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Exilic Quenya

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Exilic Quenya was the dialect of Quenya spoken by Noldorin exiles who left Aman for Beleriand and then Middle-earth in the First Age. It then became the general dialect of Quenya in Middle-earth.

Though often called Noldorin Quenya, there is evidence that it may not have reflected the evolution of those Noldor that remained in Tirion under Finarfin's rule. For example:

  • During the First Age in Beleriand, Exilic Quenya lost its distinct accusative case, merging it with the nominative case.
  • After the end of the First Age, the Exilic dialect changed word-initial w to v.
  • After the end of the Second Age, the dialect changed word-initial ñ to n.
  • Also during the Third Age, various words changed whereby sequences of -iV- (where V represents any arbitrary vowel) changed to -iyV-.

It is highly possible that at least some of these changes were adopted in Aman too as Noldor returned by sea over the ages, or died and re-embodied in the Halls of Mandos and rejoined Amanya Noldorin society. However, the Quenya of Aman (including that spoken by the Vanyar and Noldor who remained) is very poorly documented in official sources after the Noldor left Aman in the first place, so any linguistic trends of Amanya Quenya after this point are pure speculation. Indeed, it is difficult to assume the communal living conditions of the Noldor after most of them had returned, including whether they came again to live together in Tirion at all.

But it is certain that the Exilic variety of Quenya was the basis of Quenya that continued to be used, ceremonially or otherwise, by the Edain and Dúnedain who were never destined to reside in Aman.