Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 23)


OS. [z] vanished before [d] lengthening preceding vowel; [Vzd] > [V̄d]

In Sindarin and Noldorin, [z] disappeared before the voiced stop [d], modifying the preceding vowel, though the exact phonetic rules evolved between the conceptual stages of the language. For Sindarin, this change is described in a couple places within notes on the Outline of Phonology [OP2] from around 1950:

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 22)


OS. long final vowels were shortened; [-SV̄] > [-SV̆]

Primitive Elvish words often ended in long vowels, but in (Old) Sindarin these vowel were shortened in polysyllables, and later still, these short final vowels vanished. The evidence for these sound changes is so ubiquitous that it is not a question of whether these changes occurred, but when.

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 20)


OS. final [tʰ] became [t]; [-tʰ] > [-t]

Based on a single example, it seems final [-tʰ] > [-t], probably in Old Noldorin, as suggested by David Salo (GS/§4.55):

  • ᴹ✶KHOTH [> khōth > khōt] > N. hûd “assembly” (Ety/KHOTH).

It is unclear whether this sound change applied to other final aspirates, or whether this change could also occur in later Sindarin.

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 16)


OS. initial syllabic [m], [n], [ŋ] became [am], [an], [aŋ]; [{ṃṇŋ̣}-] > [a{mnŋ}-]

In Sindarin and Noldorin, syllabic nasals at the beginning of words developed the vowel a, so that [ṃ-/ṇ-/ŋ̣-] became [am-/an-/aŋ-]. A clear description of this sound change occurs in the notes on ambar vs. umbar from the 1950s:

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 15)


OS. initial [ml], [mr] became [bl], [br]; [m{lr}-] > [b{lr}-]

In Noldorin and Gnomish there are a number of examples of initial mr- becoming br-; this sound change must have occurred after unstressed initial syllables were reduced to favored clusters. This same sound change occurs in the history of Welsh, sometime between Proto-Keltic and Britannic (WGCH/§99ii). Some Gnomish and Noldorin examples: