2015 – Parma Eldalamberon XXII: The Feanorian Alphabet, Part 1 and Quenya Verb Structure

“The Feanorian Alphabet, Part 1” — This is the earliest and longest version of a detailed description of this writing system dating from the late 1930s. Four modes of use are described for representing different invented languages — Lindarin Qenya, Parmaqestarin, Old Noldorin, and Beleriandic — for the second of which there is also a revised version of the text from the 1940s. There are tables for each mode with the letters used and their names. Examples are given from the various languages, in tengwar with transcriptions, to illustrate different points of usage and certain historical changes that affected the writing system.

“Qenya Spelling” is the surviving portion of a Qenya Grammar closely contemporary with the early version of “The Feanorian Alphabet.” It describes the spelling of the written language in the Feanorian writing system and the transcription of its sounds in the Latin alphabet according to the usage of Ælfwine. Based on this, and placed with it by Tolkien, are 6 versions of a short text called “On Ælfwine’s Spelling.” The latest of these has emendations that probably date from around 1950.

“Quendian & Common Eldarin Verb Structure” probably dates from the 1940s. It describes the etymological background to the grammatical structure of the Quenya verb and its prehistoric connections with the verbal systems of the other Elvish languages. Placed with it and perhaps originally intended as a continuation is the “Quenya Verbal System.” This is part of a Quenya Grammar probably dating from the 1940s. It describes the formation of the various tense stems and participles of the Quenya verb and their inflexions for number and voice, with some notes on syntax, and a section on “Irregular Verbs.”

“Common Eldarin: Verb Structure” is a revision and elaboration of the Quendian and Common Eldarin material, dating from approximately 1950. This is a companion piece to “Common Eldarin: Noun Structure” published in Parma Eldalamberon, no. 21, both being parts of a projected comparative grammar of the Eldarin languages. In the late 1960s Tolkien was planning a further revision of these materials.

“Late Notes on Verb Structure” is an assortment of texts, dating from 1969, dealing with Tolkien’s revised conceptions of verbal inflexion for tense, verbal substantives and adjectives, conditional expressions, and the negative verb.

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