Post BpnGRGQSGdc

Paul Strack Feb 19, 2018 (21:57)

Since I am starting to work more seriously on assembling a coherent Neo-Eldarin vocabulary, I thought I should articulate the approach I intend to take. For example, +Tamas Ferencz listed a hierarchy of priorities for Neo-Quenya formulations as part of this thread:

https://plus.google.com/108504898862501380876/posts/LqCcqGNpqcT

I broadly agree with his approach, but my priorities differ.

The biggest difference is that I intend to work on Neo-Eldarin as a unified whole, not just Neo-Quenya or Neo-Sindarin. Focusing only on a single language can easily produce results that work well for that language but cause problems for the other. To pick a simple example from a recent post, if you consider only Neo-Quenya, the obvious root for “marriage” would be BER from the late 1960s (VT49/45). However, doing so would require discarding a lot of basic Sindarin/Noldorin vocabulary, including the words for man/woman and husband/wife (benn/bess and herven/herves). If you consider Neo-Eldarin as a whole, I think it’s better to retain the roots BES/BED from the 1930s as the basis for “marriage”, even if it means using MQ. vesta- “to marry” over later Q. verya-.

In defining Neo-Eldarin, my priorities are as follows:

1) Use Tolkien’s writing to assemble as large as collection of vocabulary as possible, preferring attested forms over neologisms.

2) Assemble words that can be put into an internally consistent paradigm across both languages, with clear etymologies and appropriate roots.

3) Prefer later forms over earlier forms, except in cases where later forms would force the elimination of “too many” attested words that would be inconsistent with the later etymological paradigm (as BER vs BES/BED above). Preservation of later primitive forms (including roots) is less important than preserving attested derived forms, especially those with unique meanings for a particular language.

4) Where earlier forms are used, they MUST be made phonetically consistent with later forms of the languages. In particular, using early diphthongs or consonant clusters that do not appear in later forms of the language is absolutely to be avoided. Preserving the phonetic character of Quenya and Sindarin is a paramount priority when adapting earlier words. An obvious (but not universal) example of this would be replacing Noldorin initial lh- and rh- with Sindarin r- and l-.

5) Contrary to the previous priority: where a particular vocabulary item appears only in earlier forms of the language, include Early Qenya and Gnomish, it is preferable to adapt that early word over inventing a neologism, provided the adaptation can be properly re-etymologized and incorporated into a coherent paradigm with later forms of the language. When adapting early words, as few changes should be made to the original as possible, to the extant this is possible given the other priorities listed above.

6) Neologisms are allowed in cases where there is no attested vocabulary word, or where the vocabulary words that exist cannot be brought into a coherent paradigm with later languages. However, neologisms should be crafted in such a way as to avoid conflict with attested words, including attested words otherwise considered “invalid”, to minimize confusion on the part of the reader. In particular, neologisms that are homonyms with attested words (both used and unused) are to be avoided, and new senses should be added to existing words only in cases where they are a clear extrapolation of attested glosses.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten right now. My primary focus right now is figuring out how much of the attested vocabulary can be incorporated (or adapted) into an internally consistent Neo-Eldarin paradigm. As such, I don’t yet have a strategy for inventing “new” neologisms (beyond adapting earlier forms).
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Tamas Ferencz Feb 19, 2018 (23:42)

I broadly agree with this approach, although I don't think we should at all cost eradicate all coexisting variants and leave only one solution for every gloss; to refer to your earlier post today, I am quite okay with the fat that several words exist that all mean "daughter" and don't think we have to restrict the vocabulary to only one of them. If the language indeed survives and swells both in terms of userbase and vocabulary, having several possibilities to express the same thing could provide an opportunity for the meaning of those words starting to drift and develop new nuances and hues. To give one example, in Hungarian elder brother/younger brother/elder sister/younger sister are all separate words; perhaps in fifty years among neoQ speakers torno will gradually start to mean 'older brother' and háno younger brother. This is just fantasy I know, but my point is that some initial confusion for new learners of the language may be a price worth paying if we can have choice, variations, synonyms in exchange.
And I guess we may something similar in terms of grammar as well. One can already see that even this small number of speakers use the language in their own way: I, for instance, prefer LA negation and the THA/NA/VA/LA system, Yitzik, if I am not mistaken, uses a mixture of U-negation and LA-negation etc. And that's all right, I understand what he's saying, he understands what I'm saying, we just speak different dialects, that's all.

Paul Strack Feb 20, 2018 (04:20)

+Tamas Ferencz I don't completely disagree with you on synonyms. I just don't think they will evolve “naturally” on their own. If we want near-synonyms in Eldarin to develop distinct connotations, I am pretty sure we will need to assign them intentionally.

That’s sort of what I was aiming at by re-contextualizing TORON/THEL(ES) as abstract “brotherhood/sisterhood”. I can think of other examples as well. There are two canonical verbs for “to find” from LotR: hir- and tuv-. I have a pet theory that hir- means “to find something that is lost” and tuv- means “to find something new, discover”, based on the contexts where they are used.

Of course, with the publication PE22 and the word túvima “discoverable”, this has shifted from “pet theory” to “attested meaning”.

http://eldamo.org/content/words/word-3800692653.html

Ицхак Пензев Feb 20, 2018 (10:38)

I don't mind to agree with such approach unless it claims to be "the only true way".

Ицхак Пензев Feb 20, 2018 (10:51)

+Tamas Ferencz a small note about negation: I accept the ÞA/NA/VA/LA system, too.

Paul Strack Feb 20, 2018 (11:15)

+Ицхак Пензев No, I make no claims to “a one true way”. Other ways of setting priorities when crafting Neo-Eldarin can be equally valid. The entire process is necessarily subjective.

For that matter, you could 100% agree with my approach and prioritization and still arrive at different results.

When it comes to Neo-Eldarin, I believe there a some things we can agree are genuinely wrong, but only a few things we can say with absolute certainty are truly right. Most things will fall into a grey area of “it could be right, I can’t prove you wrong, but I can’t say for sure.”

The process I propose above simply fits my own lamatyáve.

Tamas Ferencz Feb 20, 2018 (12:17)

+Paul Strack the hir- and tuv- distinction is totally plausible and useful in my opinion.