This article is about rhetoric and syntax, not about a punctuation.


In rhetoric a parenthesis or parenthetical clause is an explanatory phrase or just one word inserted into the sentence. Such phrase may be omitted without loosing a sense of passage, however parentheses may better describe it or express attitude of the speaker or writer to events or person. Parenthesis often treated as modifier phrases but often do not carry any syntactical role at all. They are often expressed by adverbials, conjunctions and impersonal clauses.

Typical applications of parenthesis include:

  • Modal meaning with words like: “probably” (= “falgarz”), “certainly” or “for sure” (both translated as “durtarz”), “must be” (= “maug kulut”);
  • To express ordinary behavior with phrases like “as usual”, “usually” (both translated as “thangarz”), “sometimes” (= “ilmûd”);
  • Source of information expressed with phrases like “it's said (that)” (= “gashû zamash”), “some say” (= “mûd gashnû”), “do you think” (= “fimarûs”), etc.;
  • The way of expressing thoughts and attitude to it: “let's be honest” (= “gâkh kulut ruzg”), “in other words” (= “ghîshirzi isk”), “in a nutshell” (= “ghîshor krul”, lit. “in two words”), “in sum” (= “ginturmor”), “between you and me” (= “dari agh firi” = “dakri” = “between us”), “joking apart” (= “hok rambu”, lit. “jokes to side”; = “hokshanar”, lit. “without jokes”), “speaking aside” (= “gashnug rambu”), “if you don't mind” (= “ghung finarbugb”, lit. “if you don't disagree”);
  • Calling a name or moniker (vocative), usually with imperatives (includes curses). For example: “Uglûk, come closer!” (= “Uglûk, skât mushar!”), “Come faster, you maggots, we must hurry before sun rises!” = “Ukh hîsarzar, gi zom, dakmaug khîgut ik ûzh tulgubâ!”;
  • The call to another person in conversation to draw attention without naming it: “do you understand (that)…” (= “fimarzûrb zamash…”), “got this” (= “nânt za”), “believe it or not” (= “gâkh kânutan ogh nar”), “picture that” (= “noth zamash”), “you see” = “(fi)markin”, etc.;
  • Function similar to conjunctions, to express cause and/or (con)sequence of actions: “by the way” (= “mush mûlu”, “iskri”1), “mûlarz”2)), “for example” = “shaubat” (lit. “to taste”, “for tasting”), “it means” = “za idr” = “zamash idrâ”, “beside(s) this” = “rambarz zab”;
  • To show speaker's feeling to events: “luckily” = “dûrfarz”, “fortunately” = “faltarz”, “thank god” = “kamsh goth” (lit. “thanks Morgoth”), “sad to say” = “dimbarz gashnut”, “I fear” = “(da)furg”, etc.;
  • Express strong feeling, including interjections: “for fuck's sake!” = “ûrarz htol” (literal translation, not recommended), “damn you!” = “urk!” = “skûnam!”, “may the devil take you!” = “gâkh rog nokham”;
  • Introductory phrase: “Once upon time…” (= “asharz”, “nokh”), “Long time ago…” (= “ilrodh krut”);

Interpositional clause

Any longer dependent clause describing the person or action of main sentence may be used similarly as parenthesis. Many modifier and adverbial dependent clauses inserted in the middle of the sentence belong to this category. For example:

  • “Uglûk, a big and strong orc, was sitting in the corner” = “Uglûk ash dau agh pol uruk duzuzâ bonzumor” (modifier);
  • “He cut his head, steady and swift strike it was, with his axe” = “Tagrishuz kaztab za fulk kuz stalgarz agh hîsarz pulktabirzi” (adverbial);
  • “Uglûk sitting in the corner – he was usually silent in public placessuddenly, started his long and loudly speech.” = “Uglûk duzug bonzumor – takuzok ghil sazgor haitûrztrosharz îsuzâ gashnumtab rodh agh rûrz”;
  • “I was trying to hold on the rock with my frozen hands – I already knew that they started to rot of cold burn – in a desperate struggle to survive” = “Datugluz mankut fipir nalgdabirzi goghaga – da îstuzdok zamash tak nirgûtîs ghâshgrazumob – ash tadurmor hîrd kirbat”;

Of course, such long sentences as the last two belong to fiction literature and do not occur in normal conversation, being not very suitable for Orcs' speech.


Such phrases should be separated by punctuation marks in written speech. But Tengwar and Cirth are limited with them. It's suggested to use “two vertical dots” (means comma but look like colon) in Cirth.

lit. “between other things”
lit. “wayly”
syntax_parenthesis.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/07 19:38 by