Quenya Dictionary (was Re: Notes on Óre; or the perils of dictionary translation)
- [I have excised a great deal of extraneous quotation from this post.
Please take a little time and thought to pare down quotation to a useful
minimum, and don't hesitate to paraphrase. Carl]
I'd like to comment upon the interesting question of dictionaries that has
been discussed recently.
Wed, 26 Jun 2002, Helios De Rosario Martinez wrote :
> A dictionary that provided a full record of meanings, compounds,That's what I dream about too and lead me to begin to make such a
> occurrences and etymologies attested in Tolkien's texts for each word.
dictionary (only for Q(u)enya), mainly for a private use, but I hope that
maybe one day (not very soon : the dictionary is far from complete) it
could be published with the agreement of the Tolkien Estate (it's just a
[It should be well known that I support the Tolkien Estate's view that
substantial dictionaries of Tolkien's languages require their permission
for publication. This list will therefore not be used to advertise or
promote unauthorized dictionaries. However, it is entirely on topic to
discuss the desirable characteristics of dictionaries of Tolkien's
languages, and even to consider and propose a group effort at creating a
rigorous and useful dictionary for authorized publication. Carl]
But I can confirm that it's a *great* amount of work!
I'm using the wordlists available on the net (Quettaparma Quenyanna and
Helge's Quettaparma Quenyallo) and also Edouard Kloczko's dictionary, but
I'm trying to expand them, verifying them with the sources and searching
through *all* the corpus (that is: the all the sources available).
Hence I will not only give "LotR-style" Quenya or "mature" Quenya, but
all the samples of Q(u)enya ever published, rejected or not. I'm providing
the pronounciation (SAMPA or IPA), the references, some quotations (when a
word appears in a sentence or a poem) and some etymological reconstructions
whenever possible (I'm trying to make something very near to Didier Willis'
excellent Sindarin Dictionary).
But the main difference with the usual dictionaries or wordlists that I've
seen is that I want to give *all* the stages of the language, from 1915 to
Tolkien's death, because I think that a scholary study of Q(u)enya deserve
this (a "rejected" word may sometimes provide more linguistic information
than a "LotR-style" one). That's the reason why I give also the approximate
external dates of each word or form.
Carl commented :
> [Part of the purpose of Web publishing is that documents can be kept upThat's why I'm making an xml dictionary (like Didier Willis' one), that
> to date with ease. I would have thought that Helge could have updated
> his word-list some time in the past two years. Carl]
could be updated "easily".
But (there is a 'but'!), I'm not yet very skilled in phonetic (the
pronounciation of Quenya has still some shady parts to me). For example,
I wonder how the name _ancalima_ should be stressed. In Edouard Kloczko's
dictionary it is given as _%ANk"AlIm%A_, but the stress on _kAl_ seems
strange to me and _"ANkAl"ImA_ seems more "natural" to me (here I'm
using X-Sampa, with " for a primary stress and % for a secondary stress).
Am I wrong ? Or is it a debatable point ?
[Yes, you are wrong; no, it isn't debatable. The main accent in _ancalima_
is on the antepenult: _anCAlima_. Carl]
I'm not very experienced in Primitive Elvish and reconstructions of
possible etymologies of the words, so any help in this domain (and in
phonetics too) will be warmly welcomed !
If you want to see a "sample" of my dictionary, you can go to this url:
You will need the last version of Internet Explorer to view this xml file
(I don't know if it works for Netscape or other browsers) and the
Thryomanes unicode font, used because of the phonetic and the special
diacritics sometimes used by professor Tolkien (the font can be downloaded
here : http://packages.debian.org/unstable/x11/ttf-thryomanes.html).
[This font is distributed as a Debian package, which will be unusable to
a great many of us. Perhaps someone could make the font (it is open source
and freely distributable) available to us in a more readily usable form,
such as a .zip file? If so, I'll put the font in the Files area of this
The * after a word indicates a "Qenya" word, deduced/hypothtetic forms are
in italic. I have made arbitrary and "artificial" categories for an easier
dating of the corpus: early, middle and late "Qenya" (E"Q", M"Q" & L"Q")
and early, middle and late Quenya (EQu, MQu & L Qu).
I'd like to add that this is an "old" version of my dictionary : I have
advanced (a little) further and corrected some things since this version.
Any feedback is welcome!