Post HjUZE5sENmq

Александр Запрягаев Jan 23, 2016 (14:17)

A new feature I propose: a regular +#StoryOfARoot . Today: TĀ, TAγ, TAR, 'tall' and 'stand'.

* Late 1930s In the Etymologies, the stem TĀ, ?TAγ 'high, lofty, noble' is described in detail. The summary is as follows: tárá 'lofty' is Q tára, but not used in N due to homonymy of resulting taur with 'forest', surviving only in compounds: Tor, dor. Tārō 'king', tārī 'queen', only of a whole tribe: in Q tár, tári (second of Varda mostly), in Ilk tôr, tôril of Thingol and Melian only, in N unused. Here also cf. Taniquetil which first element may me bare TĀ but presumably is rather tána < taγna which survived in cognate N taen 'height, summit'.
No verbal stem for 'standing' is mention in Etym.

* 1948 In QVS and the supporting documents, the idea of 'tall' is mostly rendered by a parallel KHAL and so passes out of our scope. The very first mention of 'stand' is an inceptive, 'stand up', tolu, which could be from TOL (114). The epic description of various location verbs on 125 etc. gives (126) THAR, thára as 'stand (of people, animals); of mountains, high hills, towers, pillars etc.' Yet, above this item Tolkien writes (remembering?) the older stem TOL. Tolu is allowed to stay in CE:VS as well.

* Late 1950s A change to this came, presumably, when Tolkien needed THAR for Sindarin 'across/athwart' in Tharbad etc. See PE17:014, 034 [both DLN, late 1950s]. Cf. also Athrabeth of the same time. A totally new picture emerges from QE and supporting texts now. Basically, it is underlined in QE by the notion of Valarin-derived Taniquetil, which we shall study most carefully, it being a well-researched and non-spontaneous writing:
As they say, ta does not mean 'lofty' in Eldarin, though it may remind one of tára 'tall, high' (TAR). Taniquetil is from V Dahan igwiš tilgūn of unclear meaning.
In short, the mere existence of stem TĀ 'tall' is attributed to a fault of more ancient (pre-Pengolodh) Loremasters, while the idea of 'tallness' should be rendered basically as TAR — a stem which never before appeared in such a form. Perhaps it is no coincidence that its emergence nicely fits with the (temporary) elimination of γ from among the basic CE formation elements.

However, the most peculiar thing here shall be the amount of post-QE observations, collected in PE17 and PE22.

* 1964 In ca. 1964, while writing the Notes on Galadriel's Song (NGS) based still on the 1st edition text, he (PE17:67) mentions the remaining tári as a feminine 'her highness' from the same tára 'high' (without a further explanation).
* 1964 The essay on 'And', which, together with Comparative in Eldarin and Ambar etc. can be assigned to around 1964—1967: all of them are written on the same paper with identical writing instruments employed, and though mentioning Plotz feature the older possessive endings before omentielvo. At ibid.:71, Tolkien not only gives us astarmo 'witness' vs. newer astarindo 'bystander, supporter' (note especially, that the derived rm shows either TAR or TAS; TAD would tanmo > tanwo or tammo per PE19:96, and TAγ/TĀ would render támo alike); he writes a complete sentence about 'standing', and it is Sanome tarne Olórin etc. An ambiguous way of showing a verb (tarya per sirya also suffices, as is A-verb tara), but the stem TAR is explicit (TAγ to tange). Finally: the stem for 'stand' is TAR here, and 'loftiness' is not discussed at all.
* 1964 But where 'loftiness' does appear is Comparative in Eldarin from the same batch (actually, the reverse of the first edition, ibid. 186—187). Here Tolkien writes first as above, 'TAR, stand, intransitive' — and then sees an apparent discrepancy: should tāra be 'upstart' or something then, not 'tall'? Hence the infamous ups. He once again goes to Valarin for answer, asking himself to ignore Taniquetil as 'of unknown meaning' and apparently replace all 'tall' words with derivatives of ORO 'rise', orwa, orna. Below he, nevertheless, finds a different solution: bring Etym TAγ back! The thing he writes is literally: 'No, but TAγ in tagra > tāra, S taer. TARA, stand', which can be understood: if the stem for 'tall' is TAγ — as the Etymologies were so keen to insist — then tára and all its derivatives can be explained as a medial collapse of γ intervocalic and pre-consonant (PE19:100-101)! Hence, a derivational suffix _ra with its agental counterparts ro/ri are held responsible for tára, tári etc. — while 'stand' is basically verbal TAR, tare, tára, tarne, atárie, taruva which just coincidentally (or showing an earlier connection) gets to a 'lofty' territory.

