Westron was the first language of Gondor. The nobility usually learned Sindarin, and used it to be polite to other nobles and strangers alike. Although an ancient form of Sindarin was taught in school (and regarded in high esteem), its daily use corrupted it in comparison to the Sindarin as spoken by the Elves. Because it was both an acquired and a learned language, it had some notable differences with "regular" Third Age Sindarin.
The y was pronounced by Sindarin Elves as IPA [y], a close front rounded vowel. Of all languages, only Sindarin had this sound, so it was problematic for speakers of other tongues. Gondorians generally pronounced it as an i, though it was sometimes substituted with an e, as in the Gondorian plural for onod, ened (rather than the usual enyd).
The most notable use of the voiceless velar fricative was in the name of Gondor's new northern neighbour, Rohan. Originally envisioned as Rochand, in Gondor this became Rohan. Though the tongue of the Éothéod did possess the voiced ch, it adopted the southern use. The voiced velar fricative, found in Rochand, was pronounced as a sounded h, while the voiceless variant, at the end of words, was pronounced as a k. Those very learned would pronounce them correctly, but forcibly so.
Another notable difference from regular Sindarin was purely philological. Those Gondorians learned in lore wished to speak like Noldor, and the Sindarin they spoke in the First Age was North Sindarin. At least one feature from North Sindarin was reintroduced: whereas "true Sindarin of the Elves" changed both the voiced and voiceless combination of a sonorant consonant and a spirant to a long sonorant, the Gondor Sindarin retained the spirant. Thus in the case of the former, malt ("gold") and orn ("tree") became Mallorn, in Gondor this remained Malthorn.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings: Eldarin Roots and Stems", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), page 100
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972)
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages", Note #74
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", note 49
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Pronunciation of Words and Names", "Vowels"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 144, (dated 25 April 1954)
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 297, (dated August 1967)
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", note 51
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, pages 5-31, esp. 27
- ↑ Carl F. Hostetter, The Two Phonetic Values of ll in Elvish Sindarin in The Lord of the Rings, published on Tengwestië, December 7, 2003
|Languages in Tolkien's works|
|Elvish languages||Avarin · Common Eldarin · Nandorin · Primitive Quendian · Quenya (Exilic · Valinorean · Vanyarin) · Silvan · Sindarin (Doriathrin · Falathrin · Númenórean · Mithrim · Old) · Telerin|
|Mannish languages||Adûnaic · Dalish · Drúedainic · Dunlendish · Pre-Númenórean · Rohirric · Taliska · Westron (Hobbitish)|
|Dwarvish languages||Iglishmêk · Khuzdul|
|Other languages||Black Speech · Entish · Orkish · Valarin · Warg-language|
|Earlier legendarium||Gnomish · Ilkorin · Noldorin (Kornoldorin) · Qenya|
|Outside the legendarium||Animalic · Arktik · Mágol · Naffarin · Nevbosh|
|Scripts||Angerthas/Cirth (Daeron · Erebor · Moria) · Gnomic Letters · Goblin Alphabet · Gondolinic Runes · Moon-letters · Tengwar · Sarati · Valmaric script|
|"A Secret Vice" (book) · "The Lhammas" · "The Tree of Tongues" · Sub-creation|