Le Système Pronominal Quenya - un résumé


Abbréviation utilisées:
SdA: Le Seigneur des Anneaux
SIL: Le Silmarillion
LR: The Lost Road
WJ: The War of the Jewels
SD: Sauron Defeated
RS: The Return of the Shadow
PM: The Peoples of Middle-Earth
PE: Parma Eldalamberon
VT: Vinyar Tengwar

1. Une typologie des pronoms Q(u)enya

Le système pronominal est toujours une des zones les plus obscures dans l'étude des langages Elfiques de Tolkien. Mais en Quenya ce n'est pas par manque d'informations, c'est plutôt que tout le matériel connu est plein de contradictions et d'intrigues, donnant la preuve de l'habitude de Tolkien à développer continuellement ses langages. De manière assez évidente, il n'y a rien qui ressemble au "bon" système pronominal Quenya, et tout ce que nous pouvons faire est de cartographier les différentes idées que Tolkien employa au cours du temps. Cela étant dit, il y a quelques caractéristiques (et formes) du système pronominal qui sont remarquablement stables depuis le Qenya Primitif jusqu'aux derniers textes datant des années 1970.

Au coeur des systèmes pronominaux Q(u)enya, il y a un un groupe de consonnes caractéristiques. Chacune de ces consonnes est associée à une personne (et souvent un nombre). Par exemple, n est la consonne caractéristique de la première personne du singulier, qui en fait implique que toutes les formes pronominales de la première personne du sg. incluent cette consonne d'une manière ou d'une autre. Cependant, ces consonnes sont des caractéristiques de l'Eldarin Commun, ce qui signifie qu'elles peuvent ne pas apparaître dans leur forme originale, mais plutôt, selon leur environnement phonologique, être le sujet des modifications de sonorité et de fusions.

La phonologie Quenya ne permet pas des consonnes uniques comme mots indépendants, cependant, des consonnes uniques caractéristiques peuvent toujours apparaître comme terminaisons pronominales verbales, cf. ex. -n dans utúlien "je suis venu" (SdA), le -n signifiant "je"

Des consonnes caractéristiques peuvent être élaborées en ajoutant une voyelle. Ceci induit la série de pronoms non-emphatiques au nominatif. Une telle forme apparaît dans l'ex. ni véla 'je vois' (Les Lettres du Père Noël).

Une partie des consonnes (quelques combinaisons ne sont pas permises par la phonologie Quenya, d'autres ne semblent pas avoir de sens) peut être plus élaborée en ajoutant - à la consonne caractéristique. D'où nous arrivons par ex. à tyë à partir de A yonya inyë tyë-méla 'Et moi aussi, mon fils, je t'aime' (LR:61) qui est probablement dérivé de*kjê avec un changement consécutif du mot initial kj > ty (cf. KYEL > Q: tyel- 'se terminer, cesser' (LR:366).

Alors que les formes dérivées avec - sont aussi vues comme terminaisons verbales longues, ex. -lye dans hiruvalyë 'tu trouveras' (SdA), il y d'autres terminaisons verbales longues où deux consonnes se combinent à une voyelle pour former la terminaison. Clairement, pour des raisons phonologiques ces terminaisons longues ne peuvent pas rester seules (à l'inverse du groupe -ye). Par exemple nous citons -nte à partir de tiruvantes '*ils le garderont' (UT:305).

En relation évidente avec les terminaisons de verbes pronominales, il y a les terminaisons possessives (étant appliquées aux noms) - elles ne diffèrent que par la voyelle. Alors que les terminaisons pronominales verbales incluent le e, les terminaisons possessives sont formées avec a, ex. esselya 'ton nom' (VT43:12).

L'élaboration suivante consiste apparamment en l'ajout de terminaisons verbales longues à une voyelle. Ceci génère l'ensemble de pronoms nominatifs emphatiques. Nous trouvons par ex. elyë 'tu' (SdA) de -lyë.

La plus longue forme sous laquelle les pronoms peuvent apparaître (sans compter les inflexions de cas) sont les possessifs indépendants. Ceux-ci semblent impliquer une répétition des la consonne caractéristique autour d'une voyelle en plus de la terminaison -ya, cf. ninya 'mon' (LR:72).

