映画『ロード・オブ・ザ・リング』の原作である『指輪の王』（The Lord of the Rings）は、オクスフォード大学で言語学を研究していたJ. R. R. トルキンが、神話や伝説の伝承知識に加えて、専門の古代言語に関する膨大な情報を活用して創りあげた世界となっている。実はエピソードの各々がいくつもの架空の言語の文法や語法の生成などと密接に関連して語り進められているのである。架空の作品世界の中のこととは言いながら、これらには言語学上の確かな裏付けがあり、実際の学術的考察として読み取ることが可能なものである。
Pronunciation of words and Names
The Westron or Common speech has been entirely translated into English equivalents. All Hobbit names and special words are intended to be pronounced accordingly: for example, Bolger has g as in bulge, and mathom rhymes with fathom.
In transcribing the ancient scripts I have tried to represent the original sounds (so far as they can be determined) with fair accuracy, and at the same time to produce words and names that do not look uncouth in modern letters. The High-elven Quenya has been spelt as much like Latin as its sounds allowed. For this reason c has been preferred to k in both Eldarin languages.
The following points may be observed by those who are interested in such details.
C has always the value of k even before e and i: celeb"silver" should be pronounced as keleb.
CH is only used to represent the sound heard in bach (in German or Welsh), not that in English church. Except at the end of words and before t this sound was weakened to h in the speech of Gondor, and that change has been recognized in a few names, such as Rohan, Rohirrim. (Imrahil is a Numenorean name.)
DH represents the voiced (soft) th of English these clothes. It is usually related to d, as in S. galadh "tree" compared with Q. alda; but is sometimes derived from n+r ,as in Caradhras "Redhorn" from caran-rass.
Note that consonants written twice as, tt, ll, ss, nn, represents long or "double" consonants. At the end of words of more than one syllable these were usually shortened: as in Rohan from Rochann (archaic Rochand).
For vowels the letters i, e, a, o, u are used, and (in Sindarin only) y. As far as can be determined the sounds represented by these letters (other than y) were of normal kind, though doubtless many local varieties escape detection. That is, the sounds were approximately those represented by i, e, a, o, u in English machine, were, father, for, brute, irrespective of quantity.
In Sindarin the diphthongs are written ae, ai, ei, oe, ui, and au. Other combinations are not diphthongal. The writing of final au as aw is in accordance with English custom, but is actually not uncommon in Feanorian spellings.
All these diphthongs were "falling" diphthongs, that is stressed on the first element, and composed of the simple vowels run together. Thus ai, ei, oi, ui are intended to be pronounced respectively as the vowels in English rye (not ray), grey, boy, ruin; and au (aw) as in loud, how, and not as in laud, haw.
There is nothing in English closely corresponding to ae, oe, eu; ae and oe may be pronounced as ai, oi.