It is currently Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:39 pm
Change font size

General Discussion

Literacy and Scripts

Discuss game issues here.

Moderator: Elder Staff

Literacy and Scripts

Postby EltanimRas » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:36 am

If the quote is tl;dr, just read the bolded sentences. Questions follow.

J.R.R. Tolkien, in Appendix E to the LotR trilogy, wrote:The alphabets were of two main, and in origin independent, kinds: the Tengwar or Tîw, here translated as ‘letters’; and the Certar or Cirth, translated as ‘runes’. The Tengwar were devised for writing with brush or pen, and the squared forms of inscriptions were in their case derivative from the written forms. The Certar were devised and mostly used only for scratched or incised inscriptions.

The Tengwar were the more ancient; for they had been developed by the Noldor, the kindred of the Eldar most skilled in such matters, long before their exile. The oldest Eldarin letters, the Tengwar of Rúmil, were not used in Middle-earth. The later letters, the Tengwar of Fëanor, were largely a new invention, though they owed something to the letters of Rúmil. They were brought to Middle-earth by the exiled Noldor, and so became known to the Edain and Númenóreans. In the Third Age [the Tengwar's] use had spread over much the same area as that in which the Common Speech was known.

The Cirth were devised first in Beleriand by the Sindar, and were long used only for inscribing names and brief memorials upon wood or stone. To that origin they owe their angular shapes, very similar to the runes of our times, though they differed from these in details and were wholly different in arrangement. The Cirth in their older and simpler form spread eastward in the Second Age, and became known to many peoples, to Men and Dwarves, and even to Orcs, all of whom altered them to suit their purposes and according to their skill or lack of it. One such simple form [of the Cirth] was still used by the Men of Dale, and a similar one by the Rohirrim.

But in Beleriand, before the end of the First Age, the Cirth, partly under the influence of the Tengwar of the Noldor, were rearranged and further developed. Their richest and most ordered form was known as the Alphabet of Daeron, since in Elvish tradition it was said to have been devised by Daeron, the minstrel and loremaster of King Thingol of Doriath. Among the Eldar the Alphabet of Daeron did not develop true cursive forms, since for writing the Elves adopted the Fëanorian letters. The Elves of the West indeed for the most part gave up the use of runes altogether. In the country of Eregion, however, the Alphabet of Daeron was maintained in use and passed thence to Moria, where it became the alphabet most favoured by the Dwarves. It remained ever after in use among them and passed with them to the North. Hence in later times it was often called Angerthas Moria or the Long Rune-rows of Moria. As with their speech the Dwarves made use of such scripts as were current and many wrote the Fëanorian letters skilfully; but for their own tongue they adhered to the Cirth, and developed written pen-forms from them.


So, from this I gather that Dwarves will use the Cirth when writing in Khuzdul, but that most will probably also know the Tengwar and use it when writing in languages where it is others' script of choice. I gather that Elves will generally prefer the Tengwar, but that almost all of them will also be familiar with the Cirth.

I'm not so sure about the Men of Dale, though. Do they use the Cirth for Dalish and the Tengwar for Westron? The cirth when carving and the Tengwar when writing with ink and paper? How common might it be for Men to know one but not the other?

Among those Men who do know only one script, will the Cirith be more common among the Men of Dale, but the Tengwar more common in other Mannish lands (Gondor, for example)?
User avatar
EltanimRas
Master Ent
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:52 am

Re: Literacy and Scripts

Postby Frigga » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:48 pm

For our interpretation we've established that the Men of Dale (or their descendants at this point) write their language (AKA Dalish) using Cirth, whether written or artistically.

However, harking to canon as noted, the Cirth utilized for writing with quill and ink are at this Age more standardized and less stylistic than those utilized for artistic purposes.

This does hint that Orcish would utilize its own crude form of Cirth if we ever have some literate orcs.

The Common Tongue (AKA Westron) and Sindarin the language of the Mirkwood Elves both use Tengwar. Yes, when writing Common Dwarves would use the Tengwar. Yes, you would be far less likely to see Cirth used in Mannish areas where Common is the primary or sole language, and in a place like Minas Tirith, dominated by Common or the Sindarin of the Dunedin leadership, it likely remains in the realm of scholars or those trained to have dealings with Rhovanion for trade or help in warfare. (When in Rome and all that.)

