For the Second Edition

This is a page devoted to the errors that I’ve found in my book (big ones, not typos!) and features that I’m thinking of adding to the next edition. If you have any ideas for the next edition, send me a message and we can talk about it.

Tengwar and Cirth

This has been the most consistent critique and request that I’ve gotten. People really want to be able to write those pretty letters. So, I will be adding the material from the Teitho Edhellen course into the next edition of the book. I may work with some of the tengwar and Cirth experts and make another book just about all of the different writing systems though.

Plurals of Ancient -jā Words

This one I’ve been headdesking myself over missing ever since I found it. The secondary analyses miss the new material on this topic from PE17 because they were published before it was, and I found some of it, but missed a very important part.

So, I already knew that if there was an ancient Sundóma of I in the word, it’d be AI/EI>Î in the plural. I’d found a word with an ancient Sundóma of E, so I thought that perhaps the sound change for this must have been much, much later than I’d assumed.

I was wrong. I missed the only example of a plural of an ancient -jā word with a Sundóma of A. So, this is what my new thoughts on this are.

The -jā suffix, when combined with the plural -i, became ī. This cancels out the A-affection on the vowels. Therefore, Sundómar of I and E become I, A becomes AI/EI, O and U become Y.
The order of the sound changes is thus:

  1. A-affection, high vowel lowering
    /i/ → /ɛ/
    /u/ → /ɔ/
  2. I-affection part 1, only for the vowel of the syllable previous to the I, only if the I is word final, mid vowel raising
    /ɛ/ → /i/
    /ɔ/ → /u/
  3. I-affection part 2, vowel fronting
    /u/ → /y/
    /ɔ/ → /œ/
    /ɑ/ → /ɛ/
  4. I-infixing + loss of final vowels, word final /i/ attaches to the back end of the closest vowel, whether it duplicates itself first or not is hotly debated.
    VCi# → ViC#
  5. I-assimilation, diphthongs /œj/ and /ej/ become /uj/ and /ɑj/. /i/s following high front vowels completely assimilate with them, making them into long vowels if they are in mono-syllabic words.
    /yi/ → /yː/
    /ii/ → /iː/
    /œi/ → /uj/
    /ej/ → /ɑj/

Here’s a chart, because you guys know how much I love charts!

Common Eldarin 1 2 3 4 5
s. balarjā “of Beleriand” balaria balaria beleria beleir belair
pl. balarī balari balari beleri beleir belair
s. telerjā “of the Teleri” teleria teleria teleria teleir telair
pl. telerī teleri teliri teliri telir telir
s. kirjā “ship” keria keria keria keir cair
pl. kirī kiri kiri kiri kiir cîr
s. phorjā “right-handed, northern” foria foria fœria fœir fuir
pl. phorī fori furi fyri fyir fŷr
s. runjā “foot-print” ronia ronia rœnia rœin ruin
pl. runī runi runi ryni ryin rŷn

More Stuff Dealing with Ancient -jā Words

This does mean a few other changes as well.

Suffixes that start with vowels would cancel the I-infixing, but keep the I-affection. Here are the words with -ath added.

  • Beleriath
  • Teleriath
  • Ciriath
  • Feriath
  • Reniath

Suffixes that start with consonants would delete the -jā entirely. Here are the words with -rim added.

  • Balarrim
  • Telerrim
  • Cirrim
  • Forrim
  • Runrim

That’s what I have so far. These changes won’t be added to the lessons until the second edition comes out.

Final A from Ancient G Plurals

This is a more minor change. It comes about from long discussion. It’s not 100% certain at this point, since the examples are from Noldorin, an earlier abandoned version of Sindarin.

This interweaves with the above charts.

  1. Intervocalic voiced stops become fricatives
    /b/ → /β/
    /d/ → /ð/
    /g/ → /ɣ/
  2. I-affection part 1, only for the vowel of the syllable previous to the I, only if the I is word final, mid vowel raising
    /ɛ/ → /i/
    /ɔ/ → /u/
  3. I-affection part 2, vowel fronting
    /u/ → /y/
    /ɔ/ → /œ/
    /ɑ/ → /ɛ/
  4. Voiced Velar Fricative before a high front vowel assimilates with that vowel, making it a long vowel.
    /ɣi/ → /i:/
  5. Word final short vowels are lost
    /V/ → ∅
  6. Final syllable’s vowel de-lengthening
    /V:/ → /V/

Let’s run this through with two different words: fela “cave” from ancient felgā and madha “mud” from ancient mazgō.

Common Eldarin 1 2 3 4 5 6
felgī “caves” felȝi filȝi filȝi filī filī fili
mazgī “muds” maðȝi maðȝi meðȝi meðī meðī medhi

Past Tense for I-Verbs

These two are very small changes.

Basically, the idea is that the ancient suffix -nē didn’t become n_i but n_e in Sindarin. Thus, you don’t have to worry about I-affection in the past tense of I-verbs that end with stops. We only have one sample from a late-Sindarin word, and the I-affection version comes from Noldorin, so this is what we’re going with for now.

The other change is the idea that the -e which made U into O in Sindarin I-verbs was still around for the Vowel duplication, so the past tense of verbs like tol which came from ancient tule would be odúle- instead of udúle-.

Dative Case Mutations

I mentioned that there were some other ideas with the dative pronouns and mutation with the dative preposition an, ideas that allowed for less confusion and make the words easier to tell apart. Well, I caved, and switched to that system. Unless Parma Eldalamberon #23 blows the lid off of this idea, this is what I’ll go with for now.

1 Comment

  1. Shihali | | Reply

    There is a book-wide typo: instead of initial apostrophe ’ in lenited Sindarin words like _i ’ond_, the book has opening single quote ‘ like ‘open’ or (visually) Hawaiʻian spelling. I also think the book would look more professional set two points smaller than the Amazon paperback edition I bought. The current book seems in-between normal books and large type.

    More explanation of historical development for mutations would be nice, although I’m sure many students just want to memorize the rules and not understand how they came to be.

    Grammars with exercises by topic are rarer than I thought in the 1800s and early 1900s, although there are a few for lesser-studied languages like Duroiselle’s for Pali. The primer I found contained a table of contents by part of speech listing where each topic was covered by section (not page) number. So whether you go with “grammar” or “primer” organization in the next edition, a ToC with the other ordering would help. I learn principles adequately from either approach, but the “primer” order seems much more popular nowadays. A workbook with more examples would also be appreciated.

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