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Languages

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In discussing the languages [[Tolkien]] invented, it is necessary to consider two aspects: their "primary world" history, namely their literal development by Tolkien as a linguist, and their "secondary world" history, namely their imagined historical development in the history of Middle-earth.
+
According to [[Pengolodh]], the sage of [[Gondolin]], the making of a '''language''' is the chief character of an [[Incarnate]]. The speaking peoples used languages to communicate. The first of those races were the [[Dwarves]] who were taught by [[Aulë]] and then the [[Elves]], who called themselves [[Quendi|Kwendî]], the "Speakers".
  
==Primary-world history==
+
In the history of [[Arda]], the [[Elvish]] tongues were separated as part of the peoples emigrating while others stay behind, leading to a split of [[Quenya]] (High-Elvish, or Elf-Latin) and [[Sindarin]].
Tolkien was a professional linguist and a specialist in the Old English language. He was also interested in many languages outside his field and developed a particular love for the Finnish language (he described the finding of a Finnish grammar book as "entering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before", ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'', number 214).
+
  
Finnish morphology (particularly its rich system of inflection]) in part gave rise to [[Quenya]]. Another of Tolkien's favorites was Welsh — and features of Welsh phonology found their way to [[Sindarin]]. Numerous words were borrowed from existing languages, but less and less obviously as Tolkien progressed, so that attempts to match a source to a particular Elvish word or name in works published during his lifetime are often very dubious.
+
==Linguistic lore==
 +
In Quenya, ''[[lambë]]'' is the term for spoken language or verbal communiation while ''tengwesta'' is a more abstract term for a system or a code of signs and may be translated as "grammar". As [[Pengolodh]] noted, "The making of a lambe  is the chief character of an Incarnate," including the [[Valar]].<ref>{{WJ|AD1}}, p.397</ref>
  
Language-making was Tolkien's hobby for most of his life. He is known to have constructed his first languages (Animalic and Nevbosh) at a little over thirteen and he continued to ponder upon his creations up until his death more than sixty-five years later. Language invention had always been tightly connected to the mythology that Tolkien developed, as he found that a language could not be complete without the history of the people who spoke it, just as these people could never be fully realistic if imagined only through the English and as speaking English. Tolkien therefore took the stance of a translator and adaptor rather than that of the original author of his works.
+
In [[Valinor]], the Elves began to be interested in the nature of their languages. These loremasters were called [[lambengolmor]]. Usually they would compare [[Quenya]] proper against [[Telerin]] and point out the original [[Primitive Quendian]].
  
Although the [[Elvish]] languages [[Sindarin]] and [[Quenya]] are the most famous and the most mature languages of those that Tolkien invented for his mythology, they are by no means the only ones. They belong to a family of Elvish dialects, that originate in [[Common Eldarin]], the language common to all [[Eldar]], which in turn originates in [[Primitive Quendian]], the common root of [[Eldar]]in and [[Avari]]n languages. In addition to that, there is a separate language family that is spoken by Men, the most prominent member of which was [[Westron]] (derived from the [[Númenórean]] speech [[Adûnaic]]) or the "Common speech" of the peoples of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]''. Most Mannish tongues showed influences by Elvish, as well as some [[Dwarvish]] influences. Several independent languages were drafted as well, for example the [[Khuzdul]] language of the Dwarves. Other languages are [[Valarin]] (the tongue of the [[Valar]]), and the [[Black Speech]] created by [[Sauron]] during the Second Age.  
+
The invention of writing is attributed to [[Rúmil (elf of Tirion)|Rúmil]], who first invented an alphabet: the [[Sarati]] (literally "letters"). [[Fëanor]] later enhanced and further developed this alphabet into the [[Tengwar]], which were spread to Middle-earth by the [[Noldor|Ñoldor]] and remained in use ever after.
  
===Elvish scholarship===
 
 
Although the study of Tolkien's languages is as a rule not taken seriously by mainstream linguistics, a number of serious scholars have worked on compiling all that can be recovered about their histories and grammars.
 
