What would you use for "pair" as a noun? The dual declension is useful to denote a pair of things, but sometimes one needs a generic term for 'pair, couple'.

My immediate idea is to use atwa or tanta nominally, but maybe someone will have a better idea.

Submitted by S P Wed, 02/19/2020 - 23:37

In an expanded form, this question also concerns our current ability of deducing all the "set/group of X" words (the equivalents of English "trio" to "ennead") in Quenya — Finnish kaksi-kko being the native synonym of pari "pair" and all.

Q number stem + -wa/-(a)rwa & the resulting form being used as a noun barely misses the mark — or does it? Should one also add an abstract suffix into it? Or is there an actual attested quantitative noun lurking somewhere in Tolkien's published notes, aside from the Qe. adjective lemindëa "quintuple"?

Submitted by Atwe Thu, 02/20/2020 - 08:49

A suffix like English -some as in threesome, foursome, etc? Good question. I will trawl what's available to me to see if I can locate anything like.

In Hungarian we use an adjectival form of the cardinals (e.g. három (three) - hármas (three-adj.), hat (six) - hatos (six-adj.)) in a nominal/elliptical role. A bit like atwa.


A few more wild ideas for 'pair': mat/mot, oma/omo, oqua, yúma/yúmo

Submitted by S P Thu, 02/20/2020 - 16:08

In the quantitative noun, one might have a justifiable use for eo (a word no longer in use by itself) or one of its synonyms as a secondary compound element; cf. (M)Q lemn-ar "a five-day week".

It should also be noted that judging by attested adjective/noun correlation, neldië "trinity" (think nel-dië) would also be an expected result of Tolkien taking cues from his old material (viz. the Qe. adjective lemindëa) — in addition to resulting from adding the abstract -ië to neldë.