Sindarin Phonetics

My analysis of the Sindarin phonology is based mainly on David Salo’s work on it and the Noldorin language in A Gateway to Sindarin (GS/31-72). I have only partly analyzed the phonology of the existing Sindarin corpus, and I have not yet compared it to the phonology of earlier Noldorin or Gnomish, nor to its real-world counterpart Welsh. The results here should only be considered a very rough draft.


  p-series t-series k-series
voiceless-stops [p] [t] [k] ‹c›
voiced-stops [b] [d] [g]
voiceless-spirants [f] ‹f, ph› [s] [θ] ‹th› [h] [x] ‹ch›
voiced-spirants [v] ‹v, f› [ð] ‹dh› [ɣ] ‹gh›
nasals [m] [n] [ŋ] ‹ñ›
voiceless-continuants [w̥] [l̥] [r̥]
voiced-continuants [w] [l] [r] [j] ‹i›

vowels [i] [y] [e] [œ] [a] [o] [u]
long-vowels [ī] [ē] [ā] [ō] [ȳ] [ū]
diphthongs [ae] [ai] [ei] [oe] [ui] [au]
others [ou] [ø]

Phonetic Groups

Phonetic Rules

[mw] became [mm] [mw] > [mm]
initial nasals vanished before stops [{mb|nd|ŋg}-] > [{bdg}-] 00100
final nasals vanished after vowels [-V{mn}] > [-Vø] 00200
[ę̄] became [ai] [ę̄] > [ai] 00300
[ls] became [lθ] [ls] > [lθ] 00400
initial [s] vanished before spirants [s{ɸθx}-] > [{ɸθx}-] 00500
initial voiceless [j̊] became [x] [j̊-] > [x-] 00600
voiced stops became spirants after liquids [{rl}{bdg}] > [{rl}{vðɣ}] 00700
[zb], [zg] became [ðβ], [ðɣ] [z{bg}] > [ð{βɣ}] 00800
initial [w] became [gw] [w-] > [gw-] 00900
voiced stops became spirants after vowels [V{bdg}] > [V{vðɣ}] 01000
[x], [ɸ] vocalized between a vowel and [s], [θ] [{ieau}{ɸx}{θs}|o{ɸx}{θs}] > [{ieau}i{θs}|ou{θs}] 01100
short [i], [u] became [e], [o] preceding final [a] [-{ĭŭ}{C|CC}a] > [-{eo}{C|CC}a] 01200
[ɣ] vocalized before [l], [r], [m], [n] [{ieaou}ɣ{lrmn}] > [{ieaou}i{lrmn}] 01300
[iu] became [ȳ] [{ij}u] > [ȳ] 01400
[ɸ], [β] became [f], [v] [ɸ|β] > [f|v] 01500
[ou] became [au] [ou] > [au] 01600
[ɣ] otherwise vanished [ɣ] > [ø] 01700
[n] plus [m] became [mm] [m+m] > [n+m] 01800
medial [j] became [i] [-j-] > [-i-] 01900
short [u] often became [o] [ŭ|uC{uw}|u{mn}] > [o|uC{uw}|u{mn}] 02000
short [e], [o] became [i], [u] in syllable before final [i] [-{ĕŏ}{C|CC}i] > [-{iu}{C|CC}i] 02100
short [a], [o], [u] became [e], [œ], [y] preceding [i] [{ăŏŭ}{C|CC}{i|ei|œi}] > [{eœy}{C|CC}{i|ei|œi}] 02200
short final vowels vanished [-S{ĭĕăŏŭ}] > [-Sø] 02300
final [i] intruded into preceding syllable [-V̆Ci|-Sĭ] > [-ViC|-Sø] 02400
[ǭ] became [au] [ǭ] > [au] 02500
[ai], [oi] became [ae], [oe] [ai|oi] > [ae|oe] 02600
voiceless stops voiced after vowels [V{ptk}] > [V{bdg}] 02700
later [ei] became [ai] in final syllables [-eiC|-ei] > [-aiC|-ai] 02800
short vowels vanished before morpheme boundaries [-C{ĭĕăŏ}] > [-Cø] 02900
nasals vanished before spirantal clusters [{mnŋ}{fθxs}{lr}] > [ø{fθxs}{lr}] 03000
middle consonants vanished in clusters [CCC] > [CC] 03100
final [mɸ], [nθ], [ŋx], [lθ] became [mp], [nt], [ŋk], [lt] [-{mɸ|nθ|ŋx|lθ}] > [-{mp|nt|ŋk|lt}] 03200
[ð] vanished before nasals [ð{mnŋ}] > [ø{mnŋ}] 03300
medial [mɸ], [nθ], [ŋx], [lθ] became [mm], [nn], [ŋg], [ll] [-{mɸ|nθ|ŋx|lθ}-] > [-{mm|nn|ŋg|l̥l̥}-] 03400
[nr] became [ðr] [nr] > [ðr] 03500
initial [x-] became [h-] [x-] > [h-] 03600
initial [hl], [hr] became [l̥], [r̥] [h{lr}-] > [{l̥r̥}-] 03700
[st] became [s] before a consonant [stC] > [sC] 03800
long vowels shortened before clusters [V̄CC] > [V̆CC] 03900
medial [s] became [θ] before [l], [r] [-s{lr}-] > [-θ{lr}-] 04000
[bm], [dn] became [mm], [nn] [bm|dn] > [mm|nn] 04100
[ɣ] became [i] between [l], [r] and vowel [{lr}ɣV] > [{lr}iV] 04200
final [ɣ], [β] became [a], [u] after a consonant [-C{βɣ}] > [-C{ua}] 04300
[au], [ae] became [o], [e] in polysyllables [ˌau|ˌae] > [o|e] 04400
[wo] became [o] [wo] > [o] 04500
non-initial [m] usually became [v] [Vm|{lrð}m|mm] > [Vv|{lrð}v|mm] 04600
non-initial [h] vanished [Xh] > [Xø] 04700
final [w], [v] vanished after [u] [-u{vw}] > [-u] 04800
final [v] became [w] after [ae], [ī] [-Vv] > [-Vw] 04900
[lð] became [ll] [lð] > [ll] 05000
[mb], [nd] became [mm], [nn] [mb|nd] > [mm|nn] 05100
[rs] became [ss] [rs] > [ss] 05200
long voiceless spirants shortened [θθ|xx] > [θ|x] 05300
[mm] shortened [mm] > [m] 05400
[œ] became [e] [œ] > [e] 05500
final [l], [r] sometimes became syllabic [-C{lr}] > [-Co{lr}] 05600
final [w] usually became [u] [-C{vw}|-aw] > [-Cu|-au] 05700
[awa] became [au] [awa] > [au] 05800
final [ll], [nn], [ss] shortened in polysyllables [-SS{ll|nn|ss}] > [-SS{l|n|s}] 05900
long consonants shortened before another consonant [llC|nnC|ssC] > [lC|nC|sC] 06000
short vowels lengthened in monosyllables [C*V̆C] > [C*V̄C] 06100
final [rr] became [r] [-rr] > [-r] 06200
long [i] shortened before [w] [īw] > [iw] 06300
final [vn] generally became [von] [] > [] 06400
voiceless nasals were voiced [m̥|n̥] > [m|n] 06500
final [v] sometimes became [u] ? [-v?|-v?] > [-u?|-w?] 06600
medial [x] became [h] in Gondorian pronunciation [-x-|xt] > [-h-|xt] 06700
[sk] became [sg] except after [u] [{aeio}sk] > [{aeio}sg] 06800