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Quenya words, Language

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Quenya (IPA: ['k?w?nja]) was one of the languages spoken by the Elves. It was the
language that developed among those non-Telerin Elves who reached Valinor (the
"High Elves") from an earlier language called Common Eldarin. Sindarin however,
almost like Quenya's simplified form, lasted many ages longer being spoken by Elves
- and it is Sindarin, not Quenya, that is referred to by the modern term "Elvish".
Of the Three Houses of Elves, the oldor and the Vanyar spoke slightly different,
though mutually intelligible, dialects of Quenya (oldorin Quenya and Vanyarin
Quenya, respectively). The Vanyarin dialect was also called Quendya; IPA: ['k?e??
a]). The language was also adopted by the Valar who also made some new
introductions into it from their own original language, though these are more
numerous in the Vanyarin dialect than the oldorin one. This is probably the case
because of the enduringly close relationship the Vanyar had with the Valar. The
Third House, the Teleri, spoke a different, closely related language, Telerin.
Quenya and Telerin are so much alike that many thought the latter a dialect of the
former, but while linguistically plausible this is historically untrue though, as
the languages do not share a common history.

Example of Quenya, written in Tengwar letters
The written script alphabet of the Elven languages is typically Tengwar, known also
as the Fanorian Characters. An older script alphabet, the Sarati was used also.
According to "The Lhammas" it was the Vala Orom who coming upon the Elves at
Cuivinen, 'The Waters of Awakening', taught them Quenya. Later this theory was
rejected by Tolkien. Over time, however, the Eldar changed the language and added
to it words of their liking and softened its speech from its origins of Valarin
speech. The Valar did adopt this language in order to converse with the Eldar of
Valinor. The Valar themselves had speech from the beginning.

The oldor who fled to Middle-earth following the Darkening of Valinor spoke Quenya
among themselves. However, when Elu Thingol of Doriath, who was the king of the
Sindar (Elves of the Telerin line who remained in Beleriand instead of journeying
to Valinor) learned about their slaying of the Teleri, he forbade the use of Quenya
in all his realm. The Sindar, however, had been slow to learn Quenya, while the
Noldor at this time had fully mastered Sindarin.
The Quenya used in Middle-earth of the Third Age (the time of the setting of The
Lord of the Rings) had come to be a scholarly pursuit something akin to Latin in
our time. (Indeed, Tolkien referred to Quenya as "Elf-Latin".) Quenya was used as a
formal language and for writing; Sindarin was the vernacular of all Elves. However,
the oldor still remembered Quenya and valued it highly, which can be seen in the
way they treat Frodo's greeting elen sla lmenn' omentielvo. ("A star shines on
the hour of our meeting.") Galadriel is perhaps the only major Elf character in
Middle-earth during the events of The Lord of the Rings that learned Quenya as a
cradle-tongue: she was born in Valinor, during the days of the Two Trees. oldorin
(Exilic) Quenya differed somewhat from Valinrean Quenya, because the language
continued to evolve after exile, and it underwent some regularisation as it became
a language of lore. There were also a few changes in pronunciation.

The poem Namri is the longest piece of Quenya found in The Lord of the Rings. It
is also known as "Galadriel's Lament".

