G+ LoME Archive
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
'give (trans.)' from HAN and
hathaya > asea
'athelas' from HATHA, the whole derivation
on its syncope! Is it possible that
is indeed from HAN then?
Aug 18, 2015 (22:29)
could more plausibly derive from KHAN, which per PE 17:166 replaced TO-/OT(O)with the meaning "'back' --- as in
Aug 19, 2015 (17:45)
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
Aug 19, 2015 (18:12)
And Tolkien does not abandon the root: just he claims that the verb *
derived from it converges to
from AN into a single verb
with a joint meaning. Hence, he is (for me) explicit there is no verb
Aug 19, 2015 (23:44)
Yes, in VT 43:14 (comment on the preposition
'beyond'). But 'give thanks' seems to me semantically closer to 'answer, repay, reward' than to 'enhance'.
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"....
Sep 02, 2015 (14:12)
But isn't the
a case of
? ("My soul
proclaims the greatness
of the Lord", as the Jerusalem Bible has it.)
Sep 02, 2015 (14:28)
means "magnifies"; which certainly fits Tolkien's gloss of √han.
Sep 02, 2015 (23:19)
It fits the gloss of
"Praise [= magnifying] of Eru" as well, but hardly that of
"Thanksgiving to Eru".
Sep 03, 2015 (02:41)
It does if the root sense of
is "adding to, increasing, enhancing, honoring (espec. by gift)"
Sep 04, 2015 (19:40)
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
, which is obviously from AN/NA 'allative' even before
does not mean 'to send, cause one to go away to an intended place' (conflicting with the corresponding intransitive
'arrive at', emerging in LVS 10). This one is edited from γAN on the spot, when Tolkien notes that is would yield S.
instead of expected
. 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.
'the middle finger', VT47:26 [oh, and this time the word-initial
does disappear. Why?]
Secondly, about a year later, he brings HAN back, this time 'add to, increase etc.' to derive
'beyond' apparently the same as in
(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.
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
in mind for some years —
thinking about the possible connection to
'give'), we can notice that Tolkien does not say 'give' is
quite the contrary, both the T. (and S.) cognates
the basic, verbal gloss of HAN — either in its 'give' or 'add to' incarnation! — which point to the basic, primary CE verb
. So, it is
which gets fused with
— and a derivative
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
). 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
(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
to quote Ambrose Bierce): 'brother' from the late 1960s (VT47-48), 'understand, comprehend' from
apparently transient 'back' from the PE17 (normally rendered by
and connected forms or by
). 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
'long' for which it is devised. γAN in
is 'male person' and
is rather from AD. Anyway, allative AN/NA is even a worse idea to explain
Note 1: Well, we have. Apparently: if 'to give' as just
since summer 1969, is the cognate of
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-
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,
is a 'blow with an axe' (see PE13:147). Speak about thanking…
(Valar, I never expected to write all of that…)