Post 9zjmSsEDyvZ

Александр Запрягаев Jul 31, 2016 (16:25)

The Tūlaiyeta Conundrum, or: Conditionals in Eldarin.

Lets us speak about the peculiar Old Noldorin form from QVS, ni tūlaiyeta glossed by Tolkien 'I should have done it' (PE22:121) in a unique example of demonstration how exactly the conditionals/subjunctives (Eldarin feels no difference) work outside Quenya, and which, after he decided to move the discussion of the particular forms to the Quenya text from the Common Eldarin one, still remains in the replacement paragraphs on 098, altered to ni tūlaiyeta/ā and glossed 'I should have done it, if —'. Lets us try to understand what this could mean for Noldorin and Sindarin.

Taking the topmost scratch, what can we deduce from the form? (Well, first, Tolkien does a mistake twice, glossing the form with 'do', while it contains no KAR 'to do', but TUL 'to come' instead; due to the form having an obvious objective affix, the correct version we are to analyse is rather * ni cāraiyeta.) The form is apparently divided into the following parts:

* tūl belongs to the root. The lengthened vowel is most possibly a past marker (cf. such strong pasts as DUL daul, KHAL haul etc. in the Etymologies. Note however the absence of past tense of TUL given there, apparently a sign of 'regular' formation.)

* ai is given explicitly as the cognate of the Quenya particle ai 'maybe, supposing'.

* ye fragment can most easily be explained as a variant (presumably, after an I or rather read ai-iye) of an Eldarin past-suffix (i)yē (ibid.:095-6). [Note 1.] The alternative could be that we behold some form of ye which is the stem 'to be' at the current conceptual stage.

* ta/tā obviously corresponds to the 'it' in the translation, being an objective inflexion. Cf. CE ni mati-te 'I eat it' (095), Q mati•l•sa = matilda '(they) eat something' (094). [Note 2.]

The form, as given, seems to apply (especially in its second emergence) only to the main clause ('I would', not 'were I'); however, all the examples given in Eldarin and Quenya discussion at pp. 120-2 are keen to demonstrate that no difference beside the actual use of que 'if' is felt between the cases and even a more particular tense distribution is redundant. (By the way, Quenya never uses ai in this clause at all, with only the stronger au appearing in examples like auve e•kestanen, AU ni•túlie 'If he (unlikely) had asked me, I might (unlikely) have come' (121). So, it is safe to assume the possibility of, say, ON * pe ni•kest•ai•nte•se, en e•kār•ai•ye•ta 'If I had asked her, she would have done it'.

It is not easy to determine whether Tolkien assumed this form to be an ancestor of some inflected conditional in Exilic Noldorin, but I think a case could be made for 'he did'. The scope of the 1948 Grammar is specifically aimed at Eldarin elements and a clear study of how they we developing in the daughter tongues (Tolkien even goes as far as to claim (92): 'The best preserved, as well as the one most elaborated by later invention, was the verb of early classical Quenya' and always deals with this early classical version on, specifically mentioning the cases of later developments. Neither Noldorin or Telerin are, to my knowledge, more than barely (see p. 126, laden) mentioned without a prefix 'Old', given or assumed, neither in the published parts of the 1948 Grammar nor in the 'Common Eldarin' texts of its further revisions ('Beleriandic', originally intended to be Ilkorin of Beleriand and then reassigned to Ossiriandic of Lindon, does appear, but in connection with the particular forms like Taur na Foen or Caras Galadon he felt need to explain — and that is not the tongue for the Loremasters to know its early developments anyway!) Tolkien's intent seems to be providing the comparable versions of development, not describing the particulars of non-Quenya grammars ('tis a classical Quenya grammar after all, there is apparently a parallel Noldorin one). Even the claim that 'some of them, such as Noldorin, also abandoned a good deal that was once common' (92) could be a support to the case of the things explicitly given as not common are those which survived (cf. the description of thā vs. ubā, 131-2). So we might as well update the forms given to theoretical * ni•goraed in EN — and to * han agoraen in actual Sindarin.

Also, due to the formulation 'was in this pattern that some languages, as Old Noldorin, developed inflexional "conditionals" by including such particles as ai', it would seem strange for such a form to exist without a present counterpart of the sort aiqe e•kestuvan, ni•tuluva: Tolkien is insistent (97) 'In this form future in if-clause is required in Eldarin'. There is only one Noldorin document of a comparable period, but this one is remarkably close to composition (1948, possibly simultaneous) to this grammatical treatment: it is the King's Letter. Let us observe the forms given there in the light of QVS, restoring the necessary punctuation:

* e•aníra 'he desires' (twice); cf. CE e•ni•antā 'he gives to me' (94).

