Discussion:
Something doesn't add up
(too old to reply)
Sean_Q_
2008-05-28 21:32:09 UTC
Permalink
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English" national
legend. Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do because they were
a "French import".

And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.

His legends involve mounted knights in armor with all the trappings
such as squires, lances, jousts etc.

However it's my understanding is that all this didn't really get its
start in Europe until the 8th century; specifically at the Battle
of Tours (732 AD) when Charles Martel's infantry defeated the mounted
Umayyads and then began to adopt their foes' cavalry technology.

In fact even by 1066 the English were *still* fighting on foot,
as did Harold's Saxons at Hastings.

Something doesn't add up here. The Normans had knights in armor
at Hastings. Why didn't Harold ??? -- if they'd already been around
in England for 3 centuries.

Or were they...(?) Hmmm... I don't recall King Alfred leading armored
cavalry into battle against the Danes either. Something awful fishy
is going on here.

The legends of Arthur and Camelot seem so real and so vivid that it's
hard to believe they're all a construct that has been pulled over my
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).

Tolkien's world is also vivid, but he was careful to place the action
in a fictional geography.

Sean_Q_
Raven
2008-05-28 22:34:40 UTC
Permalink
"Sean_Q_" <***@no.sapm> skrev i meddelelsen news:tbk%j.302678$***@pd7urf1no...

[...]
Post by Sean_Q_
And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.
His legends involve mounted knights in armor with all the trappings
such as squires, lances, jousts etc.
However it's my understanding is that all this didn't really get its
start in Europe until the 8th century; specifically at the Battle
of Tours (732 AD) when Charles Martel's infantry defeated the mounted
Umayyads and then began to adopt their foes' cavalry technology.
In fact even by 1066 the English were *still* fighting on foot,
as did Harold's Saxons at Hastings.
Something doesn't add up here. The Normans had knights in armor
at Hastings. Why didn't Harold ??? -- if they'd already been around
in England for 3 centuries.
The explanation I've seen in my copy of Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur" is
that these Arthurian legends were largely inventions by the Normans, enemies
of the Saxons, vaguely based on old legends of the Britons, in their time
also enemies of the Saxons. So the Normans saw Arthur and his warriors as
heroes - and heroes must surely be heavy cavalry with a medieval code of
chivalry, right?

Corbeau.
Troels Forchhammer
2008-05-28 23:03:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean_Q_
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English"
national legend. Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do
because they were a "French import".
There's something about it also in the introductory part of letter #
131 -- a rather long letter, probably from late 1951, in which
Tolkien gives 'a long yet bald resume' of his mythology including
both Silm and LotR with various explanations -- published partly in
/Letters/ and Silm and partly in Hammond & Scull's /Reader's
Companion/ to LotR.

There was Greek, and Celtic, and Romance, Germanic,
Scandinavian, and Finnish (which greatly affected me); but
nothing English, save impoverished chap-book stuff. Of
course there was and is all the Arthurian world, but
powerful as it is, it is imperfectly naturalized,
associated with the soil of Britain but not with English;
and does not replace what I felt to be missing. For one
thing its 'faerie' is too lavish, and fantastical,
incoherent and repetitive. For another and more important
thing: it is involved in, and explicitly contains the
Christian religion.
[Letters #131, to Milton Waldman, ?late 1951]

<snip>
Post by Sean_Q_
His legends involve mounted knights in armor with all the
trappings such as squires, lances, jousts etc.
Yes. Arthurian knights are usually depicted and envisioned in armoury
and weaponry which didn't exist until about 1300 -- or about two
hundred years before Malory's /Morte d'Arthur/ from 1485, which cast
the characters as contemporary knights.

<snip>
Post by Sean_Q_
Or were they...(?) Hmmm... I don't recall King Alfred leading
armored cavalry into battle against the Danes either. Something
awful fishy is going on here.
I won't pretend to be an expert here, but merely direct the attention
to the Wikipedia articles on cavalry and King Arthur:

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavalry>
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur>

Whatever the kernel of truth in the stories, there is little doubt
that they are predominantly made up (with about the same level of
veracity as e.g. Beowulf -- perhaps there was a leader called Arthur
and certainly the countries described did exist). It is, however,
possible that a fifth or sixth century chieftain in England could
have had mounted warriors inspired by Roman cavalry, though these,
due to the prohibitive cost of both obtaining and maintaining horse
as well as armour and weapons, would most likely have been few and
far between (too few, in any case, to be a decisive factor on the
battle-field).
Post by Sean_Q_
Tolkien's world is also vivid, but he was careful to place the
action in a fictional geography.
That depends ;-)

His first effort, the Book of Lost Tales, is firmly placed in England
-- even down to identifying specific locations in the stories with
locations important to Tolkien.

By the time he got to LotR, however, his approach had changed a bit,
and his stories were less specifically localized, although the tale
is still located the western part of Europe with a focus on the
north-west. So even though the specific geography doesn't match up,
LotR is nevertheless intended to portray an imagined historical
period of actual western Europe.
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.
- /Hogfather/ (Terry Pratchett)
Erik Trulsson
2008-05-29 08:58:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean_Q_
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English" national
legend. Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do because they were
a "French import".
Most of the legends as we know them were created during the 12th century by
Geoffrey of Monmouth, and with some important addititions from Chrétien de
Troyes who was responsible for adding Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the
legends.

Much of this was of course based on older legends. There is also a Welsh
story-cycle about Arthur and his knights which differs in many ways.
Post by Sean_Q_
And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.
That depends on which version of the legends you read.
He is probably based on some real historical person, but any details
on who that might have been is largely guesses.
Post by Sean_Q_
His legends involve mounted knights in armor with all the trappings
such as squires, lances, jousts etc.
Yes, the people writing down the legends (in the 12th century as I said)
put in the trappings they were familiar with.
Post by Sean_Q_
However it's my understanding is that all this didn't really get its
start in Europe until the 8th century; specifically at the Battle
of Tours (732 AD) when Charles Martel's infantry defeated the mounted
Umayyads and then began to adopt their foes' cavalry technology.
In fact even by 1066 the English were *still* fighting on foot,
as did Harold's Saxons at Hastings.
Yep, mounted knights as we think of them did not really come into
existence until 11th-12th century. Most of the social institution
of 'knights' and feudalism got its early start during the reign
of Charles Martel's grandson Charles the Great (aka Charlemagne)
in the early 9th century.
Post by Sean_Q_
Something doesn't add up here. The Normans had knights in armor
at Hastings. Why didn't Harold ??? -- if they'd already been around
in England for 3 centuries.
They simply hadn't been around in England for 3 centuries.
Post by Sean_Q_
Or were they...(?) Hmmm... I don't recall King Alfred leading armored
cavalry into battle against the Danes either. Something awful fishy
is going on here.
The legends of Arthur and Camelot seem so real and so vivid that it's
hard to believe they're all a construct that has been pulled over my
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
The Arthur legends are an anachronistic mixture of some scant historical
sources that have very few details, some older story-cycles, and lots of
fanciful writers adding their own ideas and embellishments to it.
Post by Sean_Q_
Tolkien's world is also vivid, but he was careful to place the action
in a fictional geography.
--
<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
***@student.uu.se
JJ
2008-05-29 11:51:21 UTC
Permalink
On May 29, 9:58 am, Erik Trulsson <***@student.uu.se> wrote:
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
Post by Erik Trulsson
The Arthur legends are an anachronistic mixture of some scant historical
sources that have very few details, some older story-cycles, and lots of
fanciful writers adding their own ideas and embellishments to it.
And they still are - read Bernard Cornwell's trilogy, Winter King,
Enemy of God and Excalibur.
Erik Trulsson
2008-05-29 21:32:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean_Q_
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
Post by Erik Trulsson
The Arthur legends are an anachronistic mixture of some scant historical
sources that have very few details, some older story-cycles, and lots of
fanciful writers adding their own ideas and embellishments to it.
And they still are - read Bernard Cornwell's trilogy, Winter King,
Enemy of God and Excalibur.
I have never heard of that particular trilogy, nor of the writer, but over
the last century there must have been several hundred writers (if not more)
adding their takes on the Arthur legends in various books, movies, games,
and comics (and probably songs, poems and theatre plays as well.) I don't
expect people to stop mining the Arturian legends for material any time
soon.
--
<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
***@student.uu.se
JimboCat
2008-05-30 20:09:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Erik Trulsson
Post by Sean_Q_
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
Post by Erik Trulsson
The Arthur legends are an anachronistic mixture of some scant historical
sources that have very few details, some older story-cycles, and lots of
fanciful writers adding their own ideas and embellishments to it.
And they still are - read Bernard Cornwell's trilogy, Winter King,
Enemy of God and Excalibur.
I have never heard of that particular trilogy, nor of the writer, but over
the last century there must have been several hundred writers (if not more)
adding their takes on the Arthur legends in various books, movies, games,
and comics (and probably songs, poems and theatre plays as well.) I don't
expect people to stop mining the Arturian legends for material any time
soon.
Hundreds? Wow! But I totally believe it.

My favorites (among the small percentage I have read) include Mary
Stewart (of course!), especially /The Crystal Cave/, and, stragely
enough, Marion Zimmer Bradley's /The Mists of Avalon/ which tells the
story from the point of view of Morgan LeFay, an evil witch in
Mallory's version.

I'll also note /The Silver Chalice/ by, uh, it's on the tip of my
tongue (and somewhere on my bookshelf) but it's out of print and even
abebooks can't find it, but it is notable mostly in that it tries to
be historically plausible. No shining armor in that one!

Jim Deutch (JimboCat)
--
"While some fools seem to think that strength is the ability to
destroy and to defeat, strength is more importantly the ability to
give and to aid." - Raven
Derek Broughton
2008-05-30 20:41:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimboCat
Post by Erik Trulsson
Post by Sean_Q_
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
Post by Erik Trulsson
The Arthur legends are an anachronistic mixture of some scant
historical sources that have very few details, some older
story-cycles, and lots of fanciful writers adding their own ideas and
embellishments to it.
And they still are - read Bernard Cornwell's trilogy, Winter King,
Enemy of God and Excalibur.
I have never heard of that particular trilogy, nor of the writer, but
over the last century there must have been several hundred writers (if
not more) adding their takes on the Arthur legends in various books,
movies, games, and comics (and probably songs, poems and theatre plays as
well.) I don't expect people to stop mining the Arturian legends for
material any time soon.
Hundreds? Wow! But I totally believe it.
Well, I don't know, but I thought I'd do a quick search for subject "King
Arthur" in our local library - I get 198 titles, and 153 books. Some of
those are probably for the same item in different formats (eg, hardcover or
softcover) but it still seems like a pretty good number. I don't have a
simple way to find out how many authors that is, but in the past century I
believe it's been mandatory that every author use at least three volumes to
tell the story, so it's probably less than 50 authors. otoh, the library
only serves around 300,000 people, so a big-city library will no doubt have
many more.
Post by JimboCat
My favorites (among the small percentage I have read) include Mary
Stewart (of course!), especially /The Crystal Cave/, and, stragely
enough, Marion Zimmer Bradley's /The Mists of Avalon/ which tells the
story from the point of view of Morgan LeFay, an evil witch in
Mallory's version.
Both very good. I've read the Cornwell, too, and I enjoy it. I can't stand
T.H. White. I keep meaning to check out Jack Whyte.
Post by JimboCat
I'll also note /The Silver Chalice/ by, uh, it's on the tip of my
tongue (and somewhere on my bookshelf)
Thomas Costain
Post by JimboCat
but it's out of print and even
abebooks can't find it, but it is notable mostly in that it tries to
I've just put it on hold from my library, thanks.
--
derek
JimboCat
2008-06-02 13:11:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimboCat
Post by Erik Trulsson
Post by Sean_Q_
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
Post by Erik Trulsson
The Arthur legends are an anachronistic mixture of some scant
historical sources that have very few details, some older
story-cycles, and lots of fanciful writers adding their own ideas and
embellishments to it.
And they still are - read Bernard Cornwell's trilogy, Winter King,
Enemy of God and Excalibur.
I have never heard of that particular trilogy, nor of the writer, but
over the last century there must have been several hundred writers (if
not more) adding their takes on the Arthur legends in various books,
movies, games, and comics (and probably songs, poems and theatre plays as
well.) I don't expect people to stop mining the Arturian legends for
material any time soon.
Hundreds? Wow! But I totally believe it.
My favorites (among the small percentage I have read) include Mary
Stewart (of course!), especially /The Crystal Cave/, and, stragely
enough, Marion Zimmer Bradley's /The Mists of Avalon/ which tells the
story from the point of view of Morgan LeFay, an evil witch in
Mallory's version.
Both very good.  I've read the Cornwell, too, and I enjoy it.  I can't stand
T.H. White.  I keep meaning to check out Jack Whyte.
Ah, I can't believe I forgot about T.H. White. I quite like the first
book.
Post by JimboCat
I'll also note /The Silver Chalice/ by, uh, it's on the tip of my
tongue (and somewhere on my bookshelf)
Thomas Costain
Post by JimboCat
but it's out of print and even
abebooks can't find it, but it is notable mostly in that it tries to
No, no! I got the color all wrong, as it turns out, which is why I
couldn't find it (all I found was the Costain, which is NOT it at
all). The book I was thinking of is /The Crimson Chalice/ by Victor
Canning. Not a great novel, but notable as an attempt at a
historically plausible Arthur...