 
An early book dedicated to Eldarin is ''An Introduction to Elvish'' by Jim Allan (published by Bran's Head Books), written before the publication of ''[[The Silmarillion]]'' in 1977 and therefore mostly outdated.
 
 
There are several journals dedicated to the subject:
 
*[[Quettar]], Bulletin of the Linguistic Fellowship of The Tolkien Society, edited by Julian C. Bradfield, the oldest Eldarin publication.
 
*[[Vinyar Tengwar]] and [[Parma Eldalamberon]] are published by the [[Elvish Linguistic Fellowship]].
 
*[[Tyalie Tyelellieva]] is published by Lisa Star.
 
*[[Mythlore]] is published by the [[Mythopoeic Society]].
 
*[[Beyond Bree]] is published by Nancy Martsch.
 
 
[[Tolklang]], [[Elfling]] and [[Lambengolmor]] are mailing lists dedicated to Tolkien linguistics.
 
 
==Secondary-world history==
 
 
''See also [[Lhammas]], [[Elvish]]''.
 
 
In the history of Middle-earth, the tongues of the Elves are separated as part of the speakers emigrate to [[Aman]] while others stay behind, leading to a split of [[Quenya]] (High-Elvish, or Elf-Latin) and [[Sindarin]].
 
 
===Middle-earth linguistics===
 
 
The invention of writing is attributed to [[Rúmil]], who first invented an alphabet: the [[Sarati]] (literally "letters"). [[Fëanor]] later enhanced and further developed this alphabet into the [[Tengwar]], which were spread to Middle-earth by the [[Ñoldor]] and remained in use ever after.<br>
 
 
[[Daeron]] of [[Doriath]] indepently of Rúmil and Fëanor had invented the [[Cirth]] [[Runes]], but these were only used for inscriptions, and otherwise replaced by the Tengwar, except among the [[Dwarves]].
 
[[Daeron]] of [[Doriath]] indepently of Rúmil and Fëanor had invented the [[Cirth]] [[Runes]], but these were only used for inscriptions, and otherwise replaced by the Tengwar, except among the [[Dwarves]].
  
An important source of Middle-earth linguistic scholarship is [[Pengolodh]] of Gondolin who wrote in Quenya. He is the author of ''[[Quendi and Eldar]]'', the ''[[Lhammas]]'' and ''[[Osanwe-kenta]]''.
+
An important source of Middle-earth linguistic scholarship is [[Pengolodh]] of Gondolin who wrote in Quenya. He is the author of ''[[Quendi and Eldar]]'', the ''[[Lhammas]]'' and ''[[Ósanwe-kenta]]''.
 
+
In Quenya, ''lambë'' is the term for spoken language or verbal communiation while ''tengwesta'' is a more abstract term for a system or a code of signs and may be translated as "grammar".
+
 
+
== Writing and spelling ==
+
 
+
Sindarin and Quenya are often written in the ''[[Tengwar]]'' script, which Tolkien especially devised for them, or alternatively in the  rune-like ''[[cirth]]''. When Middle-earth languages are written with the Latin alphabet, either acute accents (á, é, í, ó, ú) or circumflex accents (â, ê, î, ô, û, &#375;) mark long vowels depending on language or other convention. The [diaeresis (ä, ë, ö) is normally used to mark that a short vowel is to be separately pronounced, that it is not silent or part of a diphthong. For example, the last four letters of ''Ainulindalë'' should be sounded as if spelled ''dah-leh'' in English rather than as ''dale'' and the first three letters of ''Eärendil'' represent something like ''eh-ahr'' rather than the English word ''ear''. (But occasionally, especially when writing proto-Eldarin forms, Tolkien used the macron to indicate long vowels and the dieresis on ä, ö, and ü as in German to indicate ''i''-modification or ''e''-modification.)
+
 
