This is unfinished. I've only completed Rhovanion Northmannic so far.
NOTE: There are various "translation timeframes" at which the periodizations are "reset". In other words, sometimes a language or geographic area diverges out of the "timeframe" and follows its own slower or faster periodization. For example, the original Mannish language at beginning of the First Age of the Sun is like Proto-Germanic, but so is the Rhovanion Northman language at the beginning of the Third Age. Another example: there are several "Old Englishes": the OE of the 1A (Beorian), two OEs of the 2A (Lower Anduin-speech of the Fell Folk and Ancient Westron), and two OEs of the 3A (Ancient Hobbit-speech and late 3A Vale-speech).
Also, if "other hands" were to write stories about the Northmen of the Second Age or First Age, they might "reset" the translation timeframe for that story, so that the various Northmen speak the various early medieval Germanic languages. This is already partly the case, because stories set in the First Age, such as The Children of Hurin, translate the dialogue, and also some words from the place-names (such as "river" and "forest"), into Modern English.
VALIAN (these periodization of this language and the next four language families is a work in progress)
QUENDIAN (a work in progress)
ORQUIAN (work in progress)
AULIAN (work in progress)
HILDIAN—Eremonian (Proto-Germanic) Influenced by the language of the Hisildi, the Dark Elves of Palisor, who I suggest are the same as the Hwenti-speaking Avari, and that Hwenti is a phonaesthetically Gothic-flavored Quendian language. The other language families of Man are alterations of the original language of Ermon and Elmir which resulted from the sundering in Hildórien.
THE NORTHMANNIC FAMILY (Proto-Germanic) These languages preserved the Germanic phonaesthetic style of the original Eremonian language.
- Hadorian (the "Gothic" of the First Age). The Taliska language might serve as the actual language.
- Archaic Adûnaic (Archaic Egyptian periodization; Gothic to Arabic phonoaesthetically) The phonoaesthetic aspect of Adûnaic is inspired primarily by Arabic. But the periodization for Adûnaic is modeled on that of the Ancient Egyptian language, since Númenor, with its arrogant "Pharaoh", fills the role of Egypt in the legendarium. The Archaic period would be the time of great change when, upon arriving on Númenor, the Germanic-style Taliska language evolves into the Semitic-style Adûnaic language.
- Old Adûnaic (Old Egyptian periodization; Arabic phonoaesthetically)
- Middle Adûnaic (Middle Egyptian; Arabic)
- Late Adûnaic (Late Egyptian; Arabic)
- Black Adûnaic (Coptic). The supposed language of the Black Númenoreans in Harad. In this case, the language might change so much to actually phonoaesthetically switch from Arabic to Coptic.
- Old Westron (Old English; "Demotic" in the Egyptian parallel) Seen in the worn-down placenames of Gondor and Arnor. Overlaps chronologically with Late Adûnaic. We ought to be able to date Old Westron and Middle Westron using the date of the switch from Old Westron to Middle Westron, when the Númenoreans began to consciously enrich the Common Speech with Sindarin, since this is evocative of the Norman French influence on Old English, resulting in Middle English.
- Middle Westron (Middle English) Seen in the week-day names from the Yellowskin year-book of the Tooks. These are reportedly West Midlands forms, which is fitting since the Shire is based on Warwickshire.
- Late Westron (Modern English)
- Bëorian (the "Old English" of the First Age). By the time the ancestors of the Hadorians and Bëorians left the Sea of Rhûn,"their tongues had already diverged".
- Eriador Northmannic, the speech of the Middle Men of Eriador (the "Old English" and "Old Norse" of the Second Age). "Their [Númenoreans] term 'Middle men' was thus originally applied to Men of Eriador, the most westerly of Mankind in the Second Age and known to the Elves of Gil-galad’s realm. At that time there were many men in Eriador, mainly, it would seem, in origin kin of the Folk of Beor, though some were kin of the Folk of Hador." and "in Eriador and Rhovanion (especially in the northern parts) their kindred must already have occupied much of the land." In Eriador, the Northmen dwelled "about Lake Evendim, in the North Downs and the Weather Hills, and in the lands between as far as the Brandywine". When the Númenoreans returned to Middle-earth in the Second Age, they discovered that the language of the Northmen of Eriador was related to their own. To help make sense of the linguistic-cultural situation, Eriador might be conceived as a sort of imaginary version of Britain, with the Bëor kin as the "English of Eriador", the Hador-kin as the "Norse of Eriador" (who were less numerous than the English in Britain, but who ruled parts of northern and eastern Britain), the Haleth-kin as the "Brythons of Eriador" in Bree-land, Minhiriath, and Rhudaur, and the Bór-kin as the "Picts of Eriador".
