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Quenya Grammar P59: Stative

In ᴹQ. Fíriel’s Song from the 1930s there are signs of a “stative” verb inflection; I don’t know who coined this term for the Quenya construction. This song has nouns and adjectives with the verb “to be” directly attached in the form of the suffix -ie (LR/72):

In these examples, there is either (a) no subject as már(a)-ie = “it is good”, (b) a pronominal subject suffix as meld(a)-ie-lto = “they are beloved” or (c) an implied subject from another phrase as ilqa yéva nótina, hostainiéva “all are counted, [all] numbered”. As seen in this last example, where the subject is explicit and not a pronoun, the “to be” verb (yéva) is expressed separately as a joining verb between the subject and predicate; this is true elsewhere in the poem as well.

An earlier version of this system appeared in Qenya Word-lists from the 1920s, as the suffix -ya added to adjectives and participles: márea = mára + ya “is good”, qalinya “is dying”, narkea “is dead”, ninqia “is white”; all of these are connected to a root ī “be” (PE16/140). A variant suffix -nye was used for the past tense (PE16/141). The later version of the stative suffix appearing in Fíriel’s Song is probably connected to an updated version of the root, ᴹ√ or ᴹ√Ī from The Etymologies, as suggested by Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne (VT46/22).

There is no sign of this “stative” inflection after the 1930s, but it may have been a precursor to the idea that the optional copula would appear after the predicate if it was included at all.

Neo-Quenya: Both the verb ye- and this specific construction were abandoned in later writing, make this inflection inappropriate for Neo-Quenya.

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