The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
First called Adûnaic in the early Second Age.
There is no record of its use after the Downfall in II 33191
Persisted in common use for some 3,300 years
Origins
Evolved from the old tongue used by the Men of the House of Hador
Race
Division
Pronunciation
Uncertain2
Meaning
'(Language of the) West'
Other Names

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 14 May 2006
  • Updates planned: 4

Adûnaic

The Mannish tongue of the Númenóreans

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Elvish sources
Taliska
Adûnaic
Westron

The evolution of the Adûnaic language of Númenor. Taliska was the native language of the Edain, derived ultimately from Elvish, but distinct from the Elvish languages in use in Beleriand during the First Age. The languages of the Northmen and thus the Rohirrim also developed from this source, explaining their similarity to Westron as noted in The Lord of the Rings.

The native tongue of the Númenóreans, the ancestral language of Westron.


Notes

1

Though the name Adûnaic cannot have been used before the Edain travelled to Númenor at the beginning of the Second Age, the language itself, or something very close to it, seems to have been spoken in Beleriand during the First Age, at least by the people of the House of Hador. While there is no mention of its use after the Downfall, it cannot have become completely extinct at this date; it seems likely that the scholars of Gondor and of Arnor would have been familiar with the ancient tongue of their ancestors, but in general use Adûnaic was replaced by the Westron (which had developed from it) and Elvish languages.

2

Following the conventions of Elvish pronunciation, the word would be pronounced a'doon-ike. Adûnaic is not an Elvish word, though, and is in fact so clearly modelled on real linguistic terms such as Hebraic or Aramaic that a pronunciation based on these, a'doon-ayik, seems somewhat more plausible.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2001. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.