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Re: origin of tehtar-Sindarin mode

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Aug 31, 2007
      --- 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
      > Mode of Beleriand borrowed some elements from QS, most significantly
      > 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.
      > diverse uses were far more unintelligible than the various modern uses
      > of the Roman alphabet :(

      That is very true.

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