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Author Topic: Stress in _Imladris_ and _Nargothrond_  (Read 471 times)


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Stress in _Imladris_ and _Nargothrond_
« on: November 17, 2015, 11:45:22 PM »

Mae govannen, elvellyn,

I've just begun studying Sindarin from primary sources, and I'm a bit puzzled by something I noticed while combing LotR for examples: the words Imladris and Nargothrond occur in verses that suggest that their stress does not obey the rules from Appendix E. The verses in question are:

Boromir's poem at the Council of Elrond (The Fellowship of the Ring p. 259):

Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells....

Gimli's song in Moria (The Fellowship of the Ring p. 330):

The world was fair, the mountains tall,
In Elder Days before the fall
Of mighty kings in Nargothrond
And Gondolin, who now beyond
The Western Seas have passed away:
The world was fair in Durin's Day.

JRRT was actually recorded on tape reciting the latter poem (an excerpt is at http://www.jrrvf.com/~glaemscrafu/english/tolkienhimselflotrhob.html - click on "Nargothrond").

I have a couple guesses at an explanation:

1. The recording was made in 1952 (I think), and RotK was published in 1955, so Tolkien had a few years in the interim to revise the phonology of Sindarin. He may have done so without thoroughly checking over LotR for consistency between the phonology and the poems he'd already written.

2. The normal stress rules of Sindarin might sometimes be suspended to accommodate the meter of a poem (maybe only when the poem is not itself in Sindarin?)

I'm wondering if there's any published explanation for these deviations from the normal stress rules -- or anything that could corroborate or disprove one of the above hypotheses. If Tolkien did in fact revise the stress rules, I'd like to know how they changed. Any pointers would be much appreciated!

Also, in case no one is looking at the post count, I'm new here. Please forgive me if I've said something silly!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 11:50:31 PM by Baravorn »