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The Common Tongue and Latin

1stvermont

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I am not a student of Latin, but is there any similarity to the "common tongue" used in LOTR and Latin in the medieval west?
 

Olorgando

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My guess is that there is just not enough of "original Westron" to form an opinion. JRRT only gives a few words, mostly names, in Appendix F section II "On Translation". And volume 12 of HoMe, "The Peoples of Middle-earth", while containing in Part One the chapter II "The Appendix on Languages" running to about 65 pages, also yields little to nothing on Westron vocabulary.
 

Elthir

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Well, again, to be clear -- ' cause nobody reads links ;)

Westron in not English, and Gando is correct that there are very few examples of Westron, especially considering (as Gando also noted) that some examples floating around the web today hail from a draft version of Appendix F, not the version Tolkien himself published. I just posted (at another site) that Frodo's actual Westron name Maura is one of these draft names.

Were these HOME examples rejected? Or did they just fall out because Tolkien reduced the length of Appendix F "On Translation"? And if the latter, as might be argued, would Tolkien have changed his mind/niggled with stuff given more time to work on a hypothetical revised/enlarged Appendix F (as it was revised in some measure in the 1960s)?

I do not know.
 

Elhath

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A comparison of Westron and (written) Catalan items, examining the sound-combinational possibilities:

W adûni — C s'adoni
W balc — C parc
W basto — C bastó
W dramar — C bramar
W gamba — C gamba
W hlotho — C tothom
W kastar — C tastar
W krassa — C trossa
W labingi — C ralinga; laringi (pronounced "-njy, -ndgy")
W lêva — C meva; gleva
W phâre — C frare
W pûta — C puta
W sôval — C oval
W tapuc — C capot; maluc
W tung — C fang; fong
W tûph — C baf
W zîranda — C bufanda

Of course it should be noted that the place of the word-stress (not to mention the syllable-length!) apparently differs between the two languages — and there are other Westron words and morphemes which remind a linguist of rather some other language (relevant to Europe / European antiquity), e.g. #nâtha which firstly brings to mind either Old Continental West-Germanic or Sanskrit, and #batta which has the double T found in Italian, Finnish, etc. but remains encountered by me even in written Catalan.
 

Elthir

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See, this is why it's good to have actual linguists looking in!

Elhath, thanks for your very interesting post!
 
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Miguel

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A comparison of Westron and (written) Catalan items, examining the sound-combinational possibilities:

W adûni — C s'adoni
W balc — C parc
W basto — C bastó
W dramar — C bramar
W gamba — C gamba
W hlotho — C tothom
W kastar — C tastar
W krassa — C trossa
W labingi — C ralinga; laringi (pronounced "-njy, -ndgy")
W lêva — C meva; gleva
W phâre — C frare
W pûta — C puta
W sôval — C oval
W tapuc — C capot; maluc
W tung — C fang; fong
W tûph — C baf
W zîranda — C bufanda

Of course it should be noted that the place of the word-stress (not to mention the syllable-length!) apparently differs between the two languages — and there are other Westron words and morphemes which remind a linguist of rather some other language (relevant to Europe / European antiquity), e.g. #nâtha which firstly brings to mind either Old Continental West-Germanic or Sanskrit, and #batta which has the double T found in Italian, Finnish, etc. but remains encountered by me even in written Catalan.
🤔
 

Elhath

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Codex Regius (Andreas Möhn) conveys the following impression of Westron in his book Words of Westernesse (page 85):

"While Adûnaic was attributed with 'a faintly Semitic flavour', Westron clearly resembles Germanic languages. In G[uide to the] N[ames in the Lord of the Rings], Tolkien confesses that the [Westron] word sûza 'Shire' was inspired by an Old Norse and modern Icelandic expression sýsla; the 'Definite' mode of nouns, marked by a final -t (Sûza-t 'the Shire'), resembles similar phenomena in Swedish, etc."

Btw, suza/sȕza is an actual noun in Croatian, where it means "a teardrop".
 

