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  • Stephen Ross
    I just recently started writing in tengwar, and I m totally fascinated by it. But I haven t been able to find a whole lot of information on some of its finer
    Message 1 of 11 , Oct 20, 2000
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      I just recently started writing in tengwar, and I'm totally
      fascinated by it. But I haven't been able to find a whole lot of
      information on some of its finer points. I downloaded Dan Smith's
      fonts, which are amazing btw, and the help file he wrote to go with
      them. One question I had is about using a downward hook on the back
      of a letter. In one section of the help file, Dan mentions that the
      down-curl indicates that an aspirant "h" is added to the sound.
      Other information I've read says that the down curl is a
      following "s" sound, and in reading things like the title page
      inscriptions in the LotR, Unfinished Tales, and the Shaping of Middle
      Earth books, this is what JRR and C Tolkien seem to use it for.

      Also, there are two different kinds of down hooks included in the
      font. One type extends horizontally from the tengwa and curls either
      up or down. The other type projects down and left from the
      character, and has a little right or left hook on it. Is there a
      difference between these two types of curls? The tengwar font help
      file is a bit ambiguous; in one place the horizontal curls are said
      to indicate a following aspirant, but then the extended character map
      calls them "s-curls."

      Can anyone help clear up the confusion? Thanks so much!

      Stephen
    • Angasule
      ... It s used for s , yes. ... As far as I know they are all the same. Angasule
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 20, 2000
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        > I just recently started writing in tengwar, and I'm totally
        > fascinated by it. But I haven't been able to find a whole lot of
        > information on some of its finer points. I downloaded Dan Smith's
        > fonts, which are amazing btw, and the help file he wrote to go with
        > them. One question I had is about using a downward hook on the back
        > of a letter. In one section of the help file, Dan mentions that the
        > down-curl indicates that an aspirant "h" is added to the sound.
        > Other information I've read says that the down curl is a
        > following "s" sound, and in reading things like the title page
        > inscriptions in the LotR, Unfinished Tales, and the Shaping of Middle
        > Earth books, this is what JRR and C Tolkien seem to use it for.
        It's used for 's', yes.

        > Also, there are two different kinds of down hooks included in the
        > font. One type extends horizontally from the tengwa and curls either
        > up or down. The other type projects down and left from the
        > character, and has a little right or left hook on it. Is there a
        > difference between these two types of curls? The tengwar font help
        > file is a bit ambiguous; in one place the horizontal curls are said
        > to indicate a following aspirant, but then the extended character map
        > calls them "s-curls."
        As far as I know they are all the same.
        Angasule
      • Mans Bjorkman
        ... The s-curls are always used for /s/. In the section Tehtar Chart for Sindarin Tengwar/Tehtar Mode vowels in his help file, Daniel writes: mh - indicates
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 22, 2000
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          Stephen Ross wrote:
          >
          > I just recently started writing in tengwar, and I'm totally
          > fascinated by it. But I haven't been able to find a whole lot of
          > information on some of its finer points. I downloaded Dan Smith's
          > fonts, which are amazing btw, and the help file he wrote to go with
          > them. One question I had is about using a downward hook on the back
          > of a letter. In one section of the help file, Dan mentions that the
          > down-curl indicates that an aspirant "h" is added to the sound.
          > Other information I've read says that the down curl is a
          > following "s" sound, and in reading things like the title page
          > inscriptions in the LotR, Unfinished Tales, and the Shaping of Middle
          > Earth books, this is what JRR and C Tolkien seem to use it for.

          The s-curls are always used for /s/. In the section "Tehtar Chart for
          Sindarin Tengwar/Tehtar Mode vowels" in his help file, Daniel writes:
          "mh - indicates that 'm' is a spirant rather than a stop". The sign
          referred to is a curious character used in the so-called _King's Letter_
          (DTS 45, 48, 49) for indicating a labialized /m/ which had become /v/ in
          Third Age Sindarin (Daniel's description contains a small error that I
          hadn't noticed before, BTW: /m/ is a nasal, not a stop).

          Some have assumed that the character consists of the tengwa <malta> + an
          s-curl, but since no other s-curl is attested for any sound other than
          /s/, and since the curl is so closely "integrated" into the /m/, I think
          rather that this is a single, specialized tengwa.


          > Also, there are two different kinds of down hooks included in the
          > font. One type extends horizontally from the tengwa and curls either
          > up or down. The other type projects down and left from the
          > character, and has a little right or left hook on it. Is there a
          > difference between these two types of curls?

          When an s-curl is attached to a tengwa with bows to the left, the s-curl
          extends leftwards and downwards from the joint between the stem and the
          bow. I believe the characters | and } in Daniel Smith's fonts are
          intended for this.