Jim Deutch (JimboCat)
--
"As a youngster I turned to Disney movies for most life lessons, and
the skill of sex appeal was no exception. At the very beginning, all
the ladies that landed the Disney guys were either poor and dusty,
partially dead, narcoleptic, or non-human." -- Shannan Scarselletta
Derek Broughton
2008-06-02 13:30:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimboCat
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by JimboCat
I'll also note /The Silver Chalice/ by, uh, it's on the tip of my
tongue (and somewhere on my bookshelf)
Thomas Costain
Post by JimboCat
but it's out of print and even
abebooks can't find it, but it is notable mostly in that it tries to
No, no! I got the color all wrong, as it turns out, which is why I
couldn't find it (all I found was the Costain, which is NOT it at
all). The book I was thinking of is /The Crimson Chalice/ by Victor
Canning. Not a great novel, but notable as an attempt at a
historically plausible Arthur...
Ah! The library's catalog info for /The Silver Chalice/ didn't mention King
Arthur, but since the Grail figures into many Arthurian stories it didn't
seem so far-fetched. Now I'll have to check out the other one...
--
derek
Öjevind Lång
2008-06-02 13:45:54 UTC
Permalink
"JimboCat" <***@compuserve.com> skrev i meddelandet news:d4d1929f-bb1c-432c-b995-***@l42g2000hsc.googlegroups.com...

[snip]
Post by JimboCat
No, no! I got the color all wrong, as it turns out, which is why I
couldn't find it (all I found was the Costain, which is NOT it at
all). The book I was thinking of is /The Crimson Chalice/ by Victor
Canning. Not a great novel, but notable as an attempt at a
historically plausible Arthur...
Another somewhat different book is Rosemary Sutcliff's "The Lantern
Bearers", which received the Carnegie Medal in 1959. I think one can find
reprints on Amazon. It's about a young Roman officer who deserts from the
legions when Britain is abandoned by Rome because Britain in his home, and
his tribulations following that. Finally, he takes service with Aurelius
Ambrosius, who in Sutcliff's version is the uncle of young Artos (Arthur).
It is primarily an attempt to depict Roman Britain after it was left on its
own and doesn't feature any Arthurian material apart from young Artos, who
in the book has just started out.
There is a much inferior (and much later) sequel where Artos is at the
centre, and where one also encounters Guinevere, but I did not care much for
that one.

Öjevind
Igenlode Wordsmith
2008-06-16 23:02:14 UTC
Permalink
"Öjevind Lång" <***@ojevind.lang> wrote in message <***@mid.individual.net>

[snip]
Post by Öjevind Lång
Another somewhat different book is Rosemary Sutcliff's "The Lantern
Bearers", which received the Carnegie Medal in 1959. I think one can find
reprints on Amazon. It's about a young Roman officer who deserts from the
legions when Britain is abandoned by Rome because Britain in his home, and
his tribulations following that. Finally, he takes service with Aurelius
Ambrosius, who in Sutcliff's version is the uncle of young Artos (Arthur).
It is primarily an attempt to depict Roman Britain after it was left on its
own and doesn't feature any Arthurian material apart from young Artos, who
in the book has just started out.
There is a much inferior (and much later) sequel where Artos is at the
centre, and where one also encounters Guinevere, but I did not care much for
that one.
Do you mean "Sword at Sunset" (1963)? It's not a children's book like
"The Lantern Bearers", but I certainly wouldn't describe it as much
inferior; to my mind it's the more powerful novel of the two.

Alternatively (from the 'much later' description!) you may well have in
mind "The Road to Camlann" (1982), which covers basically the same
material in the form of the standard legend rather than as an attempt at
Romano-British history; King Arthur rather than Artos. Light-weight
compared to "Sword at Sunset", and much more distant and courtly than
"The Lantern Bearers", but as lively as you'd expect from Rosemary
Sutcliff, if you don't mind knights in armour and fair ladies and all
the other Malorian stuff...
--
Igenlode Wordsmith Lurker Extraordinaire

Igenlode's erratic blog:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=257221781
Öjevind Lång
2008-06-17 10:48:46 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
Post by Öjevind Lång
There is a much inferior (and much later) sequel where Artos is at the
centre, and where one also encounters Guinevere, but I did not care much for
that one.
Do you mean "Sword at Sunset" (1963)? It's not a children's book like
"The Lantern Bearers", but I certainly wouldn't describe it as much
inferior; to my mind it's the more powerful novel of the two.
There we differ. If "Sword at Sunset" is the book in which Aquila and his
old guard all fall in battle, I think the book is much inferior to "The
Lantern Bearers", though not because of Aquila's death.

Öjevind

Steve Morrison
2008-06-02 17:22:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimboCat
No, no! I got the color all wrong, as it turns out, which is why I
couldn't find it (all I found was the Costain, which is NOT it at
all). The book I was thinking of is /The Crimson Chalice/ by Victor
Canning. Not a great novel, but notable as an attempt at a
historically plausible Arthur...
Well, then it's still available used from several sellers:

http://isbndb.com/d/book/the_crimson_chalice_a01.html

There's also a /Crimson Chalice trilogy/:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140052534/ejelta5-20
Derek Broughton
2008-06-13 13:02:03 UTC
Permalink
(re: Arthurian legend)
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by JimboCat
My favorites (among the small percentage I have read) include Mary
Stewart (of course!), especially /The Crystal Cave/, and, stragely
enough, Marion Zimmer Bradley's /The Mists of Avalon/ which tells the
story from the point of view of Morgan LeFay, an evil witch in
Mallory's version.
Both very good. I've read the Cornwell, too, and I enjoy it. I can't
stand T.H. White. I keep meaning to check out Jack Whyte.
I am in the middle of Jack Whyte's second book (/The Singing Sword/) and I'm
very impressed. We haven't come close to Arthur yet - it starts two
generations earlier, as the Roman Empire's time in Britain comes to a
close. It has wonderful rationalizations of the origins of the "Sword in
the stone" and the "Lady of the Lake". Elsewhere in the thread, Troels
Post by Derek Broughton
It is, however, possible that a fifth or sixth century chieftain in
England could have had mounted warriors inspired by Roman cavalry, though
these, due to the prohibitive cost of both obtaining and maintaining horse
as well as armour and weapons, would most likely have been few and far
between
Whyte is working into this as I read. The first novel (/The Skystone/)
begins about the time of Adrianople, and Whyte's extrapolation (in the
second book) of how that led the Romans to develop their own heavy cavalry,
while presumably fictional, makes sense. That those Romans planning to
remain in Britain to try to maintain civilization would adopt tactics that
mesh with the Arthurian legends we all know, of mounted chivalry, follows
logically.
--
derek
Paul S. Person
2008-06-13 18:12:00 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 10:02:03 -0300, Derek Broughton
Post by Derek Broughton
Whyte is working into this as I read. The first novel (/The Skystone/)
begins about the time of Adrianople, and Whyte's extrapolation (in the
second book) of how that led the Romans to develop their own heavy cavalry,
while presumably fictional, makes sense. That those Romans planning to
remain in Britain to try to maintain civilization would adopt tactics that
mesh with the Arthurian legends we all know, of mounted chivalry, follows
logically.
I am fairly sure that the Byzantines did develop cataphracts in
response to Adrianople and other encounters. Whether the second book
follows the historical timeline I have no idea, not only because I
haven't read it, but also because I do not have the timeline
memorized, but the basic idea sounds right.
--
"A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature,
but contrary to what we know as nature."
Larry Swain
2008-05-31 05:39:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by JimboCat
Post by Erik Trulsson
Post by Sean_Q_
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
Post by Erik Trulsson
The Arthur legends are an anachronistic mixture of some scant historical
sources that have very few details, some older story-cycles, and lots of
fanciful writers adding their own ideas and embellishments to it.
And they still are - read Bernard Cornwell's trilogy, Winter King,
Enemy of God and Excalibur.
I have never heard of that particular trilogy, nor of the writer, but over
the last century there must have been several hundred writers (if not more)
adding their takes on the Arthur legends in various books, movies, games,
and comics (and probably songs, poems and theatre plays as well.) I don't
expect people to stop mining the Arturian legends for material any time
soon.
Hundreds? Wow! But I totally believe it.
My favorites (among the small percentage I have read) include Mary
Stewart (of course!), especially /The Crystal Cave/, and, stragely
enough, Marion Zimmer Bradley's /The Mists of Avalon/ which tells the
story from the point of view of Morgan LeFay, an evil witch in
Mallory's version.
Those are two of my favorites too, and I'll add Tennyson and T. H.
White's The Once and Future King to the list of favorites too. Guy
Gavriel Kay and Stephen Lawhead have also done Arthurian takes, though
Kay's was in the context of a much larger mythological framework of
which the Arthurian story was but a strand. Alexander Lloyd's works
too, as well as Susan Cooper's.
Post by JimboCat
I'll also note /The Silver Chalice/ by, uh, it's on the tip of my
tongue (and somewhere on my bookshelf) but it's out of print and even
abebooks can't find it, but it is notable mostly in that it tries to
be historically plausible. No shining armor in that one!
I might be thinking of the wrong book, but if this is the one by Thomas
Costain, I don't remember anything Arthurian about it...certainly the
Grail takes center stage, but its the story of the cup in the years
immediately following the death of Christ. But I might be confusing books.
Öjevind Lång
2008-05-29 15:38:08 UTC
Permalink
"Erik Trulsson" <***@student.uu.se> skrev i meddelandet news:***@news.midgard.homeip.net...

[snip]
Post by Erik Trulsson
Most of the legends as we know them were created during the 12th century by
Geoffrey of Monmouth, and with some important addititions from Chrétien de
Troyes who was responsible for adding Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the
legends.
However, I have seen scholarly specualtions that the Holy Grail was
originally a mythical Celtic pot of plenty, a pot which was always full of
food..
Post by Erik Trulsson
Much of this was of course based on older legends. There is also a Welsh
story-cycle about Arthur and his knights which differs in many ways.
The French stories built on the Welsh ones; as others have pointed out,
Tolkien clearly felt that the mythology never really belonged to the
English, being "imperfectly naturalized".

Öjevind
Sean_Q_
2008-05-29 17:14:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Erik Trulsson
The Arthur legends are an anachronistic mixture of some scant historical
sources that have very few details, some older story-cycles, and lots of
fanciful writers adding their own ideas and embellishments to it.
Including Hal Foster with _Prince Valiant_ "in the time of King Arthur"
(including Attila the Hun in 453) and yet his adventures include
Gokstad-style Viking longships, Moslems and other anachronisms.

Thing is, I grew up reading Prince Valiant and believed every word,
it was so "authentic". Of course, I also believed in Santa Claus
and the Tooth Fairy...

