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TCG Letter #555 / Carpenter Letter #193


From
J.R.R. Tolkien
To
Terence Tiller
Date
2 November 1956
Type
Unknown
Transcript
Partial
Tiller, adapting and producing the BBC Third Program version of The Lord of the Rings, had written to Tolkien asking for advice on "accents". Tolkien took what he meant by "accent" to be the non-technical definition of "more or less consistent alterations of vowel and consonants of 'received' English".

If his "history" were real, said Tolkien, all users of Common Speech would reveal themselves by their accents, differing in place, people, and rank. That could not be done when rendering Common Speech into English and was not necessary. The Rohirrim undoubtedly spoke with a slower tempo and more sonorous articulation than modern English, but Tolkien felt it was safe to have them speak Common Speech just as in Gondor.
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