Select Elvish Words 1.55: Flash, Lightning

Select Elvish Words 1.55: Flash, Lightning

1.55 Flash, Lightning

Q. alca- vb. “to glitter, *shine out, flash”

A verb for “glitter” in the second version of Tengwesta Qenderinwa (TQ2) written around 1950 (PE18/87). Its ancient form ✶ak’la- was glossed “shine out, flash”, an abnormal vocalization of the verbal root √KAL “shine”, where Tolkien said “these formations appear to have been often intensive, or descriptive of sudden action”. Thus I think this verb was more properly used for a sudden flash of light. It is possible that the semantics of the verb changed to a more gentle or gradual glittering, but Quenya has other verbs for “twinkle”, “glitter” and “sparkle” (tintila-, mirilya-, ita-), and I would use alca- primarily with the sense “flash” in Neo-Quenya.

Q. íta n. “flash”

A noun for “a flash” appearing in The Shibboleth of Fëanor as part of a discussion the name Q. Itarillë, S. Idril from the late 1960s, derived from the root √IT (PM/363). It seems to be a bright and direct flash of light, as opposed to ᴹQ. tinde “glint” for a less brilliant and reflected flash of light.

ᴹQ. tinda adj. “glinting (silver)”

A word in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “glinting, silver”, probably intended to be “*glinting (silver)”, an adjectival form of ᴹQ. tinde “glint” (Ety/TIN).

ᴹQ. tinde n. “glint”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “a glint” derived from the root ᴹ√TIN “sparkle, emit slender (silver pale) beams” (Ety/TIN).

G. agla n. “flash”

A noun in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s given as G. agla “flash” (GL/42); Tolkien made a point that it was not connected to G. augla “ray of sunlight, sunbeam” (GL/20), and thus it was likely derived from the early root ᴱ√KALA (QL/44). In the Gnomish Lexicon Slips it was revised from {aglan or agl >>} aglen “a flash” (PE13/108). In Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s this became {aglen >>} ᴱN. aglann “ray of light” (PE13/136, 158).

Neo-Sindarin: I think this word can be adapted to Neo-Sindarin as ᴺS. agol “flash”, where the -ol is the usual result of a syllabified final l: *agl(a) > agḷ > agol. I would adapt the pre-revision Gnomish form because I think the Early Noldorin form is better as ᴺS. aglann “ray of light”, and agol also happens to compatible with early 1950s ✶ak’la- “shine out, flash” (PE18/87).

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