          On the other hand, some Tengwar modes (specifically the Old English
          mode) often place vowel tehtar *beneath* the tengwar. They are then
          turned 180 degrees, and thus the /u/ and /o/ tehtar may resemble s-curls
          (but they are never "connected" to the tengwar, as the s-curls are,
          though they may intersect with them). See the Old English section in
          Dan's help file.

          Hope that helped.

          Yrs,
          Måns


          --
          Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
          Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
          SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
          Sweden An þer."
        • Lisa Star
          ... **I haven t read Dan Smith s explanation in a long time, but I think that you have misinterpreted part of what he wrote. **The way that the tengwar
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 22, 2000
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            >From: "Stephen Ross" <Monkeyboy007@...>
            >Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 18:49:41 -0000
            >
            >I just recently started writing in tengwar, and I'm totally
            >fascinated by it. But I haven't been able to find a whole lot of
            >information on some of its finer points. I downloaded Dan Smith's
            >fonts, which are amazing btw, and the help file he wrote to go with
            >them.

            **I haven 't read Dan Smith's explanation in a long time, but I think that
            you have misinterpreted part of what he wrote.

            **The way that the tengwar indicate the aspirate is by extended the telco or
            stem both up and down. Examples appear in the ring inscription in the first
            volume. This sound is found in the Black Speech, but doesn't occur in
            English, Quenya or Sindarin. The extension of the stem is not really curly
            except in so far as the letters are formed gracefully. It is also quite
            close to vertical.

            **One of the small, more or less horizontal curls which indicate following s
            appear in the word hobbits, the last word in the inscription on the title
            page (as you saw).

            ** Lisa Star
            ** LisaStar@...

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          • erilaz@earthlink.net
            ... Don t you mean spirantized /m/ or something similar? /m/ is labial by definition. ... Yes, /m/ is a nasal, but so is the sound represented by , more
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 22, 2000
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              Måns Björkman writes:

              >The sign
              >referred to is a curious character used in the so-called _King's Letter_
              >(DTS 45, 48, 49) for indicating a labialized /m/ which had become /v/ in
              >Third Age Sindarin

              Don't you mean "spirantized /m/" or something similar? /m/ is labial by
              definition.

              >(Daniel's description contains a small error that I
              >hadn't noticed before, BTW: /m/ is a nasal, not a stop).

              Yes, /m/ is a nasal, but so is the sound represented by <mh>, more or less;
              Tolkien describes the sound as "spirant _m_ (or nasal _v_) in his
              discussion of the Cirth in Appendix E. The m/mh distinction is between a
              nasal stop (a term that is indeed used in some linguistic textbooks) and a
              nasal (or at least nasalized) fricative. Such a distinction is not usually
              made, hence the normal use of the generic "nasal".

              ********************************************************************
              Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

              "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"
              "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
              "Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

              --Lewis Carroll,
              _Through the Looking-glass_
              ********************************************************************
            • Mans Bjorkman
              ... Quite right: I m afraid my ad-hoc phonemic analyze was much to hasty, as Fangorn would have said. ... I see. The description of /m/ as a nasal stop seems
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 23, 2000
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                Arden R. Smith wrote:

                > Måns Björkman writes:
                >
                > >The sign
                > >referred to is a curious character used in the so-called _King's Letter_
                > >(DTS 45, 48, 49) for indicating a labialized /m/ which had become /v/ in
                > >Third Age Sindarin
                >
                > Don't you mean "spirantized /m/" or something similar? /m/ is labial by
                > definition.

                Quite right: I'm afraid my ad-hoc phonemic analyze was much to hasty, as
                Fangorn would have said.


                > >(Daniel's description contains a small error that I
                > >hadn't noticed before, BTW: /m/ is a nasal, not a stop).
                >
                > Yes, /m/ is a nasal, but so is the sound represented by <mh>, more or less;
                > Tolkien describes the sound as "spirant _m_ (or nasal _v_) in his
                > discussion of the Cirth in Appendix E. The m/mh distinction is between a
                > nasal stop (a term that is indeed used in some linguistic textbooks) and a
                > nasal (or at least nasalized) fricative. Such a distinction is not usually
                > made, hence the normal use of the generic "nasal".

                I see. The description of /m/ as a "nasal stop" seems rather odd,
                though. I always pictured the distinction as between a bilabial nasal
                /m/ and a bilabial fricative /mh/, which then turned into a labio-dental
                fricative /v/.


                Yrs,
                Måns


                --
                Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
                Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
                SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
                Sweden An þer."
              • erilaz@earthlink.net
                ... Certainly the shift from bilabial to labiodental is part of it, but a voiced bilabial fricative need not be nasalized, as the medial consonant of Spanish
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 23, 2000
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                  Måns Björkman wrote:

                  >I always pictured the distinction as between a bilabial nasal
                  >/m/ and a bilabial fricative /mh/, which then turned into a labio-dental
                  >fricative /v/.

