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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:31 pm 
Avisaru
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I now have a website for my Khuzdul expansion at https://sites.google.com/site/quasikhuzdul/.

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EDIT (11/18/11): I've removed the content of my Khuzdul analysis from this thread. Much of it was outdated, and there are updates on my web site.

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Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:42 pm 
Sumerul
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Vardelm wrote:
Tolkien's Dwarves have some cultural features that parallel the Jewish people
They live underground?

Srsly though, what are these features?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:56 pm 
Avisaru
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From Wikipedia, which conveniently has quotes, references, etc. that I've seen from other sources:

Wikipedia wrote:
According to The History of the Hobbit, Tolkien was now influenced by his own selective reading of medieval texts regarding the Jewish people and their history. The dwarves' characteristics of being dispossessed of their homeland (the Lonely Mountain, their ancestral home, is the goal the exiled Dwarves seek to reclaim), and living among other groups whilst retaining their own culture are all derived from the medieval image of Jews, whilst their warlike nature stems from accounts in the Hebrew Bible. Medieval views of Jews also saw them as having a propensity for making well-crafted and beautiful things, a trait shared with Norse dwarves.

The Dwarven calendar invented for The Hobbit reflects the Jewish calendar in beginning in late autumn.

When writing The Lord of the Rings Tolkien continued many of the themes he had set up in The Hobbit. When giving Dwarves their own language (Khuzdûl) Tolkien decided to create an analogue of a Semitic language influenced by Hebrew phonology. Like medieval Jewish groups, the Dwarves use their own language only amongst themselves, and adopted the languages of those they live amongst for the most part, for example taking public names from the cultures they lived within, whilst keeping their "true-names" and true language a secret. Along with a few words in Khuzdûl, Tolkien also developed Dwarven writing (Cirth) runes of his own invention. Tolkien further underlines the diaspora of the Dwarves with the lost stronghold of the Mines of Moria.

Tolkien also elaborated on Jewish influence on his Dwarves in a letter: "I do think of the 'Dwarves' like Jews: at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue..."

In the last interview before his death, Tolkien, after discussing the nature of Elves, briefly says of his Dwarves: "The dwarves of course are quite obviously, wouldn't you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic, obviously, constructed to be Semitic."

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Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:59 pm 
Sumerul
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Interesting!

Also, I think this project is interesting, though I wouldn't be much help, unless you have a question regarding Hebrew.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:14 pm 
Avisaru
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Astraios wrote:
I wouldn't be much help, unless you have a question regarding Hebrew.

Eventually, I will have many! Welcome aboard! :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:14 pm 
Smeric
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I really like the idea. I'm not versed in Hebrew or Arabic, so I'm no help there.

But I do like the idea of "filling in" the missing sounds with those from Arabic/Hebrew.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:24 am 
Smeric
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I'm writing this while reading, so excuse me for writing in a way that trails back and forth.

Vardelm wrote:
If you look at 13-17 with the typical English pronunciation, it seems to be an alveolar series.

You mean postalveolar, right? Anyway, I'm looking at my own Finnish appendix, and it says that adding one stroke makes the glyph voiced, mirroring it makes it a fricative, and "adding a stroke to both sides makes it voiced and nasal". So one can deduct that 13 and 15 are unvoiced, while 14, 16 and 17 are voiced, 15 and 16 are fricatives while 17 is nasal. The question is, if 15 and 16 are fricatives, then what are 13 and 14? They could be either postalveolar plosives /t̠ d̠/ or affricates /tʃ dʒ/ if affricates group with the plosives. Anyway, so my guess is that 13-16 are /tʃ dʒ ʃ ʒ/. But is also says in my appendix that "13 and 15 were used for denoting s or h depending on if 35 was used for denoting s or h". So I'm confused. When it comes to 17 (it says "nj-z" in the appendix, and that the value to the right of the dash is the one used by the dwarves), I'm just gonna throw out some guesses: /n̠ ɲ ⁿz z̃ z/.

It says that the dwarves removed 14 and 16 and replaced them with 29 and 30. 34, 35 and 54 got the values h, ' (apparently a glottal stop which only appears before vowels) and s. Then it says that this lead to 12 getting the value r (strange since it's previous value was n, and neither n or r seem to have anything to do with 14, 16, 34, 35 or 54). The new glyph 53 was invented to denote n (because 12 just lost it's value of n). Ah, then it says they started to use 17 for z so that it would match the s value of 54 (they look the same except that 17 has one more stroke, which would denote voicing, so it seems that 17 indeed is /z/).

