Post UVUfNC4Kdvn

Evan A Jan 14, 2018 (14:27)

After your post on losing and lost, I wondered if the phrase for I lost x
could be "vanwa nin...x

Using the same structure as

Ecce nin...x
Mauya nin...x

In general these idioms seem to show a preference for the passive voice to express things....Anyone's further thoughts.

Ицхак Пензев Jan 14, 2018 (14:48)

Makes sense.

Robert Reynolds Jan 14, 2018 (15:18)

After thinking significantly about active/passive forms for that post, it feels to me like a naturally passive concept. Active Q constructs often went something like “the loser caused something to be lost”. If a loser (and I'm using the word non-pejoratively in this post) causes something to be lost, to me that often suggests or implies intent or at least negligence. For many losses, as the deaths of loved ones, financial/material possession misfortune, affliction by illness resulting in loss of functionality, arta, the losses are inflicted upon the loser: the loser isn't causing them; an often-unspecified someone or something else is. This feels naturally impersonal to me. In GL, this exact construct seems to be used with suppressed “to those” given in the translation: it seems likely that if she were directly referencing herself alone, the analogous wording would be vanwa nin Valimar (ná) [Valaron axannen] “lost to me is Valimar [by the law of the Valar]” with the causer, if specified, in instrumental.

Tamas Ferencz Jan 14, 2018 (15:48)

+Robert Reynolds well argued.

Paul Strack Jan 14, 2018 (15:51)

A couple minor technical points: vanwa is an adjective, not a verb. It’s verb form is auta- and vanwa is the (rather irregular) passive participle of this verb. While auta- can be used actively (yéni autar = “years pass”) I see no reason why it couldn’t be used passively: avánie nin Valimar = “Valimar is lost to me”, though I think the perfect tense would work better than the aorist or present.

vanwa nin Valimar (ná) is probably equally valid, but it isn’t the passive voice: it’s a copula.

However vanwa and auta are a fairly drastic form of “lost”. It doesn’t just mean “gone”, but “gone for good”. I don’t think you could use it for something like “I lost my keys” unless you were feeling especially dramatic: “lost to me are my keys like the passing of the ages!” :)

For this more ordinary sense of “to lose or mislay”, I’d favor using the same neologism I suggested for “forget”: laisa- based of G. laitha-

Tamas Ferencz Jan 14, 2018 (15:57)

+Paul Strack you have a point there. *laisa- would be a solution for those situations. Or, to make a calque of "mislay", perhaps *loipan- in analogy of napan-.

Evan A Jan 14, 2018 (16:06)

Excellent analysis Paul.

Paul Strack Jan 14, 2018 (16:17)

+Tamas Ferencz A calque based on loi- sounds promising, but pan- means “arrange” and loipan- feels like “misarrange, mess up” to me.

Once again I am lamenting the fact that we have no good verb for “to put, place, lay” since caita- “to lie (down)” is so clearly intransitive. I know we’ve discussed this before and I can’t remember what conclusion we came up with.

Right now I am tempted to assume caita- can be used both transitively and intransitively, like orta-. The verb kaita- meant “to place” in Early Quenya. So maybe loicaita- for “mislay”.

Björn Fromén Jan 14, 2018 (18:31)

In RGEO vanwa ná Rómello Valimar is given the literal translation "lost is [to one] from the East Valimar". I think this points to _vanwa nillo _ for 'I have lost' (rather than _vanwa nin _).

Tamas Ferencz Jan 14, 2018 (18:35)

+Björn Fromén to my lambetyáve vanwa nin means something like "he's lost to me, I don't want to know about him any more".

Paul Strack Jan 14, 2018 (18:36)

+Björn Fromén I think Rómello is meant to be “[those] from the West” or “(one) from the West” (RGEO/59). I don’t think that’s part of the passive construction. I think dative nin is more appropriate that ablative nillo. The omitted words in Galadriel’s Lament are [to those] or [to one], indicating dative.

Tamas Ferencz Jan 14, 2018 (18:49)

+Paul Strack I don't agree. I would find it very strange if Rómello would be part of an elliptical phrase because that would presume that the head of the phrase ('the one/ones') is missing and the modifier remains. I find that unlikely.

Tamas Ferencz Jan 14, 2018 (18:52)

+Paul Strack yes, we discussed 'to put' recently and I think we concluded that we either have to resort to panya- or assume that the unglossed caia- might mean 'lay, put down'.
If we had examples of /ta/ya verbs having inceptive forms we could coin *kaitu- on analogy of hamu- 'sit down'.

Paul Strack Jan 14, 2018 (18:53)

+Tamas Ferencz Hmm. OK, I see your point. But in this case Valimar was literally removed from the world, so perhaps the ablative is being used in that sense.

To me, the ablative, allative and locative cases have to do with motion and placement, and vanwa nillo would mean something more like “taken or removed away from me” rather than simply (and more abstractly) “lost for me”.