All of that nice and cool and apparently solved — but further complications arise ca. 1969.
* 1969 We proceed to LVS in PE22. Two objects are of interest here: at the reverse of LVS1 Tolkien writes, among similar forms (148), '_tarhanwa_ throne, high seat'. The corresponding comments make it clear that the second stem is KHAD, a well-known rendering of 'seat', hence TAR refers to 'high' — again! (Yet if we suggest that it is a shortened tára, not an application of the root itself, barely possible in Eldarin morphology, then it is still plausible as taγ-rā-khad-mā > tarhanwa). Anyway, he chose an unproblematic and QE-attested mahalma for the Oath of Cirion, and the issue was solved.
* 1969 The face of LVS1, however, offers a further complication (147): lan i Valaron arkanwar tauvar. The meaning is clear (LotR V:5, 'while the thrones of the Valar endure'). However, what is the verb?! No apparent 'endure' stems apply (RETH/RES, BOR, BOR-ON, which Tolkien uses in the same Oath around the same year and is definitely not forgotten and/or abandoned). A mere 'stand' seems the likeliest pattern: and the description of object position at PE22:125-126 implies 'standing' here in Q. However, TAR cannot render tauva — any way; this shows and irreversible TĀ, the aforementioned TAγ, even unattested TAB or TAW — but never TAR, which remains as it is (the attested TA-stems include: TAK 'fix', TAM 'construct', TAN and TAS 'show, indicate', TAY 'extend' and TAW 'wood'; TAY could yield tauva though unlikely but neither 'extension' nor 'woodenness' of the holy thrones is not fit here). It seems that Tolkien experiments with making a verb out of TAγ, and the verb is 'stand' or something close! Perhaps Tolkien thought about a basic verb 'rise, tower, dominate, stay tall'?


Can we produce a fit conclusion not just by summarising what we know — but by proposing a 'final' explanation of the roots fit to use, which Tolkien himself would accept? Possibly. I shall write down the following themes:

* We are dealing with two stems, possibly connected from an early stage, yet distinct. The first CE stem did not possess a form TĀ, like many Loremasters did assert; the basic form can be reconstructed as TAγ. The stem meant 'be high, lofty' and hence 'be noble' and produced its most important derivation — an adjective taγrā > tārā, Q tára, S taer 'lofty' (which made a natural contact with daer 'large, great' from DAY). The titular names, táro 'king' and tári 'queen' were in Quenya reserved for the highest authorities among the Valar or overlords of the whole tribes (Ingwe, Finwe, Olwe, Thingol) and in Sindarin were lost altogether, surviving only as a prefix or suffix tar, tor, dor (ablauted) in compound names, meaning 'lord': Torhir Iphant, Arador, Celebrindor, Findor, Galador, Galdor, Gildor, Gwindor, Meneldor, Orchaldor, Thorondor, perhaps also Gundor, Uldor, Targon and some more. The mountain-name Taniquetil, though from Valarin, was also felt to be connected somehow. Basically, however, the stem was still much verbal and such produced some verb 'to be exalted, to tower, to oversee': a possible form (we don't have much information about γ-verbs (reformed, per PE22:102). A good guess, after caita (PE22:159) and lauya (ibid.:156), will be táya, táya, taine, atáye, tauva.
* The second stem is TAR 'to stand': an obviously basic verb, tare, tára, tarne, atárie, taruva which is used not only for standing persons but for mountains, hills, towers, pillars and everything that is more 'tall' than 'wide' — never for lower hills, buildings, dwellings or cities. Derivatives astarmo 'witness', also astarindo 'supporter'.

Special thanks to +Paul Strack, +Fiona Jallings, +ܤܡܝ ܦܠܕܢܝܘܤ +ܤܡܝ ܦܠܕܢܝܘܤ +ܤܡܝ ܦܠܕܢܝܘܤ +ܤܡܝ ܦܠܕܢܝܘܤ, +Tamas Ferencz. I express gratitude to Christopher Gilson and Carl Hostetter who make all of this possible. Feedback would be much appreciated. Next issue (as planned): MEN.

Tamas Ferencz Jan 23, 2016 (15:57)

Something to read in bed tonight!

Remy Corbin Jan 24, 2016 (17:25)

Great job!

Александр Запрягаев Jan 27, 2016 (11:36)

+Tamas Ferencz +Remi Korben May I add aomething which I missed on my first try? I believe a more correct way to express a verb based on TAγ is rather obviously tahta, tahtya, tahtane/tange/táne, atahtanie/atahtie, tauva.

Tamas Ferencz Jan 27, 2016 (16:41)

Well, re: tauvar, there's always the possibility that it is a mere slip for *taruvar... But it is an interesting theory, I agree.

Александр Запрягаев Jan 27, 2016 (18:24)

+Tamas Ferencz Unlikely due to its repetition in two consecutive lines, I think. And other bits show he did much think about hiatus in future formation: those tuvua etc.