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- "...for the Noldoli speak a curious tongue sweet to my ears though not maybe to all the Eldar. Wise folk see it as close kin to Eldarissa, but it soundeth not so..."
- ― Littleheart in The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Fall of Gondolin"
Gnomish, or I·Lam na·Ngoldathon ("The Tongue of the Gnomes"), the name of which is Goldogrin, was the language of the Gnomes spoken in the Great Lands.
This language was the first incarnation of the Celtic-like Elvish language invented by Tolkien during the first drafts of his legendarium during 1917 and later. The language would evolve into the language known as Noldorin around 1930 and finally envisioned as the language of the Sindar during the writing of The Lord of the Rings.
Unlike Sindarin, and like Quenya, Goldogrin was an inflected language with a full case system; For example, the genitive plural "of the Gnomes" is Ngoldathon as seen above. The ending -on is also known from later Quenya. It is also seen in later names such as Caras Galadhon (said to be Silvan Elvish) and perhaps Dorthonion.
Gnomish is notable for being one of the very few languages by Tolkien about which he proceeded into assembling a definite lexicon and grammar notes (published in Parma Eldalamberon, issue 11).
Since Sindarin is a continuous revision of Gnomish, it kept its Celtic phonology, some common grammar elements (like the -in plural ending and Welsh style mutations) and much of the vocabulary (eg. lam "language", mab "hand", gloss "white").
Several Gnomish words seem like they would derive from roots known from The Etymologies or that they would belong to a dialect of Sindarin; for example the word gweg "man" could have been a Sindarin word derived from WEG (see Denweg).
- Gnomish Grammar (PE 11, pp. 7-16)
- Gnomish Lexicon (PE 11, pp. 17-75)
- Goldogrin Pronominal Prefixes (PE 13, p. 97)
- Early Charts of Names (PE 13, p. 98-99)
- The Official Name List (PE 13, pp. 100-105)
- The Gnomish Lexicon Slips (PE 13, pp. 106-118)
- Names and Required Alterations (PE 15, pp. 7-13)
- Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin (PE 15, pp. 19-29)
- The Gnomic Letters (PE 15, pp. 108-110)
- Gondolinic Runes (PE 15, pp. 111-113)
- Goldogrin grammar by Thorsten Renk
- Historical Phonology of Goldogrin by Roman Rausch
- Goldogrin Pronouns by Patrick H. Wynne
- The Goldogrin Past Tense by Patrick H. Wynne