I don't know if anybody has asked this before, but was the Common Speech ("translated" by Tolkien to English) an Elven toungue, or did it evolve from men? Also, what language did the people of Dunland speak?
From: Sector ZZ plural Z alpha | Registered: Feb 2003
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From the Peoples of Middle Earth: The Appendix on Languages
quote:S6 The Common Speech of the West in those days I have represented by English. This noble tongue had spread in the course of time from the kingdoms of Fornost and Gondor, and the hobbits preserved no memory of any other speech; but they used it in their own manner, in their daily affairs very much as we use English; though they had alsways at command a richer and more formal language when occasion required, or when they had dealings with other people. This more formal and archaic style was still the normal use in the realm of Gondor (as they discovered) and among the great in the world outside the Shire.
I believe it is safe to say that the Common Speech was of Mannish origins.
quote:S14 ...In the Dunland also the Dulnendings, a dwindling people, remnant of those who dwelt in western Rohan before the coming of the Rohimmir, still clung to their own speech. This was wholly unlike the Westron, and was descended, as it seems, from some other Mannish tongue, not akin to the Atani, Fathers of Men. A simliar and kindred language was probably once spoken in Bree.
Most of what we do know in this regard can be found in an essay of Tolkien's called 'Of Dwarves and Men' in a section called the: 'Languages of the Atani' published in the volume: The Peoples of Middle-earth.
Here is some background information to set up what we know about the histories of the tongues of the Common Speech and of the Dunlendings.
quote:Men entered Beleriand late in the First Age. Those with whom we are here concerned and of whose languages some records later were preserved belonged mostly to three peoples, differing in speech and in race, but known in common to the Eldar[Elves] as the Atani...The peoples of the Eldar named the Folk of Beor, the Folk of Hador and the Folk of Haleth, after the names of the chieftains who commanded them when they first came to Beleriand... -p. 306 'Languages of the Atani' The Peoples of Middle-earth
Of these houses of men 2 of their languages were akin while another was separate and distinctly alien:
quote:Nonetheless they[The Folk of Hador] were akin to the Folk of Beor, as was shown by their speech. It needed no lore of tongues to percieve that their languages were closely related, for although they could understand one another only with difficulty they had very many words in common. -p. 308 'Languages of the Atani' The Peoples of Middle-earth
quote:The Folk of Haleth were strangers to the other Atani, speaking an alien language; and though later united with them in alliance with the Eldar they remained a people apart. -p. 308 'Languages of the Atani' The Peoples of Middle-earth
And it is that 'people apart' who became the Dunlendings and it is for this reason their language was so different in the Third Age:
quote:Thus many of the forest-dwellers of the shorelands south of the Ered Luin, especially in Minhiriath, were las later historians recognized the kin of the Folk of Haleth; but they became bitter enemies of the Numenoreans[mostly the folk of Hador and Beor who has passed over the sea to settle on an island prepared for them], because of their ruthless treatment and the devestation of the forests[for lumber for ships], and this hatred remained unappeased in their descendants causing them to join with any enemies of Numenor. In the Third Age their survivors werethe people known in Rohan as the Dunlendings.-p. 314 'Languages of the Atani' The Peoples of Middle-earth
THE COMMON SPEECH:
The language of the Folk of Hador and Beor who had at the end of the First age settled on the island of Numenor(for the most part) changed from their original tongues though kinship with those who remained as far as language was still obvious and later after the destruction of Numenor(at the end of the Second Age) especially when the 'Faithful' resettled on Middle-earth and the Exilic kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor where established their 'Adunaic' began to spread and change until it became what we noe know as the 'Westron' or 'Common Speech':
quote:There was also the matter of language. It was six hundred years after the departure of the Atani oversea to Numenor that a ship came first to Middle-earth again out of the west and passed up the Gulf of Lune...At the first meeting of the Shipmen[Numenoreans] and the Men of western Eriador it was only six hundred years since the Atani went oversea, and the Adunaic they they spoke can hardly have changed at all; but it was a thousand years or more since the Atani who reached Beleriand had parted from their kin... As the long years passed the situation changed. The ancient Adunaic of Numenor became worn down by time - and by neglect...The Sindarin was not taught to aliens both because it was held to be a mark of Numenorean descent and because it proved difficult to acquire - far more so than the 'vulgar tongue'[Adunaic]. Thus it came about that as the Numenorean settlements increased in power and extent and made contact with the Men of Middle-earth the 'vulgar tongue' began to spread far and wide as a lingua franca among the peoples of many different kinds...Within the original bounds of the Kingdoms the 'vulgar speech' soon became the current speech, and eventually the native language og nearly all the inhabitants of whatever origin and the incomers who were allowed to settle within the bounds usually adopted it. Its speakers generally called it Westron... -p. 314-16 'Languages of the Atani' The Peoples of Middle-earth
THE INFLUENCE OF 'DWARVISH' AND 'ELVISH':
The original tongue of the Houses of Hador and Beor which became Aduniac, the language of Numenor, nevertheless was or at least does appear to have been influenced early in its development by both Dwarven and Elven tongues no doubt due to early contact with both such peoples before we have first mention of them in the 'histories'. In another essay by Tolkien's this time published in the volume: Sauron Defeated the probable influences of these two on the Mannish Tongue and as a result on Adunaic and subsequently Westron are mentioned and gone into to some detail here is an excerpt:
quote:But I guess that originally, or far back beyond these records, Avallonian[Quenya] and Adunaic were in some way related. It is in fact clear now that Avallonian is the Nimriye[Elvish] or the 'Nimrian toungue' refered to in the very early texts that we have managed to get concerning the Downfall. In that case it must be the language of the Nimir[Elves] or a western form of it, and so be the ultimate source of the languages of Men in the west of the Old World. Perhaps I should rather say that glimpses of the 'Nimrian tongue' that we have received show us a language, itself doubtless much changed, that is directly descended from the primeval Nimrian[primitive Elvish]. From that Nimrian in a later stage, but still older than the Avallonian, the ancestor of Adunaic can be partly derived. But Adunaic then for a long time developed quite independantly. Also I think it came under some different influence. This influence I call Khazadian[Dwarvish]... -p. 414 'Lowdhams Report on the Adunaic Language' Sauron Defeated
Now my fingers are very tired so I will summarize this with a simple graphic:
[ 04-19-2003, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: Fingolfin of the Noldor ]
From: Worcester, MA | Registered: Nov 2000
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This is a good summary of the history of some of the languages of man. I wonder what the Easterling and the Haradian mannish language wwas like.
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000
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