Tengwar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Tengwa)
Jump to: navigation, search
Tengwar
Tengwar.svg
The word "Tengwar" written using the Tengwar script in the Quenya mode
Type
Alternative abugida or alphabet according to the "mode"
Languages a number of Tolkien's constructed languages, Quenya and Sindarin, English
Creator J. R. R. Tolkien
Time period
1930s–present
Parent systems
Sarati
  • Tengwar
Direction Left-to-right
ISO 15924 Teng, 290
First article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English, written with a spelling-based pointed mode of tengwar.

The Tengwar[1] are an artificial script created by J. R. R. Tolkien. Within the fictional context of Tolkien's legendarium, the tengwar were invented by the Elf Fëanor, and used first to write the Elven tongues Quenya and Telerin. Later a great number of languages of Middle-earth were written using the tengwar, including Sindarin. Tolkien used tengwar to write English: most of Tolkien's tengwar samples are actually in English.

Fictional history and terminology[edit]

According to The War of the Jewels (Appendix D to Quendi and Eldar), Fëanor, when he created his script, introduced a change in terminology. He called a letter, i.e. a written representation of a spoken phoneme (tengwë) a tengwa. Previously, any letter or symbol had been called a sarat (from *sar "incise"). The alphabet of Rúmil of Valinor, on which Fëanor supposedly based his own work, was known as sarati. It later became known as "Tengwar of Rúmil".

The plural of tengwa was tengwar, and this is the name by which Fëanor's system became known. Since, however, in commonly used modes, an individual tengwa was equivalent to a consonant, the term tengwar in popular use became equivalent to "consonant sign", and the vowel signs were known as ómatehtar. By loan-translation, the tengwar became known as tîw (singular têw) in Sindarin, when they were introduced to Beleriand. The letters of the earlier alphabet native to Sindarin were called cirth (singular certh, probably from *kirte "cutting", and thus semantically analogous to Quenya sarat). This term was loaned into exilic Quenya as certa, plural certar.

Nonfictional history[edit]

Precursors[edit]

The sarati, a script developed by Tolkien in the late 1910s and described in Parma Eldalamberon 13, anticipates many features of the tengwar: vowel representation by diacritics (which is found in many tengwar varieties); different tengwar shapes; and a few correspondences between sound features and letter shape features (though inconsistent).

Even closer to the tengwar is the Valmaric script, described in Parma Eldalamberon 14, which Tolkien used from about 1922 to 1925. It features many tengwar shapes, the inherent vowel [a] found in some tengwar varieties, and the tables in the samples V12 and V13 show an arrangement that is very similar to one of the primary tengwar in the classical Quenya "mode".

Jim Allan (An Introduction to Elvish, ISBN 0-905220-10-2) compared the tengwar with the Universal Alphabet of Francis Lodwick of 1686, both on grounds of the correspondence between shape features and sound features, and of the actual letter shapes.

Tengwar[edit]

The inscription on the One Ring, written in the Black Speech of Mordor using tengwar

The tengwar were probably developed in the late 1920s or in the early 1930s. The Lonely Mountain Jar Inscription, the first published Tengwar sample, dates to 1937 (The Hobbit, most editions with colour plates). The full explanation of the tengwar was published in Appendix E of The Lord of the Rings in 1955.

The Mellonath Daeron Index of Tengwar Specimina (DTS) lists most of the known samples of tengwar by Tolkien.

There are only few known samples predating publication of The Lord of the Rings (many of them published posthumously):

Description[edit]

The tengwar table, with the name of each tengwa.

Letters[edit]

The most notable characteristic of the tengwar script is that the shapes of the letters correspond to the distinctive features of the sounds they represent. The Quenya consonant system has 5 places of articulation: labial, dental, palatal, velar, and glottal. The velars distinguish between plain and labialized (that is, articulated with rounded lips, or followed by a [w] sound). Each point of articulation, and the corresponding tengwa series, has a name in the classical Quenya mode. Dental sounds are called Tincotéma and are represented with the tengwar in column I. Labial sounds are called Parmatéma, and represented by the column II tengwar; velar sounds are called Calmatéma, represented by column III; and labialized velar sounds are called Quessetéma, represented by the tengwar of column IV. Palatal sounds are called Tyelpetéma and have no tengwa series of their own, but are represented by column III letters with an added diacritic for following [j].

