On Tue, 21 Jul 2015 12:37:45 +0100, Pete Bleackley wrote:

> I don't think Tolkien's elves created writing to fill any mundane
> need, but out of sheer delight in the creative process. That would
> be the motive most consistent with Tolkien's theology.

My point would be that they created writing out of the sheer delight
in the creative process – in the field of linguistic analysis (more
like a game, and not with any mundane purpose).

On Tue, 21 Jul 2015 16:31:52 +0200, Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:

>the other hand, a featural alphabet *requires* at least some idea (and
>correct identification) of places and manners of articulation.
>A somewhat comparable example is India, which does not have a featural
>writing system, but a sorting order based on phonological features of
>the sounds represented by the letters, and they *did* have an advanced
>phonological theory as part of their grammatical tradition long before
>Europeans had one.

I think that some aspects of Tolkien’s Feanor may be based on the 4th
century BCE Indian linguist Pāṇini, the author of the most
accomplished Sanskrit grammar. I have heard that it is not clear
whether he used a writing system. Maybe he composed his grammar in
the oral tradition of the vedas. Wikipedia says that he at least
mentioned words like “script” or “scribe”, though. I do not know any