Gnomish & Noldorin
Gnomish and Noldorin are the predecessors of Sindarin in the course of Tolkien’s life. The ultimate ancestor of Sindarin is a language called “Gnomish” or according to its own term “Goldogrin”. Tolkien began to elaborate Gnomish in 1917, inspired by Welsh but also by Germanic languages; he then conceived it as a language developed in Middle-earth by the exiled Noldor (or Gnomes) from the ancient language they spoke in Valinor. Despite some continuity in inspiration, Gnomish is rather distinct in form and structure from what was to follow. During the 1920s, he brought upon it major reforms, increasing the influence of Welsh, and renamed it into “Noldorin”, after its name in Quenya. Whereas the substance of the language further noticeably moved on until the early 1950s, its internal history within Tolkien’s imaginary world remained more or less unchanged. Only when he wrote the appendices to The Lord of the Rings did he deeply transform this history and attributed the Welsh-inspired language of his legendarium to the Sindar of Belriand: and Noldorin, a bit modified in the structure it had then reached, became Sindarin.
– A poem published in The
Monsters and the Critics
, p. 217.
The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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