Quenya has a rather small inventory of consonants: p, t, k; b, d, g; f, s, h; v; m, n, ñ [ŋ]; l, r, y, w; hl, hr, hy, hw (PE19/80-81). The last set is a group of voiceless consonants, represented in spelling by a preceding “h”. You can approximate the pronunciation of these voiceless consonants by blending the “h” sound with the following consonant. According to Tolkien voiceless hl, hr were often voiced to l, r in Third-Age pronunciation (LotR/1114-5), but the hl, hr are consistently retained in spelling.
This entry provides a basic overview of the major features of Quenya grammar. It lists these features with only minimal explanation, to provide a broader context for Quenya grammar as a whole. Knowing these major elements at a general level is helpful for understanding the details of more specific grammatic rules, since they are often interrelated.
Koranari kea yá nér kense resta ara Lichfield mi Staffordshire, Angalnóre, tinkove tamnain. Ya *mettas utúvies lane *aimanima tinko: nése maltave mainaron haura ya mine i amaltaron tuvina Angalnóresse.
I harwe *yore engwion tuxar, ar ambela kastar nelde *tion karmaron - *hérave langoron - astar ar mittar nar. Lá *kaptale sa i tamnar maltave: ilu pó ilu malta ná *úquélima (hya, arya, *hraiquélima), san lá rie mairea, mal *asakare ná *vortaitas tere yéni.
Quenya is probably the first Elvish language Tolkien worked on, and he worked on it throughout his life. Understanding how Tolkien’s ideas on Quenya evolved is critical to understanding the language itself. Students of Tolkien’s languages often distinguish the “Internal History” of the language (how the language evolved within Middle Earth) versus its “External History” (how Tolkien’s modified and refined the language within the scope of his lifetime). I prefer the terms “Conceptual History” or “Conceptual Development” as being more descriptive of the nature of this external evolution.
Like all Elvish languages, the primitive precursors of Quenya appeared soon after the awakening of the Elves in Cuivienén, a period when all Elves spoke the same language. Tolkien referred to this period as Primitive Quendian or Common Quenderin [CQ]; most of the literature on Elvish uses CQ to avoid confusion with the Parmaquesta [PQ] period discussed below.
As the crebain were birds of Middle-Earth, I assume their name would've been adopted into Quenya as a loanword - but how would it have been adapted? *ravan? *karwan?
I see in Eldamo that the word has been extended with the meaning "raven", which makes sense in a way.