- Southern Northmannic (the "Old English" of the Second Age) The "Fell Folk" of the Second Age, in the Tal-Elmar story, would speak this language as they came out of the East (Rhovanion) into the Lower Anduin, and pressed upon the Celtic-style hill-folk living south of the White Mountains. This "Lower Anduin Northman" language would continue to be spoken until its was supplanted by Old Westron. In fact, it was perhaps the main influence upon the formation of that language. That is why this language is equated to Old English...because it needed to "transmit" its Old English phonoaesthetic flavor to the Semitic-style Adûnaic language to turn it into Old Westron. I suggest that the country of the Fell Folk was geographically approximate to Greece and Greek-speaking Asia Minor (see the "Re-Imagined Middle-earth" map), since the Greek language is "excised" from Middle-earth. This would be the watershed of the Lower Anduin—in Ithilien, Lebennin, and Harondor. Lower Anduin Northman-speech would be the pre-Númenorean language of Pelargir.
- Rhovanion Northmannic FA Years of the Sun c.300 - TA c.0 (Proto-Germanic : through AD c.200). The Northman speech in Rhovanion remained "frozen" until the beginning of the Third Age. There is one word known from these early times: the actual Second Age Rhovanion Northman name for "king" was <durin>—its Proto-Germanic "translation" might be <kuningaz>: "[Durin] appears to have been simply a word for 'king' in the language of the Men of the North of the Second Age." -PoME. Also, the name "Smaug" is "translated" as Proto-Germanic: "the dragon bears as name—a pseudonym—the past tense of the primitive Germanic verb smugan, to squeeze through a hole". This suggests he was born and named in the early Third Age. (Though Michael Martinez suggests here that he was only a few hundred years old. The word "smaug" is also reportedly a valid Old Norse form, in which case, the name wouldn't have to have been from Proto-Germanic time.) When the Men of the North reached the eastern edge of the Greenwood, they split in two: the "Ingvaeonic" peoples (and perhaps the other "West Germanic" people) went around the southern edge of the forest, and then moved north up the Vales of Anduin (see "Of Dwarves and Men" in Peoples of M-e). The "North and East Germanic" people went north of the Greenwood. In the beginning of the Third Age, these Northmen expanded from out of Northern Mirkwood and crossed the Forest Road into middle and southern Mirkwood (this is described in Unfinished Tales). This is equated to the expansion of the Germanic peoples into central and southern Germany, from out of Scandinavia. The Forest Road is equated to the northern coastline of Germany, and its border with Denmark. The Enchanted River running north out of the Mountains of Mirkwood is equated to the northwestern coastline of the Denmark's Jutland Peninsula. The expansion into Celtic-speaking central Germania is like the expansion into the Penni Elvish-speaking Greenwood. The break-up of the Proto-Germanic language into East, North, and West Germanic serves as the model for the break-up of the Northman language of Wilderland into three groups: East, North, and West Northmannic. Rhovanion has its own translation scheme. The Northmannic languages of Rhovanion of TA 3000 are equated to the Germanic languages of circa AD 1000. The languages of Rhovanion are more archaic than the Eriador Northman languages which died out earlier and the Beleriand Northman languages, including the "Númenorean Northman" language which became Westron. For example, while the Beleriand Northman language had developed into "Old English" (Old Westron) by the late Second Age, the Rhovanion Northmen were still speaking "Proto-Germanic" at the beginning of the Third Age.
A map of the real-world equivalent of the Northmen spreading south, from out of the northeast eaves of the Greenwood.
THE HALETHIC FAMILY (Proto-Celtic)
- East Northmannic TA c.0 - c.600 (Proto-East Germanic/Pre-Gothic: AD c.200 - c.350) For the ratio used to calculate this end-date see the next entry for Vidugavian.
