A presage of things to come?

Discussion in '"The Peoples of Middle-earth"' started by Maedhros, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Maedhros

    Maedhros The Tall

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    Is the change in the Quenya pre- Exile from Þ to s, an indicative of things to come in the future for the Noldor?
    From The Peoples of Middle-Earth: Shibboleth of Fëanor:
    Interesting to note that something so simple can lead to a great division in the people.
    They rejected the view of Fëanor, even thought he was correct in it. Was this the first sign to the Valar that a Rebellion was imminent to the Noldor?
    Che pensi tu?
     
  2. gate7ole

    gate7ole Registered User

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    We know the great importance of the languages in Arda. They were not just a way to communicate, but an art studied by the most skillful elves and especially the Noldor. Their dialect of the original speech of the Valar was much altered and adopted in their linguistic needs (see HOME V:Lhammas), more than the Vanyar who did only a few changes. Feanor, being the greatest craftsman, was also a great linguist. And of course he was very proud. I haven’t read the Shibboleth of Feanor (yet), but from the fragments it is more than obvious that he had proposed a correct change in Quenya. But Feanor as usual couldn’t wait this change to be absorbed in the speech of the elves. His pride wanted the change to be imposed immediately. As said, he was probably right but rapid changes are rare and usually are attacked by the most conservative people. Thus Feanor showed his bitterness by instructing his folk to support him by adhering to Þ.
    Does this resemble in any way Feanor’s following actions and his rebellion. Of course. But is it a presage of things to come? I think so too. It is far fetched to say that this linguistic strife plays its part in the rebellion. But it can be considered as the first step of a conflict between the Valar and the Feanorians. The next step of the disagreement was on a far more serious matter with the tragic outcome. It is like watching the first act of a theatrical play. Feanor’s spirit was too vivid to be constrained by anybody, including the Valar and the conflict seemed inevitable from his first variation with them. I’m finally confident that Feanor’s return to ME would have happened one way or another, even without the loss of the Silmarills. Their theft by Melkor just hastened and deteriorated the events.
     
  3. Elfarmari

    Elfarmari Tingilindë

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    I have read the Shibboleth, but it has been several months and I cannot remember what sound Þ represents for some reason. could someone please remind me?

    This issue highlights Feanor's temperment, and shows the first split among the Eldar. Although this was not a major issue, and would probably have been resolved simply, it became a matter of pride: Feanor and his followers adopted Þ, while his opponents adopted s. Was this a factor in the Rebellion? I don't think so, but it acts as both a foreshadowing and indicates the complete schism of the Eldar.

    related questions--
    Would Þ be used in other languages as well, as a kind of accent? or would the pronunciation native to that language be adopted?

    If Maedhros returned to ME (as in the current rpg#36), would he still use Þ?
     
  4. Maedhros

    Maedhros The Tall

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    I would venture to say that he would. Þ was better for the language, as explained by the loremasters of the Noldor and whom Fëanor was the chief.
    It was a phonetical matter that shouldn't have ended the way it did, perjudicating the language.