The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-30-2020, 05:40 PM   #1
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 4,054
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
1420! Etymology: Isengard and Helms Deep

Rather infuriating a Danish radioshow have been spreading the word that Tolkien was inspired by easter Jutland when coming up for place names, but offer little in the way of proof.

The very concept of the show is that a caller will make an unsubstantiated claim, and then the show will attempt to confirm or debunk the claim.

In this case the claim is that the place names Helm's Deep and Isengard comes from easter Jutland where you will find the narrow strait Hjelm Dyb and the manor house Isgård.

The consensus seemed to be that this must be coincidence, until a self proclaimed Tolkien ekspert calls in and claims that it is very likely that Tolkien got inspired by the Danish place names as he studied that area extensively. He offers no more detail, but starts talking about Tolkien's correspondence with the future Queen Margrethe II.

As a Danish Tolkien nerd this have left me perplexed. I haven't heard that Tolkien should have dedicated time to studying eastern Jutland, besides his general interest in the nordic countries.

Obviously Tolkien could have been inspired, and then altered the name to better fit in with old english, but it doesn't seem likely, does it?

What do you think?

Have you ever heard about Tolkien having a special interest in eastern Jutland (more specifically Djurs), or have you perhaps come across the origins of these place names.

As a bonus I just found a comment on reddit where a user suggest that the nearby village of Eskerod, could be the inspiration of Esgaroth.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2020, 05:54 AM   #2
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 8,057
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
I will give the usual disclaimer that I am far from being a Tolkien scholar on the level of others.

However, it's my understanding that Isengard was simply a translation, consistent with other place names in Rohan, from the Sindarin name Angrenost.

And what's so complicated about Helm's Deep? As explained in Unfinished Tales, it was

Quote:
A deep gorge near the north-western end of Ered Nimrais, at the entrance to which was built the Hornburg; named after King Helm, who took refuge from his enemies there in the Long Winter of Third Age 2758-9.
With the myriad numbers of place names in various countries and languages, coincidence alone can easily account for similarities between 'real' locales and those in the mythos.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2020, 06:37 AM   #3
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 10,067
Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Agreed with Inzil. Two explanations: Tolkien had the backstory in mind when picking out names (e.g. the story of Helm Hammerhand who wintered in this keep) and used fitting names, or he reeeeally liked those two places on the Jutland map and made the backstory match the names. I think the former is the simpler explanation, without being a Tolkien expert of any kind.

A google search tells me that there actually is a River Isen in Bavaria, so if there really is a specific geographical inspiration for Saruman's abode, Germany might win this round.

Personally, I tend to see coincidence in the opposite direction. Like why is there a town in Italy named after Hurin's eldest. And the poor Dunedin, which I always feel the need to spell correctly, with an "a" after the "d". Not every sound-alike or look-alike is a real reference. So unless someone finds evidence that Tolkien actually had more affinity for eastern Jutland's geography than the average map, I will remain dubious about the influence here.
__________________
You passed from under darkened dome, you enter now the secret land. - Take me to Finrod's fabled home!... ~ Finrod: The Rock Opera
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2020, 10:00 AM   #4
William Cloud Hicklin
Loremaster of Annúminas
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,228
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
People have constantly come up with this sort of nonsense, based on nothing more than sound coincidence; for example "Gondor is based on Gondar in Ethiopia." Um, no. (Especially if one is aware that the original name of the South Kingdom was Ond > Ondor > Gondor). We get similar silliness wrt to places themselves, like "The Two Towers" in Birmingham, or every other rural pub in Britain being the origin of the Prancing Pony, or the Ring of Silvianus nonsense.

in the very, very early period Tolkien equated some fictional locations with real-world places - Warwick, Great Heywood etc - but the names he coined for them in Quenya were naturally entirely different ones (Kortirion, Tavrobel).
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.

Last edited by William Cloud Hicklin; 10-31-2020 at 11:07 AM.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2020, 05:40 PM   #5
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 4,054
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inziladun View Post
I will give the usual disclaimer that I am far from being a Tolkien scholar on the level of others.

