As some of you know, I don't mind absurdly long comments, but this comment on the previous article needs a post to itself, I think.
One very interesting way in which Tolkien might make his world and his language “fit” goes like this:
The structure of a language (and I suppose, the very sounds of its words) shapes (and presumably, can be shaped) [by] the way its speakers think. In “The Philosophy of Tolkien” philosopher Peter Kreeft goes into the underlying (and sometimes explicitly stated) themes beneath the stories. Could the language itself, and the culture producing it and produced by it, have been shaped by Tolken to make:
1. These ideas easy to express in language
2. A culture where such a language would have been formed
3. A culture formed by such a language
By the way, if you are interested in exploring this further (I know I am!), here are the themes that Kreeft finds in Tolkien, expressed as answers, not, as Kreeft does it, as questions.
There are more real things than we can imagine.
There is a supernatural world.
The essences of things exist outside the things themselves.
There is a God.
He is interested in the world.
We have free will, even if things are in some sense foreknown or predetermined.
Relation to God through religion is possible.
Angels are real.
We have guardian angels.
Creatures of a nature between humans and angels are possible.
Nature is beautiful.
Things have personalities.
Some form of magic is real.
Death is not completely evil.
We lose our humanness by being evil.
Heaven is our deepest desire.
Knowledge is not always good.
Intuition is a form of knowledge.
Faith is wisdom.
Real fantasy is allied to, not opposed to, truth.
History is a story.
Tradition is useful, not hinder-ful.
History can be predicted, but only to an extent.
Evolution (primarily cultural evolution) can progress from better to worse.
Human life is neither completely dismal nor completely happy.
Some truly beautiful things involve inequality.
Beauty is always good, though it can cover evil.
Language is connected to reality; it conveys meaning and is more than merely arbitrary symbols.
Music is close to being a universal language.
Small is beautiful.
War can be noble.
Evil is a real nonentity.
Evil is powerful, but less so than goodness.
Evil can happen only by our cooperation.
Evil makes us forget that weakness and renunciation are strengths and goods.
Morality depends primarily on principles.
We must be heroes.
We need hope of some kind.
Authority and obedience are good.
Promises are meant to be kept.
Friendship and humility and generosity and mercy and charity are potent goods.
And here’s some possible ways in which a language might effect these ideas’ presence in a culture. I’m sure there are a lot more. You could invert them for ways the ideas effect the language.
1. By the presence/absence of words useful/necessary for expressing a concept.
2. By an abundance of synonyms pertaining to one of these concepts.
3. By a grammatical structure that makes the construction of proofs of the ideas or some of the ideas difficult/easy.
4. By making some words pertaining to the concepts pleasant/unpleasant to the ear.
think deserves a post to itself.