Elthir

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As an aside: I consider the word orc (ork) a Westron Word.

But for examples: Ardalambion and Glǽmscrafu do not include this word in their Westron lists, and at the moment Parf Edhellen and Eldamo show Westron orka (Parf Edhellen cites PE17) -- although Parf Edhellen also lists orc as Rohirric, based on The Return of the King (which I agree with).
I realize it's only a final vowel, and that PE17 is certainly Tolkienian . . .

. . . but Tolkien himself published orc in both The Hobbit (especially the note added to the third edition) and The Lord of the Rings, and explained orc as a Common Speech word in his Guide to Names for translators (here JRRT even writes that according to his own system, orc should be translated in the language of translation [as "goblin" in English], but asks that it be retained nonetheless [that is, retained where it appears in The Lord of the Rings]). And all this appears to agree with JRRT's late-ish note published in Morgoth's Ring: "Also the spelling of what, in the later more organized linguistic situation, must have been a Common Speech form of a word or group of similar words should be ork."

Granted, here Tolkien adds "or group of similar words", but still, in my opinion these sources taken together should leave us with orc/ork as an attested (and Tolkien-published) Westron word, also used by Hobbits (again, the note added to The Hobbit, third edition), and a Rohirric word (Appendix F) "Orc is the form of the name that other races had for this foul people as it was in the language of Rohan. In Sindarin it was orch. Related . . ." Here I note that this section deals with orc, orch, uruk, snaga . . . meaning orc is "lumped in" with words actually spoken in Middle-earth, not translations (this statement appears before Appendix F section II "On translation").

Erm, sorry, my "aside" got away from me a bit!
 
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CirdanLinweilin

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As an aside: I consider the word orc (ork) a Westron Word.

But for examples: Ardalambion and Glǽmscrafu do not include this word in their Westron lists, and at the moment Parf Edhellen and Eldamo show Westron orka (Parf Edhellen cites PE17) -- although Parf Edhellen also lists orc as Rohirric, based on The Return of the King (which I agree with).
I realize it's only a final vowel, and that PE17 is certainly Tolkienian . . .

. . . but Tolkien himself published orc in both The Hobbit (especially the note added to the third edition) and The Lord of the Rings, and explained orc as a Common Speech word in his Guide to Names for translators (here JRRT even writes that according to his own system, orc should be translated in the language of translation [as "goblin" in English], but asks that it be retained nonetheless [that is, retained where it appears in The Lord of the Rings]). And all this appears to agree with JRRT's late-ish note published in Morgoth's Ring: "Also the spelling of what, in the later more organized linguistic situation, must have been a Common Speech form of a word or group of similar words should be ork."

Granted, here Tolkien adds "or group of similar words", but still, in my opinion these sources taken together should leave us with orc/ork as an attested (and Tolkien-published) Westron word, also used by Hobbits (again, the note added to The Hobbit, third edition), and a Rohirric word (Appendix F) "Orc is the form of the name that other races had for this foul people as it was in the language of Rohan. In Sindarin it was orch. Related . . ." Here I note that this section deals with orc, orch, uruk, snaga . . . meaning orc is "lumped in" with words actually spoken in Middle-earth, not translations (this statement appears before Appendix F section II "On translation").

Erm, sorry, my "aside" got away from me a bit!
Did you find it?


XD


CL
 

Olorgando

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Ando was hiding behind the g in Olorg :p
Oh great!

As a measure to alleviate my Internet paranoia, that was one thing, and one thing only:

an abysmal failure! :eek:

I might PM you about how you got your member name changed ...
wait, wasn't there some hitch to that, PMing you, too? 🤔
 

Erestor Arcamen

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Oh great!

As a measure to alleviate my Internet paranoia, that was one thing, and one thing only:

an abysmal failure! :eek:

I might PM you about how you got your member name changed ...
wait, wasn't there some hitch to that, PMing you, too? 🤔
You can pm the admin to have your username changed. That's beyond my power :oops:
 

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