Ok, i corsi estivi di Harvard sono ormai finiti.
Ma questo deve essere stato parecchio interessante.
While many have enjoyed J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as an epic novel, and still more have been introduced to his invented world by the recent films, few are truly aware of the fundamentally linguistic nature of his writing. As an Oxford Professor of Anglo-Saxon, Tolkien was intimately familiar with the Germanic languages, their history and their epic literature. Because of this background, he was unwilling to merely concoct a few strange-sounding names for the characters and places of his novel. Instead he developed a detailed proto-language (Common Eldarin) and followed its development into Quenya and Sindarin, two distinct but related Elvish tongues. He also invented Khuzdul (Dwarvish), the Black Speech, Adûnaic (Númenórean) and Sôval Phârë (The Common Speech, also known as Adûni or ‘Westron’) among several other languages. Most importantly, he assumed the role of translator of The Lord of the Rings, employing English archaisms and dialectal forms to reflect the varying speech styles of his characters, their relative social status, and their complex interrelationships. Old English, Old Norse and Gothic are employed to reflect the distant kinship of characters, places and languages to the Common Speech (represented in translation by English). Two invented alphabets convey these and other languages for those who follow the clues Tolkien left for their decipherment.
In this course, we will study the important role of language in The Lord of the Rings, applying concepts from linguistic anthropology that shed light on Tolkien’s methods and purpose as the ‘translator’ (both linguistic and cultural) of Middle-earth. Students will be introduced to several of Tolkien’s invented languages (and their real-world inspirations), as well as two of his invented alphabets. Understanding the linguistic foundations of Middle-earth greatly increases one’s enjoyment of Tolkien’s work, and provides insights into one linguist’s view of the intricate and interdependent relationships of language, culture, and society.
Traduco l’ultimo paragrafo: “In questo corso studieremo l’importante ruolo che il linguaggio ha ne Il Signore degli Anelli, applicando concetti di antropologia linguistica per far luce sui metodi e sugli scopi di Tolkien quale ‘traduttore’ (sia linguistico che culturale) della Terra di Mezzo. Gli studenti saranno introdotti a parecchi dei linguaggi inventati di Tolkien (e di quelli reali che li hanno ispirati), così come a due dei suoi alfabeti inventati. Comprendere i fondamenti linguistici della Terra di Mezzo aumenta notevolmente il godimento dell’opera di Tolkien e fornisce approfondimenti nella visione che un linguista ha dell’intricata e interdipendente relazione tra lingua, cultura e società.”
Altre informazioni su Tolkien linguista: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolkien#Le_lingue_di_Arda