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sources of Quenya

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  • vendea_ancalime
    I m currently doing an essay on the elven languages of Tolkien, and one thing I m discussing is the real world sources of Quenya; how Quenya relates to other
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 7, 2003
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      I'm currently doing an essay on the elven languages of Tolkien, and
      one thing I'm discussing is the "real world" sources of Quenya; how
      Quenya relates to other languages in use throughout the world today,
      in particular (but not limited to) Finnish as there is a reasonable
      amount of information drawing comparisons between the two.

      In my essay I plan to discuss the basics of phonology, morphology,
      syntax, lexicon and semantics, and each in case compare Quenya to
      a "real" language - if anybody with knowledge of other languages can
      give me hints of where to start, or examples of specific things to
      look at, that would be fantastic and I would be eternally indebted to
      you :)

      Any help would be greatly appreciated (and I hope this hasn't been
      too off-topic for the group, perhaps it could create some discussion?)

      Thanks,

      Catherine Laurie

      - - - - - - - - - -

      [In exploring the "real world" sources of Quenya, the Big Three you
      should focus on are Finnish, Latin, and Greek. In a letter dated
      25 April 1954 to Naomi Mitchison, Tolkien wrote:

      "[Quenya] is meant to be a kind of 'Elven-latin', and by transcribing
      it into a spelling closely resembling that of Latin ... the similarity
      to Latin has been increased ocularly. Actually it might be said to
      be composed on a Latin basis with two other (main) ingredients
      that happen to give me 'phonaesthetic' pleasure: Finnish and Greek.
      It is however less consonantal than any of the three."
      -- _Letters_, p. 176

      And for a cautionary tale on how _not_ to go about comparing
      Quenya with real-world languages, I suggest you read Tolkien's
      letter to Mr. Rang (beginning on p. 379 of _Letters_)!

      -- Patrick H. Wynne]
    • Lord_Bergen
      Well I don t know much about the language, but Tolkien used the language from Karelia (at the border between Finland and Russia) as a source of inspiration.
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 8, 2003
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        Well I don't know much about the language, but Tolkien
        used the language from Karelia (at the border between
        Finland and Russia) as a source of inspiration.

        Good luck.

        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

        [NOTA BENE:

        In keeping with the scholarly focus and standards of
        Lambengolmor, I'm requesting that further simple replies
        of this type -- "Tolkien used/was influenced by X" -- be
        sent to Catherine Laurie off-list.

        However, more detailed replies, actually _demonstrating_
        specific influences of real-world languages on Quenya
        by citation and comparison of Quenya and "real" words and
        devices, will be welcomed on the list.

        -- Patrick H. Wynne]
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