2. Trois paradigmes complets

La manière la plus simple de se faire une idée des caractéristiques changeantes et stables du système pronominal Quenya est de se concentrer sur un paragdime complet. Nous en avons trois à notre disposition : The Early Qenya Grammar (PE14:52-54) permet une étude approfondie du système pronominal dans cette première incarnation du langage (1920-1925). VT43:29 contient un paragdime des formes pronominales avec le préfixe ó-, à partir des formes pronominales indépendantes connues nous pouvons conclure qu'enlever le préfixe permet une déduction raisonnable concernant les séries de pronoms non-emphatiques telles qu'elles étaient dans les années 1950. Finalement, des notes datant de la même époque que l'essai 'Eldarin Hands, Fingers and Numerals' dans VT47:37 (vers 1967-70) contient un paragdime de pronoms avec le préfixe im- qui permet de la même manière d'apercevoir le système sous-jacent des pronoms non-emphatiques.

Le système pronominal de Quenya Primitif a donc la forme suivante (PE14:52, ces formes apparaissent avec un trait-d'union parce que le Qenya Primitif a les pronoms préfixés à un verbe, et non comme terminaison):

  Sg. Pl.
1ère ni- me-
    qe-
2ème ke- le-
3ème masc. hu- tu-
3ème fém. hi- si- < *ti-
3ème neutre ha- ta-

 

La différence entreme- et q- est que me- exclue la (les) personne(s) à qui on s'adresse, qe- les inclue. Le paradigme ó ressemble à ce qui suit:

 

  Sg. Pl.
1ère onye) óni óme
2ème olye) óle óle
3ème masc. óse óte
3ème fém. ósa (ós) óta (ót)
3ème neutre ótar ótari

 

La dernière ligne se réfère probablement à la forme tar 'là' (LR:389). Finalement, le paradigme im- contient les formes suivantes:

 

  Sg. Pl.
1ère imne, imni imme
    inwe
2ème intye inde, *imde
2ème imle  
3ème inse, imse, insa inte, *imte

 

En prenant en compte le fait que les deux derniers paradigmes contiennent des formes étymologiques et des formations analogiques récentes, la forme la plus probable de système pronominal sous-jacent ressemble à

 

  Sg. Pl.
1ère #ni #me
2ème #le #le
3ème mf #se #te
3ème n #sa #ta
pour le paradigme ó- et

  Sg. Pl.
1ère #ni #me
    #we
2ème #tye #le
2ème #le  
3ème mf #se #te
3ème n #sa #te

 

A partir de ceux-ci, nous pouvons identifier les groupes suivants de consonnes caractéristiques: n pour la 1ère personne singulier, m,q,w pour la 1ère personne pluriel, k(c), l et d pour la 2ème personne, s, h pour la 3ème personne singulier et t pour la 3ème personne pluriel. Des détails de la distribution, plus particulièrement dans la 2ème personne sont différents, mais la structure générale est remarquablement stable.

Trois questions intéressantes peuvent être étudiées à partir de ces paradigmes : 1) Le changement dans la signification des consonnes caractéristiques 2) la signification des voyelles associées 3) la forme des formes infléchies non-emphatiques.

Changements dans les consonnes caractéristiques

Il y a quelques surprises dans la première personne. n reste la consonne caractéristique tout au long de toutes les phases.

Comme pour la 1ère persone du pluriel, nous nous battons avec le problème que le Quenya pourrait avoir trois différentes subtilités de signification a) exclusif (nous, mais pas vous), b) inclusif (nous et vous) et c) duel (nous deux). La consonne principale de la 1ère pers. du pluriel est m, en Qenya Primitif apparamment excluant la personne à qui l'on s'adresse quand q est inclus.

Nous pouvons étudier quelques uns des changements en jetant un coup d'oeil à d'autres formes. Dans RS:324 nous trouvons le possessif -mma en tant que inclusif, ceci date de 1938. Cependant, dans Quendi and Eldar (vers 1960), la terminaison verbale -mme est exclusive (WJ:371) alors que dans une restructuration postérieure (avant 1965) -lve devint l'inclusif, -mme le duel et -lme l'exclusif (VT43:6). D'où il est entièrement concevable que #me dans le ó- et le paradigme im- ne se réfère pas à la même signification. Il est plausible d'identifier la terminaison -lve avec #we dans le dernier paradigme, si cela tient, alors #we signifie les formes inclusives. A partir de Namárië nous pouvons lire le duel met, puisque ceci fut publié, Tolkien fut simplement lié à cela, les formes restantes devant être soit inclusives soit exclusives. Apparemment cette distinction n'a pas attiré l'atention avant 1960 puisque nous ne trouvons que #me dans le paradigme ó- qui peut couvrir les deux formes.

