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73Re: [elfscript] re: : Used At All?

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  • Mans Bjorkman
    Sep 28, 2000
      Dan Smith wrote (in http://www.geocities.com/fontwizard/elfscript1.pdf):

      > >Mans Bjorkman <mansb@...> writes:
      > >Near the bottom of the Tengwar table in Appendix E to _The Lord of the Rings_, there is an odd-looking
      > >tengwa which resembles a "d" with a tail. The text names it _hwesta sindarinwa_, "Grey-elven _hw_". The
      > >tengwa was "mostly used (if at all) for voiceless _w_ (_hw_)".

      > It looks like this [...]

      Note, though, that in Tolkien's version the "tail" is actually at the
      baseline, not below it: the stem has just the same height as that of
      <hwesta>, and the tail is attached to its lower end.

      > I am also not sure what you mean by a closed bow to the left.
      > They look like their top most curl is open on the left.

      It is clear my wording left much to be desired. As I wrote in my
      response to Johan Winge, "What I meant was that in DTS 17, the tengwa in
      question resembles a "rómen nuquerna"; in DTS 18 it resembles a cursive
      "2", as exemplified in line 13." The former can certainly be said to
      have a closed bow. There is also, as you say, a "lambe nuquerna" (two
      allographs) that represents /w/.

      > I am not entirely sure that I agree with you. I do remember reading
      > somewhere that romen is an 'evolved' form of ore. But likewise, it
      > could be reasoned that the HW character might also be an 'evolved' for
      > of anna.

      Certainly, but IMHO it would make more sense if the character developed
      from one with the same, or a similar, meaning (as <óre> > <rómen>, <aha>
      > <hyarmen>).

      Actually, if my theory is correct, the <rómen nuquerna> is really a
      *secondary* development of <hwesta sindarinwa>. Written quickly, the
      <hwesta sindarinwa> would easily end up as the letter in DTS 18 and 37.
      After the similarity with a turned <rómen> was noted by the users, it
      would then be re-shaped (in the 'pointed' style, but apparently nowhere
      else) to resemble that character more closely. This imagined chain of
      events would in its complexity be a weakness to my theory, if it weren't
      that the <rómen nuquerna> in DTS 17 has such a clear correspondance to
      the WH-tengwa in DTS 18.

      > I've always thought that 'hwesta sindarinwa' was a combination of
      > 'ure' (W) and 'halla' (H):

      That may indeed be a possibility, though the name of the tengwa makes me
      believe rather that it developed from <hwesta>.

      Johan Winge wrote:
      > 2d, which isn't on the picture, is the "cursive L" in DTS 37; the only
      > difference between this and 2c is basically that the upper (open) bow is
      > much smaller and turns to the right and not to the left, if you see what I
      > mean. I'm prety confident that this is only a result of the different styles.

      I agree.

      > The difference between 2b and 2c is disturbing though. Maybe Tolkien
      > couldn't make up his mind, or he simply forgot how he had wroten it before
      > when he came to line 19. But still, why wouldn't he close the bow in 2b if
      > it really was a hewsta sindarinwa? But then again, why on earth would he
      > use a different tengwa in "where" and "whither"?! Maybe they are the same
      > tengwa but _not_ hwesta sindarinwa? (Note how 2b looks like a mirrored
      > hyarmen. Hmmm...)

      Well, we must keep another thing in mind here: the _Errantry_ and _Tom
      Bombadil_ inscriptions were written *early* in Tolkien's life. The
      _Errantry_ inscription corresponds closely to the versions Tolkien wrote
      in the early 1930's (see HME 7 pp 84 ff), and based on the Tengwar mode
      used it is reasonable to assume the _Tom Bombadil_ inscriptions are
      roughly contemporary.

      At this time, Tolkien's ideas on the writing system may still have been
      in a state of flux. It would surprise me if he had already then worked
      out the history of the letters as we know it today.

      Actually, from a *superfictional* perspective, I think the HW-tengwa
      seen here is the *origins* of what was to become <hwesta sindarinwa> in
      LR, not a development from it. Seen from *within* the subcreation, I of
      course have to explain it the other way around.


      Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
      Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
      SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
      Sweden An þer."
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