Similarly shaped letters reflect not only similar places of articulation, but also similar manners of articulation. In the classical Quenya mode, row 1 represents voiceless stops, row 2 voiced prenasalized stops, row 3 voiceless fricatives, row 4 voiceless prenasalized stops, row 5 nasal stops, and row 6 approximants.[2]

Regularly formed letters[edit]

Most letters are constructed by a combination of two basic shapes: a vertical stem (either long or short) and either one or two rounded bows (which may or may not be underscored, and may be on the left or right of the stem).

These principal letters are divided into four series ("témar") that correspond to the main places of articulation and into six grades ("tyeller") that correspond to the main manners of articulation. Both vary among modes.

Each series is headed by the basic signs composed of a vertical stem descending below the line, and a single bow. These basic signs represent the voiceless stop consonants for that series. For the classical Quenya mode, they are /t/, /p/, /k/ and /kʷ/, and the series are named tincotéma, parmatéma, calmatéma, and quessetéma, respectively; téma means "series" in Quenya.

In rows of the general use, there are the following correspondences between letter shapes and manners of articulation:

  • Doubling the bow turns the voiceless consonant into a voiced one.
  • Raising the stem above the line turns it into the corresponding fricative.
  • Shortening it (so it is only the height of the bow) creates the corresponding nasal. In most modes, the signs with shortened stem and single bow do not correspond to the voiceless nasals, but to the approximants.

In addition to these variations of the tengwar shapes, there is yet another variation, the use of stems that are extended both above and below the line. This shape may correspond to other consonant variations required. Except for some English abbreviations, it is not used in any of the better known tengwar modes, but it occurs in a Qenya mode where the tengwa Parma with extended stem is used for /pt/ and the tengwa Calma with extended stem is used for /kt/.[3] The tengwar with raised stems sometimes occur in glyph variants that look like extended stems, as seen in the inscription of the One Ring.

Here is an example from the parmatéma (the signs with a closed bow on the right side) in the "general use" of the tengwar:

Parmatéma.png
  • The basic sign, named parma, (with descending stem) represents /p/ (it happens to look much like the Latin letter P).
  • With the bow doubled, umbar, it represents /b/.
  • With a raised stem, formen, it represents /f/.
  • With a raised stem and a doubled bow, ampa, it represents generally /v/ but possibly /mp/ (depending upon the language).
  • With a short stem and double bow, malta, it represents /m/.
  • With short stem and single bow, vala, it represents /w/, or /v/ if that has the phonological behaviour of a sonorant (as e.g. in Quenya).

In some languages such as Quenya, which do not contain any voiced fricatives other than "v", the raised stem + doubled bow row is used for the very common nasal+stop sequences (nt, mp, nk, nqu). In such cases, the "w" sign in the previous paragraph is used for "v". In the mode of Beleriand, found on the door to Moria, the bottom tyellë is used for nasals (e.g., vala is used for /m/) and the fifth tyellë for doubled nasals (malta for /mm/).

Irregularly formed letters[edit]

There are additional letters that do not have regular shapes. They may represent, e.g., /r/, /l/, /s/ and /h/. Their use varies considerably from mode to mode. Some aficionados have added more letters not found in Tolkien's writings for use in their modes.

Tehtar[edit]

Tehtar

A tehta (Quenya "marking") is a diacritic placed above or below the tengwa. They can represent vowels, consonant doubling, or nasal sound.

As Tolkien explained in the ROTK appendix, the tehtar for vowels resemble Latin diacritics: circumflex (î) /a/, acute (í) /e/, dot (i) /i/, left curl (ı̔ ) /o/, and right curl (ı̓ ) /u/. (Some languages without /o/, such as the Black Speech, use left curl ı̔ for /u/; other languages reverse the signs for /e/ and /i/.) A vowel occurring alone is drawn on the vowel carrier, which resembles dotless i (ı) for a short vowel or dotless j (ȷ) for a long vowel.

