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Re: [elfscript] Return of the ElfScribes

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  • Angasule
    ... I like the quenya mode of the tengwar (with tehtar) best, somehow when I see quanta sarme I feel something is lacking, of course that might be because I
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 13, 2000
      Mans Bjorkman wrote:
      >
      > In an attempt to start a thread, I will throw out a little question:
      >
      > Which writing system of Arda do you prefer?
      >
      > If your answer is "the Tengwar", then in what mode? Do you prefer
      > writing the vowels as tehtar, or do you use a _quanta sarme_ à la the
      > "mode of Beleriand"? I know some people prefer writing vowels with
      > tengwar because it's more like what they are accustomed to; myself, I
      > prefer using tehtar for exactly the same reason. That is, it is *not*
      > what I am accustomed to, and more "exotic" to my eye.
      I like the quenya mode of the tengwar (with tehtar) best, somehow when
      I see quanta sarme I feel something is lacking, of course that might be
      because I got used to the tehtar (come to think of it, I've been writing
      in the Quenya mode for more than two years)! Also, since I've been
      toying with adaptations to other languages, I noticed that sometimes
      just exchanging the value of two tengwar (specially if one of them isn't
      one of the basic 24) changes the general look quite a bit, I for one
      like the 'a' used in the Moria inscription, that looks like a 'c'; by
      the way, I sometimes like calling the cero numeral 'a' (like english
      calling the cero 'o'), since the numeral and the tengwa for 'a' are
      similar (if not the same, I haven't seen the numeral except in Dan
      Smith's fonts), and the 'a' was so common it was often ommited when
      writing with tehtar.

      > I also confess
      > that I prefer the Tengwar, though the Sarati are admittedly even more
      > "exotic". When we one day get to learn more about the latter I may
      > change my opinion.
      I know some people are working on the sarati (in fact, I talked with
      one of them less than a minute ago!), I think this person in particular
      is adapting them to write Spanish (since he was wondering about the
      spanish ñ!).

      > Do we have any _certandili_ on the list? (I.e. "cirth-lovers".)
      I do have some interest in the certar, since the tengwar are very hard
      to use on hard materials, but I never got much into them since I don't
      have the book (The Treason of Isengard, right?) that has the tables and
      with the tengwar it took me quite a while, and still have some more to
      go (I'm working on an 'elvish library', but I've to get some training in
      the scribal arts first). I see the certar much like the norse the runes,
      for short writings, but not for books, unless there is a cursive form?
      Here in the Argentinian Tolkien Society we have a Spanish mode of the
      certar (it went official on the national meeting, held the 2nd of
      September).

      > (Amanye Tenceli -- http://user.tninet.se/~xof995c)
      Good page! We have been going there for most of the sarati questions.
      What, if any, are the current projects of the Stockholm Tolkien
      Society? (there's no Swedish Tolkien Society as such, is there? They are
      a group of smaller ones? I believe in Chile there is a similar system)
      Here in Argentina we don't have any official projects right now on the
      writing systems, since the certar mode was finished, there is the sarati
      project in which at least one of us is involved, but at least for now
      it's not official (of course, official means we back it up, we're too
      few to get burocratic!).
      Angasule
    • Mans Bjorkman
      ... Actually, I think the full modes look more monumental than the tehta-modes, and so are appropriate on some occations, whereas the tehta modes are in
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 14, 2000
        Angasule wrote:

        > I like the quenya mode of the tengwar (with tehtar) best, somehow when
        > I see quanta sarme I feel something is lacking, of course that might be
        > because I got used to the tehtar (come to think of it, I've been writing
        > in the Quenya mode for more than two years)! Also, since I've been
        > toying with adaptations to other languages, I noticed that sometimes
        > just exchanging the value of two tengwar (specially if one of them isn't
        > one of the basic 24) changes the general look quite a bit, I for one
        > like the 'a' used in the Moria inscription, that looks like a 'c';

        Actually, I think the full modes look more "monumental" than the
        tehta-modes, and so are appropriate on some occations, whereas the tehta
        modes are in general more "elegant". Having said that, if you want to
        write in classical Sindarin the mode of Beleriand is the natural choice.
        (Some have called the Sindarin tehta-mode "classical", but our only
        sample of this mode comes from early Fourth Age -- Aragorn's letter to
        Sam -- at which time the language was hardly "classical"!)


