Linguistic items from Casa Loma exhibit 


[November 2, 2001, updated November 13]




Among many reports from Casa Loma LotR movie exhibit we find many interesting pictures. Some of them contain wonderful linguistic stuff: wall and sword inscriptions, beautiful Hobbit calligraphy, etc. Let us take a look!


Various inscriptions


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Beautiful Moria Gate with tengwar Sindarin inscription known from The Fellowship of the Ring book.



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Dwarvish pottery (!). We can see following runic inscriptions: yoab udt, ey and u. As you can see the runes are here rather for artistic purpose.  


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Rune tables used in preparing the inscriptions on Moria walls (see below). It is the main source of some inconsistencies in Moria rune inscriptions.
2184.jpg (84105 bytes) Moria wall known from LotR teaser screen shots and from photos published by G-i-P (see last month reports). It contains a long English text in cirth runes that was deciphered by Andrew Durdin on ELFLING:

..zirakzigilul with star from thirtieth sall second age five hundred of the of the fol fathoms gold smelter built built the estblishment moriaul below below ..tu..for silver & elves trade ..te...d & he .mril sunk to fourty .ll.i..aradul . huz. great gate durinul en.d lu...l settle in the five hu oke thousand & twenty news of fall smelt forses sauronul army gates to moria t mo .e .vic. . .. ...n elves trade . being .. .. on shaft sunk to fourt. sta. ..............nt.. two great gate .... ................five hu.n...o......... ........ld smelter the ..........ment moria. .......

It is quite obviously in English; the for silver is what I was able to read to the left of Pippin's head in the scene from the trailer. One weird thing is the use of -ul in moriaul, durinul, sauronul in an English text; also strange is the repetition at the end of the second, third, and fourth lines.


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List of the Kings of Númenor as found in Appendix A. Many inconsistencies: it begins with Sindarin erain 'kings', but follows in Quenya. The text reads: Erain Numenore: Elrostar Minyatur, Vardamir, tar Amandil, tar Elendil, tar Meneldil, tar Aldarion, tar Ankalime, tar Anarion. This manuscript vaguely follows the mode for Sindarin outlined in Appendix E. Notable points are the lack of distinction between long and short vowels in the names Numenore (should be Númenóre) and Anarion (should be Anárion); the use of what would appear to be the long carrier in place of the short carrier (though the long appearance could be due just to embellishment); The use of 35 for y in Minyatur; of course whether this manuscript is supposed to be in Sindarin or Quenya is uncertain, as it starts with the Sindarin word "Erain", but then promptly begins to write Quenya names in a Sindarin mode! (analyzed by Andrew Durdin)


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Rivendell fresco (?) which reads in tengwar mode for English: Eärendil and Elwing sail to the uttermost West.
110-1095_IMG-vi.jpg (24108 bytes) Dwarvish Books. The topmost book has writing around the edges of the cover. Starting from the top-right corner of the picture, this reads:

fifty of the
caves moriau
l in y...

(. indicates letters I could not make out. The last one appears to be
either a K or a N). The mode used here is identical with that used on the moria wall picture; once again it is a literal letter-for-letter substitution of runes for English letters, with 3 used indiscriminately for f (in fifty, of) and 10 for th (in the, where it ought to be 11). Like the moria wall inscription, no 13 is used for the English letter c, rather than the ch sound (as in church). The suffix -ul is also present here on moria
(analyzed by Andrew Durdin).


telescope.jpg (23537 bytes) Telescope. The mirrored tengwar inscription that reads probably: Varda (from Patrice Blancho).


Hobbit inscriptions


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Prancing Pony Ledger. English text in Latin script stylized in tengwar.
2141.jpg (40152 bytes) Bilbo's Book. The same as above.


Sword inscriptions


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Among many swords and knives we can see Aragorn's Hunting Knife with a Sindarin tengwar inscription. It reads: gûd daedelos or 'foe of great-fear (or shadow-loathing)'.
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Glamdring, sword of Gandalf. This new image has some runes which are clearer than the old image. It is possible to make out from both pictures the following:

Turgon Aran Gondolin tortha gar a matha 
Megil Glamdring gûd daelo dam an Glamhoth

'Turgon King [of] Gondolin wields possesses and handles 
Sword Glamdring foe [of] ? hammer to Dim-horde'