However, it's my understanding that Isengard was simply a translation, consistent with other place names in Rohan, from the Sindarin name Angrenost.

And what's so complicated about Helm's Deep? As explained in Unfinished Tales, it was



With the myriad numbers of place names in various countries and languages, coincidence alone can easily account for similarities between 'real' locales and those in the mythos.
Well, there is nothing complicated with the in universe etymology, but obviously it was something Tolkien worked a lot on and tinkered with to make fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Agreed with Inzil. Two explanations: Tolkien had the backstory in mind when picking out names (e.g. the story of Helm Hammerhand who wintered in this keep) and used fitting names, or he reeeeally liked those two places on the Jutland map and made the backstory match the names. I think the former is the simpler explanation, without being a Tolkien expert of any kind.

A google search tells me that there actually is a River Isen in Bavaria, so if there really is a specific geographical inspiration for Saruman's abode, Germany might win this round.

Personally, I tend to see coincidence in the opposite direction. Like why is there a town in Italy named after Hurin's eldest. And the poor Dunedin, which I always feel the need to spell correctly, with an "a" after the "d". Not every sound-alike or look-alike is a real reference. So unless someone finds evidence that Tolkien actually had more affinity for eastern Jutland's geography than the average map, I will remain dubious about the influence here.
I am not disagreeing, which is why it was so infuriating that it was suggested that Tolkien did have extensive knowledge about the area, but no references were given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
People have constantly come up with this sort of nonsense, based on nothing more than sound coincidence; for example "Gondor is based on Gondar in Ethiopia." Um, no. (Especially if one is aware that the original name of the South Kingdom was Ond > Ondor > Gondor). We get similar silliness wrt to places themselves, like "The Two Towers" in Birmingham, or every other rural pub in Britain being the origin of the Prancing Pony, or the Ring of Silvianus nonsense.

in the very, very early period Tolkien equated some fictional locations with real-world places - Warwick, Great Heywood etc - but the names he coined for them in Quenya were naturally entirely different ones (Kortirion, Tavrobel).
Isegård and Eskerod i don't find particular believable, though pronunciation wise Eskerod and Esgaroth are not far apart. The only thing that makes me raise an eyebrow is the suggestion that Tolkien should somehow have extensive knowledge about the area and the use of the word "deep".

Are there other examples of a cleft being called a deep? It is quite interesting Helms Deep and Hjelm Dyb have exactly the same meaning but in the danish translations Helm's Deep is called Helms Kløft as you would never call a cleft a deep in Danish.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2020, 03:10 AM   #6
Huinesoron
Overshadowed Eagle
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 3,593
Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Probably the strongest argument against this is that Isengard didn't start out as Isengard! Its first mention (Home VII, 'Of Hamilcar...') is as "Angrobel (or Irongarth)". No Isen in sight!

Helm's Deep is even more tortured: it looks like it started out as Dimgraef, then picked up a Helm figure - as Heorulf's Clough. It took several iterations (Helmshaugh) to hit Helm's Deep, so unless Tolkien is imagined to just happen to glance up at a map of Jutland and go 'hey, that says "helm" too!' there's no plausible version of this notion.

hS
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2020, 05:45 AM   #7
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,330
Formendacil is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Formendacil is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Formendacil is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Formendacil is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Probably the strongest argument against this is that Isengard didn't start out as Isengard! Its first mention (Home VII, 'Of Hamilcar...') is as "Angrobel (or Irongarth)". No Isen in sight!

Helm's Deep is even more tortured: it looks like it started out as Dimgraef, then picked up a Helm figure - as Heorulf's Clough. It took several iterations (Helmshaugh) to hit Helm's Deep, so unless Tolkien is imagined to just happen to glance up at a map of Jutland and go 'hey, that says "helm" too!' there's no plausible version of this notion.

hS
And this is why one should always start with the HoME when one has a theory about names: if there is one thing Christopher Tolkien does thoroughly (to the point I've seen him accused of doing it to the exclusion of other "more interesting" things), it is trace the evolution of names--and evolve they often did. If you have a theory--as this Danish radio show did--based on final forms, you have to see if that theory still makes sense in light of the documented history.

