12 votes
Accepted

What is the influence of Russian on Tolkien's languages?

To begin with, Tolkien writes in letter 142 that I love music but have no aptitude for it [...] Slavonic languages are for me almost in the same category. I have had a go at many tongues in my ...
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11 votes

How many dialects of Tolkien's Elvish are there?

In this article, it is mentioned: Primitive Quendian (language of the Elves in Cuiviénen) Avarin Various Avarin languages (some later merged with Nandorin) Common Eldarin (the early language of all ...
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  • 213
10 votes
Accepted

An Elvish word for squirrel

peccuvo peccuvo (Quenya): Squirrel, lit. "nut-hider" [pec 'nut' + kuvo 'hider'] (source: Parma Eldalamberon #22 2015).
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  • 1,705
9 votes
Accepted

Are there speech communities for Tolkien's Elvish languages?

It is not possible to speak Tolkien's Elvish Languages. This may confuse some people, considering how much nonsense there is online for "how to speak Tolkien's Elvish" (there's even a wikihow article ...
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  • 3,271
9 votes
Accepted

How did Tolkien model diachronic changes in his Elvish languages?

OK, here are some details on classical Quenya and classical Sindarin (based on Helmut W. Pesch, Das große Elbisch-Buch, Bastei-Lübbe 2009) The phoneme inventory of Primitive Quendian was p t k ...
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8 votes

How did Tolkien model diachronic changes in his Elvish languages?

I don't know the exact changes Tolkien enacted, but here are a few in no particular order. You can tell they are quite inspired by real world sound changes in Celtic languages, which I'll mark in ...
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  • 81
6 votes

How many dialects of Tolkien's Elvish are there?

It's a tough question, and one that may be impossible to answer. There are tons of references all over the internet, such as Wikipedia (whose sources look decent on this one), Wikia, and a half dozen ...
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  • 1,187
5 votes
Accepted

Did the Elvish languages converge before they diverged?

Tolkien did work out the history of his languages both forward and backward, that is: construct a pseudo-historical background and deduce the form you have actually decided on from an antecedent and ...
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  • 266
4 votes

Were Tolkien's Elvish languages based on known natural languages?

Tolkien took inspirations from lots of existing languages. His inventions bear much resemblance to those languages in phonology and in syntax, but less obviously so in vocabulary. Ken's answer already ...
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  • 266
4 votes
Accepted

If 'Amlonde' were a word in Sindarin or Quenya, what would it mean?

There is actually a neat analysis in Quenya according to a Tolkien Dictionary Site: am-: is a prefix that means "up" londë: means "(landlocked) haven" So you can imagine it ...
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  • 3,496
4 votes

What is the influence of Russian on Tolkien's languages?

In the Comparative Tables, Tolkien wrote "East Lemberin is of Lithuanian type". Not really Russian, but that's as close as we can get for direct evidence. The Tables do show changes, to my ...
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  • 266
4 votes
Accepted

Are there works composed in Quenya or Sindarin by people other than Tolkien himself?

Pater Noster in Quenya Poems in Quenya Some more poems in Quenya Pater Noster in Sindarin (JRRT for comparison) Pater Noster in Sindarin Poems & Stories in Sindarin Poem in Sindarin NB: I ...
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  • 2,955
3 votes
Accepted

Were Tolkien's languages used in the works of C. S. Lewis and other inklings?

Tolkien addresses the use of some of his words by C.S. lewis in a letter to Dick Plotz on September 12, 1965. The letter is numbered 276 in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. This is the relevant part of ...
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  • 2,010
2 votes

Were Tolkien's Elvish languages based on known natural languages?

As mentioned on Wikipedia, it was modelled on Welsh and some other Norse languages: Sindarin was designed with a Welsh-like phonology. It has most of the same sounds and a similar sound structure, ...
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2 votes

How did Tolkien model diachronic changes in his Elvish languages?

What is a summary of the major changes he modelled? For example, did he describe something akin to the Great Vowel Shift? For Sindarin, there are some big changes in vowels comparable to the Great ...
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  • 266
1 vote

Are words for "machine" and the like in Tolkien present in Elvish/Westron?

Quenya has tanwë which means "device, craft, construction." A search for "machine" on this site which may or may not be reputable gives a couple of other words in Quenya, Sindarin, and Noldorin. ...
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  • 1,285

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