Post 6sc3m2Xf38h

Paul Strack Dec 24, 2017 (20:01)

I am thinking about changing how I use the certainty markers in the Eldamo data model. Right now I have these markers:

None - the word appears in Tolkien’s writing (though possibly with normalization of spelling)

# - extrapolated. The word appears only in an inflected form. The uninflected form is deduced from grammatical rules.

* - unattested. The word appears only as an element in a compound or in a primitive form.

^ - reformation. The word appears only in an early (pre 1950s) form of the language and has been modified to fit the phonology of a later form. E.g. changing Noldorin initial rh to Sindarin r.

? - speculative. The word is illegible in the original, or is reconstructed via some more dubious means.

! - neologism. The word is a pure invention, though possibly based on existing roots and phonetic rules.

Here is what I am thinking of changing. I wanted to change * from “unattested” to “reconstructed”. It would be reserved only for those words that are either reconstructed primitive forms or Quenya and Sindarin forms constructed from known primitive forms. Most of those word currently marked * for being elements of compounds would instead be marked # as “extrapolated”. The meaning of “extrapolated” would be expanded to include not only extrapolation from grammatical rules but also from attested compounds.

I am bringing this up now become in the near future I plan on introducing a large number of “reconstructed” primitive forms that I want to more clearly distinguish from primitive forms from Tolkien’s works, which I denote with the star symbol ✶. I also think elements in compounds probably have the same degree of certainty as extrapolations from inflected forms.

Any thoughts?

Paul Strack Dec 24, 2017 (20:12)

Also, the current “certainty hierarchy” is:

none > # > * > ^ > ? > !

When I change * to mean “reconstructed”, I think the revised hierarchy will be:

none > # > ^ > * > ? > !

This will in part depend on what stage of a language a “reformation” (^) is from. Obviously reformations from the Middle Quenya and Noldorin of the 1930s and 40s would be more reliable then reformations from the Early Quenya, Early Noldorin and Gnomish of the 1910s and 20s. I intended to continue to clearly mark what stage such reformations are derived from.

Ицхак Пензев Dec 25, 2017 (15:35)

I don't understand the concept of "reformation". Give the originals as they are, specialist will understand how to adapt. Do you database contain neologisms? I've seen none!

Paul Strack Dec 25, 2017 (17:17)

Here is an example of a reformation: S. raen “crooked”. - Eldamo : Sindarin : raen³

Many Neo-Sindarin writers accept such words as valid, but strictly speaking they are neologisms. When adapting older words into later forms of the language, Tolkien would sometimes adapt the word to fit the later phonology, but other times he would retain the older form and adapt its etymology. For example, Tolkien might have chosen to keep the form rhaen and changes the root to SRAG, we just don’t know.

See, for example, lheweg “ear”, where Tolkien kept the Noldorin form in Sindarin and revised the primitive and Quenya forms.

Also, Eldamo contains few “pure invention” neologisms at the moment, but that will not always be the case. I intend to eventually expand my study to include Neo-Quenya and Neo-Sindarin, and will likely start including neologisms. I want these neologisms to be clearly distinguished from forms copied or adapted from Tolkien. I intend to do this in two ways: (1) the neologism marker “!” and (2) grouping such neologisms into two new languages: Neo-Quenya and Neo-Sindarin.

Ицхак Пензев Dec 25, 2017 (20:42)

Nauvan alassëa cenë sa *ánetalma sina samë vinquettali yú. I'll be happy to see that this database has neologisms too!