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5670Re: origin of tehtar-Sindarin mode

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  • Måns Björkman
    Aug 30, 2007
      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Lakis Lalakis <avalon@...> wrote:
      > I was reading also Thorsten Renk's article on whether the
      > tehtar-Sindarin mode was a mannish invention or not. [...]
      > /The article considers that Tolkien implied this: "Tehtar modes are
      > ancient - full modes are more recent. Therefore the Sindarin
      > is more ancient than the Mode of Beleriand". It then says that Tolkien
      > (post-LOTR) changed his mind and revised the story.
      > 'Revised' is where I disagree. Personally, I don't think that this
      > statement necessarily proves that he intended the tehtar-Sindarin mode
      > to be Elvish, and didn't necessarily /revise /his story later, when he
      > was more inclined that it was a mannish invention; I rather think that
      > he always intended so.

      I agree that the arguments for a revision about the origins of the
      Sindarin tehta-mode are weak. In my opinion there is nothing in
      Appendix E that rules out the invention of ómatehta-modes later than
      the mode of Beleriand. The case is stronger for the "general use"
      having been invented with human languages in mind (and used for
      Sindarin by Men only), but we can't be certain even of that. Even if
      that was certain, the "general use" might have come into existence
      anywhere in the time between Finrod meeting the first Edain in
      Beleriand, and Sauron using this mode on the One Ring in the Second
      Age. It might thus be either earlier or later than the mode of
      Beleriand, but not necessarily significantly so.

      One point at which Torsten clearly is correct, however, is the
      revision of just how old "full writing" was. The description in
      Appendix E, where the writing is said to have reached the stage of
      "full alphabetic development", is hard to reconcile with that in
      _Quendi and Eldar_, where Feanor himself constructed a mode of "full

      As for Frodo not being able to read the inscription on the doors of
      Moria, it seems reasonable to assume that the modes Frodo would be
      familiar with were those used in the King's Letter: the Sindarin
      tehta-mode -- AKA the "general use" -- and the "Later or Westron
      Convention" (as it is called in _Pictures_). With those two modes in
      mind, it is not surprising that the mode of Beleriand would be hard to

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