PARMA ELDALAMBERON 20
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
presents previously unpublished writings by J. R. R.
Tolkien concerning an early version of one of his
invented scripts. These have been edited and
annotated by Arden R. Smith, under the guidance of
Christopher Tolkien and with the permission of the
The Qenya Alphabet is an
edition of Tolkien's charts and notes from circa 1931 dealing
with the earliest version of the script essentially of
the conceptual type he would later call "FŽanorian
Tengwar" and eventually include in The Lord of the Rings.
This issue of Parma
Eldalamberon contains 40 documents in which
Tolkien's examples of the scripts are reproduced in
The documents include different versions of a detailed
explanation of the use of the script for representing
English, both phonetically (as it was designed to be
used) and also according to English spelling.
These have charts of the theoretical values of the
sounds represented by the letters, and various English
words and texts written in the scripts.
There are also various specimen texts written by Tolkien
in the Qenya Alphabet.
These exemplify some conceptual changes in the mode or assignment
of phonetic values to particular letters. There is
also a great variety of different styles of writing,
ranging from formal "book-hand" to rapidly written
Most of these examples are in English, but there are
also texts in Latin,
and Old High
German. Transcriptions of the examples
and editorial commentary on the dating and historical
background are provided.
Eldalamberon Issue Number 20 is a
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Photocopies of issues 1
through 5 are available from the
collection of cover art, title pages and other
artists Patrick Wynne and Adam Christensen
page design, colorization and
animations © 2001
- 2002 Adam Victor Christensen