Tolkien: Elvish Grammar and Letters


Presentation by Andrea Sternberg-Holfeld

Class Topic: Artificial Languages

SS 2002, University of Kassel

Instructor: Ipsen







Tolkien constructed both his elvish languages with a well-developed grammar. But, unfortunately, he never wrote a comprehensive elvish grammar. Some rules Tolkien explained in appendixes to his books or in his letters, but many rules must be interfered from Tolkien's elvish texts. As the languages evolved, he again and again revised both grammar and vocabulary. This results in inconsistencies and not all grammatical features of the elvish languages are yet fully understood, thus leaving space for speculation, interpretation and new inventions. The grammar part of this essay is mostly based on the very detailed web sites on the languages of Tolkien by Helge Kåre Fauskanger: Quenya und Sindarin