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Sindarin or Grey-elven was originally an elvish dialect that arose in Beleriand (especially Doriath) among the Grey-elves of the First Age from their own local Telerin dialect. Later it became the common lingua franca among the elves of Beleriand and was even preserved among the Edain (Númenórean and Dúnedain) nobility as a language of etiquette.

Sindarin grammar recognizes singular, paucal (paucal number, also paucal plural), and plural numbers, for example: onod = "ent"; enyd = "a few/several/some ents"; onodrim = "(all) ents".

Curiously, the term "Sindarin" is a Quenya word (exonym); the equivalent Sindarin term (endonym) would be Thindrimen (or Thindrimin).[1]

Genealogy of Sindarin

Outer information

Sindarin is the best-attested of Tolkien's invented languages, with a fairly large corpus, and is widely studied. Professor Tolkien stated that it was deliberately constructed to resemble Welsh phonologically. Tolkien’s Sindarin language was mainly inspired by Welsh, and perhaps to a much lesser extent by Greek. Tolkien’s earliest predecessor of later Sindarin was Goldogrin, originally intended as the mother-tongue of the Noldoli, which later evolved into Sindarin, the language of the Ilkorin of Beleriand.

Notes

  1. According to Parf Edhellen: “Apparently the Sindar called their own language simply edhellen = 'Elvish'.”

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