Select Elvish Words 3.72-3.74: Lion, Bear, Fox

Select Elvish Words 3.72-3.74: Lion, Bear, Fox

3.72 Lion

Q. (ráv-) n. “lion”

An archaic word for “lion” mentioned in the Outline of Phonology (OP2) from the 1950s, versus more common Q. rauro (PE19/99, 104).

Conceptual Development: This word has a lengthy history in Tolkien’s conception of Elvish, dating all the way back to ᴱQ. rau “lion” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, a derivative of the early root ᴱ√RAVA (QL/79). In the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s, Tolkien had “lion” (PE21/40). It appeared in The Etymologies from later in the 1930s as ᴹQ. “lion” derived from primitive ᴹ✶rāu [rāw] under the root ᴹ√RAW, with plural form rávi (Ety/RAW).

In the Outline of Phonetic Development (OP1) from this period Tolkien had (unglossed) rāva < rāwa (PE19/62), but in Notes for Qenya Declensions from the 1940s Tolkien had (unglossed) rāu < rắwă (PE21/69). The last clear mention in currently published materials is in the Outline of Phonology (OP2) from the 1950s, as discussed above.

Q. rauro n. “lion”

The common Quenya word for “lion” (more literally “roarer”) appearing in the Outline of Phonology (OP2) from the 1950s, as opposed to archaic Q. rá¹ (PE19/99, 104); see that entry for further discussion of its conceptual development.

ᴱQ. ravenne n. “she-lion, *lioness”

A word appearing as ᴱQ. ravenne “she-lion” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, a feminine variant of ᴱQ. rau “lion” (QL/79). It was also mentioned in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/79).

Neo-Quenya: This word could plausibly be derived from the root ᴹ√RAW that was the basis for later “lion” words, so I would retain this word as ᴺQ. ravennë “she-lion, *lioness” for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

N. rhaw n. “lion”

A noun appearing as N. rhaw “lion” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from primitive ᴹ✶rāu [rāw] under the root ᴹ√RAW (Ety/RAW), where the initial r was unvoiced to rh as was generally the case in Noldorin. It had a Noldorin plural form of rhui.

Conceptual Development: G. rau “lion” appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/65), probably a derivative of the early root ᴱ√RAVA like its cognate ᴱQ. rau “lion” (QL/79).

Neo-Sindarin: Since the unvoicing of initial liquids did not occur in Sindarin, many people adapt this word as ᴺS. raw “lion” for purposes of Neo-Sindarin, as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD). Its Sindarin-style plural is more likely to be roe(w) rather than **rui: compare Sindarin plural S. noeg of naug “dwarf” (UT/100) vs. its Noldorin plural N. nuig (EtyAC/NAUK).

3.73 Bear

ᴹQ. morco n. “bear”

A noun for “bear” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from primitive ᴹ✶morókō under the root ᴹ√MOROK (Ety/MORÓK).

N. brôg n. “bear”

A noun for “bear” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from primitive ᴹ✶morókō under the root ᴹ√MOROK (Ety/MORÓK), where the initial syllable reduced to m’rokō and then the initial mr became br.

Conceptual Development: A likely precursor to this word is ᴱN. gorch “bear” (also “fierce fighter”) from Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/145, 149).

⚠️S. graw n. “bear”

A Sindarin word for “bear” in notes from the late 1960s, derived from primitive ✶grā (VT47/12).

Neo-Sindarin: Its Quenya cognate Q. roa had the revised meaning {“bear” >>} “dog”, so for purposes of Neo-Sindarin it is probably best to stick with [N.] brôg and ᴺS. medli [N. megli] as words for “bear”.

N. megli n. “bear, (lit.) honey-eater”

A noun appearing as N. {magli >>} megli “bear” in The Etymologies, a combination of N. mad- “eat” and N. glî “honey”, hence more literally “honey-eater” (Ety/LIS, MAT; EtyAC/LIS, MAT), where dl > gl as was usual in Noldorin. This word also appeared in the phrase i vegli vorn “the black bear” in notes on The Feanorian Alphabet from the 1930s (PE22/33).

Conceptual Development: ᴱN. magli “a bear, honey-eater” appeared in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s.

Neo-Sindarin: The sound change dl > gl was not a feature of Sindarin, so most Neo-Sindarin writers adapt this word as ᴺS. medli “bear”, as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

N. meglin adj. “*bear-like”

An adjective form meglin of megli “bear” appearing in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/LIS).

Neo-Sindarin: The sound change dl > gl was not a feature of Sindarin, so most Neo-Sindarin writers adapt this word as ᴺS. medlin “bear-like”, as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

N. meglivorn n. “blackbear”

A word (and name) appearing as N. meglivorn “blackbear” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, a combination of N. megli “bear” and N. morn “black” (Ety/LIS, MOR). Tolkien considered but rejected the form mormagli (EtyAC/LIS, MOR). The name Meglivorn also appeared in notes on The Feanorian Alphabet from the 1930s (PE22/33).

Neo-Sindarin: The sound change dl > gl was not a feature of Sindarin, so most Neo-Sindarin writers adapt this word as ᴺS. medlivorn “blackbear”, as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

3.74 Fox

Q. rusco (ruscu-) n. “fox”

The Quenya word for “fox” from the root √(u)rus “brownish red” (VT41/10). It has a stem form of ruscu- and hence a plural form is rusqui.

Q. ruscuitë adj. “foxy”

A word for “foxy”, an adjectival form of Q. rusco “fox” (VT41/10).

S. rusc n. “fox”

The Sindarin word for “fox” from the root √(u)rus “brownish red”. Normally a short u became o in Sindarin, but in this case it seems likely that the presence of a second u (later lost) help preserve the u in rusc.

Comments

Submitted by Atwe Thu, 04/28/2022 - 08:15

Neo-Sindarin: Its Quenya cognate Q. roa had the revised meaning {“bear” >>} “dog”, so for purposes of Neo-Sindarin it is probably best to stick with [N.] brôg and ᴺS. medli [N. megli] as words for “bear”. A drift of meanings between cognates is a frequent phenomenon we see in IRL languages, is that a reason enough to cast away the Sindarin cognate?
Submitted by Atwe Thu, 04/28/2022 - 09:01

Is it just me who always says the word ravenne with a French pronunciation in his head? :)