La 2ème pers. a subi les changements conceptuels les plus importants. Tolkien fut partagé entre deux décisions différentes: a) devrait-il y avoir une distinction entre le singulier et le pluriel et b) devrait-il y avoir une distinction entre le mode formel et informel avec lequel on s'adresse à une personne.

Dans PM:42-43, Tolkien décrit l'idée: 'Tous ces langages [Elfiques] ...n'avaient, ou n'avaient à l'origine aucune distinction entre le singulier et le pluriel pour les pronoms de la seconde personne; mais ils avaient fait une distinction entre les formes familières et les formes de politesse'. Evidemment il ne se sentit pas lié par cette affrimation dans bon nombre d'occasions. Le Qenya Primitif a k pour la 2ème pers. du sing. et l pour la 2ème pers. du pluriel, ex. une distinction marquée entre le singulier et le pluriel et aucune entre le familier et le courtois, cette idée ayant été introduit plus tard. Mais le paradigme ó- n'a pas de distinction entre le singulier et le pluriel ou le familier et le courtois. Dans 'Quendi and Eldar' (WJ:364) nous retrouvons l'idée du Quenya Primitif de k marquant le singulier et l le pluriel: 'il apparaît souvent dans les formes hekat! sg. et hekal! pl. avec des affixes pronominaux de la 2ème pers. (le -t étant la résultante de la transformation d'une terminaison de mot -c en Quenya qui se transformerait, voir par ex. filit pl. filici (LR:381) de PHILIK). Finalement, le paradigme im- montre une distinction entre le familier k et le courtois l et un pluriel (général) d (qui serait cependant changé en l dans un pronom indépendant puisque la phonologie Quenya ne permet pas qu'un mot commence par d-). Un élément de est aussi décrit dans WJ:363 où Tolkien se réfère à de et sa variante le comme 'éléments pronominaux de la 2ème pers.', bien qu'aucune distinction entre le singulier et le pluriel ne semble être impliquée.

There is hardly anything remaining constant about the assignment, the only safe statement is that l always denots some kind of 2ème person.

The 3ème person is again comparatively easy. Apart from a shift h>s from Qenya to Quenya, s remains the characteristical consonne of the 3ème person singular whereas t in all conceptual phases stands for the 3ème person plural. This, however, has to be a peculiarity of Quenya and is presumably not a feature of the underlying Common Eldarin forms, since in Sindarin we can find 3ème person plural pronoms based on s, cf. hain 'them' (LOTR) and singular pronoms derived from t, cf. den '*it' (VT44:21, 22) or dîn 'his' (SD:128) (note that the Sindarin forms are subject to lenition where they occur, hence unmutated forms would involve s,t). tar 'thither' and its inflection in this context seems to confirm this picture - it can be interpreted as a relic form from a time when in Common Eldarin t-based pronoms could also be singular. Yet singular pronoms based on t don't seem to be completely irrelevant for Quenya - in VT42:34 we find tai 'what' which can be interpreted as a compound of a demonstrative with a relative pronom ta + i 'that which' - so in a demonstrative sense, t apparently remains relevant in Quenya 3ème person singulars, only in personal pronoms it marks plural.

The choice of voyelles

The choice of the voyelle which is used to form the preposition is remarkably constant. We find i in the 1ère person singular, e in 1ère person plural and 2ème person and gender determines the choice in the 3ème person. Early Qenya has a full three gender distincion between masculine u, feminine i and neuter a, the later paradigmeta show a simpler concept in which presumably e stands for both masculine and feminine and a covers the neuter.