+
In the ''Lord of the Rings'', Tolkien adopted the literary device of claiming to have replaced the original [[Westron]] with English. This device of rendering an ''imaginary'' language with a ''real'' language he carried further, rendering [[Rohirric]], related to an older form of Westron, by Old English, and names in the tongue of [[Dale]] in the north of [[Rhovanion]] by Old Norse forms, thus mapping the genetic relation of his fictional languages on the existing historical relations of the Germanic languages. A natural consequence of this is that the languages thus ''replaced'' were never worked out by Tolkien in any detail because they never appeared in the texts.
+
  
 
==List of languages==
 
==List of languages==
Line 53: Line 21:
 
#**[[Common Eldarin]]
 
#**[[Common Eldarin]]
 
#***[[Quenya]]
 
#***[[Quenya]]
#****[[Vanyar in Quenya]]
+
#****[[Vanyarin]]
#****[[Noldorin Quenya]]
+
#****[[Quenya|Noldorin Quenya]]
 +
#****[[Telerin]] of [[Valinor]] (from [[Common Telerin]] but influenced by Quenya)
 
#***[[Common Telerin]]
 
#***[[Common Telerin]]
#****Telerin of [[Valinor]] (considered a dialect of [[Quenya]])
+
#****[[Telerin]] of [[Valinor]] (considered a dialect of [[Quenya]])
 
#****[[Sindarin]] (at least three dialects)
 
#****[[Sindarin]] (at least three dialects)
 
#****[[Nandorin]] languages (influenced by Avarin)
 
#****[[Nandorin]] languages (influenced by Avarin)
 
#[[Mannish]] languages (all showed influence by Avarin tongues as well as [[Khuzdul]]):
 
#[[Mannish]] languages (all showed influence by Avarin tongues as well as [[Khuzdul]]):
#*Languages of forefathers of the First and Third Houses of the [[Atanatári]]
+
#*Languages of forefathers of the First and Third Houses of the [[Atanatári]] ("Northern Mannish")
 
#**[[Taliska]] (two dialects)
 
#**[[Taliska]] (two dialects)
 
#***[[Adûnaic]]
 
#***[[Adûnaic]]
 
#****[[Westron]] (influenced by [[Sindarin]], and languages of Eriador)
 
#****[[Westron]] (influenced by [[Sindarin]], and languages of Eriador)
#*****[[Hobbit]]ish (influenced by languages of Northmen)
+
#*****[[Hobbitish]] (dialect of Westron, influenced by languages of Northmen)
 
#****Black Adûnaic of [[Black Númenóreans]]
 
#****Black Adûnaic of [[Black Númenóreans]]
 
#**Languages of Men of [[Eriador]] during the [[Second Age]]
 
#**Languages of Men of [[Eriador]] during the [[Second Age]]
Line 70: Line 39:
 
#***[[Dale|Dalish]]
 
#***[[Dale|Dalish]]
 
#***[[Rohirric]]
 
#***[[Rohirric]]
#*Language of forefathers of the Second House of the Atanatari
+
#*Language of forefathers of the Second House of the Atanatari ("Southern Mannish")
 
#**[[Haladin]] language
 
#**[[Haladin]] language
#**[[Dunlending]]
+
#**[[Dunlendish|Dunlending language]]
#*[[Drûgs|Drûg]] languages
+
#*[[Drúedain|Drûg]] languages
 
#**Language of the Drúedain of [[Brethil]]
 
#**Language of the Drúedain of [[Brethil]]
 
#**Language of the Woses of [[Drúadan Forest]]
 
#**Language of the Woses of [[Drúadan Forest]]
 
#*Many [[Haradrim]] languages
 
#*Many [[Haradrim]] languages
 
#*Many tongues of [[Easterlings]]
 
#*Many tongues of [[Easterlings]]
 +
#*Language of the [[Lossoth]]
 
#Languages of [[Dwarves]]:
 
#Languages of [[Dwarves]]:
 
#*[[Khuzdul]]
 
#*[[Khuzdul]]
#*[[Iglishmek]] (sign language)
+
#*[[Iglishmêk]] (sign language)
 
#Languages of the [[Ents]]
 
#Languages of the [[Ents]]
 
#*Old Entish.
 
