Adunaroth- Adunaic Script

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caedmon
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Adunaroth- Adunaic Script

Postby caedmon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:15 pm

Just ran across Adunaroth, an constructed Adunaic script. While I like the idea, the script feels too much like a stylized a version of the latin alphabet. But I'd like others impressions. Any thoughts?

https://www.omniglot.com/conscripts/adunaroth.htm
-Jack Horner

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Impression: Boater Wesman ( Balku'npâ Adúnerama ) bronze founder living in Archet, Breelander of mixed dúnedain descent. c. 3017
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Re: Adunaroth- Adunaic Script

Postby Elleth » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:20 pm

Oh lord.

I spent probably tens of hours trying to answer this exact question.

My conclusion is in the MERS Spring article.

Short version: I think the best available evidence is that the "Numenorean script" of Adunaic was a mode of tengwar. Possibly related to the Beleriand mode, but more likely related to the Quenyan mode.
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Re: Adunaroth- Adunaic Script

Postby caedmon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:49 pm

Oh, well, I eagerly await your article.
-Jack Horner

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Impression: Boater Wesman ( Balku'npâ Adúnerama ) bronze founder living in Archet, Breelander of mixed dúnedain descent. c. 3017
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Re: Adunaroth- Adunaic Script

Postby Elleth » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:00 pm

You don't have to wait long -

it's already here.

:mrgreen:
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Re: Adunaroth- Adunaic Script

Postby Iodo » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:06 pm

Elleth wrote:You don't have to wait long -

it's already here.

:mrgreen:

I was just about to say that, then I refreshed the page :mrgreen:
Gimli: It's true you don't see many Dwarf-women. And in fact, they are so alike in voice and appearance, that they are often mistaken for Dwarf-men.
Aragorn: It's the beards.
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Re: Adunaroth- Adunaic Script

Postby Elleth » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:12 am

To elaborate a bit, as not everything could make it into that article -

First, almost all what we have about Adunaic is in History of Middle Earth Vol IX: Sauron Defeated.
There's two important parts: The Notion Club Papers as a framing story of a writer's club not unlike the Inklings, and Lowdham's Report on the Adunaic Language which is a detailed breakdown of Adunaic. Briefly: a professor of the current day has recurring vivid dreams of Numenor's drowning, and writes what he can remember of it.

The grammar is remarkably well developed, but sadly references to the written script are few and ambiguous.
At one point in the "Report on.." section, there's an interesting aside regarding an inscription -

The assumption of a primitive
c-series is based partly on scraps of internal evidence (such as
the presence of an infixion NZ, whereas infixion of Nasal does
not occur before the genuine consonants); partly on early forms,
especially some scraps of an early inscription, [Footnote 6]
which shows two different s-letters and z-letters.


... and that footnote reads:

Jeremy could not see this very clearly; it was perhaps already
very old and partly illegible at the period to which his 'sight'
was directed. We believe it to have been on some monument
marking the first landing of Gimilzor, son of Azrubel, on the
east coast of Anadune. It cannot have been quite contemporary,
since the texts seem to speak of the Adunaic script as being only
invented after they had dwelt some little time in the island. It is
likely, nonetheless, to date from a time at least 500 years, and
quite possibly 1000 years, before the time of Ar-Pharazon. This
is borne out both by the letter-forms and by the archaism of
the linguistic forms.


Tantalizing! What else is there?

Not much... if you look online at the contents of Sauron Defeated, you will see a reference to a handwritten manuscript of the Akallabeth in the first edition of Sauron Defeated. While in the Numenorean language and beautifully annoted - it is nonetheless handwritten with Latin characters. So no help there.

adunaic-manuscript-photo.jpg
adunaic-manuscript-photo.jpg (109.26 KiB) Viewed 2767 times

(photo cribbed from an eBay auction: my later edition doesn't have those nice color frontispieces)

Likewise you may see references in lists of illustrations in the book to-
(v) The page preserved from Edwin Lowdham's manuscript written in Numenorean script


That really got my hopes up!

