Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

330A few notes on the new Hobbit tengwar samples

Expand Messages
  • j_mach_wust@shared-files.de
    Dec 16, 2011
      Hi all

      Some notes about the new tengwar samples of "The History of
      the Hobbit" and "The Art of the Hobbit".

      I hope none of you have bought the 2007 edition of "The
      History of the Hobbit" yet, since the 2011 edition includes
      more material ...

      New character(s)

      The most obvious new character is the looped z-hook which
      according to both "The Tengwar (Dwarven Mode)" and
      "Feanorian applied to English" is a different character from
      the loop-less s-hook, a distinction that can be observed in
      DTS 71. The question is, why didn't we notice that before?
      It is not very surprising, because the only known specimen
      so far that shows this distinction has been DTS 71. On one
      hand, there have not been many specimina that include both
      the s-ending and the z-ending. On the other hand, we know
      several samples that clearly do not distinguish between a
      loop-less s-hook and a looped z-hook. DTS 17 and 23, for
      instance, use only loop-less hooks for either purpose, while
      DTS 18 uses only looped hooks for either purpose.

      What about the tengwar for [ae] (LATIN SMALL LETTER AE), [y]
      and [oe] (LATIN SMALL LETTER OE) in "Feanorian applied to
      English"? I am not talking about Vilya, Uure and Osse with
      the dots above, but about the alternative tengwar slashed
      Vilya, slashed Uure and Osse with hook. My proposal would be
      that we consider them to be allographs of Vilya, Uure and
      Osse with what we have called TENGWAR SIGN DOT INSIDE. It
      appears to be the very same mark on vilya that we have
      already seen in DTS 71. We shouldn't call it a dot, perhaps.
      Of course, on Osse, the mark is not even inside. In fact,
      that osse looks exactly like the hooked form we have known
      to be a mere allograph of Osse in other specimina (final
      Osse in DTS 45, 48). Also, from DTS 78 we know an instance
      of Osse that really has a dot inside (and an andaith above).
      Yet I still consider the hook on Osse in "Feanorian applied
      to English" to be the same sort of mark like the slashes in
      Vilya and Uure, because in the same sample, the signs for
      [ae] [y] and [oe] are derivations of the signs for [a] [y]
      and [o] that are formed by the same derivation mechanism.
      The alternative way of encoding the "Feanorian applied to
      English" [oe] tengwa seems much less favourable to me: If we
      encode the hooked osse as a seperate character or if we
      encode the 'osse hook' as a seperate tehta, we create
      characters that are only attested in this single spot and
      that bear no relation to the correspondent signs for [ae]
      and [y].

      The numerals

      In "The Tengwar (Dwarven Mode)" we see for the first time
      tengwar numeral systems as J. R. R. Tolkien devised them
      (and not as Christopher Tolkien summed them up). The systems
      are quite different from the tengwar numerals we know so
      far. Both appear to be decimal systems because they include
      a zero numeral. The first is based on the tengwar. The
      numerals 1-8 are from the first two rows of the tengwar
      table. However, they are not in the usual order, but in the
      order Parma, Tinco, Calma, Quesse, Umbar, Ando, etc. The
      numeral 9 is Unque, and zero is a stemless vilya with a dot
      inside. The second numeral system is even more surprising:
      It is a system of RUumilian numerals. My first guess is that
      it is similar, but not identical to the other RUumilian
      numeral systems we have known so far.


      There is an andaith allograph that looks like a left-curl
      (in the book style version of DTS 71).

      The half-length carrier is identified as an allograph of the
      short carrier in "Feanorian applied to English". I think
      that is strange since this mode really distinguishes between
      short carrier and long carrier, but then, this is only a
      vowels table.

      There is a transcription of "the" that has not been
      abbreviated in "Feanorian applied to English". It features a
      final "connected carrier".

      The extended Ando (the usual abbreviation for "the") appears
      in a transcription of the word "that", transcribed with
      nothing but: extended Ando, Tinco (book style version of DTS

      I would say that the strange Osse with a middle stroke like
      a Latin uncial "E" from the recto of "Death of Smaug" does
      not mean anything and is nothing but an influence from
      uncial Latin calligraphy: Tolkien started off writing a
      Latin uncial "E" and then decided to go on writing in
      Tengwar, not in Latin script. I am basing this
      interpretation on the immediately following instance that
      shows plain Osse.

      "Feanorian applied to English" shows a tehta for [V] (the
      English STRUT vowel): It is the TENGWAR SIGN BREVE. It is
      remarkable that the same tehta is mentioned as an
      alternative for representing [a] (besides the usual a-tehta)
      and serves as a base for deriving a tehta for [ae]! Do you
      think that Tolkien really identifies [V] with [a]? I would
      have thought that such an identification was just
      peculiarity of the poor foreign accent of non-native English
      speakers like me.

      The exiting thing for us speakers of languages with front
      rounded vowels is that for the first time, we have actual
      tengwar signs for [y] and [oe] (LATIN SMALL LETTER OE)! The
      tehtar are based on the plain u-tehta and o-tehta, but with
      an additional dot. That was to be expected after such a
      tehta has been described with DTS 50/51 and has been
      attested in "Pre-Feanorian" scripts. The tengwar are also
      based on the tengwar for [u] and [o], and are derived either
      by adding a dot above or by adding some kind of slash or dot
      inside (see above). The derivation of the [y] and [oe] signs
      is the same as the derivation of the [ae] signs, so we can
      understand it as a regular fronting derivation well suited
      for Germanic umlaut.

      Note on PE 19 extended tengwar

      In the summer, we were debating whether the extended tengwar
      should be called "extended tinco" etc. or "extended sUule"
      etc. I think that the "extended tinco" view is backed up
      (not only by Appendix E, but also) by PE 19, where the
      extended forms represent variations of [pt] and [kt] and
      sounds that have originated from these combinations.