Post 1AdhBBw9Szy

Александр Запрягаев Aug 18, 2015 (16:12)

Question to Quenya phonologists! What does exactly happen to the initial CE consonant H in Quenya? Checking the sources, I found an almost 50/50 remaining/disappearing. In Helge's article it seems to be implied that they remain; however, at least twice in LVS, in hanta 'give (trans.)' from HAN and hathaya > asea 'athelas' from HATHA, the whole derivation depends on its syncope! Is it possible that Eruhantale is indeed from HAN then?

Björn Fromén Aug 18, 2015 (22:29)

hantale could more plausibly derive from KHAN, which per PE 17:166 replaced TO-/OT(O)with the meaning "'back' --- as in answering --- repaying, rewarding" (hanquenta 'answer').  

Tamas Ferencz Aug 19, 2015 (17:45)

+Björn Fromén
an earlier theory, as I recall, before the publication of PE17, was that hantale had come from HAN 'enhance' - I think the root was listed in one of the notes to Átaremma? I don't have my sources with me at the moment

Александр Запрягаев Aug 19, 2015 (18:12)

+Tamas Ferencz And Tolkien does not abandon the root: just he claims that the verb *hanta derived from it converges to anta from AN into a single verb anta with a joint meaning. Hence, he is (for me) explicit there is no verb hanta from HAN.

Björn Fromén Aug 19, 2015 (23:44)

+Tamas Ferencz
Yes, in VT 43:14 (comment on the preposition han 'beyond'). But 'give thanks' seems to me semantically closer to 'answer, repay, reward'  than to 'enhance'.

Carl Hostetter Aug 29, 2015 (06:35)

But that's not the entirety of Tolkien's gloss of √han; which is rather: "√han ‘add to, increase, enhance, honour (espec. by gift)’". And any Catholic of Tolkien's ilk would think: "_Magnificat_ anima mea Dominum"....

Björn Fromén Sep 02, 2015 (14:12)

+Carl Hostetter
But isn't the Magnificat a case of Erulaitale rather than Eruhantale? ("My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord", as the Jerusalem Bible has it.)

Carl Hostetter Sep 02, 2015 (14:28)

Literally, magnificat means "magnifies"; which certainly fits Tolkien's gloss of √han.

Björn Fromén Sep 02, 2015 (23:19)

It fits the gloss of Erulaitale "Praise [= magnifying] of Eru" as well, but hardly that of Eruhantale "Thanksgiving to Eru".

Carl Hostetter Sep 03, 2015 (02:41)

It does if the root sense of hantale is "adding to, increasing, enhancing,  honoring (espec. by gift)"

Александр Запрягаев Sep 04, 2015 (19:40)

+Carl Hostetter +Björn Fromén +Tamas Ferencz As I see, in published corpus Tolkien invokes HAN twice, both ca. late 60s.
First, as a stem 'give' (or, rather, 'present one with') invoked by a consideration why anta, which is obviously from AN/NA 'allative' even before the Etymologies, does not mean 'to send, cause one to go away to an intended place' (conflicting with the corresponding intransitive anya 'arrive at', emerging in LVS 10). This one is edited from γAN on the spot, when Tolkien notes that is would yield S. ganed instead of expected aned. We might suggest that here he was not yet considering the effects of such an introduction. Almost simultaneously he indeed devises γAN, but with (apparently) unconnected meaning 'adorn' to make Q. antil 'the middle finger', VT47:26 [oh, and this time the word-initial h does disappear. Why?]
Secondly, about a year later, he brings HAN back, this time 'add to, increase etc.' to derive han 'beyond' apparently the same as in Átaremma (it's quite unexpected to find this word in two places separated by more than a decade! — I wonder if he devised it as a preposition or a postposition?). As it seems, he keeps pondering over the things devised in the great update of 1969 and tries to get the etymologies straight. The addition 'esp. by gift' is very revealing: it shows he keeps the LVS 13 content as a base and extends the meaning to get to the word he remembered of the same apparent form.
Eruhantalë, on the other hand, does emerge as early as the 'Description' and the 'Mariner's Wife', both apparently ca. late 1964 (per Christopher) — much earlier, hence there is always a possibility he devised it before ever thinking of HAN. It seems quite certain he didn't think of this word when making LVS 13 (otherwise he would never write γAN first!). If, however, we wish to fit it to the established stem (or believe Tolkien had HAN from Átaremma in mind for some years — without thinking about the possible connection to anta 'give'), we can notice that Tolkien does not say 'give' is hanta; quite the contrary, both the T. (and S.) cognates hanin, aned and the basic, verbal gloss of HAN — either in its 'give' or 'add to' incarnation! — which point to the basic, primary CE verb han. So, it is han which gets fused with anta — and a derivative hanta has any right to exist. However, it is unclear should we treat that as a causative derivation (would 'cause one to give or add' equal 'thank' or even 'magnify'?). Rather, I'd think about a half-strong pseudo-TALAT extension to alter or intensify ['honour by gift' > 'honour by thanking'] the meaning, as if from han-at(a), with past hanante and perfect ahanantie (ahnátie?). This could be a Quenya-only derivation (conscious) to get out of the undesired 'giving' connections. Then Q. E. D.: all seems to fit — and we have not a slightest idea of 'to thank' in Sindarin [Note 1].
To conclude, I must consider the alternate possibilities to derive hanta (though HAN with 'giving' is too good to be true [Note 2]). No stem of the form SKAN is known (to say nothing of HANAT, KHANAT or SKANAT). Still, we have an epic variety of KHAN (as noted in VT47, not necessarily incompossible, to quote Ambrose Bierce): 'brother' from the late 1960s (VT47-48), 'understand, comprehend' from the Etymologies, apparently transient 'back' from the PE17 (normally rendered by nan and connected forms or by at). γAN is not expected to be connected (unless Tolkien silently revised some of the phonology — and got everything back into place for LVS 13), but it does fit even less: it is consistently (PE17:155, PE17:158, VT47:27) connected with 'extension, length' and is an obvious base for the explanation of anda 'long' for which it is devised. γAN in the Etymologies is 'male person' and annon is rather from AD. Anyway, allative AN/NA is even a worse idea to explain Eruhantale [Note 3].

Note 1: Well, we have. Apparently: if 'to give' as just aned since summer 1969, is the cognate of hanta, the verb annad, free now, hm?

Note 2: In Russian, the ideas of 'thanking' and 'giving' are strongly connected, with the most common verb 'to thank', благодарить, easily decomposed into 'well'-'to present, make a gift'. Apparently, the overall Germanic idea of connecting 'thank' and 'thought' did not influence Tolkien — but the form of the word 'Thanks-giving' could.

Note 3: And much less improbable for it to be a totally unmentioned stem — they are already overcrowded! — if it is, SKANAT/SKAN-AT is the only possibility making sense to me.

*And in Leeds-Quenya, hanta is a 'blow with an axe' (see PE13:147). Speak about thanking…

(Valar, I never expected to write all of that…)