There are three pictures from the manuscript alright: but they cover two versions of an Anglo-Saxon passage: and all three pictures are hand-written in tengwar characters.

merf-sauron-defeated-manuscript.jpg
merf-sauron-defeated-manuscript.jpg (61.33 KiB) Viewed 2761 times


Interstingly, Christopher Tolkien says these handwritten pages "may or may not relate to my father's note (p.279); 'the Anglo-Saxon should not be written in Numenorean script.'" He then proceeds to analyze the idiosyncracies his father used in the tengwar in these pages, noting the tweaks made to adapt it to the sounds and spelling of Anglo-Saxon.


My first thought reading these passages was that these manuscript might date from an earlier period of the Professor's life, before he'd settled on the origins of tengwar with the elves. Maybe originally the tengwar were supposed to be Numenorean in origin?

That turned out not to be true- the Notion Club story was penned roughly contemporaneosly (1945) with the Lord of the Rings (1937-1949).

Sadly, as I mentioned in the article I think we're simply at the edge of what we can know.


Before starting down this road, I was earnestly hoping to find another character set - maybe a sort of fictional proto-Linear B, in keeping with the Professor's imagined timeline. I've even written the Tolkien Society and the Tolkien Estate, asking if there might be some scrap of work on that topic as yet unreleased: not surprisingly, they've not had time to reply to a random nobody. :)


Given all that we have though - especially if C. Tolkien is correct that his father's note on "the Anglo-Saxon should not be written in.." referred to the manuscript pages reproduced in Sauron Defeated - I think that the most parsimonious explanation is that the "Numenorean script" was always intended to be some mode of tengwar.

The alternative is to believe that while Adunaic's spoken form slowly pidgined into Westron, its written form completely died out without trace. While I suppose one could make the argument, I think that we'd have at least some intimation of that work in the mountains of notes that have been released over the last few decades. Moreover, I think it's the sort of linguistic exercise that would be so enticing to the Professor that if he had intended a distinct script, we'd have seen bits of it ages ago.

But hey - if some scholar at the Tolkien Estate posts a "hey look at this!" picture next week with a whole new character set, I'll be excited and delighted as anyone. :mrgreen:
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Re: Adunaroth- Adunaic Script

Postby Elleth » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:24 pm

just a note for future people reviewing this thread.

After learning in this thread about the the Tolkien:Maker of Middle-earth exhibit in the Bodleian Libraries, I contacted the library to see if they might have an answer. On 6/15/2018 I asked:

I've seen references to "Numenorean charachters" and "Numenorean
script" in his works, and am trying to figure out what he meant by
those words. The History of Middle Earth vol IX "Sauron Defeated" has
some reproductions of manuscripts called Numenorean in the table of
contents, but on examination are Anglo-Saxon rendered in a mode of
tengwar.

I assume either Professor Tolkien changed the origin of tengwar from
Numenorean to Elvish at some point, or that his viewpoint character
was simply wrong in ascribing the script to Numenor in the Notion
Club/ Adunaic chapters, or perhaps - most exciting - that there may be
some other unpublished script in his writings.

Does anyone on your staff know for certain?


I was answered on 6/19/2018 by Catherine McIlwaine, an archivist with Special Collections.
Sadly, the complete extent of her reply was:

Tolkien’s manuscript material relating to Numenor is not yet available to researchers. The key published source as you have identified is Sauron Defeated (The History of Middle-earth, vol. IX). I’m afraid that I cannot shed any further light on your enquiry.


... and so we are no closer to an answer.

It's of course understandable given the considerable value of the Professor's estate. But sadly, until and unless someone in the future arranges search and perhaps publishing rights, it seems even the question "do we know if there IS an answer" must remain itself unanswered.

:(


(I've gotta say though, the implication of more material from Numenor as yet unreleased is tantalizing! :mrgreen: )
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.

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