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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Elleth
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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:
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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Iodo
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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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Elleth
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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 541 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 535 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:
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.

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