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The runes of The Hobbit.

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  • Vicentini Emanuele
    Greetings, I have a little question for all the certardili regarding the runes used in The Hobbit (don t worry, I won t ask why the dwarves used Anglo-Saxon
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 3, 2000
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      Greetings,

      I have a little question for all the certardili regarding the
      runes used in "The Hobbit" (don't worry, I won't ask why the dwarves used
      Anglo-Saxon based runes :-))

      AFAIK, Tolkien used what I call "The Hobbit mode" in the book "The
      Hobbit" (of course) and in a couple of other occasions: an edition of "The
      Hobbit" for schools and a postcard he sent to a fan. In this last piece,
      sometimes there's a small dot under some rune to tell the reader that its
      sound is double.

      This feature is not used regularly (I think Tolkien introduced it
      to correct some spelling error: hobit for hobbit, etc.), but I'd like to
      know, anyway, what you think about it.

      In "The Hobbit mode", as I know it from the book, there are
      already some rune used for combinations of two roman character, so perhaps
      the dot needn't to be used with, for example, "ee" or "ng" (I really don't
      know how you could pronounce 'ng' doubled in the same way of 'b' :-)). For
      "q" (and "qu") Tolkien used the "cw" combination, and perhaps even in this
      case the under-dot is not applicable...

      Examples on the use of "The Hobbit mode" aren't so much, and I
      wonder if there could be more 'special' rune, but for now that's not
      matter. Coming to the end, I think the under-dot is usable only with:
      b, c, d, f, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, w, x, y, z.

      I excluded the five vowels because, as there's a special rune for
      "ee" there could be runes for "aa", "ii", etc. For "j" Tolkien used the
      same rune of "i", and for "v" the same as "u", so I think they neither
      should go with the under-dot.

      Comments are welcome.


      Saluti,
      Emanuele.

      "He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also
      liked runes and letters and cunning handwriting..."
      -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
    • Michael Everson
      The runes in the Hobbit are Anglo-Saxon runes. They are not Cirth. Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie 15 Port Chaeimhghein
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 3, 2000
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        The runes in the Hobbit are Anglo-Saxon runes. They are not Cirth.

        Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie
        15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
        Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
        27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
      • Vicentini Emanuele
        Greetings, ... I didn t have any doubt about them being Anglo-Saxon (based) runes. My post concerned another thing: the use of that under-dot in Tolkien s
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 3, 2000
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          Greetings,

          On Fri, 3 Nov 2000, Michael Everson wrote:

          > The runes in the Hobbit are Anglo-Saxon runes. They are not Cirth.

          I didn't have any doubt about them being Anglo-Saxon (based)
          runes. My post concerned another thing: the use of that under-dot in
          Tolkien's script and nothing more.


          Saluti,
          Emanuele.

          "He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also
          liked runes and letters and cunning handwriting..."
          -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
        • erilaz@earthlink.net
          ... Tolkien later used a subscript line for the same purpose in the cirth of the Book of Mazarbul (_Pictures_ #23, page III). I m not aware of such a use of
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 3, 2000
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            Emanuele Vincentini wrote:

            > This feature is not used regularly (I think Tolkien introduced it
            >to correct some spelling error: hobit for hobbit, etc.), but I'd like to
            >know, anyway, what you think about it.

            Tolkien later used a subscript line for the same purpose in the cirth of
            the Book of Mazarbul (_Pictures_ #23, page III). I'm not aware of such a
            use of diacritical marks to indicate gemination in any historical runic
            inscriptions. In most authentic runic inscriptions, geminate consonants
            and long vowels are represented by single runes. Doubled runes are more
            common in later inscriptions than in early ones (due to the influence of
            manuscript spelling practices), and they also seem to be more common in
            Anglo-Saxon inscriptions than in Scandinavian ones. Doubled consonants
            appear on the Franks Casket and the Ruthwell Cross, for example.

            You may be right about Tolkien introducing the dot to correct a misspelt
            _hobit_. I suspect that the stemless forms of cirth #55 and #56 likewise
            had their origin in a scribal error. In the title page inscriptions of the
            first impressions of _The Fellowship of the Ring_ and _The Two Towers_, the
            _d_ is missing from _translated_. In later impressions (and in the first
            impression of _The Return of the King_), this has been corrected by
            changing the final #55 (schwa) into #9 (d) and squeezing a stemless #56
            between the _t_ and the _d_. See Wayne Hammond's _J. R. R. Tolkien: A
            Descriptive Bibliography_, p. 94, for facsimiles of the original and
            corrected inscriptions.


            ********************************************************************
            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_
            ********************************************************************
          • Michael Everson
            ... My point was that you can t really talk about a Hobbit mode because the script being used isn t Cirth. In Unicode we have already encoded the Runes, but
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 4, 2000
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              Ar 17:39 +0100 2000-11-03, scríobh Vicentini Emanuele:
              >Greetings,
              >
              >On Fri, 3 Nov 2000, Michael Everson wrote:
              >
              >> The runes in the Hobbit are Anglo-Saxon runes. They are not Cirth.
              >
              > I didn't have any doubt about them being Anglo-Saxon (based)
              >runes. My post concerned another thing: the use of that under-dot in
              >Tolkien's script and nothing more.