Robert Reynolds Jan 14, 2018 (19:04)

Perhaps this is a good opportunity to better understand passive voice in Q. In English, my understanding is that personal passive voice for transitive verbs is generally expressed like “a book has been written (by a writer)”; i.e. passive subject + (possibly conjugated) copula + past or perfect participle [with “has been = is having been”] (+ passive object, if that’s the right term). Impersonal passive voice couldn’t be used for this transitive, non-perception verb.

Such as I understand, in Q this can be expressed verbally, through inflection, by mo etékie parma “someone (indeterminate, unspecified) has written a book” (pattern from QVS); to my English background this seems like active voice with a dummy (more or less) subject except that it’s unclear to me how to include the doer if desired. Alternately, one can use a participial construct parma tekina (ná) “a book is written ~ [in this case] a book has been written” without an explicitly specified tense or perhaps QVS-suggested/implied parma tékienwa (ná) (*tekindonen) “a book is having been written = has been written (by a writer)” (with possible variant parma tékiéna (ná) if LVS-era passive participles follow the pattern of their active counterparts) or more direct but very English-looking parma tekina anaie “a book has been written”. Is this understanding more or less correct?

The Q impersonal pattern without any subject, dummy or otherwise, seems neat/clean to me when attested but I’m unclear if it can be used for examples like mine: is there anything like etékie parma “(someone) has written a book ~ a book has been written”? If so, can the doer be specified passively in it: something like etékie parma *tekindonen “a book has been written by a writer, (lit. (someone) has written a book by a writer)”?

In other words, is there a Q verbal/inflectional passive voice phrase like impersonal avánie nin Valimar (Valaron axannen) “Valimar has been (permanently) lost to me (by the law of the Valar) ~ I have lost Valimar (because of the Valarin ban)” for my example *tekindo etékie parma and, if so, does it allow one to optionally passively specify the doer *tekindo?

Tamas Ferencz Jan 14, 2018 (19:05)

+Paul Strack to me it's rather 'it's gone from me' which implies I did not have an active role in losing it. But I think speakers would understand both variants.

Evan A Jan 14, 2018 (19:15)

In terms of understanding what you are saying both work. Lost to me, or lost from me. Ancient Greek has genitive, dative and accusative endings and you can express the same idea using different constructions. The dative nin seems more simple and elegant to me, but the '-llo works as well.

Paul Strack Jan 14, 2018 (19:17)

+Robert Reynolds Hmm. Quenya has certain "passive verbs" which have no subject. Those verbs seem to fall into the category of "things without a subject", in which there is no "doer", such as "it rains" = ule (there is no "doer"). Quenya also seems to use this for the emergence of certain emotional states, such as "it pleases me" or "it urges me = I need to" (mauya-).

I think in cases where there is a doer, but that doer is unknown or unspecified, Quenya would use an impersonal subject like mo or ma. English often uses the passive voice to avoid specifying a subject in questions where this is awkward (e.g. to avoid placing blame): "mistakes were made". I think Quenya would also use an impersonal subject there.

Paul Strack Jan 14, 2018 (19:42)

+Robert Reynolds To add to my comments on the passive voice, etékie parma without a subject feels weird to me. It seems to imply “it was written a book” as if there was no one actually doing the writing. I think mo etékie parma “someone (unknown or unspecified) has written a book” would be more natural. This might also explain the similarity of the impersonal pronouns mo and ma to the question particle ma, in that they imply an unknown or unspecified subject.

In the case of avánie nin Valimar, here I think the implication would be that Valimar was lost to me through no one’s action, but rather through fate or happenstance. Of course, it’s an open question whether the verb auta- can be used passively in this way, so vanwa nin Valimar (ná) might be better.

Paul Strack Jan 14, 2018 (19:52)

Here is an illustrative example:

mo etécie parma Eldarino i cé cesya tyen = "someone has written a book about Elvish that might interest you"

This phrase might be used to suggest a book when you don't remember the author. The subordinate clause cesya tyen is a more genuine passive construction (though I suppose parma could be considered its subject).

Tamas Ferencz Jan 14, 2018 (19:59)

+Paul Strack I think parma definitely is the subject. If the clause started with ha then it would be more of a passive (although one could say in that case the whole main sentence is the subject)

Robert Reynolds Jan 14, 2018 (20:11)

+Paul Strack That makes sense to me: the passive verb concept helps to clarify how some verbs seem to variously yield active or passive meanings even in the same tense, as in the glosses of G. laitha- with active transitive and passive intransitive meanings: “to lose; (intr.) to be lost”. etékie parma also seems questionable to me for your reason and also that it could lead to confusion as to whether parma is an object or subject, especially with other particular words. Overall, though meanings are often expressed in E passive voice, it seems that Q prefers some form of active voice in most cases.

Robert Reynolds Jan 14, 2018 (20:37)

It’s also interesting to note how mo (and presumably likewise for ma) sometimes refers to a generic/arbitrary person (as in proverbs/sayings) and sometimes to a particular but unknown or unspecified person (as in these “passive” constructs).

Ицхак Пензев Jan 15, 2018 (13:23)

This is an amazing discussion! As a speaker of two languages that prefer impersonal constructions before passive ones, I appreciate your explanations about mo, and about ablative with vanwa. Not fully sure about the correct Q. form based on G. laith, but I like the idea, too.