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Re: [elfscript] precise rules for writing quenya with tengwar

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  • Jeremie Knusel
    ... I can t find where I saw it but as example, in the dictionnaire des langues elfiques , p. 113, there is a tengwar transcribe of menelluin irildeo
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 14, 2001
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      > A dot below the tengwa? I hadn't read about this one, where did Tolkien
      > mention/use it?

      I can't find where I saw it but as example, in the "dictionnaire des langues
      elfiques", p. 113, there is a tengwar transcribe of "menelluin irildeo
      ondolindello" that comes from "Tolkien, Life and Legend" p 77, and the last
      'n' of menelluin is written with númen and a dot bellow
    • Jeremie Knusel
      ... In appendix E, it s said: Thus No. 11 was called harma when it represented the spirant ch in all positions, but when this sound became breath h initially
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 14, 2001
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        > I don't think so. Tolkien said that 'harma', not 'hyarmen', was renamed
        > 'aha' as an initial tengwa. Why would he bother telling us what name
        > 'harma' had when it occurred initially if it didn't occur initially?

        In appendix E, it's said:
        "Thus No. 11 was called harma when it represented the spirant ch in all
        positions, but when this sound became breath h initially (though remaining
        medially) the name aha was devised"

        I understand that harma was no longer used to write the word harma (for
        example), since the sound became breath h, and so it was not logical to use
        the name harma for this tengwa, so it's name was changed to aha, which is
        still written with harma

        in the footnote:
        "For breath h Quenya originally used a simple raised stem without bow,
        called halla 'tall'. This could be placed before a consonant to indicate
        that it was unvoiced and breathed; voiceless r and l were usually so
        expressed and are transcribed hr, hl. Later 33 was used for independent h,
        and the value of hy (its older value) was represented by adding the tehta
        for following y"

        Here I understand that when harma could no longer represent the h, because
        it was pronunced as a breath h, it was replaced by hyarmen (which was
        previously used just to represent a kind of ich-laut sound. when it became
        necessary, word-initially, to know that it represented ich-laut (written
        'hy') and not breath h, one added two dots bellow)

        > One additional curiosity of Quenya: The combination 'lv' (as in
        > 'omentielvo') was often written 'lambe umbar', especially by elves. From
        > LotR, Appendix E.

        Thanks, I had not noticed that :)

        > I'm sure we all look forward to additional tengwar works of JRRT to come
        > to light so that these questions can be answered by the inventor of
        > Quenya!

        Yes... do one know anything about future publications?


        Jeremie
      • DDanielA@webtv.net
        Angasule deithant: Does he say that? Can you quote? … The sound ñ by itself doesn t occur medially in Quenya outside of clusters, AFAIK I wish I remembered
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 14, 2001
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          Angasule deithant:

          Does he say that? Can you
          quote? … The sound ñ by itself
          doesn't occur medially in
          Quenya outside of clusters,
          AFAIK

          I wish I remembered where I read it. But anyway initial 'noldo' of any
          verb beginning with that letter becomes a medial 'ñ' when preceded by
          a perfect verbal augment. That's simple logic.

          Btw, I'm not a native english
          speaker and don't know if you
          are one, either … email is not
          the best place to talk about
          phonetics anyway :)

          Yes, I am a native speaker of English. Actually, I was brought up
          speaking English, French and modern Greek. But I was speaking as a
          linguistics major on the difference between 'ñ' and 'ñg', not as a
          native-speaking casual observer. I agree that e-mail is not the best
          place to talk about phonetics, but it's all we have, and the evolution
          of Quenya orthography is bound up with phonetics. It's hard to talk
          about one without bringing up the other.

          Jeremie Knusel deithant:
          I understand that harma was
          no longer used to write the word
          harma (for example), since the
          sound became breath h, and so
          it was not logical to use the name
          harma for this tengwa, so it's
          name was changed to aha,
          which is still written with harma.

          So we are to disregard Professor Tolkien when he said that initial 'aha'
          (= 'harma')
          has the sound of simple [h]? I tend to take Tolkien as his word, and
          nowhere did he say that all words beginning with 'harma' should change
          their spelling to 'hyarmen'.
          What he did say is that when words beginning with 'harma' began to be
          pronounced with a breath 'h', the name of the tengwa was changed to
          'aha' to reflect the difference in pronunciation. If 'harma'/'aha' can
          be pronounced as [h]... and JRRT stated that it could... why would one
          need to change the spelling?

          Again, there are bound to be differences in opinion, and I can only
          present what I understand the scant written evidence to mean. Any of us
          can be mistaken...

