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247Re: [elfscript] Re: Devanagari: An Inspiration for the Tengwar?

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  • jonathan wust
    Jun 8, 2001
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      <helge.fauskanger@...>
      > wrote:
      >> > Were there other models [than the Devanagari] for other aspects of the
      >Tengwar?

      In J. Allan: "An Introduction to Elvish", there is given a script which has even a lot more coincidences with the tengwar: a "Universal Alphabet" by some guy from XVIth or XVIIth century � I dont remember it exactly (I would have to go for the book). As tengwar, it has also a regular formation of the letters, and all the vowels are marked by diacritics. But I dont think there could be any evidence that Tolkien would have known it.

      >It has often been suggested that the idea of expressing vowels with
      >diacritical marks was based on Hebrew writing. Hebrew is a language (and
      >writing) which Tolkien definitely studied; he even translated the Book of
      >Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible.

      I think you cant say the tengwar function like hebrew (or like arabic), unless you say, like the hebrew which is used in the bible (or the arabic used in the koran), because normal texts dont use any diacritics � they omit all the vowels but the long, which are written with consonantal signs.

      As far as I know, only some very exotic writing systems make a regular use of diacritics to represent the vowels: the systems used for the ethiopian language and some systems used to write indigenous northern american languages (Cree for example, if Im not wrong). But these writing systems dont put the diacritics above the consonantal signs, but they are kind of graphical modifiers. The results are writing systems which are similar to syllabic writing systems (and theyre often called so).

      Well, I dont think the tengwar could be based in these systems, but I think, they are the existing writing systems which are the most similar to tengwar � as systems, not as forms, of course!

      yours, choni

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