Select Primitive Elvish Roots: SKAL-SKYAP

Select Primitive Elvish Roots: SKAL-SKYAP

SKAL “cover, veil, cloak, conceal, [ᴹ√] screen, hide (from light), overshadow”

A root appearing in The Etymologies of the 1930s as ᴹ√SKAL¹ “screen, hide (from light), overshadow” (Ety/SKAL¹) with a couple rejected variant meanings “cower, hide” and “conceal, hide (from light)” (EtyAC/SKAL¹, SKAL³). It had derivatives like ᴹQ. halda/N. hall “veiled, hidden, shadowed, shady” and Ilk. esgal “screen, hiding, roof of leaves” as in Ilk. Esgalduin “River under Veil” (Ety/SKAL¹).

The root reappeared as √SKAL “cover, veil, cloak, conceal” with a “privative” √S- prefix added to √KAL “light”, again as the basis for S. esgal “a cast shadow” in S. Esgalduin “River under Shade” (PE17/184). In this note, Tolkien constrasted √SKAL with √SPAN of similar meaning, saying that “√SKAL was applied to more opaque things that cut off light and cast shadows over other things ... √SPAN was applied to things of lighter texture, and corresponds closer to our veil” and also:

SKAL was primitively verbal [whereas] SPAN was primitively nominal. Thus the most primitive derivative of SKAL was skalā and this meant the action or effect of overshadowing ... But spanā meant a thing that veiled, a veil (PE17/184).

Elsewhere the derivatives of √SPAN were more frequently attributed to √PHAN; see those entries for further discussion.

ᴹ√SKAL² “small fish”

A root in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “small fish” with derivatives like ᴹQ. hala of the same meaning and ᴹQ. halatir(no)/N. heledir “kingsfisher, (lit.) fish-watcher” (Ety/SKAL²). Elsewhere in The Etymologies Tolkien had ᴹ√KHAL¹ “(small) fish” (Ety/KHAL¹), but there the root was revised to ᴹ√KHOL before the entry was deleted with reference to ᴹ√SKAL (Ety/KHAL¹). This primitive khal-form for “fish” also appeared as a note on the title page of The Etymologies (EtyAC/KHAL¹).

ᴹ√SKAT “break asunder”

A root in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed {“break, rend asunder” >>} “break asunder” with derivatives ᴹQ. hat- of similar meaning and ᴹQ. terhat- “break apart” (Ety/SKAT). The latter was seen early versions of the Lament of Atalante from the 1930s (LR/47, 56) only to eventually be replaced in the 1940s by ᴹQ. askante (SD/310) and then sakkante (SD/246), both of which may still have been related to ᴹ√SKAT.

ᴹ√SKEL “*skin”

An unglossed root in The Etymologies of the 1930s with derivatives like ᴹQ. helda/N. hell “naked”, ᴹQ. helma “skin, fell” and N. helf “fur” (Ety/SKEL). The root was initially given as ᴹ√SKAL, and various forms had a >> e after ᴹ√SKAL >> ᴹ√SKEL (EtyAC/SKEL).

SKEY “pass”

A root in Late Notes on Verb Structure (LVS) from 1969 given as √SKEY “pass” serving as the basis for Q. xiétë “passing, impermanent”, and illustrating certain phonetic developments for the suffix Q. -itë (PE22/155).

SKOL “shut, close”

A root appearing in notes on the Words, Phrase, and Passages from the Lord of the Rings with two variants √KHOL and √SKOL and the gloss “shut, close”; it served as the basis for S. Fen Hollen “Shut Door” (PE17/98). The roots were followed by a series of unglossed Quenya forms all beginning with hol-.

Neo-Eldarin: The note where it appeared does not provide enough information to determine whether this root was √KHOL or √SKOL, but elsewhere √KHOL appeared with the gloss “crow, cry aloud” (PE21/82), so for purposes of Neo-Eldarin I think it’s better to assume this root was √SKOL “shut, close”.

ᴹ√SKOR “look out for, expect, wait for”

A root appearing in the Quenya Verbal System from the 1940s given as {skop >> kop >>} skor “look out for, expect, wait for” serving as the basis for the verb {hopa- >> kopa- >>} ᴹQ. hora- “wait for” (PE22/113).

SKŪ “curse”

A root appearing Definitive Linguistic Notes (DLN) from 1959 with variants √SKŪ, √KHŪ, glossed “curse” and with derivatives Q. húna “cursed, accursed” and Q. húta- “to curse”; it was the opposite of √AYA “revere” (PE17/149).

ᴹ√SKWAR “crooked”

This root appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s as ᴹ√SKWAR “crooked” with derivatives like ᴹQ. hwarin “crooked” and Dan. swarn “perverse, obstinate, hard to deal with” (Ety/SKWAR). In red-ink revisions to the Outline of Phonology (OP2) from the 1950s Tolkien decided that the initial combination skw- was not possible (PE19/78 and note #51). For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, this root might be salvaged by assuming its actual form was ᴺ√SWAR.

ᴹ√SKYAP “*shoe”

This root appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s as unglossed ᴱ√SAYAPA (QL/82), also given as ᴱ√SAYAP in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon (GL/66) and saẏap- in The Qenya Phonology (PE12/26), where the likely represented an ancient palatal spirants [ç] or [ʝ] (PE12/15-16). In this period it had derivatives like ᴱQ. hyapa/G. hab(in) “shoe” and ᴱQ. saipo/G. saib “boot” (QL/41, 82; GL/47, 66), with the shoe-words derived from ᴱ✶χı̯ap- [çap-?] after the loss of the first of the a’s (GL/47). The word hyapa “shoe” reappeared in Early Qenya Word-lists from the 1920s (PE16/144) and the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s (PE21/8).

This root appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s as unglossed ᴹ√SKYAP with extended form ᴹ✶skyapat- “shoe” and derivatives ᴹQ. hyapat/N. habad of the same meaning (Ety/SKYAP). In red-ink revisions to the Outline of Phonology (OP2) from the 1950s Tolkien decided that the initial combination sky- was not possible (PE19/78 and note #51). For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, this root might be salvaged by assuming its actual form was ᴺ√S(A)YAP, which would also allow the restoration of the 1910s words for “boot”.