Daniel S. Smith / dsmith@mc.com

Tengwar Modifier Symbols

Modifier symbols are a kind of shorthand. They are used only with consonant letters. They allow you to add an additional consonant sound without needing to write and additional consonant letter. They speed-up the writing of common consonant combinations. The most common modifiers are as follows:

 A bar (or tilde) below a Tengwar letter lengthens or doubles the sound of the letter.

 A bar (or tilde) over a Tengwar letter represents a preceding nasal sound ("n" or "m"). If the Tengwar letter is from column I (dental consonants), an "n" (dental/nasal) sound was used. If the Tengwar letter is from column II (labial consonants), an "m" (labial/nasal) sound was used.

 A downward hook attached to a Tengwar letter represents a following "s" sound.

It may be possible to represent a word with different combinations of Tengwar letters, Tehtar symbols, and Modifier Symbols. This can lead to much confusion when trying to read Tengwar script written by someone else. Think of the modifier symbols as shorthand, and don't expect others to readily understand them. By limiting yourself to the standard Tengwar letters, Tehtar signs and Carrier symbols; you can produce elegant calligraphic inscriptions that can be easily read by other Tengwar-literate people.

The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King, Appendix E
Arden Smith / arden@uclink2.berkeley.edu

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Last Modified: 11 August 1995