Post T12tYHCd5dW

James Coish Jun 24, 2018 (03:22)

Rie mólome ar lá tyalie care Yát lumbaro.

Paul Strack Jun 24, 2018 (03:36)

Rie mólome ar lá tyalie care Homer ma ma ...

Tamas Ferencz Jun 24, 2018 (08:45)

Kare hya tyare? Tana i alta maquetta

Tamas Ferencz Jun 25, 2018 (14:09)

No but seriously, although it only loosely connects to this specific example (as it is not a true causative), it is still interesting to figure out how Q would express "make someone to do something" or "have something done". kare sounds logical, but I have a feeling that's a Germanism; and the attested causative suffixes may not be productive any more to the extent that they could be used with any verb.

Paul Strack Jun 25, 2018 (15:51)

+Tamas Ferencz that’s a really good point. The semantic scope of Q. car- is different from English “make”, since it includes both “do” and “make”. I think that car- principally means “to act or to construct”, and so perhaps does not carry the connotation of English “make” in its sense “cause to do or be”

My intuition, though, is that either car- or tyar- would work, but with slightly different connotations. It think car- would emphasize the “creation” of the state of dullness, whereas tyar- would emphasize its causation.

Also, in English I would want to say “all work and no play causes Jack to be a dull boy”, but in Quenya it may be permissible to omit the “to be” (as it often is).

Tamas Ferencz Jun 25, 2018 (16:27)

+Paul Strack in this specific example one can circumvent the problem by using ola or vista instead of kare/tyare. I was thinking in more general terms, in causative 'make someone to do sg' situations.

Paul Strack Jun 26, 2018 (01:12)

+Tamas Ferencz I’ve been mulling this over, and I’ve come to the conclusion that for “A makes B do something”, the verb tyar- is probably the right choice:

A tyare B care ma

Perhaps with i or ya to join the clauses; I’m not sure about that part.

James Coish Jun 26, 2018 (01:52)

Rie mólome ar lá tyalie tyare Yát (na) lumbaro?

Tamas Ferencz Jun 26, 2018 (09:48)

+Paul Strack I think the accusative cum infinitive is more elegant; but if any conjunction is needed it would be sa or i as per PE22:119.

Tamas Ferencz Jun 26, 2018 (09:48)

+James Coish or vista (possibly with an allative?)

James Coish Jun 26, 2018 (17:25)

Rie mólome ar lá tyalie vista Yát lumbaronna? ablative vs. allative?

Tamas Ferencz Jun 26, 2018 (20:02)

+James Coish change someone into someone makes sense to me

James Coish Jun 26, 2018 (20:04)

I take allative to be from and ablative to be to.

Tamas Ferencz Jun 26, 2018 (20:07)

+James Coish it's the opposite actually

James Coish Jun 26, 2018 (20:17)

So brain forgot my own mnemonic..."ll" doesn't match the allative. it matches the ablative. lol

Robert Reynolds Jun 28, 2018 (14:37)

In some situations, sahta- “to induce” may also be helpful, emphasizing the pressure or force to do something against one’s will. Of course, it would not apply to situations in which the doer/actor is willing.

Robert Reynolds Jun 28, 2018 (15:18)

One syntax possibility with accusativus cum infinitivo (based on the Wikipedia article; English and Spanish can use this structure for causative clauses) modeled from Markirya (Man kenuva lumbar ahosta):

A tyare/tyára/tyaruva/arta B akare C

That gives the object of tyar- as the subordinate clause B akare C with the infinitive kare getting the object prefix a-; then, B (in accusative, for Parmaquesta) is the subject of the infinitive.

Tyarnel Yát akenda parma quetiénen óse. “you made Jack read a book by talking to/with him; (lit.) you caused Jack to read a book by talking with him”.

Tamas Ferencz Jun 28, 2018 (16:12)

+Robert Reynolds I recall Aleksander posted a theory many months ago here that the a- in ahosta etc. is a (remainder of?) an impersonal general subject (see e.g. akime "one finds" in PE22:125); whether that is to be retained in all A&I constructions, I don't know. Perhaps, as it is well attested in Markirya, we should.

Robert Reynolds Jun 28, 2018 (23:12)

+Tamas Ferencz Interesting catch! It seems that for general usage, Tolkien went with mo, ma (revised from e in PE22:154 footnotes) for phrases like “one finds” later. However, the Markirya prefix indeed seems to have similar meaning:

The prefix a- in Markirya was revised from na- (with an explicit dash, intriguingly) and it’s unclear if na- was merely a discarded variation of QVS-era a-. The latter could be a prefixed indefinite pronoun in akime. That interpretation fits Markirya: “who shall see (indefinite, e.g. the Valar) gather the clouds, (the Valar) bend the heavens” with “clouds” the object of “gather” rather than the subject. Indeed, hosta- seems mandatorily transitive from its glosses in other attestations. Thus, lumbor must be the object of ahosta (something must be) and the subject must be man or not mentioned; the former seems highly unlikely because of semantics and the latter is likely mainly if the subject is indefinite/general.

Tolkien’s comments on Markirya say that na- (and presumably a-) is used “when the bare stem of the verb is used as infinitive… if the noun [in the perceived phrase] is the object not the subject”, so it’s unclear if the prefix in akime could be the same as the one in Markirya, since akime is finite. In EVS (PE22:128), Tolkien groups infinitives and constructions “where no subject was expressed” under the same “bare stem of the verb or tense; bare tense-stem” form and then calls this infinitive an “undefined tense-stem”, so it may well be that in Markirya, Tolkien meant that form (whether used as an infinitive, without an expressed subject, or strictly impersonally), allowing the masse akime aldar prefix to coincide: in the latter, the noun is indeed the object instead of the subject and the verb has an indefinite subject.

Another (closely related) interpretation is that a- marks the bare tense-stem as passive: “who shall see the clouds being gathered, the heavens being bent” and Tolkien directly glosses masse akime aldar “where are there trees (to be found)” beside akime “one finds”. On the prior page (124), we have nóre ea i a-esta Valinor “(there) is a land called Valinor” which appears to be literal “a land exists that one calls Valinor” with a note: or estaina “named” or essenen ‘by name’. On page 107, we have “The passive equivalent [of an aorist active participle] is ĭna. This is not [a] stem form used in strictly verbal expressions, since the passive was expressed by inflexion in Q… The distinction between te ye matina, it is eaten, and (a)·matis, it is eaten (one eats it) is that the second expression is the geniunely verbal one pointing to the action, the other is adjectival.” Perhaps the obsoleted form na- was a prefixed version of the passive participle suffix and the a, a-, a· prefix in QVS and Markirya indicates passive. These interpretations (prefixed indefinite pronoun or passive prefix) seem hard to distinguish in actual application: it seems to me that a verbal a-​phrase with an explicit passive subject (??a-mate sa Túronen “it was eaten by Túro, **one eats it by Túro”) would be needed, and that seems unlikely.

If a-​ indeed indicates an indefinite subject or passive voice, my structure above wouldn’t work, since the infinitive’s subject isn’t indefinite in most cases and the infinitive isn’t passive. In the QVS era, on page 118 one finds (no pun intended) a syntax description with good ol’ Túro for these cases (with updated pronouns): merinyes tule, merinyes karitas “I wish him to come, I wish him to do it”
and likewise with nouns:
mernes atarirya tule, kestanes atarirya karitas “he wished his father to come, he asked his father to do it”
but Tolkien explicitly states that with (full) 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” (emphasis original) and gives examples (again, lightly updated):
merin i Túro tule, merin i tulis, merin i karisses; mernelme i Túro kára sa, meruvalte i Túro kára sa, mernel i karnenyes “I wish Túro to come/that Túro comes, I wish him to come/that he comes, I wish him to make it/that he makes it; we wished that Túro was making it, they will wish that Túro is making it, you wished that I had made it”

Based on all this, I tentatively think that interpreting a- as an indefinite subject (or passive marker) is consistent with the attestations, but for most purposes, a better understood explicit indefinite pronoun is preferable unless further late attestations turn up. The only late ones that we have are in a poem that has some quite strange quirks (like seemingly variable adjective agreement in number and different active participles than elsewhere attested), and the mo examples seem more representative of typical things to say in Q. Some combination of both/either seems valid for use.