* i sennui Panthael estathar aen 'who should be called Fullwise'; cf. 'But in the latter case (with nouns) a clause was far more usual, and could be used in all cases where the subject of the second verb was not the same as that of the first. A clause in such cases is introduced by i, before vowels in. The tense inside the clause depends on that of the first verb: the time of which becomes the present ofthe second verb' (118). Apparently in this case the subject of the second verb is not the 'him (king)' of the first, and so the i-clause is used. The intended subject is a non-expressed 'they' (CE -_-ga-- seems in many cases to be omitted when no confusion might arise). The intended meaning is 'that rather Fullwise they will call-_aen', which, like the non-hypothetic 'ai-future' in Quenya (which could also be called the present and correspond to such constructions as 'were he to ask me, I should come' = aiqe e•kestuvan, ni•tuluva, p. 120), and if, as the tūlaiyeta example shows, Noldorin requires ai in both clauses, the the separate ni•tuluva could correspond to ON * ni tul•ai•thā or rather, as the thā-enclitization came much later than the formation of the past tense (Valinor vs. the March), with a totally postposed, though presumably still preceding objectives, * ni tulithā ai? which becomes EN * ni•delitha aen.

This final N is most problematic; the most face value of it, taker from direct comparison with tūlaiyeta, would be an objective inflexion, but it can only be of 1sg., leading to the meaning like **'they should name me Panthael' (Panthael is an adverbial modifier and as such could be treated as a sort of indirect object of esta, appearing in the expected predicate-preceding spot). This is out of the question (no first-person narrative in the Letter at all). Furthermore, for this meaning intended esta•tha•n ai with a normal agglutination to the verb is to be expected.

Neither can N be any form of ná* 'to be', which is of quite a late emergence during the final stages of Quenya pre-LotR (during the composition of the King's Letter, ëa was ousting ye as 'to be', and was apparently not yet here) or an accusative/oblique pronominal inflexion (aen is no pronoun, and you do not inflect particles; neither it is in the accusative meaning.)

However, there is another possibility: PE22 shows much use, including in main, 'would/should' clauses of conditional relation of an all-important 'future' particle, en, introduced as 'in that (future) case' on 120 and explained on 121: "future" because the second event is subsequent or future from the point of view of the first and is in any case subsequent in thought (and the tense-form is future, anyway). [Note 3.] This one in the Quenya examples, as opposed to the (optional) san 'then' of 'when(ever)'-clauses, does appear, 'with or without ai' (121), in the latter (i.e., main) clause. The further example 'If he had asked me, I should have come/made it', aiqe e•kestanen, en ni•túlie/karne (sic, for karnet) or ENAI ni•túlie/karnet (ibid.) shows us the flesh-and-blood brother of our aen, different only in the sequence of parts! It is easy to imagine that the bare ae would have strongly assimilated to this adverb of time-relation due to appearing together often and Noldorin's overall preference of consonant-endings over vocalic.

To conclude: I am strongly convinced that i Panthael estathar aen is an exact correspondence with Quenya * i enai Quantasailon estuvar 'that then (they) sh/would call Full-wise', a standard form of a present(future) Eldarin (main clause of) a conditional.

Furthermore, I see all evidence of the corresponding past form, as exemplified by the ON example tūlaiyeta to exist in Noldorin/Sindarin as an analytic past conditional_with the following proposed (updated to Sindarin) derivation:

S. basic verb _cared__ agoraen, agoraeg, agorael, agorae 'I, thou, you, he/she/it sh/would have done' or 'had done';

S. N-infixed verb cabed agamphaen etc.

S. derived verb, possibly, linnad linnanthaen etc. (** linnaenthen phonologically impossible, and anyway the previous class association is there expected) or basically linnanthen aen etc.

The present/future correspondence is totally auxiliary in form, carathon aen etc. Nevertheless, an emergence of an analogical form caraethon etc. is not out of the question (its absence in the King's Letter being an example of more 'correct elevated' speech); due to Tolkien's insistence of the impossibility of ai in the aoristal or imperfect context as early as Eldarin, the forms like caraen or cerin aen are either non-existent or strongly discouraged.


* Note 1. Similar forms are not attested in the N/S corpus, if we are not to include perfective participles as palan-díriel 'having gazed afar', but could plausibly remain in the formation of the conditional, having blended with the added ai. Cf. CE tūliyē/utulyē/ blended utūliye (096).Note that in Quenya this particle can never come between a root and a tense-suffix!

* Note 2. Concerning the different stem-vowel, it is possible that Old Noldorin, unlike Quenya, elaborated the 3rd person distinction further to animate/inanimate or even masculine/feminine/neuter; compare galāso 'he grows' (ibid.:026) with an apparent masculine inflexion (albeit on a different conceptual stage, when the suffixation was yet, as it will soon become again, subjective instead of objective) or even Etym:S ho, he, ha 'he/she/it' in Noldorin, mentioning the so and se inflexions of verbs and obviously assuming the existence of separate sa inflexions, as well.

* Note 3. This is an obvious derivative of the same EN that gives enta 'then (future)', enar 'tomorrow', elloa 'next year' (124) and introduced in Etym:EN as 'over there, yonder', enta 'that yonder' (along with sina and tana).

Tamas Ferencz Aug 01, 2016 (12:51)

OK - I need time to digest all this. Great!