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Parma Eldalamberon #18 (PE18)

— Unfinished; J.R.R. Tolkien, (editors) Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne, Arden R. Smith; 2009


The eighteenth issue of Parma Eldalamberon. This issue includes two versions of the Tengwesta Qenderinwa, a work that describes the common primitive structures of the Elvish languages. Tolkien began writing the first version (TQ1, PE18/23-68) in the late 1930s and the second (TQ2, PE18/71-107) in the early 1950s as a revision of the first. PE18 also contains an article on pre-Fëanorian alphabets from the 1920s, a continuation of the first article on this topic from PE16.

The second version of the Tengwesta Qenderinwa (TQ2) still predates Tolkien’s reorganization of the Elvish languages into Quenya and Sindarin, though early evidence of this change appear in the document, such as the name Sindarin for the Elves of Beleriand. The two main languages are still Quenya (Q.) spoken only by the Vanyar and Noldorin (N.) spoken by the Noldor, as it was in the Etymologies. The “Sindarin” of this document remains in the same continuum with the Beleriandic languages of the Etymologies (Ilkorin and Doriathrin), and is labeled “Bel.” (Beleriandic) in this lexicon.

The TQ2 document is problematic for this lexicon’s divisions of Tolkien’s conceptual development, since it lies on the cusp between the Middle (1930-1950, pre-Sindarin) and Late (after 1950, post-Sindarin) Periods. To simplify comparison with later Quenya and Sindarin words, this lexicon labels the Noldorin words in TQ2 as Late Noldorin (ᴸN) or Late Old Noldorin (ᴸON), but groups them with Sindarin and Old Sindarin. This makes it easier to compare the information in TQ2 to earlier phonology documents, including TQ1 and OP1 (PE19/29-67). This also appropriately puts TQ2 in the same period as the second Outline of Phonology document (OP2) from PE19/68-107.

References are by page number; the first 2 digits of the decimal value are the line number, and the last 2 digits are the word position in the line.