The Wizard's Tolkien Pages
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973)
I first discovered the work of J.R.R. Tolkien sometime in the mid-sixties. I remember reading through The Lord of the Rings from cover to cover and then starting from the beginning again. Although I enjoyed the competence of his story telling ability, I was most fascinated by the breath and depth of his creation called "Middle Earth" and the invented languages that came alive there. I had been an isolated language cobbler myself for nearly a decade by then and I was in ecstasy in discovering, not only a kindred soul, but a master of the art. I desperately wanted more of the depth that seemed to be only hinted at in LOTR.
Sometime in the early seventies, I discovered The Mythopoetic Linguistic Fellowship and I devoured each new edition of the early Parma Eldalamberon. I acquired a copy of Jim Allen's groundbreaking An Introduction to Elvish and feasted upon this linguistic morsel. But I thirsted for more of the master's work. With the publication of The Silmarillion, my thirst was all but quenched. Here was a text both richer in concultural detail and deeper in linguistic content than the LOTR. I was to read this volume again and again over the next several years and yet I thirsted for more.
The eighties brought Christopher Tolkien's Unfinished Tales and the monumental twelve volumes of The History of Middle Earth published throughout the next decade. I waited eagerly as each new volume was printed, convinced that one of them would contain definitive grammars of Tolkien's major languages Quenya and Sindarin. Alas, although much linguistic data came to light in these volumes, no definitive grammar was to be had.
Since that time much work has been done by independent scholars to reveal the details of these invented tongues. The coming of the internet has made much of that work available to those who would piece together the shards of linguistic hints into a grammatical mosaic. I have been the benefactor of these researchers and I am deeply indebted to them for what little I know and here display of these tongues.