#*Old Entish.
Line 87: Line 57:
 
#*[[Valarin]]
 
#*[[Valarin]]
 
#**[[Black Speech]], created by [[Sauron]]
 
#**[[Black Speech]], created by [[Sauron]]
 +
 +
==Other versions of the Legendarium==
 +
Tolkien's conceptions of the languages, like his mythology itself, changed through time. For older linguistic concepts see [[The Tree of Toungues]], [[Oromean]], [[Aulean]], [[Goldogrin]], [[Kornoldorin]], [[Noldorin]], [[Qenya]], [[Ilkorin]], [[Doriathrin]], [[Nandorin]] and [[Taliska]].
 +
 +
==Inspiration==
 +
In discussing the languages [[J.R.R. Tolkien|Tolkien]] invented, it is necessary to consider two aspects: their "primary world" history, namely their literal development by Tolkien as a linguist, and their "[[secondary world]]" history, namely their imagined historical development in the history of Middle-earth.
 +
 +
Tolkien was a professional linguist and a specialist in the Old English language. He was also interested in many languages outside his field and developed a particular love for the Finnish language (he described the finding of a Finnish grammar book as "entering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before".<ref>{{L|214}}</ref>
 +
 +
Finnish morphology (particularly its rich system of inflection) in part gave rise to [[Quenya]]. Another of Tolkien's favorites was [[Welsh]] &mdash; and features of Welsh phonology found their way to [[Sindarin]]. Numerous words were borrowed from existing languages, but less and less obviously as Tolkien progressed. Words that are an exact match with existing Welsh words can be found in the early drafts of Tolkien’s manuscripts published as ''[[The History of Middle-earth]]'',<ref>[[Mark T. Hooker]], ''[[Tolkien and Welsh]]'', p. viii</ref> but attempts to match a source to a particular Elvish word or name in works published during his lifetime are often very dubious.
 +
 +
Language-making was Tolkien's hobby for most of his life. He is known to have constructed his first languages (Animalic and Nevbosh) at a little over thirteen and he continued to ponder upon his creations up until his death more than sixty-five years later. Language invention had always been tightly connected to the mythology that Tolkien developed, as he found that a language could not be complete without the history of the people who spoke it, just as these people could never be fully realistic if imagined only through the English and as speaking English. Tolkien therefore took the stance of a translator and adaptor rather than that of the original author of his works.
 +
 +
Although the [[Elvish]] languages [[Sindarin]] and [[Quenya]] are the most famous and the most mature languages of those that Tolkien invented for his mythology, they are by no means the only ones. They belong to a family of Elvish dialects, that originate in [[Common Eldarin]], the language common to all [[Eldar]], which in turn originates in [[Primitive Quendian]], the common root of [[Eldar]]in and [[Avari]]n languages. In addition to that, there is a separate language family that is spoken by Men, the most prominent member of which was [[Westron]] (derived from the [[Númenóreans|Númenórean]] speech [[Adûnaic]]) or the "Common speech" of the peoples of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]''. Most Mannish tongues showed influences by Elvish, as well as some [[Dwarvish]] influences. Several independent languages were drafted as well, for example the [[Khuzdul]] language of the Dwarves. Other languages are [[Valarin]] (the tongue of the [[Valar]]), and the [[Black Speech]] created by [[Sauron]] during the Second Age.
 +
 +
==Elvish scholarship==
 +
{{quote|Indeed it would be the only fitting monument to a man who had to invent a whole world just to have a place where people could greet one another with the words ''Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo''.|[[Helge Fauskanger]], [http://folk.uib.no/hnohf/vice.htm Tolkien's Not-So-Secret Vice]}}
 +
Although the study of Tolkien's languages is as a rule not taken seriously by mainstream linguistics, a number of serious scholars have worked on compiling all that can be recovered about their histories and grammars.
 +
 +
An early book dedicated to Tolkien's languages is ''[[An Introduction to Elvish]]'' by [[Jim Allan]] (published by Bran's Head Books), written before the publication of ''[[The Silmarillion]]'' in 1977 and therefore mostly outdated.
 +
 +
There are several journals dedicated to the subject:
 +
*[[Quettar]], Bulletin of the Linguistic Fellowship of The Tolkien Society, edited by Julian C. Bradfield, the oldest Eldarin publication.
 +
*[[Vinyar Tengwar]] and [[Parma Eldalamberon]] are published by the [[Elvish Linguistic Fellowship]].
 +
*[[Tyalie Tyelellieva]] is published by [[Lisa Star]].
 +
*[[Mythlore]] is published by the [[Mythopoeic Society]].
 +
*[[Beyond Bree]] is published by [[Nancy Martsch]].
 +
 +
[[Tolklang]], [[Elfling]] and [[Lambengolmor]] are mailing lists dedicated to Tolkien linguistics.
  