SQ
Derek Broughton
2008-05-29 12:53:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean_Q_
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English" national
legend.
Tolkien said that.
Post by Sean_Q_
Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do because they were
a "French import".
That part seems more likely to be an interpretation by somebody else. The
most common telling of Arthur - Mallory's "Morte d'Arthur" certainly is
heavily French-influenced, but Arthur goes back a long way before that.
Geoffrey of Monmouth and Giraldis Cambrensis, iirc (wow. It's almost 30
years since I took that course on Arthurian literature...).
Post by Sean_Q_
And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.
Or some say a Celticized Roman
Post by Sean_Q_
Something doesn't add up here. The Normans had knights in armor
at Hastings. Why didn't Harold ??? -- if they'd already been around
in England for 3 centuries.
They hadn't.
Post by Sean_Q_
The legends of Arthur and Camelot seem so real and so vivid that it's
hard to believe they're all a construct that has been pulled over my
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
That is "Morte d'Arthur" - 13th century or so, placed in a 5th or 6th
century setting. The earlier legends are nothing like that.
Post by Sean_Q_
Tolkien's world is also vivid, but he was careful to place the action
in a fictional geography.
And Mallory - understanding Einstein centuries before Einstein - set the
action in a fictional time.
--
derek
Larry Swain
2008-05-29 15:37:05 UTC
Permalink
Others have commented and I'll try not to repeat too much of what they
have said, but simply to add things.
Post by Sean_Q_
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English" national
legend. Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do because they were
a "French import".
Quite. While the Welsh Arthurian materials are preserved, they are few
and far between and do not seem to have made it across the border into
England in the pre-Norman period. The Normans intermarried with the
important families around them, including those in Brittany where they
heard the Arthurian tales, and then Norman authors recast them into the
Arthurian tales we know from the 12th century, most notably at that
period Chretien de Troyes and Marie de France. Historiographers were
also busy making use of Arthurian traditions to claim that William and
his house were descended from Arthur (as well as to support the claim to
the English throne from Alfred), and others have mentioned those writing
in Latin, but I'll add Wace and Layamon to the pile.
Post by Sean_Q_
And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.
Maybe. More importantly what no one has pointed out is that Briton does
not mean English. "Briton" refers to the pre-Anglo-Saxon Celtic
inhabitants of the Roman province specifically or sometimes to the
pre-Anglo-Saxon Celtic inhabitants of the island as a whole. "English"
comes from "Anglish", an adjective from the tribal name "Angle",
originally claimed to have been those Germanic peoples who dwelt in the
Angle between modern Germany and Denmark. What Tolkien bemoaned in
those early days was that ENGLISH had no such great mythology or cycle
like the Briton Arthur, the French Charlemagne/Roland, the Roman Aeneid,
the Greek Odyssey/Iliad etc. The closest English comes to this is
Beowulf, and that tale speaks of characters and events in Scandinavia,
not among the English in England.
Post by Sean_Q_
His legends involve mounted knights in armor with all the trappings
such as squires, lances, jousts etc.
Sometimes. The Arthurian tales are anachronistic and read the high and
late medieval period backward as if it were earlier. Further, the
Arthurian tales take place "back in the good old days". As Chretien
opens his first Arthurian, back when they knew about love and
chivalry....key concerns of the late 12th century.
Post by Sean_Q_
However it's my understanding is that all this didn't really get its
start in Europe until the 8th century; specifically at the Battle
of Tours (732 AD) when Charles Martel's infantry defeated the mounted
Umayyads and then began to adopt their foes' cavalry technology.
Too true, though mounted cavalry had long been used both within the
Roman empire and among the Germanic tribes.
Post by Sean_Q_
In fact even by 1066 the English were *still* fighting on foot,
as did Harold's Saxons at Hastings.
They had to in this case: they took a defensive position on a hilltop
forcing the Normans to come UP to them to engage. It would be entirely
inappropriate and stupid to use cavalry in that defensive posture.
Think of the battle before the Black Gate in LoTR--you obviously have
cavalrymen among the forces of the West gathered there, but the cavalry
wasn't used: they formed a defensive wall on their respective slag
mounds and hunkered down. Same at Hastings.
Post by Sean_Q_
Something doesn't add up here. The Normans had knights in armor
at Hastings. Why didn't Harold ???
Harold did. Look at the Bayeux Tapestry: Harold's troops are dressed
basically the same as William's troops.

-- if they'd already been around
Post by Sean_Q_
in England for 3 centuries.
Well, depends on what you mean here. Knights and armored warriors had
certainly been around, but they weren't armored in the way that I think
you're conceiving really until the 14th century.
Post by Sean_Q_
Or were they...(?) Hmmm... I don't recall King Alfred leading armored
cavalry into battle against the Danes either. Something awful fishy
is going on here.
The Battle of Edington again is a defensive battle. Regrettably we know
little about Anglo-Saxon military tactics in most cases.
Post by Sean_Q_
The legends of Arthur and Camelot seem so real and so vivid that it's
hard to believe they're all a construct that has been pulled over my
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
Depends on what you mean by "truth". There is a great deal of truth in
the tales, they just aren't historical, though there may be some
historical material in them.
Post by Sean_Q_
Tolkien's world is also vivid, but he was careful to place the action
in a fictional geography.
Kind of. It was more a fictional time than a fictional geography.
Derek Broughton
2008-05-29 16:43:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
Maybe. More importantly what no one has pointed out is that Briton does
not mean English. "Briton" refers to the pre-Anglo-Saxon Celtic
inhabitants of the Roman province specifically or sometimes to the
pre-Anglo-Saxon Celtic inhabitants of the island as a whole.
Quite. You're right, that _is_ "more importantly".
Post by Larry Swain
Too true, though mounted cavalry had long been used both within the
Roman empire and among the Germanic tribes.
That's rather redundant, as the Romans themselves disdained cavalry and used
their Germanic/Celtic auxiliaries for that :-)
Post by Larry Swain
Depends on what you mean by "truth". There is a great deal of truth in
the tales, they just aren't historical, though there may be some
historical material in them.
And of course, much of it not "history" of Arthur, but history none the
less.
--
derek
Larry Swain
2008-05-30 15:52:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Larry Swain
Maybe. More importantly what no one has pointed out is that Briton does
not mean English. "Briton" refers to the pre-Anglo-Saxon Celtic
inhabitants of the Roman province specifically or sometimes to the
pre-Anglo-Saxon Celtic inhabitants of the island as a whole.
Quite. You're right, that _is_ "more importantly".
Thank you.
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Larry Swain
Too true, though mounted cavalry had long been used both within the
Roman empire and among the Germanic tribes.
That's rather redundant, as the Romans themselves disdained cavalry and used
their Germanic/Celtic auxiliaries for that :-)
Until the fourth century when the Roman army, not just auxilaries, had a
highly trained (by hired mercenaries) cavalry units.
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Larry Swain
Depends on what you mean by "truth". There is a great deal of truth in
the tales, they just aren't historical, though there may be some
historical material in them.
And of course, much of it not "history" of Arthur, but history none the
less.
Well said.
Sean_Q_
2008-05-29 16:53:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
Kind of. It was more a fictional time than a fictional geography.
True, but I meant that JRRT wanted an "English" legend and yet there's
no identifiable geographic England in his legendarium. The Shire may
resemble an English village and the Rohirrim may use Anglo-Saxon style
alliterative verse, but part of English culture has always been a sort
of insular mentality; it belongs to Europe and yet stands slightly
apart. ("Heavy fog blocks Channel shipping - Continent isolated.")

SQ
Larry Swain
2008-05-30 17:00:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean_Q_
Post by Larry Swain
Kind of. It was more a fictional time than a fictional geography.
True, but I meant that JRRT wanted an "English" legend and yet there's
no identifiable geographic England in his legendarium.
Yes and no. Others over the years have certainly noted a number of
similarities in the geography between Middle Earth and Europe, no, not
an exact correspondance, but a similarity.

More importantly however is the early use of the migration myth of the
English for the Hobbits and their obvious linguistic and cultural ties
to the other "Germanic" peoples in the novel, the Rohirrim. For
example, the Stoors coming into the Angle mentioned by Troels, the fact
that like the English coming into Britain there are 3 tribes (Angles,
Saxons, Jutes compare Stoors, Fallohides, Harfoots), and those who first
enter England and the Shire have names that are related to horses: Horsa
and Hengest lead the English migration, Blanco and Marcho found the
Shire (both sets of brothers as I recall); and the names Frodo likely
comes from Froda, a Germanic word, and a name in Beowulf and a few late
charters in England, (we in fact are told just that in the Appendix!
Tolkien says that he has retained some hobbit names without translation,
but changed the ending, the -a being the masculine ending, and so FrodO
was originally FrodA, the form of the OE name) and on the continent, nor
have I touched on yet the use of English names and words for place names
(particularly in and around the Shire, Bree-hill, Chetwood, etc), the
calendar, the influence of English literature etc....there is much that
is "English" about the novel, fundamentally English. So perhaps not
geographic in the literal sense, but the landscape certainly is English.

The Shire may
Post by Sean_Q_
resemble an English village and the Rohirrim may use Anglo-Saxon style
alliterative verse, but part of English culture has always been a sort
of insular mentality; it belongs to Europe and yet stands slightly
apart. ("Heavy fog blocks Channel shipping - Continent isolated.")
But this is precisely the view of the inhabitants of the Shire. Even
though the East-West Road runs through the Shire, and so they have some
contact with the outside world, they certainly don't want as a whole any
part in the outside world and would prefer if they didn't have much
contact...but to be a place apart, an island if you will in fact if not
in geography.
Öjevind Lång
2008-05-29 21:50:06 UTC
Permalink
"Larry Swain" <***@poetic.com> skrev i meddelandet news:y4adnfAf-***@rcn.net...

[snip]
Post by Larry Swain
Maybe. More importantly what no one has pointed out is that Briton does
not mean English. "Briton" refers to the pre-Anglo-Saxon Celtic
inhabitants of the Roman province specifically or sometimes to the
pre-Anglo-Saxon Celtic inhabitants of the island as a whole. "English"
comes from "Anglish", an adjective from the tribal name "Angle",
originally claimed to have been those Germanic peoples who dwelt in the
Angle
That is to say, Stoors.

Öjevind
Troels Forchhammer
2008-05-30 07:18:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Öjevind Lång
Post by Larry Swain
Maybe. More importantly what no one has pointed out is that
Briton does not mean English.
Very good point. Thanks, Larry!
Post by Öjevind Lång
Post by Larry Swain
"English" comes from "Anglish", an adjective from the tribal
name "Angle", originally claimed to have been those Germanic
peoples who dwelt in the Angle
That is to say, Stoors.
:-D Brilliant!

I'm gonna try that on the mrs some day -- she's from that part of the
world and she's even quite short, so the connection is obvious (I will,
however, most certainly /not/ give out private details about the
possible furriness of my wife's feet) ;-)
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

Science without religion is lame. Religion without science
is blind.
- Albert Einstein
Dirk Thierbach
2008-05-30 07:49:19 UTC
Permalink
[Angle]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Öjevind Lång
That is to say, Stoors.
I'm gonna try that on the mrs some day -- she's from that part of the
world and she's even quite short, so the connection is obvious
I'm probably stupid, and I know my English is worse than yours :-),
so may I ask what the connection between "stoor" and "short" is?

- Dirk
Troels Forchhammer
2008-05-30 09:00:07 UTC
Permalink
In message
Post by Dirk Thierbach
[Angle]
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Öjevind Lång
That is to say, Stoors.
I'm gonna try that on the mrs some day -- she's from that part of
the world and she's even quite short, so the connection is
obvious
I'm probably stupid, and I know my English is worse than yours
:-), so may I ask what the connection between "stoor" and "short"
is?
The Hobbit tribe -- or 'branch', I don't know which is the more
appropriate, -- the Stoors did, at one time, live in the Angle.

c. 1150 The Fallohides enter Eriador. The Stoors come
over the Redhorn Pass and move to the Angle, or
to Dunland.
[LotR App. B, 'The Tale of Years: The Third Age']

My wife is short (only about a foot more than the Hobbit record-
holders, Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck) and comes from that
area of Jutland / Germany which was 'the Angle' that gave name to the
English.

She's a Stoor!
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the
world, and beyond them is more than memory, Farewell!
- Aragorn, /The Lord of the Rings/ (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Dirk Thierbach
2008-05-30 10:47:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Dirk Thierbach
I'm probably stupid, and I know my English is worse than yours
:-), so may I ask what the connection between "stoor" and "short"
is?
the Stoors did, at one time, live in the Angle.
Yes, that part was indeed obvious :-)
Post by Troels Forchhammer
My wife is short (only about a foot more than the Hobbit record-
holders, Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck)
Ah, you meant "short as a hobbit"; and not "'short' and 'stoor' have
a obvious connection". Thanks, I misunderstood that. (BTW, Tolkien says in
the /Guide to Names/: "This is early English /stor, stoor/ 'large, strong',
now obsolete.", so I was confused).