Modes[edit]

Three modes of tengwar
Yellow: Classical mode
Pink: Mode of Beleriand
Grey: General mode

Just as with any alphabetic writing system, every specific language written in tengwar requires a specific orthography, depending on the phonology of that language. These tengwar orthographies are usually called modes. Some modes follow pronunciation, while others follow traditional orthography.

Some modes map the basic consonants to /t/, /p/, /k/ and /kʷ/ (classical mode in chart at right), while others use them to represent /t/, /p/, /tʃ/ and /k/ (general mode at right).

Ómatehtar[edit]

In some modes, called ómatehtar (or vowel tehtar) modes, the vowels are represented with diacritics called tehtar (Quenya for 'signs'; corresponding singular: tehta, 'sign'). These ómatehtar modes can be loosely considered abjads rather than true alphabets. In some ómatehtar modes, the consonant signs feature an inherent vowel. These ómatehtar modes can be considered alphasyllabaries.

Ómatehtar modes can vary in that the vowel stroke can be placed either on top of the consonant preceding it, as in Quenya, or on the consonant following, as in Sindarin, English, and the notorious Black Speech inscription on the One Ring. The other main difference is in the fourth tyellë below, where those letters with raised stems and doubled bows can be either voiced fricatives, as in Sindarin (general mode at right), or nasalized stops, as in Quenya (classical mode).

Full writing[edit]

In the full writing modes, the consonants and the vowels are represented by Tengwar. Only one such mode is well known. It is called the "mode of Beleriand" and one can read it on the Doors of Durin.

Modes for various languages[edit]

Since the publication of the first official description of the Tengwar at the end of The Lord of the Rings, others have created modes for other languages such as English, Spanish, German, Swedish, French, Finnish, Italian, Hungarian and Welsh. Modes have also been devised for other constructed languages; Esperanto and Lojban.

Tolkien has used multiple modes for English, including full writing and ómatehtar alphabetic modes, phonetic full modes and phonetic ómatehtar modes known from documents published after his death.

Encoding schemes[edit]