The shape of the inflected forms

In Early Qenya, pronoms in accusative are unhyphenated but otherwise identical in form with their nominative counterparts (PE14:53). However, in late Quenya, a form tye makes its first appearance in Atarinya tye-meláne. 'My father, I love thee' and A yonya inye tye-méla 'And I too, my son, I love thee' (LR:61). Apparently tye translates as the accusative 'thee' in these examples. This leaves three distinct possibilities, and Tolkien may have toyed with all of them.

tye may simply be an alternative form of the ke of Early Qenya. If so, *inye méla ke would likewise be acceptable grammar for 'I love thee'. The ó-paradigme seems to confirm this idea, mentioning #nye and #lye in what seem to be alternative forms of #ni, #le.

tye may have replaced the former ke - this is what can be argued from the im- paradigme as well where we find #tye alongside with #le and no alternative form is given.

Finally, tye may be the form ke takes when used as object (or possibly when inflected for case). In this case, we would have *ni méla tye 'I love thee' but *ke méla nye 'thou lovest me'.

We do not know for sure if forms like *mye or sye > *rye derived from other characteristical consonnes would exist. As far as we know they could comply with Quenya phonology, but it has to be stated that such forms are not in fact observed.

A closer look at inflected non-emphatic pronoms doesn't help to find a decisive answer regarding the distinction between tye and ke. We find olesse 'with you' (VT43:26) where the case terminaisons are appended to #le, but this wouldn't be surprising since in the ó-paradigme le/lye seem to be alternative forms. On a postcard in posession of Carl F. Hostetter, we find the form lyenna (Lambengolmor 758) where #lye acts as the inflected element. In orenya quete nin (VT41:13) the dative inflection -n is added to ni, not nye. The earlier versions of the Ataremma (I - IV, VT43:9ff) have men in dative 'for us, to us', in the later versions (V, VI) this merges with the imperative in ámen anta 'give to us'. Likewise, Ataremma I-IV contain the form mello 'from us' with the pronom me in ablative. Ataremma V and VI contain tien, apparently dative 3ème person plural 'for them'. This form is interesting as it seems to indicate that case terminaisons are not appended to te (the base for in the paradigme) but rather to tie-. Finally, in VT44:12 omesse 'on us' can be found, involving both a prefix o- and the locative -sse with the pronom me.

All in all it seems as if usually the inflectional terminaisons are appended just to the base form of the pronoms, but Tolkien toyed with both variants. We may also study the (uninflected) accusative. In fact, some people have argued that forms like inte would involve the accusative form of the pronom and not the nominative based on the fact that the underlying elements are only observed in accusative in Quenya. While this is possible, there is however a more likely explanation: Unlike Qenya, Quenya grammar involves pronominal verb terminaisons, so there is no real need for a non-emphatic pronom in nominative any more. When a verb terminaison is not sufficient, usually emphatic pronoms occur, making the non-emphatic pronom in nominative to some degree obsolete in the actual use of the language.

Several non-emphatic forms apart from tye in accusative are found: We find te 'them' in A laita te, laita te! 'Bless them, bless them!' (LOTR), which seems identical with the nominative form as extracted from the im-paradigme and doesn't change to *tye - just possibly to avoid the clash with the 2ème person, but other reasons are more likely. The Ataremma I-IV contain me 'us', in Ataremma V and VI this again shows up in the compound forms álame tulya 'do not lead us' and áme etelehta 'but deliver us'. Note that the earlier versions of the Ataremma combine a 2ème person marker -lye with the imperative marker to indicate to whom the phrase is spoken, this is different in the late versions of the Ataremma, being the chief reason why Ataremma I-IV and V,VI form two distinct groups in this inventigation. Compare e.g. alye anta men (Ataremma II-IV) with the later ámen anta (Ataremma V,VI) where the 2ème person remains implicit. This conceptual change is a possible source of confusion. Namárië has the interesting dual form met 'the two of us'.

Thus, as far as we can judge from both the paradigmeta and the attested forms, no good case can be made that it would be necessary to use the longer forms for inflection. However, it is quite likely that it is permissible to use at least some of them as variants in all cases, thus both lyenna and *lenna may be permissible.

3. Pronominal verb terminaisons

Early Qenya had a system in which verbs were inflected for person by prefixing the non-emphatic pronom to the verb (PE14:52,56), we find e.g. ha-tule 'it comes' (PE14:52).

