Select Elvish Words 1.44: Rock, Stone

Select Elvish Words 1.44: Rock, Stone

1.44 Rock, Stone

ᴱQ. alas n. “marble”

A noun appearing as ᴱQ. alas (alast-) “marble” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s derived from primitive ᴱ✶ʒalast- (QL/30).

Neo-Quenya: I think this word may be salvageable in Neo-Quenya as ᴺQ. alas, reconceived as a derivative of ᴹ√GALAS “joy, be glad”, perhaps from ᴺ✶galast- originally with the sense “thing pleasant to touch”.

ᴱQ. alasta adj. “of marble, marble”

A word in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s given as ᴱQ. alasta “of marble, marble”, an adjectival form of ᴱQ. alas (alast-) “marble” (QL/30).

Neo-Quenya: I think it might likewise be used in Neo-Quenya as ᴺQ. alasta, an adjectival form of ᴺQ. alas “marble”.

Q. ondo n. “stone (as a material), (large mass of) rock”

The basic word for “stone” in Quenya. More specifically, it was “stone as a material, a large mass of stone or great rock” (RC/347; PE17/28; Ety/GOND) as opposed to a small individual stone, which was Q. sar (Ety/SAR). Ondo was derived from the root ᴹ√GONOD of essentially the same meaning, as was its Sindarin cognate S. gond (Ety/GOND).

Conceptual Development: The earliest iteration of this word was ᴱQ. on(d) “a stone” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the root ᴱ√ONO “hard” (QL/70); it was ond(o) in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/50). Its Gnomish cognate was G. gonn “great stone, rock” (GL/41) meaning the early root form was probably *ᴱ√ƷONO, with the initial ʒ vanishing in Qenya but becoming g in Gnomish. Later on, this derivation no longer worked, since Tolkien decided that initial ʒ became h in Qenya, as reflected in the form ᴱQ. {ŋonda >>} hond- “stone, rock” in the Early Noldorin Dictionary of the 1920s (PE13/162).

However, the usual form became ondo as of the Early Qenya Grammar and various word lists in the 1920s (PE14/43-44; PE15/77; PE16/138), and ᴹQ. ondo “stone (as a material)” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s, already with the derivation given above (Ety/GOND). Tolkien stuck with this form thereafter.

ᴱQ. onwa adj. “stony”

A word in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s given as ᴱQ. onwa “stony”, an adjectival form of ᴱQ. on(d) “a stone” (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: As the later word for “stony” (having the characteristics of a stone), this word should probably be adapted as ᴺQ. ondova in Neo-Quenya.

Q. sar (sarn-) n. “stone (small)”

A word for “stone”, most notably in the name Q. Elessar “Elfstone” (LotR/375). The genitive for that name was given as Elesarno (PE22/158; VT49/28), so the stem for this word is probably sarn-, especially given its better-attested Sindarin cognate S. sarn. It is a derivative of the root ᴹ√SAR, and referred to a small (individual) stone (Ety/SAR), as opposed to Q. ondo which is stone as a material or large rocks or bodies of stone.

Conceptual Development: The earliest hint of this word was ᴱQ. sar “earth, soil” in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s, but this was marked with an “X” and ᴱQ. kemen (of similar meaning) was written next to it as an alternative (PE16/139). ᴹQ. sar “(small) stone” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from the root ᴹ√SAR, but there it had a plural sardi and hence a stem form of sard- (Ety/KEM). In that document, N. sarn was “stone as material” and hence not directly related. But later S. sarn was used for individual stones, and thus was probably a direct cognate of Q. sar (sarn-), as discussed above.

ᴹQ. sarna n. “of stone”

An adjective for “of stone” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from the root ᴹ√SAR which had other stone-related derivatives (Ety/SAR).

ᴹQ. sarne n. “stony place”

A noun for a “stony place” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from the root ᴹ√SAR which had other stone-related derivatives (Ety/SAR). In The Lost Road as originally published, Christopher Tolkien gave this as a “strong place”, but that was corrected to “stony place” by Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne in their Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies (EtyAC/SAR).