          Namárië! Danny.
        • Angasule
          ... Is the ui written as a diphthong or how? If there s just an u tehta then the underdot could be the previous i ? If not it must be a final e as Ales
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 15, 2001
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            Jeremie Knusel wrote:
            >
            > > A dot below the tengwa? I hadn't read about this one, where did Tolkien
            > > mention/use it?
            >
            > I can't find where I saw it but as example, in the "dictionnaire des langues
            > elfiques", p. 113, there is a tengwar transcribe of "menelluin irildeo
            > ondolindello" that comes from "Tolkien, Life and Legend" p 77, and the last
            > 'n' of menelluin is written with númen and a dot bellow
            Is the 'ui' written as a diphthong or how? If there's just an 'u' tehta
            then the underdot could be the previous 'i'? If not it must be a final e
            as Ales Bican said.
            Angasule
          • Angasule
            ... Since words that begin with noldo come from original ng-, with an augment they would go from ñ- to augment-ng-. In case original ñ- remained so and
            Message 5 of 18 , Apr 15, 2001
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              DDanielA@... wrote:
              >
              > Angasule deithant:
              >
              > Does he say that? Can you
              > quote? … The sound ñ by itself
              > doesn't occur medially in
              > Quenya outside of clusters,
              > AFAIK
              >
              > I wish I remembered where I read it. But anyway initial 'noldo' of any
              > verb beginning with that letter becomes a medial 'ñ' when preceded by
              > a perfect verbal augment. That's simple logic.
              Since words that begin with noldo come from original ng-, with an
              augment they would go from ñ- to augment-ng-. In case original ñ-
              remained so and didn't change to h- (see the mail I answered to Ales
              Bican about this) there still wouldn't be initial ñ, since medial ñ
              dissapeared lengthening the previous vowel.

              > Yes, I am a native speaker of English. Actually, I was brought up
              > speaking English, French and modern Greek. But I was speaking as a
              > linguistics major on the difference between 'ñ' and 'ñg', not as a
              > native-speaking casual observer.
              But the confusion was in the English example :) I always prefer using
              final written -ng to exemplify ñ.
              Angasule
            • Jeremie Knusel
              ... Tolkien ... langues ... last ... There is a u tehta above lambe, and a i tehta on a short carrier Jeremie
              Message 6 of 18 , Apr 15, 2001
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                > > > A dot below the tengwa? I hadn't read about this one, where did
                Tolkien
                > > > mention/use it?
                > >
                > > I can't find where I saw it but as example, in the "dictionnaire des
                langues
                > > elfiques", p. 113, there is a tengwar transcribe of "menelluin irildeo
                > > ondolindello" that comes from "Tolkien, Life and Legend" p 77, and the
                last
                > > 'n' of menelluin is written with númen and a dot bellow
                > Is the 'ui' written as a diphthong or how? If there's just an 'u' tehta
                > then the underdot could be the previous 'i'? If not it must be a final e
                > as Ales Bican said.
                > Angasule

                There is a 'u' tehta above lambe, and a 'i' tehta on a short carrier

                Jeremie
              • Jeremie Knusel
                ... To take Tolkien as his word, he didn t talk about initial aha but about initial breath h ... I give the quote again: Thus No. 11 was called harma when
                Message 7 of 18 , Apr 15, 2001
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                  > So we are to disregard Professor Tolkien when he said that initial 'aha'
                  > (= 'harma')
                  > has the sound of simple [h]? I tend to take Tolkien as his word, and
                  > nowhere did he say that all words beginning with 'harma' should change
                  > their spelling to 'hyarmen'.
                  > What he did say is that when words beginning with 'harma' began to be
                  > pronounced with a breath 'h', the name of the tengwa was changed to
                  > 'aha' to reflect the difference in pronunciation. If 'harma'/'aha' can
                  > be pronounced as [h]... and JRRT stated that it could... why would one
                  > need to change the spelling?

                  To take Tolkien as his word, he didn't talk about "initial aha" but about
                  "initial breath h"... I give the quote again:
                  "Thus No. 11 was called harma when it represented the spirant ch in all
                  positions, but when this sound became breath h initially (though remaining
                  medially) the name aha was devised"

                  I agree that it's not clear. If there were only the first sentence (before
                  the coma), I would understand that there was a time where harma represented
                  [x] in all positions, then logicaly a time where it represented [x] in some
                  positions and an other sound in another position. But with just this
                  sentence, it could also be understood that first harma was used in all
                  position (to represent [x]) and then that it was no longer used in all
                  position, because a tengwa would have replaced harma in some special
                  position (e.g. initially). That is what I understand, because of the other
                  sentences:

                  First, why would it be necessary to change the name of the tengwa, if it was
                  used to represend both [x] and breath h? Keeping the name 'harma' would as
                  well represent the breath-h function of the tengwa 'harma' as the name 'aha'
                  would represent the [x] function of the same tengwa...
                  So it seems logical to me that if the elves decided to use the name 'aha',
                  whose 'h' is still pronunced [x], it was because
                  tengwa harma=[x] and not breath h.

