Toggle menu
Toggle personal menu
Not logged in
Your IP address will be publicly visible if you make any edits.

Parma Eldalamberon 17

From Tolkien Gateway
Parma Eldalamberon 17
Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings
Publication Information
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien
EditorChristopher Gilson
IllustratorPatrick H. Wynne (front cover)
PublisherElvish Linguistic Fellowship
FormatPaperback journal

Parma Eldalamberon 17: Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings is the seventeenth issue of Parma Eldalamberon, a journal of linguistic studies of the Elvish languages and names in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Previous Issue || Next Issue


  • Cover: "Mithrandir" — Patrick H. Wynne
  • Foreword
  • "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings" — J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Christopher Gilson
  • Eldarin Roots and Stems
    (an index of Elvish roots and etymologies)
  • Index of entries
  • List of abbreviations


"Words, Phrases and Passages" is a collection of notes on the Quenya, Sindarin, Dwarvish, Rohirric, and Black Speech examples occurring in The Lord of the Rings, with detailed translations and syntactic explanations, together with a discussion of the etymologies of the various words and names. For the Elvish examples these are traced back to their Common Eldarin roots. The entries were arranged by Tolkien in the order in which the words and phrases occurred in the story and this arrangement has been preserved in this edition.

Although Tolkien never completed the commentary as originally planned, he retained the more cursory list of words and names from which he was working; and he continued to compose further notes on the grammar and history of the Elvish words and names in the story. Many of these were placed together with "Words, Phrases and Passages", and the main commentary has been supplemented by these notes in this edition. Together these texts give the clearest picture we have of how Tolkien conceived of his linguistic inventions in the forms they were revealed to his readers.

In many of the notes in "Words, Phrases and Passages" Tolkien expresses hesitation about his preliminary explanations, or notices discrepancies between elements occurring in more than one context. The notes show how his reconsideration at this time of his invented languages sometimes led to revisions in the text of The Lord of the Rings as it was published in the 2nd edition of 1965. They also show how Tolkien achieved new insights into the etymological explanation of certain words and names.

Many of the entries mention the roots of the Elvish components under discussion, and this edition includes an index of these roots. During this period Tolkien also compiled several lists and collections of roots and the words derived from them. These etymologies have been combined with the index into a single list alphabetically arranged by root, providing a fairly comprehensive overview of his conception of the stock of basic elements that underlie the Elvish languages.

The entries have been annotated to point out their connections with the examples of Tolkien's invented languages included in his other writings, such as The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Letters, and The History of Middle-earth. This edition also includes an index, arranged by language, of all words and phrases that are glossed within the entries of main list and the list of roots.

External links

Parma Eldalamberon issues
Issue 1 · Issue 2 · Issue 3 · Issue 4 · Issue 5 · Issue 6 · Issue 7 · Issue 8 · Issue 9 · Issue 10 ·
Issue 11 · Issue 12 · Issue 13 · Issue 14 · Issue 15 · Issue 16 · Issue 17 · Issue 18 · Issue 19 · Issue 20 ·
Issue 21 · Issue 22