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Languages Constructed By J. R. R. Tolkien
The English philologist and author J. R. R. Tolkien created a number of constructed languages, including languages devised for fictional settings. Inventing languages, something that he called '' glossopoeia'' (paralleling his idea of ''mythopoeia'' or myth-making), was a lifelong occupation for Tolkien, starting in his teens. An early project was the reconstruction of an unrecorded early Germanic language which might have been spoken by the people of ''Beowulf'' in the Germanic Heroic Age. The most developed of his glossopoeic projects was his family of Elvish languages. He first started constructing an ''Elvin tongue'' in while he was at King Edward's School, Birmingham. He later called it Quenya (), and he continued actively developing the history and grammar of his Elvish languages until his death in 1973. In 1931, he held a lecture about his passion for constructed languages, titled ''A Secret Vice''. Here he contrasts his project of artistic languages constructed for ae ...
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Philologist
Philology () is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary criticism, history, and linguistics (with especially strong ties to etymology). Philology is also defined as the study of literary texts as well as oral and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning. A person who pursues this kind of study is known as a philologist. In older usage, especially British, philology is more general, covering comparative and historical linguistics. Classical philology studies classical languages. Classical philology principally originated from the Library of Pergamum and the Library of Alexandria around the fourth century BC, continued by Greeks and Romans throughout the Roman/Byzantine Empire. It was eventually resumed by European scholars of the Renaissance, where it was soon joined by philologies of other European ( Germanic, Celtic), ...
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Phonaesthetics
Phonaesthetics (also spelled phonesthetics in North America) is the study of beauty and pleasantness associated with the sounds of certain words or parts of words. The term was first used in this sense, perhaps by during the mid-20th century and derives . Speech sounds have many aesthetic qualities, some of which are subjectively regarded as euphonious (pleasing) or cacophonous (displeasing). Phonaesthetics remains a budding and often subjective field of study, with no scientifically or otherwise formally established definition; today, it mostly exists as a marginal branch of psychology, phonetics, or poetics. More broadly, the British linguist David Crystal has regarded phonaesthetics as the study of "phonaesthesia" (i.e., sound symbolism and phonesthemes): that not just words but even certain sound combinations carry meaning. For example, he shows that English speakers tend to associate unpleasantness with the sound ''sl-'' in such words as ''sleazy'', ''slime'', ''slug'', an ...
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Sauron
Sauron (pronounced ) is the title character and the primary antagonist, through the forging of the One Ring, of J. R. R. Tolkien's ''The Lord of the Rings'', where he rules the land of Mordor and has the ambition of ruling the whole of Middle-earth. In the same work, he is identified as the "Necromancer" of Tolkien's earlier novel ''The Hobbit''. ''The Silmarillion'' describes him as the chief lieutenant of the first Dark Lord, Morgoth. Tolkien noted that the Ainur, the "angelic" powers of his constructed myth, "were capable of many degrees of error and failing", but by far the worst was "the absolute Satanic rebellion and evil of Morgoth and his satellite Sauron". Sauron appears most often as "the Eye", as if disembodied. Tolkien, while denying that absolute evil could exist, stated that Sauron came as near to a wholly evil will as was possible. Commentators have compared Sauron to the title character of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel ''Dracula'', and to Balor of the Evil Eye ...
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Men (Middle-earth)
A man is an adult male human. Prior to adulthood, a male human is referred to as a boy (a male child or adolescent). Like most other male mammals, a man's genome usually inherits an X chromosome from the mother and a Y chromosome from the father. Sex differentiation of the male fetus is governed by the SRY gene on the Y chromosome. During puberty, hormones which stimulate androgen production result in the development of secondary sexual characteristics, thus exhibiting greater differences between the sexes. These include greater muscle mass, the growth of facial hair and a lower body fat composition. Male anatomy is distinguished from female anatomy by the male reproductive system, which includes the penis, testicles, sperm duct, prostate gland and the epididymis, and by secondary sex characteristics, including a narrower pelvis, narrower hips, and smaller breasts without mammary glands. Throughout human history, traditional gender roles have often defined ...
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Dwarves (Middle-earth)
Dwarf or dwarves may refer to: Common uses *Dwarf (folklore), a being from Germanic mythology and folklore * Dwarf, a person or animal with dwarfism Arts, entertainment, and media Fictional entities * Dwarf (''Dungeons & Dragons''), a humanoid race *Dwarf (Middle-earth), a humanoid race in J. R. R. Tolkien's literature * Dwarf (''Warhammer''), a humanoid race * Dwarfs (''Discworld''), a race of characters * Dwarves (''Artemis Fowl''), a race of characters * Dwarves (''Warcraft''), a short, strong race * Dwarves (Marvel Comics) Literature * ''The Dwarf'' (Cho novel), a 1978 novel by Cho Se-hui * ''The Dwarf'' (Lagerkvist novel), a 1944 novel by Pär Lagerkvist Other arts, entertainment, and media * ''Dwarfs?!'' (video game) *Dwarves (band), American punk band *Killer Dwarfs, Canadian heavy metal band *Wrocław's dwarfs, small sculptures in Wrocław, Poland Biology *Phyletic dwarfism, an average decrease in size of animals **Insular dwarfism, a evolutionary condition caused by g ...
