Re: Tolkien's phonemic mode!
- Danny teithant:
> Thus begins Tolkien's 'Errantry' as he wrote it in Tengwar. Not an easy r=ead!
And not a 'standard' either. He wrote it as he pronounced it. Had I transcr=
it into Tengwar using the same mode it would've appeared differently simply=
because I pronounce English differently than the Professor did. There can b=
no orthography with this mode, nor with the related 'So Lúthien...' and
'Emergence of Treebeard' Englsh modes, because we all pronounce English
differently. Add to that the fact that two different people will perceive t=
same sound differently.
There _is_ an orthography with this mode, but it's different from the one w=
used to: It does not rely on tradition, but on Standard Pronounciation. You=
right, if a script's only based on the writers' personal pronounciations (t=
not the case in this mode! see below), everybody writes different. But if=
based on a Standard Pronounciation, everybody writes the same way, and
that's exactly what orthography is! Look at orthographies which are said to=
representate pronounciation accurately, for example the one of Spanish,
Italian, Czech, Finnish, Quenya, Sindarin: None of these orthographies
reflects the speakers' personal pronounciation; they all reflect the Standa=
Pronounciation. There's no reason at all why this shouldn't be possible wit=
English. It's very difficult because the writer needs to decide what the
Standard Pronounciation is. There's not a several English Standard
Pronounciations, but they're not too numerous and the similarities between =
them are bigger than the differences. I'd say: Try to follow Tolkien's exam=
There's a proof (at least this one) that the sounds Tolkien represented in =
phonemic English tengwar are not the sounds of his personal pronounciation =
but of a Standard Pronounciation. Tolkien was British, and so his personal =
pronounciation was British (cf. Laurence J. Krieg: "Tolkien's pronounciatio=
p. 156, in: Jim Allen: "An Introduction to Elvish"). That means, his person=
pronounciation of the combinations vowel + r must have been the following: =
either like vowel + "uh"-glide (in words like fear, fair, tour) or like len=
vowels (in words like four, far). The latter can't be distinguished lengthe=
vowels (in words like fast, caught). So if his writing would follow his per=
pronounciation, we would expect him to represent all lengthened vowels in
the same way and the sound combinations vowel + "uh"-glide in another way. =
But that's not what he did it! He distinguished between lengthened vowels i=
words like "fast" (DTS 18, line 26), "caught" (DTS 18, line 27) and in word=
"far" (DTS 18, line 20), "your" (DTS 18, line 16), even though he pronounce=
them the same way but the latter two are represented the same way as
words like "hair" (DTS 18, line 11), "beard" (DTS 18, line 9), even though =
pronounced them differently. This means he didn't follow his personal
pronounciation but a Standard Pronounciation, which in this case isn't even=
the British one, but rather a mixture between British and U.S. ones.
> The local Tolkien society wanted me to reduce this mode to IPA equivalent=s
so it could be used to transcribe English for the society.
That's definitly a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that mode works!=
does not cover any phonetic sound values of personal pronounciations, but i=
represents the Standard Pronounciation sounds.
> The 'Tom Bombadil' and 'Errantry' pieces are important in showing adevelopmental stage of how Tolkien thought the Tengwar should be applied
to English, but for readability, I'll stick to the KL mode!
I don't consider it a developmental stage, but rather an alternative. It's =
more difficult alternative, because you need not only to free your mind fro=
traditional spelling, but in the instant, you need to resubmit your mind to=
standard pronounciation. I'll go on recommending the easier alternative, bu=
still, the more difficult alternative has to be taken in consideration, bec=
as original from Tolkien as the other one.
> The pieces are also important for another reason: They are the mostbeautiful Tengwar calligraphy pieces Tolkien ever produced!
They're very beautiful, that's true.