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Re: origin of tehtar-Sindarin mode

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  • Måns Björkman
    ... Yes, but the wording reached the stage of full alphabetic development seems to me to exclude the possibility that full writing was part of Feanor s
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 30, 2007
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      --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Lakis Lalakis <avalon@...> wrote:
      >
      > Måns Björkman wrote:
      > > One point at which Torsten clearly is correct, however, is the
      > > revision of just how old "full writing" was. The description in
      > > Appendix E, where the writing is said to have reached the stage of
      > > "full alphabetic development", is hard to reconcile with that in
      > > _Quendi and Eldar_, where Feanor himself constructed a mode of "full
      > > writing".
      > >
      > But 'the phrase' doesn't exclude the existence of ancient alphabetic
      > systems either. We have the Mode of Beleriand, implying First Age, in
      > LOTR. The evolution to alphabetic systems could have happened any time
      > earlier and we can see that, 'now' in the Third Age (where indeed more
      > newer alphabetic modes have also been invented)

      Yes, but the wording "reached the stage of full alphabetic
      development" seems to me to exclude the possibility that "full
      writing" was part of Feanor's original design -- as _Quendi and Eldar_
      suggests.



      > > As for Frodo not being able to read the inscription on the doors of
      > > Moria, it seems reasonable to assume that the modes Frodo would be
      > > familiar with were those used in the King's Letter: the Sindarin
      > > tehta-mode -- AKA the "general use" -- and the "Later or Westron
      > > Convention" (as it is called in _Pictures_). With those two modes in
      > > mind, it is not surprising that the mode of Beleriand would be hard to
      > > read.
      > >
      > There was a tengwar webpage years ago, about 1998 or something. It
      > belonged to someone 'Masi'. It explored the possibilities of how Frodo
      > could have read the Gate. Anyone remembers it?

      Yes, I remember that; it was quite funny, actually. The letters were
      transcribed with the sound values of the "Westron convention". Of
      course, the result was unintelligible.

      Yours,
      Måns
    • Måns Björkman
      ... I guess this is really a question of what you think is meant by The scripts and letters used in the Third Age , which is the subject of the relevant
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 31, 2007
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        --- In elfscript2@yahoogroups.com, Lakis Lalakis <avalon@...> wrote:
        >
        > Måns Björkman wrote:
        > > Yes, but the wording "reached the stage of full alphabetic
        > > development" seems to me to exclude the possibility that "full
        > > writing" was part of Feanor's original design -- as _Quendi and Eldar_
        > > suggests.
        > >
        > I still don't see why. First of all we have the Sarati, the original
        > writing system, which is a 'tehtar mode'. Quanta Sarme was a later
        > invention , therefore we can see it as the first full-mode 'derivative'
        > from a 'tehtar' one.

        I guess this is really a question of what you think is meant by "The
        scripts and letters used in the Third Age", which is the subject of
        the relevant sentence in Appendix E. If we regard the development of
        these scripts as _including_ the Sarati, then your point makes sense.
        You could say that the stage of full alphabetic development had been
        reached when Feanor created the Tengwar, including _quanta sarme_, as
        an improvement of the Rúmilian script.

        On the other hand, to me it seems Tolkien meant the description in
        Appendix E to refer to the Tengwar and Cirth exclusively. Two
        paragraphs later he mentions the "Tengwar of Rúmil", but only to note
        that they were not used in Middle-earth, and that the Tengwar of
        Feanor "owed something" to them. I almost get the feeling Tolkien
        wanted to stress the fact that Rúmilian was not among the "scripts and
        letters used in the Third Age", which "had reached the stage of full
        alphabetic development".


        > Furthermore, we know nothing about how QS was. It
        > could be quite alien to the tengwar, or obsolete by the time the Noldor
        > brought Tengwar to Middle-earth and therefore Tolkien not a part of the
        > process history.

        I very much doubt that the _quanta sarme_ would be "alien" to the
        Tengwar. The wording strongly suggests that this orthography was
        designed as a component of the writing system.



        > There is some possibility though (as said in
        > http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/History_of_Elven_writing_systems), that
        the
        > Mode of Beleriand borrowed some elements from QS, most significantly
        the
        > tengwa for 'a'

        That seems likely enough, yes. Now we even know that this tengwa had a
        Quenya name (at least in Tolkien's mind in the late 1930s): _osse_.



        > > Yes, I remember that; it was quite funny, actually. The letters were
        > > transcribed with the sound values of the "Westron convention". Of
        > > course, the result was unintelligible.
        > >
        > This IMHO shows the weaknesses of the adaptability of the Tengwar.
        Their
        > diverse uses were far more unintelligible than the various modern uses
        > of the Roman alphabet :(

        That is very true.


        Yours,
        Måns
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