Old Noldorin Phonetics

My analysis of the Old Noldorin phonology is based mainly on David Salo’s work on it and the Old Sindarin language in A Gateway to Sindarin (GS/31-72). I have taken a first pass at working out the basic phonetic rules for the development from Primitive Elvish through Old Noldorin to Noldorin, but I not yet compared it to the phonology of later Old Sindarin or earlier Gnomish, nor to its real-world counterpart Old Welsh.


  p-series t-series k-series
voiceless-stops [p] [t] [k]
voiceless-spirants [ɸ] ‹ph› [s] [θ] ‹th› [h] [x] ‹kh›
voiced-stops [b] [d] [g]
nasals [m] [m̥] ‹hm› [n] [n̥] ‹hm› [ŋ]
voiceless-continuants [w̥] [j̊] ‹hy›
voiced-continuants [w] [l] [r] [j] ‹y›

vowels [i] [e] [a] [o] [u]
long-vowels [ę̄] ‹ē› [ī] [ǭ] ‹ō› [ū]
diphthongs [ai] [oi] [ui]
others [ø]

Phonetic Groups

Phonetic Rules

unstressed initial syllables reduced to favored clusters [{ptkpʰtʰkʰbdgm}V₁{rl}V́₁-] > [{ptkpʰtʰkʰbdgm}ø{rl}V́₁-] 00100
[ns] became [ss] [ns] > [ss] 00200
labialized velars became labials [kw|kʰw-|gw|ŋgw] > [p|pʰ-|b|mb] 00300
[j] was lost after initial dental [{ttʰdnl}j-] > [{ttʰdnl}-] 00400
[ln] became [ll] [ln] > [ll] 00500
final voiceless stops and [s] vanished in polysyllables [-{ptks}] > [-ø] 00600
final i-diphthongs became long [ī] in polysyllables [-SVi|-Sui] > [-Sī|-Sui] 00700
initial and intervocalic [ŋ] vanished [ŋ-|VŋV] > [ø-|VøV] 00800
first in pair of voiced stops vocalized [Vb{bdg}|Vg{bdg}] > [Vu{bdg}|V̄ø{bdg}] 00900
[ɣ] and [ŋ] became [g] before nasals [ɣ{mn}] > [g{mn}] 01000
[ē], [ō] became [ī], [ū] [ē|ō] > [ī|ū] 01100
[ɣ] vanished [ɣ|VɣC] > [ø|V̄øC] 01200
[j] was lost after initial velars [{kkʰg}j-|skj-|ŋgj] > [{kkʰg}-|sk-|ŋg] 01300
medial [m] became [n] before [j], [w] [m{jw}] > [n{jw}] 01400
initial [ml], [mr] became [bl], [br] [m{lr}-] > [b{lr}-] 01500
initial syllabic [m], [n], [ŋ] became [am], [an], [aŋ] [{ṃṇŋ̣}-] > [a{mnŋ}-] 01600
voiceless stops were voiced before nasals [{ptk}{mn}] > [{bdg}{mn}] 01700
[m] became [w] after aspirates [{ptk}ʰm] > [{ptk}ʰw] 01800
[tʰn] became [ttʰ] [tʰn] > [ttʰ] 01900
final [d] spirantalized and vanished [-Vd] > [-V̄ø] 02000
final [tʰ] became [t] [-tʰ] > [-t] 02100
[ht] became [tt] [ht] > [tt] 02200
medial [s] became [x] before [j], [w] [-s{jw}-] > [-x{jw}-] 02300
long final vowels were shortened [-SV̄] > [-SV̆] 02400
[z] became [i] before [d], [g] and [u] before [b] [z{bdg}] > [i{bdg}] 02500
final [e] became [a] after single [s] and [st] [-se|-ste|-sse] > [-sa|-sta|-sse] 02600
[eu], [iu] became [ū] [{eu|iu}] > [ū] 02700
[ā], [au] became [ǭ] [ā|au] > [ǭ] 02800
final [ǝ] was lost after [l, r, n, s], otherwise it became [a] [-ǝ|-{lrns}ǝ] > [-a|-{lrns}ø] 02900
[ǣ] became [ai] [ǣ] > [ai] 03000
[ǣ], [ai] became [ę̄] [ǣ|ai] > [ę̄] 03100
[j] became [i] after vowels [VjV|-Vj] > [ViV|-Vi] 03200
[ei], [ou] became [ī], [ou] [ei|ou] > [ī|ou] 03300
[ei], [ou] became [oi], [ū] [ei|ou] > [oi|ū] 03400
[oi], [ǭi] became [ui] [{oǭ}i] > [ui] 03500
voiceless stops aspirated after consonants except [s] [{ptkmnŋlr}{ptk}] > [{ptkmnŋlr}{ptk}ʰ] 03600
aspirates became voiceless spirants [{ptk}ʰ|{ptk}{ptk}ʰ] > [{ɸθx}|{ɸθx}{ɸθx}] 03700
voiceless stops became spirants after initial [s] [s{ptk}-] > [s{ɸθx}-] 03800
initial [s] unvoiced following [m], [n], [j], [w] [s{jwmn}-] > [{j̊w̥m̥n̥}-] 03900
medial [s] assimilated to following nasal or liquid [-V{sm|sn|sl|sr}-] > [-V{mm|nn|ll|rr}-] 04000
intervocalic [s] became [h] [VsV] > [VhV] 04100
initial [s] became [θ] before [l], [r] [s{lr}-] > [θ{lr}-] 04200
initial [s] unvoiced following [l], [r] [s{lr}-] > [{l̥r̥}-] 04300
[p], [t], [k] spirantalized before [s] [ps|ts|ks] > [ɸs|θθ|xs] 04400
[j] vanished before [i], [ui] [ji|jui] > [i|ui] 04500
[w] vanished before [u] [{uw|wu}] > [u] 04600
voiced stops became nasals before nasals [{bdg}{mn}] > [{mnŋ}{mn}] 04700