Stan Carey has another excellent post at Sentence first, about J.R.R. Tolkien’s “deep interest in language”; I urge you to read it and savor Tolkien’s anecdote about “a little man… in a dirty wet marquee,” a fellow soldier during WWI (which Stan takes from Arika Okrent’s wonderful book), but what I will quote here is a bit from a letter from Tolkien to his son Christopher:
Nobody believes me when I say that my long book [The Lord of the Rings] is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real. But it is true. An enquirer (among many) asked what the L.R. was all about, and whether it was an allegory. And I said it was an effort to create a situation in which a common greeting would be elen si-’la lu-’menn omentielmo [‘A star shines on the hour of our meeting’], and that the phrase long antedated the book.
No wonder I loved the trilogy as a teenager!