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Re: [elfscript] An unnoticed tengwa

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  • Dave
    ... [...] ... [So it seems that in examples from Tolkien s own hand, silme nuquerna (with an open bow) is used only where the letter is simply an alternative
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
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      Johan Winge wrote:

      >I was going to say it's unfortunate that the gate
      >inscription doesn't have any examples of Silme. However, I looked for
      >other instances of Silme Nuquerna in the King's letter, DTS 45 and 48, and
      >found some in the English text, used for the "c" in the word "specially",
      >and it turns out these too have a closed bow.

      [...]

      and, in a related mail:

      > The question I intended to raise with all this is whether this tengwa
      > ought to be included in fonts, and more specifically, if it should be
      > encoded as a separate character in the proposed Unicode encoding. That is,
      > should there be two different characters (so that, e.g. writing mhellyn
      > with Silme Nuquerna instead of this other tengwa would be a spelling
      > error), or should we solve the problem by having different fonts: some
      > intended for Sindarin where the Silme Nuquerna is closed, and other with a
      > "normal" Silme Nuquerna.

      [So it seems that in examples from Tolkien's own hand, silme nuquerna (with an open bow) is used only where the letter is simply an alternative to silme, representing _s_ (as in _sindanooriello_ in Namaarie). This use, AFAIK attested only for Quenya, could theoretically also be seen in Sindarin _tehtar_ modes, e.g. in the Sindarin part of KL, third version, but "unfortunately" here Tolkien uses only the "normal" silme throughout the entire text, even in words like _estathar_ where the e-tehta on top might be considered to make silme nuquerna the more "convenient" spelling.

      As for the "other tengwa" (with a closed bow), it appears to be employed by Tolkien only for "special usages", i.e. as Johan Winge points out, for the sound of English _c_ in _especial_ in all three versions of KL, and for vocalic _y_ in Sindarin _full_ modes. For these full modes a different font might thus be justified, but not necessarily for Sindarin tehtar modes----we don't really know what the deal would be here, as we lack examples. Still, since in the S. tehtar modes vocalic _y_ is usually represented by two over-dots (see spelling of _mhellyn_ in third version of KL), I would be inclined to speculate that the "closed-bow variant" simply doesn't appear in the tehtar modes, and that the "open-bow variant", if used, would just represent _s_ like silme.

      BTW, in English _tehtar_ spelling (Brogan Tengwa Greetings, LotR Title Page Inscription, Endorian Dedication), Tolkien (just as in the attested Sindarin tehtar samples) never uses silme nuquerna as an alternative to silme for _s_, even where it might be considered more convenient because of diacritics on top. In English _full_ modes, we have the "special usage" mentioned above, but I'm not aware of any other examples of silme nuquerna (open or closed bow).

      With regard to the origin of the "closed-bow variant", I agree with Melroch that it's likely to come from uure, since vocalic _y_ is umlaut _u_ (which in German orthography is also indicated with two over-dots----coincidence?).]

      Hisilome



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    • i_degilbor
      ... Tolkien uses ... like _estathar_ ... the more ... Actually. there is one occurence of silme nuquerna in the King s Letter, version III: The word _Minas_ in
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
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        Teithant Dave:
        >in the Sindarin part of KL, third version, but "unfortunately" here
        Tolkien uses
        >only the "normal" silme throughout the entire text, even in words
        like _estathar_
        >where the e-tehta on top might be considered to make silme nuquerna
        the more
        >"convenient" spelling.

        Actually. there is one occurence of silme nuquerna in the King's
        Letter, version III: The word _Minas_ in the post-script. It appears
        to be open.

        Cuio mae, Danny.
      • hisilome
        ... here ... nuquerna ... appears ... [Thanks for pointing out my oversight! Looks very open indeed... So, this would seem to establish as a fact that as in
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
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          --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, "i_degilbor"
          <Uialdil_i_degilbor@m...> wrote:
          > Teithant Dave:
          > >in the Sindarin part of KL, third version, but "unfortunately"
          here
          > Tolkien uses
          > >only the "normal" silme throughout the entire text, even in words
          > like _estathar_
          > >where the e-tehta on top might be considered to make silme
          nuquerna
          > the more
          > >"convenient" spelling.
          >
          > Actually. there is one occurence of silme nuquerna in the King's
          > Letter, version III: The word _Minas_ in the post-script. It
          appears
          > to be open.
          >

          [Thanks for pointing out my oversight! Looks very open indeed...

