very great' problem because languages can be surprising and complicated?

I'm not wholly sure the proposed change to Maedron was necessarily another attempt at solving this problem, though it does seem odd that JRRT would consider revising such a long held name (varying in ways, but long held to end in -ros anyway) for 'lesser' reasons.

Lately I realized or noticed that a note Tolkien made in his (second edition) copy of The Return of the King -- where Maedros (not Maedron) appears -- might even be later than the 'Maedron note'. I can't tell which is later actually, only that a reference to Umbarto dying at Losgar also appears in the same (Return of the King) note, possibly indicating a lateness even beyond 1966, which I suppose was always possible, now that I think about it. That said, a 'consistent chain' of Maed(h)ros before Maedron remains not unlikely too.

Opinions? Obviously no one has to respond however smile

-- Edited by Galin on Sunday 9th of January 2011 05:10:51 PM

Tom Bombadil
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Date: Jan 12, 2011
Yes Bear? Like in Cair Andros But we have that in English Galin.

That why English is so hard to learn for some people

He rose from the chair and
The rose smelled beautiful

So why shouldn't there be words like that in Sindarin?


Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, Jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: May 19, 2011
Yeah, I'm befuddled as to why it would really be a problem. Seems to me the Professor would just use it as another philological opportunity to explore the complexities of language.

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