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These are charts for pronouncing some of the principal languages of Arda using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

ChartsEdit

AdûnaicEdit

Spelling IPA Notes
a [a] Short vowel.
â [aː] Long vowel.
b [b]
bb [bb] Geminate consonant.
d [d]
dd [dd] Geminate consonant.
ê [eː] ê is how ai are pronounced together. There is no short e.
g [ɡ]
gg [ɡɡ] Geminate consonant.
h [h]
i [i] Short vowel.
î [iː] Long vowel.
k [k]
kh [x]
kk [kk] Geminate consonant.
kkh [kx] Geminate consonant of kh.
l [l]
ll [ll] Geminate consonant.
m [m]
mm [mm] Geminate consonant.
n [n]
nn [nn] Geminate consonant.
ô [oː] ô is how au are pronounced together. There is no short o.
p [p]
ph [f]
pp [pp] Geminate consonant.
pph [pf] Geminate consonant of ph.
r [r]
rr [rr] Geminate consonant.
s [s]
sh [ʃ]
ss [ss] Geminate consonant.
t [t]
th [θ]
tt [tt] Geminate consonant.
tth [tθ] Geminate consonant of th.
u [u] Short vowel.
û [uː] Long vowel.
v [v]
w [w]
y [j]
z [z]

KhuzdulEdit

Spelling IPA Notes
a [a] Short vowel.
â [aː] Long vowel.
b [b]
d [d]
dd [dd] Geminate consonant.
e [e] Short vowel.
ê [eː] Long vowel.
f [f]
g [ɡ]
gg [ɡɡ] Geminate consonant.
gh [ɣ]
h [h]
i [i] Short vowel.
î [iː] Long vowel.
k [k]
kh [kʰ]
kk [kk] Geminate consonant.
kkh [kkʰ] Geminate consonant.
l [l]
ll [ll] Geminate consonant.
m [m]
mm [mm] Geminate consonant.
n [n]
nn [nn] Geminate consonant.
o [o] Short vowel.
ô [oː] Long vowel.
p [p]
pp [pp] Geminate consonant.
r [r]
rr [rr] Geminate consonant.
s [s]
sh [ʃ]
ss [ss] Geminate consonant.
t [t]
th [tʰ]
tt [tt] Geminate consonant.
tth [ttʰ] Geminate consonant.
u [u] Short vowel.
û [uː] Long vowel.
y [j]
z [z]

QuenyaEdit

Spelling IPA Notes
a, ä [a] Short vowel.
á [aː] Long vowel.
ai [aɪ] Diphthong.
au [aʊ] Diphthong.
b [b]
c [k]
cc [kk] Geminate consonant.
d [d]
e, ë [e] Short vowel.
é [eː] Long vowel.
eu [eʊ] Diphthong.
f [ɸ~f] The Vanyar pronounce this [ɸ]. The Ñoldor and Middle-earth pronounce this [f].
h [x~h] There are two pronunciations of this—[x] and [h]—but they are actually allophones of the same phoneme. The Vanyar use [x] in all places. The Ñoldor also use [x] for h, but pronounce it [h] at the beginnings of words. By the Third Age in Middle-earth, h is [h] in every position before a vowel.
hl [l̥~l] Traditionally [l̥]. By the Third Age in Middle-earth, it is pronounced [l].
hr [r̥]
hw [ʍ]
ht [xt, çt] Pronounced [xt] after one of a o u, but [çt] after one of e i.
i [i] Short vowel.
í [iː] Long vowel.
iu [iʊ] Diphthong.
k [k] Alternate spelling of c.
kk [kk] Alternate spelling of cc.
l [l]
ll [ll] Geminate consonant.
m [m]
mm [mm] Geminate consonant.
n [n]
ñ [ŋ]
nc [ŋk]
ng [ŋɡ, ŋ] Normally [ŋɡ]. If this occurs at the beginning of a word, it is an alternate spelling of ñ and is pronounced [ŋ].
ngw [ŋʷɡʷ, ŋʷ] Normally [ŋʷɡʷ]. If this occurs at the beginning of a word, it is an alternate spelling of ñw and is pronounced [ŋʷ].
nk [ŋk] Alternate spelling of nc.
nn [nn] Geminate consonant.
nqu [ŋʷkʷ]
nw [nʷ, nw] This is [nʷ] at the beginnings of words, and [nw] elsewhere.
ñw [ŋʷ]
o, ö [o] Short vowel.
ó [oː] Long vowel.
oi [oɪ] Diphthong.
p [p]
pp [pp] Geminate consonant.
qu [kʷ]
r [r]
rr [rr] Geminate consonant.
s [s]
ss [ss] Geminate consonant.
t [t]
th [θ] Alternate spelling of þ.
tt [tt] Geminate consonant.
u [u] Short vowel.
ú [uː] Long vowel.
ui [uɪ] Diphthong.
v [β~v] The Vanyar pronounce this [β]. The Ñoldor and Middle-earth pronounce this [v].
w [w]
x [ks] This is actually shorthand for cs or ks.
y [j, ʲ] As a consonant in its own right, y is [j]. But immediately after another consonant, y is not a consonant of its own, and palatalizes the preceding consonant or consonant cluster—see the relevant entries in this chart.
z [z]
þ [θ]
þþ [θθ] Geminate consonant.

