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Topic: Tolkien's Pronunciations

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Sep 25, 2013
RE: Tolkien's Pronunciations

"...the initial vowel has an acute accent actually..." - does that mean that it is stressed? If yes, then 'Lorellin' is stressed on the first syllable too.

Overall the derivatives of LOS- / OLOS- are not the worst; and in general, when laid out in Etymologies, the origins of words are traceable (even if not without an effort) back to the stem. When encountered on their own, many words would be difficult to match to their stems I think (I would guess that Teleri and Telufinwe share the stem 'last' which is TELES and is closer to the former than the latter) - unless the system of sound-changes is well understood. Maybe the relation among the sounds (i.e. which sound can replace which) was something like what is described in the Appendix E on the Feanorian letters. (Some sounds mentioned there, like voiceless nasals or voiceless l and r I can only imagine if they are whispered).

"Of course I rambled about things you already know..."
I may 'know' but not understand. So it is very helpful.

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Lórellinë

Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Sep 25, 2013

"...the initial vowel has an acute accent actually..." - does that mean that it is stressed? If yes, then 'Lorellin' is stressed on the first syllable too.

 

My guess [without checking my issue of Parma Eldalamberon on bases, to see if it says anything here! I am too lazy to dig it out] is that it means we have a long vowel, even in the hypothetical base. Hmm. 

In any case Lórellin has a long o, but here we have two consonants after the vowel in the penult [last syllable but one] so the penult attracts the primary stress: lorEllin. Lórien is stressed on the first syllable for example, but as the penult is short the stress moves there.



-- Edited by Galin on Wednesday 25th of September 2013 02:11:44 PM

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Sep 26, 2013
Ok, this is a bit tricky.
"... the penult is considered long if it contains a diphthong [it doesn't]..." I am guessing you mean the penult syllable (vowel) is stressed; does that make it also long? You are right that the acute accent marks long vowels (Appendix E says that too), and so if not marked they are short, whether stressed or not, as it seems...

But I also saw that no, the circumflex has no significance in Adunaic or Dwarvish, and does not mark a long vowel there - it does in Sindarin.

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Lórellinë

Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Sep 27, 2013

'Ok, this is a bit tricky. "... the penult is considered long if it contains a diphthong [it doesn't]... 'I am guessing you mean the penult syllable (vowel) is stressed; does that make it also long? You are right that the acute accent marks long vowels (Appendix E says that too), and so if not marked they are short, whether stressed or not, as it seems...'

Also you got hold of my unedited version, which I changed because I thought explaining it that way might be more confusing.

Anyway in lorEllin I mean the penult is stressed [this syllable] but the vowel is short. In other words, the intial long o does not attract the stress because it is long. A long vowel in the penult, like in Elentári does mean we should stress [primary stress] the penultimate syllable, so elentAri. 

The confusing part [again why I edited it] is that I have heard linguists refer to a 'long syllable' --  I might have misunderstood the meaning of this term, but in any event that doesn't mean we have a long vowel in the stressed syllable in Lorellin. You are correct long vowels are marked in Roman and Elvish writing*

'But I also saw that no, the circumflex has no significance in Adunaic or Dwarvish, and does not mark a long vowel there - it does in Sindarin.'

I would say it marks a long vowel in these languages, but not extra long in duration. So I think it is like the acute accent used for Sindarin [in Roman spelling of course], but has no special significance with respect to length, as it does for Sindarin.  

 

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*I'm not sure if in Elvish writing extra long vowels are distinguished from long vowels however. In other words, at the moment I don't recall if there's a distinction, when using the Elvish letters, like we have in Grey-elven with the acute accent and the circumflex.                



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Sep 27, 2013

And I should say 'long vowels are properly marked...' because of course, I don't always feel like finding them, copying and pasting them into my posts, and so I lazily leave them out... sometimes.

smile



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Sep 28, 2013
"Also you got hold of my unedited version, which I changed because I thought explaining it that way might be more confusing."

Dealing with multiple versions of your posts, in addition to multiple versions of Tolkien's texts, is even more fun. It must be annoying to you, however. Since the internet connection is poor in the area, whenever there is a post I think I want to reply to I usually copy-paste it on my mobile device so I can do something with it offline. And it happens at times that I am not looking at the latest version. Yours in particular are frequently edited, I might as well keep that in mind. I may also note that unedited ones sometimes have more information but it is certainly up to you to decide what to do with your posts, including the references in others' posts to something that you took out (I will take that out as well if needed). (Sorry for off-topic)

Ok, long is long, stressed is stressed, different things.

"I would say it [circumflex] marks a long vowel in these languages, but not extra long in duration. So I think it is like the acute accent used for Sindarin [in Roman spelling of course], but has no special significance with respect to length, as it does for Sindarin. "

'The use of circumflex in other languages such as Adunaic or Dwavish has no special significance, and is used merely to mark these out as alien tongues' is what's in Appendix E literally.

"... I don't always feel like finding them, copying and pasting them into my posts, and so I lazily leave them out... sometimes."

So far I only encountered one word where the proper marking is necessary - the plural form of 'fea'. Otherwise I don't see much problem skipping those things out of laziness.



