I finally have a free moment to sit down and concentrate on something I love to do! I am curious about the lessons, as the comments have nearly ceased to exist in lessons after number one. Hopefully the numbers will pick up again; it's not encouraging to keep this up if I am not helping anyone! Having said that, let's move into the realm of demonstratives and possessives.
The reason that I choose to merge these two topics into one lesson is they both function as determiners, sort of like adjectives. There are four demonstratives in the English language: this, that, these, and those. "This" and "these" are the singular and plural demonstratives used for determining nouns near to the speaker (e.g., "this book" means the book is near to the speaker). Conversely, "that" and "those" describe singular and plural nouns that are far away from the speaker (e.g., "those books" are farther away than "these books"). All of these words add specificity to a noun because they determine which noun is being spoken about; for example, the construction "a book," which employs a nondefinite article “a,” is far less specific than a construction like "that book," which employs a determiner, no? Still perplexed? Let me put it this way: there are two books in a room, and this series of phrases references the books:
“A book” is a phrase employing a nondefinite article referring to one of the books in the room.Quenya is the same way in its distinctions, though its placement of demonstratives varies from that of English. Either way, these are the four demonstratives used in noun specification as determiners:
“This book” is a phrase employing a demonstrative that denotes the location of the book in relation to the speaker. In this case, it is near the speaker, so whatever book is nearest the person to whom we are speaking is the one that he or she is talking about.
Sina "this" >> Sinë "these"It is important to realize that the word "that" has four uses in English: 1) It may function as a determiner (used as a noun modifier or adjective) that specifies which noun is being discussed. 2) It may be used as a demonstrative pronoun, in which case it replaces the principle noun of a phrase and functions in its place. 3) It may be used as a relative pronoun (like who, whom, whose, and which), which I shall discuss in a later lesson. 4) Or it may also be used as a subordinator, meaning it connects what would normally be two independent clauses (a clause being defined as any construction with a subject, tense, and verb) by rendering one clause dependent (at which point it is termed a "subordinate clause"). For example, "It was great that he came" consists of two clauses, or elements: "It was great" and "that he came." We can identify the first clause as independent because it has the ability to stand alone, whereas the second clause cannot. The reason for the second clause's inability to stand alone is "that," for once it is removed, the grammatical independent clause "he came" is left over. Another subordinate conjunction in English is "because" (e.g., "Because he came, it was great"). The point of this explanation is not to confuse you, it is merely to point out the fact that a demonstrative is not a relative pronoun or a subordinator, but its own distinct part of language. Helge Fauskanger's native tongue is not English, and his examination of demonstratives in Tolkien's notes has many muddled axplanations, which I have attempted to clarify.
Enta "that" >> Entë "those"
Demonstratives tend to occur after the noun they modify, meaning that, in effect, an elf would say "book this" rather than "this book." Most modern grammars place demonstrative pronouns like "this" and "that" under the umbrella term "adjective," which is simple enough for our purposes. For this reason it is commonly agreed upon among Quenya scholars that sina "this" and enta "that" should be declined as adjectives that agree in number with the noun(s) they modify. Hence, "this book" would be rendered parma sina and "these books" would be rendered parmar sinë, sina being declined for the adjectival plural (remember lesson 4?).
Mr. Fauskanger also includes the orthographically similar word tana in the demonstrative section of his lessons, but the reference he makes to the Etymologies describes the word as being "anaphoric," meaning it refers to something previously mentioned. Hence, it is only acceptable to use tana for a specific reference to something in context which has already been discussed. For example, “On my way to the store, I tripped over a rock. That was annoying.” What exactly is annoying? The fact that whoever is speaking tripped over a rock. “That” refers back to the aforementioned incident, and this is the usage which corresponds with tana.
Another instance in the English language in which “that” is used in an anaphoric sense is seen in relative clauses, which redefine the subject of a clause by mentioning it again (e.g., "The bike that I borrowed is gone" contains the relative clause "that I borrowed," which redefines "bike" by answering the question "which bike?"). Any conjecture is therefore slightly ambiguous when referring to Tolkien’s purposes, but I will treat tana as a true demonstrative pronoun, not as a relative pronoun, in future lessons.
Speaking of the future, the specialized demonstrative yana "that" is used when referencing something that is to occur in the future. Conversely, the aforementioned enta "that" is used to reference something in the past. It must be observed that enta is to be used in all general cases requiring "that," as has been said, as well as in constructions referring to the past. Yana is only used when referring to the future, making its appearances rare.
Some of you may have noticed, especially in the above discussion concerning tana, that sometimes demonstrative pronouns function more like pronouns in a construction than they do adjectives, meaning they replace nouns. For example, in "this is mine," the word "this" is hardly determining which noun; it is acting in place of a noun. It can be assumed that words like sina may be used and declined as nouns in Quenya, just as they can be used and declined as adjectives. Hence, sina "this" would become sinar, as in sinar nar parmanyar "these are my books," when functioning as the subject of a clause.
The word parmanyar brings us to another special group of specifiers called possessive pronominal suffixes. This is merely a fancy way of saying "possessive pronoun endings," and it sounds much harder than it is. The sole means of possessive suffixes in a clause is to specify to whom/what some noun belongs. The English possessive pronouns are: my/mine, your/yours (s. and pl.), his, her/hers, its, our/ours, and their/theirs. The corresponding Quenya pronouns occur as suffixes, or morphemes, and must be committed to memory! They are:
First person:When a possessive pronominal ending is added to a noun, the noun must always be singular in form, just as it is with case endings. Pluralization of the noun occurs after the possessive morpheme is added; hence, parmanya “my book” becomes parmanyar, not the awkward pamarnya*. Another matter of importance when suffixing the possessive morphemes to Quenya nouns is cacophonous clusters, or “ugly letter combinations.” For instance, “my father” translates as atarinya rather than atarnya, as the -rn- cluster is difficult to pronounce. As is illustrated with the above case, an -i- is inserted between two dissonant (harsh-sounding) consonants to aid pronunciation.
Singular -nya "my"
Plural -lma "our" (exclusive), -lva "our" (inclusive)*
Dual -mma "our"
Singular and plural -lya "your”
Singular -rya "his, her, its”
Plural -nta "their"
*The terms “inclusive” and “exclusive” require some explanation. Both types of pronominal endings relay the message that whoever is speaking is part of a group (3 or more persons), but at that point the two differ. “Exclusive” pronominal endings are used when speaking for a group which is but a small part of a larger group, meaning the noun in question emphatically belongs to the speakers and not to the others present. Conversely, “inclusive” pronominal endings are used when all present persons are being spoken for. The dual form is used when referring to two people, and it does not designate whether the meaning is exclusive or inclusive.
Use determiners to differentiate the following nouns and their plural forms. This means there will be four answers for each number (two singular and two plural). Be sure to include what each one means:
1. Aran “king”
2. Rocco “horse”
3. Vendë “maiden
4. Fëa “spirit”
5. Tasar “willow”
6. Hen “eye”#
7. Yén “[Elvish] year”
# Be careful of stem variation!
Once you have finished the first exercise, suffix the pronominal morphemes to the singular and plural forms of the seven nouns listed. Be sure to include the plural forms of these as well as the singular forms and meanings. Good luck!