How did Tolkien use accents in his languages?

Eroëlle #1948

Hey y'all!!

Can someone explain to me how Tolkien intended the accents to be used? I took some French classes, and from what I can tell, le tréma --sorry, DIERESIS :) and grave accents are used in the same way, but circumflexes and acute accents are used differently?

By the way, for anyone who doesn't know--dieresis = Ë; grave accent = È; circumflex = Ê; acute accent = É

Sorry if I missed any!! Although I'm pretty sure Tolkien didn't use la cedille :)

Tamas Ferencz #1949


in short:

  • acute accent é: indicates that the vowel is long

  • macron ē: indicates that the vowel is long (used in ancient, primitive languages like Common Eldarin)

  • circumflex ê: indicates that the vowel is long or extra long (in Sindarin)

  • dieresis ë: indicates that the vowel is pronounced (at the end of a word), or is pronounced separately and not as part of a diphthong

I don't recall having seen the grave accent being used by Tolkien, but I may be mistaken.

Eroëlle #1950

Thank you, that makes sense now!! Yeah, I realized after that there aren't any grave accents in Tolkien's languages..😝

Aldaleon #1973

This is such a commonly asked question that I've decided to sticky it! Thank you!

Tamas Ferencz #1976

As the post has been stickied I have edited my response to include actual examples of the diacritics.

Caldar Laicollo #1977

And just adding my own two cents, it makes sense that Tolkien doesn't use the cedille in his elvish languages because the letter 'c' is always pronounced like a 'k', so there's no need to :)