Until recently I've been encouraging people to use a word borrowed from Quenya to mean 'maybe', which is Nai = May it be.
However, this letter recently came to light. It reads as follows:
Thank you for your copy of the inscription, perfectly correct, and very much better than the 'Elvish' of those mis-guided correspondents who write to me in the script. The one with no dot under the lambda is incorrect; please add the dot; it stands for the vowel i. Those without the triple dots are less fully written according to the system by which a (for which the three dots stand) may be omitted. It reads:- nai hiruvalye Valimar; (I.) 394. This is not very well translated "maybe thou shalt find Valimar"; in Elvish nai with the Future expresses a wish rather than a doubtful statement. A better rendering is "may you come to the Blessed Realm".
As you can see, Nai only means 'maybe' in the sense of 'May it be x will happen'.
For the sense of 'perhaps', I suggest the reconstruction Ce = Maybe, perhaps. This comes from this Quenya word Cé which means 'may(be)', and is noted as being distinct from Qui = If. (This is an important distinction because our Pe = If that we use in Sindarin comes from Qui = If). Some other Sindarin linguists use Ce and Pe interchangeably for 'if' though, which is why I'm pointing it out. Cé in Quenya can be straightforwardly changed to Ce for Sindarin.
Amy: Hello! I am confused about the verb nautha-. In lesson 17 the dialog at the start has “nauthog” for “you think”, then “semin” for “I think”. Is nautha- one of the irregular verbs? I can’t find anything else it in the lessons or dictionary. Thank you!
Jul 12, 2020 2:56:39 GMT
Xandarien: Suilad! There have been two verbs used for 'to think', I apologise for the confusion. There's Nautha- 'to conceive an idea, think' and Sam- 'to think. Sam- should have been removed everywhere as it was a reconstruction that we don't need. I'll change that.
Jul 13, 2020 8:47:43 GMT
Amy: Thank you! I really enjoy the lessons. Len hannon!
Jul 14, 2020 2:16:08 GMT