- Dirk
Troels Forchhammer
2008-05-30 12:34:06 UTC
Permalink
In message
<news:***@dthierbach.news.arcor.de>
Dirk Thierbach <***@usenet.arcornews.de> spoke these staves:
<snip>
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Troels Forchhammer
My wife is short (only about a foot more than the Hobbit record-
holders, Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck)
Ah, you meant "short as a hobbit";
Indeed
Post by Dirk Thierbach
and not "'short' and 'stoor' have a obvious connection".
I wouldn't presume to make public comments on whether my wife, besides
her height, can be considered in any other way "stoor" (the Danish word
is "stor"). I cherish my marriage too much for that ;-)
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Thanks, I misunderstood that. (BTW, Tolkien says in the /Guide to
Names/: "This is early English /stor, stoor/ 'large, strong', now
obsolete.", so I was confused).
Understandably.

BTW -- weren't the Stoors generally larger than the other Hobbit
branches? Or is that just me misremembering again? In any case the
Danish translation was, in this case, quite easy, since removing a
single 'o' gave the appriate Danish word in the singular (I'm less
happy about the translation of 'Fallohides' who became 'Gyldenhuder' --
'Golden-skins').
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom
of thought which they avoid.
- Soren Kierkegaard
Dirk Thierbach
2008-05-30 13:28:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I wouldn't presume to make public comments on whether my wife, besides
her height, can be considered in any other way "stoor" (the Danish word
is "stor").
Sorry, I'm confused again :-) Is "stoor" still a valid English word?
If yes, what's the meaning? There's the German word "stur"
("headstrong", "stubborn"), which would be pronounced identically, but
I don't think there's any connection. Then there's also "störrisch"
("stubborn" in a negative sense, "obstinate").
Post by Troels Forchhammer
BTW -- weren't the Stoors generally larger than the other Hobbit
branches?
LotR says "broader, heavier in build; their feet and hands were large".
Post by Troels Forchhammer
In any case the Danish translation was, in this case, quite easy, since
removing a single 'o' gave the appriate Danish word in the singular
Ah, so Danish "stor" still means "large, strong"?

BTW, the German translation followed Tolkien's directions "may be
represented by a more or less 'phonetic' spelling" and so it became
"Starren" (which hasn't any clear meaning).
Post by Troels Forchhammer
(I'm less happy about the translation of 'Fallohides' who became
'Gyldenhuder' -- 'Golden-skins').
That one was easy in German -- the /Guide/ already says "fallow + hide
(cognates of German falb and Haut)", so "Falbhäute" was the obvious
choice :-)

- Dirk
Julian Bradfield
2008-05-30 14:11:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Sorry, I'm confused again :-) Is "stoor" still a valid English word?
Not really, according to the OED. stour,stoor had a whole range of
meanings, centered around the concepts of "big" (as in German stor)
and "wild, furious" (cf. an apparently rare Dutch word stuursch) -
apparently two different words confused.

In the "big" sense, it seems to have survived in (the ancestors of)
standard English until about 1600-1700. In some other dialects, and in
Scotland, it lived longer, at least up to the late 1800s. I've never
heard it in the twenty years I've been in Scotland, but I don't get to
hear much in the way of actual Scots.
Dirk Thierbach
2008-05-30 16:35:53 UTC
Permalink
to the OED. stour,stoor had a whole range of meanings, centered
around the concepts of "big" (as in German stor)
I cannot think of any German word with a meaning of "big" and similar
to "stor". And I'm a native speaker :-) My OED (one of the "smaller"
editions) only says "late middle english, of uncertain origin"
for "stour".

Are there any details about the germanic variant of "stor"?

- Dirk
Julian Bradfield
2008-05-30 17:24:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
to the OED. stour,stoor had a whole range of meanings, centered
around the concepts of "big" (as in German stor)
I cannot think of any German word with a meaning of "big" and similar
to "stor".
Sorry, momentary brain failure. I meant "Danish", not "German".
(DE, DK, it's just one letter;-)
Derek Broughton
2008-05-30 15:50:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I wouldn't presume to make public comments on whether my wife, besides
her height, can be considered in any other way "stoor" (the Danish word
is "stor").
Sorry, I'm confused again :-) Is "stoor" still a valid English word?
If yes, what's the meaning? There's the German word "stur"
("headstrong", "stubborn"), which would be pronounced identically,
Ack! In English, you can't get any two people to agree on pronunciation
(and given what people think of the German accent I acquired from an
Afrikaans teacher, I'm not sure German is any more uniform), but I would
pronounce the English word "Stoor" more like "Stür".
--
derek
Dirk Thierbach
2008-05-30 16:45:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Ack! In English, you can't get any two people to agree on pronunciation
(and given what people think of the German accent I acquired from an
Afrikaans teacher
I don't think Afrikaans is a valid German accident :-)
Post by Derek Broughton
I'm not sure German is any more uniform
No, it isn't, though agreement on Hochdeutsch ("high-german") is quite
uniform (with a few minor variants). Dialects can distort the pronounciation
so far that even native speakers from a different region have trouble
understanding it :-)
Post by Derek Broughton
but I would pronounce the English word "Stoor" more like "Stür".
Interesting. Many English and American people I met have real trouble
even approximating "ü" naturally :-) My OED has no pronounciation for
"stoor", and /stue/ (with open u and schwa) for "stour", which is indeed
close to German "stur". So I'm a bit sceptic about the umlaut version.

- Dirk
Derek Broughton
2008-05-30 18:20:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Derek Broughton
Ack! In English, you can't get any two people to agree on pronunciation
(and given what people think of the German accent I acquired from an
Afrikaans teacher
I don't think Afrikaans is a valid German accident :-)
Well, not as such - but he learned his German from somewhere. :-)
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Derek Broughton
I'm not sure German is any more uniform
No, it isn't, though agreement on Hochdeutsch ("high-german") is quite
uniform (with a few minor variants). Dialects can distort the
pronounciation so far that even native speakers from a different region
have trouble understanding it :-)
Post by Derek Broughton
but I would pronounce the English word "Stoor" more like "Stür".
Interesting. Many English and American people I met have real trouble
even approximating "ü" naturally :-) My OED has no pronounciation for
"stoor", and /stue/ (with open u and schwa) for "stour", which is indeed
close to German "stur". So I'm a bit sceptic about the umlaut version.
Well, remember, my German accent is suspect! I wasn't even getting into the
fact that I wouldn't pronounce the "st" in German with nearly the sibilance
of English...
--
derek
Morgoth's Curse
2008-05-31 19:05:30 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 30 May 2008 12:50:59 -0300, Derek Broughton
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Troels Forchhammer
I wouldn't presume to make public comments on whether my wife, besides
her height, can be considered in any other way "stoor" (the Danish word
is "stor").
Sorry, I'm confused again :-) Is "stoor" still a valid English word?
If yes, what's the meaning? There's the German word "stur"
("headstrong", "stubborn"), which would be pronounced identically,
Ack! In English, you can't get any two people to agree on pronunciation
(and given what people think of the German accent I acquired from an
Afrikaans teacher, I'm not sure German is any more uniform), but I would
pronounce the English word "Stoor" more like "Stür".
I disagree! ^_^

It should be pronounced "st -oar."

At least that is how I always pronounced it and since my way is the
most sensible way, that is how it should be pronounced. ;-)

Morgoth's Curse
Derek Broughton
2008-06-01 00:05:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Morgoth's Curse
On Fri, 30 May 2008 12:50:59 -0300, Derek Broughton
Post by Derek Broughton
Ack! In English, you can't get any two people to agree on pronunciation
(and given what people think of the German accent I acquired from an
Afrikaans teacher, I'm not sure German is any more uniform), but I would
pronounce the English word "Stoor" more like "Stür".
I disagree! ^_^
It should be pronounced "st -oar."
Thank you. I was beginning to think nobody would disagree, which would have
shattered my argument...
--
derek
JJ
2008-06-02 11:14:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Morgoth's Curse
On Fri, 30 May 2008 12:50:59 -0300, Derek Broughton
Ack!  In English, you can't get any two people to agree on pronunciation
(and given what people think of the German accent I acquired from an
Afrikaans teacher, I'm not sure German is any more uniform), but I would
pronounce the English word "Stoor" more like "Stür".
I disagree!  ^_^
It should be pronounced "st -oar."
Thank you.  I was beginning to think nobody would disagree, which would have
shattered my argument...
--
derek
Well, I always thought that it was pronounced 'stoor', but then i
don't speak with a Canadian accent ;o)
Troels Forchhammer
2008-06-02 14:55:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Morgoth's Curse
On Fri, 30 May 2008 12:50:59 -0300, Derek Broughton
[On 'Stoor']
Post by Morgoth's Curse
Post by Derek Broughton
I would pronounce the English word "Stoor" more like "Stür".
I disagree! ^_^
It should be pronounced "st -oar."
At least that is how I always pronounced it and since my way is
the most sensible way, that is how it should be pronounced. ;-)
That's interesting.

Given that it's an old word, I don't suppose that modern
pronunciation rules can be relied on, but I've always pronouned the
English word with the 'oo' of 'moor' (which I guess would, in German,
be something like 'stuhr'), but you seem to suggest something more
akin to the 'oo' of 'floor' (though not exactly like 'store')? That
would actually be even closer to the Danish word 'stor' (I don't know
any English word that would capture the Danish 'o' -- French 'eau'
comes pretty close, though, as does the German 'o' in general).

Does anyone know how the word was pronounced when in daily use in
English?
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

If no thought
your mind does visit,
make your speech
not too explicit.
- Piet Hein, /The Case for Obscurity/
Julian Bradfield
2008-06-02 16:27:51 UTC
Permalink
...
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Morgoth's Curse
It should be pronounced "st -oar."
...
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Given that it's an old word, I don't suppose that modern
pronunciation rules can be relied on, but I've always pronouned the
English word with the 'oo' of 'moor' (which I guess would, in German,
be something like 'stuhr'), but you seem to suggest something more
akin to the 'oo' of 'floor' (though not exactly like 'store')? That
Firstly, there's no difference (in RP either today or a hundred years
ago) between the vowels of 'floor' and 'store'. Today, they're also
the same as the vowel of 'flaw'. You'll still find dictionaries
claiming that 'store' and 'floor' are pronounced with /O@/, with a
schwa acting as a remnant of the /r/ we don't pronounce, but I'd be
surprised if you could find a standard English speaker who still does that.

The /U@/ pronunciation of 'moor' etc. is also on the way out. It's
almost dead in 'poor' (though I still use it); 'moor' is too rare to
have any impression of, but I'd expect to hear /mO:/ from most people.
(Consequently, 'poor', 'pore' and 'paw' are homophones for most modern
RP speakers, though they would have been distinct a century ago.)

However, for those of who still have /U@/, that seems to me the
natural way to pronounce 'stoor', and it's what I do.
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Does anyone know how the word was pronounced when in daily use in
English?
The OED doesn't give phonetic pronunciations of obsolete words. It
lists the pronunciation as "stur", but that is probably taking the
Scottishness of its current (as at 1890) usage into account. A word
that is /ur/ in Scottish is probably /U@/ in standard Englishes that
have the sound.
Paul S. Person
2008-06-02 17:55:22 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 17:27:51 +0100, Julian Bradfield
<snippo>
Post by Julian Bradfield
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Given that it's an old word, I don't suppose that modern
pronunciation rules can be relied on, but I've always pronouned the
English word with the 'oo' of 'moor' (which I guess would, in German,
be something like 'stuhr'), but you seem to suggest something more
akin to the 'oo' of 'floor' (though not exactly like 'store')? That
Firstly, there's no difference (in RP either today or a hundred years
ago) between the vowels of 'floor' and 'store'. Today, they're also
the same as the vowel of 'flaw'. You'll still find dictionaries
schwa acting as a remnant of the /r/ we don't pronounce, but I'd be
surprised if you could find a standard English speaker who still does that.
almost dead in 'poor' (though I still use it); 'moor' is too rare to
have any impression of, but I'd expect to hear /mO:/ from most people.
(Consequently, 'poor', 'pore' and 'paw' are homophones for most modern
RP speakers, though they would have been distinct a century ago.)
In my area, while "floor" and "store" use the same vowel, "flaw"
certainly does not. Similarly, "poor" and "pore" (generally the same,
although I do recall a distinction in the days of my youth, in which
"poor" sounded more like "pure" without the y-glide in front of the
"u" and the "p" was more subdued than in "pure") are quite distinct
from "paw". Of course, we speak English here, not "RP", whatever
/that/ is.

That is not to say that dialects of English in which "floor" and
"flaw" sound alike do not exist. The dialect lampooned in /Jaws/ would
be a good candidate, ("he's in the caw in the yawd) if it actually
exists.

