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--- On Fri, 3/2/12, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From what I know, the Common Speech (called Westron, in the
> language itself
> Adni) was a descendant of Adunaic, the Mannish language of
> Nmenr. Like
> its ancestor, it seems to have had a triconsonantal root
> structure not
> unlike that found in Semitic languages, so in any case it
> wasn't in any way Germanic-like :) .

Interesting, and I guess therein lies my confusion! I had gotten into my
head that Westron was Germanic-like, when in fact it's not but has been
"translated".

> It seems the -a ending was an agentive ending, but also a
> simple masculine
> ending (at least in the Hobbit dialect). -o and -e were
> feminine endings.
> And by the way, while Bilbo's original name in Hobbit
> Westron was indeed
> Bilba, Frodo's was *not* Froda. It was actually *Maura*.
> Probably another
> case of etymological backformation, going back to the
> ancestor language,
> translating the word *there* into Old English, and then make
> it evolve
> again towards Modern English. It's the same method as with
> the word
> _Hobbit_, from Old English _holbytla_ "hole-dweller",
> paralleling the
> Westron word *kuduk*, from archaic *kd-dkan* with the
> same meaning.
> 
> When Tolkien said he translated all the Westron words into
> English, he was
> not kidding about it! :P

I guess not!! Does he ever say (explicitly) anywhere why he does this
translation thing? Why not just tell a (necessarily backgrounded) story 
about Kudduks named Bilba and Maura?

Padraic

> Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.