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Encyclopedia > Elvish languages

Elvish languages are constructed languages used typically by elves in a fantasy setting. An artificial or constructed language (known colloquially as a conlang among aficionados), is a language whose phonology, grammar and vocabulary are specifically devised by an individual or small group, rather than having naturally evolved as part of a culture the way natural languages do. ... A small forest elf (älva) rescuing an egg, from Solägget (1932), by Elsa Beskow An elf is a creature of Norse mythology which survived in northern European folklore. ... // For other meanings see Fantasy (disambiguation) Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ...

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Elvish languages of Middle-earth

Author J. R. R. Tolkien created many languages for Elves to complement his books set in the fictional world of Arda. His interest was primarily philological, and he said his stories grew out of his languages. Indeed, the languages were the first thing Tolkien ever created for his mythos, starting with what he originally called "Qenya", the first primitive form of elvish. This was later called Quenya (High-elven) and, along with Sindarin (Grey-elven), is one of the two most complete of Tolkien's languages. In addition to these two he also created several other (partially derived) languages. A map of the Northwestern part of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Arda. ... John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973) is best known as the author of The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Arda is the name given to the Earth in a period of fictional prehistory, wherein the places mentioned in The Lord of the Rings and related material once existed. ... Philology is the study of ancient texts and languages. ... Quenya is one of the languages spoken by the Elves in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. ... Sindarin is an artificial language (or conlang) developed by J. R. R. Tolkien. ...


In Tolkien's mythology, these languages originated as follows:

Professor Tolkien also created the Tengwar and Cirth scripts for his languages. In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, Primitive Quendian is the proto-language of the Quendi, or Elves, which they spoke soon after their Awakening. ... In the fictional works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Cuiviénen is the land where the Quendi or Elves awoke. ... In the fictional works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Avari are a branch of the Elves. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, Common Eldarin is the primordial tongue of the Eldar, those Elves who left for Valinor. ... Eldar Djangirov a jazz pianist. ... Quenya is one of the languages spoken by the Elves in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Ñoldor (meaning those with knowledge) are of the second clan of the Elves, the Tatyar. ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Vanyar are the highest of the High Elves. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, Common Telerin is the primordial tongue of the Teleri or Lindar clan of the Elves. ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... In the fictional writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Undying Lands are a realm inhabited by immortal beings. ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the fictional Nandor (singular Nando) were Elves of Telerin descent, who left the Great Journey from Cuivienen to Valinor as the Elves reached the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the fictional Nandor (singular Nando) were Elves of Telerin descent, who left the Great Journey from Cuivienen to Valinor as the Elves reached the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). ... Mirkwood was the name of the Maeotian marshes which separated the Goths from the Huns in the Norse Hervarar saga. ... In J.R.R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, two places are known as Lórien, both exceptionally beautiful. ... Sindarin is an artificial language (or conlang) developed by J. R. R. Tolkien. ... In the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, the fictional Sindar (meaning Grey People, singular Sinda, although the later term was not generally used by Tolkien) are Elves of Telerin descent. ... Doriathrin is an extinct dialect of the conlang Sindarin. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional world of Middle-earth, Doriath was the land of the Sindar. ... Falathrin is an extinct dialect of the conlang Sindarin. ... In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, The Falas (Coast or Shore) was an area on the west coast of Beleriand, south of Nevrast. ... In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Nargothrond (Halls of Narog) is the stronghold built by Finrod Felagund, delved into the banks of the river Narog in Beleriand, and the lands to the north (the Talath Dirnen or Guarded Plain) ruled by the city. ... North Sindarin is an extinct dialect of the conlang Sindarin. ... In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorthonion (Land of Pines), later Taur-nu-Fuin, was a highland region of the First Age, lying immediately to the north of Beleriand, and south of the plains of Ard-galen (later Anfauglith) that bordered Morgoths stronghold of Thangorodrim. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, Hithlum is the region north of Beleriand near the Helcaraxë. Hithlum was separated from Beleriand proper by the Ered Wethrin mountain chain, and was named after the sea mists which formed there at times: Hithlum is Sindarin for Mist... First article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English) The Tengwar are an artificial script which was invented by J. R. R. Tolkien. ... This chart showing the runes shared by the Angerthas Daeron and Angerthas Moria is presented in Appendix E of The Return of the King. ...


