Journal of Linguistics and Literature
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Journal of Linguistics and Literature. 2022, 5(1), 1-5
DOI: 10.12691/jll-5-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Corpus Linguistic Analysis of the Idiolects of Gollum and Sméagol

Vannessa L. Milom1,

1Seattle, Washington, USA

Pub. Date: January 14, 2022

Cite this paper:
Vannessa L. Milom. Corpus Linguistic Analysis of the Idiolects of Gollum and Sméagol. Journal of Linguistics and Literature. 2022; 5(1):1-5. doi: 10.12691/jll-5-1-1


The topic of this paper is a linguistic analysis of the speech patterns of Gollum and/or Sméagol from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books. The goal of this research was to apply forensic linguistic methods and corpus analyses to the speech patterns of the characters in order to determine if Tolkien might have designed the idiolect of Gollum-Sméagol with intention and whether it was crafted with the same professional creativity that he applied to his other fictional languages. The results reveal that Tolkien used orthographic features as a detailed characterization device. The language used by Gollum and Sméagol was thoughtfully curated to subtly convey information regarding their identity, their motivations, and the progress of their character arc. This aspect of Tolkien’s character writing may be a unique literary device of his own invention.

Tolkien Lord of the Rings Gollum corpus analysis forensic linguistics authorship analysis concordance keyword analysis

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