That said, the idea that Tolkien could have taken some names from a Danish map really ISN'T an outlandish theory. Place names and Scandinavian languages are both things we know he was interested in--the idea that he might have spent some time looking at Danish place-names is entirely plausible, and if this were done at a sufficient remove from when he came to write Book III, it is entirely possible that the fittingness of some names could have struck him: recasting Norse words into (Old) English forms is something he would do.

Unfortunately for the radio show, it just isn't the simplest explanation in this case.
__________________
I prefer history, true or feigned.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2020, 04:17 PM   #8
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 4,054
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Probably the strongest argument against this is that Isengard didn't start out as Isengard! Its first mention (Home VII, 'Of Hamilcar...') is as "Angrobel (or Irongarth)". No Isen in sight!

Helm's Deep is even more tortured: it looks like it started out as Dimgraef, then picked up a Helm figure - as Heorulf's Clough. It took several iterations (Helmshaugh) to hit Helm's Deep, so unless Tolkien is imagined to just happen to glance up at a map of Jutland and go 'hey, that says "helm" too!' there's no plausible version of this notion.

hS
Thanks Huie, this is the sort of stuff I was looking for to "disprove" the theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
And this is why one should always start with the HoME when one has a theory about names: if there is one thing Christopher Tolkien does thoroughly (to the point I've seen him accused of doing it to the exclusion of other "more interesting" things), it is trace the evolution of names--and evolve they often did. If you have a theory--as this Danish radio show did--based on final forms, you have to see if that theory still makes sense in light of the documented history.

That said, the idea that Tolkien could have taken some names from a Danish map really ISN'T an outlandish theory. Place names and Scandinavian languages are both things we know he was interested in--the idea that he might have spent some time looking at Danish place-names is entirely plausible, and if this were done at a sufficient remove from when he came to write Book III, it is entirely possible that the fittingness of some names could have struck him: recasting Norse words into (Old) English forms is something he would do.

Unfortunately for the radio show, it just isn't the simplest explanation in this case.
Now I do feel rather silly for starting a thread, rather than simply dusting off the old HoME series. Though I don't think I have it in complete form... I seemed to give up a few volumes in, for even though i fin imaginary etymology interesting it is not exactly what I would call "an easy read".
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2020, 05:11 PM   #9
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 10,067
Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
To argue the devil's advocate here, though, it is possible for an influence to appear late in the history of name changes. Going from one name to another, not hitting quite the right one, and then seeing a name that sounds like exactly the thing. Hypothetically a connection is still possible - though again, more than a simple sound-alike would be required as proof of influence, because there are simply too many sound-alikes to treat each one seriously.
__________________
You passed from under darkened dome, you enter now the secret land. - Take me to Finrod's fabled home!... ~ Finrod: The Rock Opera
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2020, 06:20 PM   #10
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 4,054
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
To argue the devil's advocate here, though, it is possible for an influence to appear late in the history of name changes. Going from one name to another, not hitting quite the right one, and then seeing a name that sounds like exactly the thing. Hypothetically a connection is still possible - though again, more than a simple sound-alike would be required as proof of influence, because there are simply too many sound-alikes to treat each one seriously.
While obviously Tolkien were inspired by real-life place names and history, he doesn't strike me as the kind of man to just outright copy/paste a name. I imagine him tinkering away, trying to make allsorts of linguistic ends tie together in a way that he found pleasing, but nobody else on this earth would understand the significance of (save for possibly Christopher).

