Post fCBGUb5CiXG

Fiona Jallings May 14, 2013 (04:09)

Someone stop me - I'm beginning to think that Sindarin a perfect and imperfect past tense system... based on the given conjugations of 3 words: Carpha-, Dag-, and Sav-.

Fiona Jallings May 14, 2013 (04:11)

It would explain some of the exceptions, and why there seems to be 2 different systems for conjugating I-verbs.

Fiona Jallings May 14, 2013 (04:12)

and I really need to be working on homework right now...

Tamas Ferencz May 14, 2013 (11:23)

+Fiona Jallings
interesting idea, care to elaborate? (If you have finished your homework:)

Roman Rausch May 14, 2013 (21:28)

PE17:93 says that past mennē- and perfect emēnie blended into one form emēnē in Sindarin (presumably resulting in *evin which is not cited). Vowel ablaut and nasal infixion are past tense markers, the augment is a marker of the perfect, and both appear at the same time for most Sindarin verbs.

Fiona Jallings May 14, 2013 (21:57)

In CE there were at least 3 past tense markers:

1. vowel reduplication
2. root-vowel lengthening
3. nasal suffix.

At one point there must have been 2 different past tenses, like in Quenya, because there are 2 different conjugation systems - one using 1 & 2, the other using 1 & 3. In Quenya, they are imperfect past, using 3 only, and perfect past, using 1 & 2.

In later (post-combo) Sindarin, the divide between the two seems to be vaguely phonetically based. Verb roots ending in N, L, R, V (sometimes) and W using 1 & 2, and B, V (sometimes), D, DH, and G using 1 & 3.

Then we have an example of using 1 only: adhag.

Is it possible that another past tense grew in the void left by the combining of the others?

Roman Rausch May 27, 2013 (00:44)

Quenya also has past tenses with vowel lengthening only, see káre 'made' (LR:72), túle 'came' (LR:47), or váne 'left' (WJ:366). The form avánie actually has all the three patterns at once.

While past and perfect merged in Sindarin, it is conceivable that a new form might have developed - for example from a paraphrasic construction like the Indo-European have/be-perfect, but I don't see any evidence for that. After all, there is no requirement to have a perfect, so there is no real void.

Btw, the approaching of past and perfect is also mentioned for Quenya in WJ:366, and it seems that you can see it in Namárie, where ortane is used instead of a perfect form. One may also compare it with colloquial German, for example, where the perfect form is in the process of replacing the past form as the new past tense for most verbs.