PARMA ELDALAMBERON 21
Qenya Noun Structure:
Declension of Nouns
Primitive Quendian: Final Consonants
Common Eldarin: Noun Structure
By J. R. R. TOLKIEN
Edited by Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith
In this issue of _Parma Eldalamberon_ we present several linguistic pieces from the period between 1930 and 1950 that treat the grammar of the Qenya noun and its origins in the grammatical features of the underlying Primitive Quendian and Eldarin.
The "Declension of Nouns" is a detailed grammatical description of the inflexions of the Qenya noun, dating from around 1931. It describes the formation of stems and syntactic suffixes, including historical variants, and sketches the development of the different declension types from Common Eldarin. The main paradigms that illustrate these types and many of the other examples include transcriptions of the forms in the Tengwar writing system as it existed at that time.
Associated with this work is a series of declension tables, apparently intended as replacements for those in the "Declension of Nouns." These reflect further changes in Tolkien's conception of the noun inflexions (and the Tengwar) up to the middle of the 1930s.
"Primitive Quendian: Final Consonants" is a text from 1936 connecting the distribution of word-final consonants in the primitive language with the etymological origins of the Qenya inflexions. An associated text titled just "Nouns" treats this material starting from Common Eldarin, and concentrating on the nominal stems and inflexions. Another treatment called "Notes for Qenya Declensions," probably dating from the early 1940s, was intended to be incorporated into a projected revision of the grammar in the "Declension of Nouns."
"Common Eldarin: Noun Structure" is a revision and elaboration of the material in "Primitive Quendian: Final Consonants" and "Nouns", dating from approximately 1950, with a few later revisions dated 1970. It details the formation of noun (and adjective) stems and their syntactic features as they existed in the Common Eldarin period. This became part of Tolkien's comprehensive prehistory of the Elvish languages, which included the revised "Tengwesta Qenderinwa" and the "Outline of Phonology."
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