Anyways, I agree it is entirely possible, but as Formendacil said it isn't necessarily the simplest explanation in this case.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 02:18 PM   #11
Formendacil
Dead Serious
 
Formendacil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Perched on Thangorodrim's towers.
Posts: 3,330
Formendacil is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Formendacil is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Formendacil is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Formendacil is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Send a message via AIM to Formendacil Send a message via MSN to Formendacil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne View Post
Now I do feel rather silly for starting a thread, rather than simply dusting off the old HoME series.
But if you don't post the inaccuracies of Danish radio commentary for us, how will we get to demonstrate our vast and superior knowledge?
__________________
I prefer history, true or feigned.
Formendacil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2020, 09:56 AM   #12
William Cloud Hicklin
Loremaster of Annúminas
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,228
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Well, as CT commented with regard to a possible link between the athel- in athelas and Anglo-Saxon æðele "noble, royal" - it wouldn't have still been an Anglo-Saxon word by the time he was done with it! Rather like A-S ent "giant" became something rather different....

I think the history of "Isengard" is well enough attested that it's pointless to look around for alternate histories. AFAIK Tolkien only ever lifted one name wholesale from a RW language, aside from Shire/Bree names (and The Hobbit's dwarf-names), and that back at the very beginning: Earendel. This isn't to say that certain elements weren't borrowed: ond "stone" he consciously used, as being what apparently is the only known word from the language of Britain's pre-Celtic inhabitants. And he admitted that he might have subconsciously been influenced by Gaelic nasc ("ring," but also "bond") when BS nazg came to him.
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2020, 10:25 AM   #13
Huinesoron
Overshadowed Eagle
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 3,593
Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Formendacil View Post
But if you don't post the inaccuracies of Danish radio commentary for us, how will we get to demonstrate our vast and superior knowledge?
Speaking for myself, I always love leafing through HoME to find out if a question is answerable. I run into all sorts of stuff that I'd otherwise gloss over. ^_^

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
This isn't to say that certain elements weren't borrowed: ond "stone" he consciously used, as being what apparently is the only known word from the language of Britain's pre-Celtic inhabitants.
Waitwhat?

[Five minutes of book-diving later]

Huh! So, after being sent by Tolkien Gateway to both Letters (where Tolkien indeed claims this, and says he remember it from when he was eight) and The History of the Hobbit, I've landed on Wikipedia's Ivernic/Ivernian language page. Or rather section, because sadly the theory - that ond ("stone") and fern ("good thing") entered Irish from proto-Celtic British invaders - has been generally discredited.

I really should read the Rateliff History again at some point...

hS
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2022, 12:57 AM   #14
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 4,054
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
This is awful

Apparently the guy who made the claims have now had a book published on the topic.

From the debate surrounding it, it seems to be a substandard piece of work that assumes correlation also implies causation.

I am very curious, but I don't want to help spread misinformation... Do I buy the book, so that I have something to fume about?
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.


Last edited by Rune Son of Bjarne; 06-20-2022 at 04:29 AM.
Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2022, 02:50 AM   #15
Inziladun
Gruesome Spectre
 
Inziladun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Heaven's doorstep
Posts: 8,057
Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Inziladun is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne View Post
Apparently the guy who made the claims have now had a book published on the topic.
Not surprising. Slap the "Tolkien" name on something, and fame and money are yours, is the thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne View Post
I am very curious, but I don't want to help spread misinformation... Do I buy the book, so that I have something to fume about?
I wouldn't. There's quite enough to fume about as it is.
__________________
Music alone proves the existence of God.
Inziladun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2022, 02:46 AM   #16
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 4,054
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
The Horror

It just got worse.

Apparently after these claims got a bit of media attention a local library started an initiative to put up signs at placenames Tolkien supposedly borrowed. The mayor got involved, and now it is an official municipal project.

It is a bit of a backwater, so probably a desperate attempt at attracting tourists.


https://www.syddjurs.dk/da/nyheder/g...2975333014667/

https://www.tv2ostjylland.dk/syddjur...-paa-djursland
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2022, 04:46 PM   #17
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 4,054
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
I borrowed the book at the library.

Basically his argument is:
  • Tolkien had intimate knowledge of Jutish history from his scholarly work (Finn & Hengest) and actively used this in his writing (Cottage of Lost Play).
  • Tolkien really liked maps.

Therefore Tolkien had to be aware of the place names Aros, Hjelms Dyb, Eskerod and Isengård when writing his tales.