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Tolkien's Legendarium
Tolkien's legendarium is the body of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic writing, unpublished in his lifetime, that forms the background to his ''The Lord of the Rings'', and which his son Christopher summarized in his compilation of ''The Silmarillion'' and documented in his 12-volume series ''The History of Middle-earth''. The legendarium's origins reach back to 1914, when Tolkien began writing poems and story sketches, drawing maps, and inventing languages and names as a private project to create a unique English mythology. The earliest story drafts (of ''The Book of Lost Tales'') are from 1916; he revised and rewrote these for most of his adult life. ''The Hobbit'' (1937), Tolkien's first published novel, was not originally part of the larger mythology but became linked to it. Both ''The Hobbit'' and ''The Lord of the Rings'' (1954 and 1955) took place in the Third Age of Middle-earth, while virtually all of his earlier writing had been set in the first two ages of the world. ...
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Elves (Middle-earth)
In J. R. R. Tolkien's writings, Elves are the first fictional race to appear in Middle-earth. Unlike Men and Dwarves, Elves are immortal. They feature in ''The Hobbit'' and ''The Lord of the Rings''. Their history is described in detail in ''The Silmarillion''. Tolkien derived his Elves from mentions in the ancient poetry and languages of Northern Europe, especially Old English. These suggested to him that Elves were large, dangerous, beautiful, lived in wild natural places, and practised archery. He invented languages for the Elves, including Sindarin and Quenya. Tolkien-style Elves have become a staple of fantasy literature. They have appeared, too, in film and role-playing game adaptations of Tolkien's works. Origins Germanic word The modern English word '' elf'' derives from the Old English word '' ælf'' (which has cognates in all other Germanic languages). Numerous types of elves appear in Germanic mythology; the West Germanic concept appears to have come to diffe ...
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Historical Linguistics
Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for observed changes in particular languages # to reconstruct the pre-history of languages and to determine their relatedness, grouping them into language families (comparative linguistics) # to develop general theories about how and why language changes # to describe the history of speech communities # to study the history of words, i.e. etymology Historical linguistics is founded on the Uniformitarian Principle, which is defined by linguist Donald Ringe as: History and development Western modern historical linguistics dates from the late-18th century. It grew out of the earlier discipline of philology, the study of ancient texts and documents dating back to antiquity. At first, historical linguistics served as the cornerstone of comparative linguistics, primarily as a tool f ...
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Myth
Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. Since "myth" is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be highly controversial. Many adherents of religions view their own religions' stories as truth and so object to their characterization as myth, the way they see the stories of other religions. As such, some scholars label all religious narratives "myths" for practical reasons, such as to avoid depreciating any one tradition because cultures interpret each other differently relative to one another. Other scholars avoid using the term "myth" altogether and instead use different terms like "sacred history", "holy story", or simply "history" to avoid placing pejorative overtones on any sacred narrative. Myths are often endorsed by secular and religious authorities and are closely linked to religion or spirituality. Many socie ...
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Old English Language
Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, Anglo-Saxon settlers in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literature, Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, by Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman (a langues d'oïl, relative of French) as the language of the upper classes. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, since during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English in England and Early Scots in Scotland. Old English developed from a set of Anglo-Frisian languages, Anglo-Frisian or Ingvaeonic dialects originally spoken by Germanic peoples, Germanic tribes traditionally known as the Angles, Sa ...
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The Silmarillion
''The Silmarillion'' () is a collection of myths and stories in varying styles by the English writer J. R. R. Tolkien. It was edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977, assisted by the fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay. It tells of Eä, a fictional universe that includes the Blessed Realm of Valinor, the once-great region of Beleriand, the sunken island of Númenor, and the continent of Middle-earth, where Tolkien's most popular works—''The Hobbit'' and ''The Lord of the Rings''—are set. After the success of ''The Hobbit'', Tolkien's publisher Stanley Unwin requested a sequel, and Tolkien offered a draft of the writings that would later become ''The Silmarillion''. Unwin rejected this proposal, calling the draft obscure and "too Celtic", so Tolkien began working on a new story that eventually became ''The Lord of the Rings''. ''The Silmarillion'' has five parts. The first, '' Ainulindalë'', tells in mythic style of the creation of Eä, the "w ...
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