From the world of Middle-Earth, setting of J R R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Quenya is the ancient Eldarin tongue, spoken by the Vanyar, Noldor, and Teleri. King Thingol, in a fit of pique after hearing of the crimes of the Noldor against the Teleri, forbade the Sindar to speak it, saying, "Never again in my ears shall be heard the tongue of those who slew my kin at Alqualonde!" (Sil. pp. 154-5) The High Speech of the West was thence spoken only as a language of lore, and among nobles. By this the language survived the First Age, and most or all linguistic change ground to a halt.

Quenya is spelled similarly to Latin, with all the English vowels and consonants except th and soft c. There are a limited number of consonant clusters and dipthongs which occur; the limited letter sounds give the language a distinct style.

Nouns
The language has nine or ten cases (the discrepancy results from disputes over Tolkien's intent over the respective case) and four numbers.
The cases are: nominative, accusative, genitive, possessive, dative, locative, ablative, allative, instrumental, and sometimes respective. The numbers are: singular, plural, partative plural, and dual.
The various cases and numbers are formed by inflecting words; that is, adding endings to a stem, as in Latin. There seems to be no gender characteristic.

Adjectives
Adjectives agree in number with the nouns they describe, but not in case. There is a superlative prefix, but no comparative.

Verbs
Verbs come in four tenses: present, past, perfect, and future, with an imperative form and a disputed subjunctive. They agree in number with plural subjects. There also exists a form called the aorist, but let this not be confused with the same form in classical Greek.
Participles occur, and are treated as adjectives, but the present participle seems to be indeclinable.

Pronouns
Instead of person being a characteristic integral to verbs, pronouns are attached to the end of them. This is a very muddled part of the language as we know it now, but, at best, the system we know is roughly accurate. Possessive pronouns are also used, and affixed to the end of words they modify.

There is a definite article, but only an implied indefinate article.
Sentence structure generally tend to be subject-verb-object, object-verb-subject, or object-subject-verb. Questions have a verb at the end, and initial verbs add emotional tension.

For more information, please look up Ardalambion or Mellonath Daeron. These organizations have reams of information online and some hardcover publications. Tolkien's appendices, especially the etymologies in The Lost Road and Silmarillion, are also invaluable.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.