The forthcoming issue is a collection of early writings by J.R.R. Tolkien concerning his invented languages and scripts, edited and annotated by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne and Bill Welden, under the guidance of Christopher Tolkien and with the permission of the Tolkien Estate.
Sí Qente Feanor is a prose excerpt written in Qenya. It was composed by Tolkien in the same notebook that contains the tale called “The Nauglafring” and the Gnomish Grammar. Other writings from the Lost Tales period presented in this issue include a list of Qenya and Gnomish “Names and Required Alterations” connected with “The Cottage of Lost Play”; two charts laying out the sound system of Gnomish; and various early notes on Elvish words and names not found anywhere else. Editorial commentary is provided on the connections of these texts with the contemporary tales and lexicons.
Early Runic Documents is an edition of Tolkien’s charts and notes from about 1918 to 1925 dealing with runes and various rune-like alphabets. Tolkien’s examples of the scripts are reproduced in fascimile – charts of the sounds represented by the letters, and Elvish words and English texts written in the scripts. These include English and Gothic runes; Gondolinic runes; and two invented scripts, one called simply “Runic” and the other called “Gnomic Letters”. Transcriptions of the examples, and commentary on the dating and historical background are provided.
Tables of Early Qenya Pronouns provide a glimpse of the transition in the conception of the language between the Lost Tales period and the “Early Qenya Grammar” that Tolkien composed while at Leeds.
And closely connected with the grammar we also present an English-Qenya Dictionary which Tolkien began to compile at this time; and from about the same period a partial Index of Names for “The Lay of the Children of Húrin”. Detailed annotations and commentary on the conceptual developments are included in this edition of these texts.