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Common Eldarin

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Common Eldarin is the primordial tongue of the Eldar, those Elves who left for Valinor.

Common Eldarin split off Primitive Quendian, the original language of all Quendi, or Elves, when the Eldar left Cuiviénen, since their language still evolved during the Great March.

Since the Eldar dominate the annals of the Elder Days, all the Elvish languages that appear, come from that branch. The Avarin languages possibly followed a wholly different evolution.

Common Eldarin led is the last common ancestor of Quenya and the [Telerin languages.


Minor changes of the Primitive Quendian brought the state of Common Eldarin. These changes had to do with several developments of the word-forms, usually normalization. For example:

Medial h was lost
PQ: - > CE:
"Difficult" consonant clusters, usually those with nasals (like bm and dn), were rearranged
PQ: labmâ (root LAB) > CE: lambâ, PQ: stabnê (root STAB) > CE stambê
ʒt > cht
PQ: maʒtâ (root MAƷ) > CE: mahtâ (pronounced machta)
Final short -a, -e, -o are lost, sometimes producing a long monosyllable as their trace
PQ: ndêro > CE: ndæ^r[1] (kwende > quendë is an exception)
Final short -i, -u became -e, -o
Other minor changes
PQ: wo > CE: wa
a infiction in some stems which produced new diphthongs like ae, ao
PQ: *melâ (root MEL) > CE *maelâ[2]
Later stage
final long -â, -ê, -î, -ô, -û became short.

During the Great March, dialects separated the uniformity of that language, and produced the Telerin branch.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, The Etymologies root NDER
  2. Vinyar Tengwar 39 p. 10

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