[ a  p l a y ]

playings with a...

    * This open vowel is, according to the taste of many, the most beautiful single sound. Quenya is meant 'to be specially pleasant' (Ltrs:175-176) and is full of a's. It is the most frequent Quenya phoneme. It is present in nearly every Quenya word; a-less words are very rare.

    * In combinations with other phonemes, a produces much more beautiful sounds. Among the most beautiful belong au or la. However, some tend to like ai more.

    * a can be combined with other vowels in Quenya. If i and u were pasted, diphtongs ai and au would arise. Combinations ae and ao are not possible in Quenya. In Vanya-Noldorin prehistory they developed in two strange sounds ("long ê near to â" and "long ô near to â" (VT39:10)), but they "became later indentified with normal ê, ô" and were known as "'Feanor's e and o'" (ibid.). [Feanor was really rich -- who can say to have own vowels?] Two a's together quarreled to become ea, so it seems.

    * a itself could be called a word, it is a vocative or imperative particle and the imperative particle is also found in the form á. You can add a consonant or vowel before or behind a and you will get an actual Quenya word: ai ("alas"), oa ("away"), Ea ("Universe"), an ("for"), ar ("and"), na ("to") etc.. You can play, you can combine "for" and "to" to get "gift"; you can pluralize "Universe" and get "sea"...

    * In Quenya, a can be prefixed, infixed and suffixed to give to a word a special flavor.

    * Prefixed a denotes "completeness" of something: Atalante "the Fallen" (LR:390, s.v. TALÁT), talta- "slope, slip, slide down" and atalta- "collapse, fall in" (ibid.).

    * After sense-verbs ("see", "hear" etc.), a is prefixed to the verb which describes what the object of the governing verb is doing as in man cenuva lumbor ahosta "who shall see the clouds gather" (Markirya poem).

    * As the stem vowel a is used to be prefixed: Anar (cf. stems ANÁR and NAR in Etym) (a good example how a is able to affect: from "fire" to "the Sun") or Ambar (stem MBAR, LR:372).

    * As infix a strengthens or intensifies stems: rauko "very terrible creature" (from RUK) or taura "very mighty" (from TUR). Or gives the "continuative" feature: Vaire "Ever-wearing" (from WIR).

    * But most frequently a is used to be suffixed. But in such a position this final a can be elited if the next word begins also with a or any other vowel: Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo "a star shines upon the hour of our meeting" (LotR1/I ch. 3).

    * In single nouns a function as an indication of abstractness, sexlessness or just as a common ending. In plural the -r is added.

    * a is best known as adjective maker. Most of the adjectives end in a which is either a part of another adjectival ending (as -na, -ca, -la etc.) or an ending itself. Best renowned is probably laurea "like gold" from laure "gold" (Nam.). In plural this a changes to e due to its respective development.

    * Similar feature as in case of adjectives is that a is an ending of possessive pronouns: cf. utúvienyes "I have found it" (LotR3/VI ch. 5) and Anarinya "my Sun" (FS).

    * And in case of numerals... it is ordinally added to the saintest cardinal in order to get ordinals: attea "two", lempea "five" et alia. It may be argued that the ending is actually -ya, oh yeah, but it was so weak enough that it was lost in most cases (tatya and lepenya proved not pleasant to Noldorin ears).

    * Among the most remarkable features of a belong the present continuative tense and the aorist of verbs. Basic "strong" verbs ending in a (and their stem-vowel is prolonged) are in the present continuative tense, while some verbs already end in a in the aorist (but their stem-vowel is not prolonged if not already for "natural" reasons). Such verbs are either a-stem verbs or derived verbs wherein the a is a part of a derivative suffix (like -ya, -ta, -na etc.). The continuative present tense of such non-basic "weak" verbs is also formed by adding a and lengthening of the stem-vowel, but the verbs already end in a and so two a's meet. However, they do not like each other and the latter being more powerful changes the former to e: ora "urges" and órea "is urging" (VT41:13, cf. p. 18 s.v. note 14).

    * We have records of few adverbs which end with a: e.g. amba "upwards" (LR:348).

    * This amba is also a preposition, so some prepositions also end in a (cf. examples above also). We also know about a postposition ending with a: pella "beyond" (Nam.).

    * a is a connecting vowel. Feanor, ever toying with something, devised a brand new word for "consonants": patakar, actually putting together p, t and k.

    * And again Feanor... In the Tengwar mode he created a is marked as three dots "variously written in quicker styles, a form like a cirkumflex being often employed" (LotR, App. E). This three-dot sign belongs among so-called tehtar.

    * Eldarin loremasters loved the basic element of Quenya so much that they even did not bother sometimes to indicate a's in their scripts. About this remarkable mode read more in David Salo's Quenya spelling found on this site.

    * Now that you are aware of the undouptful importance of this little phoneme in Quenya, it is time for the long promised play! (If you like to play... If you want to play...) Try to write the longest meaningful Quenya sentence wherein no a (neither the long one) will occur. If you can manage it and if you want to, then let me know. But this is no competition, so I will not be able to reward you, it is just for fun. The sentences you will send me (if any), will be rewritten here. Rejoice!