To get to this very compelling argument one has to read through 170 pages of the author (badly) retelling the pre-Danish conquest history of Jutland, and outlining Tolkien's work on the Finnsburg fragment.

As an extra slap in the face, he introduces his argument by admitting that he has absolutely no proof of his theory...
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2022, 09:19 PM   #18
Mithadan
Spirit of Mist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 3,186
Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
During my sophomore year in high school (I was 15 or 16) I wrote a paper on Tolkien's "sources." While I relied, in part, upon several then popular analyses, I also did some independent research, matching the Valar to the Greek and Roman pantheons (Norse and other northern European information regarding their respective pantheons were far less available then), using Greek and Latin dictionaries to seek matches for Elvish names and places, etc. I was awarded a "B" because, as I learned, my teacher was not a "fan" of Tolkien. But I remain convinced that Dwarvish is loosely based upon Hebrew... However, I have no knowledge regarding Tolkien's exposure to that language.

I no longer have a copy of that paper but I recall the analyses I cited. Each theorized that Tolkien was familiar with Finnish, Greek, Latin, Old and Middle English, Norse mythology and the Eddas, and maps, northern European geography, Egyptian architecture (or was it Mayan architecture?), the Alps, the Black Forest and possibly the Himalayas, the Andes and the dark side of the moon. Each analysis conclusively determined that Tolkien's "sources" had been identified. Yes, he had inspirations. But he wanted to tell a good story, a story that flowed from his soul and his imagination. I long ago decided that his sources were completely irrelevant. Just read his writing and appreciate it!
__________________
Beleriand, Beleriand,
the borders of the Elven-land.
Mithadan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2022, 09:55 PM   #19
Galadriel55
Blossom of Dwimordene
 
Galadriel55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The realm of forgotten words
Posts: 10,067
Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
But I remain convinced that Dwarvish is loosely based upon Hebrew... However, I have no knowledge regarding Tolkien's exposure to that language.
I feel like I have definitely seen this before... Or was it simply that he made some link between Dwarves and Jews as a people and in my mind I've extrapolated that link to language? In any case, as someone who knows a little bit of Hebrew, I think that Khuzdul lends itself very well to Hebrew pronunciation, or perhaps Hebrew phonetics lend themselves well to Khuzdul. But now that I think of it, even the word structure sorta falls naturally when said in Hebrew. It certainly has been my preferred "imaginary accent" for Khuzdul words. I would not be in the least bit surprised if someone did manage to unearth a loose linguistic connection.

I am actually curious if he did not also loosely borrow the writing system for his tengwar. Hebrew script treats vowels in a similar fashion as Elvish - there are no vowels in the alphabet, there are only dot notations (which may or may not be written in, you won't see them in some texts) to indicate vowel sounds, similar to how tengwar works. I believe Arabic has a similar writing system. As a scholar of languages, I am positive that Tolkien would have had some exposure during his studies at least to the basics of the Semitic language group as an example of language diversity... Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic... Something ought to have come up. I have no proof either but I feel like he just ought to have. Maybe he researched Hebrew pronunciation when writing the Shibboleth of Feanor.

Anyways, not to completely sidetrack the thread (which I have been following with some ongoing, albeit vain, curiosity), this is to note that while pet theories are fun, it's one thing to have a pet theory and quite another to keep chasing after it with such perseverance when it comes down to "might have, but [at least as] equally might not have". It sounds like the book was a very dedicated elaboration on what the author wants to be true. Meta-headcanon?
__________________
You passed from under darkened dome, you enter now the secret land. - Take me to Finrod's fabled home!... ~ Finrod: The Rock Opera
Galadriel55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2022, 08:43 AM   #20
Rune Son of Bjarne
Odinic Wanderer
 
Rune Son of Bjarne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Under the Raven banner, between tall Odin and white Christ!
Posts: 4,054
Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Rune Son of Bjarne is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Send a message via AIM to Rune Son of Bjarne Send a message via MSN to Rune Son of Bjarne
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
During my sophomore year in high school (I was 15 or 16) I wrote a paper on Tolkien's "sources." While I relied, in part, upon several then popular analyses, I also did some independent research, matching the Valar to the Greek and Roman pantheons (Norse and other northern European information regarding their respective pantheons were far less available then), using Greek and Latin dictionaries to seek matches for Elvish names and places, etc. I was awarded a "B" because, as I learned, my teacher was not a "fan" of Tolkien. But I remain convinced that Dwarvish is loosely based upon Hebrew... However, I have no knowledge regarding Tolkien's exposure to that language.

