Questions/Comments?

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9 Responses to “Questions/Comments?”

  1. Bethany

    Hi David,

    It’s really great that you have started this blog:). I’m a big fan of your work! I have a question about the Dwarf-runes used in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I have noticed that in some instances (eg. Thorin’s Key) Anglo-Saxon Futhark runes are used and in others Tolkien’s own Angtheras runes are used. Is there a reason that both kinds are used alongside each other? I found it very confusing to begin with and still have to try and determine which runes are being used on an individual case basis as I haven’t managed to find a particular method. Many fans are confused over this issue, it would be great if you could shed some light on the matter:).

    Reply
  2. Menelion Elensúle

    Hello David,
    I would like to ask about stress pattern in (neo-)Khuzdul. If it is somehow similar to Semitic languages, should we assume that most words are stressed at the last syllable like in Hebrew? Or, maybe, the suffixes like -ul are not stressed (and we should pronounce, say, “MazArbul”)?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • David Salo

      I do not know a definite answer to this question. My gut feeling is that stress in Khuzdul is attracted to heavy syllables (syllables containing a long vowel or a short vowel followed by two consonants); therefore the main stress falls on the last heavy syllable, but if there are none, on the first syllable; hyphenated compounds having their elements stressed separately. So I would say ‘Khuzdul, Kha’zâd, ‘Khazad-‘dûm, Ma’zarbul, Thar’kûn, Gabi’lân, Ga’bilgathol, Tu’munzahar, Aza’nulbizar, ‘Zirak-‘zigil, ‘Bundusha’thûr, ‘Baraz’inbar, ‘Kheled-‘zâram, ‘Kibil-‘nâla.

      Reply
  3. Charlie

    Hi David,
    I was wondering if you have any information at all, or even small reconstructions of a Haradrim language?
    Thanks, and great work!

    Reply
    • David Salo

      I’m afraid I don’t know anything about such “reconstructions” (they would have to be nearly 100% inventions; I can only think of a couple of potential Haradren words or names, both dubious; Incánus, a name of Gandalf (which may be Quenya, and is Latin); and mûmak, which might be Westron. There has been some development (e.g., in the way of inventing new Haradren names) by one or more gaming companies, but I have no idea of the degree of linguistic detail involved. Many years ago I contributed to an issue of a magazine based on Middle-earth role-playing, which issue explored a kingdom (not found in Tolkien) somewhere in the Harad; but I only contributed a number of Adûnaic names, and had no influence over the Haradren nomenclature, nor do I recall who its inventor was.

      Reply
  4. Lilliana

    Hi David,

    I have a question regarding Sindarin last names.

    As we already know Legolas’ last name is Thranduilion and not “Greenleaf” as that is what his actual name means.

    ‘Ion’ meaning- Son of

    So it basically means ‘Son of Thranduil’

    My question is – If you are a female would your last name take your mothers or fathers first name name? Also what would you change ‘Ion’ to?

    Thanks for giving me a chance to ask you a question

    Reply
    • David Salo

      I wouldn’t say that Thranduilion (which, as far as I know, isn’t actually attested outside of dialogue that I wrote) is Legolas’ last name or surname; it’s just a patronymic, distinguishing him from any other Legelais by the name of his father. He is iôn Thranduil, son of Thranduil, and therefore Thranduilion, but it’s hardly a hereditary surname, any more than “Greenleaf” (whether that is taken as a separate epithet — in which case it would probably be Lasgalen in Sindarin — or just a translation of Legolas.)

      Elvish words for “daughter” are not on so secure a footing as the words for “son.” Early on they were certainly Q sel, seldë, S sell, becoming -rel, -el as suffixes (so Tindóme-rel, Tinúvi-el “twilight’s daughter”). Later that may have been perceived as causing phonological problems, and Tolkien at least considered changing it to Q yel, yeldë, S iell, both becoming -iel in names. (So we find Tindómiel, not Tindómerel, as a name for one of the daughters of Elros.) There is also Q Elerondiel, S Elrenniel, “daughter of Elrond.” The latter instance appears to show that the Eldar used patronymics (father’s name): but I am not sure that this is a rule, and it seems to me quite likely that either a nér or a nís (male or female elf) could take a matronymic if the mother were the better known of the two parents. For instance, it might well have made more sense to identify Celebrían as iell Galadriel instead of iell Celeborn! Though I doubt that “Galadrieliel” would have been used, simply because of the dysphony of the two -iels in succession.

      Reply
  5. Leonardo Oliveira Amaral

    Hi David Salo,
    When I was reading the book Unfinished Tales, I found that the orcs used to call the Drúedain “oghor-hai”. So I went to search what this means. “Hai” I already knew means “folks” in the Black Speech, but “oghor” I have no clue. I searched in Black Speech’s and in the Orkish dictionary but didn’t find it, so could you help me with this? I have some ideas of the meaning but nothing conclusive. I am a fan of yours and I am trying to know the Black Speech and other “evil” languages fluently, so the more I know the better. I’m sorry if there are any grammatical mistakes in my question because I am Brazilian.
    Thanks in advance,
    From a fan
    Leonardo Amaral

    Reply
    • David Salo

      It just seems to be a specific name for that particular people. Their own name for themselves was “drughu” (presumably [druɣu]) and perhaps oghor is in some way a deformation of that. Other than that I have no ideas.

      Reply

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