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

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  • Lisa Star
    ... ... **I think you are right, and I have never felt that Tolkien s explanation made sense. For one thing, when a
    Message 1 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,
      >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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