Here’s the transcript of Elvish lesson #3
*** Log file opened: 7/9/2003
[Gorlab] Elvish are real languages
[Gorlab] They have a comprehensive structure…meaning…
[Gorlab] Really they are best termed a simulated language…
[Gorlab] A lesson in linguistics and code…
[Gorlab] More than some “practical” speech of an existing language in the primary world…
[Gorlab] It may be odd when you think about it,
[Gorlab] but Tolkien created his languages first and then created stories based on it…
[Gorlab] not the other way around.
[Gorlab] So as a work of art, the elvish languages have an absolute validity towards studying them…
[Gorlab] as one would study a piece of music by composers…
[Gorlab] Hello everyone!
[Gorlab] And welcome to another zany installment of Elvish 101
[Gorlab] Tonight’s episode: The Elvish Noun!
[Gorlab] Tonight Kris Nelson, (as Gorlab) and Paul Dunne and Jeff Sherrill (as Injvstice_Annatar) will conduct tonight’s chat…
[Gorlab] We are zoning in on the Noun tonight.
[Gorlab] Nouns, of course, are Person, Place, or thing….
[Gorlab] Idea, Animal, Mineral, or Vegetable…
[PippinSkywalker] I wonder what category I fit into
[inJvstice_Annatar] Nouns operate by very different systems in Sindarin vs. Quenya
[neitmol] probably idea
[Gorlab] The source for most Nouns can be found in the “Etymologies”
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Quenya they are heavily inflected, whereas in Sindarin there is very little inflection
[Gorlab] Quenya nouns are full of affixes…
[inJvstice_Annatar] btw, the Ardalambion site is also a good source for noun lists
[inJvstice_Annatar] go ahead Gorlab
[Gorlab] These are letters or groups of letters inserted into different places in a word
[Gorlab] pre-fix = before the word
[Gorlab] in-fix = in the middle of a word
[Gorlab] suf-fix = at the end of the word
[Gorlab] Quenya nouns are “inflected” by “case” forms…
[inJvstice_Annatar] and by number
[Gorlab] There are 10 cases that have different endings attached….
[inJvstice_Annatar] there are 8-9 cases…
[inJvstice_Annatar] or 10
[Gorlab] with one mystery case but that’s not important right now…
[Gorlab] The UN-inflected form of the noun is the noun itself…
[Gorlab] The Nominative form
[lotr_chick] is Sindarin difficult to learn?
[Gorlab] “house” is a noun
[Gorlab] Not too difficult, no….
[PippinSkywalker] harder or easier than Quenya?
[inJvstice_Annatar] yes because of the phonological changes
[Gorlab] None of the Elvish languages are when you get used to the rules…
[inJvstice_Annatar] basically in Sindarin phonological changes denote a change from singular to plural
[inJvstice_Annatar] however, Sindarin does not use case ending, per se
[Gorlab] It seems like a lot of information, but really it is simply a reorganization of the way information is presented within a language…
[inJvstice_Annatar] noun relationships depend on word order and prepositions
[neitmol] like Spanish…
[Gorlab] you see, what the case endings actually are, are the prepositions of English…
[Gorlab] We would say “book”
[Gorlab] In Quenya, it is “parma”
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Quenya these relationships are determined by case, such as the Nominative, to return Gorlab to the subject
[Gorlab] In English, I would say “on the book”
[Gorlab] But Quenya only has one word for it:
[Ide] no more complicated than German, really.
[neitmol] how would you say that?]
[Maeglin_Lomion] Or Latin
[inJvstice_Annatar] That is an example of the Locative case
[Gorlab] the “-sse” ending is the Locative case…
[lotr_chick] what part of parmasse is book then
[inJvstice_Annatar] which function for in and on
[neitmol] so this is Quenya
[Gorlab] Yes, Quenya grammar is similar to Latin
[inJvstice_Annatar] -sse- would then be the Locative affix
[Gorlab] Sindarin grammar is similar to Welsh
[inJvstice_Annatar] though Quenya actually cases than Latin
[inJvstice_Annatar] or about as many
[inJvstice_Annatar] Actually Sindarin mutation (phonological) is like Welsh
[neitmol] So what would be more functional of the two forms of Elvish?
[Gorlab] Either and Niether…
[inJvstice_Annatar] Quenya is more ‘ready made’
[inJvstice_Annatar] but Sindarin is what you get in LOTR
[lotr_chick] so they are just as hard to learn?