However, by the time of Fíriel's Song (about 1940) the picture has changed - we encounter forms like meláne 'I love' (LR:61) with a 1ère person terminaison -ne or the more complex antaróta 'he gave it' (LR:72) from which we may infer a 3ème person *-so > -ro 'he' and -ta 'it'. Conceptually, this is almost the system of late Quenya - pronoms are expressed by verbal terminaisons, and two pronominal terminaisons in a row denote subject-object. The only difference is that late Quenya has short as well as long pronominal terminaisons, and in subject-object constructions always a long terminaison denotes the subject and a short terminaison the object, cf. utúvienyes 'I have found it' (LOTR) involving long 1ère person sg. -nye and short 3ème person sg. -s, laituvalmet 'we will praise them' (LOTR) with long 1ère person plural -lme and short 3ème person pl. -t, tiruvantes 'they shall keep it' (UT:305) with long 3ème person pl. -nte and short 3ème person sg. -s, leltanelyes 'you sent him' (VT47:21) and camnelyes 'you received it' (VT47:21), involving long 2ème person -lye and a short -s, in the same paragraph denoting both male and neuter.

Tolkien apparently oscillated back and forth between personal prefixes and terminaisons: In SD:56 we find a change from maruvan 'I will abide' (using a verbal terminaison) to nimaruva (employing a prefix). However, especially in later texts pronominal terminaisons seem to be the usual choice.

There is not an extremely wide variety of attested forms, but as far as we can tell there is no difference in meaning if a long or a short verbal terminaison is used: We see hamil 'you judge' (VT42:33) and hiruvalye 'thou shalt find' (Namárië) involving both the short terminaison -l and its longer variant -lye. Likewise, short terminaisons used as subject or object seem to be identical, we have eques 'said he' (WJ:415) involving a 3ème person sg. -s which agrees with the object form quoted above assuming the short verbal terminaison in 3ème sg. would be generless. The generalization of these findings seems to be justified: We do not have an attested 1ère person sg. terminaison -nye in subject form only, instead we find the short terminaison -n in e.g. maruvan 'I will abide' (LOTR) and the long terminaison combined with a short object in utúvienyes 'I have found', but there is no reason to assume that forms like *maruvanye 'I will abide' or *utúvienyen 'I have found me' would not be valid.

Based on this conjecture, we can combine attested subject and object forms to make a list of short verbal terminaisons. In 1ère person sg. we have -n as apparent from e.g. maruvan 'I will abide' (LOTR). A 1ère person plural form would logically be -m, but such an terminaison cannot happen in Quenya (see discussion of allowed final consonnes in Letters:425). The usual phonetic shift would lead to -m > *-n (cf. talan pl. talami (LR:390)), but since this clashes with 1ère person sg. this particular short terminaison is probably not realized at all, given that in addition the distinction between exclusive, inclusive and dual 'we' cannot be made. The 2ème person is attested in hamil 'you judge' (VT42:33) and in the pronominal elements -t, -l mentioned in WJ:364 - the assignment of the underlying consonnes to person/number is variable as discussed above. In the 3ème person sg., -s is attested both for 'it' (caritalyas 'your doing it' (VT42:33)) and 'he' (eques 'said he' (WJ:415)). In plural, -t is known from Ataremma VI emme apsenet 'we forgive them' and as object in laituvalmet 'we shall praise them'. There is a clash between -t in 2ème person sg. and 3ème person pl. - some writers have argued that the forms cannot coexist. In reality, that hardly seems to be a problem given that e.g. the German 'sie' can denote 2ème person sg./pl., 3ème person sg. female and 3ème person pl. which still doesn't render the language useless. The power of context to resolve ambiguities is often not sufficiently appreciated.

The systematics of the long verbal terminaisons is more complex. We can separate them into two distinct groups - one in shape identical with the variant forms of the non-emphatic pronoms, including -nye, -lye and possibly *-rye, *-tye. The other group has no counterpart in the non-emphatic pronoms.

The first group of long terminaisons just employs a voyelle e, the characteristical consonne and an additional y. In the second group, the y is replaced by some additional information-carrying element. For example, the long 3ème person plural terminaison -nte involves in addition to the 3ème person consonne t a plural marker -n (which is also seen in plural case terminaisons -ron, -llon, -ssen, cf. the Plotz Letter). This makes the terminaison distinct from a conjectured 2ème person sg. long terminaison *-tye.

