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Lenition

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'''Lenition''' is a phonological and grammatical aspect of [[Sindarin]] which reflects the phonological mutations of the language in its evolution from [[Old Sindarin]].
 
'''Lenition''' is a phonological and grammatical aspect of [[Sindarin]] which reflects the phonological mutations of the language in its evolution from [[Old Sindarin]].
 
==Historical background==
 
==Historical background==
Lenition refers to the mutation of the consonants occurring between two vowels (VCV). It affected the Old Sindarin sounds '''p, t, k, b, d, g, m''' and '''s'''.  
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Lenition refers to the mutation of medial consonants, occurring usually between two vowels (VCV). It affected the Old Sindarin sounds '''p, t, k, b, d, g, m''' and '''s'''.  
  
 
The sounds '''w, kh''' were lenited only at the beginning of a word.
 
The sounds '''w, kh''' were lenited only at the beginning of a word.
  
 
More specifically, the evolution of these sounds can be visualized in these examples:
 
More specifically, the evolution of these sounds can be visualized in these examples:
*p > b: OS *''ca'''p'''ro'' > S ''[[cabor]]'' "frog"
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;p > b: OS *''kele'''p'''e'' > S ''[[celeb]]'' "silver"
*t > d: OS *''a'''t'''ar'' > S ''[[adar]]'' "father"
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;t > d: OS *''a'''t'''ar'' > S ''[[adar]]'' "father"
*k > g: OS *''a'''k'''ar-'' > S ''[[agar]]'' "blood"
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;k > g: OS ''[[beleka|bele'''k'''a]]'' > S ''[[beleg]]'' "great"
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;b > v: OS *''ja'''b'''asse'' > S ''[[Iavas]]'' "autumn"<ref group="note" name="Q">Similar softening occurred in [[Quenya]] also.</ref>
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;d > dh: OS *''ba'''d'''ro'' > S ''[[badhor]]'' "brother"
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;g > ∅: OS *''khu'''g'''o'' > *''huȝo''<ref group="note">The intermediate stage of ''g'' to extinction was [[yogh]]</ref> > S ''[[hû]]'' "dog"<ref group="note" name="Q"/>
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;m > v: OS *''ra'''m'''ia-'' > S ''[[revia-]]'' "to wander"
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;s > ∅: OS *''thele'''s'''e'' > *''thelehe'' > S ''[[thele]]'' "sister"
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;w- > gw-: OS ''[[wende|'''w'''ende]]'' > S ''[[gwend]]'' "maiden"
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;kh- > h-: OS *'''''kh'''anda'' > S ''[[hand]]'' "intelligence"
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==In compounds==
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As a consequence, this process took place also in Old Sindarin compounds, when the initial letter of a word was no longer initial in a compound. Even in later compounds that would be pure Sindarin, the lenition was solidified as a rule, envisioning retroactively the lenition process from a theoretical Old Sindarin compound.
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For example the word ''[[athrabeth]]'' "debate, converse (lit. 'across-word')" can be analyzed both as a derivative of OS word *''athra'''p'''ettha'' but also as a compound of Sindarin words ''[[athra-]]'' "across" + [[peth]]'' "word".
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The fact that the above sounds mutated when medially was solidified as a rule
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*[[thind]] + [[coll|'''c'''oll]] > [[Thingol]] (< ?OS *''Thinda'''k'''ollo'')
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*[[cair]] + [[tân|'''t'''ân]] > [[Cirdan]] (< ?OS *''Kiria'''t'''âno'')
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*[[fanui]] + [[dol|'''d'''ol]] > [[Fanuidhol]] (< ?OS *''Fanoi'''d'''olo'')
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*[[Edhel]] + [[sarn|'''s'''arn]] > [[Edhelharn]] (< ?OS *''Edelo'''s'''arno'')
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*[[harad|har-]] + [[Gondor|'''G'''ondor]] > [[Harondor]] (< ?OS *''Khara'''g'''onddor'')
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*[[ar|ar-]] + [[gwend|'''g'''wend]] > [[Arwen]] (< ?OS *''Arwende''; no ''g'' would evolve between ''ar-'' and ''wende'')
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*[[or-]] + [[hall|'''h'''all]] > [[orchal]] (< ?OS *''orkhalna''; ''kh'' would not lenite as ''h'' inside a word)
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==Grammatical and Syntactical significance==
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==Inspiration==
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Sindarin, being inspired from the Welsh language, also borrowed heavily from its [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_morphology#Initial_consonant_mutation mutation system]<Ref>[[Jim Allan]] (ed.) ''[[An Introduction to Elvish]]'' "Sindarin grammar"</ref>. The [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenition#Grammatical_lenition grammatical lenition] is generally prominent in the [[Celtic]] languages.
  
*b > v: OS *''A'''b'''ar'' > S ''[[Avar]]'' "refuser; Avar"
 
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
*[http://www.phy.duke.edu/~trenk/elvish/mutations.html Mutations in Sindarin] by [[Thorsten Renk]]; it also covers Lenition.
 
*[http://www.phy.duke.edu/~trenk/elvish/mutations.html Mutations in Sindarin] by [[Thorsten Renk]]; it also covers Lenition.
 
*[http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/sindarin.htm#mutations Soft mutation] from the [[Ardalambion]] article on Sindarin by [[Helge Fauskanger]]
 
*[http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/sindarin.htm#mutations Soft mutation] from the [[Ardalambion]] article on Sindarin by [[Helge Fauskanger]]
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*[http://www.fa-kuan.muc.de/SINDARIN.RXML Some Questions on Sindarin Lenition] by Alfred W. Tueting
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{{references|note}}
 
[[Category:Linguistic terms]]
 
[[Category:Linguistic terms]]
 
[[Category:Sindarin]]
 
[[Category:Sindarin]]

Latest revision as of 12:38, 5 November 2012

Lenition is a phonological and grammatical aspect of Sindarin which reflects the phonological mutations of the language in its evolution from Old Sindarin.

Contents

[edit] Historical background

Lenition refers to the mutation of medial consonants, occurring usually between two vowels (VCV). It affected the Old Sindarin sounds p, t, k, b, d, g, m and s.

The sounds w, kh were lenited only at the beginning of a word.

More specifically, the evolution of these sounds can be visualized in these examples:

p > b
OS *kelepe > S celeb "silver"
t > d
OS *atar > S adar "father"
k > g
OS beleka > S beleg "great"
b > v
OS *jabasse > S Iavas "autumn"[note 1]
d > dh
OS *badro > S badhor "brother"
g > ∅
OS *khugo > *huȝo[note 2] > S "dog"[note 1]
m > v
OS *ramia- > S revia- "to wander"
s > ∅
OS *thelese > *thelehe > S thele "sister"
w- > gw-
OS wende > S gwend "maiden"
kh- > h-
OS *khanda > S hand "intelligence"

[edit] In compounds

As a consequence, this process took place also in Old Sindarin compounds, when the initial letter of a word was no longer initial in a compound. Even in later compounds that would be pure Sindarin, the lenition was solidified as a rule, envisioning retroactively the lenition process from a theoretical Old Sindarin compound.

For example the word athrabeth "debate, converse (lit. 'across-word')" can be analyzed both as a derivative of OS word *athrapettha but also as a compound of Sindarin words athra- "across" + peth "word".

The fact that the above sounds mutated when medially was solidified as a rule

[edit] Grammatical and Syntactical significance

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[edit] Inspiration

Sindarin, being inspired from the Welsh language, also borrowed heavily from its mutation system[1]. The grammatical lenition is generally prominent in the Celtic languages.

[edit] External links

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Similar softening occurred in Quenya also.
  2. The intermediate stage of g to extinction was yogh

[edit] References

  1. Jim Allan (ed.) An Introduction to Elvish "Sindarin grammar"