LR: The Lost Road and other writings
WJ: The War of the Jewels
PM: The Peoples of Middle-Earth
LOTR: The Lord of the Rings
SIL: The Silmarillion
VT: Vinyar Tengwar
PE: Parma Eldalamberon
VQ: Vanyarin Quenya
NQ: Ñoldorin Quenya
The association of the Noldor with a Celtic-themed language is removed in Appendix E of LOTR. Discussing variant names of the tengwar, Tolkien states: Where there are variants, this is due to the names given before certain changes affected Quenya as spoken by the Exiles [i.e. Noldor], thus in the linguistic scenario from this point on, both Noldor and Vanyar spoke Quenya, but different dialects.
It seems very likely that Tolkien did not create the differences between Noldorin and Vanyarin Quenya from scratch - early material contains references to dialect forms of Qenya, such as PE14:41 mentions the standard development of some consonant clusters vs. some dialect forms. Thus, presumably existing ideas about various dialects of Q(u)enya were used to map out the difference between Noldorin and Vanyarin Quenya.
However, even if the differences in Noldorin and Vanyarin Quenya were essentially defined, we do not learn much more except of the sound shifts exemplified by the Tengwar names. More information about Vanyarin emerges in the 1959-60 essay 'Quendi and Eldar' , chiefly in the context of providing a means by which some Valarin forms could be still known in Middle-earth. Finally, the 1968 essay 'The Shibboleth of Fëanor'  introduces some more information on the difference between Noldorin and Vanyarin. Here, Tolkien was struggling with the problem when exactly to place the change of þ > s and presented a solution in terms of politics intruding into linguistic matters.
All in all, the actual evidence of how Vanyarin Quenya was like is rather scarce, there are a few more forms and possible candidates scattered throughout the corpus. Given that it is likely that the elements of Q(u)enya development where roughly fixed at a time when the Noldor still spoke the Noldorin of the Etymologies, we will in the following assume that the sound changes of Quenya follow the framework laid out by Helge Fauskanger in The Evolution from Primitive Elvish to Quenya  (mainly based on material of the Etymologies) and that the idea of two dialects of Quenya emerging later did not significantly change this picture.
However, after the Noldor left for Middle-Earth and into Exile, no information about Vanyarin Quenya can be found. Only very few incarnates leave the blessed land later on, among them Gandalf, Radagast and Glorfindel, and while they could have provided information how Vanyarin Quenya has developed since, there is no account given in which they actually do so.
Thus, our knowledge of Vanyarin Quenya is limited to Quenya as it was just before the Exile of the Noldor, and as we do know some of the changes which affected the Quenya of the Exiles during their time in Middle-Earth, we can get a plausible picture of how some elements of Vanyarin Quenya may have been like. Given the conservativeness of the Vanyarin loremasters without the influence of the Noldor, chances are the language has not changed much in the blessed land though.
This, unfortunately, means that we only know the smallest part of the difference between the dialects - while we have some understanding about the difference in the department of phonetics (which are, since Ñoldorin Quenya as we usually discuss it has developed further in Middle-Earth, not limited to the change mentioned at the time of the separation), we can in most cases only guess what new words were acquired and we have no single example of a grammatical construction being different in Ñoldorin and Vanyarin.
Most of the phonetic changes can be inferred from the variant names of the tengwar described in LOTR appendix E. The relevant list is (with the older form given in brackets): &súle (þúle) 'spirit' harma 'treasure' or aha 'rage' noldo (ngoldo) 'one of the kindred of the Noldor' nwalme (ngwalme) 'torment' vilya (wilya) 'air, sky'. Tolkien explains Where there are variants, this is due to the names given before certain changes affected Quenya as spoken by the Exiles. Thus No. 11 was called harma when it represented the spirant ch in all positions, but when this sound became breath h initially (though remaining medially) the name aha was devised. áre was originally áze, but when this z became merged with 21 [óre], the sign was in Quenya used for the very frequent ss (...). (LOTR Appendix E). This maps out most of the sound changes.
It is interesting to note that the Vanyar seem to have been less conservative at earlier times. In PM:402, we find the following: Thus it was that when the name Banyai of old was changed to Vanyar this was done only because the sound b was changed throughout the language (...) and this change (...) began among the Vanyar; whereas for the showing of many the new device of -r was brought in and used (...) and this (...) was begun among the Noldor. Thus, here we see the Vanyar as the aesthets changing the phonetic structure of the language, whereas the Noldor are seen as theoreticians changing grammatical devices (here plural formation).