Tengwar letters encoding
Name Image CSUR Unicode Designation annotation Legacy Transliteration
tinco tinco U+E000 U+1xy00 TENGWAR LETTER TINCO
parma parma U+E001 U+1xy01 TENGWAR LETTER PARMA
calma calma U+E002 U+1xy02 TENGWAR LETTER CALMA
quessë quessë U+E003 U+1xy03 TENGWAR LETTER QUESSE
ando ando U+E004 U+1xy04 TENGWAR LETTER ANDO
umbar umbar U+E005 U+1xy05 TENGWAR LETTER UMBAR
anga anga U+E006 U+1xy06 TENGWAR LETTER ANGA
ungwë ungwë U+E007 U+1xy07 TENGWAR LETTER UNGWE
súlë / thúlë súlë / thúlë U+E008 U+1xy08 TENGWAR LETTER THUULE (suule)
formen formen U+E009 U+1xy09 TENGWAR LETTER FORMEN
harma / aha harma / aha U+E00A U+1xy0A TENGWAR LETTER HARMA (aha)
hwesta hwesta U+E00B U+1xy0B TENGWAR LETTER HWESTA
anto anto U+E00C U+1xy0C TENGWAR LETTER ANTO
ampa ampa U+E00D U+1xy0D TENGWAR LETTER AMPA
anca anca U+E00E U+1xy0E TENGWAR LETTER ANCA
unquë unquë U+E00F U+1xy0F TENGWAR LETTER UNQUE
númen númen U+E010 U+1xy10 TENGWAR LETTER NUUMEN
malta malta U+E011 U+1xy11 TENGWAR LETTER MALTA
noldo / ñoldo noldo / ñoldo U+E012 U+1xy12 TENGWAR LETTER NOLDO (ngoldo)
nwalmë / ñwalmë nwalmë / ñwalmë U+E013 U+1xy13 TENGWAR LETTER NWALME (ngwalme)
órë órë U+E014 U+1xy14 TENGWAR LETTER OORE
vala vala U+E015 U+1xy15 TENGWAR LETTER VALA
anna anna U+E016 U+1xy16 TENGWAR LETTER ANNA
vilya / wilya vilya / wilya U+E017 U+1xy17 TENGWAR LETTER VILYA (wilya)
rómen rómen U+E018 U+1xy20 TENGWAR LETTER ROOMEN
arda arda U+E019 U+1xy21 TENGWAR LETTER ARDA
lambë lambë U+E01A U+1xy22 TENGWAR LETTER LAMBE
alda alda U+E01B U+1xy23 TENGWAR LETTER ALDA
silmë silmë U+E01C U+1xy24 TENGWAR LETTER SILME
silmë nuquerna silmë nuquerna U+E01D U+1xy25 TENGWAR LETTER SILME NUQUERNA
essë / áre/áze essë / áre/áze U+E01E U+1xy26 TENGWAR LETTER AARE (aaze, esse)
essë nuquerna / áre/áze nuquerna essë nuquerna / áre/áze nuquerna U+E01F U+1xy27 TENGWAR LETTER AARE NUQUERNA (aaze n., esse n.)
hyarmen hyarmen U+E020 U+1xy28 TENGWAR LETTER HYARMEN
hwesta sindarinwa hwesta sindarinwa U+E021 U+1xy29 TENGWAR LETTER HWESTA SINDARINWA
yanta yanta U+E022 U+1xy2A TENGWAR LETTER YANTA
úrë úrë U+E023 U+1xy2B TENGWAR LETTER UURE
halla halla U+E024 U+1xy2C TENGWAR LETTER HALLA
telco telco U+E025 U+1xy2D TENGWAR LETTER SHORT CARRIER
ára ára U+E026 U+1xy2E TENGWAR LETTER LONG CARRIER
Tengwar ligatures and extended letters encoding
Name Image CSUR Unicode Designation annotation Legacy Transliteration
U+E027 U+1xy35 TENGWAR LETTER ANNA SINDARINWA
U+E028 U+1xy18 TENGWAR LETTER EXTENDED THUULE
U+E029 U+1xy19 TENGWAR LETTER EXTENDED FORMEN
U+E02A U+1xy1A TENGWAR LETTER EXTENDED HARMA
U+E02B U+1xy1B TENGWAR LETTER EXTENDED HWESTA
U+E02C U+1xy1C TENGWAR LETTER EXTENDED ANTO
U+E02D U+1xy1D TENGWAR LETTER EXTENDED AMPA
U+E02E U+1xy1E TENGWAR LETTER EXTENDED ANCA
U+E02F U+1xy1F TENGWAR LETTER EXTENDED UNQUE
U+E030 U+1xy70 TENGWAR LETTER STEMLESS OORE (digit zero)
U+E031 U+1xy31 TENGWAR LETTER STEMLESS VALA
U+E032 U+1xy32 TENGWAR LETTER STEMLESS ANNA
U+E033 U+1xy71 TENGWAR LETTER STEMLESS VILYA (digit one)
Tengwar accents encoding
Name Image CSUR Unicode Designation annotation Legacy Transliteration
amatixe 3 amatixe 3 U+E040 U+1xy40 TENGWAR SIGN THREE DOTS ABOVE
unutixe 3 U+E041 U+1xy41 TENGWAR SIGN THREE DOTS BELOW
amatixe 2 amatixe 2 U+E042 U+1xy42 TENGWAR SIGN TWO DOTS ABOVE
unutixe 2 unutixe 2 U+E043 U+1xy43 TENGWAR SIGN TWO DOTS BELOW
amatixe 1 amatixe 1 U+E044 U+1xy44 TENGWAR SIGN AMATICSE (dot above)
unutixe 1 unutixe 1 U+E045 U+1xy45 TENGWAR SIGN NUNTICSE (dot below)
tecco tecco U+E046 U+1xy46 TENGWAR SIGN ACUTE (andaith, long mark)
U+E047 U+1xy48 TENGWAR SIGN DOUBLE ACUTE
rempe rempe U+E048 U+1xy4A TENGWAR SIGN RIGHT CURL
U+E049 U+1xy4E TENGWAR SIGN DOUBLE RIGHT CURL
rempenuquerna rempenuquerna U+E04A U+1xy4C TENGWAR SIGN LEFT CURL
U+E04B U+1xy4F TENGWAR SIGN DOUBLE LEFT CURL
amatwe amatwe U+E04C U+1xy50 TENGWAR SIGN NASALIZER
unuatwe unuatwe U+E04D U+1xy51 TENGWAR SIGN DOUBLER
U+E04E U+1xy52 TENGWAR SIGN TILDE
U+E04F U+1xy53 TENGWAR SIGN BREVE
U+E050 U+1xy60 TENGWAR PUSTA (putta, stop)
U+E051 U+1xy61 TENGWAR DOUBLE PUSTA (putta)
U+E052 U+1xy65 TENGWAR EXCLAMATION MARK
U+E053 U+1xy66 TENGWAR QUESTION MARK
U+E054 U+1xy68 TENGWAR SECTION MARK
U+E055 U+1xy69 TENGWAR LONG SECTION MARK
thinnas thinnas U+E056 U+1xy57 TENGWAR SIGN LONG CARRIER BELOW
U+E057 U+1xy49 TENGWAR SIGN DOUBLE ACUTE BELOW
U+E058 U+1xy4B TENGWAR SIGN RIGHT CURL BELOW
U+E05A U+1xy4D TENGWAR SIGN LEFT CURL BELOW
sarince sarince U+E05C TENGWAR SIGN LEFT FOLLOWING SILME
U+E05D TENGWAR SIGN RIGHT FOLLOWING SILME
Tengwar digits encoding
Name Image CSUR Unicode Designation annotation Legacy Transliteration
0 U+E030 U+1xy70 TENGWAR LETTER STEMLESS OORE (digit zero) 0
1 U+E033 U+1xy71 TENGWAR LETTER STEMLESS VILYA (digit one) 1
2 U+E062 U+1xy72 TENGWAR DIGIT TWO 2
3 U+E063 U+1xy73 TENGWAR DIGIT THREE 3
4 U+E064 U+1xy74 TENGWAR DIGIT FOUR 4
5 U+E065 U+1xy75 TENGWAR DIGIT FIVE 5
6 U+E066 U+1xy76 TENGWAR DIGIT SIX 6
7 U+E067 U+1xy77 TENGWAR DIGIT SEVEN 7
8 U+E068 U+1xy78 TENGWAR DIGIT EIGHT 8
9 U+E069 U+1xy79 TENGWAR DIGIT NINE 9
10 U+E06A U+1xy7A TENGWAR DUODECIMAL DIGIT TEN
11 U+E06B U+1xy7B TENGWAR DUODECIMAL DIGIT ELEVEN
U+E06C TENGWAR DECIMAL BASE MARK
U+E06D TENGWAR DUODECIMAL BASE MARK
U+E06E U+1xy7D TENGWAR DUODECIMAL LEAST SIGNIFICANT DIGIT MARK

