Go on with Taliska ;)
- Last night I was reading 'The Treason of Isengard', and I read about
one alphabet: Pengolodh's. The name of this alphabet in Taliskan is
_Skirditaila_. So, can we assume that Taliska was written with this
sistem? And is this sistem referred to the runes or to the Gothic-
- Mind-bogglingly interesting! I never knew of this example (and it's
not in Lisa or Helge's lists). The word _skirditaila_ which most
probably means "of Pengolodh" teaches us quite a few things:
1) We already knew Taliska had medial _ld_ (see _haldad "watchdog"),
now we know it has _rd_. Also it has _sk_ so this word is
apparently -not- Quenya (or even Qenya to our knowledge).
2) Taliska apparently has inflected cases (this word presenting a
3) The element _skird(i)_ might mean "elf" (as the Q. version of
_pengolodh_ is _qendingoldo_, or it might mean "noldo" (_golodh_ and
_-ngoldo_ in Pengolodh and Quendingoldo)
4) The element _tail(a)_ might mean "noldo" or "elf", sea 3)
The final -a may also indicate the genitive case.
Can anyone give a better analysis using the sources? Carl? Patrick?
Though I'm certainly not a lawyer and have not studied the matter,
to my knowledge analysing this word using other sources (i.e. the
Taliska materials), even unpublished, is well within the grounds of
fair-use. However, it doesn't seem long before Taliska (and god help
me: Hvendi!) is published (in the very promising current rate of
publications by the Elfconners).
a very excited John.
--- In email@example.com, "falmarendur" <falmarendur@y...>
> Last night I was reading 'The Treason of Isengard', and I readabout
> one alphabet: Pengolodh's. The name of this alphabet in Taliskanis
> _Skirditaila_. So, can we assume that Taliska was written withthis
> sistem? And is this sistem referred to the runes or to the Gothic-
> based alphabet?
- Jonathan Avidan wrote:
> 3) The element _skird(i)_ might mean "elf" ...It also _might_ mean "fiddle-de-dee". Come on! You've got to anchor
your speculation in something other than enthusiasm.
Since Taliska was meant to relate Germanic and Elvish, we ought to be
investigating known Germanic roots; or at least Elvish roots, in
trying to guess the meaning of these components.
_skirdi-_ surely suggests _certa_ (Q. "rune") and could be derived
(as _certa_ cannot quite) from the root CIR "cut" seen, e.g. in
_circa_ "sickle". More intriguing, it could be easily derived from
the IE root *_sker_ "cut" seen in Germanic words such as _shear_,
_score_ and _shard_. This same root provided the primary Latin word
for "write": _scribere_.
I cannot do so well with _-taila_, but perhaps it is related to
Germanic _talja_ 're(count)' and _skirditaila_ means 'tally of runes'.
If you want to study Taliska, you'd better start with Gothic. Of
course, you and I can't match Tolkien for broad knowledge of that
language, but for investigation of a single word we do have some
hope. I haven't been able to find Wright's _Primer of the Gothic
Language_ which Tolkien first used, but the later version
(_Grammar ..._) is available (for about $30 from Amazon), or if you
prefer on-line (link below). Read this and you'll be one up on me!
It seems to me that Pat and/or Carl took this on years ago in VT, and
I have been scanning the issues from the beginning (_every_ issue of
VT was published after Treason of Isengard) to find the reference;
but for all of the interesting material (which slowed me down a bit),
I have not come across it.
Who wants to make an index?
- Bill Welden wrote:
> _skirdi-_ . . . could be easily derived fromThis analysis agrees with Christopher Tolkien's comment on
> the IE root *_sker_ "cut" seen in Germanic words such as
> _shear_, _score_ and _shard_. This same root provided the
> primary Latin word for "write": _scribere_.
> I cannot do so well with _-taila_, but perhaps it is related to
> Germanic _talja_ 're(count)' and _skirditaila_ means 'tally of runes'.
the word, except that he thinks _-taila_ = 'count' is obvious, and
_skirdi_ = 'cut' less certain.
- Do you all realise that _Skirditaila_ is translated in _The Treason
of Isengard_ p. 455 and is said to mean 'runic series'? So Bill's
analysis seems reasonable. Arden R. Smith wrote an article in
_Tolkien's Legendarium_ called _Certhas, Skirditaila, Futhark_, is
that the one you were looking for, Bill?
- Peter Edelberg wrote:
> Do you all realise that _Skirditaila_ is translated inThanks for the reference. The article I was trying to find is in VT
> _The Treason of Isengard_ p. 455 and is said to
> mean 'runic series'?
23, _Words and Devices_ by Pat and Carl. They have an
extended essay on the subject, "Is _Taliska_ Taliskan?" They
connect _-taila_ on the Elvish side with the root TAY "extend,
make longer"; a reasonable base for "series".
The _Words and Devices_ series is required reading for anyone
interested in the connection between Elvish and the European
I'd check out Arden's article, but, you know, I gave my copy of
_Legendarium_ to Peter Jackson when I was in New Zealand...
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Bill Welden" <BillWelden@h...>
> The _Words and Devices_ series is required reading for anyoneI am a big fan of VT, and I miss the stuff you, Carl Hostetter,
> interested in the connection between Elvish and the European
Arden Smith, Pat Wynne et. al. wrote about the different aspects of
Tolkien's languages. Today VT is occupied with publishing Tolkien's
manuscripts and that is of course great and much to be preferred,
but still I miss articles like _Words and Devices_. Gladly there is
beginning to appear articles on _Tengwestie_ by the ET on other
matters that unpublished papers. It is unfortunate that so few are
interested in writing about the semantics, history, and philosophy
of Tolkien's linguistic creation. But I could of course just start
myself, but who has the time these days ;-). BTW I loved you article
on negation in Elvish - it had just that balance between grammatical
analysis and historical perspective that makes an article
entertaining as well as informative.
> I'd check out Arden's article, but, you know, I gave my copy ofYou did? Great! I sincerely hope he read it and saw some of the
> _Legendarium_ to Peter Jackson when I was in New Zealand...
deeper levels of Tolkien's world. All in all I think Jackson and the
rest of his team did a good job at catching the spirit of Middle-
earth. Can I ask you what you think of the project, being in a
position where you saw some of the process as well as (I believe)
seen the final product? And what did you think of the Elvish (and
other Tolkien-languages) in the movies? I'd love to hear an
insider / expert opinion. Of course it could be great if others want
to join the discussion as well and say what they think of the
language-aspect of Jackson's _Lord of the Rings_.
> BTW I loved you articlegrammatical
> on negation in Elvish - it had just that balance between
> analysis and historical perspective that makes an articleKotebh jonathan_avidan:
> entertaining as well as informative.
Just this kind of articles, such as Bill's, is the purely external-
diachronic perspective on Tolkien's artlangs which is so
quintessential to our study yet is partially neglected. That may
change as the times go by, however.