[Gorlab] Niether language can be spoken in complete fluency…
[Gorlab] Even Tolkien was not a native speaker…
[neitmol] except by the elves of course
[inJvstice_Annatar] lotr_chick, the difficulty is up to you
[inJvstice_Annatar] there are generally more and easier to understand means to learn Quenya
[neitmol] if one has a grasp of both forms
[neitmol] one can actually…figure it out
[inJvstice_Annatar] however, you get more Canonical Sindarin
[neitmol] from both forms
[Gorlab] But you CAN learn to read, write, and write in Tengwar with a certain degree of fluency…
[inJvstice_Annatar] back to the noun, We’ve mentioned the Nominative and Locative case
[neitmol] let us move back to nouns then
[inJvstice_Annatar] We’ll get to Tenqwar another day
[Gorlab] Yes, indeed…the Dative case…
[Gorlab] is the ending (or suffix) “-n”
[Gorlab] it functions as the prepositions “for” or “to”
[inJvstice_Annatar] such as
[inJvstice_Annatar] in English that would be the ‘indirect object’
[Gorlab] ni = “me”
[Gorlab] nin ” “for me”
[neitmol] or “to me” ?
[Gorlab] (Perhaps the Knights of Ni were shouting “me me me” the whole time?)
[inJvstice_Annatar] *gives neitmol a star*
[lotr_chick] so is the n for?
[Maeglin_Lomion] 🙂 Gorlab
[neitmol] to indicate whether the subject is for or to something…
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Sindarin the noun is made Dative by place by placing it directly after the subject
[inJvstice_Annatar] an example Onen i-Estel Edain
[inJvstice_Annatar] in this case ‘Edain’ is the indirect object
[inJvstice_Annatar] the direct object is i-Estel
[inJvstice_Annatar] So to correct my earlier example you have Onen (I gave), i-Estel (the hope), Edain (to the Dunedain)
[Maeglin_Lomion] What is the nominative form of Edain?
[Maeglin_Lomion] I was wondering that too, never seen Edai used.
[neitmol] I remember in the extended edition of Fellowship
[neitmol] Edai was used
[neitmol] by Haldir
[neitmol] in a flet
[neitmol] mentioning Aragorn of the Edai
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Sindarin Edan is singular, Edain is plural
[inJvstice_Annatar] sorry Adan, not Edan
[Maeglin_Lomion] Now, that’s confusing! 🙂
[Gorlab] Which corresponds to Atan in Quenya
[Gorlab] Atani plural
[Maeglin_Lomion] Ni, nin – Adan, Edain?
[Maeglin_Lomion] Quenya nouns seem easier to learn.
[inJvstice_Annatar] that is an example of plural mutation in Sindarin
[inJvstice_Annatar] Maeglin, Quenya sentance structure is harder to learn
[inJvstice_Annatar] Since the case causes all sorts of things we do not do in English
[Gorlab] Speak like Yoda you will if Quenya learn you must…
[Gorlab] the Ablative case…
[Maeglin_Lomion] Ahhh…. now that’s not difficult. Also similar to Latin or German sentence structure. OK, thanks.
[Gorlab] has the ending “-llo”
[Gorlab] and means “from out of”
[Gorlab] “from out of a grey-land”
[Maeglin_Lomion] Sounds Italian
[inJvstice_Annatar] it does a bit
[Gorlab] The stress and phonology IS a bit Italian sounding…
[inJvstice_Annatar] sin dah NOR yellow
[neitmol] So this is still Sindarin?
[Gorlab] sinda = grey
[Gorlab] norie = “country”
[Gorlab] -llo = “out of”
[inJvstice_Annatar] you’ll find this example in “Namarie” in FOTR
[inJvstice_Annatar] any questions here?
[Maeglin_Lomion] So “Singollo” (Thingol) would be “of the grey cloak?”
[inJvstice_Annatar] it is short of Sindacollo
[inJvstice_Annatar] oops that is short FOR Sindacollo
[Maeglin_Lomion] So there are a lot of elisions and mutations here…?
[Gorlab] Got your ablative mixed up with your dative…:)
[inJvstice_Annatar] yes very much so
[Gorlab] A few elisions in Quenya…
[inJvstice_Annatar] that can bring us to Dative case
[Gorlab] Sindarin has most of the softening characteristics of mutation..
