Van. approximants produced various spirants; [w̥|j̊|pj||tj|xtj|stj|zj|dj] > [f|ʃ|pʃ|tʃ|ʃtʃ|ʃtʃ|ʒ|dʒ]

Van. approximants produced various spirants; [w̥|j̊|pj||tj|xtj|stj|zj|dj] > [f|ʃ|pʃ|tʃ|ʃtʃ|ʃtʃ|ʒ|dʒ]

In Vanyarin the voiced and voiceless forms of the approximants [w] and [j] often developed into spirantal forms [f], [ʃ] and [ʒ] (IPA “ezh”, not “yogh” = [ɣ] as it was often used by Tolkien). These sometime assimilated other nearby sounds to spirants as well. These spirants were characteristic of Vanyarin pronounciation.

In normal Quenya orthography, the voiceless w sound [w̥] was represented as hw. In Vanyarin, it further developed into the voiceless labial-dental spirant [f] (PE17/75, 79). This spirant was a single consonant initially and finally, but a long [ff] medially (PE19/88).

Similarly, the voiceless y sounds [j̊], represented as hy, developed into voiceless post-alveolar spirant [ʃ], pronounced like “sh” in English “shush” (PE17/75, 79). After voiceless stops in the combinations py and ty, the AQ. voiced y was partly unvoiced in Quenya and fully unvoiced in Vanyarin, so that it also developed to [ʃ] in Vanyarin (PE17/86). The combination ky did not occur, since already in AQ. velars were dentalized before [j] so that primitive ✶ky became AQ. ty. Regardless of its origin, this ty in Vanyarin developed into affricate [tʃ], a sound like the “ch” in English “church” (PE17/75, 86).

In the combination hty [xtj], the shift of [tj] to [tʃ] also assimilated the preceding voiceless velar spirant [x] forward to post-alveolar [ʃ], so that the combination was pronounced [ʃtʃ] in Vanyarin (PE17/84). For example, (ᴹQ.) ehtyar [extjar] “spearman” was pronounced like “eshchar” [eʃtʃar] in Vanyarin. Similarly, in the combination sty, the s was spirantalized to [ʃ] (PE17/87), so that (ᴹQ.) istya [istja] “knowledge” was pronounced like “ishcha” [iʃtʃa].

In the combinations [zj] and [dj], the voiced [j] developed into the voiced post-alveolar spirant [ʒ]. The results were [ʒ] and [dʒ] respectively, the former pronounced like the “z” in English “azure” or the “s” in “fusion”, while the latter is pronounced like English “j” in “judge”. In one place, Tolkien suggested the word Quenya itself as an example of this development, with AQ. Quendya [kwendja] becoming normally Quenya [kwenja], but in the Vanyarin dialect Quenja [kwendʒa] (WJ/361). Elsewhere, however, he rejected this particular development, stating that in AQ. and in all later dialects the form of this word was Quenya (PE19/94).

In all other combinations (such as between vowels), surviving voiced w and y remained unchanged in Vanyarin.

References ✧ PE19/75, 79, 84, 86-88, 92-93, 96-97, 100, 102, 107


Phonetic Rule Elements

[j̊] > [ʃ] ✧ PE19/75 (hy > š)
[pj] > [pʃ] ✧ PE19/86 (py > )
[tj] > [tʃ] ✧ PE19/75 (ty > [tš]); PE19/86 (ty > ); PE19/92 (ty > [tš])
[xtj] > [ʃtʃ] ✧ PE19/84 (hty > [štš])
[stj] > [ʃtʃ] ✧ PE19/87 (sty > štš)
[w̥] > [f] ✧ PE19/75 (hw > f); PE19/79 (hw > f; @@@ from ✶sw-)
[-hw-] > [-ff-] ✧ PE19/88 (hw > ff; medially)
[zj] > [ʒ] ✧ PE19/102 (zy > ž)
[dj] > [dʒ] ✧ PE19/92 (dy > [dž]); PE19/93 (rdy > rdž)

Lin. approximants produced various spirants; [w̥|j̊|pj||tj|xtj|stj|zj|dj] > [f|ʃ|pʃ|tʃ|ʃtʃ|ʃtʃ|ʒ|dʒ]

References ✧ PE19/18, 31, 34-35, 41, 43-44, 46, 51

Phonetic Rule Elements

[j̊] > [ʃ]
[pj] > [pʃ]
[tj] > [tʃ]
[xtj] > [ʃtʃ]
[stj] > [ʃtʃ]
[w̥] > [f]
[-hw-] > [-ff-]
[zj] > [ʒ]
[dj] > [dʒ]