Forum: Languages in Arda

Discussing: questions about the letter "J"

questions about the letter "J"

Does the letter "J", and the J-sound, turn up in any of the Human or Elvish languages in Middle-Earth? Does it appear in Dwarvish or Hobbit names? RAKSHA THE DEMON

 

 

Re: questions about the letter

Does the letter "J", and the J-sound, turn up in any of the Human or Elvish languages in Middle-Earth? I don't know about the J-sound, but the letter J does not appear in the index of the HASA Resources Library, nor the indices for LoTR, Silm, or UT, and the only words listed under J in the HoME Index are modern English words. There is a Jago Boffin in the Family Tree of Peoples of Middle-earth (HoME 12) and a Jessamine (Boffin) Bolger, there, as well -- although Jessamine is an English flower-name, so clearly a translation from the "original" Hobbit. And the younger Wilcome Cotton's nickname is Jolly, and Tom Bombadil is called Jolly Tom -- English again. That's all I could find, and my spreadsheet contains the names of every one of Tolkien's characters for whom he gave a genealogy, and quite a few more, besides. - Barbara

 

 

Re: questions about the letter

I don't know about Quenya for sure, but there's no J sound in Sindarin. If I had to hazzard a guess about Quneya, I would guess there's no J there, either. Neither the Tíw nor the Angerthas have letters for the sound, implying there were no alvelar-palatal stops when the written languages were made. J would have been the voiced one of the two with what we in English pronounce as ch being the unvoiced one. Both alphabets were created before the darkening of the Two Trees on Valinor (the Tíw by Fëanor and the Angerthas by Daeron, if memory serves, unless one of them was Rúmil). If the J sound had existed in Quenya, the letter for it would still have been carried over into Sindarin, just never used. But if there is such a letter, I've never seen it. Bado na sídh. Berz.

 

 

Re: questions about the letter

Thanx, Berz and Barbara! I I was trying to make up an Easterling word that would be very exotic to Gondorian ears. I'll go with one that the Gondorian translates as beginnning with Sh, but with the 'Sh' sounding close to what we call the letter J.... RAKSHA THE DEMON

 

 

Re: questions about the letter

SH sounding like J... wouldn't that be something like ZH? Like how the French say the J in Jacques? Hehe nevermind...

 

 

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