Gah, it's getting complicated. Anyway, from what I can gather from the appendix, the dwarves had at least the following phonemes:
Code:
/   n            ŋ    /
<   22/53        36   >

/   ⁿd           ⁿɡ ʔ /
<   33           37 35>

/      dʒ ⁿdʒ         /
<      29 38          >

/s  z  ʒ      ç     h /
<54 17 30     41    34>

/      r              /
<      12             >

/a  ö  y/
<55 56 40>

I'm not sure about the nature of those phonemes I've marked as prenasalized. They are all transcribed with digraphs beginning with n. 41 is transcribed <hy>, so I'm guessing that's /ç/. The one marked y, I'm not sure if it's the vowel /y/ or the consonant /j/. There is already a vowel denoted ü (45) which to me suggests /y/, but 39 could apparently be both /i/ and /j/. <A> and <ö> stand for vowels whose qualities I don't know. It says "The new 55, 56 were originally halved forms of 46 and they were used for denoting a and ö type of vowels, which were common in both the Dwarven Tongue and Westron." In Finnish <a> is /ɑ/ and <ö> is /ø̞/. But that's so not enough information. Then it also says: "When they were weak and hardly audible, they were marked with just a stroke without the bar." To me it sounds like these vowels also had unvoiced versions.

Then there's the dwarves of Erebor, which had an even different orthography. Which one is Khuzdûl, or are both it?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:02 am 
Avisaru
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Qwynegold wrote:
You mean postalveolar, right?

Yes, you are correct. Sorry for the confusion!


Qwynegold wrote:
The question is, if 15 and 16 are fricatives, then what are 13 and 14? They could be either postalveolar plosives /t̠ d̠/ or affricates /tʃ dʒ/ if affricates group with the plosives. Anyway, so my guess is that 13-16 are /tʃ dʒ ʃ ʒ/.

That's exactly what you would think if you only read the section on the Certhas. However, there's a monkey wrench....

Tolkien writes at the beginning of the chapter, regarding pronunciation, that "CH is only used to represent the sound heard in bach (in German or Welsh), not that in English church." This is repeated several times throughout the appendix. The only indication that 13 & 14 are postalveolar affricates /tʃ dʒ/ is that they are found in this particular series.


Qwynegold wrote:
Gah, it's getting complicated.

Then there's the dwarves of Erebor, which had an even different orthography. Which one is Khuzdûl, or are both it?

Yeah. "Tolkienian" linguistics says "hello". :?

For the moment, I was thinking it would be best to focus on just the 13-17 & 23-28 series as added by the Noldor of Eregion since that's where all the changes start. Otherwise, if we take every change all at once, it is indeed confusing and overwhelming.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:29 pm 
Avisaru
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Vardelm wrote:
Classical Arabic
Image


I don't know much about the history of Arabic phonology, but what is the source of this? I'm suspicious because to my *untrained* eye, this seems like a mixture of pre-Islamic and post-Koranic phonology. But again, untrained eye.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:42 pm 
Avisaru
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Zayk wrote:
I don't know much about the history of Arabic phonology, but what is the source of this? I'm suspicious because to my *untrained* eye, this seems like a mixture of pre-Islamic and post-Koranic phonology. But again, untrained eye.

It may very well be. I don't count myself as an expert, for sure. It's from Wikipedia, plus a bit of cross-checking against "Koranic & Classical Arabic" by Thackston. Feel free to provide corrections!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Perhaps you might find this useful, if you haven't already read it?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:40 pm 
Avisaru
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Dewrad wrote:
Perhaps you might find this useful, if you haven't already read it?

Thank you. It's a great link, but I am very familiar with that article and have had extensive discussions with Magnus about Khuzdul. He actually mentions my name in there as well. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:03 am 
Niš
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There's a lot of talk on the Elfling Yahoo Group going way back.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/

I started my own group, but it fizzled out.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dwarfling/

People talk about Sumerian and Hebrew, and wikipedia even says something about Hurrian. Do a little research, sure.

But the most important thing is to see what's out there then actually make something substantial. The problem with developing Dwarvish is that Tolkein is dead and all anybody ends up doing is talking about it, not actually doing anything. Just make sure your results are accessible. Put them on Scribd, make a website, announce it here.

http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/khuzdul.htm

This is the best link I remember. There's another one from Wikipedia that looks good.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:22 am 
Avisaru
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hieroglyphs wrote:
There's a lot of talk on the Elfling Yahoo Group going way back.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/

I started my own group, but it fizzled out.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dwarfling/

I was on both of these. I also just posted pretty much the same questions about the certhas I listed above on Elfling.


hieroglyphs wrote:
But the most important thing is to see what's out there then actually make something substantial. The problem with developing Dwarvish is that Tolkein is dead and all anybody ends up doing is talking about it, not actually doing anything. Just make sure your results are accessible. Put them on Scribd, make a website, announce it here.

Absolutely. You can take a look at my Tibetan Dwarvish website (on Google Sites) to see about what I would have in mind.

As far as what's out there, Helge's article on Ardalambion (which you mentioned) and Magnus' article are about all there is besides the ~50 Khuzdul words we have plus a few quotes about Dwarves and Khuzdul by Tolkien. The effort at expanding the vocabulary done at Turbine for Lord of the Rings Online was actually not too bad, given that it was an effort by someone who knew little about linguistics. There have been a few other, small-size expansions that are just flat-out awful.

I'm very familiar with what little exists about Khuzdul. I've spent the last 10 years or so looking for it. I even wrote to the library at Marquette University and the Bodleian library to see if they were aware of anything in the papers they have about Khuzdul.