          So, this would seem to establish as a fact that as in Quenya, in
          Sindarin _tehtar_ modes silme nuquerna (open-bow variant) is used
          simply as an alternative spelling of _s_ (silme)----with an a-tehta
          on top, Tolkien obviously felt that using silme in the word _Minas_
          would have been too cumbersome.

          If a different font is called for, then, it would indeed only be
          needed for _full_ modes (if we wish to follow strictly what's
          attested in Tolkien's own tengwar samples----the fact remains that he
          consistently uses the closed-bow variant whenever using silme
          nuquerna to represent something other than _s_). On the other hand,
          since (as was pointed out) Tolkien clearly states in App. E that
          silme nuquerna ("No. 30") was used for vocalic _y_ (maybe, as J.
          Winge also speculates, the two variants became interchangeable in
          Middle-earth at some stage, even though Tolkien's own actual usage
          does not corroborate this), we probably shouldn't put too much
          emphasis on this problem.
          Maybe the best solution is to provide both characters in the same
          font, and let users make their own choice.]

          Hisilome
        • i_degilbor
          ... Yet strangely enough, he apparently didn t feel that the triple-dot tehta over silme was too cumbersome in the word _ennas_! When typing out the Sindarin
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
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            Teithant Dave:
            > So, this would seem to establish as a fact that as in Quenya, in
            > Sindarin _tehtar_ modes silme nuquerna (open-bow variant) is used
            > simply as an alternative spelling of _s_ (silme)----with an a-tehta
            > on top, Tolkien obviously felt that using silme in the word _Minas_
            > would have been too cumbersome.

            Yet strangely enough, he apparently didn't feel that the triple-dot
            tehta over silme was too cumbersome in the word _ennas_! When typing
            out the Sindarin text of version III of the King's Letter using a
            tengwar font, typing _ennas_ is awkward, but possible. Typing the word
            _edwen_, on the other hand, is something that I cannot find a way to
            do without the two tehtar clashing.

            When typing out version I, I cheat when it comes to the closed bow
            version of silme nuquerna in _mhellyn_: using the Tengwar Annatar
            font, I type the tengwa numeral 12 (#0174). It looks very close. As
            far as I know, the only fonts that contain that particular character
            are Tengwar Annatar, Tengwar Parmaite and Tengwar Elfica.

            Cuio mae, Danny.
          • Dave
            ... [Yes, combinations with u/w-curls can be a bit of a pain! (And they tend not to look very nice, either, in my opinion.) Isn t there something called the
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 2, 2005
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              Danny wrote:

              >Yet strangely enough, he [Tolkien] apparently didn't feel that the triple-dot
              >tehta over silme was too cumbersome in the word _ennas_! When typing
              >out the Sindarin text of version III of the King's Letter using a
              >tengwar font, typing _ennas_ is awkward, but possible. Typing the word
              >_edwen_, on the other hand, is something that I cannot find a way to
              >do without the two tehtar clashing.

              [Yes, combinations with u/w-curls can be a bit of a pain! (And they tend not to look very nice, either, in my opinion.) Isn't there something called the Manney Inscription (giving the _Sii man i yulma(r)_-sentence in what seems to be general mode), where the _nqua_ in _enqua(n)tuva_ is spelled with a quesse carrying a bar, a u/w-curl and an a-tehta on top? I would love to see the original of that one...

              As for Tolkien using normal silme with an a-tehta on top in _ennas_, but but silme nuquerna with the a-tehta in _Minas_: I guess he simply made these decisions on the spur of the moment then...no obligatory orthographic rules for when to use silme and when its reversed form (the same seems to apply to esse and esse nuquerna, see for example _lassi_ and _lisse-miruvooreva_ in "Namaarie"). Fact remains that silme nuquerna in S. tehtar modes is just another spelling of _s_, and the closed-bow variant does not appear.]

              >When typing out version I, I cheat when it comes to the closed bow
              >version of silme nuquerna in _mhellyn_: using the Tengwar Annatar
              >font, I type the tengwa numeral 12 (#0174). It looks very close. As
              >far as I know, the only fonts that contain that particular character
              >are Tengwar Annatar, Tengwar Parmaite and Tengwar Elfica.

              [Right! How fortunate Tolkien was not having to bother with computer fonts. ;}]

              Hisilome



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