Tolkien’s Imaginary Languages

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 Tolkien’s Imaginary Languages

Lecture by Edward Vajda

Given at Western Washington University, on November 14, 2012




J.R.R. Tolkien, wildly popular for his authorship of the fantasy trilogy “The Lord of the Rings,” was by profession an unprepossessing Medievalist and historical linguist.

In this lecture, delivered at Western Washington University on November 14, 2012, Edward Vajda, a professor in the Modern and Classical Languages Department at Western, discusses “Tolkien’s Imaginary Languages.”

Tolkien’s extensive knowledge of world languages both ancient and modern lent itself to his creation of the artificial languages that add so much realistic depth to his fictional writing. Vajda’s presentation will describe the languages Tolkien created for his Middle Earth by revealing their connection with the actual spoken languages he studied during his academic career.

Watch this lecture to explore the ingenious sound symbolism and etymological connotations employed by this master storyteller—and learn a great many things about the real languages of Eurasia along the way.

SharanNewman