Quenya Course

This free Quenya course can be downloaded as RTF files. It presupposes no knowledge of linguistics; even the most elementary terms and concepts are explained. What it does presuppose is a deep and serious interest on the part of the student, for this course does not aim to present only Quenya grammar as such, but also much of the underlying reasoning and deduction by which our present knowledge of Quenya has been meticulously extracted from the primary sources.

This is a non-commercial project, so I can very well afford to be honest: This course is for the serious student who really wants to study one of the most highly developed languages Tolkien ever made, scrutinizing it in all its rich and intricate detail - a study undertaken largely (or entirely) for its own sake. Knowing Quenya will hardly be of much help in finding a job. This course is not for the faint-hearted who are unable to truly appreciate a lengthy discussion of (say) whether ny is to be considered a consonant cluster n + y or a single consonant like Spanish ñ. I do try to present the structure and grammar of Quenya in an attractive fashion, but the student must have no fear of "technicalities"; this course is all about technicalities. If you want to "learn Quenya" simply because you would like to coin a few cool Elvish names to be used in role-playing, chances are that you are in no way prepared to delve into the amount of information here presented. If, on the other hand, your interest is sufficient to carry you through this entire course, you will emerge not only with an insight on Quenya grammar that is about as complete as published material allows - you will also know what research in the field of Tolkienian linguistics is all about.

The course proper consists of twenty lessons, all of which are available for download. There are also various appendices.

A revised version of this course was uploaded in February 2003; most of the significant revisions have to do with new material published in Vinyar Tengwar, issues 43 and 44 (search for the references VT43, VT44 in the text of the course).

Introduction - it is long, but skip it at your peril! Subjects discussed: Why study Quenya? - The question of copyright - What is Quenya like? - The sources - A word of warning regarding parts of the corpus - Spelling conventions.
Download Introduction

Lesson 1: The sounds of Quenya. Pronunciation and accentuation.
Lesson 2: Nouns. Plural form. The article.
Lesson 3: Dual number. Stem variation.
Lesson 4: The Adjective. The Copula. Adjectival agreement in number.
Lesson 5: The Verb: Present tense and agreement in number. Subject/object. The superlative form of adjectives.
Download Lessons 1-5

Lesson 6: Past tense.
Lesson 7: Future tense and Aorist.
Lesson 8: Perfect tense. Pronominal endings -n(yë), -l(yë), -s.
Lesson 9: The infinitive. The negative verb. Active participles.
Lesson 10: Adverbs. Pronominal endings -ntë and -t. Infinitives with object pronouns. The past tense of intransitive verbs in -ya. Passive participles.
Download Lessons 6-10

Lesson 11: The concept of cases. The Genitive case.
Lesson 12: The Possessive-Adjectival case. Verbal or Abstract nouns and how they interact with the Genitive and Possessive cases.
Lesson 13: The Dative case. The Gerund. Pronominal endings -lmë, -lvë, -mmë. An indefinite pronoun.
Lesson 14: The Allative and Ablative cases. Equë and auta: two peculiar verbs. Possessive pronominal endings: -nya, -lya, -lva, -lma, -mma.
Lesson 15: The ending -rya and more about possessive pronominal endings. The Locative case. Relative sentences. Third Person obscurities.
Download Lessons 11-15

Lesson 16: The Instrumental case. Verbs with an unaccented vowel + -ta. The imperative. The nai formula.
Lesson 17: The demonstratives: Sina, tan(y)a, enta, yana. Inflecting the "Last Declinable Word". U-stem nouns. Ordinals in -ëa.
Lesson 18: Independent pronouns. Impersonal verbs. U-stem verbs. The various uses of .
Lesson 19: Pronouns in imperative phrases. Emphatic pronouns. Question-words: Man, mana, manen. Postpositions.
Lesson 20: The obscure verb "to be". Ma as a possible interrogative particle. Sa introducing nominal clauses.
Download Lessons 16-20

Download List of Vocabulary used in the Exercises

Download Keys to the Exercises

Download Appendices

Notice that if you want to print this course, the printer should ideally be able to handle colours, since I sometimes use colour-coding to indicate the equivalent parts of a Quenya and an English sentence or word. If your printer can't handle colours, you may do like Christina McHenry, who informs me that she "used the Edit > Replace function in Microsoft Word to replace all of the red text with thick underline, blue text with single underline, and pink text with wave underline".

Copyright policy: This course can be downloaded, but not re-posted elsewhere on the net without permission from the author, H.K. Fauskanger. (However, those who have previously received permission to translate articles on my pages may also translate this course.) Print-outs may be made for personal use (private groups included).

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