        > by the way, I sometimes like calling the cero numeral 'a' (like english
        > calling the cero 'o'), since the numeral and the tengwa for 'a' are
        > similar (if not the same, I haven't seen the numeral except in Dan
        > Smith's fonts), and the 'a' was so common it was often ommited when
        > writing with tehtar.

        Well, both are crescent-shaped, but the zero is mirrored compared to the
        'a'. In our sole example it is also more narrow than the 'a', but that
        may be simple graphemic variation.


        > > I also confess
        > > that I prefer the Tengwar, though the Sarati are admittedly even more
        > > "exotic". When we one day get to learn more about the latter I may
        > > change my opinion.
        > I know some people are working on the sarati (in fact, I talked with
        > one of them less than a minute ago!), I think this person in particular
        > is adapting them to write Spanish (since he was wondering about the
        > spanish ñ!).

        Be sure to report his progress on this list!


        > > Do we have any _certandili_ on the list? (I.e. "cirth-lovers".)
        > I do have some interest in the certar, since the tengwar are very hard
        > to use on hard materials, but I never got much into them since I don't
        > have the book (The Treason of Isengard, right?) that has the tables and

        The only tables with Cirth -- as Tolkien finally conceived them -- are
        in The Return of the King, appendix E. The tables in _TI_ shows some
        earlier sketches on the same system, but they are very dissimilar from
        the final result.


        > with the tengwar it took me quite a while, and still have some more to
        > go (I'm working on an 'elvish library', but I've to get some training in
        > the scribal arts first). I see the certar much like the norse the runes,
        > for short writings, but not for books, unless there is a cursive form?

        Appendix E claims that "Among the Eldar the Alphabet of Daeron did not
        develop true cursive forms", but leaves it open if it did among the
        Dwarves of Moria. Somewhere (I don't have the reference at hand) it says
        that Certhas Daeron was used to record the wars with Morgoth, most
        likely in the Grey Annals.


        > > (Amanye Tenceli -- http://user.tninet.se/~xof995c)
        > Good page! We have been going there for most of the sarati questions.
        > What, if any, are the current projects of the Stockholm Tolkien
        > Society? (there's no Swedish Tolkien Society as such, is there? They are
        > a group of smaller ones? I believe in Chile there is a similar system)

        There is no Swedish Tolkien Society, but several regional societies.
        Gothenburg has a society called Mithlond, the society of Malmö is called
        Angmar, Uppsala has Cerin Erain (actually a fief of the Forodrim) etc.


        In haste,
        Måns


        --
        Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
        Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
        SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
        Sweden An þer."
      • Angasule
        ... Yes indeed! The mode of Beleriand looks very good, without a doubt! it s non Tolkien full modes I generally don t like as much as their tengwar
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 14, 2000
          Mans Bjorkman wrote:
          >
          > Actually, I think the full modes look more "monumental" than the
          > tehta-modes, and so are appropriate on some occations, whereas the tehta
          > modes are in general more "elegant". Having said that, if you want to
          > write in classical Sindarin the mode of Beleriand is the natural choice.
          > (Some have called the Sindarin tehta-mode "classical", but our only
          > sample of this mode comes from early Fourth Age -- Aragorn's letter to
          > Sam -- at which time the language was hardly "classical"!)
          Yes indeed! The mode of Beleriand looks very good, without a doubt!
          it's non Tolkien full modes I generally don't like as much as their
          tengwar counterparts.

          > Well, both are crescent-shaped, but the zero is mirrored compared to the
          > 'a'. In our sole example it is also more narrow than the 'a', but that
          > may be simple graphemic variation.
          Oh, well, hadn't had a look at neither for a while, anyway, we'll one
          day know Tolkien's name for it, hopefully!!

          > > I know some people are working on the sarati (in fact, I talked with
          > > one of them less than a minute ago!), I think this person in particular
          > > is adapting them to write Spanish (since he was wondering about the
          > > spanish ñ!).
          >
          > Be sure to report his progress on this list!
          I will!

          > The only tables with Cirth -- as Tolkien finally conceived them -- are
          > in The Return of the King, appendix E. The tables in _TI_ shows some
          > earlier sketches on the same system, but they are very dissimilar from
          > the final result.
          Ah, I always found it rather confusing there, maybe I should return to
          it, I unfortunately lent my copy of The Lord of the Rings (yes, stupid
          thing to do, I know!!!), so I'll have to wait.

