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Old 08-20-2019, 09:52 AM   #1
Huinesoron
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Tolkien The birds of Tolkien

Out of sheer curiousity, I dug through Eldamo and compiled a table of names for birds in Tolkien's languages. I've covered the four periods of his writing (ie, Gnomish/Qenya, Early Noldorin/--, Noldorin/Middle Quenya, and Sindarin/Quenya), and found it interesting to see how the names evolved, or didn't - and also which birds he only thought about once and then ignored. (This latter includes the duck - Q, Qenya - and the albatross - Alfuilin, Early Noldorin. Of similar trivial interest: there are only two bird names outside Elvish, and they're both Adunaic, for eagles and crows.)

Here's the table; enjoy or not as you please.

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Old 09-11-2019, 04:38 AM   #2
Huinesoron
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The table (link still as above) has now been updated: I've added more tables to cover mammals, reptiles & amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Between them, they include every animal species name I could find, other than for thinking and fantasy creatures.

What's interesting is to see which animals Tolkien only decided in the latest stages he needed to name. That doesn't happen with birds, where the only new coinages in the LotR era were Primitive Elvish roots. But apparently deer, squirrels, foxes, and frogs urgently needed a place in Middle-earth once the Trilogy came out. (A frog, charmingly, is Quenya Quc, which I'm pretty sure is onomatopoeia).

As before, bold underline indicates latest-phase words (which includes all those in the last two columns, since Tolkien only really had one phase for each non-Elven language), while underline indicates words from the period between The Hobbit and LotR, which - occasional spelling issues aside - are probably still valid. (They include Q. 'liante' for 'spider', which is the obvious cognate to the end of S. 'Ungoliant'.)

Sadly, however, all discussion of camels, jackals, eels, and weevils must remain strictly theoretical. Those words are very old and invalid.

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Old 09-12-2019, 04:57 AM   #3
Mithalwen
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Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Cat , bear and lion seem to be a bit onamatopoeic too but then my Elvish pronounciation is so bad that I still read Sirdan and Seleborn even if I know to say Kirdan and Keleborn. And one version of cat is virtually mog
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:32 AM   #4
Huinesoron
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Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
Cat , bear and lion seem to be a bit onamatopoeic too but then my Elvish pronounciation is so bad that I still read Sirdan and Seleborn even if I know to say Kirdan and Keleborn. And one version of cat is virtually mog
There's also sheep, which in Primitive Quendian can be named by either of the noises they make: 'meeeeh, meeeeh' or '(m)baaaa'. A dove is a 'Kukūwā' - 'coo, coo'.

But my absolute favourite onomatopoeia is the very old Qenya word for duck: 'Q'. It's so short, so simple, so beautiful... ^_^

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Old 09-12-2019, 05:53 AM   #5
Mithalwen
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It is as if everything were named by baby elves..
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