Mae govannen!

Announcing Tengwestië

This journal’s name is the Quenya term for ‘Language’, as a general concept and topic (as opposed to tengwesta, the term for an individual linguistic system). The title was chosen to reflect the broadness of the subject of this journal, which like the print journals of the E.L.F., Parma Eldalamberon and Vinyar Tengwar, and its e-mail discussion forum, the Lambengolmor list, is intended as a forum for the scholarly study of Tolkien’s invented art-languages. The common goal of its readers and contributors is to explore all aspects of Tolkien’s art-languages, through all the shifting course of Tolkien’s lifelong conceptualization and presentation of them, and through all the stages of historical development that Tolkien created for them. We believe that Tolkien’s art-languages, at all stages of their development, both internal and external, are worthy of study in their own right, as the lifelong intellectual and aesthetic production of a master philologist and author, and separate from any concerns of utility or synthetic systemitization.

To this end, which we believe to be the proper concern of Tolkienian linguistics as a scholarly endeavor, Tengwestië eschews all efforts aimed at obscuring either the differences or similarities of Tolkien’s languages across the stages of their conceptual development, and all prescriptive approaches or assertions regarding their supposed degrees of “usefulness” or “maturity” (terms that have no place in lingusitics or scholarship). Instead, our aim and method is purely descriptive, accepting all the information that Tolkien provided concerning his art-languages, comprising both the attested and hypothetical forms and grammatical devices he invented for them and his own descriptions of their nature, features, and processes, at face value, and as equally valid, valuable, and interesting; and basing all our exploration, discussion, and claims upon this evidence.

I thank you for your interest in Tengwestië, and hope that you will join us in our exploration.

— Carl F. Hostetter
Dec. 4, 2003

Copyright ©2003 Carl F. Hostetter

Quotations from the works of J.R.R. or Christopher Tolkien are the copyright of their publishers and/or the Tolkien Estate, and are used here with their kind permission. The word TOLKIEN is a registered trademark of The J.R.R. Tolkien Estate Limited. The characters and scripts of Tolkien’s invented languages and works in those languages are the copyright of the Tolkien Estate.


First published on December 4th, 2003

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