          > Appendix E claims that "Among the Eldar the Alphabet of Daeron did not
          > develop true cursive forms", but leaves it open if it did among the
          > Dwarves of Moria. Somewhere (I don't have the reference at hand) it says
          > that Certhas Daeron was used to record the wars with Morgoth, most
          > likely in the Grey Annals.
          Yes, probably the dwarves, then, although I don't recall the book of
          Mazarbul as having cursive certar? (I only gave a short look to it, with
          orcs and the balrog behind me! [aka store clerks closing down!])

          > There is no Swedish Tolkien Society, but several regional societies.
          > Gothenburg has a society called Mithlond, the society of Malmö is called
          > Angmar, Uppsala has Cerin Erain (actually a fief of the Forodrim) etc.
          I'd be interested in the way they work (statutes and all), I'll look
          for them next time I'm online.
          Eru is Lord and Tolkien is his prophet (funny phrase someone said last
          weekend :) ).
          Angasule
        • Lisa Star
          ... **Yes, I like all the alphabets, including the Runes of Gondolin and the Goblin Alphabet (from the Father Christmas Letters), though I like the tengwar
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 14, 2000
            >From: Angasule <angasule@...>

            >Mans Bjorkman wrote:

            > > Do we have any _certandili_ on the list? (I.e. "cirth-lovers".)

            **Yes, I like all the alphabets, including the Runes of Gondolin and the
            Goblin Alphabet (from the Father Christmas Letters), though I like the
            tengwar best.

            >(I'm working on an 'elvish library', but I've to get some training in
            >the scribal arts first). I see the certar much like the norse the runes,
            >for short writings, but not for books, unless there is a cursive form?

            **I'm working on that too! I have studied bookbinding at the Smithsonian,
            and worked for 10 years as a calligrapher, so I have lots of
            experience/training. But I have written in the tengwar and runes since I
            was a child--they have always been my favorite calligraphic alphabet, before
            I ever learned to write the Roman alphabet in calligraphy.

            **There are, by the way, Scandinavian books in (Germanic) runes, and also
            specifically cursive forms of the Dwarvish runes, given in the Treason of
            Isengard. I have a small sample on one of my web pages.

            ** Lisa Star
            ** LisaStar@...
            ** http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/9902

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          • Lisa Star
            ... The cirth in the TI are closely connected to the languages given in the Etymologies, among them, the Ilkorin dialects. Since I especially like those
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 14, 2000
              >From: Mans Bjorkman <mansb@...>

              > > The Treason of Isengard, [snip]

              >The only tables with Cirth -- as Tolkien finally conceived them -- are
              >in The Return of the King, appendix E. The tables in _TI_ shows some
              >earlier sketches on the same system, but they are very dissimilar from
              >the final result.

              The cirth in the TI are closely connected to the languages given in the
              Etymologies, among them, the Ilkorin dialects. Since I especially like
              those languages, I prefer to use the alphabets that Tolkien had in mind for
              them. In any case, I like different modes and variations, as I do for the
              European language alphabets which I have also studied. It's much more fun
              to produce the calligraphy when there are lots of choices--and Tolkien
              provides lots of alphabets! I think that no two descriptions or
              inscriptions are ever the same which makes it a lot of fun.


              ** Lisa Star
              ** LisaStar@...
              ** http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/9902

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            • Mans Bjorkman
              ... Lisa Star has pointed out that she uses the runes in TI for the languages in Tolkien s creation that are contemporary with them. That is fine, of course,
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 18, 2000
                Angasule wrote (>) in reply to me (> >):

                > > The only tables with Cirth -- as Tolkien finally conceived them -- are
                > > in The Return of the King, appendix E. The tables in _TI_ shows some
                > > earlier sketches on the same system, but they are very dissimilar from
                > > the final result.
                > Ah, I always found it rather confusing there, maybe I should return to
                > it, I unfortunately lent my copy of The Lord of the Rings (yes, stupid
                > thing to do, I know!!!), so I'll have to wait.

