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Taliska was the language of the Bëorian and Hadorian Houses of the Atanatári. Both of these houses spoke different dialects while the House of Haleth spoke the unrelated tongue known as Haladin.

While the etymologic origin of Taliska is unknown, contact between the Atanatári, the Elves and the Dwarves before the former's arrival in Beleriand left strong influences on Taliska. Later the Adûnaic language of Númenor (from which Westron was descended) evolved from Taliska.

Taliska, unlike J.R.R. Tolkien's later languages, was based on the Germanic languages, and has a lot in common with the Gothic language, which the young Tolkien was interested in. The grammar and syntax of Taliska is known to exist in a mostly complete form, but despite work by Tolkienists this has not yet been published.

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