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Sindarin is an artificial language (or conlang) developed by J. R. R. Tolkien. In Tolkien's mythos, it was the Elvish language most commonly spoken in Middle-earth. It was the language of the Sindar, those Teleri which had been left behind on the Great Journey of the Elves. It was derived from an earlier language called Common Telerin. When the Noldor came back to Middle-earth, they adopted the Sindarin language, although they believed their native Quenya more beautiful. Before the downfall, most of the Men of Númenor also spoke the language. Knowledge of it was kept in the Númenorean realm in exile Gondor, especially amongst the learned.

The written script alphabet of the Elven languages is typically Tengwar, although Cirth can also be used.

Tolkien originally imagined that the language which would become Sindarin was spoken by the Noldor (second clan of Elves). However, Tolkien later decided that it was the language of the Sindar. For this reason it is called Noldorin in the older material, such as the Etymologies. When Noldorin became Sindarin, it also adopted some features of the originally unrelated language Ilkorin. Tolkien based the sound and some of the grammar of his Noldorin/Sindarin on Welsh, and indeed, Sindarin has many of the mutations that characterise the Celtic languages.

Sindarin plurals are characterised by "i-affection", as Tolkien called it. The Sindarin term for this is prestanneth (disturbance, affection) and the English term is umlaut, a German word used to describe much the same process. What it all comes down to is this: Almost all Sindarin words form their plurals like English man/men and goose/geese — by changing the vowels in the word. For example, the plural of the Sindarin word "adan" meaning "human being" is "edain". The reason for this was that the primitive plural ending "-î" affected the vowels in the word by making them closer to itself. Having done its dirty work, it disappeared (all final vowels were lost). So Sindarin plurals no longer have "i" at the end, but still have its "residue".

Sindarin has a complex series of mutations. These occur when a closely associated word (such as an article or a preposition) occurs before the mutated word, changing the mutated word's first consonant. Many times, the preposition also changes. Also, mutation occurs in many other places (to mention a few, in compounds (elvellyn, from mellyn, "friends") or in direct objects).

Sindarin verbs are also quite complex. There are strong and weak verbs, also called i-stems and a-stems respectively. Just like English (and German) strong and weak verbs, the strong ones are more "irregular" than the weak ones. Sindarin also has quite a large number of irregular verbs.

Sindarin is one of the two languages developed by Tolkien (the other being Quenya) that is developed enough that large texts can be written with it.

During the First Age there were several dialects of Sindarin:

With the exception of Doriathrin, the dialects were changed under Noldorin influence, and adopted many Quenya features, as well as unique sound changes devised by the Noldor (who loved changing languages). The distinct dialects disappeared after the Noldor and Sindar were dispersed during the later Battles of Beleriand. In the refuges on the Isle of Balar and the Mouths of Sirion a new dialect arose under the refugees, which mainly took after Falathrin. During the Second Age and Third Age Sindarin was a lingua franca for all Elves and their friends, until it was displaced as the Common tongue by Westron, a descendant of Adûnaic which was heavily influenced by Sindarin.

Table of contents
1 Reference
2 See also
3 External links


See also

Languages of Middle-earth, Quenya, Middle-earth

External links