LINGUIST List 6.837

Thu 22 Jun 1995

Disc: Tolkien's Elvish languages

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  1. Jacques Guy, Tolkien's Elvish languages: Austronesian?

Message 1: Tolkien's Elvish languages: Austronesian?

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 1995 09:26:50 +Tolkien's Elvish languages: Austronesian?
From: Jacques Guy <j.guytrl.OZ.AU>
Subject: Tolkien's Elvish languages: Austronesian?

(This, of course, started as a spoof of Proto-World)

Is Elvish Austronesian or has Sakao (Espiritu Santo) an Elvish
substratum? That is the question. As I was looking for an Elvish cognate
for my Proto-World *hu(n)t I came across (and the whole effort took
me perhaps five minutes, writing it down much longer, however):

1. - Losgar (Red Snow). The place where Feanor burned the ships of the
 Teleri. los=snow, gar from car = red (Noel 1980:164).
 - Sakao kar = red.

2. - Minas Tirith S 'Tower of Watch', 'Tower of Guard' (ibid. p.170)
 'Minas' being 'tower', 'tirith' is evidently 'watch, guard'.
 - Sakao t(y)ry = to look at, to watch out.

3. - lad 'plain', 'valley', S/361 (p.160)
 - Sakao la^dh = earth, ground

4. - kel 'go away', 'flow away', 'flow down'. S/360 (p.159)
 - Sakao gher 'to go past', 'to flow'.

5. - in (of the). See various place names, including
 Haudh-in-Gwanur. (p.158)
 - Sakao -yn, same meaning, as in 'waldhyn ietar'
 'son of Yetar (God)'.

6. - ia^ 'void', 'abyss' S/360 (p.156)
 - Sakao ia 'oral cavity', 'opening (of a cave)'

7. - ondo Q[uenya] 'stone' S/359 (p.180)
 - Sakao iedh 'stone' (there is a pervading correspondence e/o
 throughout Austronesian languages, and I am *not* making that up!).
 Or perhaps also:
 - Sakao dhon 'mountain' (with metathesis and semantic shift).

Enough? Aren't you convinced yet?

All right...

8. - vorn 'black'. S/360 (p.205)
 - Sakao vyr 'black'.

9. - galadh S. 'tree' (p.146)
 - Sakao gholadh a tree sp. (Bislama "nangkalat", a tree with
 urticant leaves)

10. - esse Q[uenya] 'name' (p.142)
 - Sakao ase- 'name'

11. - sil Q[uenya] 'shine with white or silver light' (p.189)
 - Sakao hoel 'cooking stone', regularly derivable from *s(ui)l(aeo)
 - Sakao syl 'to singe'

And let's make it an even dozen:

12. - loa 'growth' (p.163)
 -Sakao lu 'to grow'.

Work cited:

Ruth S. Noel. The Language of Tokien's Middle-earth. Houghton Mifflin.
Boston 1980.
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