Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: I'm giving a lecture on Tolkien's languages

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 6, 2002, 19:45
En réponse à Dirk Elzinga <Dirk_Elzinga@...>:

> Hey. > > I've been asked to give a 50 minute lecture on the constructed > languages in _The Lord of the Rings_ for a Tolkien course currently > being taught here (Brigham Young University).
Wow! They teach Tolkien? Only about the languages or the full oeuvre? That's quite nice! I would be happy to
> hear suggestions from this group; I have some ideas already, but I am > always glad to get more.
Well, my only advice is to look at Ardalambion: I'm currently reading it fully to put a review in my Conlang links page, and I find it the best resource ever. The author has already done most of the work of analysis of the whole available corpus, so that you don't have to do it yourself. Of course, it's quite linguistically inclined, but if I understand what he means, anybody can :)) . For the rest, I think it would be nice to put the emphasis on the immensity of his work, and on the fact that it's the conlanging that originated the novels, and not the contrary. Maybe a little introduction about the languages Tolkien invented as a child, at least about their features that would be used later in the Elvish tongues and the others. Also, maybe something about Westron would be nice, to remind people that the people of Middle-Earth didn't speak English at all :)) . And I stop here or the talk is gonna be as long as the movie :)) . I'll be happy to post a copy of my notes
> after I'm done if there is interest (the lecture is scheduled for 15 > Feb).
I would be quite interested personnally! Please do post when you're done! 15 February? That doesn't give you much time to prepare! What a task you have here! The course is an upper division honors course; I don't think
> anyone has had any linguistics other than the "Introduction to the > English Language" course which we teach. >
Well, then you'll have to simplify a lot the information you can find in Ardalambion I'm afraid. Or maybe you should take five minutes or so to give a fast introduction about historical linguistics. Since Tolkien always saw his languages as diachronic entities, whose evolution was in itself more interesting than it's different phases, it might be a good idea, so that people get a good grasp on what Tolkien really did. Of course, as we say in French: "les conseilleurs ne sont pas les payeurs". I'm giving you lots of advice that I would probably be unable to transform into a good talk :)) . At least the movie seems to have had a good effect. People are beginning to get interest in conlanging on a wider scale than before :)) . Christophe. Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.