Tolkien Language Studies

Discussion in 'Books' started by jeremiah.l.burns, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    The vowels, as explained by Appendix E:

    For vowels the letters i, e, a, o, u are used, and (in Sindarin only) y. As far as can be determined the sounds represented by these letters (other than y) were of normal kind, though doubtless many local varieties escape detection. That is, the sounds were approximately those represented by i, e, a, o, h in English machine, were, father, for, brute, irrespective of quantity. In Sindarin long e, a, o had the same quality as the short vowels, being derived in comparatively recent times from them (older é, á, ó had been changed). In Quenya long ê and ó were, when correctly pronounced, as by the Eldar, tenser and 'closer' than the short vowels. Sindarin alone among contemporary languages possessed the 'modified' or fronted u, more or less as u in French lune. It was partly a modification of o and u, partly derived from older diphthongs eu, iu. For this sound y has been used (as in ancient English): as in lyg 'snake', Q. leuca, or emyn pl. of amon 'hill'. In Condor this y was usually pronounced like i. Long vowels are usually marked with the 'acute accent', as in some varieties of Fëanorian script In Sindarin long vowels in stressed monosyllables are marked with the circumflex, since they leaded in such cases to be specially prolonged; so in dûn compared with Dúnadan. The use of the circumflex in other languages such as Adûnaic or Dwarvish has no special significance, and is used merely to mark these out as alien tongues (as with the use of k). Final e is never mute or a mere sign of length as in English. To mark this final e it is often (but not consistently) written ë. The groups er, ir, ur (finally or before a consonant) are not intended to be pronounced as in English fern, fir, fur, but rather is English air, eer, oor. In Quenya ui, oi, ai and iu, eu, au are diphthongs (that is, pronounced in one syllable). All other pairs of vowels are dis-syllabic. This is often indicated by writing ëa, ëo, oë. In Sindarin the diphthongs are written ae, oi, ei, oe, ui and au. Other combinations are not diphthongal. The writing of final au as aw is in accordance with English custom, but is actually not uncommon in Fëanorian spellings. All these diphthongs were falling diphthongs, that to stressed on the first element, and composed of the simple vowels run together. Thus ai, ei, oi, ui are intended to be pronounced respectively as the vowels in English rye (not ray), grey, boy, ruin: and au (aw) as in loud, how and not as in laud, haw. There is nothing in English closely corresponding to ae, oe, eu; ae and oe may be pronounced as ai, oi
     
  2. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    I'm thinking of beginning a long project based on the most basic principles of writing in the elvish script, though not the elvish language as-of-yet (as I see that as a much more challenging task). I'm considering a poetic translation into the tengwar, but using the English language. I've got a piece in mind, and wonder if anyone's interested in joining in, or choosing a piece of their own and sharing it here.

    Edit:

    First line. If anyone can translate it into English, I'll consider it a job decently done.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  3. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Quenya or Sindarin?
     
  4. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    Well, I am attempting to go straight from English phonetically. But as I'm placing my vowels after the consonants, I suppose that makes it a Sindarin mode for the Fëanorian letters.
     
  5. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    "Mi [MY?] First cha[...]t a[...]z ...
     
  6. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    Hahaha. Okay. Well, I never expected it to go 'smoothly' for a first attempt. But the fact that I've got any words correct at all pleases me to no end. :)

    Remember that I'm spelling phonetically, so "Mi" (with a long-carrier for the i) is indeed "My".

    The sentance is in fact supposed to read:

    "my first thought was he lied in every word"

    Obviosuly there's much work to be done! I can say that I was struggling greatly with the aw sound of "thought"...and I'm not sure what happened with the rest and won't be able to say more until I get home and can study what you've come up as your translation to see where I perhaps erred. Not sure why you got a Cha...

    My thought process was begin with a th- sound (did I choose the wrong tengwa? Will check later), and follow with an a- and w- as I couldn't figure out a good way to reproduce the -aw sound. Input appreciated!

    Edit:- I should mention that I'm using an English / Mode of Beleriand. This is coming from a guide I picked up when I got Dan Smith's fonts.

    As reference from the guide I'm using (will try to upload the modified tengwar chart later):

    The second distinct tengwar mode for English seems to have been based on the Sindarin "Mode of Beleriand". This mode
    eliminates most of the Tehtar marks, in their place additional Tengwar letters are used to represent vowel sounds. Again,
    because the Sindarin and English language contain different sounds, some of the Tengwar letters were re-assigned and
    used to represent different phonetic values.
    Tolkien used two primary versions of this mode extensively (as well as several sub-variations). The main difference between
    the two basic versions of this mode is which Tengwar letters are used to represent the vowel sounds.
    The first primary version of the English "Mode of Beleriand" was used in these passages:
    Old Tom Bombadil Inscription by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1979)
    From: "Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien",
    Houghton Mifflin, 1979, 1992 (ISBN 0-395-60648-9)
    Errantry Inscription by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1979)
    From: "Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien",
    Houghton Mifflin, 1979, 1992 (ISBN 0-395-60648-9)
    The second primary version of the English "Mode of Beleriand" was used in these passages:
    Book of Mazarbul, Page II, Inscription by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1979)
    From: "Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien",
    Houghton Mifflin, 1979, 1992 (ISBN 0-395-60648-9)
    Letter to Hugh Brogan, Bottom Inscription by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1981)
    From: "Letters by J.R.R.Tolkien", page 132,
    Selected and Edited by Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien.
    Houghton Mifflin, 1981 (ISBN 0-395-31555-7).
    The First Copy of the King's Letter Inscription by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1992)
    From: "Sauron Defeated: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Four", page 130,
    (The History of Middle-earth Vol IX). edited by Christopher Tolkien
    Houghton Mifflin, 1992 (ISBN 0-395-60649-7)
    The Third Copy of the King's Letter Inscription by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1992)
    From: "Sauron Defeated: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Four", page 131,
    (The History of Middle-earth Vol IX). edited by Christopher Tolkien
    Houghton Mifflin, 1992 (ISBN 0-395-60649-7)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  7. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    I got mixed up. I was just translating from memory.
    I have an English-Tengwar "alphabet" that he created from reading the appendices.
    Aren't there 3 different "y"s though?
    And I see the problem you had with the "aw" Tengwar wasn't invented for our language
     
  8. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    I don't remember there really being so many different "y" options...but I admit I'm still very new and it's not yet engrained in my memory. I'll have a look when I get a moment. But again, if I'm going for the phonetic sound of "y" in the particular instance of "my", i (aI) or (maI)makes perfect sense.

    Yeah, aw is tough. Any suggestions you have would be very welcome indeed.
     
  9. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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  10. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    Really cool. Cyllíeth and I used to write each other letters in tengwar. Our hands looked horrible and I don't even know whether we used them correctly, but damn, that was fun.

    (And just for the sake of collecting contacts on G+ I added you to my tiny TFF circle.)
     
  11. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    That's awesome! I'd love to take the next step and start learning the language. It's conceptually easy enough...I understand the very basics of the Tengwar and how it can be used in relation to Quenya for example. But I need to learn more about the specifics relating to each mode and of course learning vocabulary is paramount.

    Thanks for circling me! I hope I've got something worthwhile to share with you!
     
  12. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    The hardest thing with Quenya and Sindarin I believe is the grammar. Tengwar is easy enough to pick up, as well as the vocabulary (not that much).

    @Firiath: could you add me to G+?
     
  13. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    Agreed!
     
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