Let us now discuss the individual known differences in detail and illustrate their consequences by investigating how certain words may have appeared in Vanyarin Quenya.
Further evidence for the change (or variant forms) can be found e.g. in 'Quendi and Eldar', cf. the forms VQ: þinde, Ñ dialect sinde 'grey, pale or silvery grey' (WJ:384) or VQ: aþar, Ñ asar 'fixed time, festival' (WJ:399).
Conceptually, the change is rather easy to grasp: In Ñoldorin Quenya all instances of -þ- are shifted to -s-, this does not happen in Vanyarin Quenya. The sound þ in the evolution of Quenya is either directly part of the root as -TH- (in which case it can be inside a word) or is created by initial ST-. Thus, the number of known words affected by this rule is therefore rather limited. One may e.g. have
The problem with this rule, if one is (as the author of this article) more familiar with Ñoldorin Quenya, is that Vanyarin forms cannot simply be inferred by replacing every -r- with a -z-. The reason is that while the Vanyarin -z- is in Ñoldorin almost always shifted to -r-, not every -r- in Ñoldorin Quenya comes originally from -z- (the exception to the shift is described by Tolkien as Medial z < s had become r in the Ñoldorin dialect of Q except when an adjacent syllable, or (as here [i.e. Kasar, not **Karar]) the same syllable, already contained an r. (WJ:413)
Thus, in order to understand how -z- appears in Vanyarin Quenya (and thus which -r- in Ñoldorin Quenya comes from this shift), it is necessary to study the development of Quenya in a little more detail ( is a good reference for the interested reader, the following examples are adapted from Helge Fauskangers presentation). Ultimately, primitive -d- and -s- can potentially become -z-. An internal s is voiced to z if followed by a vowel or voiced consonant in pre-record Quenya:
The Vanyarin sound would be written in tengwar with áze. In Ñoldorin, rómen or óre take this position.
It is up to anyone's guess if the sounds in the end did truly merge in Vanyarin or just became very similar. In the following examples, we will assume that they merged and thus all words from roots with PH- and SP- would develop to hw- in Vanyarin (but PHU- > hu-):
The Nominative Plural of nouns ending in -ë would be *-í < *-ei in Vanyarin and not shortened as in Ñoldorin Quenya. Hence one may find VQ: lassí instead of NQ: lassi 'leaves'.
The Genitive Singular of nouns ending in -a would be *-ó < *-ao in Vanyarin and not shortened to -o as in Ñoldorin. Thus VQ: Vardó instead of NQ: Vardo 'of Varda'
The Accusative Singular of Vanyarin Quenya would be as in 'Book Quenya', i.e. marked by a lengthening of the final vowel. Hence VQ: *Tirin kiryá. 'I watch a ship'.
The Accusative Plural of Vanyarin Quenya would be -i for nouns which in Ñ receive -r and -í otherwise, thus VQ: *Tirin kiryai 'I watch ships' or VQ: *Tirin elení 'I watch stars.'
Adjectives in -a may preserve the plural *-ai in Vanyarin instead of undergoing the change to -ë as in Ñoldorin, thus VQ: *lintai kiryar 'swift ships'
Adjectives in -ëa may preserve the plural *-ëai instead of changing to -ië as in Ñoldorin, thus VQ: laureai lassí 'golden leaves'
The first two lines of Namárië might therefore render in Vanyarin as:
Ai! laurëai lantar lassí súrinen,
yéni únótimai ve rámar aldaron!
However, since -ndy- does not seem to be a consonant cluster frequently encountered, this does not seem to be a big influence on the overall flavour of the language. As an amusing side-note, since the Vanyar accepted it [the name Vanyar] but continued to call themselves most often by their old numerical name Minyar (WJ:382), they would probably have called their own dialect Minyarin Quendya rather than Vanyarin Quenya.
On the other hand, common sense can tell us which words could not possibly have been used in Vanyarin - chiefly these are words which the Ñoldor could have only learned about in Middle-Earth and vocabulary influenced by the contact with Sindarin. A few examples might suffice:
certa 'rune' adapted from Sindarin certh (WJ:396) clearly could not have been known by the Vanyar, as the runes were developed in Doriath.
orko as variant for to urko 'bogey, orc' is said to show the influence of Sindarin and thus would not exist in Vanyarin (WJ:390)
kasar 'dwarf' was coined by the Exiles and would be absent in Vanyarin (WJ:388)
Thus, Vanyarin Quenya would show less analogical formations. For example, in LR:391 we find telko 'leg' with an analogical plural telqi. What this means is that the plural is coined after examples like urko pl. urqui < *urkui in which the stem ends with -u, but that the stem of telko does in fact end in -o. Thus, maybe the Vanyarin plural would be *telkor and would not show the analogical formation.
