Adûnaic and Naming for Black NúmenóreansAdûnaic was the common tongue of the Númenóreans during the Second Age. With the falling of the kingdom, the remaining survivors were of two types (the faithful Dúnedain of Arnor and Gondor, and the Black Númenóreans of the south). While in the north Adûnaic mutated into Westron, in the South the language became static, but no longer used in everyday conversation.
Though a dead language, Adûnaic can still be heard in the namings of some Black Númenóreans even today. Like Latin or Ancient Greek, the language is a remnant from the long past, but children may still be named in it. This is intended as a guide to creating a fairly decent name in the language of the forefathers. As such, many of the features of the language have been dispensed with completely, simplifying where possible, while others have been added to make it appropriate.
Hence, the meanings of base-words and whether they are appropriate has been left out. Interested readers may look to Sauron Defeated (IX in the History of Middle Earth series) for further details.
Vowels and DiphongsThere are only three basic vowels in the language: a i u
These vowels can all be lengthened to form: â î û
(Note that unlike Sindarin, long vowels use the circumflex rather than an acute - no additional stress is implied, merely a lenghtening of the basic vowel sound).
The language originally had two basic diphongs: ai au
However, over the years these became monophthongized to long vowels: ê ô (Thus short vowels e o do not exist in the language).
Though the concept of overlong vowels has been removed, long-diphongs in the form âi âu reappear, replacing those lost through monophthongization. However, these long-diphongs are rare in words (indeed âu is extremely rare).
Thus the full roster reads: a i u â ê î ô û âi âu
Though names may indeed contain these long diphongs, these are not further considered.
Words beginning with vowels are of the form V-C (Vowel-Consonant). There does not seem to be any initial diphongs.
ConsonantsThe consonants ascribed to the language shortly before the downfall are
b d g h k kh l m n p ph r s t th w y z (no c f j q v x)
Note kh, ph, th should be treated as singular consonants in all respects, it is merely that they are written using two symbols.
Other consonants sounds existed in earlier Adûnaic, but their form changed with the years. Though interesting, late changes involving the mutation of aspirants to strong spirants (ph th kh) -> (f þ x) have been left out because they do not lend themselves to ocular names.
The language does not allow more than a single basic consonant initially in any word. Hence names begining with a consonant have the form C-V-C.
Words are formed from bases of consonants. These bases have either two or three consonants, eg GML or ZR (remembering that kh, ph, th count as one consonant). Here are some examples of names, along with the consonant bases.
Abattarîk B-T-T R-K Adrahil D-R H-L Adûnakhôr D-N Kh-R Adûnaphêl(f) D-N Ph-L Aglahad G-L H-D Akhôrahil Kh-R H-L Arûkhôr R-Kh-R Athrazôk Th-R Z-K Azrubêl Z-R B-L Balkumagân B-L-K M-G-N Bêlzagar B-L Z-G-R Gimilkhâd G-M-L Kh-D Gimilzagar G-M-L Z-G-R Gimilzôr G-M-L Z-R Îbal B-L Imrahil M-R H-L Imrazôr M-R Z-R Indilzar N-D-L Z-R Inziladûn N-D-L D-N Inzilbêth(f) N-D-L B-Th Nimruzîr N-M-R Z-R Pharazôn Ph-R Z-N Phôrakôn Ph-R K-N Sakalthôr S-K-L Th-R Ulbar L-B-R Zamîn(f) Z-M-N (*) Zimraphêl(f) Z-M-R Ph-L Zimrathôn Z-M-R Th-N Zôkhad Z-Kh-D"f" denotes a female name.
Names (which will be of either masculine or feminine form) often have the following consonant endings:
Masculine: -K -R -N -D Feminine: -Th -S -ZNames ending -L are classed as feminine, but since so many male names end in L (eg Imrahil) that it is best to consider -L as being a name ending applicable to both genders (Neuter).
Though there are many known bases, I have focused here on the ones used in the above. These are:
Triconsonant Bases ------------------ GML (common) BLK BTT LBR, MGN, NMR, RKhR, SKL, ZGR, ZKhD ZMN ZMR Biconsonant Bases ----------------- BL DN HL ZR (common bases) BTh DR GL HD KN KhD KhR MR PhL PhR RK ThN ThR ZK ZNYou are free to construct your own bases to extend these lists. This concludes the basics, now the theory will be put to practise.
Building a Name
=Names are of only two types:
A Single Base (eg. Îbal)
B Double Base (eg. Imrahil)
Two bases are more common for those in a position of power. Commoners (or those from a lowly background) might well have single-base names. Thus a BN sorceror born into relative wealth will undoubtedly have a double-base name, while a BN thief from the streets may have a simpler single-base name (if indeed they have a name in Adûnaic at all).
As will have been gathered, bases are either biconsontal or triconsonantal, thus names can be further differentiated as (where C is a singular consonant).
A(i) CC A(ii) CCC B(i) CC CC B(ii) CCC CC B(iii) CC CCC B(iv) CCC CCCOf these, A(ii) is probably more common than A(i) (not surprising given the additional varierty another consonant adds).
Of the dibase words, it is B(i) and B(ii) that are far more popular than B(iii) and B(iv): triconsontal bases ending a name are pretty infrequent.
The remaining stage is to choose the bases and insert vowels in appropriate places.
ExampleLet us assume we want a more 'noble' name. Hence we choose a dibased name. Since there is no reason not to, we also decide on the form CC CC. We also choose to start our name with a consonant (so a vowel must immediately follow) and since the character will be male, a masculine (or neuter ending) should be chosen.
The bases we choose are: DN PhR
Now we must insert vowels to obtain something pronounciable. Since diphongs are rare (or nonexistant) in names, there are only two choices:
CVCVCVC, CVCCVC (CVCVCC could not possibly be pronounced)
We choose the first one, so now we fill in the gaps with vowels. Here are some examples:
DaNaPhiR DiNaPhîR DûNaPhaR DûNaPhiR DêNêPhôR
Of these Dûnaphir is perhaps the best, but none of these is especially memorable. However, after seeing the result, you could then go back and choose another second base (eg. ZR) giving possibilities like Dûnazôr. Or you could decide that perhaps an intial vowel is better like Adûnazôr.
Indeed, the process has been made so straightforward that it could be automated, and you can reject names or go back stages as you please. As long as a human intervenes at a point to accept/reject you can get quite reasonable names from this process with little imagination required.
Generated on Tue Nov 10 15:16:44 2020