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Primitive Quendian split into Common Eldarin and the many Avari languages. The etymologies published in The Lost Road and Other Writings and later etymological essays often derived terms common to Eldarin languages from Primitive Quendian bases, and a list of some Primitive Quendian words is given in an essay Quendi and Eldar (in The War of the Jewels).
See also: Languages
According to Ross Smith, the description of how Elves created languages encapsulates Tolkien's notions about the birth of language. In that primitive stage, there was an original semantic unity among sign, signifier, and signified, which then fragmented into more complex systems, resulting in speech and naming. According to Smith, Tolkien's views coincide with those of Owen Barfield.
|Languages in Tolkien's works|
|Elvish languages||Avarin · Common Eldarin · Nandorin · Primitive Quendian · Quenya (Exilic · Valinorean · Vanyarin) · Silvan · Sindarin (Doriathrin · Falathrin · Númenórean · Mithrim · Old) · Telerin|
|Mannish languages||Adûnaic · Dalish · Drúedainic · Dunlendish · Pre-Númenórean · Rohirric · Taliska · Westron (Hobbitish)|
|Dwarvish languages||Iglishmêk · Khuzdul|
|Other languages||Black Speech · Entish · Orkish · Valarin · Warg-language|
|Earlier legendarium||Gnomish · Ilkorin · Noldorin (Kornoldorin) · Qenya|
|Outside the legendarium||Animalic · Arktik · Mágol · Naffarin · Nevbosh|
|Scripts||Angerthas/Cirth (Daeron · Erebor · Moria) · Gnomic Letters · Goblin Alphabet · Gondolinic Runes · Moon-letters · Tengwar · Sarati · Valmaric script|
|"A Secret Vice" (book) · "The Lhammas" · "The Tree of Tongues" · Sub-creation|