Post iFu8DLV2iSb

Hjalmar Holm Jul 14, 2016 (00:17)

I was translating some quotes from the Jackson films, and faltered when approaching simple questions. I first thought of "Legolas, ma chenir i chin edhellen lîn?", since the "man" is clearly a pronoun in ackusative, but even though it feels right, I feel quite uncertain. For instance, "man" should be lenited since it's a direct object, but that doesn't agree with "man agorech?" Also, the nasal mutation seems coherent with ideas I first heard from Fiona Jellings, but that was some while ago. What do you think, my learned friends? And did I get you right, Fiona?

Fiona Jallings Jul 14, 2016 (00:59)

We have so little to work with as far as question - grammar goes. For example, would "man" be mutated, or is it considered to be also in the Vocative case, and therefore also being not mutated? Would it be brought to the beginning of the sentence? Is "man" considered an Oblique pronoun? Can it be used like demonstrative pronouns, and attached to a noun? So, you have a LOT of lee-way because we just have one example that's from late Noldorin, IIRC. Another frustrating gap in our Neo-Sindarin knowledge.

For "eyes" I'd go with "hent" which means "pair of eyes" instead.

I'd put the subject before the verb, because this verb is transitive.

Personally, I'd go with "Man i chent lîn cenir?" (if you think that the interrogative pronoun would be pulled to the front of the sentence) or "I chent lîn ma chenir?"

Lőrinczi Gábor Jul 14, 2016 (10:27)

I agree with Fiona, I would use the dual form hent, as well, but not with the attributive edhellen, because it literally means "of the elves". And we're talking about Legolas' own eyes, not about the ones borrowed from other elves. :D

Therefore I would rather go with *elchent (< el(l)- + hent), so Legolas, man in elchent lín cenir? or maybe Legolas, man i elchent lín cên?. (I'm not fully convinced that dual nouns in S should be considered as plurals, at least archaically.)

Btw, I wouldn't lenite man or use nasal mutation after it.

Hjalmar Holm Jul 14, 2016 (17:07)

Since the root is MA, it seems reasonable that man is the nominative, and other pronouns have their rules, but who knows if man behaves as such.

Why not mutate it or use nasal mutation after? Because since we don't know anyway, let's not mutate?

Lőrinczi Gábor Jul 14, 2016 (20:10)

+Hjalmar Holm Look, it's quite simple. Is there any evidence that an interrogative pronoun should be lenited? Nope. Is there any evidence that a verb immediately following an interrogative pronoun should be mutated? Nope.

Furthermore, there are many examples when we expect that a mutation will occur, and then we face the lack of it (e.g., i glinn hen, Ered Mithrin, bo Ceven, sui mín i gohenam, etc.).

So, I personally follow a simple rule. It's safer not to use mutations when there is no attested example than to mutate words indiscriminately just because we have the feeling that a mutation should occur in that situation.

Fiona Jallings Jul 14, 2016 (21:56)

I say that we don't have evidence either way, so do as you like and we will hopefully find out with later publications just how we got it all wrong.