Parma Eldlamberon Issue 17 
 
 

PARMA ELDALAMBERON 17


Words, Phrases
and Passages
in Various Tongues in
The Lord of the Rings

by J. R. R. TOLKIEN


Parma Eldalamberon 'The Book of Elven-tongues' is a journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship,  a special interest group of the Mythopoeic Society.  The current issue is a commentary by J. R. R. Tolkien from the late 1950s and early 1960s concerning the words and names from his invented languages incorporated into The Lord of the Rings.  This commentary has been edited and annotated by Christopher Gilson, with the permission and guidance of Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate.
"Words, Phrases and Passages" is a collection of notes on the Quenya, Sindarin, Dwarvish, Rohirric and Black Speech examples occurring in The Lord of the Rings, with detailed translations and syntactic explanations, together with a discussion of the etymologies of the various words and names.  For the Elvish examples these are traced back to their Common Eldarin roots.  The entries were arranged by Tolkien in the order in which the words and phrases occurred in the story and this arrangement has been preserved in this edition. 

Although Tolkien never completed the commentary as originally planned, he retained the more cursory list of words and names from which he was working; and he continued to compose further notes on the grammar and history of the Elvish words and names in the story.  Many of these were placed together with "Words, Phrases and Passages," and the main commentary has been supplemented by these notes in this edition.  Together these texts give the clearest picture we have of how Tolkien conceived of his linguistic inventions in the forms they were revealed to his readers. 

In many of the notes in "Words, Phrases and Passages" Tolkien expresses hesitation about his preliminary explanations, or notices discrepancies between elements occurring in more than one context.  The notes show how his reconsideration at this time of his invented languages sometimes led to revisions in the text of The Lord of the Rings as it was published in the 2nd edition of 1965.  They also show how Tolkien achieved new insights into the etymological explanation of certain words and names.

Many of the entries in "Words, Phrases and Passages" mention the roots of the Elvish components under discussion, and this edition includes an index of these roots.  During this period Tolkien also compiled several lists and collections of roots and the words derived from them.  These etymologies have been combined with the index into a single list alphabetically arranged by root, providing a fairly comprehensive overview of his conception of the stock of basic elements that underlie the Elvish languages.

The entries in "Words, Phrases and Passages" have been annotated to point out their connections with the examples of Tolkien's invented languages included in his other writings, such as The Silmarillion; Unfinished Tales; Letters; and The History of Middle-earth.  This edition also includes an index, arranged by language, of all words and phrases that are glossed within the entries of main list and the list of roots.


Cover art by Patrick H. Wynne.


Parma Eldalamberon Issue Number 17  is a 220-page journal. 


Issue 17 is 
Out of Print


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A retrospective collection of cover art, title pages and other
illustrations by artists Patrick Wynne and Adam Christensen 
appear in the Eldalamberon Gallery
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