Re: [elfscript] Tolkien's phonemic mode
- Teithant Alf:
>There _is_ an orthography with this mode, butused to:
>it's different from the one we're
>It does not rely on tradition, but on Standardscript's only
>Pronounciation. You 're right, if a
>based on the writers' personalpronounciations
>(that's not the case in this mode! see below),based on
>everybody writes different. But if it's
>a Standard Pronounciation, everybody writes theThere's a
>same way, and that's exactly what orthography is!
>... 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 example!
>proof (at least this one) that the sounds TolkienOkay, I'm trying to avoid writing an epic saga of a post, so I'm leaving
>represented in his phonemic English tengwar are
>not the sounds of his personal pronounciation
>but of a Standard Pronounciation.
out much in the way of examples concerning pronunciation. (Please note:
proNUNciation; sorry, but the misspelling of this particular word is one
of my pet peeves!) Now, there is a standard pronunciation of English ...
in fact, THE standard: the Received Standard Pronunciation. True, it's
used as daily pronunciation by less than 3% of the English-speaking
world, and you're most likely to here it in Cambridge and Oxford
Universities and on the BBC, but it is the standard upheld as the
accepted 'true' pronunciation of English and the one that most foreign
students of English are taught to emulate. What's more, it was Tolkien's
pronunciation. Not surprising when we consider that JRRT was a professor
at Merten College, Oxford. We have recorded examples of Tolkien speaking
and reading; we know that RP was his pronunciation. Certainly the
'Bombadil', 'Lúthien' and 'Treebeard' modes do not represent RP. So
did Tolkien use an alternative as a standard pronunciation? If so, how
do we know what it is? If we attempt to write in these modes, how do we
know that we're spelling a word the way that Tolkien would considering
the scarcity of English words wriiten in these Tengwar modes? I don't
think we can know. And if we don't know that we're spelling the words
according to Tolkien's private standard ... well, so much for
My point is not that you shouldn't use these modes. I think Tolkien's
early experiments (and yes, they do represent a developmental stage)
show the adaptability of the Tengwar. But I would not recommend using
the modes for writing text that you would like to be easily read by
others. Tolkien did not write them to be 'read' as such ... the Bombadil
poem extracts were intended as examples of Tengwar calligraphy. If
people wanted to actually read the poems, they would read the published
versions with conventional spellings. Later he wanted to devise a more
easily readable Tengwar mode for the King's Letter. He succeeded. That's
why I advocate the KL mode.
Cuio mae, Danny.
- Danny teithant:
> Certainly the 'Bombadil', 'Lúthien' and 'Treebeard' modes do not represen=t
RP. So did Tolkien use an alternative as a standard pronunciation? If so, h=
do we know what it is? If we attempt to write in these modes, how do we kno=
that we're spelling a word the way that Tolkien would considering the scarc=
of English words wriiten in these Tengwar modes? I don't think we can know.=
There can't be any certain knowledge, but based on his examples, we can try=
to make our best guess (in fact, with the KL mode that's not that different=
best guess is: Received Pronunciation + handling of r-sounds as in the
> I think Tolkien's early experiments (and yes, they do represent adevelopmental stage) show the adaptability of the Tengwar.
Do we really know in which temporal order these texts have been written? I =
only know that the tengwar inscription on the LotR-title page -which I cons=
the tehtar-counterpart of the KL-mode- has been published before the
> But I would not recommend using the modes for writing text that you would=like to be easily read by others.
I wouldn't recommend using any tengwar for writing texts that you would lik=
to be easily read. ;) But I see your point, and I like the idea that Tolkie=
himself, considering the same point, used orthographic modes when
adressing a broader public, - but that he used phonemic modes (as the
Bombadil mode) when using the tengwar for personal purposes! I think it's n=
a question of earlier-later, but of private-public. Though I fear we're una=
judge on this until his tengwar diaries are published.
Actually, I think that behind the question of private-public, there's the q=
of linguistical (de-)formation or not. I consider myself as linguistically =
)formated, and that must be the reason why to me, the phonemical Bombadil
mode is easily readable, not harder than the orthographical King's Letter
mode. And I'm sure there are others like me. Of course, I also generally
recommend the KL mode, but for the few linguistically (de-)formated, I
recommend the Bombadil mode as something dangerous, but also very
delicious, comparable to other "secret vices".