What I need right now is someone who knows about Quenya & Sindarin in particular to answer the questions about about the certhas. That's why I've also mailed the Elfling list about this. If I can get some answers, that should allow a consonant inventory to be established that is more than just guesswork. After the consonants and vowels are done, the rest of the phonology actually shouldn't be too hard to work on.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:19 am 
Smeric
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Vardelm wrote:
Qwynegold wrote:
The question is, if 15 and 16 are fricatives, then what are 13 and 14? They could be either postalveolar plosives /t̠ d̠/ or affricates /tʃ dʒ/ if affricates group with the plosives. Anyway, so my guess is that 13-16 are /tʃ dʒ ʃ ʒ/.

That's exactly what you would think if you only read the section on the Certhas. However, there's a monkey wrench....

Tolkien writes at the beginning of the chapter, regarding pronunciation, that "CH is only used to represent the sound heard in bach (in German or Welsh), not that in English church." This is repeated several times throughout the appendix. The only indication that 13 & 14 are postalveolar affricates /tʃ dʒ/ is that they are found in this particular series.

Oh, I see. Hmm, maybe he changed his mind about the phoneme inventory, but some of the old material got in the book? :P

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:39 am 
Avisaru
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Qwynegold wrote:
Oh, I see. Hmm, maybe he changed his mind about the phoneme inventory, but some of the old material got in the book? :P

Tolkien change his mind? NEVER!!! :roll:

The constant evolution (changing his mind) of his languages are part of Tolkien's genius, but also exactly what makes studying his conlangs frustrating. It's really not so different from everyone here. How many times have all of us changed the languages we work on? Very, very often. It's just that most of us never do it on the scale that Tolkien did.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:12 am 
Avisaru
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EDIT (11/18/11): I've removed the content of my Khuzdul analysis from this thread. Much of it was outdated, and there are updates on my web site.

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Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:16 am 
Sanci
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Astraios wrote:
Vardelm wrote:
Tolkien's Dwarves have some cultural features that parallel the Jewish people
They live underground?

Srsly though, what are these features?

C'mon man, they have beards, live in insular communities and speak of nothing but their return from exile. Not only are they Jews, they're Chassidim!
(and they also love gold to a crazy extent, let's forget about that though)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:46 am 
Smeric
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Vardelm wrote:
the word sharbhund

What does it mean?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:40 pm 
Avisaru
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Qwynegold wrote:
Vardelm wrote:
the word sharbhund

What does it mean?

Best guess out there is "Bald Hill" since the Elven word for it (Sindarin I think) is Amon Rûdh and that's the translation. There's nothing that directly says what it means, so it could very well be something else.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:12 am 
Smeric
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Ah, OK.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:48 pm 
Avisaru
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EDIT (11/18/11): I've removed the content of my Khuzdul analysis from this thread. Much of it was outdated, and there are updates on my web site.

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Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:40 am 
Avisaru
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Vardelm wrote:
In appendix E, Tolkien writes that the vowels should be "approximately" pronounced as "i, e, a, o, u in English machine, were, father, for, brute". I think this was mostly as a guide for Sindarin, since that is most of the names in LotR. Additionally, he says that "as far as can be determined the sounds represented by these letter (other than y) were of normal kind, though doubtless many local varieties escape detection." I think then that I won't stress overly much on the exact pronunciation of vowels.

I'm not sure what "e" in English "were" is supposed to be, exactly, but I would guess / ɛ /. Maybe??? It's hard to say, and Quenya apparently has / e /, so that's not out of the realm of possibility.


When I first read appendix E at the age of twelve I thought JRRT meant that /e/ was [3], which confused me greatly.

Anyway, AFAIK short /e o/ in Quenya are opener than their long counterparts, and of the same quality as long and short /e o/ in Sindarin.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:13 am 
Avisaru
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Nancy Blackett wrote:
When I first read appendix E at the age of twelve I thought JRRT meant that /e/ was [3], which confused me greatly.

And still does for me! It's a bit unfortunate that, in quite a few instances, he chooses to illustrate a vowel sound with a word that has a "r" in the coda. :roll:


Nancy Blackett wrote:
Anyway, AFAIK short /e o/ in Quenya are opener than their long counterparts, and of the same quality as long and short /e o/ in Sindarin.

Yep. My understanding is that Quenya has /e/ vs /ɛ/ and /o/ vs. /ɔ/, where Sindarin has /ɛ ɛː ɔ ɔː/. Based on that, my hope is that choosing the vowels I did also helps distinguish Khuzdul a little more from the Elven languages. Tolkien's vowel systems don't seem to have all that much differentiation, though.

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Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:57 pm 
Avisaru
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EDIT (11/18/11): I've removed the content of my Khuzdul analysis from this thread. Much of it was outdated, and there are updates on my web site.

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Tibetan Dwarvish - My own ergative "dwarf-lang"

Quasi-Khuzdul - An expansion of J.R.R. Tolkien's Dwarvish language from The Lord of the Rings


Last edited by Vardelm on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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