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J. R. R. Tolkien Writes & Speaks in Elvish

• arclein

An Oxford philologist with a special interest in Old Norse, Tolkien had been experimenting with constructed languages since adolescence. But it was The Lord of the Rings that allowed him to engage fully in that pursuit, spurring the creation of such tongues as Adûnaic, Dwarvish, and Entish. Like anyone of his linguistic expertise, he understood that, in reality, most languages come to us not in isolation but in families, and it is the family of Elvish languages ?" including Quendya, Exilic Quenya, Telerin, Sindarin, and Nandorin ?" that represents the pinnacle of his language-construction project. In the video at the top of the post, Tolkien himself reads aloud an Elvish-language poem. Just below, you can see him writing in Elvish script, or Tengwar, one of the seven writing systems he created for The Lord of the Rings alone. He didn't just assemble it out of forms that looked nice to him: much as with the Elvish language itself, he made sure that it plausibly descended fro


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