 
==External links and references==
 
==External links and references==
*[http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/ Ardalambion], a site containing much knowledge about Tolkien's languages and questions surrounding them.
+
*[http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/ Ardalambion] A site containing much knowledge about Tolkien's languages and questions surrounding them.
*[http://www.geocities.com/tyalie Tyalie Tyelellieva]
+
 
*[http://www.elvish.org/ The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship]
 
*[http://www.elvish.org/ The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship]
 
*[http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/misc/local/TolkLang/ the Tolkien language mailing list]
 
*[http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/misc/local/TolkLang/ the Tolkien language mailing list]
 
*[http://www.lotrlibrary.com/ The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Library]
 
*[http://www.lotrlibrary.com/ The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Library]
 
*[http://www.jerekdain.com/tolkien.html Tolkien information: Languages, Elves, the Ainur, and the Valar]
 
*[http://www.jerekdain.com/tolkien.html Tolkien information: Languages, Elves, the Ainur, and the Valar]
*[http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/language.htm Fellowship of the Word-smiths], with language courses, links, translations, and much more
+
*[http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/language.htm Fellowship of the Word-smiths] With language courses, links, translations, and much more
 +
*[http://www.abo.fi/~jolin/tolkien/ Tolkien's Pronunciation Recordings] Ardamir's Tolkien Homepage
 +
 
 +
{{References}}
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Languages| ]]
 +
[[de:Sprachen]]
 +
[[fr:langues/langues]]

Revision as of 08:35, 30 November 2012

According to Pengolodh, the sage of Gondolin, the making of a language is the chief character of an Incarnate. The speaking peoples used languages to communicate. The first of those races were the Dwarves who were taught by Aulë and then the Elves, who called themselves Kwendî, the "Speakers".

In the history of Arda, the Elvish tongues were separated as part of the peoples emigrating while others stay behind, leading to a split of Quenya (High-Elvish, or Elf-Latin) and Sindarin.

Contents

Linguistic lore

In Quenya, lambë is the term for spoken language or verbal communiation while tengwesta is a more abstract term for a system or a code of signs and may be translated as "grammar". As Pengolodh noted, "The making of a lambe is the chief character of an Incarnate," including the Valar.[1]

In Valinor, the Elves began to be interested in the nature of their languages. These loremasters were called lambengolmor. Usually they would compare Quenya proper against Telerin and point out the original Primitive Quendian.

The invention of writing is attributed to Rúmil, who first invented an alphabet: the Sarati (literally "letters"). Fëanor later enhanced and further developed this alphabet into the Tengwar, which were spread to Middle-earth by the Ñoldor and remained in use ever after.

Daeron of Doriath indepently of Rúmil and Fëanor had invented the Cirth Runes, but these were only used for inscriptions, and otherwise replaced by the Tengwar, except among the Dwarves.

