G+ LoME Archive
Mar 18, 2017 (17:16)
I’m trying to better understand how participles, gerunds, (particular) infinitives, etc. function and interrelate in Quenya. Some sample sentences:
Navin i …
‘I judge that …’
1) ‘your doing it’
(not valid because this example is particular and gerund is general?)
2) ‘your having done it’
2b) (equivalent does not exist as gerund is always general and aorist?)
… mára (ná).
‘… is good.’
Which of these are valid and why? Are there any alternate forms or other remarks? As always, I welcome any and all feedback.
Edit: I momentarily forgot that it’s permissible to combine possessive and personal pronouns with at least the particular infinitive.
Mar 18, 2017 (23:10)
Somehow I don't feel that the possessive pronoun (menya etc) was a persistent concept In Tolkien's Quenya. I certainly don't think that the language
it, as it were.
Mar 18, 2017 (23:13)
I don't have access to PE22 now. Does it say explicitly that the active participles can receive any sort of pronominal suffix (i.e. Possessive, & object) or object only?
Mar 18, 2017 (23:17)
Also, heed what Tolkien says elsewhere in PE22, namely that instead of resorting to constructs like "your having done it", Q preferred clauses like "you have done it, which..."
Mar 18, 2017 (23:25)
PE22 says on page 155 "the verbal participles (capable like the definite infin.
of taking pronomial affixes) in
" and on page 154 gives an
la navin karitalya(s) mára
"lit. I don't judge your doing (it) good", so I've interpreted that to mean that the active participles can receive both possessive and objective pronouns.
Mar 18, 2017 (23:27)
It's interesting and fitting to know the Q structuring preferences. I'll have to try finding the specific reference: for poetry and other matters, it will be helpful to know how much flexibility is permitted.
Mar 18, 2017 (23:35)
yes it's clear that particular infinitives can receive possessive suffixes; not so sure about the active participles (but I am convincible☺️)
Mar 18, 2017 (23:51)
Perhaps there is insight in my perfect tense sample: I'm far from clear on whether the
infinitival/gerundial suffix can be affixed to verbal stems other than the bare, unconjugated ones, and if not, how else do we form phrases such as ‘your having done it’, though they may not be preferred? If I understand the grammar correctly, such a participle would need to be regarded as a noun (nominalized?) for a possessive in any form to make sense, and Q adjectives (including participles: I'm thinking of n.
"(naturally discarnate) being") can sometimes act in this way but I'm unsure how freely this usage is permitted or under which circumstances. It feels in a language this broad like there should be some way of expressing such a structure.
Mar 19, 2017 (10:22)
I need to ponder this and peruse the sources when I get home from my travel ; right now I am not sure there is a distinction in Q between 'your doing it' and 'your having done it'. Perhaps the solution lies in gerundial expressions and Tolkien's musings about old Túro's eating...
Mar 19, 2017 (22:06)
My general feeling is that active and passive participles function exclusively as adjectives, that gerunds function exclusively as nouns and the general infinitive is exclusively verbal in function.
I don't think the general infinitive can be inflected in any way, and can only be used in verbal phrase such as:
"I want to go"
In case where it appears the infinitive is inflected, the verb is most likely actually in the aorist tense. After all, the infinitive is essentially an uninflected aorist.
It would not be appropriate to use a general infinitive as a subject of a verb, like in English "to go is wise". You would need to use a gerund or a particular infinitive.
I think you would need to use a particular infinitive if you wanted to add object suffixes to the infinitive, such as:
"I want to do it"
I also think the particular infinitive can also serve as a pseudo-noun in a cupola or similar constructs, and can in this case accept a possessive suffix to indicate the subject. In these cases the tense marker would be on the main verb.
caritanyas mára né
"my doing it was good"
caritalyas mára lauva
"your doing it will not be good"
For more complex constructs I think Quenya prefers to use a subordinate clause, as +
merin ya carilyes
"I want you to do it, (lit.) I want that you do it"
To cover the example of "your having done it", remember that the infinitive it essentially timeless and adapts the tense of the main verb. You could say "your having done it was good" simply by:
caritalyas mára né
"(lit.) your doing it was good"
Mar 19, 2017 (22:14)
nas mára nin
Mar 19, 2017 (22:21)
Nevertheless it is good for thought what +
had touched upon, namely that to what extent can a Q imperfect participle function as a noun (if at all). Can a ppl like
"that which is to come" function as a noun for "future" the same way as it does, e. g. in Hungarian?
Mar 19, 2017 (22:39)
Actually, I took another look at PE22/154, and there is an example of using and infinitive phrase as the subject of a sentence:
care mára quí tyare naxa
"doing good may cause evil"
Thus I was wrong there. It seems the general infinitive can be used as subject.
As for PE15/155 where Tolkien says that participles can take possessive suffixes, that doesn't mean they suddenly become nouns. I think they still remain adjectival.
In theory Tolkien may have meant that the active participle (normally and adjective) may also function like the present participle in English as part of verb phrases: "I was going to the store". Since there are no examples, I'd hesitate to use such a construction.
Mar 19, 2017 (22:40)
That's a nice analysis/breakdown and helpful. I do wonder a little at the end about "the infinitive is essentially timeless and adapts the tense of the main verb" due to an earlier era explanation of the aorist "tense" with other tenses as related by the PE22 editors on page 85 and Tolkien on page 95 and applied to active participles on the top of page 107. In essence, aorist constructs there are timeless in being "purely general" in direct contrast to "action contemporary with that of the main verb". I wonder if this idea survived: at least his related perfective participle
suffixed to the aorist stem survived in Galadriel's Lament (
) and perhaps elsewhere. If so, since in the later formulation the
aorist participle is also used for present tense, how does one express actual time independence from the main verb? I imagine per your insight above that infinitives (including particular) would follow the same rules on timing/tense. I also wonder if the earlier concept of each tense stem being able to function as an infinitive (page 99) survived and, if so, in what way did it evolve? Q is so rich; it is small wonder to me how Tolkien could spend most of his life exploring and developing it.
Mar 20, 2017 (00:35)
The stem of the present continuous is used as an infinitive in
Man cenuva fána cirya métima hrestallo
("The Last Ark").