* * *

First sentences have occurred!

Cenin Isil hellesse. "I see the Moon in the sky." (by me, Ales Bican, not very long, I know.)

* * *

Ilye i eleni voro silir menelesse. "All the stars ever shine on the sky." (by Helge K. Fauskanger)

* * *

Inye mere tece lissi tengwi, tuvien i inge meni ELM-esse sinome "I wish to write sweet signs, in order to find [reach] the first places in the elm-site here." (by Eleder)

[ inye mere - another supposed way of saying merin, inye is an independent emphatic word "even I"; though elm seems to be an English word, in fact it also could be an Elvish acronym, Quenya name of my site alalme is also sometimes used; however, it contains an a ]

* * *

Quentes, 'Sí utúlien lúmenn’ omentielvo, sinome Oiolossesse, tienen et i nórellon Endoreo: imbe voronde oronti, ter i eressie neni lingwilócion, undu pirucendie eleni mí híse-ilúve.' "He said, 'Now I have come to the hour of our meeting, here on Mount Everwhite, over paths from the lands of Middle Earth: between steadfast mountains, through the lonely waters of sea-serpents, [and] beneath gently whirling stars in the misty universe.'" (by Nathan Roy)

[ pirucendie, sg. pirucendea "whirling lightly" was used by Tolkien in his early poem Nieninque, but it is not found in later writings, so maybe this word in no longer valid in LotR-style Quenya; ]

Wow! This really goes to a new dimension of Elvish literature. : ) Will someone dare to write anything longer? Or if you only want to contribute with any a-less sentence, you are of course welcome.

* * *

*july, 16th, 2001* Hey! Someone actually dared -- Seo Sanghyeon was so bold enough to write a yet longer Quenya a-less text. This time we have even a poem! Enjoy.


Eque Melcor, "Sí hríve tule!"
Et undumello lóme tulle,
Tumpes Endóre lumbulenen.

More turne nu sinde Menel.
Oire helce formessúrínen,
Ilye indili, sorni, firner.

Sí éli umir pole sile...

Urqui tirir ilye oronti.
Yomentie Melcor-hínion,
Ondossen morni, undomesse.


Melkor said, "Now comes winter!"
Out of the abyss night came,
It covered Middle-earth with the heavy shadow,

Darkness governed under the grey sky.
By everlasting cold northwinds,
All lilies, eagles, died.

Now stars cannot shine...

Orcs guard every mountains.
Gathering of Melkor's children,
On black rocks, at twilight.

So will someone write something longer?

* * *

*march, 17th, 2002* Lo! Here comes something even longer. It is quite interesting. A little scary story by Petri Tikka.

I Nuruhuine Tule

Losse ostosse enge more rusco. I vessi i rusco ner titte ve nieri. Íre quentente lissive yo i roquen torni vernonto, i ronyo heru i osto merne te. Lendes mir i rusco-mindo tundosse orturien i indor i vesseron i rusco. Nó úmes orture te i tundosse. Sí mornie orturne i heru. Luin uile tulle or i loxe i nero. Firnes ringive.

The Death-shadow Comes

In a white city there was a black fox. The wives of the fox were tiny like bees. When they spoke sweetly with the knight brothers of their husband, the hound lord of the city wanted them. He went into the fox-tower in a hill to conquer the hearts of the fox’s wives. He did not conquer them in the hill. Now darkness mastered the lord. Blue seaweed came over the man’s hair. He died coldly.

* * *

*january, 29th, 2003* Another poem! Who would have imagined it would go so far? I am glad people enjoy playing with Quenya. Here comes a poem by Kirsten Eivor Bekkhus:


Yé! Silmie éli sílir lómesse!
Éli únotime ve yéni Quendion.
Éli ve lindi lossi mi Lórien,
En! Lintitinwe menel, Eruo tirion.
Eleni cenin, merin elye.
Nu luin menel Quenderin veni
vilir lence nórellon Endóreo.

Onótiel níri Elemmíreo?

Ten sí i hurin óre Elemmíreo
ve Tuilesse ringi nieninqui rúcine.
Yé, mine tie irície sinome.
Ló omentielmo etyélie,
i lú eresse imbe met fírie.
Oronto Númenesse utultier le.
Sí merin le, olóre melin, Númesse!

Melinyel! Merin entulesse Quendion!
Merin entulesse. Melinyel!

I love you

Lo! Like silver shine stars in the night!
Stars uncountable like the years of Elves.
Stars like beautiful blossoms in Lórien.
Behold the many-starred heaven, Eru's watchtower.
I see the stars, I desire you.
Under the blue heaven Elvish boats
floating slow from the lands of Middle-Earth.

Have you counted Elemmíre's tears?

For now the hidden heart of Elemmíre
like cold snowdrops in Spring (is) shattered.
Lo, one path has twisted here.
The night of our meeting has ended,
the single moment between us has faded.
Sunrise in the West has summoned you.
Now I desire you, dear dream, in the West

I love you! I wish the return of the Elves!
I wish the return. I love you!

So dare anyone write something longer? Do not be afraid to!

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