Invented languages

This forum is for constructed languages, both those invented by UniLang members and those already existing.

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Josip132
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Invented languages

Postby Josip132 » 2018-03-18, 20:09

Hello,
I'd like to hear your opinion o invented languages like J.R.R. Tolkien's Elvish in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books.
I personally find it really cool that someone can just make a new language like that. What do you think?

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Dormouse559
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Re: Invented languages

Postby Dormouse559 » 2018-03-23, 3:13

I generally like Tolkien's languages. Quenya is the one I'm most familiar with, and I find it quite mellifluous. It's also a practical example of designing a language with one's audience in mind. Representing the sound /e/ at the end of a word or adjacent to another vowel with <ë> wasn't strictly necessary. A plain <e> would have sufficed, but since English speakers — who are used to silent E and digraphs formed with <e> — were the initial audience for Elvish and The Lord of the Rings, the trema makes it clear that the letter is supposed to be pronounced separately.

What are your thoughts?
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Re: Invented languages

Postby Ashucky » 2018-03-24, 13:25

Considering the Latin script for Quenya is effectively just a romanisation (both Quenya and Sindarin are natively written in Tengwar), it makes sense to use <ë>, especially since it was originally aimed at, as you said, English speakers. I'd imagine the romanisation would've looked different if the main audience had been German, for example.

I remember when I first encountered Tolkien's languages, I didn't really know how to pronounce <ë>, and in the end I think I settled for /ə/. That was, of course, before I read how Sindarin and Quenya are supposed to be pronounced.
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Re: Invented languages

Postby Dormouse559 » 2018-03-24, 20:59

Ashucky wrote:Considering the Latin script for Quenya is effectively just a romanisation (both Quenya and Sindarin are natively written in Tengwar), it makes sense to use <ë>, especially since it was originally aimed at, as you said, English speakers. I'd imagine the romanisation would've looked different if the main audience had been German, for example.
Or French. Now, I'm thinking of "Namárië" spelled as "Namârié".

The romanizations do as much to communicate Tolkien's vision for his languages as the native scripts. For example, while /e/ <ë> took the audience's likely pronunciation into account, the representation of /k/ and /kw/ with <c> and <qu> reinforces Quenya's status as an "Elven-Latin".

Ashucky wrote:I remember when I first encountered Tolkien's languages, I didn't really know how to pronounce <ë>, and in the end I think I settled for /ə/. That was, of course, before I read how Sindarin and Quenya are supposed to be pronounced.
Yeah, that's reasonable. It reminds me of Albanian.
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