Quenya Grammar P84: Optative

An optative is the expression of a wish, and Quenya usually formulates such expressions using the adverb nai “may it be that, be it that, maybe”. Its most famous use is in nai hiruvalye Valimar, nai elye hiruva “maybe thou shalt find Valimar, maybe even thou shalt find it” in the Namárië poem (LotR/378). Tolkien described this formulation in several places:

I Nulla Nakka Ya Kúva Harmar

Ilúvea *laukatáre umbe ná ya voro lihlikka kata i silúmea umbe *iluhímeo. Mal yú urre tulmar ké kolir *lahoraine *tyardar: yalle helke *tique ar *nanya *laukatárenen apanta ké engwi i kuvine nér nu sa. *Fornóresse, ara i osto Lendbreen, tára oron ya tensi tupina helkenen, mal sí i *tiquila helke *nanhalyane nulla nakka, ar *sasse tamnar hehtaine liénen i neldea hya kantea haranyesse. *Silu i harma lá malta, míri, hya mainar, mal ilaurie *yuhtamnar ve hyapati, pilini, *lossepanor, ente lanni *vortaine nixenen.

Shiny Boots of Leather


Two questions to phonetics masters (ómanduri): PE19/58 gives the primitive word tálgàrta “high boot”, with, as far as I can see, no descendants.

  • had *garta survived into Quenya, would *arta be the only conceivable form it would take?
  • had the word survived as a compound only, what the resulting form be any different, e.g. *talyarta?


Quenya Grammar P75: Compound Tenses

Quenya has five simple verb tenses: aorist (timeless), past, future, present/imperfect and perfect. Aside from the “default” aorist tense, two of these tenses have to do with time (past and future) and two have to with the verbal aspect of the action: imperfect (an ongoing action not yet complete) and perfect (a completed action). Unlike Quenya, the English language addresses the imperfect and perfect aspects by using various auxiliary verbs: “I am making” (imperfect/ongoing) and “I have made” (perfect/completed).