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Discussing: Diminutives in Sindarin

Diminutives in Sindarin

What shortened/affectionate terms would a Sindarin speaker be likely to use for a small child? Is there a standard way of turning names into nicknames in Sindarin (as in the English Robert=Bobby, or Russian Natalya=Natasha)? For example, in his babyhood surely Faramir was called something endearing by his mother and his nurse, although perhaps not by Denethor. Does anyone have any knowledge, ideas, good guesses?

Gandalfs apprentice 

 

 

Re: Diminutives in Sindarin

What shortened/affectionate terms would a Sindarin speaker be likely to use for a small child?

Does anyone have any knowledge, ideas, good guesses?

I'd say take the accented syllable and add a diminuitive.  Darned if I can remember where I got it - maybe Ardalembion? - but when I was writing baby Aragorn, his dad called him Areg, 'little prince', because -eg was supposed to be a diminuative, and ar- was the 'royal' prefix.

I have used Hal for Halbarad, because that seems obvious to our ears. But the name would have been pronounced, if I understand the system correctly,  hal- BAR - ad or maybe hal - BA - rad, not HAL-ba-rad.  Using that logic it may be Bareg rather than Hal as the common diminuative.

As far as I know, as long as you are consistent, you can make it up as you go along.   

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: Diminutives in Sindarin

Hi, Gwynnyd

Thanks for the answer. I remember your use of "Areg" in your story, but I didn't realize it meant "little prince." Very appropriate.

Is "--eg" a "official" diminutive ending in Sindarin--that is, did you look it up somewhere, or are you being clever and consistent only? If it's official, I will go along.  If it isn't, my personal inclination is to go for --ya, for the sound, for boys. Maybe "--eth" for girls?

I'll try looking it up in one of those on line dictionaries. 

Sure don't know why Tolkien liked those "eg" wierd sounds, sort of like a gargling sneeze. And I just WON'T say Hal-BAR-ad. Never have been able to figure out how to pronounce Lothiriel or Celebrian, anyway.

G.A. 

 

 

Re: Diminutives in Sindarin

Actually, the rule is that the stress falls on the third-to-last syllable unless the second-to-last syllable ends in a consonant cluster. So it'd be Per-EDH-el for Elrond's surname, say, but HAL-bar-ad. So fret not, G.A.

 

 

Re: Diminutives in Sindarin

What a relief!

G.A. 

 

 

Re: Diminutives in Sindarin

Actually, the rule is that the stress falls on the third-to-last syllable unless the second-to-last syllable ends in a consonant cluster.

<Gwynnyd's head explodes>

See, I said I wasn't  good at this stuff. 

and I can't remember where I saw the -eg as the name diminutive. I know I did a lot of looking when I was writing that story. I think I may have seen it on Ardalambion, but don't hold me to it.

 I just went looking again to see if I could find it.  But I did find this: Now we have all got Elvish Names

He talks about conventions in making Sindarin names. 

 
and aha!  I did find my source. No clue how accurate it is, of course. But it was from Sindarin Nouns

II. DERIVATION

The derivation of Sindarin nouns can sometimes be seen from the prefixes or suffixes attached to them. Indeed this can be a highly effective way of constructive small phrases (e.g. lotheg "the little flower"):

Augmentative: -on
e.g. sirion "great river"

Diminutive: -eg
e.g. nogotheg "dwarflet"

Pejorative: ú
e.g. úmarth "ill-fate"

Negative:
pen-, e.g. penadar "fatherless"
al-, e.g. alfirin "immortal"

Hope this helps

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: Diminutives in Sindarin

Thanks for the sources! I looked them up, and "--eg" it is. But wouldn't "Areg" mean "little king," since prince is Ernil? My Elvish is below elementary, but I do know a few words, "aran" and "ernil" being two of about a twelve-word vocabulary.

As far as judging the accuracy of these sources, who can know? There's only one person in history with real authority on Elvish, and he is no longer with us.