Non-Unicode[edit]

The contemporary de facto standard in the tengwar user community maps the tengwar characters onto the ISO 8859-1 character encoding following the example of the tengwar typefaces by Dan Smith. This implies a major flaw: If no corresponding tengwar font is installed, a string of nonsense characters appears.

Since there are not enough places in ISO 8859-1's 191 codepoints for all the signs used in tengwar orthography, certain signs are included in a "tengwar A" font which also maps its characters on ISO 8859-1, overlapping with the first font.

For each tengwar diacritic, there are four different codepoints that are used depending on the width of the character which bears it.

Other tengwar typefaces with this encoding include Johan Winge's Tengwar Annatar, Måns Björkman's Tengwar Parmaitë, Enrique Mombello's Tengwar Élfica or Michal Nowakowski's Tengwar Formal (note that most of these differ in details).

The following sample shows the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written in English, according to the traditional English orthography. It should look similar to the picture at the top of the page, but if no tengwar font is installed, it will appear as a jumble of characters because the corresponding ISO 8859-1 characters will appear instead.

j#¸ 9t&5# w`Vb%_ 6EO w6Y5 e7`V`V 2{( zèVj# 5% 2x%51T`Û 2{( 7v%1+- 4hR 7EO 2{$yYO2 y4% 7]F85^ 2{( z5^8I`B5$I( 2{( dyYj2 zE1 1yY6E2_ 5^( 5#4^(7 5% `C 8q7T1T W w74^(692^H --

Note: Some browsers may not display these characters properly.

