Rights

Rights

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I am musing about possibilities to express rights and related concepts - rights, dues, claim to something, entitlement, just/justice etc. - in NeoQuenya/NeoEldarin. I have not really been able to find any words in this semantic space in the attested vocabulary (there is a deleted Gnomish word for "rights"), so we'd need to resort to a metaphor or neologism.

Latin ius, the origin of E just and justice, leads us to "law, rule", for which we have sanye from STAN in Quenya, yielding potential *sanyea "just, righteous, lawful". But words related to rights, dues, entitlements are not covered by that. Perhaps the irregular verb oa- "possess" could be a source of words in this meaning (my Hungarian mind is coming up with a future passive participle like *auvaina "that is to be possessed, owned" to express "due"), but there are probably other possibilities out there, too.

 

Any ideas?

Submitted by Paul Strack Thu, 07/04/2019 - 14:30

Since our only word in semantic space for “rights” has to do with “property”, I think that’s the correct path there.

I’m not sure what to do with “justice”, and I’m not sure it would be etymological related to rights and law. What is “legal” and what is “just” are not necessarily the same. On the other hand Elvish society is probably small and unlikely to have an elaborate legal system, so the concept of an “unjust law” might not be one they regularly grapple with (though surely they would have seen it in human societies).

Submitted by S P Thu, 07/04/2019 - 17:13

Massë (#2) and némë are probably the closest attestations, aside from the synonyms of melehtë.

A speaker of Italian or Spanish would perhaps prefer a translation which is either based on or at least includes an element from the root PHOR. The train of thought of others might quickly take them to consider the applicability of roots such as KE/EKE or NAM (for "lawfulness, legality") — though the translation-synonym could also have the literal meaning of e.g. "permittedness" or "radius, the space inside which one is able to move".