The default for "human side" roles is that people learn both Cirth and Tengwar when they are taught to read for purposes of heritage and trade. But there might be PCs who utilize and know only one or the other as appropriate for their background.

Codewise you can write any language in either script so the associations are meant to be cultural. Writing Khazdul or Dalish (or Rohirric) with Tengwar is thus possible, but would be frowned upon (no doubt the former more seriously) and likely seen as a sign of someone losing their culture.
User avatar
Frigga
The Ice Queen
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:51 pm

Re: Literacy and Scripts

Postby EltanimRas » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:06 pm

Thank you!
User avatar
EltanimRas
Master Ent
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:52 am

Re: Literacy and Scripts

Postby Nimrod » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:02 pm

Frigga's handy to have around, isn't she?
The greatest enemy to propaganda or even counter-propaganda is open, unadulterated channels of free opinion.
User avatar
Nimrod
Game Lead
 
Posts: 5425
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:51 pm

Re: Literacy and Scripts

Postby Justanothacivy » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:13 pm

Love this thread. :mrgreen: Very enjoyable just to read.
Things that made me smile:
Icarus wrote:I'm going to kill the next character I see doing stuff like that. I'm not joking.
User avatar
Justanothacivy
Honored Dwarf
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:37 am

Re: Literacy and Scripts

Postby Brian » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:00 pm

I am also a fan of this thread.
User avatar
Brian
Honored Elf
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:56 pm

Re: Literacy and Scripts

Postby Frigga » Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:37 pm

If you want a fun comparison of Cirth and Tengwar, complete with illustrations, enjoy these gems. In this case, all of these are written in the Sindarin language, showing indeed how scripts can be utilized to display the same language with a far different feeling.

http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/loback/the ... scroll.jpg

http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/loback/feanor.jpg
User avatar
Frigga
The Ice Queen
 
Posts: 2564
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:51 pm

Re: Literacy and Scripts

Postby mongwen » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:17 pm

They shouldn't require RPP or a teacher to open. I believe they do. Just my two cents and probably worth less. I might or might not choose it when I am making a character, but I shouldn't be disallowed just because I don't have RPP or would rather use said RPP on a larger thing if I do have it.
Back on topic for the thread I've always wished someone would publish a tactile representation of the sets of writing. I'd love a good look at it if I could get it without paying both arms and legs.
A yellow-eyed, blotchy-fleshed brown uruk slowly slunks over, sneakily swaggering with a sleek step.
mongwen
Honored Dwarf
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:26 pm

Re: Literacy and Scripts

Postby EltanimRas » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:13 am

mongwen wrote:They shouldn't require RPP or a teacher to open.

I wouldn't mind seeing the RPP requirement lowered or dropped once we move to Laketown, reflecting the more urban, trade-oriented setting. While it's reasonable to want to keep certain skills relatively rare for thematic and other reasons, I don't want to see ones that allow characters to access and add to in-game lore (literacy, artistry, music) be too rare.

Long-blade is our current zero-RPP equivalent, I think -- everyone and his brother wielding a sword would be out-of-theme, but we're restricting it by requiring multiple skill-picks (as literacy also does) rather than on RPP.

That said, even if nothing changes, you won't have to choose between literacy and a role, since the skills can, if one has sufficient RPP (two), be chosen without the "literate citizen" role, and neither skill picks nor roles cost RPP.

mongwen wrote:Back on topic for the thread I've always wished someone would publish a tactile representation of the sets of writing.

Recruit a friend, recruit your dad. Recruit one of those SoI players who's wasting twelve hours a day on the game anyway. Preferably a Tolkien fan of some sort. Doing this nicely (following the traditional columnar layout, maybe including names and/or pronunciation guides in braille) would take some patience and attention to detail, but it shouldn't be terribly difficult.

This, at least, is my official judgement as someone who used to work in an office making braille math textbooks (with tactile graphs). ;)
User avatar
EltanimRas
Master Ent
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:52 am


Return to General Discussion

Connect

FacebookTwitter

Login

Who is online

Very smart users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Login