Unicode[edit]

Tengwar
Range U+E000..U+E07F
(128 code points)
Plane BMP
Scripts Artificial Scripts
Major alphabets Tengwar
Assigned 93 code points
Unused 35 reserved code points
Note: Part of the Private-Use Area, font conflicts possible[4]

A proposal has been made by Michael Everson to include the tengwar in the Unicode standard. The codepoints are subject to change; the range U+016080 to U+0160FF in the SMP is tentatively allocated for tengwar according to the current Unicode roadmap.

Tengwar are currently included in the unofficial ConScript Unicode Registry, which assigns codepoints in the Private Use Area. Tengwar are mapped to the range U+E000 to U+E07F; see External links. The following Unicode sample (which repeats the one above) is meaningful when viewed under a typeface supporting tengwar glyphs in the area defined in the ConScript tengwar proposal. Some typefaces that support this proposal are Everson Mono, Tengwar Telcontar, Constructium, Tengwar Formal Unicode, and FreeMonoTengwar (James Kass's Code2000 and Code2001 use an older, incompatible version of the proposal).

            ⸬                   ⸬

Tengwar[1][2]
ConScript Unicode Registry, 2001 draft proposal
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+E00x
U+E01x
U+E02x
U+E03x
U+E04x
U+E05x
U+E06x
U+E07x
Notes
1.^ Proposals 1993-05-09, 1996-09-15; revision 1998-01-10
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

In popular culture[edit]

Tengwar have been used in Tolkien fandom since the publication of The Lord of the Rings in the 1950s. As of 2014, the Tolkien Estate has made requests to desist from the publication of tengwar fonts after unapproved commercial use, claiming tengwar as falling under the intellectual property owned by them.[5]

Tengwar script appears in a bound volume in the Within Temptation music video for "Stand My Ground" (2004), though it appears to be a random selection of letters, with a tehta vowel appearing about every five words or so. Many tengwar are also repeated for no apparent reason. Another instance of this stylistic use of tengwar is the computer game Atlantis: The Lost Tales (1997); again the tengwar are used meaninglessly. Tengwar is also used in Alone in the Dark, a comic book, as a typeface describing an arcane language.

There has been a fashion of tengwar tattoos, especially in the wake of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.[6] Celebrities with such tattoos include Spanish footballer Fernando Torres and Argentine footballer Sergio Agüero.[7] The actors playing the Fellowship of the Ring in Peter Jackson's film trilogy have tattoos of the English word nine written in Quenya-mode tengwar.[8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ It is a Quenya word which can be translated "letters"; see Lord of the Rings, Appendix E II Writing.
  2. ^ The Complete Tolkien Companion, Third Edition. Tyler, J.E.A. New York: St. Martins, 2004.
  3. ^ See Parma Eldalamberon 19 (2010), pp. 41–43.
  4. ^ Micahel Everson. "Tengwar: U+E000 - U+E07F". ConScript Unicode Registry. Retrieved 2017-03-13. 
  5. ^ I have a question on copyright that couldn't be resolved by googling it all… (Google+)
  6. ^ The Ultimate Elvish Tattoo Collection (quenya101.com 2012)
  7. ^ Jonny Singer, MailOnline, 16 November 2014
  8. ^ "The stars of The Lord of the Rings trilogy reach their journey's end". SciFi.com. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2007. [1]

References[edit]

  • Derzhanski, Ivan A. "The Fëanorian Tengwar and the Typology of Phonetic Writing Systems." Vinyar Tengwar 41 (2000): 20-23.
  • Hostetter, Carl F. ""Si man i-yulmar n(g)win enquatuva": A Newly-Discovered Tengwar Inscription." Vinyar Tengwar 21 (1992): 6-10.
  • Smith, Arden R., Irmengard Rauch and Gerald F. Carr. "The Semiotics of the Writing Systems of Tolkien's Middle-earth." In Semiotics around the World: Synthesis in Diversity, I-II, ed. Irmengard Rauch, 1239-42. Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter, 1997.

External links[edit]