My belief is that I would pronounce "stoor" as I remember "poor" to
have been pronounced (subdued "p", y-glideless "u"); but "stoar" like
"floor" (or rather like "boar"). Of course, since I never actually say
the word, this is entirely theoretical.
--
"A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature,
but contrary to what we know as nature."
Julian Bradfield
2008-06-02 18:22:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul S. Person
In my area, while "floor" and "store" use the same vowel, "flaw"
certainly does not.
So what is your area? Is it one of those areas which gave rise to
modern standard English?
Troels asked how "stoor" was pronounced in "English". He *could* have
meant "how was it pronounced in every known and unknown dialect of
English?", but I reckoned he meant "how was it pronounced in the
English that became standard English", since that's what Tolkien
spoke. Perhaps he should tell us!
Paul S. Person
2008-06-03 17:40:19 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 19:22:50 +0100, Julian Bradfield
Post by Julian Bradfield
Post by Paul S. Person
In my area, while "floor" and "store" use the same vowel, "flaw"
certainly does not.
So what is your area? Is it one of those areas which gave rise to
modern standard English?
Seattle, the dialect of which, of course, since I live here, is the
very epitome of modern standard English. Yes, that's right, we speak
it like TV anchormen did in the 50's (you can't get much more
"standard" than that!)! Our parents and teachers insisted on this!

If the Queen's English differs, well, so much for /that/ as a
standard! Can't distinguish "floor" and "flaw" indeed!
--
"A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature,
but contrary to what we know as nature."
Julian Bradfield
2008-06-03 18:38:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul S. Person
Seattle, the dialect of which, of course, since I live here, is the
very epitome of modern standard English. Yes, that's right, we speak
it like TV anchormen did in the 50's (you can't get much more
"standard" than that!)! Our parents and teachers insisted on this!
I went to a lovely seminar recently, which reported on the dialect of
Michigan. Michiganders are convinced that they speak standard
American, (General American (GA) is the usual term in linguistics),
just like the TV anchormen.
In fact, this is rubbish - as all non-Michiganders, and Michiganders
who move away for a while, realize, they have a number of very
significant differences from GA, including attributes normally
associated with those pesky Canucks just across the water.
The best thing is that what Michiganders think they hear, depends on
who they think they're listening to, and they distort their memory
accordingly: play them the exact same word, tell them it's a
Michigander speaking, and they'll repeat it back to you much closer to
GA than the original; tell them it's a Canadian, and they'll repeat it
back accurately.

I wonder whether the study should be repeated in Seattle!
Derek Broughton
2008-06-03 19:02:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Julian Bradfield
Post by Paul S. Person
Seattle, the dialect of which, of course, since I live here, is the
very epitome of modern standard English. Yes, that's right, we speak
it like TV anchormen did in the 50's (you can't get much more
"standard" than that!)! Our parents and teachers insisted on this!
I went to a lovely seminar recently, which reported on the dialect of
Michigan. Michiganders are convinced that they speak standard
American, (General American (GA) is the usual term in linguistics),
just like the TV anchormen
.
In fact, this is rubbish - as all non-Michiganders, and Michiganders
who move away for a while, realize, they have a number of very
significant differences from GA,
Indeed...
Post by Julian Bradfield
including attributes normally
associated with those pesky Canucks just across the water.
Bite your tongue!
Post by Julian Bradfield
The best thing is that what Michiganders think they hear, depends on
who they think they're listening to, and they distort their memory
accordingly: play them the exact same word, tell them it's a
Michigander speaking, and they'll repeat it back to you much closer to
GA than the original; tell them it's a Canadian, and they'll repeat it
back accurately.
I wonder whether the study should be repeated in Seattle!
Pointless, I think - I don't believe that study had to be done in Michigan
in the first place. It's pretty much universal.

However, back to Paul's observation about Seattle - my (admittedly
unprofessional) experience across North America is that the further West
you go the more people have an accent that seems closer to the "standard"
for either the US or Canada. Perhaps that's to be expected in the US,
where all "culture" has originated out of Hollywood for most of a century,
but it seems odd in Canada, where everybody knows Toronto is the centre of
the universe.
--
derek
Julian Bradfield
2008-06-03 19:37:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Julian Bradfield
The best thing is that what Michiganders think they hear, depends on
who they think they're listening to, and they distort their memory
accordingly: play them the exact same word, tell them it's a
Michigander speaking, and they'll repeat it back to you much closer to
GA than the original; tell them it's a Canadian, and they'll repeat it
back accurately.
I wonder whether the study should be repeated in Seattle!
Pointless, I think - I don't believe that study had to be done in Michigan
in the first place. It's pretty much universal.
No, it isn't. The study was repeated in other places in the U.S. (I
forget where), where they don't have the same self-confidence about
speaking "standard American". The listeners in those areas were more
accurate in their repetitions, and didn't vary according to the stated
origins of the speaker.
Paul S. Person
2008-06-04 17:50:33 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 16:02:23 -0300, Derek Broughton
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Paul S. Person
Seattle, the dialect of which, of course, since I live here, is the
very epitome of modern standard English. Yes, that's right, we speak
it like TV anchormen did in the 50's (you can't get much more
"standard" than that!)! Our parents and teachers insisted on this!
<snippo>
Post by Derek Broughton
However, back to Paul's observation about Seattle - my (admittedly
unprofessional) experience across North America is that the further West
you go the more people have an accent that seems closer to the "standard"
for either the US or Canada. Perhaps that's to be expected in the US,
where all "culture" has originated out of Hollywood for most of a century,
but it seems odd in Canada, where everybody knows Toronto is the centre of
the universe.
What we were /told/ (I make no representation as to its veracity) was
that the pioneers who settled our area came from wherever correct
(American) English was spoken way-back-when, which is why we didn't
need nearly as much drilling as children in other areas to "speak
proper". Since this was the 50's, and the schools were based on
contiguous districts, and the districts were (informally, that is, not
by law) segregated, it must be understood that this only applied to
white people.

Of course, if the idea that the linguistic purity of the present was
derived from that of the past was true of Seattle, it could well be
true of most of the West, at least in the USA. I agree that this does
nothing to explain the phenomenon in Canada -- western Canada
certainly was not settled by pioneers from the USA!
--
"A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature,
but contrary to what we know as nature."
Derek Broughton
2008-06-04 18:49:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul S. Person
What we were /told/ (I make no representation as to its veracity) was
that the pioneers who settled our area came from wherever correct
(American) English was spoken way-back-when, which is why we didn't
need nearly as much drilling as children in other areas to "speak
proper".
Well, sure, that's what they say of Virginia, too - where they're supposed
to speak English most like Queen Elizabeth (that is, ER I!)
Post by Paul S. Person
Of course, if the idea that the linguistic purity of the present was
derived from that of the past was true of Seattle, it could well be
true of most of the West, at least in the USA. I agree that this does
nothing to explain the phenomenon in Canada -- western Canada
certainly was not settled by pioneers from the USA!
No, but the same pattern of settlement. Starting with the East, then the
West coast, and finally the Prairies.
--
derek
Öjevind Lång
2008-06-05 05:22:22 UTC
Permalink
"Derek Broughton" <***@pointerstop.ca> skrev i meddelandet news:***@cedar.serverforest.com...

[snip]
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Paul S. Person
Of course, if the idea that the linguistic purity of the present was
derived from that of the past was true of Seattle, it could well be
true of most of the West, at least in the USA. I agree that this does
nothing to explain the phenomenon in Canada -- western Canada
certainly was not settled by pioneers from the USA!
No, but the same pattern of settlement. Starting with the East, then the
West coast, and finally the Prairies.
I may be mistaken, but didn't a considerable number of the early settlers in
British Columbia come from Britain? Of course, Britain is *very* East.

Öjevind
Derek Broughton
2008-06-05 12:14:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Öjevind Lång
[snip]
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Paul S. Person
Of course, if the idea that the linguistic purity of the present was
derived from that of the past was true of Seattle, it could well be
true of most of the West, at least in the USA. I agree that this does
nothing to explain the phenomenon in Canada -- western Canada
certainly was not settled by pioneers from the USA!
No, but the same pattern of settlement. Starting with the East, then the
West coast, and finally the Prairies.
I may be mistaken, but didn't a considerable number of the early settlers
in British Columbia come from Britain? Of course, Britain is *very* East.
Indeed. One can expect somewhat more uniformity of accents there than on
the Canadian prairies, where the immigrants were very mixed. That doesn't
hold so true of the US, where California at least was settled by Spanish
before English-speaking people.
--
derek
Huan the hound
2008-06-04 01:32:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Julian Bradfield
I went to a lovely seminar recently, which reported on the dialect of
Michigan. Michiganders are convinced that they speak standard
American, (General American (GA) is the usual term in linguistics),
just like the TV anchormen.
Ahem. I am a *Michiganian*. "Michiganders" sounds ridiculous.
Post by Julian Bradfield
In fact, this is rubbish - as all non-Michiganders, and Michiganders
who move away for a while, realize, they have a number of very
significant differences from GA, including attributes normally
associated with those pesky Canucks just across the water.
Perhaps there is Canadian-like pronunciation for those in the northern
lower peninsula or the upper peninsula, but not further south in the
state. Maybe around US-10 and north of there?

Down here in the more populated regions there are some interesting
oddities which I have observed (and I include myself) although I have no
experience or education in dialects. We all say "acrosst." Older
people say "warsh." Many including myself say "root, foot, roof, route"
pretty weirdly. And we're very nasal.

On the other hand we can easily pronounce things the standard way when
we pay attention, and talk like TV anchormen, as you note below.
Post by Julian Bradfield
The best thing is that what Michiganders think they hear, depends on
who they think they're listening to, and they distort their memory
accordingly: play them the exact same word, tell them it's a
Michigander speaking, and they'll repeat it back to you much closer to
GA than the original; tell them it's a Canadian, and they'll repeat it
back accurately.
Sometimes when I hear someone say "acrosst" I will later mention that
most Michiganians say "acrosst" and ask him/her if he/she ever
pronounces it that way. 100% deny that they do, although I had
previously heard it myself.
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
Dirk Thierbach
2008-06-04 07:10:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huan the hound
Down here in the more populated regions there are some interesting
oddities which I have observed (and I include myself) although I have no
experience or education in dialects. We all say "acrosst." Older
people say "warsh."
"Acrosst" is probably from "across", but where does "warsh" come from?

- Dirk
Clams Canino
2008-06-04 11:55:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Huan the hound
Down here in the more populated regions there are some interesting
oddities which I have observed (and I include myself) although I have no
experience or education in dialects. We all say "acrosst." Older
people say "warsh."
"Acrosst" is probably from "across", but where does "warsh" come from?
- Dirk
wash

-W
Michelle J. Haines
2008-06-05 17:24:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Huan the hound
Down here in the more populated regions there are some interesting
oddities which I have observed (and I include myself) although I have no
experience or education in dialects. We all say "acrosst." Older
people say "warsh."
"Acrosst" is probably from "across", but where does "warsh" come from?
- Dirk
Wash.

They say that a little bit here in Wyoming. (I don't, but I'm not from
here.)

They also say things like flage (long a) for flag. may-zhure for
measure. Maturial for Material. And for words like "hull" the 'u' is
swallowed so it's almost non-existant.

Also, instead of "The car needs to be washed." or "The car needs
washing." they say "The car needs washed."

Michelle
Flutist
Noel Q. von Schneiffel
2008-06-06 11:26:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
"Acrosst" is probably from "across", but where does "warsh" come from?
Wash.
They say that a little bit here in Wyoming.  (I don't, but I'm not from
here.) (snip)
And they say "jorb" instead of "job"... right?

http://www.homestarrunner.com/cantsayjob.html

Noel
Michelle J. Haines
2008-06-06 14:33:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Noel Q. von Schneiffel
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Post by Dirk Thierbach
"Acrosst" is probably from "across", but where does "warsh" come from?
Wash.
They say that a little bit here in Wyoming. (I don't, but I'm not from
here.) (snip)
And they say "jorb" instead of "job"... right?
http://www.homestarrunner.com/cantsayjob.html
Not that I've ever noticed. I'll have to listen to my father-in-law a
bit, who has the strongest "Wyoming country" accent in the family.

