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Neo-Quenya

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Neo-Quenya

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:32 pm

While setting up this forum some of our group asked about the phrase Neo-Quenya, being unaware of it. I have therefore made a summary of the discussion which followed, as other new learners of the Eldarin Tongues may find it helpful.

As to what it is, - Neo-Quenya is when a word is needed for which Tolkien has not provided any help of any kind at all. Those who know how to do it go through all the early material such as the Qenya Lexicon, and the Etymologies, and find, or perhaps create Roots which might possibly develop into the required word. Then they trace all the changes through the Ages such as s > z > r and finally create a previously non-existent Quenya word. Helge does it quite a lot when he's translating from the Bible - and has in fact just announced a "Neo-Quenya Translation" of part of Luke this last week.
The difference between a *word and a Neo-Quenya word is that it has a far more tenuous history. Words with an * may be nouns which have been created from a previously attested verb, for instance, or the other way round. They may be words made by taking two attested words, prefixes, or whatever, and putting them together as was done with Alatúlë. Ala- is a prefix attested in PE17, and means "well". The example there is alaquenta "Well said". tul is the verb stem for "come". If I use them together in the correct way I create a *word, but not a Neo-Quenya word. *Words have a word, a stem, or a root from which other words have already developed, and from which this word is created. In notes it is easy to explain a *word, as I did, but Neo-Quenya is more difficult and much more troublesome in that it requires the creator to guess at what Tolkien might have made the language do, and so it does tend to divide opinion.

Whether anyone does such a thing with Sindarin, I really don't know. I've never seen or heard the term Neo-Sindarin used, so my guess is that it doesn't exist. . . . . . Unless David Salo has done a little of that. But, the real problem with his book is that he doesn't give the references and etymologies for the words in his lists.
Helge's lists are an immaculate example, because you know at once that this word came from the second version of the poem Markirya, that word only appears in Firiel's Song, and the third word is from Lost Tales 1. This, for instance, makes it easy to avoid words which might be far too early to fit into something you are writing which is of the Third Age.

With David's Sindarin lists, we are unable to make any judgement of our own, because we lack that information. I believe that Hisweloke is better on that. Dragon Flame had a separate section for newly created words - but who used them, if anyone, I can't tell you.
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Re: Neo-Quenya

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:40 pm

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Re: Neo-Quenya

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:46 pm

Trying to find Sindarin and Quenya equivalents for the Forum, I commented:

This is one of those frustrations that are built into the study of Elven tongues – where there's a perfectly good word for what you want in Sindarin, but not in Quenya, and of course vice versa. And that can be a source of Neo-Quenya or Neo-Sindarin, as writers take the Sindarin word, trace it back to the most primitive form, and then bring it forward again applying the development rules of Quenya to it. I am not au fait enough with the process to be able to judge the results. But I bear in mind a comment of Bill Welden's in one of those Elfling messages which long ago I listed as important for every writer to read, that whatever we might guess that Tolkien might do, there was a reasonable chance that he would do something totally unexpected, and therefore we could not guess at that unexpected!!! And I have to say I like that!

I also agree that the word Neo- is not particularly positive, but it is the word that has been coined and used for some time by the majority of the community of those who study and write in the Elven Tongues, so I suppose that we're stuck with it, and have to learn to let it slide past us without troubling us.
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Re: Neo-Quenya

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:52 pm

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Re: Neo-Quenya

PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:57 am

I've noticed references such as "Third Age Quenya" and "LotR-style Quenya". Do these refer to similar concepts? Are they synonymous, or are there subtle differences between these terms?

If anyone has advice I would welcome it. With thanks in advance,
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Re: Neo-Quenya

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:09 am

Those labels are more or less synonymous. One refers to the 'internal history', and the other to the 'external history' of the languge. They are generally used to show 'externally' that the words arrived at that form around the time that Tolkien was writing LotR, and with regard to the 'internal' history of the languages were words that would have been used in the Third Age.

Of course, if someone is attempting to create some Neo-Quenya, they usually try to give it a form consistent with the Third Age, since that is what the majority of writers use.

You could create Neo-Quenya / Qenya in an earlier form if you were wanting to write something that should be First or Second Age
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