14 – Adv. A Stem
Now that you have a basic understanding of how Sindarin A-stem verbs operate, we can discuss some very key “advanced” features of the verbal system. Please keep in mind that the Sindarin verbal system is not understood very well, and therefore most of what is known about Sindarin verbs comes from scanty evidence and limited resources. This however, is the best system that could be devised with limited knowledge, but bear in mind that as more material becomes published, parts of this system may change. In case of such a change, I will be sure to adapt the lessons to fit the current theory.
Sindarin possesses what are known as pronominal endings. So what are they? Essentially, a pronominal ending is a pronoun (words that replace a noun such as I, WE, THEY, etc) that is stuck onto the end of the verb. Thus, it eliminates the need for independent pronouns (pronouns separate from the verb). The known pronominal endings are:
1st person: -n = used to signify “I”
1st person: -m = used to signify “we”
2nd person: -ch = used to signify “you”
2nd person: -l = used to signify plural “you”
3rd person: -r = used when there is a plural subject. May also be used to signify “they”
NOTE: These pronominal endings are appended to the end of the Sindarin verb. As you will soon see these endings can have some interesting consequences phonologically.
We shall now move through the forms of the Sindarin verb and demonstrate how these endings are to be used.
It is rather useless to try to append pronominal endings to the infinitive form of a verb. If you did so you would end up with forms such as:
Bronio “to endure” > Bronion “I to endure”
As you can see this does not make a whole lot of sense.
THE PRESENT TENSE (all other forms except 3rd person singular)
The present tense is rather straightforward when it comes to pronominal endings.
Bronia “endures, is enduring” >
Bronion “I endure”
Broniar “They endure” or signifies plurality
Broniam “We endure”
Broniach “You endure”
Dagra “makes war” >
Dagron “I make war”
Dagrar “They make war”
Dagram “We make war”
Dagrach “You make war”
As you can see the pronominal endings are just slapped onto the A-stem. One thing to note: the final “-a” of the verb stem becomes “-o” before the ending “-n” (I). Why this happens no one knows, but it does consistently. Keep this in mind throughout the other tenses.
THE PAST TENSE (all other forms except 3rd person singular)
The past tense gets a little bit more complex. Not too much, but ever so slightly. The 3rd person singular past tense ending “-nt” becomes “-nne-” before you add the needed pronominal ending for all other persons.
Broniant “endured” >
Broniannen “I endured”
Bronianner “They endured”
Broniannem “We endured”
Broniannech “You endured”
Dagrant “made war” >
Dagrannen “I made war”
Dagranner “They made war”
Dagrannem “We made war”
Dagrannech “You made war”
Please remember that pronomial endings cause “-nt” to become “-nne-” !!
NOTE: Verbs like linnant “sang”, instead of becoming linnannen, “I sang”, are probably contracted (to remove the double NN). For example:
Linnant “sang” >
Linnen “I sang” instead of Linnannen
Linner “They sang” instead of Linnanner
Linnem “We sang” instead of Linnannem
Linnech “You sang” instead of Linnannech
THE FUTURE TENSE (all other forms except 3rd person singular)
The future tense is pretty predictable. The only thing to remember here is that the ending “-n” (I) causes the final “-a” to become “-o”.
Broniatha “will endure” >
Broniathon “I will endure”
Broniathar “They will endure”
Broniatham “We will endure”
Broniathach “You will endure”
Dagratha “will make war” >
Dagrathon “I will make war”
Dagrathar “They will make war”
Dagratham “We will make war”
Dagrathach “You will make war”
THE ACTIVE PARTICIPLE
THE PERFECTIVE ACTIVE PARTICIPLE
THE PASSIVE PARTICIPLE
As far as we can tell, these forms of the verb cannot take pronominal endings. Until we have some conclusive proof otherwise, I am afraid it would be worthless to speculate beyond this point. Please note: to use pronominal endings with these forms would require quite drastic interpretations for the phrase to make sense.
That covers the pronominal endings for the A-stems!
MORE ON THE PERFECTIVE ACTIVE PARTICIPLE
In lesson nine I introduced you to the perfective active participle and how it is to be used. There is, however, one important feature that should be noted. When the stem ending “-a” or “-ia” is dropped and the ending “iel” is added, additional changes take place ….
1.) When the A-stem ends in -IA, the ORIGINAL PRIMITIVE ROOT VOWELS lengthen (see Dragonflame for roots):
a > á > ó
e > í
i > í
o > ó > ú
u > ú
Bronia (from BORI) > Brúniel
Henia (from KHAN) > Hóniel
Hwinia (from SWIN) > Hwíniel
Delia (from DUL) > Dúliel
Edledhia (from ET, LED) > Edlídhiel
2.) When the A-stem ends in -A, simple i-umlaut occurs throughout the verb:
a > e
o > e
Dortha > Derthiel
Danna > Denniel
NOTE: Diphthongs would most likely not be affected. Do not mutate the diphthongs!
In the last lesson you learned about the passive participle and how it is to be used. However, there is one thing that should be mentioned about the passive participle that makes it unique. The passive participle has a distinct plural form. This means, if you use the passive participle in reference to a plural subject you must use its plural form. This plural form is found by taking the ending “-en” and changing the “e” to “i”. Thus we get “-in”. This change from “e > i” causes, in turn, its own mutations. All a’s and o’s become “e”. This is called an “i-umlaut”, because it is driven by the change to “i”.
Harnannen > Hernennin
Gostannen > Gestennin
Please note the i-umlaut in effect. It is not enough to just change the ending.
This seems to be the only form of participle that has a plural form (the active and perfective active participles apparently have none). In the future this may change as new information becomes available for studying.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
• Pronominal endings are pronouns stuck onto the end of the verb
• The Imperative, Infinitive, Passive participle, Active participle, Perfective active participle, and Gerund most likely cannot take pronominal endings.
• When appending pronominal endings to the present tense “-a” turns into “-o” before “–n”
• When appending pronominal endings to the past tense, “-nt” becomes “-nne-”
• When appending pronominal endings to the future tense “-a” turns into “-o” before “–n”
• In the perfective active participle, when “-iel” is added to a verb ending in “-ia”, the original prim. root vowels lengthen
• In the perfective active participle, when “-iel” is added to a verb ending in “-a”, simple i-umlaut prob. occurs throughout verb:
• The passive participle seems to have a plural form
• This plural form is found be changing the intermediate -e- to -i-. This causes an i-umlaut throughout the word.