Westron (Adûni by its own term) is the most widespread language in Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, hence its alternative name of Sôval Phârë “Common Speech”. It evolved from Adûnaic, the language of the island of Númenor, by contact with other languages and peoples of Middle-earth when the Númenoreans or Dúnedain colonized its coasts during the Second Age. After the downfall of Númenor, it became the usual language of the Dúnedain in their realms in exile of Arnor and Gondor, and got enriched by many Elvish loans. Westron then progressively came to be used as a trade language by neighbouring peoples. Some of them eventually took it up as a mother tongue, notably the Hobbits of the Shire, who spoke their own dialect of Westron.
In the literary device by which J. R. R. Tolkien pretends to be translating ancient chronicles from the Red Book of the Westmarch, Westron is normally represented by English, including proper names. Tolkien has nonetheless sketched an original structure for Westron, of which a few elements are known.
Names of Hobbits
– Picked up from The Lord of the Rings
, Appendix F and The Peoples of Middle-earth
The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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