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Discussing: Periannath or Pheriannath

Periannath or Pheriannath

I had always thought that the plural of perian (as in a Gondorian term for hobbits) was periannath. However, in my recent reading of The Return of the King I noticed that the Gondorians call Pippin "ernil i pheriannath, "Prince of the Halflings". Is there any rhyme or reason as to when you use one and not the other? TIA, Marta

 

 

Re: Periannath or Pheriannath

If I'm reading the index (!) of my copy of the book right, then periannath is plural and i pheriannath means "of the Halflings". So it's the "of" that makes the difference (and I'm sure there's a grammatical term for such a thing but I can't recall it). To confuse matters further, I also noticed Periain, in the context of "Those are Periain" which sounds plural to me... And I thought English was hard.... Amanda.

 

 

Re: Periannath or Pheriannath

If I'm reading the index (!) of my copy of the book right, then periannath is plural and i pheriannath means "of the Halflings". So it's the "of" that makes the difference (and I'm sure there's a grammatical term for such a thing but I can't recall it). Ah, ok. I see what you're saying. (I'm working on the latest chapter of Best Brew. If I understand correctly the drink I was originally calling erni i periannath should be ernil i pheriannath (yes, I named a drink by that phrase, and I'm fully aware Tolkien is rolling in his grave). Whereas Faramir can refer to Merry and Pippin as periannath but not pheriannath. To confuse matters further, I also noticed Periain, in the context of "Those are Periain" which sounds plural to me... And I thought English was hard.... I think Aramaic has a similar construction, but of course it's a bit simpler since it doesn't use a Latin alphabet. *Marta bangs head against computer desk* Why did Tolkien have to make this so difficult?

 

 

Re: Periannath or Pheriannath

Perian – Halfling (Hobbit) Periain – haflings (plural) Periannath – haflings (collective plural implying many or all) Ernil i pheriannath – princes of the haflings (collective plural again) In Sindarin the article _in_ causes what is called ‘nasal mutation’ in the initial consonant of the following word. Here the plural article _in_ (plural ‘the’) causes the ‘p’ to change to ‘ph’ and at the same time _in_ is changed to take the shape of _i_ because the ‘n’ is also affected by the mutation. Sindarin speakers/readers can tell the difference between singular and plural because they cause different mutations –for example: _i berian_ ‘the hafling’ or _i pheriain_ ‘the haflings’. There’s more to it than that, but I’m trying to avoid getting too technical. I hope that helps. And if you are using the English article ('the') then do not use the mutations. Ithildin *(

 

 

Re: Periannath or Pheriannath

*Marta bangs head against computer desk* Why did Tolkien have to make this so difficult? LOL That's what happens when you turn a linguist loose to create a language... Funny...I seem to remember asking myself the same question. And bravo, Marta...I've NEVER spotted that detail before! Cheryl

 

 

Re: Periannath or Pheriannath

Whereas Faramir can refer to Merry and Pippin as periannath but not pheriannath. This is close and true enough, I suppose, but only if Merry and Pippin were the only Hobbits in existance. Periannath means the Hobbits as a people, all of them in existance, living, dead, future, and so forth. Faramir would more likely refer to Merry and Pippin as Periain since he knows there are more in existance and the two of them don't encompass all Hobbits. It should also be noted that the Perian --> Periannath change is also irregular, near as I can tell. It's the only word I've found that when changing to the "-ath" form includes two N's. Anyone have any ideas on this one, or is it just a weird quirk to be remembered? Bado na sídh. ^_^ Berz.

 

 

Re: Periannath or Pheriannath

Why did Tolkien have to make this so difficult? Because it's PRETTY. Isn't that the whole point? I took a class in Middle Welsh once. It was wonderful. The teacher was hilarious. She gave us a wonderful essay that she wrote, using English words, to demonstrate how initial mutations and syntax and grammar worked, so that we'd remember things about word order and what consontants changed to what other consonants under stress. It was entitled "To my Mupils Faithful of Language Ngwelsh Middle." (To this day, I remember that adjectives come after the noun they modify, that P will shift to M... Handy, no? Someone needs to do this for Sindarin.)

 

 

Re: Periannath or Pheriannath

Re: doubled 'n' in Periannath: Hi Berz, here's how I understand it: It has to do with adding a suffix onto certain words. Here's an excerpt from the Council of Elrond Sindarin course: quote: ********** In Sindarin, words that once ended with -nd, -nt, -mb, all appear to double before any sort of ending. Perian (from older periand) + ath = Periannath ************ in some other cases a doubled consonent may be due to assimilation or mutation in a compound: Edhellen “elvish” – may represent _edhel + ren_ (r>l). Ithildin *(

 

 

Re: Periannath or Pheriannath

In Sindarin, words that once ended with -nd, -nt, -mb, all appear to double before any sort of ending. Perian (from older periand) + ath = Periannath Aaaahhh! So that one's a hold-over from the "older version" of the word. Geeze, the professor thought of everything, didn't he? Thanks. ^_^ Bado na sídh. Berz.

 

 

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