So, working on the "eg" principle, we've got not just Areg, but Boreg, Fareg, Haleg....for the boys, anyway. Presumably these are childhood nicknames only, and an adult nickname might be something else. Let's not go there.

According to the Elvish names source, mine is Melde. Kind of nice.

G.A. 

 

 

Re: Diminutives in Sindarin

Thanks for the sources! I looked them up, and "--eg" it is. But wouldn't "Areg" mean "little king," since prince is Ernil?

 
Sheesh! so literal. OK, so it's "little royal". 

You might go with 'little jewel' ..Ok, my brain imploded again... looking up word

jewel –mîr  so Mireg, for one of the brothers...

Gwynnyd 

 

 

Re: Stress in Sindarin

...Never have been able to figure out how to pronounce Lothiriel or Celebrian, anyway...

Tolkien's pronunciation rules have tripped me up a few times too. 
I believe it would be:   Loth IR i el      Cel EB ri an

And another tricksy detail:
From Apendix E, Stress
"Note that Sindarin dh, th, ch are single consonants and represent single letters in the original scripts."
So it would be:    PER edh el   

Hope that helps,
Ithildin  *(

 

 

Re: Stress in Sindarin

Bah. Right again, Ithildin. That was a lousy example.

 

 

Re: Diminutives in Sindarin

"Prince" can also be caun, I think (plural conin). So perhaps "coneg"?

I've always pronounced "Celebrian" as Ke-le-BREE-uhn.

 

 

Re: Stress in Sindarin

I've always pronounced "Celebrian" as Ke-le-BREE-uhn.

Hi Anna,

I know how you feel. Whichever way I first pronounced a lot of elvish words has often stubbornly stuck with me. I would rather say GLORfindel than glorFINdel, which follows Tolkien's pronunciation rules. And I still have trouble remembering to say erEssëa – to me it sounds better as eressËa. But I can't argue with Tolkien himself…

Here's Tolkien's passage on which syllable gets the stress:

STRESS

"The position of the 'accent' or stress is not marked, since in the Eldarin languages concerned its place is determined by the form of the word. In words of two syllables it falls in practically all cases on the first syllable. In longer words it falls on the last syllable but one, where that contains a long vowel, a diphthong, or a vowel followed by two (or more) consonants. Where the last syllable but one contains (as often) a short vowel followed by only one (or no) consonant, the stress falls on the syllable before it, the third from the end. Words of the last form are favoured in the Eldarin languages, especially Quenya.

"In the following examples the stressed vowel is marked by a capital letter: isIldur, Orome, erEssëa, fËanor, ancAlima, elentÁri; dEnethor, periAnnath, ecthElion, pelArgir, silIvren. Words of the type elentÁri 'star-queen' seldom occur in Quenya where the vowel is é, á, ó, unless (as in this case) they are compounds; they are commoner with the vowels í, ú, as andÚne 'sunset, west'. They do not occur in Sindarin except in compounds. Note that Sindarin dh, th, ch are single consonants and represent single letters in the original scripts."

(From Appendix E)

Here's how I summarize the above passage:

Summary:

2 syllable words – first syllable (almost always)

3/+ syllable words – next to last – when next to last syllable contains:

  • a long vowel (marked with an acute accent or circumflex)
  • a diphthong (S. ae, ai, ei, oe, ui, & au; Q. ui, oi, ai & iu, eu, au)
  • a vowel followed by at least 2 consonants

3/+ syllables – 3rd from last – – when next to last syllable contains:

  • a short vowel followed by 0-1 consonants

I don't know if that really makes it any easier to understand, but it helps me keep it straight.

Blessings, Ithildin *(

Edit: I found examples of exceptions to the rule for two-syllable words – annûn and amrûn - explanation and Sindarin pronunciation sound files at this url: http://www.ellammath.de/pronunciation.htm

 

 

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