Quenya is, like many European languages, a nominative-accusative language, which
means that the subject of a transitive verb is marked the same as the subject of an
intransitive verb.
Nouns are declined for ten cases: the nominative, accusative, genitive, dative,
instrumental, possessive, locative, allative, ablative, and a tenth "mystery" case
sometimes called the "respective".
The nominative is used mainly to mark the subject of a verb. In spoken Quenya it
also functions as the accusative (see below). It is also used with prepositions.
The accusative marks the direct object of a verb. It is not used in spoken Quenya,
after Elves left Aman as it was replaced by the nominative, but appears in writing.
The genitive is mainly used to mark origin (e. g. the best painters of France). Its
usage sometimes overlaps the ablative.
The dative marks the indirect object of a verb (to).
The instrumental marks a noun which is used as a tool or instrument.
The possessive marks possession or ownership (e. g. his rope, Galadriel's hair).
This usage sometimes overlaps with the genitive.
The locative expresses location or position (at).
The allative expresses motion towards (towards).
The ablative expresses motion away from (from).
The "mystery" or respective case may be a figurative equivalent of the locative
case (e.g. "about wolves" or "regarding wolves").
There are four numbers: the singular, dual, plural, and partitive plural.
Vocalic DeclensionEdit
a-, i-, i.e.-, o-, and u-stems e-stems
Singular Dual Plural Part. Plural Singular Dual Plural Part.
Nominative yulma yulmat yulmar yulmali lasse lasset lassi
Accusative yulma yulmat? yulm yulmala lasse lasset? lassi lasseli
Genitive yulmo yulmato yulmaron yulmalion lasseo lasseto
lassion lasselion
Dative yulman yulmant yulmain yulmalin lassen lassent
lassin lasselin
Instrumental yulmanen yulmanten yulmainen yulmalnen lassenen
lassenten lassinen lasslnen
Possessive yulmava yulmatwa yulmaiva yulmalva lasseva lassetwa
lassiva lasselva
Locative yulmasse yulmatse yulmassen yulmalisse lassesse lassetse
lassessen lasselisse
Allative yulmanna yulmanta yulmannar yulmalinna lassenna lassenta
lassennar lasselinna
Ablative yulmallo yulmalto yulmallon yulmalillo lassello lasselto
lassellon lasselillo
Respective yulmas yulmates yulmais yulmalis lasses lassetes
lassis lasselis
Consonantal DeclensionEdit
Singular Dual Plural Part. Plural
Nominative nat natu nati nateli
Accusative nat natu nati nateli
Genitive nato natuo nation natelion
Dative naten natuen natin natelin
Instrumental natenen natunen natinen natelnen
Possessive natwa natuva nativa natelva
Locative natesse natusse natissen natelisse
Allative natenna natenta natinnar natelinna
Ablative natello natelto natillon natelillo
Respective nates natus natis natelis
There are two main types of verbs: basic verbs, those which are formed from the
basic verbal base, such as tire (tiri-) "watch" from *TIR, and derivative verbs,
which are formed either by putting verbal suffixes to a base like tulta- "summon",
from *TUL "come", or derived from non-verbal bases like kna- "bend", originally an
adjective "bent".
Derivative verbs Basic verbs
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Infinitive tulta tire (tirita-)
Aorist/Simple present tulta tultar tire (tiri-) tirir
Present continuative tultea tultear tra trar
Past tultane tultaner tirne tirner
Future tultuva tultuvar tiruva tiruvar
Perfect utultie utultier itrie itrier
Pronouns are seen as both independent words and enclitics; however the rules for
this are not completely understood, although evidence suggests that independent
forms are more emphatic in nature, while enclitics are the forms in use normally.
What is known is that for intransitive verbs, the pronoun can appear as either an
independent word or an enclitic. The enclitics often come in two different forms,
long and short. The following table outlines the different forms attested in
Tolkien's material. Hypothetical or reconstructed forms are indicated by either
question marks (?) or asterisks. Those forms that cannot be determined are not
included and their absence is indicated by an emdash ().
Independent Enclitic Independent Example Enclitic Example
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular
First Person Inclusive ni, inye *elve, *elwe -n, -nye -lve, -lwe
inye tire elve/elwe tirir tirinye, tirin tirilve, tirilwe
Exclusive *elme -lme elme tirir tirilme
Second Person le, elye le, elle -l, -lye -lle? elye tirar elle tirir?,
elye tirir tiril, tirilye tirille?, tirilye
Third Person te -s, -rye -t, -nte ente tirir? tiris,
tirirye tirit, tirinte
Aside from inclusive and exclusive modes in the first person plural, there is also
a dual mode, denoted by emme, -mme. The pronouns can be declined much like the
regular nouns; for instance, the dative form of emme is emmen. This appears to be
mostly regular, except for te, "they", which takes the dative form tien.
Sample PhrasesEdit
In The Children of HrinEdit
Utlie'n aur! Aiya Eldali ar Atanatarni, utlie'n aur! - "The day has come!
Behold, people of the Eldar and Fathers of Men, the day has come!"[1]
Auta i lme! - "The night is passing!"[1]
A Trin Turambar turn' ambartanen. - "O Trin master of doom by doom mastered."[2]
In The History of Middle-earthEdit
Valar valuvar. - "The will of the Valar will be done."[3]
Manen lamb Quendion ahyan? - "How did the language of Elves change?"[4]
Sample ElementsEdit
aina - holy
ir - sunlight
alqua - swan
anar - Sun
anga - iron
er - sea
el - star (same as Sindarin)
fa - spirit
laur - gold
-ndil - friend (a common suffix)
nelya - third
tar - king, lord
tindm - twilight of dawn
Behind the ScenesEdit
Quenyan grammar is influenced by Finnish, which is an agglutinative language;
grammatical inspiration also comes from Latin and Greek. The phonology is also
based on Finnish, and to a lesser extent Latin, Italian and Spanish. Some
interesting phonological rules are that no consonant cluster can begin or end a
syllable (with one exception, the dual dative ending -nt), voiced stops must be
preceded by sonorants, and a word may not end in a non-coronal consonant.
The most striking feature of Quenya is that it is a highly agglutinating language,
meaning that multiple affixes are often added to words to express grammatical
function. It is possible for one Quenya word to have the same meaning as an entire
English sentence. For example, one could say "They have seen it." in Quenya in a
single word, namely Ecnientes.