[Gorlab] did Dative first…
[Gorlab] ni = “I”
[Gorlab] nin = “for me”
[Gorlab] Ladies and Gentleman…the Dative…
[inJvstice_Annatar] lets move on to Genitive
[Gorlab] Plural forms of the noun are added on afterwards…
[Gorlab] ah..Genetive case…
[Gorlab] has the ending “-o”
[inJvstice_Annatar] the Genitive case reflects possession or more precisely being of someone or thing
[Gorlab] and generally seems to correspond with ” ‘s “
[inJvstice_Annatar] in English
[PippinSkywalker] I though ni was me?
[Gorlab] ni changes to “me” in the Dative…
[PippinSkywalker] oh ok
[inJvstice_Annatar] thus Roma or “horn”
[Gorlab] “the book’s red words” in English…
[inJvstice_Annatar] the horn of Gondor
[Gorlab] becomes “i parmo carne quettar” in Quenya…
[inJvstice_Annatar] “Romo Gondor”
[inJvstice_Annatar] of “I romo Gondor”
[neitmol] so ni turns to no…
[Gorlab] no = ” being’s”
[neitmol] or “one’s”?
[inJvstice_Annatar] or “its”
[inJvstice_Annatar] however Sindarin does this job without cases
[Gorlab] Yes, although there are different endings for possessive pronouns…
[inJvstice_Annatar] for example, (from FOTR) Ennyn Durin Aran Moria
[inJvstice_Annatar] “Doors of Durin, King of Moria”
[inJvstice_Annatar] in this case Durin and Moria are genitive, but they take no case
[inJvstice_Annatar] word order is enough to reflect possession
[Maeglin_Lomion] So proper names don’t change for case?
[inJvstice_Annatar] in Quenya yes, in this case of Sindarin no
[Maeglin_Lomion] How would a person’s name change in Quenya…. example?
[inJvstice_Annatar] again from Namarie
[inJvstice_Annatar] “Vardo tellumar”
[inJvstice_Annatar] “somes of Varda”
[Maeglin_Lomion] Meaning “Varda’s?”
[inJvstice_Annatar] “domes of Varda
[Maeglin_Lomion] Thank you.
[Gorlab] Speaking of the Namarie poem…
[Gorlab] We have a phrase that everyone here…
[Gorlab] should be able to use in a bar or other eating establishment…
[Gorlab] “Si man i yulma nin enquantuva”
[Gorlab] “Who now shall refill the cup for me?”
[inJvstice_Annatar] “yulma” is an interesting stem
[Gorlab] it is the nominative form of the noun “cup”
[Gorlab] a similar verb derivation….
[inJvstice_Annatar] because as a verb it indicates more than simple ingestion of liquid…
[inJvstice_Annatar] but rather the kind of imbibement associated with carousing
[PippinSkywalker] was the cup line Sindarin?
[Gorlab] Namarie is a poem in Quenya…
[Gorlab] because Galadriel was the last of the Noldorin exiles to stay in Middle Earth…
[Gorlab] which is why her people spoke Sindarin…
[inJvstice_Annatar] perhaps they said it on Gondolin after a hard days work
[Gorlab] but she still knew the speech of the blessed land of light..
[Gorlab] yulme is the verb “to drink”
[Gorlab] but specifically to drink with carousal in mind..
[Gorlab] simply to ingest fluid is “sucin”
[Maeglin_Lomion] Connotative 😉
[Gorlab] exactly, its connotation is different!
[inJvstice_Annatar] Remember, “c” is “k”
[Gorlab] So, at this point I must wish you a toast to the fair people of Elvish 101…thank you so much for coming…..
[Maeglin_Lomion] Tolkien had a sense of humor 🙂
[inJvstice_Annatar] he did indeed, the stem for cat is apparently “miauo”
[Gorlab] we will have another exciting installation of Tolkien’s humorous in-jokes in one week’s time…
[Gorlab] doves are called “cu”
[Maeglin_Lomion] Thanks for the lessons, I’m logging these chats for person reference.
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[jincey] : )
[inJvstice_Annatar] in the meantime,, look up the derivation for Smaug, not Elvish, but funny, Namarie
[Maeglin_Lomion] Smog? Dragon-breath? 😉
[inJvstice_Annatar] Goodnight, “Mara Lomme”
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jincey asks how are y’all liking these lessons?
[Maeglin_Lomion] Love ’em! Thanks for bringing these guys to us, jinc.
[PippinSkywalker] great grammar by Elvish! LOL
[jincey] i wish y’all could see them in person
[jincey] they are great : )
[jincey] they do sessions at Dragon*Con