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Tengwar script question

Posted: 02 Aug 2022 03:41
by Aseca
Not sure where this should go but I stumbled across https://www.tecendil.com/ when I was looking for a new conscript idea. Then I kept going back it now about 2 weeks, I'm still asking myself why is Tolkien's Tengwar script so pretty? Even the words themselves are pretty too, as if Welsh got a major facelift and merged with some frenchy version of Finnish. I mean, the script looks like an abjad eg arabic, but not quite either. I see some exceptions in words like esters (3 letters)/gate (2 letters)/oroth(2 letters). Also is there a reason that he post-positioned the vowels to the next consonant instead of being in the same place as the consonants?

Re: Tengwar script question

Posted: 09 Aug 2022 00:11
by sangi39
Aseca wrote: 02 Aug 2022 03:41 Not sure where this should go but I stumbled across https://www.tecendil.com/ when I was looking for a new conscript idea. Then I kept going back it now about 2 weeks, I'm still asking myself why is Tolkien's Tengwar script so pretty? Even the words themselves are pretty too, as if Welsh got a major facelift and merged with some frenchy version of Finnish. I mean, the script looks like an abjad eg arabic, but not quite either. I see some exceptions in words like esters (3 letters)/gate (2 letters)/oroth(2 letters). Also is there a reason that he post-positioned the vowels to the next consonant instead of being in the same place as the consonants?
(for some people, I assume)
1) The combination of circular curves and slight curves lines makes it seem pretty smooth
2) Some of the letters have a passing similarity to latin letters (in particular n, m, p, b, d, q, w, h, and y) which might give it a familiar feeling while still being unique, 3)
3) The way the font was created actually makes it look somewhat ornate and like work was put into it (similar to the Insular script as well, so if any reader was familiar with, say, Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, it might feel familiar again), as opposed to, say, just a slap-dash assortment of lines and curves (all about those serifs and kerning)

As for why Tolkien chose to position the vowels above the following consonant, that actually depends on the language. From what I can remember, vowels are above the preceding consonant in Quenya, as you see in languages like Arabic and Hebrew (when short vowels are written), but in Sindarin they're written above the following vowel. Personally, I think this might have been a stylistic choice. Quenya ends up with a lot more leading vowel carriers, while Sindarin ends up with more vowel carriers at the end of words, making it (somewhat) easy to tell the difference between the two at a glance while still keeping the general aesthetic of the script the same