For the idiom above, I now suggest A tyare B kare C with A&I and A tyare i B kare C with clause:
tyaruvanyet karitas, *soikie tyare queni kesta nén; tyaruvan i kariltes, *soikie tyare i queni kestar nén
“I shall cause them to do it, thirst causes people to seek water; I shall cause that they do it, thirst causes that people seek water”

Bonus: soikie tyare akesta nén “thirst causes (people, animals, etc.) to seek water, thirst causes water to be sought”

Tamas Ferencz Jun 29, 2018 (09:32)

+Robert Reynolds OK I'll need some time and a few litres of coffee to digest that.

Robert Reynolds Jun 29, 2018 (12:04)

+Tamas Ferencz The TL;DR is that, based on lots of research in several places, a- may well be a (remainent of an) indefinite personal pronoun (like mo) or a passive voice marker related to -ina and thus generally not used in the above idiom. For such cases, A&I is correct and subordinate clauses are more common; both are plausible here.

James Coish Jun 29, 2018 (15:05)

Please explain A&I. ☺

Robert Reynolds Jun 29, 2018 (15:13)

+James Coish I have no formal linguistics training, but this article is what I used to understand it: - Accusative and infinitive - Wikipedia

Tamas Ferencz Jun 29, 2018 (15:18)

+James Coish easiest to illustrate with English expressions like "I want them to stop", where "them" could be seen as an accusative (actually an objective), and "to stop" is infinitive.

Robert Reynolds Jun 29, 2018 (15:22)

+James Coish Tolkien describes the Quenya version in PE22:118. Basically, it's very similar to English (and apparently nearly identical to Spanish).

James Coish Jun 29, 2018 (15:23)

Thank you...

James Coish Jun 29, 2018 (15:31)

I somehow missed that A&I meant accusative cum infinitive.

Robert Reynolds Jul 01, 2018 (14:10)

Update: in a Discord conversation, Alex explained that he interprets a- as a marker for middle (or perhaps mediopassive) voice. This fits the five attested examples and explains the variable English glosses. If it is so, my homebrewed example *soikie tyare akesta nén “thirst causes water to be sought, thirst causes (people, animals, etc.) to seek water" (the English translation is tricky, since E has no direct middle voice structure) is correct and the prefix would generally not be used in constructs like A tyare B kare C since it’s usually Q active voice. It would still be used in a some particular cases.

Tamas Ferencz Jul 02, 2018 (08:55)

+Robert Reynolds I wasn't familiar with the concept of mediopassive. Interesting, thanks for elaborating the point!

Robert Reynolds Jul 02, 2018 (13:31)

+Tamas Ferencz You're welcome. I wasn't, either. The concept makes sense good sense, though, and I wonder that more languages don't have it. Certainly, being present in Greek (and probably a few other languages), Tolkien would have been familiar with it. It also would explain why his glosses of these forms are so variable. The more we explore what he wrote, the more we learn. 🙂

Damien Bador Jul 18, 2018 (16:43)

Regarding the mediopassive explanation, I think this is all the more likely that we can see in PE 22, p. 93 n. 6-7 that Tolkien was thinking about "IE impersonals or passives" (or "middle and passive form", as he also puts it) while writing Q&CEVS and intended to include a set of "objective inflexions".

Interestingly, this is something which seemingly disappears entirely from QVS, although its draft version (PE 22, p. 100 n. 5) still mentions the "'passive' nature of Eldarin verbal inflexion".

Up to now, I had concluded that Tolkien had abandoned the idea of a passive verbal form in Quenya, but this discussion makes me think he didn't, although he never formalized it in his later verbal grammars.