Westron was the first language of Gondor. The nobility usually learned Sindarin, and used it to be polite to other nobles and strangers alike. 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, which is 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 correct, but forcibly so.
Other sound shifts
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, Christopher Gilson (ed.), "Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings", published in Parma Eldalamberon 17 (July 2007), page 100
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347 (dated December 17, 1972)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl", note 49
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King, Appendix E
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 144 (dated April 25, 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", note 51
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor", published in Vinyar Tengwar 42 (July 2001), pages 5-31, esp. 27