Welcome to Digital Tolkien

22nd September, 2018 / James Tauber

I‘ve worked for many years on Ancient Greek and the computer analysis of Biblical and Ancient Greek texts. When my linguistic interests extended to Germanic languages such as Old Norse, I considered starting a new blog.

Being a long-time Tolkien fan (see the About page), I thought I could combine discussions of Germanic languages and literature with references to Tolkien—both his language creation work and his scholarly work.

As I started sketching out ideas for such a blog, and discussed them with liked-minded friends with whom I hope to collaborate on this site, I realised there was an opportunity to not just work on historical texts but on the actual texts of Tolkien‘s books.

And so this new site, with both a blog and likely various linguistic and other data to be made available, will sometimes talk about Gothic, Old Norse, and Old English but it will also do the same for Quenya and Sindarin. It will discuss practical issues with marking up and analysing Beowulf or Vǫluspá but it will also do the same for the The Hobbit, or the Lay of Leithian. It will discuss Old Norse orthography but also Tengwar.

In short, it will explore the texts and languages Tolkien created, and the texts and languages Tolkien loved and drew inspiration from, all from the perspective of corpus linguistics, comparative philology, and digital humanities.

I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Please feel free to contact me if you are working on the computational analysis of texts and would like to see some of your approaches applied to Tolkien or if you are a Tolkien scholar looking for digital and quantitative support in your work.