                Lisa Star has pointed out that she uses the runes in TI for the
                languages in Tolkien's creation that are contemporary with them. That is
                fine, of course, and illustrates that one can perceive the subcreation
                in two different ways: either as multiple layers of writings from
                different periods of Tolkien's life, where each layer is worth studying
                in its own right; or as a single, unified body of divergent texts --
                where newer texts contradict with older ones, they are usually closer to
                the "truth". Both views must be held equally valid, though I confess
                myself to the latter.


                > > Appendix E claims that "Among the Eldar the Alphabet of Daeron did not
                > > develop true cursive forms", but leaves it open if it did among the
                > > Dwarves of Moria. Somewhere (I don't have the reference at hand) it says
                > > that Certhas Daeron was used to record the wars with Morgoth, most
                > > likely in the Grey Annals.

                Here is the reference. _The War of the Jewels_, "The Grey Annals" §31:
                "Of the long years of peace that followed after the coming of Denethor
                there is little tale; for though in this time Dairon the minstrel, it is
                said, who was the chief loremaster of the kingdom of Thingol, deviced
                his Runes*, [_added later in margin_: Cirth] they were little used by
                the Sindar for the keeping of records, until the days of the War [...]"

                The footnote reads: "* These, it is said, he contrived first ere the
                building of Menegroth, and after bettered them. The Naugrim, indeed,
                that came to Thingol learned the Runes of Dairon, and were well-pleased
                with the device, esteeming Dairon's skill higher than did the Sindar,
                his own folk; and by the Naugrim they [_later_ > the Cirth] were taken
                east over the mountains and passed into the knowledge of many peoples."


                > Yes, probably the dwarves, then, although I don't recall the book of
                > Mazarbul as having cursive certar? (I only gave a short look to it, with
                > orcs and the balrog behind me! [aka store clerks closing down!])

                Correct; the Book of Mazarbul contains regular, "straight" runes. The
                only "cursive" runes of Tolkien I'm aware of are in the tables in TI, in
                fact.

                I assume it was _Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien_ you looked in? If so, you
                really should get hold of it, since it is no longer in print! (_Artist
                and Illustrator_ only contains one of the pages, and a sketch of
                another.)


                > > There is no Swedish Tolkien Society, but several regional societies.
                > > Gothenburg has a society called Mithlond, the society of Malmö is called
                > > Angmar, Uppsala has Cerin Erain (actually a fief of the Forodrim) etc.
                > I'd be interested in the way they work (statutes and all), I'll look
                > for them next time I'm online.

                They all linked from the homepage of the Forodrim
                (http://www.forodrim.org), though Cerin Erain has no home page.

                The reason for my haste last time was that I was on my way to a
                fall-celebration in Mithlond (Gothenburg is a six-hour drive away from
                Stockholm). These last four days I have feasted together with people
                from all the societies mentioned above, as well as from the Danish
                society Bri (danicised form of Bree) and the Norwegian Arthedain. All in
                all, about 110 people. It was great fun!


                Suilaid an Seryn Tîw a Cirth,
                Måns


                --
                Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
                Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
                SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
                Sweden An þer."
              • Lisa Star
                ... **You sound as if you are giving me permission. That s a little presumptious of you! ... **But neither view is the one that I hold, or am working from.
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 18, 2000
                  >Mans Bjorkman <mansb@...> wrote:

                  >Lisa Star has pointed out that she uses the runes in TI for the
                  >languages in Tolkien's creation that are contemporary with them. That is
                  >fine, of course,

                  **You sound as if you are giving me permission. That's a little
                  presumptious of you!

                  >and illustrates that one can perceive the subcreation
                  >in two different ways: either as multiple layers of writings from
                  >different periods of Tolkien's life, where each layer is worth studying
                  >in its own right; or as a single, unified body of divergent texts --
                  >where newer texts contradict with older ones, they are usually closer to
                  >the "truth". Both views must be held equally valid, though I confess
                  >myself to the latter.

                  **But neither view is the one that I hold, or am working from. There are
                  more views than you know of, obviously.

                  **The scheme that I use is that Tolkien studied during his lifetime many
                  texts from many different eras of Middle-earth. The material in Etymologies
                  and most of the cirth charts in TI are from the First Age, and so they
                  accurately reflect the languages and alphabets in use in the First Age. Of
                  course they will show differences from the languages and alphabets used in
                  the much later Third Age. In addition, Tolkien's understanding of the
                  material grew the longer he studied it, so later translations and language
                  studies are more accurate than earlier ones. That doesn't mean that the
                  earlier ones need to be discarded--they are the best source we have on
                  earlier periods in Middle-earth.