Pronunciation

Sindarin and Quenya have in most aspects very much the same pronunciation. The following table gives pronunciation for each letter or cluster in international phonetic script and examples:


Vowels

Letter / Digraph Pronunciation IPA Further comment
a as in father, but shorter. Like fathom [ɑ] never as in cat
á as in father [ɑː] /
â (in Sindarin) as in father, but even longer [ɑːː] /
ae (in Sindarin) the vowels described for a and e in one syllable. [ɑɛ̯] Similar to ai
ai a diphthong, similar to that in eye, but with short vowels [ɑɪ̯] never as in rain
au a and u run together in one syllable. Similar to the sound in house [ɑʊ̯] never as in sauce
aw (in Sindarin) a common way to write au at the end of the word [ɑʊ̯] /
e as in pet [ɛ] /
é the same vowel lengthened (and in Quenya more closed; as in German) S: [ɛː], Q: [eː] Rural Hobbit pronunciation allows the sound as in English rain
ê (in Sindarin) the vowel of pet especially lengthened [ɛːː] Rural Hobbit pronunciation allows the sound as in English rain
ei as in eight [ɛɪ̯] never as in either (in neither pronunciation)
eu (in Quenya) e and u run together in one syllable [ɛʊ̯] never as in English or German
i as in machine, but short [i] not opened as in fit
í as in machine [iː] /
î (in Sindarin) as in machine, but especially lengthened [iːː] /
iu (in Quenya) i and u run together in one syllable [iʊ̯] later by men often as in English you
o open as in British got [ɔ] /
ó the same vowel lengthened (and in Quenya more closed; as in German) S: [ɔː], Q: [oː] Rural Hobbit pronunciation allows the sound of "long" English cold
ô (in Sindarin) the same vowel especially lengthened [ɔːː] Rural Hobbit pronunciation allows the sound of "long" English cold
oi (in Quenya) as in English coin [ɔɪ̯] /
oe (in Sindarin) the vowels described for o and e in one syllable. [ɔɛ̯] Similar to oi. Cf. œ!
œ (in Sindarin) as in German Götter [œ] in published writing often oe has falsely been used, as in Nírnaeth Arnoediad!
u as in cool, but shorter [u] not opened as in book
ú as in cool [uː] /
û (in Sindarin) the same vowel as above, but especially lengthened [uːː] /
y (in Sindarin) as in French lune or German süß, but short [y] not found in English
ý (in Sindarin) as in French lune or German süß [yː] /
ŷ (in Sindarin) as in French lune or German süß, but even longer [yːː] not found in English

Consonants (differing from English) Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...

  • The letter c is always pronounced like the letter k, even before i and e.; for instance, Celeborn is pronounced Keleborn, and Cirth is pronounced Kirth.
  • The letter g is never pronounced in the soft form, as in giant. For instance, Region is pronounced unlike the English word region.
  • The letter r is lightly trilled, as in Spanish.
  • The digraph dh, as in Caradhras, is pronounced like the th in this.
  • The digraph ch, as in Orch, is pronounced as in German ach.

Most samples of the Elvish language are written out with the Latin alphabet, but within the fiction the languages were written using Tengwar, or occasionally carved in Cirth. Tengwar can however be used to write many other languages. In the J. R. R. Tolkien work The Lord of the Rings, Lord Celeborn (pronounced with a hard c as in cake) was the Elven husband of Galadriel; Lord of the Galadhrim; and co-ruler along with Galadriel of Lothlórien. ... This chart showing the runes shared by the Angerthas Daeron and Angerthas Moria is presented in Appendix E of The Return of the King. ... Region is a name of a fictional forest in J. R. R. Tolkiens Middle-earth legendarium. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... First article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English) The Tengwar are an artificial script which was invented by J. R. R. Tolkien. ... This chart showing the runes shared by the Angerthas Daeron and Angerthas Moria is presented in Appendix E of The Return of the King. ...


The relationship between the Elvish languages

Below is given a simplified diagram over how the Elvish languages are said have developed from their common origin, Quendian. Where this is known, the descendant of the Quendian word kwendī 'people' is shown in italics for each language.

Time Period Language
The Awakening Quendian
Common for all Elves at Cuiviénen
kwendī
The Westward March Quenya
Vanyar and Noldor in Aman
quendi
Common Telerin
Teleri during the march
pendi
Avarin
Avari, those who stayed at Cuiviénen and from there spread across Middle-earth (many languages)
kindi, cuind, hwenti, windan, kinn-lai
The First Age Amanya Telerin
Teleri in Aman
Sindarin
Teleri in Beleriand (Sindar), as well as the exiled Noldor after the speaking of Quenya was banned in Beleriand by Elu Thingol.
*-bind, *-bin
Nandorin
Teleri in Rhovanion, Eriador and Ossiriand (Nandor)
   
The Second Age Silvan[1]
The Wood-elves of the Vale of Anduin
penni
 
  1. ^ The origin of the Silvan language is uncertain. Some sources state that the Silvan language was Avarin in origin, some that it descended from the language of the Nandor. Culturally, the Silvan Elves were certainly a mix of Avari, Nandor, and Sindar.


