Qenya Alphabet



Parma 20 Cover

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  The current issue presents previously unpublished writings by J. R. R. Tolkien concerning an early version of one of his invented scripts.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 Tolkien Estate.

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 facsimile. 

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 cursive. 

Most of these examples are in English, but there are also texts in Latin, Old English and Old High German.  Transcriptions of the examples and editorial commentary on the dating and historical background are provided

Parma Eldalamberon Issue Number 20  is a 160-page journal.
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