HASA Resources

Things of Middle-earth

Khuzdul

Type: Languages & Writing Systems

Description:The Dwarves ... had an ancient language of their own which they prized highly; and even when, as among the Longbeard Dwarves of the West, it had ceased to be their native tongue and had become a 'book-language', it was carefully preserved and taught to all their children at an early age. It thus served as a lingua franca between all Dwarves of all kinds; but it was also a written language used in all important histories and lore, and in recording any matters not intended to be read by other people. This Khuzdul (as they called it), partly because of their native secretiveness, and partly because of its inherent difficulty was seldom learned by those of other race.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men

Structurally and grammatically it differed widely from all other languages of the West at that time; though it had some features in common with Adunaic, the ancient 'native' language of Numenor. This gave rise to the theory (a probable one) that in the unrecorded past some of the languages of Men -- including the language of the dominant element in the Atani from which Adunaic was derived -- had been influenced by Khuzdul.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men: Notes, Note 4

The Longbeard Dwarves therefore adopted the Runes, and modified them for their own uses (especially the expression of Khuzdul); and they adhered to them even far into the Third Age, when they were forgotten by others except the loremasters of Elves and Men. Indeed it was generally supposed by the unlearned that they had been invented by the Dwarves, and they were widely known as 'dwarf-letters'.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 14Oct05

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