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Angerthas Moria

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Cirth Erebor by Dan Smith

Angerthas Moria was a variation of the Cirth used by the Dwarves of Moria.

Contents

History

During the Second Age, or maybe its beginning, the Dwarves got accustomed with Angerthas of the Noldor (Angerthas Daeron) and they modified it to suit Khuzdul, their language. This alphabet was spread further wherever the Dwarves went.

Centuries later, when the Dwarves colonized Erebor, the system was further developed and produced the Angerthas Erebor.

Balin's Colony seem to have used this old system when they reclaimed Moria. Balin's Tomb in the Chamber of Mazarbul had an inscription in that system:

2calu

3SdluSa

Sw2c9eVcwc99D6S
Balin Fundinul UzbadKhazadDûmu

Characteristics

The Dwarves introduced various new cirth and some unsystematic minor changes to the values.

The greatest of those changes, which resulted in major reorder, was the switch of the cirth for S and H (f and .).

For unknown reasons, the Dwarves also dropped the cirth $ (ZH), q (J) and for those sounds they substituted R, T, which the Elves used for the sounds R/RH.

Subsequently for R, the Dwarves used @ which had the value of N by the Elves; then for the sound of N, they chose the certh u which the Elves used for the sound Ñ, useless in Khuzdul.

They also invented the new certh ,, used as an alternative, simplified form of u. Inspired by the visual relation of those two letters, they gave to w the value of Z (used for ny by the Elves) to relate better with ., which now had the value S.

We don't know any other cirth abandoned by the Dwarves but much must have been, as there are many that represent sounds not occuring in (at least our published words of) Khuzdul, like th, dh, hw etc. It is strange also to observe that some of the cirth they introduced represent sounds not occurring in their language, like nj, hy, ñ, y-, hy! Of course, our corpus of Khuzdul is very limited to judge the necessity or not, of these sounds.

Table

1 p 8 t # ch e c i kw R j f h
2 b 9 d r g o gw T zh
3 f 0 th % sh t ch p chw a l g[1]
4 v ! dh y gh Q ghw/w
5 hw @ r w z u n W ñgw d nd h ñ J nj
6 m . s , n E ñw j ng
7 mb
l i ; y- S u z e c a b o / (e) V[2] +h
A hy D ú x é v á n ó Z[3] (u) B &
G y m œ
F w

Notes

  1. This certh is said to represent the clear or glottal beginning of a word with an initial vowel. It seems that it is used in words derived from a consonantal base whose first consonant is a glottal stop.
  2. This sign is to denote aspirate kh, th etc which were frequent in Khuzdul.
  3. These cirth where a halved form of z, used for vowels like those in the word butter. When weak they were reduced to a stroke without a stem (>,?). / represented a schwa sound, an unstressed vowel, while Z a sound similar to the schwa, only in stressed syllables.