An important source of Middle-earth linguistic scholarship is Pengolodh of Gondolin who wrote in Quenya. He is the author of Quendi and Eldar, the Lhammas and Ósanwe-kenta.

List of languages

  1. Elvish:
  2. Mannish languages (all showed influence by Avarin tongues as well as Khuzdul):
  3. Languages of Dwarves:
  4. Languages of the Ents
    • Old Entish.
    • "New" Entish
  5. Languages of the Ainur (Valar and Maiar)

Other versions of the Legendarium

Tolkien's conceptions of the languages, like his mythology itself, changed through time. For older linguistic concepts see The Tree of Toungues, Oromean, Aulean, Goldogrin, Kornoldorin, Noldorin, Qenya, Ilkorin, Doriathrin, Nandorin and Taliska.

Inspiration

In discussing the languages Tolkien invented, it is necessary to consider two aspects: their "primary world" history, namely their literal development by Tolkien as a linguist, and their "secondary world" history, namely their imagined historical development in the history of Middle-earth.

Tolkien was a professional linguist and a specialist in the Old English language. He was also interested in many languages outside his field and developed a particular love for the Finnish language (he described the finding of a Finnish grammar book as "entering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavour never tasted before".[2]

Finnish morphology (particularly its rich system of inflection) in part gave rise to Quenya. Another of Tolkien's favorites was Welsh — and features of Welsh phonology found their way to Sindarin. Numerous words were borrowed from existing languages, but less and less obviously as Tolkien progressed. Words that are an exact match with existing Welsh words can be found in the early drafts of Tolkien’s manuscripts published as The History of Middle-earth,[3] but attempts to match a source to a particular Elvish word or name in works published during his lifetime are often very dubious.

Language-making was Tolkien's hobby for most of his life. He is known to have constructed his first languages (Animalic and Nevbosh) at a little over thirteen and he continued to ponder upon his creations up until his death more than sixty-five years later. Language invention had always been tightly connected to the mythology that Tolkien developed, as he found that a language could not be complete without the history of the people who spoke it, just as these people could never be fully realistic if imagined only through the English and as speaking English. Tolkien therefore took the stance of a translator and adaptor rather than that of the original author of his works.

Although the Elvish languages Sindarin and Quenya are the most famous and the most mature languages of those that Tolkien invented for his mythology, they are by no means the only ones. They belong to a family of Elvish dialects, that originate in Common Eldarin, the language common to all Eldar, which in turn originates in Primitive Quendian, the common root of Eldarin and Avarin languages. In addition to that, there is a separate language family that is spoken by Men, the most prominent member of which was Westron (derived from the Númenórean speech Adûnaic) or the "Common speech" of the peoples of The Lord of the Rings. Most Mannish tongues showed influences by Elvish, as well as some Dwarvish influences. Several independent languages were drafted as well, for example the Khuzdul language of the Dwarves. Other languages are Valarin (the tongue of the Valar), and the Black Speech created by Sauron during the Second Age.

Elvish scholarship

"Indeed it would be the only fitting monument to a man who had to invent a whole world just to have a place where people could greet one another with the words Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo."
Helge Fauskanger, Tolkien's Not-So-Secret Vice

Although the study of Tolkien's languages is as a rule not taken seriously by mainstream linguistics, a number of serious scholars have worked on compiling all that can be recovered about their histories and grammars.

An early book dedicated to Tolkien's languages is An Introduction to Elvish by Jim Allan (published by Bran's Head Books), written before the publication of The Silmarillion in 1977 and therefore mostly outdated.

There are several journals dedicated to the subject:

Tolklang, Elfling and Lambengolmor are mailing lists dedicated to Tolkien linguistics.

External links and references

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Appendix D. *Kwen, Quenya, and the Elvish (especially Ñoldorin) words for 'Language': Note on the 'Language of the Valar'", p.397
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 214, (undated, written late 1958 or early 1959)
  3. Mark T. Hooker, Tolkien and Welsh, p. viii