                  **There is the additional problem that even some of the later material is
                  contradictory or can't be made to fit, so one has to deal with it somehow.
                  That's part of the fun for me, but I don't think there will ever be--or that
                  there ever was--one perfect conception of Middle-earth, or specifically its
                  languages and alphabets, so I don't think it makes sense to argue that there
                  is one perfect interpretation.

                  **Of course, I give you permission to do whatever you like, too :-)

                  ** Lisa Star
                  ** LisaStar@...
                  ** http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/9902

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                • Mans Bjorkman
                  ... I apologize for causing this misunderstanding. I meant nothing of the kind! My intention was merely to point out that one can view Tolkien s material in
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 18, 2000
                    Lisa Star wrote:

                    > >Mans Bjorkman <mansb@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > >Lisa Star has pointed out that she uses the runes in TI for the
                    > >languages in Tolkien's creation that are contemporary with them. That is
                    > >fine, of course,
                    >
                    > **You sound as if you are giving me permission. That's a little
                    > presumptious of you!

                    I apologize for causing this misunderstanding. I meant nothing of the
                    kind! My intention was merely to point out that one can view Tolkien's
                    material in many different ways (not just two, as you rightly point
                    out).


                    > >and illustrates that one can perceive the subcreation
                    > >in two different ways: either as multiple layers of writings from
                    > >different periods of Tolkien's life, where each layer is worth studying
                    > >in its own right; or as a single, unified body of divergent texts --
                    > >where newer texts contradict with older ones, they are usually closer to
                    > >the "truth". Both views must be held equally valid, though I confess
                    > >myself to the latter.
                    >
                    > **But neither view is the one that I hold, or am working from. There are
                    > more views than you know of, obviously.

                    Obviously. I have never investigated the views held by all my fellow
                    Tolkienites (not even the ones I know of).


                    > **The scheme that I use is that Tolkien studied during his lifetime many
                    > texts from many different eras of Middle-earth. The material in Etymologies
                    > and most of the cirth charts in TI are from the First Age, and so they
                    > accurately reflect the languages and alphabets in use in the First Age. Of
                    > course they will show differences from the languages and alphabets used in
                    > the much later Third Age. In addition, Tolkien's understanding of the
                    > material grew the longer he studied it, so later translations and language
                    > studies are more accurate than earlier ones. That doesn't mean that the
                    > earlier ones need to be discarded--they are the best source we have on
                    > earlier periods in Middle-earth.

                    I agree with you that 1) Tolkien's understanding of the texts grew as he
                    studied them, and 2) the earlier material should not be discarded. I do
                    *not* agree the Etymologies and the "Appendix on Runes", as they stand,
                    are more reliable sources on the First Age than later writings,
                    specifically _The Lord of the Rings_!


                    > **There is the additional problem that even some of the later material is
                    > contradictory or can't be made to fit, so one has to deal with it somehow.
                    > That's part of the fun for me, but I don't think there will ever be--or that
                    > there ever was--one perfect conception of Middle-earth, or specifically its
                    > languages and alphabets, so I don't think it makes sense to argue that there
                    > is one perfect interpretation.

                    So your view is that there are several equally correct conceptions of
                    Middle-earth -- divided, perhaps, by the changes that Tolkien made over
                    time? So that in one conception there are "Ilkorin" elves that use the
                    "Runes of Beleriand" of AR, in another there are Sindar who use the
                    Certhas Daeron as described in LR? I think this, in essence, summarizes
                    the view I so bluntly ascribed to you.

                    I agree there is no single perfect conception of Arda -- after all,
                    Tolkien's sources were written during a period of several thousand years
                    -- but I beleive the later discoveries of the Author to be usually more
                    accurate than the earlier, thereby superceding them. Sometimes there is
                    indeed a choice between two late contradictory sources, but never
                    between one late source and one early. And there's my view in a
                    nutshell.


                    > **Of course, I give you permission to do whatever you like, too :-)

                    Thank you. I hope, then, that I have not insulted you beyond redemption.

                    Regards,
                    Måns


                    --
                    Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
                    Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
                    SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
                    Sweden An þer."
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