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--- In conlang@y..., Andreas Johansson <and_yo@H...> wrote:
> Raymond Brown wrote:
> >At 12:11 am +0100 23/3/02, Christian Thalmann wrote:
> > >That's a very interesting but tough question...
> > >
> > >- Quenya certainly ranks highest on my list.  Tolkien tried hard to
> > >make it as beautiful as possible, and apart from the inexplicable
> > >omission of /Z/ he succeeded exceedingly well.
> >
> >Nothing inexplicable - Tolkien kept ugly sounds like /Z/ for things like
> >Sauron's 'Black Tongue'   :)
>
> Actually, /Z/ seems to be unattested in Tolkien's created languages - it
> doesn't even pop up in Black Speech or Valarin*, despite that the few words
> we know are quite rich in /s z S/. It seems that Tolkien' really despised
> /Z/.

Quite a rash and unfounded deduction IMHO.  Do you happen to be a
theologist, or a politician?  ;-)

/Z/ apparently doesn't occur (at least not natively) in the languages
Tolkien mainly used for inspiration (Latin, Finnish, Old English,
Welsh (?), German).  His omission of /Z/ is probably not any more
significant than the absence of retroflexes, voiceless nasals,
or clicks.


> Neither does he seem to've liked /G/, which swiftly disappears
> everytime it turns up in the Elvish languages, but persists in Black
> Speech.

This, on the other hand, is a clear case.

Also, I do think he disliked /2/, since it would have occurred in
Sindarin's umlauting system, but got merged into /y/ and /e/.


-- Christian Thalmann