Michelle
Flutist
Derek Broughton
2008-06-04 12:49:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huan the hound
Post by Julian Bradfield
I went to a lovely seminar recently, which reported on the dialect of
Michigan. Michiganders are convinced that they speak standard
American, (General American (GA) is the usual term in linguistics),
just like the TV anchormen.
Ahem. I am a *Michiganian*. "Michiganders" sounds ridiculous.
It does, but I've heard it (even when I was working there).
Post by Huan the hound
Post by Julian Bradfield
In fact, this is rubbish - as all non-Michiganders, and Michiganders
who move away for a while, realize, they have a number of very
significant differences from GA, including attributes normally
associated with those pesky Canucks just across the water.
Perhaps there is Canadian-like pronunciation for those in the northern
lower peninsula or the upper peninsula, but not further south in the
state. Maybe around US-10 and north of there?
Even though I told Julian to bite his tongue over that suggestion, I think
you're right. I was working in Saginaw/Midland and the accent was
certainly more like S. Ontario than "Midwest".
Post by Huan the hound
Down here in the more populated regions there are some interesting
oddities which I have observed (and I include myself) although I have no
experience or education in dialects. We all say "acrosst." Older
people say "warsh." Many including myself say "root, foot, roof, route"
pretty weirdly. And we're very nasal.
Now, those people north of I-10 still say we Canadians (every last one of
us, apparently) say "root, foot, roof, route" weirdly :-)
Post by Huan the hound
Sometimes when I hear someone say "acrosst" I will later mention that
most Michiganians say "acrosst" and ask him/her if he/she ever
pronounces it that way. 100% deny that they do, although I had
previously heard it myself.
LOL. Here on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore, a friend was telling me of an
argument she overheard:
Man1: "... so we dragged it home..."
Man2: "Dragged! What kind of word is that? You mean "we drug it".

Our friend thought this was a hilarious example of local dialect, but sure
enough the OED gives "drug" as a proper part of "drag".
--
derek
Huan the hound
2008-06-04 22:39:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Huan the hound
Ahem. I am a *Michiganian*. "Michiganders" sounds ridiculous.
It does, but I've heard it (even when I was working there).
Yes, I've heard it too, but I want to put the better alternative out
there!
Post by Derek Broughton
Even though I told Julian to bite his tongue over that suggestion, I think
you're right. I was working in Saginaw/Midland and the accent was
certainly more like S. Ontario than "Midwest".
Although I know many people from the east side of the state, I have
never spent any time there north of Detroit. It would seem logical for
folks there to sound more like Ontario. But the "Yoopers" and some in
the northern LP don't sound Canadian to me-- more like Minnesota. But
perhaps I should say Minnesota residents sound a little like Yoopers,
because I think it can sometimes be more noticable there.
Post by Derek Broughton
Now, those people north of I-10 still say we Canadians (every last one of
us, apparently) say "root, foot, roof, route" weirdly :-)
I wasn't going to try to describe how I say those words weirdly, but now
I'm quite interested. I say "root" and "roof" much like "foot" with a
little "it" sound at the end. How about you?

** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
Derek Broughton
2008-06-05 12:21:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Huan the hound
Post by Derek Broughton
Now, those people north of I-10 still say we Canadians (every last one of
us, apparently) say "root, foot, roof, route" weirdly :-)
I wasn't going to try to describe how I say those words weirdly, but now
I'm quite interested. I say "root" and "roof" much like "foot" with a
little "it" sound at the end. How about you?
That's the way I've heard that Canadians pronounce those words. I've never
met one :-) I pronounce "root" (and "route" - I have to practically force
myself to say "router" as "r-ow-ter") like the o in "who". But then I was
born in London, raised in Cumbria and finished in Ontario. Canadians think
I'm an Aussie or South African, Americans think I'm English and English
call me "Yank". I can't get no respect...
--
derek
JJ
2008-06-05 13:19:08 UTC
Permalink
On Jun 5, 1:21 pm, Derek Broughton <***@pointerstop.ca> wrote:
.  Canadians think
Post by Derek Broughton
I'm an Aussie or South African, Americans think I'm English and English
call me "Yank".  I can't get no respect...
--
derek
This sounds like a man I used to know in childhood who emigrated to
Canada and aquired a Canuk accent. When he came back to England, when
he went into a shop he used to say, 'Hi, I'm from Canada' in case
anyone mistook him for an American (and so doubled the prices).
Paul S. Person
2008-06-04 17:39:59 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 19:38:38 +0100, Julian Bradfield
Post by Julian Bradfield
Post by Paul S. Person
Seattle, the dialect of which, of course, since I live here, is the
very epitome of modern standard English. Yes, that's right, we speak
it like TV anchormen did in the 50's (you can't get much more
"standard" than that!)! Our parents and teachers insisted on this!
<snippo>
Post by Julian Bradfield
I wonder whether the study should be repeated in Seattle!
Just one small problem: to test the assertion you'd have to do it in
the 50's! So, the first step is: invent a time machine.
--
"A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature,
but contrary to what we know as nature."
Steve Morrison
2008-06-02 18:40:36 UTC
Permalink
Paul S. Person wrote:

(snip)
Post by Paul S. Person
In my area, while "floor" and "store" use the same vowel, "flaw"
certainly does not. Similarly, "poor" and "pore" (generally the same,
although I do recall a distinction in the days of my youth, in which
"poor" sounded more like "pure" without the y-glide in front of the
"u" and the "p" was more subdued than in "pure") are quite distinct
from "paw". Of course, we speak English here, not "RP", whatever
/that/ is.
RP="Received Pronunciation"; in other words, the Queen's English.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation
Post by Paul S. Person
That is not to say that dialects of English in which "floor" and
"flaw" sound alike do not exist. The dialect lampooned in /Jaws/ would
be a good candidate, ("he's in the caw in the yawd) if it actually
exists.
Those are known as non-rhotic accents:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhotic_and_non-rhotic_accents
Post by Paul S. Person
My belief is that I would pronounce "stoor" as I remember "poor" to
have been pronounced (subdued "p", y-glideless "u"); but "stoar" like
"floor" (or rather like "boar"). Of course, since I never actually say
the word, this is entirely theoretical.
That's how I've always imagined the pronunciation. As for my own
accent, I'm a Cincinnati native and speak something quite close to
General American.

But now that I come to think of it, Tolkien would have spoken with
a non-rhotic accent -- as noted in another Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellar_door
Clams Canino
2008-06-02 19:40:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul S. Person
That is not to say that dialects of English in which "floor" and
"flaw" sound alike do not exist. The dialect lampooned in /Jaws/ would
be a good candidate, ("he's in the caw in the yawd) if it actually
exists.
Yes it exists. It's the "Boston Brahmin (sp)" dialect. Once need only listen
to an oratory by US Senator Edward Kennedy (from Boston) to hear a worst
case of it. Or for that matter his late brother John F was even "worse".
Both were educated at Haw-Vawd Law :)

That "dialect" is strongest from Boston to Cape Cod and tapers off the
further you get from that epicenter. I lived in NH about an hour out of
Boston and have about a 50% case of it - but here in SC I now sound (to
them) like a Bostonian - so it's all relative.

That said, I always felt a true "dialect" needed many of it's own words and
idioms to separate it from others. But I could be mistaken.

-W
Tom Hook
2008-06-02 20:01:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Clams Canino
Post by Paul S. Person
That is not to say that dialects of English in which "floor" and
"flaw" sound alike do not exist. The dialect lampooned in /Jaws/ would
be a good candidate, ("he's in the caw in the yawd) if it actually
exists.
Yes it exists. It's the "Boston Brahmin (sp)" dialect. Once need only listen
to an oratory by US Senator Edward Kennedy (from Boston) to hear a worst
case of it. Or for that matter his late brother John F was even "worse".
Both were educated at Haw-Vawd Law :)
That "dialect" is strongest from Boston to Cape Cod and tapers off the
further you get from that epicenter. I lived in NH about an hour out of
Boston and have about a 50% case of it - but here in SC I now sound (to
them) like a Bostonian - so it's all relative.
That said, I always felt a true "dialect" needed many of it's own words and
idioms to separate it from others. But I could be mistaken.
-W
I think the Cabots, Lowells, Lodges, Winthrops et al. would be amused
to have the Irish Catholic Kennedys now included among their forebears
who were the English Protestant founders of Boston and the original
so-called "Brahmins" of that city. Thinking further about it, I'm not
sure the Kennedys would like that incorrect description of their
regional "Bastan" dialect being proud of their ascent from a place in
society just a century ago when those same Brahmins were more apt to
say "No Irish allowed" than welcome to the club.
Clams Canino
2008-06-02 23:23:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Hook
Thinking further about it, I'm not
sure the Kennedys would like that incorrect description of their
regional "Bastan" dialect being proud of their ascent from a place in
society just a century ago when those same Brahmins were more apt to
say "No Irish allowed" than welcome to the club.
Niether group would likely love it.
Sure the Kennedys are "new money" - but if the accent fits, wear it.

-W
Tom Hook
2008-06-03 00:02:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Clams Canino
Post by Tom Hook
Thinking further about it, I'm not
sure the Kennedys would like that incorrect description of their
regional "Bastan" dialect being proud of their ascent from a place in
society just a century ago when those same Brahmins were more apt to
say "No Irish allowed" than welcome to the club.
Niether group would likely love it.
Sure the Kennedys are "new money" - but if the accent fits, wear it.
-W
Mr. Casino (aka Dubya)

To make my excuses before you take me too seriously, I will attest that
I should avoid this group during the cocktail hour because liquor's
loose tongue tends to meander - but sometimes I simply can't help
myself.

I'm not sure of the point you're trying to make or if it's a joke, I
simply don't get it. I thought this thread was about how words are
pronounced.

You state: "but if the accent fits, wear it." What accent are you
talking about - Endicott Peabody's or Joseph Kennedy's? And as for new
money, that has nothing to do with it as far as I can can see. Whether
you made your money from the China trade or Hollywood movies, the same
rapacious will prevails. The point is - Boston Brahmin is a name given
to a certain group of people, a group to which the Kennedys do not
belong. That in no way is meant to slight the Kennedys, it is simply
the way I know it to be.

By the way, are you a fan of New England or Manhattan clam chowder?

Best regards

Tom
Derek Broughton
2008-06-03 02:09:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Hook
Post by Clams Canino
Niether group would likely love it.
Sure the Kennedys are "new money" - but if the accent fits, wear it.
You state: "but if the accent fits, wear it." What accent are you
talking about - Endicott Peabody's or Joseph Kennedy's? And as for new
money, that has nothing to do with it as far as I can can see. Whether
you made your money from the China trade or Hollywood movies, the same
rapacious will prevails. The point is - Boston Brahmin is a name given
to a certain group of people, a group to which the Kennedys do not
belong. That in no way is meant to slight the Kennedys, it is simply
the way I know it to be.
Are you claiming that Peabody's and Kennedy's accent are different? Because
if you aren't, I will :-)
Post by Tom Hook
By the way, are you a fan of New England or Manhattan clam chowder?
Ahem! Nova Scotia fish chowder, if you please...
--
derek
Tom Hook
2008-06-03 02:34:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Tom Hook
Post by Clams Canino
Niether group would likely love it.
Sure the Kennedys are "new money" - but if the accent fits, wear it.
You state: "but if the accent fits, wear it." What accent are you
talking about - Endicott Peabody's or Joseph Kennedy's? And as for new
money, that has nothing to do with it as far as I can can see. Whether
you made your money from the China trade or Hollywood movies, the same
rapacious will prevails. The point is - Boston Brahmin is a name given
to a certain group of people, a group to which the Kennedys do not
belong. That in no way is meant to slight the Kennedys, it is simply
the way I know it to be.
Are you claiming that Peabody's and Kennedy's accent are different? Because
if you aren't, I will :-)
In my indirect way, I was. My lack of clarity is attributable to any
number of factors none of which I want to go into at the present time
being my bedtime and any such explanations might give me nightmares!
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Tom Hook
By the way, are you a fan of New England or Manhattan clam chowder?
Ahem! Nova Scotia fish chowder, if you please...
I have not had the pleasure of tasting that dish although I have had
the pleasure many years ago of visiting the Maritime Provinces (all of
them even Newfoundland...). Nova Scotia was my favorite where once
looking down from the cliffs of Cape Breton, I saw eagles soaring
between me and the water below. JRRT would have been impressed, I
certainly was. Quite a sight, quite a lovely place.
Derek Broughton
2008-06-03 16:06:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Hook
I have not had the pleasure of tasting that dish although I have had
the pleasure many years ago of visiting the Maritime Provinces (all of
them even Newfoundland...). Nova Scotia was my favorite where once
looking down from the cliffs of Cape Breton, I saw eagles soaring
between me and the water below. JRRT would have been impressed, I
certainly was. Quite a sight, quite a lovely place.
Eagles are pretty commonplace around here :-) But looking _down_ on them,
would always be impressive! We have a pair and a single eagle that are
year-round residents close by.
--
derek
Tom Hook
2008-06-03 21:20:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Tom Hook
I have not had the pleasure of tasting that dish although I have had
the pleasure many years ago of visiting the Maritime Provinces (all of
them even Newfoundland...). Nova Scotia was my favorite where once
looking down from the cliffs of Cape Breton, I saw eagles soaring
between me and the water below. JRRT would have been impressed, I
certainly was. Quite a sight, quite a lovely place.
Eagles are pretty commonplace around here :-) But looking _down_ on them,
would always be impressive! We have a pair and a single eagle that are
year-round residents close by.
Here in Connecticut we have bald eagles as well who feed at a
hydro-electric dam nearby when they release water from the reservoir.
The surge of water stirs up the fish below the dam and the eagles feast
on the churn.
Sean_Q_
2008-06-03 06:40:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Ahem! Nova Scotia fish chowder, if you please...
A Maritimer!

