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Languages used in the album In Elven Lands
The Elvish languages used in the album In Elven Lands are several different dialects of Quenya and Sindarin, including J.R.R. Tolkien's Proto Quenya (the so-called "Elf-Latin") and Neo-Quenya. These have all been sometimes misidentified as Neo-Elvish, however, most of the composition of the lyrics happened before Helge Kåre Fauskanger codified Neo-Quenya. Most were written before even before the collected Etymologies were published, and most of the vocabulary and grammar was taken from The Book of Lost Tales (Volumes 1 and 2) and The Book of Unfinished Tales.
The thing that many people have found confusing is that the entire work (according to the album notes) was intended to represent a corrupt later text, such as Tolkien described in the Introduction and Appendices to The Lord of the Rings. In order to create the illusion of a corrupt text (or in this case, a series of corrupt texts), the authors intentionally mutated words to account for the shifting palate, used loan-words from Anglo-Saxon and Sindarin and in one case simply mangled the pronunciation and re-transcribed the results to show the effects of the "folk music process" that often occurs over time.—Unsigned comment by Jools (talk • contribs).
- Hi and welcome to TG, Jools — and thanks for your recent contributions! From what you wrote here I understand that you're referring to this edit of the page In Elven Lands, and that you are critical of the change of "dialects of Quenya and Sindarin" to "Neo-Elvish (Quenya, Sindarin)". According to how you describe the linguistic process behind the lyrics, I would personally say it seems fair to describe it as "Neo-Elvish" (a term not limited to Fauskanger's version of Quenya). My suggestion, in order to make it clear to a reader that the album doesn't merely reproduce Elvish texts from Tolkien's corpus, would perhaps be to change the text back to "The songs on the album are written in dialects of Quenya, Sindarin, [...]". Any thoughts? --Morgan 18:56, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
- Hi Morgan – Thanks for the note. I was busy making major changes to the article, which, on reflection, might not have been altogether necessary. But I look forward to your notes on that. When we first released the album, many fans dismissed our corruptions as mistakes. Since Tolkien held that corruptions in a text often reveal aspects of a culture, we took great pains to make the corrupt text work in a realistic and organic way.
- Which is, I suppose, my issue with calling it Neo-Elvish. We were trying to make a specifically Corrupted Elvish, while Neo-Elvish appears to be intended to be a functional language, Corrupted Elvish is used to illustrate the hypothetical texts that Tolkien was translating. I know....it's all a bit theoretical. Thoughts? Jools
- It appears that you reworked the article when I was writing my note, and I think it reads much better now (especially pointing out that it's a "corrupted version" of Elvish).
- I should also say that I'm a big fan of your album! I bought the album when it first came out and it's a treasure in my collection.--Morgan 19:15, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
- Thanks Morgan! I'll tell the rest of the band. It makes us all feel warm and fuzzy to hear. Jools 20:06, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
- Hi and welcome Jools, since it was I who made the edit, I should apologise for the confusion, and proceed to clarify what "Neo-Elvish" is.
- My explanation is this: In short, Neo-Quenya and Neo-Sindarin is any Elvish text that is a non-Tolkien creation, meaning that it is non-canon and fan fiction. Neo- doesn't refer to Fauskanger's creations, nor takes account how regular or "corrupted" is, or how "right" or "wrong". Since song lyrics are not canonical Elvish texts (Namarie, A Elbereth Gilthoniel, Elendil's Oath, Cirion's Oath and so on), they are fan fabrications and fall under the umbrella of Neo-Elvish.
- Fauskanger on his page uses the term "Post-Tolkien compositions" which is exactly the same as "Neo-Elvish".
- I will try to explain more clear why Neo- is necessary: as you know Latin is a dead language, as it has no natural speakers and has stopped evolving. However it is still used ceremonially, so whenever a modern term is needed, the scholars can fabricate a neologism or calque out from Latin roots. I found in Wikipedia that Interrete is commonly chosen as the word for "Internet". I am sure that this word is internally correct (inter- is a valid Latin preposition and rete is the Latin word for "net") and other than I guess that the word follows proper translational, adaptational, derivational, phonological etc rules of the language. But it is not enough to make it Latin, and never will, because it doesn't belong to the arsenal of the "canonical" Latin corpus back when Latin was a living language. This word can be nothing else than Neo-Latin.
- This applies in Quenya as well. Perhaps lapselunga "baby-heavy" is a neat and word to express "pregnant" but it was not made by Tolkien, who might have created a different Quenya word for "pregnant". It might be structurally valid but this doesn't make it belong to the Quenya canon; it is Neo-Quenya.
- This was a word example but same applies in grammar as well. Latin grammar is very well documented, known and understood and is adequate to say anything you want, in contrast to Quenya grammar. So if we want to write an expression or formation of which Tolkien left no examples (hypothetical speech, passive voice etc), we must "guess" or "reconstruct" the rules according to our intuition. This is also a distinction between Quenya and Neo-Quenya, because it was not made by Tolkien, who might had done it differently.
- Please have in mind that the above don't express a disdain for Neo-Elvish or fan fiction, but an attept to clarify some minute meanings. I don't use the term in a derogatory manner but out of a sense of formality and correctness. I apologise for the long reply. I will gladly respond to any questions or objections you may have. Sage 01:40, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
- Got it. Thanks Sage! I have incorporated your notes into the article. And no offense taken. I was just trying to be clear. When we began our work, no such nomenclature existed. Jools 02:09, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but the security questions have several wrong answers. The name of the person who accompanied Frodo into Mordor was not "Sam" but "Samwise." "Sam" is what he was called, but not his actual name. The King of Gondor at the end of The Lord of the Rings was "Elessar" not "Aragorn." Nobody called him "King Aragorn," just as nobody referred to "Pope Benedict" as "Pope Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger." And the actor who plays Gandalf in the Hobbit films (and The Lord of the Ring films) is "Sir Ian McKellen" not simply "Ian McKellen." It seems strange my correct answers to the security questions would be rejected. I'm just saying. Jools