                  Now the only remaining problem is: "if harma, or rather aha, could no longer
                  be used to write initial 'h', how was it written?"
                  And this problem is solved by the footnote:
                  "Later 33 was used for independent h,
                  and the value of hy (its older value) was represented by adding the tehta
                  for following y"

                  So hyarmen was used to replace harma. Why would it have been necessary to
                  add a new function to hyarmen (e.g. breath-h), if harma was still used for
                  every 'h' it was used for before? (mmm I feel it's not perfect English,
                  sorry)

                  I hope this text is not too confused...


                  Jeremie
                • Jeremie Knusel
                  ... Right, about that I was given the example ñolmo - lambengolmo Jeremie
                  Message 8 of 18 , Apr 15, 2001
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                    > > Angasule deithant:
                    > >
                    > > Does he say that? Can you
                    > > quote? . The sound ñ by itself
                    > > doesn't occur medially in
                    > > Quenya outside of clusters,
                    > > AFAIK
                    > >
                    > > I wish I remembered where I read it. But anyway initial 'noldo' of any
                    > > verb beginning with that letter becomes a medial 'ñ' when preceded by
                    > > a perfect verbal augment. That's simple logic.
                    > Since words that begin with noldo come from original ng-, with an
                    > augment they would go from ñ- to augment-ng-. In case original ñ-
                    > remained so and didn't change to h- (see the mail I answered to Ales
                    > Bican about this) there still wouldn't be initial ñ, since medial ñ
                    > dissapeared lengthening the previous vowel.

                    Right, about that I was given the example "ñolmo -> lambengolmo"


                    Jeremie
                  • Mans Bjorkman
                    Hello people! Sorry I m late. ... Since _hr_ must always be followed by a vowel I think _r_ would always be written with , if the system of the
                    Message 9 of 18 , Apr 16, 2001
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                      Hello people! Sorry I'm late.

                      Jeremie Knusel wrote:
                      >
                      > Halla:
                      > -before 'l' or 'r' ('hr' and 'hl' occur virtually always word-initially)
                      > -'r' could be rómen as well as óre

                      Since _hr_ must always be followed by a vowel I think _r_ would always
                      be written with <rómen>, if the system of the Namárie inscription is
                      followed.


                      > -a tilde above a tengwa preceded by 'n', 'm' or 'ñ' (and so no tengwa for
                      > the 'n', 'm' or 'ñ')

                      This actually occurs in some Quenya inscriptions, but they generally
                      seem to be influenced by Westron or Sindarin conventions.


                      --
                      Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
                      Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
                      SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
                      Sweden http://hem.passagen.se/mansb An þer."
                    • Mans Bjorkman
                      ... Quite true. However, I strongly believe was, at least, a valid alternative still in the Third Age. The footnote says: ... [halla] could be placed
                      Message 10 of 18 , Apr 16, 2001
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                        DDanielA@... wrote:
                        >
                        > Well, there are bound to be differences of opinion until more of JRRT's
                        > tengwar specimens surface. Here's where my opinions differ from the ones
                        > Jeremie presented.
                        >
                        > Halla: We have no clear-cut rule. Professor Tolkien's only reference to
                        > the 'halla' suggests that it might not have survived into later Quenya
                        > in any rôle. His use of the word 'original' is vague. It's possible
                        > that 'hr' and 'hl' were written 'hyarmen rómen' and 'hyarmen lambe' in
                        > the Third Age. It's possible that there were other alternatives. We
                        > don't know.

                        Quite true. However, I strongly believe <halla> was, at least, a valid
                        alternative still in the Third Age. The footnote says: "... [halla]
                        could be placed before a consonant to indicate that it was unvoiced and
                        breathed; voiceless _r_ and _l_ were usually so expressed and are
                        transcribed _hr_, _hl_." I can only interpret this as saying that some
                        of Tolkien's sources actually used <halla> + r/l, which in The Lord of
                        the Rings is transcribed _hr_, _hl_.


                        > Personally, I doubt the validity of using 'rómen nuquerna'
                        > and 'lambe nuquerna' as I've seen some do to represent 'hr' and 'hl'.

                        I agree. There is no support for this whatsoever in the sources.


                        > Hyarmen: For any word initially? Not so! We have Professor Tolkien's own
                        > statement that 'harma' sometimes represented an 'h' initially and was
                        > then called 'aha'. The initial 'h' in the word 'harma' was, in fact, a
                        > 'harma' (or, rather 'aha', but of course it's the same tengwa!), not
                        > 'hyarmen'.

