Concerning Hobbits, Elves, Men, Dwarves...

Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by Aondeug, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    So I love the Tolkien legendarium. A lot. It is in fact my favorite media thing EVER and the works that introduced me to the world of linguistics. Along with articles about his languages I was forever hooked on the study because he basically revolutionalized the way I looked at language. Before it used to just be a thing to use to talk to people or to use to read things. Basically all function. Now I tend to look at language more as being like a person. They grow and change and have relationships and strange likes and dislikes.

    Tolkien is pretty much just great and the professor deserves a thread of his own. Sure the books have been out for years, but if the academics haven't yet run out of things to talk and write about his work then we certainly do.

    • Like x 1
  2. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Neat fact - some of the elvish languages were based on Finnish!

    (relevant because I can speak it, lol)

    I was Tolkien trash from the tender age of 10 or something when I read the trilogy. Or possibly I read the Silmarillion first (why so many nutty elves tho). We had a fan group in my country and that's where my user name comes from, we had to pick new ones after our new leader wanted us to separate into themed factions.
  3. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    Yeap I knew that! It's part of why I want to learn Finnish, so I can have a much better understanding of what he borrowed and how. Well that and Finnish is THE language if you have a huge hardon for grammar. Which you shouldn't but I do so. Finnish. It's rather pretty sounding too. The Quenyan case system is where the Finnish shows up primarily, and some of the sound? Sadly there are only 10 cases in Quenya as opposed to like the 14 that Finnish has? I think it's about 14. There are crazy amount of the things from what I've read about Finnish. There's also bits of Anglo-Saxon in Quenya too like Earendil, which he was just obsessed with as a word. Sindarin meanwhile is more Welsh in its grammar from what I recall. There's a lot of vowel mutations in it because Celtic languages hate absolutely everyone. And the Dwarvish from what very little we have seems to be Semitic in inspiration partly.

    I really love how in depth he went with the languages too. While you can't speak or write with them as they currently stand there's a sort of fullness to them that a lot of other conlangs in fiction lack. He wrote little linguistic tidbits about the language. As in like. Actual linguistic texts written by people in that world about languages in their world. Like one text regarded a sound shift in Quenya devised by Feanor. However because Feanor is a dickhead said sound shift was rejected by a portion of Quenya speakers just out of spite even though it made a lot of sense. Feanor's dickery also got the language banned in Middle-Earth which helped lead to its death outside of being a ceremonial language. So basically like Latin. Banning languages does A LOT to kill them and it's happened a number of times. Damage to Hawaiian and Gaelic languages has been considerable because of such things. It's neat to see that sort of thing reflected in the history of a fictional language.

    And then there's things like how the Hobbits and the Rohirrim seem to have shared a language in common given shared words that they have as well as similar ones. So holbytla>hobbit (which is Anglo-saxon with the actual Rohirric and Westron being kud-dukan>kuduk), as an example. That translation thing is another neat note. He really went the extra fucking mile where it considered his languages. We don't know much about now Adunaic actually worked, but we're told that he "translated" it into Westron to be more palatable. And then went out to go and show HOW he translated it.

    And you have the maps and forms of poetry and song and the various books and the Elvish naming scheme and how the languages are related and so on. The man was amazingly dedicated to creating a linguistic history.

    • Like x 3
  4. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Prepare to cry a long time when learning it.

    I am Estonian and ours is the closest to Finnish, but still. Grammar. Ugh.

    (I will need to learn because of uni applications rather than nerdery, but still.)
  5. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    If I am not crying then honestly learning a language just isn't fun to me. I like French but learning French was very easy to learn the basics of. Because unlike Arabic which was entirely new to me French wasn't. I've studied bits of Spanish and I know bits of how romance languages in general tend to work. And because of Latin and the fact that France helped forever ruin English for everyone ever I had even more help. Yes, there are quite a few false cognates (toilette for example) but there's a lot of shit like baignoire or sortir. There was just an effortlessness to a lot of the basic stuff.

    Still it was nice getting the basics of it cleared up, boring or not. Especially since I can get my way through Off in French.
  6. Wiwaxia

    Wiwaxia problematic taxon


    I don't have anything intelligent to say at the moment, but :hussiedance:
    • Like x 1
  7. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Don't worry, with Finnish you have a language from a completely separate language group, so it should be crying-inducing. :D

    I also recommend (as in don't recommend) Russian. In the same language group with English and friends, but hellish to learn and inane. (What do you mean there are like 5 different letters for s and sch sounds, wtf)
  8. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    I've already studied a bit of Russian, actually. I'm very fond of it. Slavic languages are fun from what I can tell. My favorite language to play with those is probably Arabic. I am also really, REALLY liking what I've seen of Irish which makes me even sadder at the state of the language. It's just so fucking pretty and VSO is very neat. And learning even bits of it makes Irish spelling make so much more sense. It's not a perfect system but there is definitely a reasoning behind it. You just have to stop thinking of the Latin alphabet values as they exist in English or a language like Spanish and instead think on the terms of Irish. The terms dealing with a more complicated vowel system and numerous sounds that English completely lacks, and also the confusing nature of Irish declension.
  9. strictly quadrilateral

    strictly quadrilateral alive, alive, alive!