                  Certainly the shift from bilabial to labiodental is part of it, but a
                  voiced bilabial fricative need not be nasalized, as the medial consonant of
                  Spanish _saber_ 'to know' demonstrates.


                  ********************************************************************
                  Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

                  "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"
                  "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
                  "Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

                  --Lewis Carroll,
                  _Through the Looking-glass_
                  ********************************************************************
                • Mans Bjorkman
                  ... So the significant trait of the lenition is actually the adding of friction, later followed by loss of the nasal quality? Well, you learn something new
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 25, 2000
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                    Arden Smith wrote:
                    >
                    > Måns Björkman wrote:
                    >
                    > >I always pictured the distinction as between a bilabial nasal
                    > >/m/ and a bilabial fricative /mh/, which then turned into a labio-dental
                    > >fricative /v/.
                    >
                    > Certainly the shift from bilabial to labiodental is part of it, but a
                    > voiced bilabial fricative need not be nasalized, as the medial consonant of
                    > Spanish _saber_ 'to know' demonstrates.

                    So the significant trait of the lenition is actually the adding of
                    friction, later followed by loss of the nasal quality? Well, you learn
                    something new every day!

                    I hope Stephen Ross feels his "quick question" is anwered by now. :)

                    Yrs,
                    Måns

                    --
                    Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
                    Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
                    SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
                    Sweden An þer."
                  • Stephen Ross
                    well yes, yes I do! Thanks guys... Although being a biolgist rather than a liguist, I have NO clue what ya ll just decided... hee hee I m sure it was
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 25, 2000
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                      well yes, yes I do! Thanks guys... Although being a biolgist rather than a
                      liguist, I have NO clue what ya'll just decided... hee hee I'm sure it was
                      important though!

                      Got another question, if you don't mind. How much punctuation was actually
                      used? I've seen the various title pages, and there wasn't much used at all.
                      Hard to tell if there is even a space between words sometimes. Are there
                      spaces between words? And what about other punctuation? Dan's excellent
                      font includes a lot of characters that are labelled various things, question
                      mark, exclamation point, etc, but are those "authentic" or surmised? Just
                      curious...

                      Thanks!

                      Stephen
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                    • erilaz@earthlink.net
                      ... There can be, but they re not required. There aren t any on the _LotR_ title page or in the Ring-inscription, but there are on the Moria Gate and in the
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 26, 2000
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                        Stephen Ross wrote:

                        >Are there
                        >spaces between words?

                        There can be, but they're not required. There aren't any on the _LotR_
                        title page or in the Ring-inscription, but there are on the Moria Gate and
                        in the texts in _The Road Goes Ever On_.

                        >And what about other punctuation? Dan's excellent
                        >font includes a lot of characters that are labelled various things, question
                        >mark, exclamation point, etc, but are those "authentic" or surmised?

                        They're legit. See especially the tengwar texts in _The Road Goes Ever On_
                        and _Sauron Defeated_ for examples.


                        ********************************************************************
                        Arden R. Smith erilaz@...

                        "Do you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de-dee?"
                        "Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely.
                        "Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen.

                        --Lewis Carroll,
                        _Through the Looking-glass_
                        ********************************************************************
                      • Mans Bjorkman
                        ... I actually think there are spaces in the title page inscription. True, many words seem to have no spaces between them, but in other places there can be no
                        Message 11 of 11 , Oct 29, 2000
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                          Arden Smith wrote:

                          > Stephen Ross wrote:
                          >
                          > >Are there
                          > >spaces between words?
                          >
                          > There can be, but they're not required. There aren't any on the _LotR_
                          > title page or in the Ring-inscription, but there are on the Moria Gate and
                          > in the texts in _The Road Goes Ever On_.

                          I actually think there are spaces in the title page inscription. True,
                          many words seem to have no spaces between them, but in other places
                          there can be no doubt there are spaces, e.g. around the word "ring". The
                          ring inscription does without spaces, though. Perhaps lack of spaces is
                          one of the qualities that made the mode of this inscription "ancient".


                          > >And what about other punctuation? Dan's excellent
                          > >font includes a lot of characters that are labelled various things, question
                          > >mark, exclamation point, etc, but are those "authentic" or surmised?
                          >
                          > They're legit. See especially the tengwar texts in _The Road Goes Ever On_
                          > and _Sauron Defeated_ for examples.

                          The "roman" punctuation found in Dan Smith's fonts was used by Tolkien
                          only for inscriptions in English, and primarily in early ones, probably
                          before he had figured out what punctuation the Elves actually used.


                          Yrs,
                          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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