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Old 05-28-2002, 03:22 PM   #1
Frodo Baggins
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Sting I am curious......

In the chapter Minas Tirith in The Return of the King, Beregond says to Pippin "strange accents do not mar fair speech, and hobbits are fair-spoken people".

What does he mean? What sort of accents do hobbits have?
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Old 05-28-2002, 03:59 PM   #2
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Sting

I think it was an analogy. The hobbits are strange in Beregond's perspective but they're still decent folk. They're wierd but they're just like anyone else(if that made sense. It sounded better in my head).

[ May 28, 2002: Message edited by: Gimli Son Of Gloin ]
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Old 05-28-2002, 04:50 PM   #3
Child of the 7th Age
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Tolkien

Quote:
...hobbits are fair-spoken people.
I believe he is referring to the fact that, wherever they go, and, however different their accents might be, hobbits were known for being polite and well spoken. The emphasis is not on the fact that they naturally have different accents (which they do), but rather their positive attributes. This isn't just Pippin--when Frodo spoke with Faramir, he was also unusually polite and well mannered.

It's also interesting how the hobbits change their manner of speech as they deal with Faramir, Beregnd,and similar men of "high breeding". They become more formal and less comic, and are careful to show good manners. (Not that they didn't show good manners with other hobbits, but they are less formal.)

sharon, the 7th age hobbit

[ May 28, 2002: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 05-28-2002, 05:21 PM   #4
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1420!

Hobbits have Scottish accents. Haven't you heard Pippin in the movie??? [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-28-2002, 05:49 PM   #5
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Tolkien

Hobbitish accents.

Naturally. ^_~
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Old 05-28-2002, 07:05 PM   #6
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Sting

haha Londolirian!!! Of course.
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Old 05-28-2002, 08:23 PM   #7
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Silmaril

I agree with Sharon, the 7th Age Hobbit.
I mean, after all, Merry and Pippin did take their little torturing pretty lightly when they were with the orcs (ouch!). I always found that pretty fascinating.
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Old 05-29-2002, 11:02 AM   #8
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Sting

i think they have shiren accents. (that was real gay)
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Old 05-29-2002, 11:39 AM   #9
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Sting

I think that 'accents' might refer back to Tolkien's knowledge of the various accents found in the different areas of England. It seems that even though they all spoke English, the different districts had their distinctive ways of speaking it.
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Old 05-29-2002, 02:20 PM   #10
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Sting

The hobbits did have a different accent. In fact every different area in middle earth had different accents. The Rohirim were different then Gondor. Some people who travalled a lot (AKA Gandalf, Strider, and even Frodo maybe) could use different accents to fit in with the people around them.
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Old 05-29-2002, 04:05 PM   #11
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Sting

From the invaluable Appendix F:
"Hobbits indeed spoke for the most part a rustic dialect, whereas in Gondor and Rohan a more antique language was used, more formal and more terse. [...] It was, however, one of the peculiarities of Shire-usage that the deferential forms had gone out of colloquial use."

From the similarly invaluable Letters (#193):
" I should say that, in the cases you query, no accent-differentiation is needed or desirable. For instance, it would probably be better to avoid certain, actual or conventional, features of modern 'vulgar' English in representing Orcs, such as the dropping of aitches [...]. I have no doubt that, if this 'history' were real, all users of the C[ommon] Speech would reveal themselves by their accent, differing in place, people, and rank, but that cannot be represented when C. S. is turned into English – and is not (I think) necessary. I paid great attention to such linguistic differentiation as was possible: in diction, idiom, and so on ; and I doubt if much more can be imported, except in so far as the individual actor represents his feeling for the character in tone and style. As Minas Tirith is at the source of C. Speech it is to C.S. as London is to modern English, and the standard of comparison! None of its inhabitants should have an 'accent' in terms of vowels &c."

In short, Scottish accents -- nah.
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Old 05-29-2002, 07:51 PM   #12
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Sting

Yes, Tolkien suggests in the appendices that Pippin amuses the men of Gondor by initially using colloquial speech more suited to the common room of the Green Dragon.
Quote:
Peregrin Took ... in his first few days in Minas Tirith used the familiar forms to people of all ranks, including the Lord Denethor himself. This may have amused the aged Steward, but it must have astonished his servants
(Appendix F RotK)
Pippin's jaunty informality was no doubt one of the reasons for Denethor's wintery smile on meeting him. Aside from Denethor's rank, he was awesomely Numenorean and terminally irascible -- I doubt even Prince Imrahil ever stood up to him, even in private or in jest. Denethor was just the sort of ruler who desperately needs a Jester to tell him the truth. Unfortunately, Pippin came into his service just a little too late to save his soul, although he did save his son.

Being a sociable and adaptable Hobbit, Pippin picks up a good deal of the formal style during his first days in the service of Gondor-- you can read him attempting to be properly courteous/ceremonious to Beregond when he remembers, then shifting to more ceremonious speech to Denethor by the time Faramir is brought in on a stretcher.
Quote:
'I will not say farewell, my lord,' said Pippin kneeling. And then suddenly Hobbit-like once more, he stood up and looked the old man in the eyes. 'I will take your leave sir,' he said
You can be sure that shift from 'my lord' to 'sir' was a deliberate cue to indicate a complete change in Pippin's manner and word choice within the Common Tongue, backed up by the author's sudden, more personal reference to 'the old man'. Tolkien was extremely sensitive to that kind of thing.
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