    • Like x 1
  10. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    I understand there's a lot of the Kalavela in the story/backstory too? I've heard people say that, at least.
  11. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    I have as well but I'm not familiar with the Kalavela sadly. If it is I honestly wouldn't be surprised. He pulled from a lot of things and reworked bits and ideas of myths he liked into his own thing. Like the Numenor story or the division of Elves into Dark and Light Elves and the magical island to the West hidden behind mist/magic/whatever. Numenor being inspired by Atlantis, which is obvious not just in the story itself but also the name Atalante. Dark and Light Elf thing points to his work being about three parts Norse mythology fanfiction (see also: the fucking trees, the aforementioned magical island, and so on).
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2015
  12. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    I always wondered what kind of thing was implied by him placing the Undying Lands in basically America.
  13. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    There a ton of magical islands to the west of Europe, I swear. Like Tir na nÓg, the Fortunate Islands, Avalon, Mag Mell, Annwn...And there are still more of the things too.

    Anyway The Blessed Realms go by a variety of names one of those being Eldamar, or Elvenhome. Which is his Anglicized form of Álfheimr. Which matches up with one of his frameworks that he never quite let go of though he fiddled with it a lot. Namely that the First Age material were translations done by a human man, who eventually became an Englishman from the Middle Ages named Ottor aka Aelfwine. The Aelfwine story plays into the framework that fairy tales and mythology in Europe as we know it are the garbled forms of our world's true history. Namely that of the Tolkien Legendarium.

    So things like Mount Olympus or the mists of Manannán mac Lír are in "reality" Taniquetil and the sundering of Aman from the rest of Arda.
    • Like x 2
  14. Wiwaxia

    Wiwaxia problematic taxon

    Would that put Numenor in the Mid Atlantic Ridge?
  15. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Kalevala (sorry I can't help it), but apparently so?

    Quote from wikipedia:

    "A major influence was the Finnish epic Kalevala, especially the tale of Kullervo. Tolkien admitted that he had been "greatly affected" by Finnish mythologies,[75] and even credited Kullervo's story with being the "germ of [his] attempt to write legends".[76] Tolkien attempted to rework the story of Kullervo into a story of his own, and though he never finished,[77] similarities to the story can still be seen in the tale of Túrin Turambar."

    Basically Kullervo was also a poor bastard who unknowingly slept with his sister, so there you go.
    • Like x 1
  16. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    It's fine. I get anal about people not accenting things in Irish or French. Anyway. Ooh.
  17. pixels

    pixels hiatus / only back to vent

    funny thing, i was watching the rifftrax of the lotr movies with my brother this weekend, and then there was this line

    GANDALF: All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
    KEVIN: Kinda Hindu for a Nordic myth, ain't it?

    i really wish i could have met jrrt. and his writing comrades. he just seems like a guy i could have learned a lot from.

    also somewhere out there, my brother mentioned, is a "purist's cut" of the more recent hobbit trilogy that removes everything that didn't really follow the book. i'm interested in hunting it down. it keeps the entire first movie pretty much but prunes the last two down into one or less.
  18. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    Given that they originally scripted and shot for a 2-movie series and then were forced to stretch the material of the second movie into two, I suspect that'd improve things a lot.
    • Like x 3
  19. Wiwaxia

    Wiwaxia problematic taxon

    K, gonna dump my tolkien drawings here, too.

    (yeah, I know there's only 6 scars on that last one. wound no. 7 is on his back)

    I really like the way Tolkein does evil as something that bends your back and wears you down and leaves you miserable (and you forget what you even wanted in the first place and you could stop at any time, but you don't, you aren't willing to), but not in a way that is tragic or sympathetic. "Loud rose a din of laughter hoarse,/self-loathing yet without remorse;"
    Anyways, that's what I was going for here, especially with the progression of forms.

    don't you wanna just pick it up and hold it? i'm sure nothing could go wrong


    Wanted to go more for a spirit of shadow and flame with "shadows about it like two vast wings" than the knockoff-satans that most other balrog art seems to go for :/
    Peter Jackson and Weta, I am sorry, but that is a bog-standard demon, not anything worthy of the name "balrog"

    I like to give him six legs, but you can't see that here on account of i got bored and also ran out of room.
    • Like x 3
  20. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    Oooh those balrogs.
    • Like x 1
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