For a couple of weeks now I’ve had all of the materials that I need to start working on the project, so I’ve begun to read through them leisurely to absorb the information that I’ll use. For Finnish, I’m reading Fred Karlsson’s Finnish: An Essential Grammar, and for Welsh I’m reading A Welsh Grammar by Stephen J. Williams. I’ve managed to find a free Latin textbook online to use for my comparisons, and my references on Quenya and Sindarin are from a page run by the University of Bergen in Norway and a few other sites.
J.R.R. Tolkien, famous author of classics such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, inspired a generation of fantasy writers with his rich worlds and epic quests. But less often acknowledged is the fact that Tolkien was a linguist first, and an author second. Trained as a philologist, Tolkien was a professor of Old English at Oxford for years before he published his first novel. And some of his most recognized linguistic accomplishments were not his academic works, but rather his creative works; Tolkien was a language inventor. Instead of just creating a few fake proper nouns and tacking them on to the world of his novel, Tolkien developed entire languages and language families for the inhabitants of his fantasy world, Middle-Earth. Tolkien even asserted that “Middle-Earth grew out of his predilection for invented languages.” Moreover, Tolkien was known to have had affinities for particular languages, such as Welsh and Finnish, and I have often read that he was influenced by these languages in his creation of the Elvish tongues, Quenya and Sindarin.