It's a rural English dialect, and quite dated. It can be replaced with "who" or "that".Hello,
I have recently stumbled upon an interesting usage while reading "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien.
"There are some, even in these parts, as know the Fair Falk and get news from them"
And the context:
" 'They are sailing, sailing, sailing over the Sea, they are going into the West and leaving us,' said Sam, half chanting the words...
'Well, that isn't anything new, if you believe the old tales. And I don't see what it matters to me or you. Let them sail! But I warrant you haven't seen them doing it; nor anyone else in the Shire'
'Well, I don't know,' said Sam thoughtfully. He believed he had once seen an Elf in the woods, and still hoped to see more one day. Of all the legends that he had heard in his early years such fragment of tales and half-remembered stories about the Elves as the hobbits knew, had always moved him most deeply. 'There are some, even in these parts, as know the Fair Falk and get news from them,' he said. 'There's Mr.Baggins now, that I work for. He told me that they were sailing and he knows a bit about Elves. And Mr. And old Mr. Bilbo knew many more...' "
This is the use of "as" (highlighted in bold) that makes me wonder. Honestly, it is the first time I have seen anything like that, and so, being not familiar with it, I am not quite sure of what Sam means by saying ‘There are some, even in these parts, as know the Fair Falk…’. I can only guess from the context that the "as" may well be replaced with "who" without losing much of the whole meaning; or may indicate, as it were, giving examples of such people (from ‘those parts’) who know something about 'the Fair Folk'. But still, I can't understand with absolute accuracy what lies behind it. And so I wonder if anyone could possibly help me with it.
Thanks very much in advance.
Interested in Language