Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 103)


S. long voiceless spirants shortened; [θθ|xx] > [θ|x]

In both Sindarin and Noldorin, long voiceless spirants shortened, as noted by David Salo (GS/§4.184). Tolkien alluded to this phonetic development in a discussion of the transcriptions used by Ælfwine in his document on the Feanorian Alphabet from the 1930s:

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 102)


S. [h] vanished after vowels; [Vh] > [Vø]

In both Sindarin and Noldorin, any non-initial [h] vanished after vowels, as noted by David Salo (GS/§4.100, GS/§4.107, GS/§4.116). A similar sound change occurred in Welsh (WGCH/§94ii). This sound change primarily applied to the [h] that developed from intervocalic [s] which therefore ultimately vanished, as described by Tolkien in a note in The Etymologies from the 1930s:

Silindo, i Mistaila *Rando

Jupiter and its Trojans

*Minaþurindor *entankatánier sa i *rando Silindo láne illume silúmea nómeryasse mi i *Anarya *Panasta.

Nóna ve helka rando amna *kanallume háya pella silúmea nómerya, Silindo rongo *menune alta lendaryanna ya xéyane tere koranari ototuxa húme tenna anyane i nóme imbe Karnil ar *Kormanil. Si enwa entankataina ló i kendare *pityarandoron kombion atta i *pepellar Anar epe ar nó Silindo imya rindesse. Tana pityarandoron ére áne i *sinwasse pá i rando ranya.


Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 100)


S. final [w], [v] vanished after [u]; [-u{vw}] > [-u]

In Sindarin and Noldorin, any final [v] or [w] after the vowel [u] vanished, as noted by David Salo (GS/§4.173, GS/§4.176, GS/§4.177). The likely mechanism was [v] > [w], and then [w] became [u] which blended with the preceding vowel. This sound change also occurred after the diphthong au, as noted by Tolkien himself:

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 97)


S. non-initial [m] usually became [v]; [Vm|{lr}m|m{mbp}] > [Vv|{lr}v|m{mbp}]

In Sindarin and Noldorin, an [m] appearing after a vowel or liquid almost always developed into a labial spirant [v], the only major exceptions being the combinations mm, mb, mp and mph. This was a factor in the soft-mutation of Sindarin, where words beginning with m have mutated forms beginning with v: