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. I-affection part 1, mid vowel raising
    /ɛ/ → /i/
    /ɔ/ → /u/
  2. A-affection, high vowel lowering
    /i/ → /ɛ/
    /u/ → /ɔ/
  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” balariā balariā beleria beleir belair
pl. balarī balarī balarī beleri beleir belair
s. telerjā “of the Teleri” teleriā teleriā teleria teleir telair
pl. telerī telerī telerī teliri telir telir
s. kirjā “ship” kiriā keriā keria keir cair
pl. kirī kirī kirī kiri kiir cîr
s. phorjā “right-handed, northern” furiā foriā fœria fœir fuir
pl. phorī furī furī fyri fyir fŷr
s. runjā “foot-print” runiā roniā rœnia rœin ruin
pl. runī runī runī 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.

1 comment

  1. 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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