I no longer have a copy of that paper but I recall the analyses I cited. Each theorized that Tolkien was familiar with Finnish, Greek, Latin, Old and Middle English, Norse mythology and the Eddas, and maps, northern European geography, Egyptian architecture (or was it Mayan architecture?), the Alps, the Black Forest and possibly the Himalayas, the Andes and the dark side of the moon. Each analysis conclusively determined that Tolkien's "sources" had been identified. Yes, he had inspirations. But he wanted to tell a good story, a story that flowed from his soul and his imagination. I long ago decided that his sources were completely irrelevant. Just read his writing and appreciate it!
My problem is that someone with very limited insights are selling a halfbaked analysis as a fact. I would probably have ignored this, had Syddjurs muncipality not decided to put up signs and use this speculation to promote them selves.

He cites Finn & Hengest alot, but other than that most of his references are to Tolkien Encyclopedias etc. He really does not know his source material. I don't think he even know of HoME.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
Rune is my brother from another mother.

Rune Son of Bjarne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2022, 07:35 PM   #21
Mithadan
Spirit of Mist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 3,186
Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Quote:
I no longer have a copy of that paper but I recall the analyses I cited. Each theorized that Tolkien was familiar with Finnish, Greek, Latin, Old and Middle English, Norse mythology and the Eddas, and maps, northern European geography, Egyptian architecture (or was it Mayan architecture?), the Alps, the Black Forest and possibly the Himalayas, the Andes and the dark side of the moon. Each analysis conclusively determined that Tolkien's "sources" had been identified.
Rune, "sar·casm (sär′kăz′əm) n. 1. A cutting, often ironic remark intended to express contempt or ridicule."
__________________
Beleriand, Beleriand,
the borders of the Elven-land.
Mithadan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2022, 01:27 AM   #22
William Cloud Hicklin
Loremaster of Annúminas
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,228
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I feel like I have definitely seen this before... Or was it simply that he made some link between Dwarves and Jews as a people and in my mind I've extrapolated that link to language? In any case, as someone who knows a little bit of Hebrew, I think that Khuzdul lends itself very well to Hebrew pronunciation, or perhaps Hebrew phonetics lend themselves well to Khuzdul. But now that I think of it, even the word structure sorta falls naturally when said in Hebrew. It certainly has been my preferred "imaginary accent" for Khuzdul words. I would not be in the least bit surprised if someone did manage to unearth a loose linguistic connection.

I am actually curious if he did not also loosely borrow the writing system for his tengwar. Hebrew script treats vowels in a similar fashion as Elvish - there are no vowels in the alphabet, there are only dot notations (which may or may not be written in, you won't see them in some texts) to indicate vowel sounds, similar to how tengwar works. I believe Arabic has a similar writing system. As a scholar of languages, I am positive that Tolkien would have had some exposure during his studies at least to the basics of the Semitic language group as an example of language diversity... Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic... Something ought to have come up. I have no proof either but I feel like he just ought to have. Maybe he researched Hebrew pronunciation when writing the Shibboleth of Feanor.

