The basic building blocks for words in Primitive Elvish were “roots”, also known as “bases” or “stems”, which Tolkien usually designated by putting them in ALLCAPS or by using square root symbol √ (and sometimes both). A “root” consists single vowel (called the base vowel or sundóma) and one or more consonants, in 4 possible […]

Yet another conflux of words, this time “parent/child, grandparent/grandchild, boy/girl and baby” On the Quenya side, we have Q. nostari “parents” from LotR, so we really have no choice but to use nostar for “parent”. We also have ᴹQ. “male and female parents” ontare/ontaro from the Etymologies, which may also remain legitimate, as well as […]

Several weeks ago I posted about Primitive Elvish consonants. This posts discusses the primitive vowels. Like its child languages, Primitive Elvish has the five basic short vowels i, e, a, o, u. Unlike the child languages, it has 7 long vowels, with the addition of ę̄ (sometimes written ǣ) and ǭ. These two long vowels […]

Here is another exploration of Eldarin words, this time “father/mother, son/daughter, sister/brother” “Father” is dead easy. The words Q. atar, S. adar from the root √ATAR were established early on and Tolkien used them pretty consistently. “Mother” is trickier. Tolkien established √AM as the root for “mother” very early on the Quenya side, but its […]

If we really want to understand Primitive Elvish roots, we first need to understand what sounds were used in the Primitive Elvish language. Tolkien like to arrange his sound systems into tables of “series” and “grades”. The series were organized in columns by the area in the mouth where the sound was formed (front, middle, […]

This post is an exploration of the conflux of Eldarin words having to do “man/woman, husband/wife, bride/groom”. In Quenya, I think Q. nér “man” is quite well established, and Q. nís/nisse “woman” also well attested. I can’t imagine using anything else. These words point to the roots √N(D)ER and √N(D)I(S) as the basis for the […]

Fiona has asked me to update my writings on primitive Elvish roots and repost them on her site, something I am happy to do. This post is an introduction to that material for those unfamiliar with it. Since I don’t know who will be reading this, I’d first like to cover some basic concepts and […]

Some of you may know this already, but last Saint Nicolas’ Day, my grandfather died. We were quite close. He was a brilliant anthropologist and quite gifted at learning languages. If you want to know more about him, do a search on Frank Bessac. I miss him terribly, to the point of distraction. Anyways, I’m […]

As some of you may know, my website was kicked offline last month because it apparently had run out of bandwidth. To set the record straight: No it hadn’t run out of bandwidth. There was a problem with the server’s ability to tally the usage of my website, making it think that 6 months of […]

Hey everyone! I have several updates to report. First, I’ve started work on Sindarin Lessons. The lessons have forced me to rethink out the language, so I’ve changed my mind yet again on the Sindarin Pronoun system. I need people willing to be guinea pigs to take the lessons and critique them. So, do you […]