Beauty in Language: Tolkien’s Phonology and Phonaesthetics as a Source of Creativity and Inspiration for the Lord of the Rings Cover Image

Beauty in Language: Tolkien’s Phonology and Phonaesthetics as a Source of Creativity and Inspiration for the Lord of the Rings
Beauty in Language: Tolkien’s Phonology and Phonaesthetics as a Source of Creativity and Inspiration for the Lord of the Rings

Author(s): Susan Robbins
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Lietuvos edukologijos universitetas
Keywords: mythology; literary art; ancient semantic unity; language; professional; scholarship; aesthetics; phonetic fitness; phonaesthetics

Summary/Abstract: J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular works of the 20th C. Its popularity is due in part to the linguistic depth, the artistry of style, and the unity of worldview displayed therein. Tolkien’s position on beauty in languages, his delight in individual words – especially names, and his specialty in Old English were addressed in his research, and also incorporated in his mythology and stories of Middle-earth. Elements of Tolkien’s linguistic aesthetics include aesthetic sensitivity and appreciation for the sounds of words, phonetic fitness between their sound and their meaning, ancient semantic unity in the words of old languages and the mythology embedded in them, and our sensitivity or aesthetic responses to sound patterns in language. His views in phonology and phonaesthetics were applied directly to his invented languages, to his mythology of Middle-earth, and to the various prose styles of English used in writing Lord of the Rings.

  • Issue Year: 15/2013
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 183-191
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English