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10-11

[page 10] Ned Brooks : 911 Briarfield Road : Newport News : Virginia : 25605 Guess by now you have seen the 2nd ish of the TSA Journal. Lots of good stuff there, especially the translation of the Ring inscription from the Black Speech. If you don't have it, you should get it from Plotz instanter. I got a kick out of the comments by Tolkien on the illo for the cover of the Ballantine HOBBIT, that Plotz quotes. Tolkien couldn't figure out how a lion and two emus got in there, not to mention that ridiculous tree in the foreground. I think that Ballantine should have used the color illo that Tolkien himself did of Smaug for the first edition of the HOBBIT; it's certainly available by now. When I said in #2 that the Elves would have "normal" voices because they were about human size, I meant "normal" in _pitch_ not in _quality_ as Greg's comments seem to imply. -/sorry. I should learn to keep my mouth shut when I don't know anything, which about music I don't./- Also, my comment that Elven music might seem to us to lack emotion does not mean that I thought the Elven, music _was_ emotionless. What I mean is that, for instance, to a man of completely uneducated musical tastes, the classical music of Beethoven or Sibelius or Wagner or Stravinsky might _seem_ unemotional because he didn't understand it. In the same way, men might not be able to see or understand the emotions expressed in Elvish music, due to comples @complex@ modes of musical expression. I don't think "Middle Earth" can be geographically identified with anyplace @any place@ on earth today. The closest I can come is that the White Mountains are the Alps, which puts Minas Tirith near Vienna and the Dark Tower in the vicinity of Uzhgorod south of the Carpathian Mountains. This is rather nice in that there are many dark legends of vampires and werewolves in that region which could be a carry-over from the influence of Mordor. I have a couple of nits to pick on in the Simpson-Shaw system of the Fëanorian letters. In the discussion of the Tengwar, I cannot see that "nk" is really "ngk" or that the "n" in "think" has the same sound as the "ng" in "song". -/Why not? It seems perfectly logical to me/-. Phoey! Also, why not use the presently unused #24 for "nk" in analogy· [page 11] with the use of #8 for "g" and "20" for "ng"? That is, #24 is to #4 (k) as #20 (ng) is to #8 (g). Also, I might suggest that the symbol for "y" as in "you", #23, could take a tilde to represent the sound "ny" as in "canyon." -/Both these suggestions sound OK, as do Mebane's. We'll have to wait and see if Don has any comments on it./- As to the tehtar, I think there are too many. I cannot distinguish between the s sounds "s_a_t", "b_ea_r", and "th_e_re". My Webster dictionary makes no distinction between "b_ea_r" and "th_e_re" tho it claims that the "a" sound in "s_a_t" is different. -/It is. You evidentally pronounce "sat" and "set" the same way. Interesting. #I can imagine "bear" being pronounced slightly different, but I don't see the need for "there" either. But it's taken from Simpson's notes, which I obtained permission to explain, but not to change or adapt./- I think on the Tehtar you are caught between two extremes. The 22 vowel sounds are too many for a real language such as English in which you just have to know that "boot" and "foot" are pronounced differently, and not enougn for a truly phonetic (but artificial) representation as Websters @Webster's@ differentiates 33 different vowel sounds whereas you really only have 21 since the "iii" sound in "being" is really two separate sounds. In the interest of simplicity, I would suggest cutting down the number of Tehtar to what Tolkien gives. -/What Tolkien gives is not sufficient. I too was rather confused by many of Don's tehtar until I decided that many of them, such as the "iii" "being" were on the chart for the purpose of indicating how the tehtar for different vowel sounds are combined. At least I hope so-- I find that in writing, only the first 13 are needed, except in rare special cases. The other tehtar you can assume are relatively unimportant and are on the chart for reference. I hope Don will comment on this, since I'm not exactly sure what he means in many cases myself, not having the knowledge of languages that he does./- You suggest that I write an article on the Angerthas but I don't know what I could say that isn't well covered in the Appendix. Unlike the Tengwar, their values are explicitly given, with only ten vowel sounds used. -/I still think a simplified article explaining the use of the Angerthas is needed, for the simple reason that while a lot of fans understand and use them, I find myself unable to use them correctly. When I try using them, I am told that this sign is not used in Sindarin, that sign cannot be used except by Dwarves, this other one doesn't really mean what it appears to, etc. /-