Sindarin

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Sindarin is a constructed language devised by J. R. R. Tolkien. It is one of the many fictional languages set in his Secondary world, often called Middle-earth.

Sindarin is one of the many languages spoken by the immortal Elves, called the Eledhrim ['ɛlɛðrim] or Edhellim [ɛð'ɛllim] in that tongue.

Sindarin, or 'Grey-elvish' in English, was primary the language spoken by the Sindar of Beleriand, e.g. the 'Grey-elves'. The Sindar were those Elves of the Third Clan or Teleri which remained behind in Beleriand after the Great Journey. Their language became estranged from that of their kin that sailed over sea. Sindarin derives from an earlier form usually called Common Telerin. And as all Elvish languages, Common Telerin evolved from the primeval speech of the Elves: Primitive Quendian.

In the Third Age, (the time of the setting of The Lord of the Rings) Sindarin was the language most commonly spoken by Elves in Middle-earth. Sindarin is the language usually referred to as the elf-tongue or elven-tongue in The Lord of the Rings.

When at the end of the First Age the Quenya speaking Noldor Elves returned to Middle-earth, they adopted the Sindarin language for political reason. Sindarin shared common roots with Quenya, and the two languages had many similar words but a completely different grammar. Sindarin is said to be more changeful than Quenya, and there were during the First Age a number of regional 'dialects'. The Sindarin spoken in Doriath, known as Doriathrin, was said by many Grey-elves to be the highest and most noble form of the language. Their King, Elu Thingol, lived there.

In the Second Age, many Men of the island of Númenor spoke Sindarin fluently. Knowledge of Sindarin was kept during the Third Age in the Númenórean realms of Middle-earth: Gondor and Arnor, but there it was spoken only among the nobles, the Dúnedain.

Within this Fictional universe Sindarin was first written using the cirth, an Elvish alphabet of Beleriand, and that prior to the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth. Afterwards it was usually written in tengwar.

Tolkien based the sound and some of the grammar of Sindarin on Welsh,[1] and Sindarin displays some of the consonant mutations that characterize the Celtic languages[2]. The language was also influenced by Old English and Old Norse.[2]

Sindarin is actually a Quenya term. The only known Sindarin word for this language is Eglathrin [3] It was probably only used in the First Age.

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