Traversetravis wrote to me to suggest that I might use this blog to post some of my past writings related to the languages of Middle-earth. I’m grateful for the suggestion, which I think is a good idea, though at the moment I don’t know how much of what I’ve written has stood the test of time.
The first page that I’m creating, therefore, is a relatively recent essay called On Telerin which I wrote two years ago and posted as a sort of serial (because it’s quite long) on the Elfling mailing list. It’s about the Elvish language of the Teleri, which for reasons that I explain in the essay, can be considered Tolkien’s real “Elven-Latin.”
Because of the relatively scanty remains of Telerin, it’s actually possible to cover the entire development of language over time. This essay omits the earliest phases of this language, and covers a period from the late 1930s down to 1972; but I think it deals with a number of interesting points about the development of the Elvish languages in general.
It is almost the same text as that which appeared on Elfling, with only a few very minor changes in wording, none of which substantially affect the content. However, I have worked to enhance the appearance of the text so that it is hopefully more readable, and more in line with my intentions in writing it. I’m afraid that it is, in parts, rather technical (indeed, it’s possibly the most technical thing I’ve ever written about Elvish, including A Gateway to Sindarin) but even so there are some parts that should be readable for the non-technically minded.
Readers’ eagle eyes will no doubt discover some problems or inconsistencies in formatting; these are probably unintentional and will be fixed as they come to my notice.
Readers are also invited to try translating the section headers, all of which are in reconstructed Telerin, and can generally be figured out with the aid of the essay itself. Most are pretty obvious, but one or two may be a little tricky.