I was in New Scotland once, with my g/f (at the time) because
her brother was working in Halifax. We all went down to Peggy's Cove
and then we found a rocky field green with moss somewhere sloping down
to cliffs above the sea and her brother got out his bagpipes
and wailed away on it with the wind off the ocean in our faces.
It was quite a moment.

SQ
Clams Canino
2008-06-04 00:36:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Are you claiming that Peabody's and Kennedy's accent are different?
Because
Post by Derek Broughton
if you aren't, I will :-)
Post by Tom Hook
By the way, are you a fan of New England or Manhattan clam chowder?
Ahem! Nova Scotia fish chowder, if you please...
--
derek
I'll concede they are different, but that term is still used genericly to
describe the "upper-crust Bostonian" accent as a whole.

And I dislike chowder overall, I prefer my clams fried or perhaps
baked/stuffed.

-W
Paul S. Person
2008-06-03 17:45:00 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 2 Jun 2008 14:40:26 -0500, "Clams Canino"
<cc-***@earthdink.net> wrote:

<snippo>
Post by Clams Canino
That said, I always felt a true "dialect" needed many of it's own words and
idioms to separate it from others. But I could be mistaken.
Perhaps "dialectical pronounciation" would better express the idea,
which is that the pronounciation differs in different groups, whether
the words used do or not. Then again, perhaps the proper term is
something else altogether.
--
"A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature,
but contrary to what we know as nature."
Troels Forchhammer
2008-06-02 22:02:04 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Julian Bradfield
Firstly, there's no difference (in RP either today or a hundred
years ago) between the vowels of 'floor' and 'store'. Today,
they're also the same as the vowel of 'flaw'. You'll still find
dictionaries claiming that 'store' and 'floor' are pronounced with
pronounce, but I'd be surprised if you could find a standard
English speaker who still does that.
Thanks all for the help here.

As far as I understand, you're using SAMPA notaion, right?
<http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/index.html>

Listening carefully at the words 'pore', 'poor' and 'paw' as they're
pronounced at howjsay.com, I'm not sure that there actually is any
difference between the three, though I believe there's a slight
difference in the ending of 'paw' (as if the speaker is ending the
vowel shaping the mouth towards a 'w' rather than a very open 'r' --
but that might be just me hearing hallucinations . . .).

This, /-O:/, seems common for all the '-oor' words that I can find,
though a couple of them have the /U@/ as an alternative.

Obviously I've been using the /-U@/ version for both 'poor' and
'moor' (I'll insist that's what my teacher taught me back when I was
at school, years ago) and have been applying that to 'stoor' as well.
Of course my real hope was to learn how Tolkien would have pronounced
'stoor', though lacking that, standard English is quite OK ;)

Incidentally, using the SAMPA notation, the Danish word, 'stor' is
/"sdo6/

/"***@ls/
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

This isn't right. This isn't even wrong.
- Wolfgang Pauli, on a paper submitted by a physicist colleague
(Thus speaks the quantum physicist)
Julian Bradfield
2008-06-03 12:08:23 UTC
Permalink
(Everything I say here concerns RP.)
Post by Troels Forchhammer
As far as I understand, you're using SAMPA notaion, right?
If I had been careful enough to have checked, I would have been using
SAMPA. In fact, I was using intuitive IPA in ASCII, which we used on
the net before some bunch of geeks codified it into SAMPA! But yes, I
hope that everything I wrote was also correct in SAMPA.
Post by Troels Forchhammer
This, /-O:/, seems common for all the '-oor' words that I can find,
The monomorphemic '-oor' words in English are boor, door, floor, moor,
poor, spoor. I use /O:/ for 'floor' and 'door' (as does everybody),
and I use /U@/ for the rest. I think most people use now /O:/ for all of
them, but I like to make it clear whether I'm calling somebody a
'bore' or a 'boor'!
Of the words I pronounce with /U@/, the OED second edition records
the /O:/ variant for 'moor' and 'poor', with the others only recorded
as /U@/. (In fact, it records /O@/, not /O:/, but as I said in the
previous posting that's obsolete - and was on its way to obsolescence
when the OED was first compiled, never mind in the second edition!)
Post by Troels Forchhammer
'moor' (I'll insist that's what my teacher taught me back when I was
at school, years ago) and have been applying that to 'stoor' as well.
Of course my real hope was to learn how Tolkien would have pronounced
'stoor', though lacking that, standard English is quite OK ;)
Tolkien's English was basically conservative RP, although he had a
number of oddities, maybe coming from less-standard aspects of the
Midlands pronunciation, or maybe just idiosyncratic. If I remember
rightly, there's a fairly detailed analysis of his pronunciation in
"An Introduction to Elvish", which I don't have in the office.
I'm very confident that he said /stU@/.
Derek Broughton
2008-06-03 16:04:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Julian Bradfield
The monomorphemic '-oor' words in English are boor, door, floor, moor,
poor, spoor. I use /O:/ for 'floor' and 'door' (as does everybody),
them, but I like to make it clear whether I'm calling somebody a
'bore' or a 'boor'!
That comes as a complete surprise to me. I _have_ heard "poor" pronounced
with /O:/ - particularly by Americans - but I've never heard "moor"
and "spoor" pronounced that way (and who uses boor? - that probably gets
the /O:/ treatment because the average person using it doesn't even realize
it's a different word from "bore").
--
derek
Julian Bradfield
2008-06-03 17:06:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
That comes as a complete surprise to me. I _have_ heard "poor" pronounced
with /O:/ - particularly by Americans - but I've never heard "moor"
and "spoor" pronounced that way (and who uses boor? - that probably gets
the /O:/ treatment because the average person using it doesn't even realize
it's a different word from "bore").
Well, I just checked with my wife, who is around the same age as me
(early 40s), and also a native speaker of RP. Her variety is slightly
less conservative than mine -- we're both on the conservative end of
our generation, but not dramatically so. She doesn't have /U@/ in any
of the '-oor' words. She'd pronounce 'stoor' as /stO:/, but wonder
whether she ought to say /stU@/ because the Shire is a backwards sort
of place!

And if I'm to be honest, I have to admit that I grew up losing /U@/,
and re-introduced it deliberately as a teen-ager. I'm pretty sure that
if I'm not thinking about it, I say /dA:tmO:/ for Dartmoor!
Troels Forchhammer
2008-06-03 22:42:42 UTC
Permalink
And at a much more serious note . . . ;-)

Playing round a bit at the www.howjsay.com site, I was surprised to
hear the pronunciation of 'Tolkien', which I'd transcribe as
/***@n/[1].

Knowing that Tolkien, in letter #347, insisted that the last syllable
of his name was 'pronounced by [himself] always /-keen/.' I was a bit
surprised about this and got to look around for a bit.

Wikipedia lists the pronunciation as /***@Ulki:n/[2] and dictionary.com
as /***@Ulkin/ or /tQlkin/ [3] and Infoplease gives /to:lke:n/ or
/tolke:n/[4]. Finally Inogolo has a recording which, to me, sounds
very much like /tQlkin/ [5] The usual way to spell it without
phonetic symbols is 'TOLL-keen'.

Given the pronunciation guide in /letters/ I've been pronouncing it
/tQlki:n/, wondering whether it ought to be /tQlkin/, on the
possibility that Tolkien perhaps intended the /-keen/ to designate
the quality but not the length of the vowel.

Now, given this plethora of suggestions, can anything be said to be
the 'correct' pronounciation -- and if so, what is it? And if not,
can anything be ruled out as definitely /not/ correct? I can't recall
if there's a recording of Tolkien pronouncing his own name, but that
might of course be accorded some level of definitiveness, at least in
this group.

[1] <http://www.howjsay.com/index.php?word=tolkien&submit=Submit>
[2] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolkien#cite_ref-0>
[3] <http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=tolkien>
[4] <http://dictionary.infoplease.com/Tolkien>
[5] <http://inogolo.com/pronunciation/d1448/J_R_R_Tolkien>
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement.
But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another
profound truth.
- Niels Bohr
Dirk Thierbach
2008-06-04 07:17:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Given the pronunciation guide in /letters/ I've been pronouncing it
/tQlki:n/,
So do I.
Post by Troels Forchhammer
wondering whether it ought to be /tQlkin/, on the possibility that
Tolkien perhaps intended the /-keen/ to designate the quality but
not the length of the vowel.
In German /tollkühn/, the vowel is clearly long (as one can immediately
see from the h), and Tolkien would have known that. I have never
heard anyone pronounce it with a short last vowel, and, at least
for me, that pronounciation would feel really strange.

- Dirk
Troels Forchhammer
2008-06-03 21:15:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Derek Broughton
Post by Julian Bradfield
The monomorphemic '-oor' words in English are boor, door, floor,
moor, poor, spoor. I use /O:/ for 'floor' and 'door' (as does
now /O:/ for all of them, but I like to make it clear whether I'm
calling somebody a 'bore' or a 'boor'!
That comes as a complete surprise to me. I _have_ heard "poor"
pronounced with /O:/ - particularly by Americans
A highly unscholarly and questionable survey conducted among a small
segment of Danish engineers sitting within speaking distance from my
own place showed a general suprise that it would be anything but
/pU@/ in English, but the Cambridge Dictionary site lists the U
version as US and the /O:/ as the standard (presumably intended to be
RP or at least some kind of 'Standardized British English').
<http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=61484&dict=CALD>

poor (No Money) /pO:-\r/ US /pUr/

(the '-\r' should be the SAMPA mark for a linking r -- in IPA denoted
by a superscript r -- an r 'pronounced only before a vowel in British
English')
Post by Derek Broughton
- but I've never heard "moor" and "spoor" pronounced that way (and
who uses boor? -
Still guided by the Cambridge site, the pronunciation for moor is
given as /mO:-\r/ /mU@-\r/ US /mUr/, spoor the same as poor but
boor at least is given simply as /bU@-\r/ US /bUr/.
--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided
into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from,
and (d) rocks.
- /Equal Rites/ (Terry Pratchett)
Paul S. Person
2008-06-04 18:01:37 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 23:15:33 +0200, Troels Forchhammer
<***@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

<snippo>
Post by Troels Forchhammer
A highly unscholarly and questionable survey conducted among a small
segment of Danish engineers sitting within speaking distance from my
own place showed a general suprise that it would be anything but
version as US and the /O:/ as the standard (presumably intended to be
RP or at least some kind of 'Standardized British English').
<http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=61484&dict=CALD>
poor (No Money) /pO:-\r/ US /pUr/
(the '-\r' should be the SAMPA mark for a linking r -- in IPA denoted
by a superscript r -- an r 'pronounced only before a vowel in British
English')
I would expect /any/ dictionary done in the UK to regard some
appropriate UK useage as "the standard". One done in the USA, on the
other hand, might be expected to make a different choice.

It occurred to me last night that, since JRRT spent his first few
years (four? five?) in South Africa, and since those years are /very/
important for determining which phonemes are available for later use
(some languages are "hard" for speakers of some languages precisely
because they require new and different phonemes [English speakers
learning Standard Classical Arabic, for example, encounter several
interesting new sounds]), it might be interesting to ask how a South
African would pronounce "stoor" or "stoar". Might it be, for example,
influenced by however they pronounce "Boer"?
--
"A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature,
but contrary to what we know as nature."
Matthew Woodcraft
2008-06-04 18:54:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul S. Person
It occurred to me last night that, since JRRT spent his first few
years (four? five?) in South Africa, and since those years are /very/
important for determining which phonemes are available for later use
[...]