See also: Languages of Middle-earth In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, Primitive Quendian is the primordial tongue of the Quendi, or Elves, which they spoke soon after their Awakening. ... In the fictional works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Cuiviénen is the land where the Quendi or Elves awoke. ... Quenya is one of the languages spoken by the Elves in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Vanyar are the highest of the High Elves. ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... A map of Aman, courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Arda. ... In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional universe of Middle-earth, Common Telerin is the primordial tongue of the Teleri or Lindar clan of the Elves. ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... In the fictional works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Avari are a branch of the Elves. ... In the fictional works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Cuiviénen is the land where the Quendi or Elves awoke. ... A map of the Northwestern part of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Arda. ... In the context of J.R.R. Tolkiens Middle-earth legendarium, Telerin can refer to the following: As a language: the language of the Teleri of Valinor, derived from Common Telerin but considered a Quenya dialect; Common Telerin, the original tongue that led to Valinorean Telerin and Sindarin; Falathrin... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... A map of Aman, courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Arda. ... Sindarin is an artificial language (or conlang) developed by J. R. R. Tolkien. ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Beleriand was the region of northwestern Middle-earth during the First Age. ... In the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, the fictional Sindar (meaning Grey People, singular Sinda, although the later term was not generally used by Tolkien) are Elves of Telerin descent. ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... Elu Thingol, a fictional character of Middle-earth, created by J. R. R. Tolkien, was the King of Doriath and High King of the Sindar, More accurately Thingol is the Sindarin form of an epithet of Elu. ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the fictional Nandor (singular Nando) were Elves of Telerin descent, who left the Great Journey from Cuivienen to Valinor as the Elves reached the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Rhovanion or Wilderland was a large region of northern Middle-earth. ... A map of Eriador at the end of the Third Age, courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Arda. ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the fictional Nandor (singular Nando) were Elves of Telerin descent, who left the Great Journey from Cuivienen to Valinor as the Elves reached the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). ... Wood-elves are Elves that live in forest or wood, often also called Silvan Elves. ... Location of Anduin in Middle Earth In J. R. R. Tolkiens fictional Middle-earth, Anduin is the Sindarin name for the Great River of Wilderland, the longest river in the Third Age (the original Sindarin name means Long River). ... Wood-elves are Elves that live in forest or wood, often also called Silvan Elves. ... The main part of this article relates to the version of Middle-earths history that is considered canon by most Tolkien fans who accept such labels (see: Middle-earth canon). ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the fictional Nandor (singular Nando) were Elves of Telerin descent, who left the Great Journey from Cuivienen to Valinor as the Elves reached the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). ... In the fictional works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Avari are a branch of the Elves. ... In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the fictional Nandor (singular Nando) were Elves of Telerin descent, who left the Great Journey from Cuivienen to Valinor as the Elves reached the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). ... In the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, the fictional Sindar (meaning Grey People, singular Sinda, although the later term was not generally used by Tolkien) are Elves of Telerin descent. ... The languages of Middle-earth are artificial languages invented by J. R. R. Tolkien and used in his books about Middle-earth, including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. ...


Other Elvish languages

Since Tolkien, others have invented Elvish languages in their own fiction. Several borrow sounds and forms (or even whole words) from Tolkien's Elvish languages, especially Quenya, while others are quite distinct.

  • Ssamath, the language of the Dark Elves or Drow of Dungeons & Dragons,
  • Common Elvish, the language of the surface Elves of D&D (of which there is several dialects)
  • Eltharin, the language of the elves of Warhammer:
    • Fan-Eltharin, the language of the Wood Elves
    • Tar-Eltharin, the language of the Sea Elves and High Elves
  • Elvish language of Andrzej Sapkowski's Hexer saga, based on Welsh and English
  • The Ancient Language The language of the elves in Eragon Also spoken by the riders.

The Elvish language is also used in some of Finnish opera-metal band, 'Nightwish's lyrics. One such example is the usage of 'Elbereth' in Wishmaster. Drizzt DoUrden, one of the more notable drow in Dungeons & Dragons Drow are a species of elf in the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. ... For other uses, see Dungeons & Dragons (disambiguation). ... Warhammer Battle miniatures - Dwarves, Gotrek & Felix Warhammer or Warhammer Fantasy is a fantasy setting created by Games Workshop, in which many games of that company are set, the best known ones being the Warhammer Fantasy Battles wargame, and the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay role-playing game. ... Andrzej Sapkowski Andrzej Sapkowski, born June 21, 1948 in Łódź, is a Polish fantasy writer. ... Michał Żebrowski as Geralt in the Hexer movie Hexer or Witcher (Polish: Wiedźmin) is a character created by Andrzej Sapkowski. ... Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about the book. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Languages of Arda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1236 words)
The languages of Arda are artificial languages invented by J.
Language invention had always been tightly connected to the mythology that Tolkien developed, as he found that a language could not be complete without the history of the people who spoke it, just as these people could never be fully realistic if imagined only through the English and as speaking English.
Although the Elvish languages Sindarin and Quenya are the most famous and the most mature languages of those that Tolkien invented for his mythology, they are by no means the only ones.
Elvish languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (929 words)
Elvish languages are constructed languages used typically by elves in a fantasy setting.
Primitive Quendian (language of the Elves in Cuiviénen)
Eltharin, the language of the elves of Warhammer:
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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