The long 1ère person plural terminaisons likewise seem to have a straightforward interpretation in one conceptual phase: -lme involving the elements for 'you' and 'we', hence inclusive 'we', -mme repeating the 'we' (we and we only), thus being inclusive and *-lve (deduced from the possessive terminaison) possibly involving a dual u/w element. However, as already mentioned, if that interpretation was ever Tolkien's intention, he changed it subsequently.

The story gets rather complicated if we consider a possible variant in the 2ème person discussed in VT38:6f. In SD:47 the verb laitalle 'you praise' can be found with probably a long plural 'you' terminaison -lle. The same may be found in VT24:5 where there is a draft version of Namárië given as nai hiruvalle Valimar (instead of nai hiruvalye Valimar as in LOTR). Thus, Tolkien may have entertained the notion that 2ème person plural verb terminaisons involve a repetition of the characteristical consonne whereas 2ème person singular terminaisons involve y instead, thus -lye sg. -lle pl. and also (very speculatively) *-tye sg. and -cce pl. The Early Qenya grammar (PE14:66) indeed has kke as a form derived from the pronom ke which may be related to the scenario sketched above.

4. Independent emphatic pronoms

The idea of emphatic pronoms goes back as far as the Early Qenya Grammar - the forms described in PE14:53 are quite different from the emphatic pronoms in late Quenya. In PE14:53 we find:

 

  Sg. Pl.
1ère nîmo melmo
    qelmo
2ème kêto lelko
3ème m húyo tûto
3ème f hie sîse
3ème n hea atta

 

Both the formation and the inflection of independent emphatic pronoms in later Quenya seem relatively straightforward given what we know about verb terminaisons. The pronoms are formed by appterminaison the long verbal terminaison to a voyelle, this voyelle is i- in the first person sg. and e- otherwise. Case terminaisons seem to be directly appended to these forms.

We find quite a number of uninflected emphatic pronoms which do not show substantial changes from the Qenya of 'The Lost Road' on: elye 'thou' (Namárië), elle 'thou' (VT24:5), inye 'I' (LR:61), emme 'we' (VT42:8ff, Ataremma I-VI). We lack attested 3ème person forms, but presumably we would have *erye, *ente.

Case inflection can be seen in emmen 'for us' (VT43:12, Ataremma V,VI). Given that often the emphasis is on the subject, we should probably not be surprised to find this set of pronoms mainly in non-inflected situations, but it doesn't seem very far-fetched to inflect e.g. to *inyenna 'to me'.

5. Possessive pronoms

The system of possessive pronoms outlined in Early Qenya (PE14:54) already has a distinction between independent and enclitic forms. In fact, the system of possessive pronoms appears rather more stable than the system of independent pronoms - especially the 1ère person singular seems to be created in almost its final shape. However, rather than being terminaisons, the possessive pronoms in Early Qenya (like the verb inflectional elements) are prefixes:

  Sg. Pl.
1ère nya- mea-
    qea-
2ème tya- lea-
3ème m hwa- tua-
3ème f hya- sia-
3ème n ha- ta-

 

The distribution of characteristical consonnes agrees (naturally) with the system outlined for the nominative pronoms. In addition, there are independent forms of the pronoms:

 

  Sg. Pl.
1ère ninya menya
    qenya
2ème ketya lelya
3ème masc. húva túva
3ème fém. íva síva
3ème neutre áva táva

 

These forms are described as being fully declined adjectives.

By the time of 'The Lost Road' we find that the picture has slightly changed - like in the case of verb inflection, the possessive forms have become terminaisons as apparent from forms like Anarinya 'my sun' (LR:72) or atarinya 'my father' (LR:61). Note the use of -i- here as a connecting voyelle. The preference of i instead of e as both connecting voyelle and 'filling' voyelle (cf. inye but emme, ni but le) seems to be peculiar of the 1ère person sg. throughout most of Tolkien's writings.

The independent pronoms are likewise realized in this conceptual phase: Fíriel's song has indo-ninya 'my heart' (LR:72). For all we know, independent possessives occur rarely in later sources but are not obsolete: The Ataremma I-IV involve menya 'our' as an independent form (this is absent in V and VI as the text has been rephrased and doesn't involve a possessive at all, hence this doesn't indicate that the possessive pronominal form as such has become obsolete). The close agreement of these forms with the ones in Early Qenya makes it likely that *cetya, *lelya would also be realized in the later stages of the language. The shape of 3ème person independent possessives doesn't seem to be straightforward.

