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  • Updated 30 November 2011
  • Updates planned: 2

When the Edain settled in Númenor, the common speech of the new realm derived in the most part from the language of the People of Hador, giving rise to a tongue known as Adûnaic. In the northwestern parts of the island, however, the newly settled Edain were mainly descended from the Bëorians. These people had early abandoned their own language for Sindarin, the form of Elvish spoken most widely in Beleriand, and they preserved this tradition in Númenor. Thus an offshoot of the Sindarin tongue developed - Númenorórean Sindarin - that was preserved especially in the Andustar region.

We have little information about how Númenórean Sindarin differed from its parent tongue, but one example is the the word rath, which originally meant 'climb', but came to be applied to long streets (and was much later used in Minas Tirith to name streets such as Rath Celerdain and Rath Dínen).1 It is noted, however, that there was relatively little change in this version of Sindarin due to continued contacts between the Númenóreans and the Eldar of Eressëa.

Relations between the Númenórean rulers and the Elves declined in the later history of Númenor, and when Ar-Adûnakhor became King in II 2899, he banned the public use of all Elvish tongues. Nonetheless Númenórean Sindarin was somehow kept alive, and survived in secret until the Downfall of Númenor more than four hundred years later. When Elendil led the Exiles to Middle-earth after the Downfall, Sindarin was still the normal spoken language of his followers.


Notes

1

This usage perhaps arose in the naming of the streets of Andúnië, the main city of the Andustar, or of the long road that climbed up from there through the mountains towards Ondosto.

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