Tolkien wrote much more material about Quenya and his other languages than he
published in his lifetime. The famous novels might be considered incidental to his
further and more passionately developed linguistic hobby. The journals Vinyar
Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon are devoted to editing and publishing Tolkien's
linguistic papers.

Quenya is one of many constructed languages introduced over the years by science
fiction and fantasy writers, some others being Klingon, Newspeak, Nadsat, and

In early Tolkien's writings (see: The History of Middle-earth), this language was
called Qenya (although pronounced the same as Quenya), and it underwent countless
revisions in both grammar and vocabulary before it reached the form found in The
Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. The term "Qenya" is now used to distinguish
between old Qenya and the new Quenya. However, the fluid nature of Quenya (or
Qenya, for that matter) makes such a distinction a highly disputed one.

See alsoEdit
Languages of Middle-earth
Translations around the WorldEdit
Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ???? ?
Arabic ?????
Armenian ???????
Belarusian Cyrillic ??????
Bengali q?????? ?
Bulgarian Cyrillic ?????
Chinese (Hong Kong) ???
Croatian Quenia
Czech Quenijtina
Georgian ??????
Greek ??????a
Gujarati q????? ?
Hebrew ??????
Hindi ???????
Hungarian Quenya nyelv
Indonesian Bahasa Quenya
Japanese ?????
Kazakh Cyrillic ??????
Komi ??????
Korean ??
Macedonian Cyrillic ?????
Nepalese ???????
Pashto ?????? ?
Persian ????????
Russian ??????
Sanskrit ???????
Serbian ??????? (Cyrillic) Kvenija (Latin)
Sinhalese ???????
Slovak Quenijcina
Slovenian Kvenja
Tajik Cyrillic ????y?
Tamil q???? ?
Telugu q?????? ?
Thai ??????????
Tibetan ????
Ukrainian Cyrillic ??????
Urdu ??????
Uyghur ??????
Uzbek ????? (Cyrillic) Quenya (Latin)
Yiddish ????????
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References and Primary SourcesEdit
? 1.0 1.1 The Children of Hrin, Narn i Chn Hrin, The Tale of the Children of
Hrin, II: "The Battle of Unnumbered Tears"
? The Children of Hrin, Narn i Chn Hrin, The Tale of the Children of Hrin, XVI:
"The Death of Glaurung"
? The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XI: The War of the Jewels, Part Four: Quendi
and Eldar, Appendix D
? The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth, chapter XIV:
"Dangweth Pengolo"
The Silmarillion, Appendix: "Elements in Quenya Sindarin names"
Parma Eldalamberon, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of
the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien"
External linksEdit
Ardalambion: The Tongues of Arda, Lessons, etc.
Quenya Course
"Quenya" in Enciclopedia Libre en Espaol
Vinyar Tengwar
Parma Eldalamberon
Are High Elves Finno-Ugric?
Quenya's relation to Finnish
Generator for Quenya typographical filler text
Neo-Quenya Wiki
Aulas de Quenya (Brasil)
Quenya words Language Add category [Configure Reference Popups]
Deutsch Espaol ??????? Polski Italiano Catal Portugus do Brasil

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