Anyways, not to completely sidetrack the thread (which I have been following with some ongoing, albeit vain, curiosity), this is to note that while pet theories are fun, it's one thing to have a pet theory and quite another to keep chasing after it with such perseverance when it comes down to "might have, but [at least as] equally might not have". It sounds like the book was a very dedicated elaboration on what the author wants to be true. Meta-headcanon?
I can't place it, but I definitely have a recollection of Tolkien, somewhere, saying that he constructed (the little bit of) Khuzdul vocabulary from triconsonantal bases, similar to Semitic languages.
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2022, 01:28 AM   #23
William Cloud Hicklin
Loremaster of Annúminas
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,228
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rune Son of Bjarne View Post
My problem is that someone with very limited insights are selling a halfbaked analysis as a fact.
This is unusual?
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2022, 10:48 AM   #24
Huinesoron
Overshadowed Eagle
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 3,593
Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
I can't place it, but I definitely have a recollection of Tolkien, somewhere, saying that he constructed (the little bit of) Khuzdul vocabulary from triconsonantal bases, similar to Semitic languages.
The Ardalambion page (I know, I know) suggests there is some discussion of Khuzdul structure in Vinyar Tengwar #48, but also drops two HoME abbreviations that show up so rarely I couldn't place them at first: RS and TI: The Return of the Shadow & The Treason of Isengard.

Those two books repeatedly refer (eg, RS:466, TI:174) to a set of notes written "long after" LotR. Christopher doesn't provide the text, but in his discussion he gives several triconsonantal bases, once in JRRT's own words: "that NRG was Khuzdul for 'black' is seen in the Dwarf-name for Mordor: Nargun."

My guess is that VT48 provides the full text of those notes; apparently it comes up as part of a discussion of the name of the river Lhûn.

hS
__________________
Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-2022, 09:33 PM   #25
William Cloud Hicklin
Loremaster of Annúminas
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,228
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I have VT 48; I'll have to dig it out.
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 03:47 PM   #26
Huinesoron
Overshadowed Eagle
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 3,593
Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
I have VT 48; I'll have to dig it out.
I'd be intrigued to know what you find! The specific reference is VT48:24, but Tolkien Gateway only says that VT48 contained one of three parts of "Eldarin Hands" etc, which seems an unlikely source.

hS
__________________
Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2022, 06:09 PM   #27
Mithadan
Spirit of Mist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 3,186
Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Vinyar Tengwar is now available on Amazon (at least in the US) in packs (I believe "bound" in some way, though they are short pamphlets) of 5 issues, FYI. I have several that I've acquired over the years, but I do not have VT 48.
__________________
Beleriand, Beleriand,
the borders of the Elven-land.
Mithadan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2022, 03:31 AM   #28
Huinesoron
Overshadowed Eagle
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 3,593
Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithadan View Post
Vinyar Tengwar is now available on Amazon (at least in the US) in packs (I believe "bound" in some way, though they are short pamphlets) of 5 issues, FYI. I have several that I've acquired over the years, but I do not have VT 48.
Oh! They're even better in the UK - 5 volumes of 10 issues each, available on Prime for next-day(-ish) delivery.

Sooo... from a primary-source perspective, are they worth it? Looking through the title pages for the final volume on the Gateway, it contains:
  • Osanwe-kenta
  • Something from the Shibboleth
  • Notes on 'Ore'
  • Rivers & Beacon Hills
  • Five Catholic prayers
  • The Lord's Prayer
  • Another prayer
  • Additions to the Etymologies
  • Eldarin Hands, Fingers, and Numerals "and related writings"
  • Five volitive inscriptions
  • The Turin Wrapper

... most of which is now in NoME, at least in some form. So is there enough that's of interest to anyone other than scholars of early Quenya (sorry, Etymologies, but you're very dry) to make it worth the money?

(I know there's also discussion, analysis, and articles, moreso in the earlier issues, but first and foremost I'm interested in the Tolkien.)

hS
__________________
Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2022, 04:48 AM   #29
Tar Elenion
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 346
Tar Elenion has just left Hobbiton.
"Khuzdu^l, the tongue of the Dwarves, did not tolerate to initial consonants. But a name such as sulu^n or salo^n would fit the Dwarvish word-formation from the base SLN 'fall, descend swiftly'. The upper course of the Lune was very steep and swift, and no doubt had been so in older days."
VT 48.24
__________________
Tar-Elenion
Tar Elenion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2022, 06:50 AM   #30
Huinesoron
Overshadowed Eagle
 
