Parma Eldalamberon

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Parma Eldalamberon
"The Book of Elven-tongues"
Parma Eldalamberon 6.png
Current Editor: Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Carl F. Hostetter
Latest Issue: 22
Website: Eldalamberon
Publication Information
Issue 1-5: Mythopoeic Society
Since issue 6: Elvish Linguistic Fellowship
Frequency: Irregular
Format: Paperback, print on demand
"Just consider the splendour of the words! . . . What a pondering of alternatives within one’s choice before the final decision in favour of the daring and unusual prefix, so personal, so attractive; the final solution of some element in a design that had hitherto proved refractory."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, A Secret Vice

Parma Eldalamberon, or Parma, PE for short, is a linguistic journal dedicated to the scholarly study of the invented languages of J.R.R. Tolkien. It was first published by the Mythopoeic Society, then by the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship since issue 6.

The name Parma Eldalamberon is a Neo-Quenya rendering of "The Book of Elven-tongues", which is consist of parma "book", elda "Elf", and lambë "tongue, language". However, like with Vinyar Tengwar, the rendering is questionable as PE 18 gives the genitive plural of lambë as lambion[1] instead of lamberon.


Parma Eldalamberon was started in 1971, as an irregular periodical published by the Linguistic Fellowship of the Mythopoeic Society. The first editor was Paula Marmor. It ran for five issues, ending in 1977, but resulted in the landmark book An Introduction to Elvish. Of that book Paula Marmor was co-author, several other co-authors, Bill Welden, Christopher Gilson, Lawrence J. Krieg, and editor Jim Allan, were regular contributors to Parma and parts of it had grown from their articles in the journal. The publication of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien made most of the discussions outdated, however, and the project was shelved.

Another regular contributor was Robert Foster, who had already published his Guide to Middle-earth, which he revised and extended to The Complete Guide to Middle-earth after the publication of The Silmarillion.

Six years later, in 1983, Chris Gilson revived Parma. He kept the original name, despite the fact that the increase in Quenya material gave the correct translation as Parma Eldalambion. Gilson published Parma outside the Linguistic Fellowship,[2] but after the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship was founded it became associated with that organisation.

In 1991, Christopher Tolkien approved of Parma publishing original text by Tolkien, especially the long linguistic texts for which he could find no place in The History of Middle-earth.[3]

In the meantime, Vinyar Tengwar also started publishing Tolkien's original texts. Now, they are both edited by more or less the same team, and Parma specializes in the longer wordlists, while Vinyar Tengwar publishes Tolkien's essays.[4]

List of issues[edit]

Since issue 11, the journal has been exclusively publishing Tolkien's original materials

Future issues and back issues[edit]

From various sources and conference reports it is known that PE 23 and 24 are in the works, and that PE 23 is likely to be published in 2023.

For the back issues, Carl F. Hostetter mentioned that they are slowly being made available again as print on demand.[5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Tengwesta Qenderinwa and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets Part 2", in Parma Eldalamberon XVIII (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), pp. 8, 71
  2. David Doughan, "Book Reviews: Parma Eldalamberon 6", in: Quettar 21 (November 1984), p. 8
  3. Christopher Gilson, "Foreword", in: Parma Eldalamberon 11 (1995), p. 2
  4. David Bratman, "Posthumous Publications", in: J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (edited by Michael D.C. Drout), p. 547-8
  5. Carl on Reddit
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Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays ·
Tolkien On Fairy-stories · A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages
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