Gandalf in the Library of Minas Tirith
Copyright ©1990 Patrick Wynne
Used with permission

The Lambengolmor List

Purpose, Principles, and Guidelines



The purpose of the Lambengolmor list is to serve as a scholarly forum for the linguistic discussion of Tolkien's languages.

Principles of Moderation

To achieve this purpose, the Lambengolmor list is strictly moderated: that is, every post to the list is subject to approval. Further to this moderation, the norms of scholarship that have been developed over centuries in the print media will be enforced for this list: primarily, this means that participants are expected to be conversant with the literature of the subject (a guide to these resources is at, to position their work with respect to that literature, and to cite their sources. Referring others to the literature for answers to their questions is an accepted and common scholarly practice that avoids needless repetition of work. Copyright will be strictly respected.

It is not the purpose of this list to help anyone “learn Elvish”, only to study and discuss Tolkien's languages in a scholarly manner. General requests for information will be rejected; for such, see the Resources page.

Composition will be permitted only to the extent that it is in support and illustration of a larger work of scholarship on Tolkien's own writings. It is not the purpose of this list to offer or analyze inauthentic texts not composed by Tolkien. For the same reason, queries regarding ways to translate or write words or sentences will be rejected. For all these types of post, the Elfling, Quenya, and Elfscript lists have proved eminently suited and receptive. There is no need for another such forum.

It is also not the purpose of this list to facilitate instantaneous communication or informal chatting. Haste is the enemy of scholarship. If you need instant gratification or banter, use Elfling or your favorite chat client. If it takes a few iterations and/or a few days to make a post conformant to list standards, then so be it.

There will be no personal attacks permitted, nor claims of such by parties offended by factual criticism. If you have a personal beef with someone, settle it off list. Replies that clearly miss the point of their antecedent posts will be rejected.

"Howdy!", "Me too!", "Thanks!", and "How do you say/write?" posts are not permitted. The best way to introduce yourself to the community and to show support or agreement with list moderation, goals, and practices is to simply join in and set a good example for everyone else. The best way to learn how to say or write something is to study Tolkien's writings and to follow the scholarship in the journals and other scholarly resources and on this list.

Questions regarding the history of Tolkien's languages (both internal and external), etymology, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics are, of course, encouraged.

Style Guide

The goal of this style guide is to make posts more readable and the list more usable for all of us. Bear these goals in mind whenever you're making a post, and good practices will follow.

Two of my biggest pet peeves about mailing lists are 1) excessive (i.e., lazy) quotation of posts in replies, and 2) inaccurate subject-lines. Posts that violate the former will be rejected for revision. Good replies should quote just enough of the antecedent post(s) to give the context, but no more. And don't be afraid to succinctly and accurately paraphrase rather than quote.

Please be vigilant about line breaks. If you can, set your mailer to word-wrap your lines at 79 characters. Also, please take a little extra time to prettify quoted passages of text, so that their lines are also word-wrapped at no more than 79 characters. Be sure not to run everything together into one giant paragraph. Remember: white space is your friend and mine.

Please sign your posts with your real name. It is disconcerting and strange to reply to the well-reasoned, cogent thoughts on Tolkien's languages and linguistic theories of a fellow group-member whom we can only refer to as, e.g., "NummyMuffinCoocolButter". It would also be great if people would configure their e-mail return address to include their real name, instead of just a screen name.

Please develop the habit of bracketing citations of all Tolkienian words and phrases in underscores (e.g. _namárie_ or _namaarie_; _Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo_; etc.), simulating underlining. It makes it much easier to visually cue on Elvish content.

With the widespread (and free) availability of capable web-browsers and e-mail clients, I prefer the use of accented characters for long vowels (á, é, í, ó, ú), but doubling (aa, ee, etc.) is acceptable.

Conventions and Abbreviations

This list employs the Conventions and Abbreviations specified for the online journal Tengwestië.

Files and Attachments

No attachments are permitted in posts to this group. If you wish to post a file (for example, a PDF version of an article), you can submit it to the moderator for approval and, if approved, it will be placed in the Lambengolmor files area.


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Copyright ©2002 The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship

Last updated: Jan. 4, 2003

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