85The runes of The Hobbit.
- Nov 3, 2000Greetings,
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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