Exilic Quenya

From Tolkien Gateway
Revision as of 08:40, 23 September 2022 by Jteuber (talk | contribs) (→‎Example: archive link)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Exilic Quenya was the dialect of Quenya spoken by Noldorin exiles who left Aman for 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.


Helge Fauskanger has composed a short Neo-Quenya phrase in the Elfling mailing list, in order to visualize the sum of the changes that have occurred in Noldorin, both phonological and syntactical.[1]

"Feanor in his rage led the Noldor over the Sea from Valinor to Middle-earth. The Noldor passed into the forested lands of the Sindar and were scattered there."

In "Old Quenya" of Aman this phrase is reconstructed as:

Tulyane Fayanáro achazyasse Ñoldoi olla Aiar Valinórello Endórenna. Awanter Ñoldor miz taureai nórí Thindaron az náner wintainai tasse.

In later, classical Quenya that would be:

Feanáro aharyasse tulyane Noldor olla Ear Valinorello Endorenna. Noldor oanter mir taurie nóri Sindaron ar náner vintaine tasse.

See also


  1. Helge Fauskanger, "Old Quenya vs. Exilic Quenya (361.55)" dated 26 November 2011, Elfling (accessed 23 September 2022), reply 361.57 (Paul Strack)

Languages and scripts in Tolkien's works
Elvish Angerthas (Angerthas Daeron) · Avarin · Cirth (Certhas Daeron) · Common Eldarin · Mátengwië · Moon-letters · Nandorin · Primitive Quendian · Quenya (Exilic · Valinorean · Vanyarin) · Sarati · Silvan Elvish · Sindarin (Doriathrin · Falathrin · Númenórean · Mithrimin · Old) · Telerin (Common) · Tengwar
Mannish Adûnaic · Dalish · Drúadan · Dunlendish · Halethian · Northern Mannish · Pre-Númenórean · Rohanese · Taliska · Westron (Bucklandish · Hobbitish · Stoorish)
Dwarvish Angerthas (Erebor · Moria) · Aulëan · Iglishmêk · Khuzdul
Other Black Speech · Old Entish · Orkish · Valarin · Warg-language
Earlier legendarium Gnomish · Gnomic Letters · Gondolinic Runes · Ilkorin · Keladian · Noldorin (Kornoldorin) · Melkian · Oromëan · Qenya · Valmaric script
Outside the legendarium Animalic · Arktik · Gautisk · Goblin Alphabet · Mágol · Naffarin · New English Alphabet · Nevbosh · Privata Kodo Skauta
Real-world Celtic · English (Old · Middle · AB) · Finnish · Germanic · Gothic · Hebrew · Runic alphabet · Welsh
"A Secret Vice" (book) · "The Lhammas" · "The Tree of Tongues" · Sub-creation