Parma Eldalamberon Issue 17
- "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in 'The Lord of the Rings'."
By J. R. R. Tolkien
"Parma Eldalamberon," 'The Book of Elven-tongues', is a journal of the Elvish
Linguistic Fellowship, a special interest group of the Mythopoeic Society.
The current issue is a commentary by J. R. R. Tolkien from the late 1950s and
early 1960s concerning the words and names from his invented languages
incorporated into The Lord of the Rings. This commentary has been edited
and annotated by Christopher Gilson, with the permission and guidance of
Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate.
"Words, Phrases and Passages" is a collection of notes on the Quenya, Sindarin,
Dwarvish, Rohirric and Black Speech examples occurring in "The Lord of the Rings,"
with detailed translations and syntactic explanations, together with a discussion
of the etymologies of the various words and names. For the Elvish examples
these are traced back to their Common Eldarin roots. The entries were arranged
by Tolkien in the order in which the words and phrases occurred in the story
and this arrangement has been preserved in this edition.
Although Tolkien never completed the commentary as originally planned, he
retained the more cursory list of words and names from which he was working;
and he continued to compose further notes on the grammar and history of
the Elvish words and names in the story. Many of these were placed together
with "Words, Phrases and Passages," and the main commentary has been
supplemented by these notes in this edition. Together these texts give
the clearest picture we have of how Tolkien conceived of his linguistic
inventions in the forms they were revealed to his readers.
In many of the notes in "Words, Phrases and Passages" Tolkien expresses
hesitation about his preliminary explanations, or notices discrepancies
between elements occurring in more than one context. The notes show
how his reconsideration at this time of his invented languages sometimes
led to revisions in the text of "The Lord of the Rings" as it was published
in the 2nd edition of 1965. They also show how Tolkien achieved new
insights into the etymological explanation of certain words and names.
Many of the entries in "Words, Phrases and Passages" mention the roots of
the Elvish components under discussion, and this edition includes an index
of these roots. During this period Tolkien also compiled several lists and
collections of roots and the words derived from them. These etymologies
have been combined with the index into a single list alphabetically arranged
by root, providing a fairly comprehensive overview of his conception of
the stock of basic elements that underlie the Elvish languages.
The entries in "Words, Phrases and Passages" have been annotated to point
out their connections with the examples of Tolkien's invented languages
included in his other writings, such as "The Silmarillion"; "Unfinished Tales";
"Letters"; and "The History of Middle-earth." This edition also includes an
index, arranged by language, of all words and phrases that are glossed
within the entries of main list and the list of roots.
Parma Eldalamberon Issue Number 17 is a 220-page journal.
Cover art by Patrick H. Wynne.
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