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85The runes of The Hobbit.

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  • Vicentini Emanuele
    Nov 3, 2000

      I have a little question for all the certardili regarding the
      runes used in "The Hobbit" (don't worry, I won't ask why the dwarves used
      Anglo-Saxon based runes :-))

      AFAIK, Tolkien used what I call "The Hobbit mode" in the book "The
      Hobbit" (of course) and in a couple of other occasions: an edition of "The
      Hobbit" for schools and a postcard he sent to a fan. In this last piece,
      sometimes there's a small dot under some rune to tell the reader that its
      sound is double.

      This feature is not used regularly (I think Tolkien introduced it
      to correct some spelling error: hobit for hobbit, etc.), but I'd like to
      know, anyway, what you think about it.

      In "The Hobbit mode", as I know it from the book, there are
      already some rune used for combinations of two roman character, so perhaps
      the dot needn't to be used with, for example, "ee" or "ng" (I really don't
      know how you could pronounce 'ng' doubled in the same way of 'b' :-)). For
      "q" (and "qu") Tolkien used the "cw" combination, and perhaps even in this
      case the under-dot is not applicable...

      Examples on the use of "The Hobbit mode" aren't so much, and I
      wonder if there could be more 'special' rune, but for now that's not
      matter. Coming to the end, I think the under-dot is usable only with:
      b, c, d, f, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, w, x, y, z.

      I excluded the five vowels because, as there's a special rune for
      "ee" there could be runes for "aa", "ii", etc. For "j" Tolkien used the
      same rune of "i", and for "v" the same as "u", so I think they neither
      should go with the under-dot.

      Comments are welcome.


      "He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also
      liked runes and letters and cunning handwriting..."
      -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
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