Three. But he was in Dutch-speaking South Africa, so I suppose he
wouldn't have been around that many South-African-born English
speakers. I guess he would have followed his parents' accent.

-M-
Paul S. Person
2008-06-03 17:53:21 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 00:02:04 +0200, Troels Forchhammer
<***@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

<snippo>
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Of course my real hope was to learn how Tolkien would have pronounced
'stoor', though lacking that, standard English is quite OK ;)
Aren't there recordings of JRRT? Do they include "stoor"? I mean, if
such a recording exists, that would be pretty definitive, would it
not?
--
"A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature,
but contrary to what we know as nature."
Matthew Woodcraft
2008-06-03 18:41:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul S. Person
Aren't there recordings of JRRT? Do they include "stoor"?
Yes, no.

-M-
Derek Broughton
2008-06-03 18:35:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul S. Person
On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 00:02:04 +0200, Troels Forchhammer
<snippo>
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Of course my real hope was to learn how Tolkien would have pronounced
'stoor', though lacking that, standard English is quite OK ;)
Aren't there recordings of JRRT?
There certainly are. But the only one I've heard sounded not unlike the
version of Tennyson reciting the "Charge of the Light Brigade" into one of
Edison's primitive machines.
Post by Paul S. Person
Do they include "stoor"?
Unfortunately, I wasn't listening for it at the time :-)
--
derek
Michelle J. Haines
2008-06-03 00:05:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Julian Bradfield
Firstly, there's no difference (in RP either today or a hundred years
ago) between the vowels of 'floor' and 'store'. Today, they're also
the same as the vowel of 'flaw'.
:O

I quite assure you, that while I saw "floor" and "store" the same way, I
do not saw "flaw" using the same vowel at all.

Michelle
Flutist
Julian Bradfield
2008-06-03 12:09:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michelle J. Haines
Post by Julian Bradfield
Firstly, there's no difference (in RP either today or a hundred years
ago) between the vowels of 'floor' and 'store'. Today, they're also
the same as the vowel of 'flaw'.
I quite assure you, that while I saw "floor" and "store" the same way,
I do not saw "flaw" using the same vowel at all.
Do you claim to speak RP?
Derek Broughton
2008-06-02 16:25:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Post by Morgoth's Curse
On Fri, 30 May 2008 12:50:59 -0300, Derek Broughton
[On 'Stoor']
Post by Morgoth's Curse
Post by Derek Broughton
I would pronounce the English word "Stoor" more like "Stür".
I disagree! ^_^
It should be pronounced "st -oar."
At least that is how I always pronounced it and since my way is
the most sensible way, that is how it should be pronounced. ;-)
That's interesting.
Given that it's an old word, I don't suppose that modern
pronunciation rules can be relied on, but I've always pronouned the
English word with the 'oo' of 'moor' (which I guess would, in German,
be something like 'stuhr'), but you seem to suggest something more
akin to the 'oo' of 'floor' (though not exactly like 'store')?
Yes, exactly like floor, door and store (sorry, I don't hear a difference).
Post by Troels Forchhammer
Does anyone know how the word was pronounced when in daily use in
English?
That was the point I was trying to make - there really is little likelihood
that it ever had a single pronunciation. Its use died before the BBC and
any concept of a standard English.
--
derek
Öjevind Lång
2008-05-31 23:05:30 UTC
Permalink
"Dirk Thierbach" <***@usenet.arcornews.de> skrev i meddelandet news:***@dthierbach.news.arcor.de...

[snip]
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Ah, you meant "short as a hobbit"; and not "'short' and 'stoor' have
a obvious connection". Thanks, I misunderstood that. (BTW, Tolkien says in
the /Guide to Names/: "This is early English /stor, stoor/ 'large, strong',
now obsolete.", so I was confused).
Indeed, "stor" (proniounced "stoor") is still a living word in Scandinavian
languages. It means "big".

Öjevind
Matthew T Curtis
2008-05-29 23:14:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sean_Q_
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English" national
legend. Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do because they were
a "French import".
And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.
Yes. The Arthur stories were in origin Celtic legends from the
post-Roman period, about a warlord who fought the Saxons, originally
transmitted orally, and collected by Geoffrey of Monmouth in _The
History of the Kings of Britain_. The story was then used by the
minstrels of France and Italy as the basis of the 'Matter of Britain'
- one of the three great story-cycles from which their popular stories
in the vernacular languages - 'romances' - were drawn. The others were
the 'Matter of France' - Charlemagne and his paladins - and the
'Matter of Rome' - the ancient Greek and Roman myths.

The minstrels included in the Matter of Britainfantastic
embellishments not in the original, plus some stories from other
sources that were not in the original: the Grail quest, the Lancelot
stories, Tristan and Isolde and so on. Also the minstrels composed
their stories with their own contemporary societies in mind, so their
heroes were idealised versions of mediaeval knights.

This more fantastic version of the myth was the one that became
established as the default version, so Tolkien was quite right to call
it a 'French import'.
Post by Sean_Q_
His legends involve mounted knights in armor with all the trappings
such as squires, lances, jousts etc.
However it's my understanding is that all this didn't really get its
start in Europe until the 8th century; specifically at the Battle
of Tours (732 AD) when Charles Martel's infantry defeated the mounted
Umayyads and then began to adopt their foes' cavalry technology.
'Began to.' The move from infantry-domination to cavalry domination
was a process that lasted centuries. The mounted knight didn't become
a force to be reckoned-with until the invention of the lance; and the
technique for using it, couched under the arm; and the stirrup, which
allowed the knight to stay in the saddle while fighting. Before that,
the leaders rode, but they were not as effective; often they rode to
the battle and dismounted to fight.

And there was already a tradition of cavalry in Germanic Christendom -
the Goths were horse-nomads for a while, andthe strength of their
cavalry defeated the Roman legions at the battle of Adrianople (AD
378); the tradition was always that the Germanic war-leaders would
ride. The Goths probably had better horses than were available to
other tribes, too.

The manorial system of feudal Europe was based on the fact that a
manor was the amount of land sufficient to support one mounted
warrior.
Post by Sean_Q_
In fact even by 1066 the English were *still* fighting on foot,
as did Harold's Saxons at Hastings.
But Harold rode to the battle.
Post by Sean_Q_
Something doesn't add up here. The Normans had knights in armor
at Hastings. Why didn't Harold ??? -- if they'd already been around
in England for 3 centuries.
Or were they...(?) Hmmm... I don't recall King Alfred leading armored
cavalry into battle against the Danes either. Something awful fishy
is going on here.
The legends of Arthur and Camelot seem so real and so vivid that it's
hard to believe they're all a construct that has been pulled over my
eyes to blind me from the truth (as Morpheus in _Matrix_ might say).
It's a collaborative effort by generations of minstrels.
Post by Sean_Q_
Tolkien's world is also vivid, but he was careful to place the action
in a fictional geography.
Sean_Q_
--
Matthew T Curtis mtcurtis[at]dsl.pipex.com
HIV+ for 26 glorious years!
What Mrs Whitlow had sewn together out of her dress was a lot more
substantial than a bikini. It was more a *newzealand* - two quite
large respectable halves separated by a narrow channel.
- Terry Pratchett
Larry Swain
2008-05-30 17:19:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew T Curtis
Post by Sean_Q_
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English" national
legend. Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do because they were
a "French import".
And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.
Yes. The Arthur stories were in origin Celtic legends from the
post-Roman period, about a warlord who fought the Saxons, originally
transmitted orally, and collected by Geoffrey of Monmouth in _The
History of the Kings of Britain_.
Well, so he claims. As far as I recall, we have no Breton sources, and
the Welsh sources only mention 1 battle, the Annals of Wales, the other
tales don't mention this (though do correct me if I'm wrong) until
Nennius, and as you probably know Nennius is fraught with difficulty.

The story was then used by the
Post by Matthew T Curtis
minstrels of France and Italy as the basis of the 'Matter of Britain'
- one of the three great story-cycles from which their popular stories
in the vernacular languages - 'romances' - were drawn. The others were
the 'Matter of France' - Charlemagne and his paladins - and the
'Matter of Rome' - the ancient Greek and Roman myths.
The minstrels included in the Matter of Britainfantastic
embellishments not in the original,
HMMM, probably not....magic rings, magic places, astoninshingly
beautiful women, grotesque monsters and servants are all par for the
course in Celtic literature of the time, and are all elements of course
in the Arthurian romances.

plus some stories from other
Post by Matthew T Curtis
sources that were not in the original: the Grail quest, the Lancelot
stories, Tristan and Isolde and so on.
Indeed! The original Lancelot story, Lanval by Marie de France, has a
MUCH different take on Lancelot than the later tradition.

<snip some interesting stuff>
Matthew T Curtis
2008-05-31 23:19:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Matthew T Curtis
Post by Sean_Q_
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English" national
legend. Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do because they were
a "French import".
And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.
Yes. The Arthur stories were in origin Celtic legends from the
post-Roman period, about a warlord who fought the Saxons, originally
transmitted orally, and collected by Geoffrey of Monmouth in _The
History of the Kings of Britain_.
Well, so he claims. As far as I recall, we have no Breton sources, and
the Welsh sources only mention 1 battle, the Annals of Wales, the other
tales don't mention this (though do correct me if I'm wrong) until
Nennius, and as you probably know Nennius is fraught with difficulty.
Well, with the oral tradition, who can tell?
Post by Larry Swain
The story was then used by the
Post by Matthew T Curtis
minstrels of France and Italy as the basis of the 'Matter of Britain'
- one of the three great story-cycles from which their popular stories
in the vernacular languages - 'romances' - were drawn. The others were
the 'Matter of France' - Charlemagne and his paladins - and the
'Matter of Rome' - the ancient Greek and Roman myths.
The minstrels included in the Matter of Britainfantastic
embellishments not in the original,
HMMM, probably not....magic rings, magic places, astoninshingly
beautiful women, grotesque monsters and servants are all par for the
course in Celtic literature of the time, and are all elements of course
in the Arthurian romances.
Agreed. But not in the historical root stories, and, as I recall,
sparingly in Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Post by Larry Swain
plus some stories from other
Post by Matthew T Curtis
sources that were not in the original: the Grail quest, the Lancelot
stories, Tristan and Isolde and so on.
Indeed! The original Lancelot story, Lanval by Marie de France, has a
MUCH different take on Lancelot than the later tradition.
<snip some interesting stuff>
--
Matthew T Curtis mtcurtis[at]dsl.pipex.com
HIV+ for 26 glorious years!
Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security
blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold - Isaac Asimov
Larry Swain
2008-06-01 17:54:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew T Curtis
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Matthew T Curtis
Post by Sean_Q_
According to a documentary on Tolkien, he wanted an "English" national
legend. Apparently the Arthurian legends wouldn't do because they were
a "French import".
And yet Arthur himself was supposed to be a "Briton" -- in his case
a Romanized Celt in the latter part of the 5th century.
Yes. The Arthur stories were in origin Celtic legends from the
post-Roman period, about a warlord who fought the Saxons, originally
transmitted orally, and collected by Geoffrey of Monmouth in _The
History of the Kings of Britain_.
Well, so he claims. As far as I recall, we have no Breton sources, and
the Welsh sources only mention 1 battle, the Annals of Wales, the other
tales don't mention this (though do correct me if I'm wrong) until
Nennius, and as you probably know Nennius is fraught with difficulty.
Well, with the oral tradition, who can tell?
Oral tradition should never be used as a catch all for anything. You
either have evidence to sustain your point, or you don't. Who knows?
There may have been oral tradition with detailed plans of space ships in
the fifth century BCE, but because it was oral it got lost.
Post by Matthew T Curtis
Post by Larry Swain
The story was then used by the
Post by Matthew T Curtis
minstrels of France and Italy as the basis of the 'Matter of Britain'
- one of the three great story-cycles from which their popular stories
in the vernacular languages - 'romances' - were drawn. The others were
the 'Matter of France' - Charlemagne and his paladins - and the
'Matter of Rome' - the ancient Greek and Roman myths.
The minstrels included in the Matter of Britainfantastic
embellishments not in the original,
HMMM, probably not....magic rings, magic places, astoninshingly
beautiful women, grotesque monsters and servants are all par for the
course in Celtic literature of the time, and are all elements of course
in the Arthurian romances.
Agreed. But not in the historical root stories, and, as I recall,
sparingly in Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Except that the historiographers are not the sources for the minstrel
tales, so saying that the minstrels "added" elements to the stories is
false....tis the other way round, the historiographers subtracted
fantastic material from the songs of the minstrels.
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