- Vidugavian TA c. 600 - TA 2489 (Gothic : AD c.350 - c.800) The Goths' encounter with the Huns in AD 358 is similar with the defeat of the Northmen by the Wainriders in TA 1856. The liberation of the Goths from the Empire of the Huns in AD 454 is equated to the liberation of the Northmen from the Wainriders in AD 1899. The accomplishments of Vidugavia are like Ermanaric who "ruled all the nations of Scythia and Germania as they were his own". However, as far as periodizing the language, Vidugavia is correlated with Witege, the henchman of Theodoric/Dietrich, King of the Ostrogoths in the Dietrich of Bern German heroic cycle. Witege is said to be the Middle High German version of the Gothic name. So, the time of Witege's life of ADc500 is correlated to the era of Vidugavia's life in TA c1200. Therefore, since AD 200 (the end of Proto-Germanic) is equated to TA 0, then a ratio of 300 AD Years = 1200 TA Years can be used for this language. The beginning of the Vidugavian language is: (150*1200)/300 = 600. The end of Vigugavian is: (600*1200)/300 = 2400; which is pretty close to the known date of the destruction of the remnant Northmen living east of Mirkwood (TA 2489), when the Balchoth "were slaying or driving north up the River Running and into the Forest the remnant of the Northmen, friends of Gondor who still dwelt east of Mirkwood." This would be the end of the Gothic language in Middle-earth, except for on the western shores of the Sea of Rhûn, where the language perhaps lingered into the late Third Age, like Crimean Gothic. There are likely other East Northmannic languages which don't enter into the tales.
- North Northmannic TA c.0 - c.2000 (Proto-North Germanic/Scandinavian: AD c.200 - c.700] The end date for North Northmannic is calculated based on the East Northmannic scheme: TA 1200 = AD 500 and TA 0 (the beginning of North Northmannic) = AD 200 (the beginning of Proto-Norse), which gives a ratio of 300 AD Years = 1200 AD Years, therefore: (500*1200)/300 = 2000. The Elder Futhark is the translated equivalent of the Northman Cirth of this era.
- Northern TA c.2000 - Fourth Age (Old Norse: AD c.700 - c.1300) There are two dialects of Northern: East Northern and West Northern. East Northern is spoken by the Dale-men (Svear), Lake-men (Geats), by the Northmen from south of Dale mentioned at the end of The Hobbit (Danes), and by the Variags of the wide East and of Khand (Varangians). West Northern is spoken by the Northmen from west of Dale mentioned at the end of The Hobbit (Norwegians), and by one of three supposed kinds of "evil men" of Angmar (Norse-Gaels/Gallowglasses). JRRT says the boundary between the Northern language and the Vale-speech is the northwestern corner of Mirkwood; so the "Norwegian" Northmen extend from there, across the open lands between the northern edge of Mirkwood and the Grey Mountains, to the western border of the restored Kingdom of Dale. The Younger Futhark is the translated equivalent of the Northman Cirth of this era.
- West Northmannic TA c.0 - c.800 (Proto-West Germanic : AD c.200 - c.400) The end-date is calculated using the East Northmannic scheme: (200*1200)/300 = 800.
- Primitive Lower Woodman TA c.800 - c.2200 (Primitive Old High German : AD c.400 - c.750) The Fallohides adopted many given names from the (Primitive) Old High German-speaking Woodmen during this time. The Elder Futhark is the translated equivalent of the Woodman Cirth of this era. The end-date is calculated using the East Northmannic scheme.
- Lower Woodman c.2200 - Fourth Age (Old High German : AD c.750 - c.1050): This language is spoken by the southerly Woodman town on The Hobbit map. The dialect would be Old Rhine Franconian (aka Frankish). Other dialects are perhaps spoken by settlements not depicted on the map. The "brave woodmen" who are moving back to the west bank of the Middle Anduin at the time of The Hobbit, are perhaps a mixture of Old English-speakers and Old High German-speakers. The "few men" who dwell between the Gladden and Lorien (mentioned in the LotR Appendix) are Westron-speakers by the late TA, since the Appendix says that Gladden is the border of the Westron-speaking area. They would've formerly spoke the Old Frankish language. (The equivalent of the "Gaulish Celtic" element of France, are the Penni elves who would've retreated to Lórien when Northmen settled.) The replacement of the Old Frankish language there by Westron is similar to the replacement of Frankish by Latin in France. However, the Old Frankish language would probably still be spoken in the late TA by a people who don't enter into the tale: these Northmen perhaps live along the east bank of the Anduin, south of the Forest Road. This would be the Old Low Franconian language which later became Dutch and Flemish.
