December 2018

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 42)

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OS. [w] vanished before [u]; [{uw|wu}] > [u]

Based on a few examples, it seems [w] vanishes before [u] in Old Noldorin, in the same way as that [j] vanished before [i]. Since the combination [wu] did not normally occur in Primitive Elvish, this phonetic development only applied to cases where the [u] arose later, such as when [oi], [ǭi] became [ui] in Noldorin:

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 38)

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OS. [p], [t], [k] became spirants before [s]; [ps|ts|ks] > [ɸs|θθ|xs]

In both (Old) Sindarin and (Old) Noldorin, voiceless stops [p, t, k] became spirants before [s]. For [ps], [ks], the results were [ɸs], [xs]. For [ts], the development was somewhat different, with [ts] > [tθ] > [θθ] > [θ]. Tolkien described both these changes in his notes on Noldorin use of the Feanorian Alphabet from the 1930s: