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389Re: Similarities between Elvish and real-world languages

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  • Edward J. Kloczko
    Mar 30, 2003
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      David Kiltz wrote:

      >You may not be interested in the origin of these words but others,
      >including me, are.

      Not exactly. ;-)

      It is impossible, as I see it, to determine when the Word is voluntarily made
      by Tolkien to resemble a Word in a Real language or if it is just a chance
      similarity, i.e. a pure coincidence.

      It is possible to determine the external origin only when the Word explains
      some Old English "mystery" (as Earendel/Earendil or Wingilot), or when Tolkien
      states its origin, as for miruvor. A Word made in his Neo-Gothic Language.

      I believe also that we should not reject what the author has to say: "It is
      [?] idle to compare chance-similarities between names made from ?Elvish
      Tongues? and words in exterior ?real? languages, especially if this is
      supposed to have any bearing on the meaning or ideas in my story" (Letters, p. 380).

      And also: "Actual congruence (of form + sense) occur in unrelated real
      languages, and it is impossible in constructing imaginary languages from a
      limited number of component sounds to avoid such resemblance (if one tries
      -- I do not)" (Letters, pp. 384-385).

      So, I do not believe that it is possible to determine the true external
      origin of "these words" (Word from Tolkien invented languages), since Tolkien
      did not work that way.


      Edouard Kloczko
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