Introduction: What is an Elvish Language?
Languages are a product of the diversity of human thought. When humanity first started to create languages, there were very few in number and all served specific purposes in their respective cultures. Some languages would be used as technologies such as cuneiform, while others were historically used for administrative purposes such as hieroglyphics. These languages were intended to be read and written by only a few, but there was a need to share more personal stories, ideas and histories. It was then that song came into play, and the myths of creation began to come together. The musical rhythms of ancient cultures, such as the Greeks and the Celts, were used as tokens of religious ideas. The Bible is an ancient example of this where Hebrew and Greek had been used to embed basic religious concepts into a language. The book of Genesis is an excellent example.
In the beginning, there was the word. “In the beginning” can be translated as Elohim, in connection with the writer of Genesis, who is believed by some to be Moses (or in the original Hebrew, Methuselah). This phrase was intended to refer to God’s creation of all things through his word-power.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Elvish Language & Tolkien’s Elf Characters
example of a historically religious language that has a profound cultural history. Many of the world’s languages began to spread as new ideas and beliefs were shared. While this was happening, human populations began to settle in these places, which then led to the creation of more localized languages. As populations increased and became more diverse, it was no longer necessary for all people to communicate in the same way. Over time, languages began to fall out of favor with the few, while they became more popular amongst the many. It is no surprise that many of these languages have words for blood, heat, yana language mean father/son
In Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth, such developments are happening. In his Lord of the rings” fantasy novel, elves live an island paradise in which “the old tales tell of singing dragon-ships and the coming of Men”. Yet these elves, who have lived for long ages without ever seeing Men before, now find themselves speaking a new tongue. The history behind this change is complex and interesting.
Elven Fictional Languages and Tolkien’s Legendarium
With the invention of writing came the ability to preserve stories. Tolkien began to develop his own language system by writing down, in his Tengwar Alphabet, the languages that he created. As Tolkien developed the Elvish languages he used them in various fictional settings. In these settings, he also introduced a fictional “human” language that he called Common Speech. The relationship between Common Speech and the fictional languages is complex. According to Tolkien and other fantasy writers, a particular language is able to connect with people on a subconscious level which allows them to know about their existence. The connection between the fictional languages and the feelings that they evoke explains why Tolkien’s Elf characters became so popular. They are able to connect with people on a deeper level of understanding.
Tolkien created many fictional languages, some of which have become famous. In “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (LOTR) and “The Hobbit,” Tolkien created four languages: Westron (“Common Speech”), Quenya, Sindarin, and Rohirric. The relationship between these languages is explained in Appendix F. Westron is a descendant of the language that was spoken by the Edain. The Numenoreans created Adûnakhôr’s new language, Adûnaic, which became “Common Speech.” And finally Quenya and Sindarin descended from an Elvish tongue known as Primitive Eldarin.
Tolkien formally invented the four languages in his seminal linguistic essay “Quendi and Eldar” (1939) . It wasn’t until later that he wrote “The Lord of the Rings. Part I, The Fellowship of the Ring” (1954) that he used the languages in his “legendarium,” presenting them to readers as if they were real.
What is an Elvish Language?
In the Second Age, stories were passed down as they were sung. These songs originated in Valinor, which was home to Elves who were very musical. Their tradition of storytelling became known as the “Lay of Leithian”. The language that was used in these songs is known as Quenya. Quenya is one of the two Elvish languages created by Tolkien for use within Middle-earth. The other language, which was also created by Tolkien, is Sindarin. Sindarin was based upon Welsh and Old English, both of which were spoken in the First Age. This language became popular in areas around the place where Elves first lived and then spread throughout Middle-earth with them. Sindarin spread beyond the borders of Middle-earth as the Noldor Elves became rulers of Fornost after they fled from Beleriand, Indis and Lòmion took over the realm of Nargothrond shortly after Finrod Felagund was killed, Maedhros ruled over the kingdom of Himring and Celegorm ruled over Thargelion. Sindarin is similar to Quenya in that it is a language that possesses several different dialects. It had two known dialects: “Noldorin” and “Narglish”.