A Specimen of Non-Feanorian Tengwar

Two Rings
Ronald Kyrmse — March 2002
Analytical ArticleAnalytical Articles: These articles provide a detailed overview of the theme they cover. However, they require some prior knowledge of the main works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

There exists a drawing by J.R.R. Tolkien, dating probably from 1925, entitled “Lunar Landscape”1). The title is inscribed in very-early, non-Feanorian tengwar2). This inscription is referenced as “DTS 27 – Lunar Landscape title” in the Mellonath Daeron Index of Tengwar Specimina (DTS). A facsimile of the inscription follows, with a proposed transliteration:

Inscription & translitteration

All characters involved are listed below with their presumed values and comments on the attribution, which is mainly based on similarities of shape and usage to the later Feanorian tengwar, and the sarati of Rúmil, the first writing system of Arda, as applied to the writing of English.

L l The shape is reminiscent of the tengwa r and – more remotely – of the sarat l l. It is also similar to the tengwa l after reflection around a vertical axis and a quarter-turn counterclockwise.
W w A shape containing a cusp, like the sarat w w, and of course similar to the Latin w (which is probably a mere coincidence). Writing ū as uw is a practice not unknown in tengwar modes. The two semivowels w and y in the present mode are upside-down versions of each other.
N n A single bow-shaped letter like the tengwa n in the Mode of Beleriand.
R r Similar to the sarat r r. The present specimen represents ner by nr.
D d A character whose voiced nature is denoted by a double bow, like the tengwa d and the sarat d d. This character and the k- and p- letters below exhibit raised stems, while the tengwar d, k and p have lowered stems.
K k An upside-down tengwa k ; it has a closed bow like the latter and the sarat k k. This character and the one for p below have raised stems, while their sarati equivalents k and p have stems to the right.
Y y The y-semivowel, containing a cusp like the sarat y y.
P p Similar to a tengwa p reflected around a horizontal axis, with a final swash.
U u A diacritic corresponding exactly to the Feanorian tehta , which has the value u in some modes. Reminiscent of the sarat diacritic u for u, turned sideways and in a mirror.
A a The precise equivalent of the tehta a and of the Rúmilian a-diacritic a, turned on its side.
S s A consonantal diacritic; tengwar and sarati also possess diacritics for s ( and s diacritic, respectively).
E e The rotated equivalent of the sarat e-diacritic e.

In view of the assumptions above, the shapes of some other characters in this mode could be deduced. Thus, it might be reasonable to assume the following characters for t, g and b, and the diacritic for o:

T, G, B & O

Additional deductions about this curious mode will have to await publication of further material.


See also on Tolkiendil

1) J.R.R. Tolkien, Roverandom. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 42-3. Also in Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator. London: HarperCollins, 1998, p. 78.
2) Editor’s note: These is in fact a specimen of the valmaric script, which is discussed in Parma Eldalamberon 14, pp. 89-134. In addition to this sample, thirteen tables and samples have been published in PE 14, and one in PE 15, p. 123 n. 36.
langues/english/otsoandor/specimen_non-feanorian_tengwar.txt · Dernière modification: 06/04/2020 18:47 (modification externe)
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