Huinesoron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 3,593
Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Huinesoron is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tar Elenion View Post
"Khuzdu^l, the tongue of the Dwarves, did not tolerate to initial consonants. But a name such as sulu^n or salo^n would fit the Dwarvish word-formation from the base SLN 'fall, descend swiftly'. The upper course of the Lune was very steep and swift, and no doubt had been so in older days."
VT 48.24
That's a lot shorter than I'd hoped. It does make it clear that Khuzdul words are formed from three-consonant bases, but it's not the sort of explicit statement WCH mentioned. The "set of notes" still seems to be missing, as does any direct documentation of the mention in HoME XII (PM:300) that "this tongue has been sketched in some detail of structure, if with a very small vocabulary". It's unclear to me whether Ardalambion's repeated use of "radicals" to describe the root consonants is from Tolkien, or is just the term as used for Semitic roots.

EDIT: Ah, here we go: Carl Hostetter has seen the notes, and confirms that they were unpublished as of 2004. I guess they're down the same "we will publish them eventually" rabbit-hole as the Taliska grammar. As of a year ago, Parma Eldalamberon is still a going concern (elsewhere I've seen mentions of the next issue maybe coming 2023), so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

hS
__________________
Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera

Last edited by Huinesoron; 11-21-2022 at 06:56 AM.
Huinesoron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2022, 08:11 AM   #31
Mithadan
Spirit of Mist
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tol Eressea
Posts: 3,186
Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Mithadan is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Huinesoron, in response to your question above "are they worth it?" This depends upon your preference. VT focuses upon Tolkien's languages primarily, and only incidentally includes lore or philosophy, often because the latter include information of interest to the enthusiasts of the linguistics of Middle-Earth. This is discussed, in part, in the introduction to NoME (which does include versions of many of the most interesting "non-linguistic" pieces published in VT). At least a partial index is found at https://www.elvish.org/VT/shop.html at the bottom of the page.

If your focus is "lore," then the later issues, which include sections written by Tolkien himself, will be the latter issues (again, somewhat repetitive now that NoME has been published). If your interest is JRRT's languages, many of the issues will be rewarding, though Parma Eldalamberon may be a better (difficult to find and more expensive) option. Some of the earliest issues of VT have little substance at all.
__________________
Beleriand, Beleriand,
the borders of the Elven-land.
Mithadan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2022, 02:33 PM   #32
William Cloud Hicklin
Loremaster of Annúminas
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,228
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
The nature and content of VT took a dramatic turn after Carl H took over and made it a journal for shorter original JRRT linguistic material (PE handling the long-form works)
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2022, 02:55 PM   #33
William Cloud Hicklin
Loremaster of Annúminas
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,228
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
There is also this, from 'Lowdham's Report on the Adunaic Language' associated with The Notion Club Papers (HME IX):
Quote:
I think [Adunaic] came under some different influence [than 'Avallonian' or Elvish]. This influence I call Khazadian; because I have received a good many echoes of a curious tongue, also connected with what we should call the West of the Old World, that is associated with the name Khazad. Now this resembles Adunaic phonetically, and it seems also in some points of vocabulary and structure; but it is precisely at the points where Adunaic most differs from Avallonian that it approaches nearest to Khazadian.

[...]

The majority of the word-bases of Adunaic were triconsonantal. This structure is somewhat reminiscent of Semitic; and in this point Adunaic shows affinity with Khazadian rather than with Nimrian [Elvish again, here the Adunaic name for it]. For though Nimrian has many triconsonantal stems (other than products of normal suffixion), such as the stem menel cited above, these are rarer in Nimrian, and are mostly the stems of nouns....
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.

Last edited by William Cloud Hicklin; 11-21-2022 at 03:54 PM.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2022, 08:50 AM   #34
William Cloud Hicklin
Loremaster of Annúminas
 
William Cloud Hicklin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,228
William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.William Cloud Hicklin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
And this, from the 1966 BBC interview:

Quote:
The dwarves, of course, are quite obviously, couldn’t you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic obviously, constructed to be Semitic.
__________________
The entire plot of The Lord of the Rings could be said to turn on what Sauron didn’t know, and when he didn’t know it.
William Cloud Hicklin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:50 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.