Palatalized consonantsEdit

When a consonant or consonant cluster is followed by y, then the y is not a consonant in its own right and the consonant or cluster preceding it is instead palatalized.

  • Not all palatalized consonants are attested in official sources, but many are possible in original Neo-Quenya texts because of Quenya grammar, particularly the -ya adjective suffix. This can be seen in the word Quendya/Quenya itself: Quendë "elf" + ya adjectival suffix = Quendya or Quenya "elvish", where n in ny becomes palatalized, and the pair nd in ndy both become palatalized (as if they were ny+dy).
  • Note the absence of cy gy—they are forbidden, instead becoming ty dy. Likewise, the clusters ncy ngy become nty ndy among the Vanyar, or nty ny among the Ñoldor.
Spelling IPA Notes
by [bʲ]
dy [ɟ] gy becomes this.
fy [ɸʲ~fʲ]
hy [ç]
ly [ʎ]
my [mʲ]
ny [ɲ]
py [pʲ]
ry [rʲ]
sy [ɕ]
ty [c] cy or ky become this.
vy [βʲ~vʲ]
zy [ʑ]

Additional notesEdit

  • Syllable stress is not phonemic in Quenya, but the language does have a well-defined syllable stress which is fairly predictable.
    • In words with two syllables, the first syllable is stressed.
    • In words with three or more syllables, the antepenultimate (third-to-last) syllable is usually stressed. However:
    • If the penultimate (second-to-last) syllable is either a long vowel, a diphthong, or ends with a consonant cluster (including x, but not hw or qu or a single palatalized consonant), then this syllable is stressed.
  • In the Quenya as studied in Gondor in the Third Age, the sequences ty dy hy (normally [c ɟ ç]) are pronounced [tʃ dʒ ʃ].

SindarinEdit

Spelling IPA Notes
a, ä [a] Short vowel.
á [aˑ] Long vowel.
â [aː] Extra-long vowel.
ae [ae] Diphthong.
ai [aɪ] Diphthong.
au, aw [aʊ] Diphthong.
b [b]
c [k]
ch [x]
d [d]
dh [ð] In some circumstances, dh is actually the consonant cluster d-h, pronounced as two separate letters.
e, ë [e] Short vowel.
é [eˑ] Long vowel.
ê [eː] Extra-long vowel.
ei [eɪ] Diphthong.
f [f, v] Pronounced [f] normally, but is [v] before n and at the ends of words.
g [ɡ]
h [h]
i [i, j] Short vowel. Pronounced [j] before another vowel.
í [iˑ] Long vowel.
î [iː] Extra-long vowel.
l [l]
lh [l̥] In some circumstances, lh is actually the consonant cluster l-h, pronounced as two separate letters.
ll [ll] Geminate consonant.
m [m]
mh [ṽ] An older Sindarin consonant that soon becomes v. Also, in some circumstances, mh is actually the consonant cluster m-h, pronounced as two separate letters.
mm [mm] Geminate consonant.
n [n]
nc [ŋk]
ng [ŋɡ, ŋ] Normally pronounced [ŋɡ], but is [ŋ] at the end of a word.
nn [nn] Geminate consonant.
o, ö [o] Short vowel.
ó [oˑ] Long vowel.
ô [oː] Extra-long vowel.
oe [oe, ø~e] Confusingly, this represents two sounds in First Age Sindarin. [oe] is a diphthong, and [ø] is a single vowel. The latter later becomes pronounced and written like e. Perhaps the most famous word known to be spelled with oe as [ø] is "Nirnaeth Arnoediad".
p [p]
ph [ff, f] Normally pronounced [fː], but is [f] at the end of a word.
r [r]
rh [r̥] In some circumstances, rh is actually the consonant cluster r-h, pronounced as two separate letters.
rr [rr] Geminate consonant.
s [s]
ss [ss] Geminate consonant.
t [t]
th [θ]
u [u] Short vowel.
ú [uˑ] Long vowel.
û [uː] Extra-long vowel.
ui [uɪ] Diphthong.
v [v]
w [w]
wh [ʍ]
y [y~i] Short vowel. The traditional pronunciation is [y]. By the Third Age, all varieties of [y] become pronounced [i] instead.
ý [yˑ~iˑ] Long vowel.
ŷ [yː~iː] Extra-long vowel.

ReferencesEdit

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