WE, US

The relevant Quenya pronouns make two distinctions not found in English. “We” can be either inclusive or exclusive, depending on whether the party addressed is included in “we” or not. Furthermore, “we” can be either plural (involving at least three persons) or dual (involving only two persons, the speaker and one other). Tolkien repeatedly revised the relevant endings. According to VT49:16, 51 one late resolution goes like this: The ending for plural exclusive “we” is -lmë, corresponding to dual exclusive -mmë. Hence e.g. carilmë *“we [not including you] do”, carimmë *“the two of us do; I and one other [not you] do”. The ending for plural inclusive “we” is to be -lwë or -lvë, corresponding to -ngwë for dual inclusive “we” (VT49:16; variant -nquë in VT49:51): Carilwë “we [including you] do”, caringwë “the two of us do; thou and I do”. The corresponding independent pronouns were pl. exclusive me, pl. inclusive we or later ve with variant vi (PE17:130); when stressed these could have long vowels (mé and wé > vé, VT49:51). They may also appear in object position (“us” rather than “we”), e.g. suffixed to ála “do not” in the negative command álamë tulya, "do not lead us" (VT43:12, 22). If these pronouns are to be dual, they receive the dual ending -t (exclusive met, inclusive wet > *vet; compare imbë met “between us [two]” in Namarië). The dual pronouns do not have a long vowel even when stressed. The pronouns me, we/*ve and their long variants can also receive case endings, like dative men or véna “for us” (VT43:27, 28, 33, VT49:14) or locative messë "on us" (VT44:12). An emphatic pronoun is attested as emmë “we” (VT43:20), this reflects an earlier conceptual stage where Tolkien used the forms in -mmë for plural rather than dual exclusive “we” (VT49:48, cf. forms like vammë, WJ:371); presumably he would later regard emmë as a dual exclusive form, corresponding to pl. *elmë (and with *elwë > *elvë and *engwë as the emphatic pronouns for inclusive “you”, plural and dual, respectively). These emphatic pronouns can also receive case endings; the dative form emmen “for us” is attested (VT43:12, 20). – Genitive forms, see OUR; reflexive pronouns, see OURSELVES.

Quettaparma Quenyallo (English-Quenya). 2014.

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