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Nur-ellen universes

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg.rhiemeier@...>
Date:Saturday, August 26, 2000, 23:18
andrew wrote:

> Am 08/25 02:29 J?rg Rhiemeier yscrifef: > > > [2] As both of my Nur-ellen universes involve events that occured long > > before the Roman conquest of Britain, one could easily combine any of > > them with the Brithenig universe (I prefer the second, "realistic" one), > > such that Nur-ellen is spoken *there* as well! If you want to, > > Nur-ellen (what is it called in Brithenig? Ylylig perhaps, from the > > Nur-ellen word _el`l_ "Elf"?) could be in a much better shape *there* > > than *here*, being still quite wide-spread in parts of Kemr. > > > It would fit. And if it doesn't, I'm sure we can squeeze over and make > room!
Thank you for "officially" adopting my language into your universe!
> I agree that the second version fits the Brithenig universe > better than the first. In my opinion elvish genetic stock went into a > serious decline during the Fourth Age this side of the Blessed Isles.
Certainly! In any scenario where Tolkien's fiction is fact, it seems plausible that the Elves have declined during all that time, having become almost indistinguishable from normal humans.
> Although my own *homunculogy is more influenced by Nancy Arrowsmith (A > Field Guide to the Little People) than Tolkien.
This kind of "elves" (or rather: fairies) are the terminal stage of the gradual distortion and degradation of the old tradition. (I don't know that book, but I know a number of similar works, and the title gives it away that it is a handbook of modern vernacular traditions of fairies, sprites etc.) Having disappeared from the everyday experience of the people, the memories of Elves faded, and became mingled with traditions of guardian spirits of nature, roaming souls of the dead, and other things.
> The most common name for fairies I've found in Brithenig so far is lla > ffefil deg, the fair family.
Even Tolkienian Elves (who are certainly more "fairy-like" than ordinary humans) are a far cry from "fairies", and any people familiar with them would certainly use distinct terms for "Elf" and "fairy" in their language. And in the second (realistic) conhistory, they are no "fairies" at all, but simply the last remains of an ancient people, a minority with a strange language and some old traditions according to which they are the descendants of a pre-Celtic civilization, but 100% human and nothing else. I have found the following in Price, _The languages of Britain_, p. 15: "Once again, anthropological evidence suggests that some communities in Wales stil retain physical features inherited from this prehistoric population. Referring to the tall, broad-headed people with lightish colouring still to be found in parts of the Dee, Wye, Usk and Tywi valleys and sporadically in the Vale of Glamorgan, Bowen comments (1957:135): On skeletal evidence such types appear closely related to the people who made Beaker pottery ... and whose burials are found in much the same localities. The blood group evidence of modern times indicate that people apparently associated with these racial types in Wales are sharply off-set from the apparent descendants of Palaeolithic man on the moorlands in that they possess a low B gene frequency." Sounds pretty much as if there were a few "Elves" left even *here*, though they apparently have lost their language long ago! One should note that it has been speculated on CyBaList that the Bell-Beaker people could have been the historical Elves. And I doubt that anyone calls those "Elvish" people in Wales "fairies". So I would say that if Nur-ellen is actually a spoken language *there*, its speakers are probably *not* called something like _lla ffefil deg_. That there is indeed a connection between the fairy tradition and the Nur-ellen speaking people, is rather something to be discovered by scholars studying the origins of Celtic and Germanic mythology, than something the average Brithenig speaker is aware of. The term used in Brithenig is more likely to be one derived from what the Elves ("Elf" here simply meaning "one of the pre-Celtic people who speak Nur-ellen") call themselves. Of course, Nur-ellen *there* will differ from Nur-ellen *here*. For example, *here* it has borrowed quite a number of words for nasty, detestable things from German during WWII and later. The Elves love naming things, but they refuse to name things which, in their opinion, should never have existed. Instead, they borrow words from other languages for them. During WWII, they developed the tradition of borrowing words for especially evil things from what was the Black Speech of that time, i.e. German. So, we find the following German words in Nur-ellen: atombomb "atomic bomb", lager "concentration camp", katset "ibid.", natsi "Nazi", kernkraftverk "nuclear power station", brenshtab "nuclear fuel rod", and quite a number of others. The language has also borrowed from English, Welsh, Irish and other languages. Nur-ellen *there* certainly has a different set of borrowings, including many from Brithenig. How parallel is the history of continental Europe *there*? Was there a Nazi Germany, for instance? Syld, Joerg.