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Muta cum liquida in JRRT (was "Double stressed" words)

From:Pavel Iosad <edricson@...>
Date:Friday, August 29, 2003, 11:19

John wrote:
> > Yes, but there is no _muta cum liquida_ rule. > > More accurately, Tolkien didn't mention one, but he may have taken > the point for granted (viz. that a stop followed by l/r is part of the > onset of the following syllable and does not by itself make > the previous syllable heavy).
You've nailed the problem. In fact, I have published an article in the journal of St Petersburg's Tolkien Society where I argue exactly for this - that Sindarin had a _muta cum liquida_ rule. (But we were speaking of Quenya, and it can't have anything of the like, since _muta cum liquida_ requires complex onsets, and these are an absolute no-no)
> However, the poem in Boromir's dream beginning "Seek for the > Sword that was broken / In Imladris it dwells" strongly suggests > that "Imladris" had antepenultimate stress.
Yes, I noted that as well. However, evidence from verse can be quite confusing. Thus, in _The Lay of Leithian_, _Nargothrond_ seems to be regularly stressed on the first and third syllables rather than on the second one as App. E suggests. But cf. verses 2107-2110: Come, tell me true, O Morgoth's thralls, what then in Elfinesse befalls? What of Nargothrond? Who reigneth there? Into that realm did your feet dare? On the other hand, Gandalf's opening spell does suggest that _thr_ yields a closed syllable: Annon edhellen, edro hi ammen - x x - x - x x - x Fennas nogothrim, lasto beth lammen - x x - x - x - - x _nògothrim_ / _nògothrìm_ wouldn't scan there. The stress in _Esgalduin_ can be seen (in the Leithian) both according to App. E as in verse 874: She stood above Esgalduin's shore x - x - x - x - or contrary to it, as just a few verses apart, verse 861 Murmurless Esgalduin doth flow x - x - x - x - There again, _Esgalduin_ can , in accordance with _ui_ being a long diphthong, occupy four beats, and then the stress is again not-quite-AppE, e. g. verse 61: Esgalduin that fairies call x - x - x - x - There are anumber of examples in verse where elvish words have the 'wrong stress' in order to scan and rhyme: of Feanor's sons, who takes or steals or finding keeps the Silmarils (1640-1) But there of Finrod's children four were Angrod slain and proud Egnor. Felagund and Orodreth then gathered the remnant of their men (1696-99) Lo! Celegorm and Curufin here dwell this very realm within (1824-5) In _The Lay of the Children of Húrin_, a word like _Thangorodrim_ participates in the th-alliteration as the first lift of the second half-verse, and this must be stressed on the first syllable, but Sindarin didn't have a retraction period (at least it's not mentioned), and so hardly warrants a stress on the first syllable. Etc. etc. So evidence form verse is something to be cautious about here. Pavel -- Pavel Iosad Nid byd, byd heb wybodaeth --Welsh saying


Ian Spackman <ianspackman@...>
John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>