Analogical levelling is a strong force in compounding words (see ). This raises the question to what degree the dominant development seen in Ñoldorin Quenya, i.e. 'simple' analogical behaviour of compounds would be realized in Vanyarin Quenya. Unfortunately, we don't know too many compounds in Vanyarin, but there is one case which might be:
SIL Chapter 8 has Of the deeds of that day much is told in the Aldudénië [Lament for the Two Trees] that Elemmírë of the Vanyar made and is known to all the Eldar. Aldudénië can hardly be Ñoldorin Quenya as it contains a single intervocalic -d- which does not occur in this dialect. Furthermore, the word is explicitly linked to a Vanya. Thus, there is some chance that we deal with a Vanyarin compound here.
If so, it however raises more questions than it provides answers. There is no known sound development in Quenya which creates a single -d-, thus we have to assume that it would be part of the primitive root. A root DEM 'sad, gloomy' can be found in the Etymologies (LR:354), given that we're not dealing with precisely the same linguistic scenario in SIL and LR this is at least a candidate. But early in the evolution of Quenya, a shift d- > l- occurs (except in a few cases where strengthening to ND- occurs or a word driving analogical development exists, in which case d- > n- is found). Thus, a 'simple' compounding should result in **aldulénië.
On the other hand, following a historical development, intervocalic -d- > -ð- > -z-, so we'd find **alduzénië. Thus, the attested word cannot be explained either as the result of simple compounding or a historical development. Could the linguistic conservatism go back so far as to restore the original root consonant? But why then is intervocalic -d- shifted in examples like Auzel < aw(a)delo (WJ:363). Just devising a way to write the form in a Quenya mode of the tengwar seems to be complicated. Thus, we essentially have to leave the question of compounding in Vanyarin unanswered.
With regard to a distinction of Genitive and Possessive in Quenya, WJ:369 has there remained naturally many cases where either possessive-adjectival or partitive-derivative genitives might be used, and the tendency to prefer the latter, or to use them in place of the former, increased. Thus, in modern Quenya it seems more and more possible to just use a (partitive) Genitive. This is at least consistent with the idea that a Sindarin-speaker using Quenya would have problems with the distinction of possessive and partitive Genitive as Sindarin does not have this feature. Thus, it may be reasonable to assume that in Vanyarin a distinction remained.
A similar case is found in WJ:366 where it is said that the forms of past and perfect became progressively more closely associated in Quenya. This is likewise a change which could be expected for a Quenya-speaker who is primarily used to Sindarin (where to our knowledge no distinction between past and perfect can be made).
A final example might be the short phrase et i péti '*out of the lips' (VT47:35). Somewhat surprisingly, it uses the preposition et without a following ablative. The idea that it should be followed by Ablative however can be traced back to the Etymologies (VT45:13) and is also seen in Et earello (...) (LOTR). The change would (although there is no actual evidence that this is the underlying idea) be consistent with what a speaker of Sindarin (where case endings are absent) would perhaps produce.
In all these cases, Vanyarin Quenya would presumably not show the change.
A ataremma i menelzea, na aire esselya, na tule túrinastalya, na carina mendelya ier menelze tier cemenze. Alye anta men hyáze ilyázea mastamma ar avatyara mello i luciemmar ier emme avatyarir ta va menya lucindor úalye mittanya me terpelienna ono na etrúna me va ulco. san na.
Quite clearly, there are some elements which we have above identified as being characteristic for an older form of Quenya. Most telling is the use of áze in hyáze 'today' or ilyázea 'daily'. However, other sound changes are not displayed, cf. va 'from' derived from AWA which we'd expect as **wa in the scenario outlined above; neither does any form show the book-accusative.
It is thus unclear to what degree this text should influence our idea of what Vanyarin Quenya is like. Should we assume that -ze was a usual locative ending in Vanyarin istead of -sse? Can we assume that va instead of the Ablative was in frequent use? Clearly, one cannot be certain, and in any case Tolkien decided to remove the archaic elements like ilyáze in the subsequent versions of the prayer. Nevertheless, the brief appearance of some archaic elements in this text is an interesting side-note.
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