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Morwen Blaisdale May 18, 2015 (19:38)

I never gave Adunaic much thought but lately I'm doing a fan-fiction that involves Numenor and find myself having to delve into this language.
The Architecture of Words
Generating a vocabulary for an invented language is a stupendous task. For basic functionality, a natural language probably needs about 5000 to 10,000 words; a language that's fully capable of deal...

Tamas Ferencz May 18, 2015 (23:20)

Adunaic is fascinating, although I myself have never got further than writing a couple of lines of text in it. But I am sure there are members in the community who have studied it more thoroughly 

Paul Strack May 19, 2015 (02:44)

Adûnaic happens to be the first language I analyzed in detail while compiling Eldamo:

I've also compiled a pretty comprehensive list of useful secondary sources in the Adûnaic section of my references page:

Of course, if you want to look at Tolkien's original material, you should definitely check out Part Two and Three of Sauron Defeated, most particularly the Lowdham's Report on the Adunaic Language_ (SD/413-440).

ܤܡܝ ܦܠܕܢܝܘܤ May 19, 2015 (19:35)

I wonder whether the Adûnaic imperatives without a pronominal object would go by the Semitic "simplest stem of verb" idea (Proto-Sem. *ktub! ) or the Literary Persian tendency to include a subjunctive prefix (bé-nævîs! ¹ "write thou!" -- cf. du-phursâ ?).

Since Ad. kitabda is used to form the negative command with "don't" and obviously has a pronominal marker (ki-), it would rather be the equivalent of a Semitic imperfect/jussive (bâ ki-tabda-hê = Literary Arabic lâ ta-lmus-nî, not **lâ ulmusnî/ilmisnî ).

In the case of a three-consonantal verb imperative, people may feel inclined to follow Helge's extraction example tabda (Adûnaic article at Ardalambion) due to its "attestedness" ², though the latter /a/ is probably a connecting vowel (that must appear before -hê to prevent an impossible consonant cluster).


² At least in the sense that ki-tabda and (*)tabda(!) would resemble the Hebrew & Aramaic imperfect and imperative (masc. 2 sg.) juxtaposed, i.e. the imperative looking like it is part of the imperfect. [UPDATE: In Phoenician Semitic, one actually finds a Masculine Singular Imperative of the form 1V23a (like tabda) — see e.g. Krahmalkov's grammar p.195.]

Tamas Ferencz May 19, 2015 (23:04)

Oh, +ܤܡܝ ܦܠܕܢܝܘܤ , I knew you wouldn't disappoint us!

Morwen Blaisdale May 19, 2015 (23:07)

The question arises to where did Adunaic come from? It seems to arise ex nihilo on the formation of the island realm of Numenor? 

Paul Strack May 20, 2015 (07:19)

Tolkien did discuss the origin of Adûnaic. It developed from the native languages of the Edain of Beleriand who settled in Númenor, in particular the house of Hador, the most numerous of the survivors.

Morwen Blaisdale May 20, 2015 (08:27)

That's the important part I needed. Thanks- 

ܤܡܝ ܦܠܕܢܝܘܤ May 20, 2015 (17:27)

Examples of "behind-the-scenes" metathesis?

GIMIL —— Gn. gilm
KARAB —— S lobor || Ad. K/KH = Eld. L also in sakal = PHAL(AS) & nakh- = TUL
KULUB (n. unit. *kulb-u/a) —— Qe. laukë, Q ceula
NIT('Y) —— Eld. *tin-tâ-
(ZIG —— Eld. [ʔ]IS, (I)SI ?)
ZIN —— Eld. NDIS, NI(S), INI || cp. ZIR ?= SER, zagar ?= SIKIL (vs. NAK/NEK)