Jeremie Knusel wrote:
> There is a mail in the tolklang archive whose topic is:
> 'Dot below' tehta = "no vowel" (Vinyar Tengwar #25 p6)
> Does anyone have VT25 ? :)
I do. Without having reread the TolkLang message, I do no doubt that it
refers to the article "The Subscript Dot: A New _Tehta_ Usage" by our
esteemed elfscribe Arden Smith. In brief, the article begins with
describing the tehta usage in Lowdham's Old English manuscripts from the
then recently published Sauron Defeated. It is noted that the Adûnaic
word _Zigûr_ is once written with a dot beneath the <óre> (and _Zigûre_
is not), likewise that Quenya _Tarcalion_ has a dot beneath the <númen>,
while the a-tehtar are missing. Smith then quotes the note from Appendix
E about _a_ often being omitted in Quenya, so "for _calma_ 'lamp' _clm_
could be written." In _Tarcalion_, Smith notes, <tinco> and <quesse>
(sic! not <calma>) "are each followed by an implicit _a_. The letters
[<óre>] and [<númen>] have _no_ vowel following them, and _this_ is what
the subscript dot indicates."
Then the exhibition catalogue "J.R.R. Tolkien: Life and Legend. An
exhibition to Commemorate the Centenary of the Birth of J.R.R. Tolkien
(1892-1973)" is referred to. The catalogue contains the inscription
_Menelluin Írildeo Ondolindello_ (with the authorial caption "Idril's
Device The 'Cornflower' pattern Menelluin"), the same inscription that
was later published in Artist and Illustrator. Here the final <númen> of
_Menelluin_ carries a subscript dot, while the preceding _i_ is placed
on a short carrier.
The catalogue also contains an untranscribed inscription that goes:
"<quesse><lambe + subscript dot><malta> <hyarmen + e-tehta><ando +
superscript tilde><silme + subscript dot>". Smith interprets this as
_calma hendas_, "a light in the eye", despite the untraditional use of
<quesse> and <ando>. However this inscription is to be interpreted, it
seems clear to me that the subscript dot is here and elsewhere used to
indicate lack of following _a_.
Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!