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Lórellinë

Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Sep 29, 2013


'The use of circumflex in other languages such as Adunaic or Dwavish has no special significance, and is used merely to mark these out as alien tongues' is what's in Appendix E literally.

Yes Tolkien's wording could have been better here, especially considering 'merely', but we know Adunaic has long vowels for example, and I think the operative word is no 'special' significance, with the implication 'as in Sindarin', as we know that it marks specially prolonged vowels in Sindarin. For long vowels in Lowdham's Report Tolkien uses a macron, and notes that the circumflex [in this text anyway] marks the over-long vowels recognized in the 'older language'.

Not that you were necessarily disagreeing with me by noting what Tolkien wrote there, I realize smile

The Appendices are very informative of course, but Tolkien was a bit rushed, and here and there he could have been clearer I think. I think he goofed up a bit with respect to Sindarin short i in the Appendices, for instance, leading the actors to pronounce mithril, for example, as 'meethreel' [i as in machine I mean] in the films.

I disagree with this, despite that the Appendices can easily be used to back it up. For me however, Tolkien corrected himself about Sindarin short i in The Road Goes Ever On, admitting that he could have been clearer in The Return of the King.



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Oct 2, 2013
Just noticed that even in the Silmarillion (Note on pronunciation) it is said that 'in Adunaic (Numenorean) and Khuzdul (Dwarvish) names [but not just names?] the circumflex is simply used to denote long vowels'. 'Simply' meaning 'nothing special, just long vowels'...

Hope it's ok to bring up questions on writing here.
Seems some words can potentially be spelled in more than one way (that's about transliteration into Quenya). If a consonant is doubled and is followed by a vowel, is the consonant written separately with the sign indicating its doubling, and the vowel following it is written with the carrier; or is it ok to put the vowel sign on top of the consonant doubled this way; or should the consonant be written twice, once on its own and once with the vowel on top? Is there any rule minimizing the number of needed symbols?

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Lórellinë

Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Oct 2, 2013

I'm no expert on writing but my very general approach is: if something is attested, it's usually correct... unless Tolkien himself made a mistake!

 

Anyway Tolkien's Quenya Namarie transcription contains examples of a consonant marked double [horizontal line beneath the baseline of the tengwa], with a short vowel [the following vowel] on top [sindanóriello, tellumar]. There is already a tengwa for -ss- in any case, for example, so we don't see the line there.

I would guess the general rules noted for long vowels in the Appendices still apply, although at the moment the only attested word I can think of with a long vowel following a double consonant is massánie.

 

 



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Thanks - sorry for ignorance, but where is it published in Tengwar? I did see it but only in Roman letters.

A related question... Is there a copy-paste version of Tengwar (which will include syllables along with individual letters)? For example, any long enough piece of writing would do if it allows copying letters/syllables from there. Or, if one wants to use Tengwar, then the font has to be installed and typing occurs in Roman letters which are converted into Tengwar letters or syllables by the program right away, if anyone knows? (It would be then similar to typing in Japanese if anybody is familiar)

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Lórellinë

Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Oct 3, 2013

No problem. Tolkien's transcription of Namarie was published in The Road Goes Ever On, as well as his Elbereth Gilthoniel [Sindarin of course] written in a 'full' mode. It's probably on the web somewhere too [but if so, if legally I don't know].

I remember reading an analysis of the Namarie transcription [somewhere] that suggested Tolkien, in some instances should have used sule [older thule] rather than silme in places -- but although Tolkien is human and makes mistakes, we must remember too that he tinkers a lot, and he might be imagining a different, or related, scenario that makes a given example correct.

I don't have any computer programs myself, and have only written a few things 'in Elvish' [writing] with pen, pencil, marker... old fashioned writing stuff.



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Indeed this transliteration is all over the web. Very helpful - I would have never guessed that double L (LL) is written with tilde not beneath but inside the letter. Haven't seen that mentioned anywhere, or maybe have missed it. And marker isn't old-fashioned... pretty advanced - Feanor didn't have that for sure.

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Lórellinë

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Date: Oct 20, 2013
I am not surprised to find out there is more to the stresses than I thought there was. There is a main (major) stress that is high-toned. Its placement was discussed at length. Other syllables in the same word can however also be stressed. Initial syllables were stressed to a degree unless they were short and immediately followed by a syllable with the main stress. As was mentioned in this thread recently but in a Snapchat mode, syllables (not just vowels) can be long. They are long if their vowel is long, and/or if they contain a diphthong and/or there are two consonants after the vowel. In other words, if the syllable takes much space in writing it in many cases is considered long.

It is said that in long and especially compound words the first syllable is stressed as strongly as the one with the major stress but in a lower tone. Sounds to me as if the words were not just said but 'intoned'- like in some Asian languages perhaps. And the last vowels could be lightly stressed as well, unless they followed a major stress.

This all appears in 'The road goes ever on' in the guidelines to Namarie, to show how these stresses could be employed metrically in a poem - but I believe this should also apply to Quenya words used in poems written in a foreign (e.g. English) language. This helps at least to understand how 'Nargothrond' can be used without stressing it completely against the rules. Flexibility in those rules comes very handy.


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Lórellinë

 
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