              My point was that you can't really talk about a "Hobbit mode" because the
              script being used isn't Cirth. In Unicode we have already encoded the
              Runes, but we have not yet encoded the Cirth.

              Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie
              15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
              Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
              27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
            • Vicentini Emanuele
              Greetings, ... That s the reason which triggered my post: Dwarves used a variant of Anglo-Saxon runes, but that under-dot seemed alien . That s all. From this
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 6, 2000
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                Greetings,


                On Fri, 3 Nov 2000 Arden R. Smith wrote:

                > Tolkien later used a subscript line for the same purpose in the cirth of
                > the Book of Mazarbul (_Pictures_ #23, page III). I'm not aware of such a
                > use of diacritical marks to indicate gemination in any historical runic
                > inscriptions. [...]

                That's the reason which triggered my post: Dwarves used a variant
                of Anglo-Saxon runes, but that under-dot seemed "alien". That's all. From
                this point I tried to "extend" the use of that dot to get a more regular
                behaviour (ok, I know, ancient inscriptions aren't very regular :-)).

                Now that you've mentioned the Book of Mazarbul: those two pages
                written with the cirth, in the so called "Erebor mode" (as far as I know),
                reproduced English text and, with a bit of patience, I've re-translated
                them and mapped almost each certh to its roman value.

                Here comes a little problem: according to Appendix E of LoR the
                Erebor mode has some unique features and some changes, but not everything
                is shown in the cirth table. When I first read LoR many years ago I
                thought having understood those sentences about Erebor mode quite well,
                but those pages of the Book throw in some confusion: some cirth have
                "unexpected" values (please, note that I'm not referring here to the
                "extra" cirth or the under-bar).

                Being that it's used to write English I think some cirth could
                have "special" values better suited for the English language; do you think
                that in the Middle-earth context this mode used in the Book of Mazarbul's
                pages could be the real "Erebor mode"?

                > [...] In later impressions (and in the first impression of _The Return
                > of the King_), this has been corrected by changing the final #55
                > (schwa) into #9 (d) and squeezing a stemless #56 between the _t_ and
                > the _d_. See Wayne Hammond's _J. R. R. Tolkien: A Descriptive
                > Bibliography_, p. 94, for facsimiles of the original and corrected
                > inscriptions.

                Thanks for the reference, I'll look for the book.


                Saluti,
                Emanuele.

                "He loved maps, as I have told you before; and he also
                liked runes and letters and cunning handwriting..."
                -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
              • erilaz@earthlink.net
                ... Very true. The Mazarbul pages do agree with the list of special characteristics of the Mode of Erebor in the final paragraph of Appendix E: #14=j, #17=x,
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 6, 2000
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                  Emanuele Vincentini wrote:

                  > Here comes a little problem: according to Appendix E of LoR the
                  >Erebor mode has some unique features and some changes, but not everything
                  >is shown in the cirth table. When I first read LoR many years ago I
                  >thought having understood those sentences about Erebor mode quite well,
                  >but those pages of the Book throw in some confusion: some cirth have
                  >"unexpected" values (please, note that I'm not referring here to the
                  >"extra" cirth or the under-bar).

                  Very true. The Mazarbul pages do agree with the list of special
                  characteristics of the Mode of Erebor in the final paragraph of Appendix E:
                  #14=j, #17=x, #29=g, #43=z. (Mazarbul uses #19 for "soft g" and #21 for
                  gh, but this isn't prohibited by the statement in Appendix E.) However,
                  the Ereborian mode exemplified on those pages does deviate from the
                  Angerthas Moria in other respects, such as in the use of #35 for s and #54
                  for h. So if the Mazarbul pages give an accurate picture of the Mode of
                  Erebor, the description of the mode in Appendix E omits some details.

                  ********************************************************************
                  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_
                  ********************************************************************
                • Abrigon
                  But since the Hobbbits used a form of common, but their lingo was represented by a Germanic tongue (or like). Then using Germanic runes (Futhurk/Futhark) to
                  Message 8 of 8 , Dec 15, 2001
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                    But since the Hobbbits used a form of common, but their lingo was
                    represented by a Germanic tongue (or like). Then using Germanic runes
                    (Futhurk/Futhark) to represent their Germanic lingo (not the real
                    lingo mind you, but ).

                    Mike

                    One I find fun, is to take the Hobbit runes, find the one closest to
                    it in Cirth and see what you get, you will be mystified.

                    --- In elfscript@y..., Michael Everson <everson@e...> wrote:
                    > The runes in the Hobbit are Anglo-Saxon runes. They are not Cirth.
                    >
                    > Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta ** http://www.egt.ie
                    > 15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
                    > Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
                    > 27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
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