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:

Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 11)


OS. [ɣ] became [g] before nasals and liquids; [ɣ{mnlr}] > [g{mnlr}]

In the Old Noldorin of the 1930s and 1940s, the voiced velar spirant [ɣ] evolved into [g] before nasals [m] and [n]; the same seems to be true of [ŋ], though Tolkien’s notation is unclear. This development is discussed in Tolkien’s notes on the Feanorian Alphabet from the 1940s:

G+ LoME Zipped Archive

For those of you who would like to have a local copy of the saved posts from our Languages of Middle-Earth community on Google Plus, you can download the zipped archive of individual HTML files plus 2 index pages here.

In the meantime I am working on a way to extract the date and title info from the posts so that I can share it as a browsable archive here on Aglardh.


Download the archive here




Sindarin Phonetic Development (Part 10)


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 9)


OS. first in pair of voiced stops vocalized; [Vb{bdg}|Vg{bdg}] > [Vu{bdg}|Vi{bdg}]

In Sindarin and Noldorin, the first consonant of a pair of voiced stops became a vowel, but the exact phonetic development evolved between the two conceptual periods. The clearest description of the Sindarin change is in the Outline of Phonology [OP2] from around 1950: