Pronouncing ‘NGoldor

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
Having just received NoME as a Xmas present my Christmas holiday goal is to catch up with the Mythgard class in time for the next class, reading the book along with the class. In class 2 or 3, the issue of how to pronounce Noldor with the late spelling (tilda above the N) came up. Tolkien does explicitly say this is a velar nasal in other works - hence the relationship with the word gnome). This is a sound in English but not found at the beginning of a word. It is however a very common initial consonant in most Australian Aboriginal languages, so as a teacher of Linguistics in Australia, I’ve had to teach students to pronounce word-initial velar nasals in many of my classes. One way to practice this is to say the word singing repeatedly (so singing, singing, singing…), gradually placing more and more stress on the second syllable (so sinNGING, siNGING, siNGING…), then drop the unstressed /si/ syllable, leaving ‘nging, nging, nging’. Then drop the final /ng/ (ngi ngi ngi). Now do this same with the nonsense word ‘songong’ so that you end up with a syllable /ngo/. Then you can add the -ldor. See how it goes.
 

Ilana Mushin

Active Member
Ngol-dor.I’ve put the ‘g’ there to empasize the ‘ng’ is pronounced as ‘sing’ so the g is not its own consonant. In phonetic terms it is a velar nasal which is a consonant produced in the same manner as ‘n’ but with the tongue in the same position as ‘g’ or ‘k’
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
Oh the ng sound I don’t have as much of a problem with. It’s whether that is the primary stress. Is it NGOL-dor or ngol-DOR that I’m having trouble with. I guess it somehow needs to remain the same even stresses as with a silent g (as with the traditional pronunciation of noldor). But adding the g sound in means I find it hard to not have a more prominent stress somewhere in the word. I guess as g is so glottal
 
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