September 2019

Quenya Phonetics P7: spirants became stops after [r], [l]

Q. spirants became stops after [r], [l]; [{rl}{ɸθxð}] > [{rl}{ptkd}]

After liquids r, l many spirants that arose from either aspirates or voiced stops once again became stops. Tolkien described these phonetic developments in several place in the Outline of Phonology [OP2] from the 1950s. For aspirates > voiceless spirants > voiceless stops after liquids:

Quenya Phonetics P6: intervocalic [j] diphthongized after long vowel

Q. intervocalic [j] diphthongized after long vowel; [V̄jV] > [VijV]

In cases where j survived between vowels (specifically after long vowels), it expanded into ij to form a diphthong with the preceding vowel. Tolkien described this development in the Outline of Phonetic Development [OP1] from the 1930s:

Quenya Phonetics P4: [ei], [ou] generally became [ī], [ū]

Q. [ei], [ou] generally became [ī], [ū]; [ei|ou] > [ī|ū]

The diphthongs ei, ou usually simplified to long ī, ū in Quenya. This change was not universal, however, and these diphthongs occasionally developed into other sounds, but the conditions under which the variant developments occurred as well as the resulting sounds gradually evolved throughout Tolkien’s life.

In the Early Qenya of the 1910s and 20s the common phonetic development was ei, ou > ai, au, such as:

Ancient Quenya Phonetics P2.5: later [j], [w] became [i], [u] before consonants

This article is posted out of order. It should be a very ancient sound change, but I didn’t notice it was missing until after all the other Ancient Quenya Phonetics posts. The order will be fixed in the next release of Eldamo.

AQ. later [j], [w] became [i], [u] before consonants; [VjC|VwC] > [ViC|VuC]

Fantie Anarwa To Silindo


Si *alasenya, vanima, ar *ráfima emma tana alta morna rinde to Silindo palúre. Náse Silindo *ráno, Io, leo hatina i *rando palúrenna lan fantanes Anar. Io ná faren laháya yo alta, ar Anar neme titta (an Silindo ná vahaiya Anarello), epetai Io pole aqua fanta Anar, ar i leo kanta laika.


Solar Eclipse on Jupiter


Quenya Phonetics P2: [ŋ] vanished between [i], [u] and [n] with compensatory lengthening

Q. [ŋ] vanished between [i], [u] and [n] with compensatory lengthening; [{iu}ŋn] > [V̄øn]

In Quenya, the velar nasal [ŋ] vocalized between i, u and n, producing long ī, ū in the process: iñn, uñn > īn, ūn. Tolkien described this sound change in both the Outline of Phonetic Development [OP1] from the 1930s and the Outline of Phonology [OP2] from the 1950s: