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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:31 pm 
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narya wrote:
At dinner, sat at the same table with the guy who gave the incredibly bad dragon paper yesterday, and successfully stumbled around to find some positive things to say about it, much to his delight. Turns out he's a teacher, so I suppose he does this all the time. Nothing I might say would change his style, so why not add to the pleasantries of the evening and be complimentary? I said things like "you certainly covered a lot!"


I missed the first ten minutes of that Saturday paper (I went for a walk after lunch, then when I found myself partway up the ridge behind campus, couldn't bear to turn back before I crested the top) but my general impression was no impression, because I couldn't understand him: he read quickly in a mumbling monotone with his paper pressed close to his face.

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Food art is evidently a tradition at Mythopoeic conferences, and is usually a pun on the works of the guest of honor, in this case Ellen Kutchner. My favorite was two string beans arranged like the hands of a clock on a large square ravioli, entitled "Rhombus the Timer" to spoof the author's "Thomas the Rhymer".


My favorite, too. That was Hostetter, again. Speaking of which, I certainly defer to solicitr's opinions on the motivations of comments by Hostetter and the rest of the ELF contingent (that's "Elvish Linguistic Fellowship", by the way), as he knows much more about pretty much everything. I have only the slightest knowledge of their work, though I bought four volumes of Parma Eldalamberon to learn more.

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I quickly read Kutchner's bio in a book of hers I'd just bought, to see what other titles to spoof. Cutting out pairs of holes in several raviolis I presented her with food art to match her recent performance art: "A Feast of Masks", and received first a puzzled look, a query "ravioli with eye holes???" followed by a "Woo hoo! Twenty points for Laurie!" when she got it.


Excellent!

It was very nice meeting you.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:47 pm 
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I'm thrilled to hear the presentation went so well, Voronwë! :clap: :cheers: :D

Not surprised, though. :D ;) :D


Tom is correct that Tolkien intended a voiced 'th'-sound for 'dh' letter combinations.
Trilled 'r's are an invention of Melkor. :P ;)

*goes to ponder what to do with the vowel sound 'ae' in Maedhros*
(I think it's correct that it should be Maëdhros, Tolkien said somewhere that if there were multiple vowels you were meant to pronounce them all separately. Funnily, I've never done that for 'Maedhros', although I've always done it for 'Berhael'. I'm pleased the little discussion in here made me aware of that, and 'Maëdhros' sounds pretty cool, too. :D )

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:50 pm 
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Can you point me to where JRRT referred to the 1958 "second phase" fuller narrative as "abortive"?


'Abortive' is my word, but I meant no more by it than 'unfinished' or 'abandoned', which it clearly was. What JRRT actually wrote on the cover sheet was
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This a specimen of the new revised and enlarged (final?) form and so is not entirely consistent with the remainder


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:02 am 
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truehobbit wrote:
Trilled 'r's are an invention of Melkor. :P ;)

I suppose you'd prefer uvular Rs? :P

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:33 am 
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N.E. Brigand wrote:
I certainly defer to solicitr's opinions on the motivations of comments by Hostetter and the rest of the ELF contingent


As do I. I have no previous experience with them at all (except by reputation, particularly Hostetter's).

solicitr wrote:
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Can you point me to where JRRT referred to the 1958 "second phase" fuller narrative as "abortive"?


'Abortive' is my word, but I meant no more by it than 'unfinished' or 'abandoned', which it clearly was. What JRRT actually wrote on the cover sheet was
Quote:
This a specimen of the new revised and enlarged (final?) form and so is not entirely consistent with the remainder


Yes, that is the comment that I was thinking of. To me that is a pretty clear indication that he would have wanted it included, given his indication that it was the "final" form. To the extent that "unfinished" or "abandoned" was the benchmark for including material, none of the work should have appeared, because the whole thing was pretty much "unfinished".

truehobbit wrote:
Tolkien said somewhere that if there were multiple vowels you were meant to pronounce them all separately


But he also said that "ae" should be pronounced the same way as "ai", and that "ai" has the sound of the English "eye".

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Trilled 'r's are an invention of Melkor


I didn't even try to trill my 'r's. I know my limits. :P

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:46 am 
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Oh, I certainly wouldn't say 'not included'; and of course a lot of it ultimately was, however much abridged. I think the key words are " new revised and enlarged form", which suggests, not without reason, that its focus and pacing are not the same as the remainder. CRT was having to deal with the spaciousness of the "Fëanor chapters" set into the more laconic 1951 revision; and could look over the horizon to the final chapters, necessarily to be derived from the very abbreviated Quenta Noldorinwa.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:02 pm 
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Old_Tom_Bombadil wrote:

I suppose you'd prefer uvular Rs? :P


That's obviously what Eru intended. :P

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But he also said that "ae" should be pronounced the same way as "ai", and that "ai" has the sound of the English "eye".


I think that if you pronounce 'ai' as two seperate letters and 'ae' as two separate letters, it both comes out sounding very close to English 'eye', if you speak quickly. (Though I should probably add that the sound of the 'a' in both those combinations is not the typical English/American 'a'-sound, but the sound you produce at the very beginning of the word 'eye'. *loves Tolkien for using German vowel sounds to such a large degree* :P ;) )

I sometimes think I should read more Tolkien out loud to myself. I always have an idea what his names should sound like, but if I actually try to say them out loud, it feels really awkward.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:49 pm 
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truehobbit wrote:
Old_Tom_Bombadil wrote:

I suppose you'd prefer uvular Rs? :P


That's obviously what Eru intended. :P

You wouldn't happen to have any bias in this regard would you? ;)

Correct me if my wrong, but aren't Rs trilled when singingin German? (Of course they are not trilled with the same gusto as when sings in Italian.)

truehobbit wrote:
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But he also said that "ae" should be pronounced the same way as "ai", and that "ai" has the sound of the English "eye".


I think that if you pronounce 'ai' as two seperate letters and 'ae' as two separate letters, it both comes out sounding very close to English 'eye', if you speak quickly.

That was my thought exactly, i.e., the difference between AI (pronounced AH-EE) and AE (pronounced AH-EH) would likely be pretty subtle among most speakers.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:58 pm 
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I was listening to some vocal music sung in English the other day, and found myself deeply annoyed by the flipped and trilled "R"s. We don't speak that way in English, in any of its native forms; why must we sing that way? The effect was extremely strange and distancing.

I find it strange in German, too, for a similar reason.

But then, (a) I'm not a singer and (b) I couldn't trill an R if you held a gun to my head. (My kids all speak Spanish, and they tease me about this.)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:27 pm 
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Correct me if my wrong, but aren't Rs trilled when singingin German? (Of course they are not trilled with the same gusto as when sings in Italian.)


The German-language rock group Rammstein rolls their r's when they sing.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:33 pm 
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Well, Prim, there's a good reason which sometimes morphs into a bad reason. The good reason is that a uvular R closes the throat, "swallowing" the tone (without the articulation or speed of a back stop like K or G).

The bad reason is that some (few) teachers and directors think that their charges should 'sound Italianate,' which can lead to some pretty absurd results singing Gershwin or Bernstein!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:58 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
I was listening to some vocal music sung in English the other day, and found myself deeply annoyed by the flipped and trilled "R"s.

I may be mistaken, but has been my observation for many years that this is a practice in the UK moreso than the US. My guess is that it is just one of those performance practices that developed somewhere in time and has been perpetuated ever since.

solicitr wrote:
The bad reason is that some (few) teachers and directors think that their charges should 'sound Italianate,' which can lead to some pretty absurd results singing Gershwin or Bernstein!

This is most likely the explanation for the performance practice mentioned above.

solicitr wrote:
The good reason is that a uvular R closes the throat, "swallowing" the tone (without the articulation or speed of a back stop like K or G).

Bingo! :D

I'm surprised that so many have difficulty trilling Rs. I suppose that we should arrange for Professor Henry Higgins to provide you all with a few lessons. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:29 pm 
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Imho, there is nothing subtle about the difference between AI and AE if they are pronounced correctly in Sindarin. It's true there is a note about AE and OE being pronounced as AI and OI, but I have always understood that it is intended as an "approximation" to the proper pronunciation, since those two diphthongs do not occur in the English language.

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Last edited by Breogán on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:59 am 
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solicitr wrote:
Oh, I certainly wouldn't say 'not included'; and of course a lot of it ultimately was, however much abridged. I think the key words are " new revised and enlarged form", which suggests, not without reason, that its focus and pacing are not the same as the remainder. CRT was having to deal with the spaciousness of the "Fëanor chapters" set into the more laconic 1951 revision; and could look over the horizon to the final chapters, necessarily to be derived from the very abbreviated Quenta Noldorinwa.


Only the last two chapters come mostly from the Quenta Noldorinwa (chapter 22 has some language from that source, but most of it is editorial invention, as Christopher admits). And the Tuor chapter (the second to last) has a very, very brief synopsis of the extended portion of his coming to Gondolin; much too brief in my opinion, particularly since this is the third of the Great Tales.

As for including the "spaciousness" of the "Fëanor chapters" the two chapters that are the most truncated are chapters 6 (with the removal of most of Míriel's story) and 8 (with the reduction in Ungoliant's story). Those are two particularly short chapters, as published (chapter 6 has 14 paragraphs and chapter 8 has 17). Even if the full extended narratives in both chapters had been included in full, these chapters still would not have been as long or as detailed as some of the other earlier chapters (for instance Chapter 3 has 35 paragraphs and Chapter 9 has 50. The argument that the extended narrative would have contrasted in scope too much with the material around it simply doesn't hold up under objective analysis. And this is highly important material, as Tolkien himself indicated.

Breogán wrote:
Imho, there is nothing subtle about the difference between AI and AE if they are pronounced correctly in Sindarin or Quenya. It's true there is a note about AE and OE being pronounced as AI and OI, but I have always understood that it is intended as an "approximation" to the proper pronunciation, since those two diphthongs do not occur in the English language.


Bre, for a language expert like you that might be true. For myself, I'm doing well if I can at least approximate the right sounds. :oops:

And by the way, your Athrabeth painting looked stupendously lovely on the slide. Thank you so much for letting me use it. It really is my favorite of all of the artwork that I used (and that is really saying something).

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:46 pm 
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Old_Tom_Bombadil wrote:
truehobbit wrote:
Old_Tom_Bombadil wrote:

I suppose you'd prefer uvular Rs? :P


That's obviously what Eru intended. :P

You wouldn't happen to have any bias in this regard would you? ;)


Moi? :whistle: :P

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Correct me if my wrong, but aren't Rs trilled when singingin German? (Of course they are not trilled with the same gusto as when sings in Italian.)


Yes, and it's both for clarity of pronunciation as, like solicitr said, to keep the sound frontal.
Also the reason for trilling the 'r's when singing English.
I'd agree, though, that when it's done too conspicuously it sounds strange.

Quote:
The German-language rock group Rammstein rolls their r's when they sing.


They are probably Bavarian - Bavarian dialect trills the 'r's, too.
(As I somewhat doubt that it's due to singing expertise in their case. ;) )

Quote:
It's true there is a note about AE and OE being pronounced as AI and OI, but I have always understood that it is intended as an "approximation" to the proper pronunciation, since those two diphthongs do not occur in the English language.


Yes, that's what I meant - if spoken quickly, AE is going to sound a lot like AI, so I guess Tolkien thought it was close enough. As Tom said, in many cases it would be a subtle difference only. I think it depends on how much effort one makes to really seperate the sounds from each other.

I wonder if the International Phonetic Alphabet hadn't been developed in Tolkien's time or whether he didn't know it. As a linguist this working with approximations and analogues/comparisons must have been highly unsatisfactory - at least, it is for my taste.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:09 pm 
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Voronwë

I am not a language expert, but thanks for the compliment anyway :)
Also, I'm delighted to know you like my work that much, it's really encouraging :hug:

THobbit,

IIRC, the IPA was created towards the end of the 19th century (can't remember the exact date though) in France by a group of French language teachers. I believe they based their script on a previous one developed for the English language. That means the IPA was definitely around by the time Tolkien began teaching and devising his languages :)

I don't know why he didn't make use of it to indicate the correct pronunciation of the elven tongues, but I can't believe he was not aware of the existence of the IPA - perhaps he was at odds with it... or he just knew that most people wouldn't know how to interpret it correctly :(
Most people I know haven't got a clue on what the IPA is. I was lucky enough to become familiar with the IPA back in school, when I was about 10, and we were just starting learning a second language. It was never part of the programme, but our teacher thought it was a good learning tool that would definitely help us in the years to come. She was right :)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:47 pm 
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As for including the "spaciousness" of the "Fëanor chapters" the two chapters that are the most truncated are chapters 6 (with the removal of most of Míriel's story) and 8 (with the reduction in Ungoliant's story). Those are two particularly short chapters, as published (chapter 6 has 14 paragraphs and chapter 8 has 17). Even if the full extended narratives in both chapters had been included in full, these chapters still would not have been as long or as detailed as some of the other earlier chapters


By 'spaciousness' I'm not referring to chapter-divisions. It's rather the degree of narrative fullness and close focus which stands out here, and sits ill in conjuction with the AAm/LQ1 material. I'm not entirely in agreement with the severity of the abridgment, but I can understand why CT did it. (I do not however understand why he rejected the '58 version of the death of the Trees). And as you know we've agreed to disagree over removing Míriel's 'court case': I think it would have stopped the narrative (and most readers) dead in its tracks. Far better simply to have included 'Laws & Customs' as an appendix.

(Hmmmm- did his publishers give him a maximum numer of pages?)

I do agree with you on the Fall of Gondolin: I felt at my first reading, and still do, that after all the buildup which Gondolin had been getting (extending back to the Hobbit), that the very brief QN account of its fall was an abrupt anticlimax and very disappointing. This was after all the greatest catastrophe of the Elder Days, save perhaps Nirnaeth Arnoediad: IMO a serious breakdown in 'scale and pacing.' This is a case where CT should have dusted off the old Tale, even paraphrased and abridged (and the enormous numbers of inconsistencies smoothed over), with the Long Tuor scaled down to five or six pages rather than two.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:14 pm 
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Breogán wrote:
That means the IPA was definitely around by the time Tolkien began teaching and devising his languages :)

My guess is that the IPA was not widely used. Even today most (all?) American English dictionaries do not use IPA. The only reason I am acquainted with it is that my voice instructor used it in the diction for singing class she taught at the university.

truehobbit wrote:
Old_Tom_Bombadil wrote:
truehobbit wrote:
Old_Tom_Bombadil wrote:

I suppose you'd prefer uvular Rs? :P


That's obviously what Eru intended. :P

You wouldn't happen to have any bias in this regard would you? ;)


Moi? :whistle: :P

Don't you mean "Mich?" :D

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:27 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
By 'spaciousness' I'm not referring to chapter-divisions. It's rather the degree of narrative fullness and close focus which stands out here, and sits ill in conjuction with the AAm/LQ1 material. I'm not entirely in agreement with the severity of the abridgment, but I can understand why CT did it. (I do not however understand why he rejected the '58 version of the death of the Trees).


Understood. But look at the chapter Of the Coming of the Elves. It is surely as full and closely focused as the material that Christopher left out.

I'm glad to hear that you agree about the material regarding the death of the Trees.

Quote:
And as you know we've agreed to disagree over removing Míriel's 'court case': I think it would have stopped the narrative (and most readers) dead in its tracks. Far better simply to have included 'Laws & Customs' as an appendix.


Yes, we definitely have a different perspective about that one. Although I would probably have been satisfied if Laws & Customs had been included as an appendix.

Quote:
(Hmmmm- did his publishers give him a maximum numer of pages?)


That was the very first question that was asked at my presentation. I do suspect that there was tremendous pressure from the publisher to get something finished, and I wouldn't be surprised if they insisted that he stay within certain limits.

On the other hand, think about the extra profits they could have made if he had released a longer work in two or three separate volumes, like LOTR was?

Quote:
I do agree with you on the Fall of Gondolin: I felt at my first reading, and still do, that after all the buildup which Gondolin had been getting (extending back to the Hobbit), that the very brief QN account of its fall was an abrupt anticlimax and very disappointing. This was after all the greatest catastrophe of the Elder Days, save perhaps Nirnaeth Arnoediad: IMO a serious breakdown in 'scale and pacing.' This is a case where CT should have dusted off the old Tale, even paraphrased and abridged (and the enormous numbers of inconsistencies smoothed over), with the Long Tuor scaled down to five or six pages rather than two.


I think we are pretty much in accord about this one. (I'll have to give this some more thought, as I am almost up to this chapter in my revisions of my manuscript, and I do think that I need to do a better job of making this point.)

Breogán wrote:
I am not a language expert, but thanks for the compliment anyway


Compared to me you certainly are. I have read some of your posts at the language forum at TORC, and was very favorably impressed.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:33 pm 
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I wonder if the publishers had doubts about the material that made them unwilling to let the book be too long (=expensive both to publish and to purchase) or to consider a multivolume publication. LotR is one thing; the Sil is another. From my observations those who are passionate about the Sil are very passionate indeed, but they're also a subset of those who are passionate about LotR. Given how many devoted readers of LotR I know who have been unable even to finish the Sil :oops: , I wonder if there might not have been a very large dropoff between Volumes 1 and 2 of a multi-volume set.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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