- Upper Woodman TA c.800 - Fourth Age (Old Saxon/Old Low German: AD c.400 - c.1200): These are the Woodmen of the northerly town on The Hobbit map. There would be a Primitive period, except Old Saxon is reportedly not broken down by philologists into different periods.
- Anduin Northmannic TA c.800 - c.1900 (Proto-North Sea Germanic, aka Proto-Ingvaeonic or Proto-Anglo-Frisian: AD c.400 - 449). Since the Hobbits spoke an Ingvaeonic language in TA 1150, which is about 750 years before the Eotheod was founded in the Vales of Anduin, it is clear that there must've been an Ingvaeonic language spoken by whatever Men were living in the Anduin Vales before the Éothéod arrived. This includes the ancestors of the Beornings, who lived in the Misty Mountains before they were ejected by the goblins. The names Marhwini, Marhari, and Forthwini are presented in this language. They are likely adapations of East Northmannic names, such as Marhawins. Among the Men of the Vales, the end-date of the Anduin Northmannic period is equated to the founding of the Éothéod in c.1900, when Old English names appear in the histories. However, once the Hobbits crossed the Misty Mountains into Eriador in TA c.1150, their Anduinic language took a different course, and has a different periodization scheme (see below). In about TA 1356, which was still during this Proto-Ingvaeonic period, some of the northern Stoors left the Angle in Eriador, crossed back over the Misty Mountains, and returned to the Vale, where they settled along the Gladden River. The periodization of the Wild-hobbit speech thence follows that of the Men of the Anduin Vales, instead of the separate periodization of the Eriador Hobbits.
- Primitive Vale-speech TA c.1900 - c.2200 (Primitive Old English : AD c.449 - c.600): The establishment of the Eotheod in the Vales of Anduin by Marhwini is linguistically equivalent to the establishment of the Anglo-saxon dominions in Britain by Hengist and Horsa. The foundation of the Kingdom of Rohan would also be fitting for the beginning of the language's "Old English era", except that the earlier Eotheod are given Old English names, not Proto-Ingvaeonic names. The end-date for Primitive Vale-speech was calculated using a ratio based on AD 449 = TA 1900 and AD 1000 = TA 3000. This gives: (1100*151)/701 = 301. And 301 + 1900 = 2201, which rounds to 2200. For Primitive Hobbitish see below.
- Vale-speech TA c.2200 - Fourth Age (Old English : AD 600 - 1150) There are three known dialects: 1) Beorning-speech (Old Northumbrian), 2) Mark-speech (Old Mercian), and 3) Wild-hobbit speech (Old West Saxon, since the Stoors were the "Saxons" of the three hobbit varieties).
- Since all the other early medieval Germanic languages are represented, there is probably an equivalent of the Old Frisian language, spoken by a people which didn't enter into the tale. They perhaps live on the large island in the Anduin River on the Wilderland map.
- Anduin Hobbitish : TA 800? - 1601 (Proto-North Sea Germanic/Proto-Ingvaeonic/Proto-Anglo-Frisian: AD 400 -449): It's a mystery as to when the Hobbits came to first dwell with Northmen in the Anduin Vales, but they're assumed to have been there at least as far back as the end of the West Northmannic (West Germanic) period. The Harfoots left the Vale for Eriador in TA c.1050. The Fallohides left in TA c.1150, but before they left, they adopted some Continental Germanic-style (Frankish, Gothic, and Norse) names from the Woodmen (the Gothic and Norse names seem to have been adopted in their Frankish forms). The Stoors came over the Redhorn pass in TA c.1150 and settled in the Angle (the northern Stoors) and Dunland (the southern Stoors). The southern Stoors abandoned their Northmannic language (Proto-Ingvaeonic) language for a Brythonic-style Celtic language. The Angle-hobbits spoke Proto-Ingvaeonic throughout their stay in the Angle and up through their stay in Bree. This is similar to how the Primary World Anglo-Saxons spoke Proto-Ingvaeonic when they lived in the Angle of the Jutlandic Peninsula prior to their migration to Britain. In TA c.1300 the Hobbits migrated westward from the Angle, with many settling at Bree. The Bree-land placename "Staddle" is likely from this time (from the Proto-Ingvaeonic ancestor of Old English Stathol 'foundation'). By this time, some Hobbits had already begun to forget their former Northmannic tongue, adopting Middle Westron language instead. In about TA 1356 the Stoors leave the Angle. Some of them crossed back over the Misty Mountains and returned to Wilderland, where they picked up the Anduin Northmannic language again (Proto-Ingvaeonic).
- Primitive Hobbitish TA 1601 - c1700 (Primitive Old English : AD 449 - c.600) In TA 1601 many Hobbits migrated from Bree, and settled the Shire. Linguistically, the arrival in the Shire of Marcho and Blanco in TA 1601 is equivalent to the arrival in Britain of Hengist and Horsa in AD 449. Nearly all of the placenames of the Shire were coined at this time. (Two known exceptions are "Quarry", which is from Middle Westron, and "The Yale", which was originally named by the southern Stoors who moved to the Marish in the Eastfarthing from Dunland in TA c.1630.) From TA 1601 to c.1700, the Shire place-names would be in the form of Primitive Old English. The end-date for this period was calculated by equating AD 449 = TA 1601 and AD 1000 = TA 2000. Which gives an equation: (151*399)/551 = 109. And 1601 + 109 = 1710, rounding to the nearest 50 gives 1700.
- Old Hobbitish TA c.1700 - c.2000 (Old English : AD c600-c1150): After c.1700 the language would be equivalent to attested Old English. Here's a list of Old Hobbitish place-names reconstructed by David Salo: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/121 . There would be three main dialects of Old Hobbitish: Old Fallohidish, Old Harfootish, and Old North Stoorish, equated to Old Kentish (Jutish, since the Fallohides were the "northerly branch"), Old Anglian (Mercian and Northumbrian, since the Harfoots were "the most numerous"), and Old West Saxon (the Stoors). TA 1979 is the last attestation of the Old Hobbitish language, when the Tale of
Years states that "Bucca of the Marish becomes the
first Thain of the Shire". The name Bucca is in Old English form. By TA c.2000 all three dialects of Old Hobbitish are replaced by the the Middle Westron language (specifically, the West Midlands Middle English dialect, since the Shire represents the County of Warwickshire of the West Midlands).
- Northern Halethic (Proto-Brythonic)
- Halethian (the "Old British" of the First Age). Arrived in the White Mountains area first, and befriended the Drûgs: "an emigrant branch of the Drúedain accompanied the Folk of Haleth at the end of the First Age ... but most had remained in the White Mountains, in spite of their persecution by later-arrived Men, who had relapsed into the service of the Dark."
- Drûgish Halethian (Brythonic Pictish) "[The Druedain of Beleriand] spoke the same language [as the People of Haleth] (after their fashion). They retained however a number of words of their own." (Unfinished Tales, The Drúedain: Notes, Note 3)
- Eriador Halethic (Proto-Brythonic). Spoken in the Second Age: "[The people] of the shore-lands south of the Ered Luin [the Blue Mountains], especially in Minhiriath, were as later historians recognized the kin of the Folk of Haleth". That this Brythonic-style language was spoken in Minhiriath along the northern border with Dunland, is evidenced by how the Southern Stoors "at the borders of Dunland" adopted a language which already existed, which was different than Dunlendish: "[The southern Stoors] appear to have adopted a language related to Dunlendish before they came north to the Shire." PoME says that they "dwelt in the valley of the Loudwater, by Tharbad and on the borders of Dunland, appear to have acquired a language akin to Dunlandish, before they came north and adopted in their turn the Common Speech."
- Old Bree-speech (Old British) The village of Bree existed even in the First Age, as it's said that Bree "survived the turmoils of the Elder Days" (FotR). It was later infused with Halethic-speakers from the south in the Second Age: "in the Dark Years others ... removed to the southern dales of the Misty Mountains; and thence some ... passed into the empty lands as far north as the Barrow-downs. From them came the Men of Bree." (Appendix F). This language was replaced by Old Westron.
- Hillman-speech of the North (Cumbrian). This speech-community was destroyed in the mid-Third Age. They are evocative of the Cumbrians of kingdoms of Rheged and Strathclyde—the Men of the North. These people would be remnants of kin of the Folk of Haleth who remained in northern Eriador. They are not from the second wave of Halethic peoples who came in the Second Age, because the second wave only settled as far north as the Barrow-downs: "in the Dark Years others [of the Gwathuirim] ... removed to the southern dales of the Misty Mountains; and thence some ... passed into the empty lands as far north as the Barrow-downs." They had probably absorbed the Swarthy Men of northeastern Eriador, who themselves were like the Novantae tribe of "Galloway Picts". (From the perspective of "geographic overlays", the Ettenmoors are equivalent to Galloway.)
- Old Marish-speech (Old Welsh). We know six words in this language: 1) <ogmandab> = "great grandfather" (Old Welsh <gorhendad>); 2) *<og-> "over-/super" (Old Welsh <gor->); 3) *<man> "old" (Old Welsh <hen>); 4) *<tab> "dad, father" (Old Welsh <tad>); 5) *<mandab> "grandfather" (OW <hendad>); 6) *<og-ogmandab> "great great grandfather" (OW <gor-gorhendad>). This language of the Southern Stoors is represented as Old Welsh, and likely died out at c.2000 3A. It's fitting that Old Hobbitish and Old Marish-speech were both replaced by Middle Westron at the same time, since both Old English and Old Welsh end at AD 1150 (equivalent to TA 2000). The given names (such as Saradoc, Madoc, Marmadoc, Seredic, Doderic) continued to be used into the Fourth Age. These names are generally Old Welsh in style (e.g. the Old Welsh name ending -ic versus Modern Welsh -ig). The name Bombadil is from this language as well. In TA 2340 the Oldbucks of the Marish occupied the Buckland. Though they had already lost their language some 300 years earlier, Old Marish words remained in their Bucklandish dialect of Westron (which would be represented as the Anglo-Welsh dialect of English): "The folk of the Marish, and of Buckland, east of the River, which they afterwards occupied, came for the most part later into the Shire up from south-away; and they still had many peculiar names and strange words not found elsewhere in the Shire." —LotR. At least one placename of Buckland contains a Welsh element: "Crickhollow", with "crick" from Old Welsh <cruc> 'hill, mound, barrow', so these naming elements were still active in the Bucklandish Westron dialect.
- Hunter-folk speech of Eryn Vorn (Cornish). Replaced by Late Westron.
- Southern Halethic (Proto-Celtic > Continental Celtic and Goidelic). These are the "later-arrived Men, who had relapsed into the service of the Dark." Of them the Drûgs say: "from the East, they said, had come the tall Men who drove them from the White Mountains, and they were wicked at heart." The Southern Halethics may have soon split into "Continental Celtic" speakers in the White Mountains and their foothills, and "Proto-Goidelic" speakers in Enedwaith and Calenardhon.
- Falas Halethic and White Mountain Halethic (Continental Celtic)
- Agar-speech (Gallo-Ligurian) Spoken in the Second Age in the Green Hills of Pinnath Gelin, then known as the Hills of Agar (the most fitting of the several placements that Christopher Tolkien suggests). The equation with Gallo-Ligurian is explained here.
- Udul-speech (Lepontic) Spoken in the Second Age, "far inland" of the Agar-folk, which would be in the upper reaches of the Vale of Morthond.
- Mountain-speech (Gaulish: Noric/Eastern Celtic in the east and Helvetian in the west; with Transalpine Gaulish spoken south of the White Mountains, and Cisalpine Gaulish spoken in northern Belfalas) The language of the Men of the Mountains, who became the Dead Men. The northern gate of the Path of the Dead is located in what is today the Austrian Alps. The path leads through the Alps, to the source of the Third Age-predecessor of the Ticino River in Switzerland.
- Gwathuirim-speech (Proto-Goidelic). During the corralling of the Halethic peoples by the Númenoreans in the Second Age, these speakers would've lived in close proximity to the remnants of the Northern Halethic speakers, who remained in Minhiriath and northern Dunland.
- Calenardhon-speech (Primitive Irish) The former Halethic language of the "Green Region".
- Dunlendish (Old Irish)
- Also, the language of one of the three supposed kinds of "evil men" of Angmar might be equivalent to Old Irish, as the language of the Dalriadan Scots.
THE BÊLIC FAMILY (Proto-Ligurian)
- Bêl-speech (Ligurian) The Pre-Númenorean language spoken in the First Age by the aboriginals at the mouth of the Morthond River, where the Elves built the harbor of Edhellond. The equation with Ligurian is explained here. There might be several other Pre-Númenorean languages spoken south of the White Mountains, prior to the spread of the Old Westron language: a Rhaetic-style language in Lamedon, Venetic- and Liburnian-flavored languages in northern Belfalas (north of the core lands of the principality of Dol Amroth, who fill the role of the Etruscans), and quasi-Illyrians in Lebennin, plus Northman "Fell Folk" in the Lower Anduin. That there are multiple languages spoken in Pre-Númenorean Gondor is indicated by JRRT: "[the river name Adorn] is probably derived from one of the languages spoken in this region before the occupation of Gondor by Númenoreans." (Vinyar Tengwar 42:15)
THE VINITHIC FAMILY (Proto-Slavic). That there are "Middle-earth Slavs" is indicated by the name "Vinitharya", because "Vinith" is the same word as the real-world Gothic word Veneth, which is the name for the Slavic peoples known in English as the "Wends" (now called Sorbs), who live on the eastern borders of Germany. The Slovenes to the southeast were also called Wends. The Vinithic family was perhaps influenced by both an Orquian language and by Dwarvish, since the Orkish name "Dushgoi" is phonaesthetically Slavic like "Bolshoi", and because the Axe-men look like "half-dwarves".
(THE CARNENIC FAMILY) (Proto-Baltic) A missing Northern European language family. There is probably a "Carnenic" family of peoples equivalent to the early medieval Baltic tribes, dwelling along the east bank of the Red River, along the eastern border of the Kingdom of Dale. They don't come into the tales, except that they would've been among the Easterlings who attacked Dale. In fact in the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "easterling" is especially applied to the peoples east of the Baltic Sea.
- In the late Third Age, these peoples would still speak the equivalent of Late Common Slavic (c.800 to 1000 AD). There are at least three supposed dialects: the two namesake real-world "Wendish" peoples: 1) the supposed Viniths of Eastern Mirkwood (Wends/Lusatian Sorbs), 2) the supposed Viniths of Southern Mirkwood (Winds/Slovenes), plus 3) the Axe-men of the wide East, bearded like half-dwarves (Krivians/Russians; for more on the Russian identity of the "easterlings with axes", see "Is Khamul Russian?"). We have one (fictively translated) word from this language: "Variag" (Varyag) is the Russian name for the Varangians, the Northmen of the East who founded the state of Rus amongst the East Slavic tribes. There are probably other Vinithic peoples which don't come into the tales, equivalent to the early medieval Lechs/Poles (in northern Rhovanion), Great Moravians (in the Bight of Mirkwood), and Chrobatians and Rascians (along the east bank of the Anduin and the southern edge of Mirkwood). These were probably among the enemy peoples who sent embassies to Aragorn at the end of the War of the Ring: "embassies came from many lands and peoples, from the East and the South, and from the borders of Mirkwood".
THE NÚRNIC FAMILY (Proto-Armenian)
THE LOSSOTHIC FAMILY (Proto-Finnic)
- The Ancient Forodwaith-speech (the Skridfinns of the First Age)
- Snowman-speech (the Skridfinns of the Third Age)
- There are probably other early medieval Finnic-style peoples dwelling east of the Snowmen and north of the Iron Hills, equivalent to the Ter-Finns, Kvens, Finns Proper, Tavastians, Karelians, and Beormas, plus more obscure Finnic tribes in further Rhûn, such as the Mordvins mentioned in De origine actibusque Getarum (as Mordens) in the Byzantine De administrando imperio (as the land of Mordia).
THE DORWINIONIC FAMILY (Proto-Kartvelic)
- Dorwinion-speech (Old Georgian)
THE HARADIC FAMILY (Proto-Semitic). The chief of many language families of Harad. Likely influenced by the eastern Dwarves.
- Near Southron (Classical Arabic)
- Silharrow-speech (Old Ethiopian/Ge'ez). The chief language of the black men of Far Harad.
THE BÓRIC FAMILY (Proto-Ugric)
- Bórian (Magyars of the First Age) With Magol as the actual language.
- Since Bóric peoples settled the northern portion of Eriador, but aren't otherwise mentioned, the supposed language of one of three kinds of "evil men" of Angmar might be from this family, equivalent to the Picts of Scotland. Unlike the other "Picts", these wouldn't be Drûgs—they'd be Swarthy Men. This would highlight the fact that the Picts are "Easterlings", in that they are traditionally said to come from Scythia, the East. "Of the people of Bór, it is said, came the most ancient of the Men that dwelt in the north of Eriador in the Second Age and ... after-days." (from "The Grey Annals" in The War of the Jewels)
- Also, though they don't come into the tales, the "Magyars of the Third Age" probably lived southeast of Mirkwood, in the northern portion of the "Horse Plain" in central Rhovanion, north of the Balchoth, near the southwestern quarter of the compass in Pauline Bayne's map. For their location relative to the Balcoth, see the location of the Magyars north of the Bulgars in this map of 900AD. They were probably one of the enemy peoples who sent an embassy to Aragorn at the end of the War of the Ring: "embassies came from many lands and peoples, from the East and the South, and from the borders of Mirkwood".
THE ULFANGIC FAMILY (Proto-Turkic). Likely influenced by an Orquian language.
- Ulfangian (Huns of the First Age)
- Khandish (Khazarian)
- Wainrider-speech (Huns of the Third Age). They are no longer a distinct people in the West-lands by the late Third Age.
- Balchoth-speech (Old Bulgar) The Balchoth and Wainriders "were no doubt akin". (Unfinished Tales, p296). In the late Third Age, their home country is probably the plains along the northern border of Mordor, from the Battle Plain, eastward through the "Horse Plain".
- There were probably "Middle-earth Pechenegs" living east of the Balchoth, on the "Kine Plain" northeast of Mordor, at the "kine" drawing on Pauline Bayne's map.
THE WERE-WORMIC FAMILY (Proto-Sinitic)
- Were-worm speech (Middle Chinese)
THE DRÛGIC FAMILY ("Pictish")
- Ancient Drûgish (Picts of the First Age) Those that went to Beleriand adopted the Halethian language.
- Wild Man speech of the Green Hills (Picts of the Second Age). The "The wild men of the mountains and the woods" in the Tal-Elmar story, who were driven out by the hill-folk of Agar: "Are there not, as I hear men say, wild folk in the caves of the mountains, who once roamed here free, ere ye swart folk came hither and hunted them like wolves?" (PoME 425).
- Wose-speech (Picts of Thrace: the Agathyrsi)
- Púkel-speech (Picts of France: the Pictones)
- Fisher-folk speech (Picts of Ireland: the Cruthin or Kreenies)
And many other Mannish language families, such as of the Pygmies of Harad (mentioned by JRRT in The Book of Lost Tales), the language(s) of a Middle-earth equivalent of the early medieval Ghana Empire (located at the elephant symbol on the Bayne's Map), the language of the Sarquindi (cannibal ogres) of Harad (perhaps equivalent to Robert E. Howard's "Darfar" cannibals, and thus speaking a Fur-style language), of the Iranic and Indic families (near the Middle-earth equivalent of the "Hindu Kush" mountains mentioned in a draft of The Hobbit), of the Inuitic family (Greenland is mentioned a draft of the Earendil story), and other language families of Harad, Rhûn, the Dark Lands, and of the "strange men" of the New Lands. Each language family represents a "father and mother" who broke away from Ermon and Elmir in Hildorien. Each language "set" from the Linguasphere Register might be a different family.
The outline above only includes Tolkienian references, though the Viniths, the Men of Angmar, and Black Adûnaic (as the supposed spoken language of the Black Númenoreans) are based on slim (but existent) evidence. Where non-attested peoples are suggested by comparison with the ethnic map of Europe (for the late Third Age, equivalent to 850 to 1050 AD), I try to make it clear that these are suggested by me, not by JRRT.
The rough predecessor of this outline is available for download below. This was done years ago, and includes features from Iron Crown Enterprise's MERP conception, which I've since excised. The MERP conception is charming, but my own conception of Middle-earth is different.