                        "No. 11 was called _harma_ when it represented the spirant _ch_ in all
                        positions, but when this sound became breath _h_ initially (though
                        remaining medially) the name _aha_ was devised."

                        So:
                        1) <harma> first represented [x] in all positions. The letter was
                        pronunced [xarma].
                        2) [x] became [h] initially. From this follows that the pronounciation
                        became [harma].
                        3) <harma> was renamed <aha>, pronounced [axa]. The name change was
                        obviously made to retain the pronounciation [x] of the letter.


                        > Thúle: For 'th'? In Quenya? Mature Quenya did not possess the 'th'
                        > phoneme.

                        "TH ... had become _s_ in spoken Quenya, though still written with a
                        different letter". QED.


                        > Noldo: Professor Tolkien himself tells us that 'ñoldo' can occur
                        > medially.

                        As far as I know, all he says is that the letter combination NG occurs
                        medially, and that the sound of _sing_ "also occurred initally in
                        Quenya, but has been transcribed _n_ (as in _Noldo_), according to the
                        pronounciation of the Third Age."


                        > A tilde over a tengwa: I was under the impression that the nasal sign
                        > was originally used in Sindarin because all 'nasal + consonant'
                        > combinations possible in Quenya were written with single tengwar. Does
                        > anyone know of a Quenya word that would use a nasal sign?

                        No, all nasals are covered in the conventional Quenya mode.


                        > There is one final vagary: 'anna'. We know that 'anna' must be
                        > accompanied by two under-imposed dots to represent the sound 'y' ( or
                        > IPA [j]), and that 'anna' alone must have a rôle of a carrier of
                        > sorts. Måns uses 'anna' + accent tehta as the first letter of the word
                        > 'ëar' in his calligraphy rendition of the Markirya Boat Poem (btw, a
                        > beautifully rendered manuscript, Måns!), but is this attested, or
                        > simply used to avoid writing two short carriers together? Do we have any
                        > information about the use of 'anna' without the dots? Apparently the
                        > word 'anna' begins with the tengwa of that name.

                        In the short text "Noldorin words for Language" (Vinyar Tengwar #39) p.
                        17, we learn that <anna> originally represented [3], i.e. a spirant _g_
                        -- a sound that had, in fact, vanished from the language in Feanor's
                        time. Although this is entirely unattested, one could therefore
                        theoretically use <anna> in positions where this sound occurred earlier.
                        That is the way I use it in my _Markirya_ rendition: _ear_ derives from
                        earlier *_gayar_ (Tolkien changed his mind several times about the
                        etymology of this word, but see The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The
                        Shibboleth of Fëanor" note 45). Having said this, it *is* nice to be
                        able to avoid consecutive vowel-carriers! :-)


                        Yours,
                        Måns

                        --
                        Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
                        Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
                        SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
                        Sweden http://hem.passagen.se/mansb An þer."
                      • Lisa Star
                        ... ... **I think you are right, and I have never felt that Tolkien s explanation made sense. For one thing, when a
                        Message 11 of 18 , Apr 16, 2001
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                          >From: "Jeremie Knusel" <elendur@...>

                          <snip long, reasonably clear explanation>

                          >So hyarmen was used to replace harma. Why would it have been necessary to
                          >add a new function to hyarmen (e.g. breath-h), if harma was still used for
                          >every 'h' it was used for before? (mmm I feel it's not perfect English,
                          >sorry)
                          >
                          >I hope this text is not too confused...

                          **I think you are right, and I have never felt that Tolkien's explanation
                          made sense. For one thing, when a sound change occurs in a language, the
                          spelling usually remains the same for a long time. Ex., the Latin word
                          circus was originally pronounced with both the c's as k's. Over time, there
                          was a sound change that caused c to be pronounced as s before a front vowel,
                          but we still spell it with two c's, even though it is ridiculous and
                          confusing. Some languages are normally spelled accurately, and the elves
                          were presumably more linguistically aware than most people, but writing is
                          never as accurate as native speakers think it is, except right after a major
                          spelling reform.

                          **I thought the explanation of the switch of harma to aha was so strange
                          that I invented a new explanation for it. I decided that the elves altered
                          the name of the letter from a word meaning 'treasure' to a word meaning
                          'rage' in acknowledgement of the devastation caused by Feanor's attempts to
                          regain the Silmarils--i.e., the Wars of the Jewels. This is a fantasy of
                          course, but it makes better sense then Tolkien's explantion. I wonder what
                          his real reason was? Often when he gives some very strange convoluted
                          reason for something, it's because he (seems to) want to avoid a simpler
                          explanation that everyone would recognize the source for. I don't know what
                          that would be here, though.

                          ** Lisa Star
                          ** LisaStar@...

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