Q. sinca n. and adj. “flint; *flinty”

An element in the Entish word Q. sincahonda “flint-hearted” (LotR/979), and thus apparently a noun and/or adjective “flint” or “*flinty”. In a note from the 1968 Tolkien said “Sincahonda referred to their [Orcs] immense staying power in exertion, marching, running, or climbing, which gave rise to the jesting assertion that their hearts must have been made of some exceedingly hard substance; it did not mean pitiless (NM/176)”, so possibly sinca simply referred to any hard or stone-like substance.

Conceptual Development: In the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s Tolkien had an adjective ᴱQ. siliq(in)a “flinty” and a noun ᴱQ. silik (siliq-) “flint” under the root ᴱ√SILI, though marked with a “?” indicating Tolkien was uncertain of its derivation (QL/83). silik “flint” also appeared in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/83). In Lord of the Rings drafts from the 1940s, “flint-hearted” was first given as ᴹQ. tingahondo (SD/68), with ᴹQ. tinga “flint” probably a variant of ᴹQ. tinko “metal” (Ety/TINKŌ). I think Q. sinca is probably a later variant of the early word ᴱQ. sink (sinq-) “mineral, metal, gem” from the 1910s (QL/83); see that entry for discussion.

ᴱQ. sink (sinq-) n. “mineral, gem, metal”

A noun given as ᴱQ. sink (sinq-) “mineral, metal, gem” in the Qenya Lexicon, a derivative of the root ᴱ√SINI “pale blue” (QL/83), transferred from the root ᴱ√SṆTYṆ “twinkle” where the word was only glossed “gem” (QL/85). The word sink (sinq-) “mineral, gem” also appeared in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/83).

Neo-Quenya: I think this word may be adapted to Neo-Quenya as ᴺQ. sincë (sinci-) based on the primitive form ✶sinki seen in ✶sinkitamo > Q. sintamo “smith” (PE17/108). I think this word refers to minerals in general (any solid inorganic substance), as opposed to words for more specific categories of substances like Q. ondo “stone”, Q. tinco “metal”, or Q. mírë “gem”.

S. brith n. “gravel”

A noun for “gravel” seen in several late names like S. Brithiach and S. Brithon (UT/54).

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies of the 1930s N. brith was glossed “gravel” and derived from primitive ᴹ✶b’rittē, though in this document it was a loan word from Ilkorin (Ety/BIRÍT). After Tolkien abandoned Ilkorin, it must have become a native Sindarin word.

S. brithon adj. “pebbly”

Used as the name of the river S. Brithon. In The Etymologies of the 1930s, this word was Ilkorin and translated Ilk. brithon “pebbly” (Ety/BIRÍT). This word likely became Sindarin after Tolkien abandoned the Ilkorin language, perhaps with the same meaning.

G. glast n. “marble”

A noun appearing as G. glast “marble” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/39), probably derived from ᴱ✶ʒalast- like its cognate ᴱQ. alas (alast-) “marble” in the contemporaneous Qenya Lexicon (QL/30).

Neo-Sindarin: I think this word may be salvageable in Neo-Sindarin as ᴺS. glast, reconceived as a derivative of ᴹ√GALAS “joy, be glad”, perhaps from ᴺ✶galast- originally with the sense “thing pleasant to touch”.

G. glast adj. “[of or like] marble”

An adjective appearing as G. glastrin “marble” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, an adjectival form of G. glast (GL/39).

Neo-Sindarin: If adapted to Neo-Sindarin, I think this word would become ᴺS. glathren: compare S. othrond from S. ost + S. rond.

S. gond n. “stone, rock, [N.] stone (as a material), ⚠️[G.] great stone”

The basic word for “stone” or “rock” in Sindarin (PE17/28-29; WJ/201). More specifically, it was “stone as a material” (PE17/28; Ety/GOND) as opposed to an individual stone, which was S. sarn (RC/327; VT42/11). In one place Tolkien said “Sindarin had a short form gŏn- < *PQ gōn, gon-, stone, a stone, or a single thing made of stone” (PE17/28), and in another Tolkien said “shorter gon- was used for smaller objects made of stone, especially carved figures” (RC/347); this short form seems to be prefixal. Longer gond was derived from the root ᴹ√GONOD of essentially the same meaning, as was its Quenya cognate Q. ondo (Ety/GOND).

Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s where this word appeared as G. gonn “great stone, rock” (GL/41). It was probably a derivative of ᴱ√ONO “hard” from the contemporaneous Qenya Lexicon from which its Qenya cognate ᴱQ. on(d) “a stone” was derived (QL/70). The early root form was probably *ᴱ√ƷONO, with the initial ʒ vanishing in Qenya but becoming g in Gnomish. Later on, this derivation no longer worked, since Tolkien decided that initial ʒ became h in Qenya. In The Etymologies of the 1930s, this word appeared as N. gonn “stone (as a material)” with the derivation given above (Ety/GOND).

Neo-Sindarin: Tolkien gave this word as both gonn and gond, but in keeping with the notion that the sound “remained nd at the end of fully accented monosyllables” in Sindarin (LotR/1115), most Neo-Sindarin writers use gond.

N. gondram n. “hewn stone”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “hewn stone”, a combination of N. gonn “stone” and N. drafn “hewn log”, with (older?) variant {gondrav(o)n >>} gondravn (Ety/DARÁM; EtyAC/DARÁM).

N. gondren n. “*of stone”

An adjective form of N. gonn appearing only in its lenited form in the name N. Toll-ondren “Carrock” from Lord of the Rings drafts from the 1940s (TI/268). It is probably a later iteration of the adjective ᴱN. gonnen “of stone” from Early Noldorin documents of the 1920s (PE13/123, 145).

G. gonthos n. “great rock”

The noun G. {gondos >>} gonthos “great rock” appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon, apparently a variant of G. gontha “pillar, stele, memorial” (GL/41).

Neo-Sindarin: I think the deleted Gnomish form can be adapted into Neo-Sindarin as ᴺS. gonnos, a combination of S. gond “stone” and the variant -os of the augmentative suffix S. -oth.

S. sarn n. and adj. “(small) stone, pebble; stony (place); ⚠️[N.] stone as a material”

A Sindarin noun for a small individual stone or pebble (RC/327; VT42/11) in contrast to S. gond for large blocks of stone or rock (Ety/GOND) or stone as a material (PE17/28). However, sarn also functioned as an adjective “stony”, and when used unqualified could also refer to a “stony place” (RC/163). It was a derivative of the root ᴹ√SAR (Ety/SAR).

Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s where Tolkien had G. sarn “a stone” (GL/67), and it was also an element in the negative word ᴱN. orsarn “stoneless” in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/156). It appeared as N. sarn, a derivative of ᴹ√SAR, in The Etymologies of the 1930s, but in this document it was glossed “stone as a material”, and also functioned as an adjective, apparently a blending of *sarnē and ᴹ✶sarnā (Ety/SAR), in contrast to N. gonn which in this document was only “a great stone or rock” (Ety/GOND). In later writings sarn could still function as an adjective “stony” (RC/163) but as a noun generally referred to an individual stone, as in the name S. Edhelharn “Elfstone” (SD/128).

ᴺS. senc adj. and n. “mineral-like, flinty; flint”

A neologism for an adjective “mineral-like, flinty” and a noun “flint” coined by Paul Strack in 2019 specifically for Eldamo (with the noun sense added in 2021), the equivalent of Q. sinca “flint”, where the i became e via a-affection. It is derived from an adjective form of primitive ✶sinki, which may mean “mineral”; see that entry for details.

S. serni n. “shingle, pebble bank”

A noun for a “shingle, pebble bank” in The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor from the late 1960s from primitive ✶sarniye, the basis for the river name S. Serni (VT42/11). Here the gloss “shingle” is used in the sense of a mass of smell pebbles rather than as a roofing tile. This word is an unusual example of a final -i in Sindarin, because the i was protected by the final e that was itself lost. Tolkien indicated it might instead be an adjective formation (“pebbly”?) from the (rare) adjective suffix -i derived from primitive ✶-īya, -ēya (VT42/10-11).

G. sinc n. “*mineral, ⚠️[G.] metal”

A noun from the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s appearing as G. sinc “metal” (GL/67), clearly the cognate of ᴱQ. sink “mineral, gem, metal” from the root ᴱ√SINI (QL/83).

Neo-Sindarin: I would retain this word for purposes of Neo-Sindarin, but would revise its sense to ᴺS. sinc “mineral”, derived from the primitive form ✶sinki (PE17/108) which may itself mean “*mineral”; see that entry for discussion. I would use N. tinc for “metal”.

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