Parma Eldalamberon 19 - Quenya Phonology (18.01.11 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

It always surprises me to see what happens when unpublished writings by J.R.R. Tolkien are being released. The last few years we have been very spoiled with the release of The Children of Hurin and The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. People go crazy, throw parties, stand in line to pick up a copy and scream for more, more, more...

What surprises me even more is that somehow Tolkien fans manage to miss the constant publication of unpublished material by Parma Eldalamberon. Their latest issue is out for some time and everything is silent. Still, they have once again released some very interesting material, this time concerning tolkien's Elvish languages. I'm certain this is only of interest to Tolkien fans who are into the study of Elvish languages, but still I'm always amazed to read the text that are published. Some are real gems and of interest to any Tolkien fan. So it is once again time to order a copy of Parma Eldalamberon!

Quenya Phonology Comparative Tables
Outline of Phonetic Development
Outline of Phonology


Parma Eldalamberon 'The Book of Elven-tongues' is a journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship a special interest group of the Mythopoeic Society.

The current issue presents previously unpublished writings by J.R.R. Tolkien concerning his Elvish languages.

These have been edited and annotated by Christopher Gilson, under the guidance of Christopher Tolkien and with the permission of the Tolkien Estate.

Comparative Tables

The Comparative Tables are a series of charts laying out the regular correspondences among the sounds of the various languages Tolkien had invented by the late 1930s or conceived of as part of his history of the Elves, including Valarin, Quenya, Lindarin, Telerin, Noldorin, Ilkorin, Danian and Lemberin, as well as the Mannish language Taliskan.

There are charts for word-initial and medial consonants and consonant groups, and for long vowels and diphthongs. These are accompanied by Tolkien’s notes on the general phonetic characteristics of the historical development of the languages, and on their phonological types in terms of the "real" languages on which they were modelled.

Outline of Phonetic Development

The Outline of Phonetic Development is a detailed description of the historical changes that produced of the sounds of Quenya from the sounds of Primitive Eldarin, including the regular developments in word-initial and medial positions and the distinctive changes of sounds in contact. Phonetic variations among the historical dialects of Quenya are described, as well as those divergent developments occurring in the closely related languages of Lindarin, Telerin and Noldorin, and the influences of these on the dialects of Quenya. The text appears to be from the late 1930s or 1940s.

Outline of Phonology

The Outline of Phonology is a revised and expanded version of this text, dating from the 1950s. It describes the phonology of Quenya as primarily the speech of the Noldor in Valinor; but it is similarly arranged, giving variations within the historical dialects of Quenya and divergent developments in the related Vanyarin and Telerin.

Parma Eldalamberon 19

Cover art by Adam Victor Christensen.
The cost is $35 per copy including postage and handling world-wide.

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Other issues of Parma Eldalamberon

Other interesting editions of Parma Eldalamberon include the following works by J.R.R. Tolkien (available for purchase at the links given below):

The Grammar and Lexicon of the Gnomish Tongue:

Sí Qente Feanor and Other Elvish Writings:

Early Elvish Poetry and Pre-Fîanorian Alphabets, Part 1:

Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings:

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