Possibly the system of Sindarin possessive adjectives can shed some additional light on this question as the forms may well be related. In Sindarin, we find nîn 'my' (VT44:21f) , lîn 'thy' (VT44:21f), #tîn 'his' (SD:128), #mîn 'our' (VT44:21f) and in addition a reflexive în 'his own' (SD:128). This may point to Quenya forms ninya 'my', *lenya 'thy', *tenya 'his', menya 'our' and *enya 'his own'.

Let us now discuss the attested forms of possessive terminaisons in late sources. Apart from the assignment of the 1ère person plural to inclusive, exclusive and dual meaning the rest of the system seems hardly changed over time. As far as we can see, the system of possessive terminaisons can be deduced from the long verbal terminaisons by making the voyelle replacement e > a, no example to the contrary is known.

The 1ère person sg. -nyais attested in a post-Lost Road source in Hildinyar 'my heirs' (LOTR) (again with -i- as connecting voyelle). 2ème person forms can be found frequently in the Ataremma or the Aia Maria. A non-inflected example would be e.g. esselya thy name' found in Ataremma I-VI. No possessive terminaison *-tya is actually attested. The 3ème person sg. can be read off from máryat '(both) her hands' (Namárië) as -rya. The various 1ère person plural forms are apparent as -mma from ataremma 'our father' (VT43), -lma, -lva from omentielmo/omentielvo (LOTR, first/second edition and discussion in Letters:447) 'of our meeting', here inflected for genitive. The 3ème person plural is unattested, quite probably it should read *-nta. Likewise, if terminaisons -lle, *-cce are part of the pronominal system, the corresponding possesives probably would be *-lla, *-cca.

Usually the case inflection terminaisons are appended after the possessive terminaison. In the case of short terminaisons like the genitive -o which changes the last voyelle or dative -n no other choice seems possible, but in the case of the longer allative -nna, ablative -llo and locative -sse, in principle the case terminaison could come before the possessive. In singular this is never seen - we have e.g. tielyanna 'upon your path' (UT:22) or ortírielyanna 'to thy patronage' (VT44:5). However, in plural we have two attested examples where the case terminaison precedes the possessive terminaison which is in turn followed by a plural marker. These examples are rocindillomman 'those who sin against us' (VT43:11) and sangiessemman 'in our needs' (VT44:5). Note that ortírielyanna and sangiessemman occur in fact in the very same text, thus a conceptual change is not an option. It may be that in plural this is indeed the preferred order of these three terminaisons, or it may be that the order is optional - but it seems hardly likely that this inverted order is realized in general in plural, examples like dative plural ?ciryainenya(r) which require additional connecting voyelles seem hardly likely.

6. Remarques finalees

Si vous avez lu cet article pour trouver à ce moment une reconstruction complère du système pronominal Quenya, vous allez être désappointé. Une telle chose est impossible sans spécifier une tranche temporelle comme les trois différents paradigmes donnés par Tolkien lui-même

you have read through this article to find at this point a compete reconstruction of the Quenya pronominal system, you are going to be disappointed. Such a thing is impossible without specifying a timeframe, as the three different complete paradigmeta given by Tolkien himself should have made abundantly clear. Instead, I hope to have mapped out how Tolkien's ideas about the Q(u)enya pronominal system changed over time, with a constant re-interpretation of already published forms and invention of new ones. I trust the dilligent reader in need of a complete pronominal table is able to read off the principle of construction of the forms from the discussions above. Armed with this set of tools, it is relatively straightforward to construct the set or pronominal forms corresponding to a given assignment of characteristical consonnes.

7. Remerciements

Observations faites par Carl F. Hostetter, Helge Fauskanger, Helmut W. Pesch et Roman Rausch et d'autres m'ont fait remarquer certaines preuves. Je remercie aussi l'équipe éditoriale de Parma Eldalamberon et Vinyar Tengwar - sans leurs efforts une étude comme celle-ci aurait été impossible.


Thorsten Renk
thorsten@sindarin.de
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