Select Primitive Elvish Roots: TUN-TYUL

Select Primitive Elvish Roots: TUN-TYUL

ᴹ√TUN “*tall; mound”

An unglossed root in The Etymologies of the mid-1930s with derivatives like ᴹQ. tunda/N. tonn “tall” and ᴹQ. tundo/N. tunn “hill, mound”; its most notable use was as the basis for the name ᴹQ. Túna (Ety/TUN), which continued to appear in later writings as the name of a hill (S/59). The word ᴹQ. lopotundo “rabbithole” from the Declension of Nouns of the early 1930s indicates the root may have had a difference sense (“hole”?) in earlier writings (PE21/10, 31).

TUP “cover over, hide”

This root had to do with covering things for much of Tolkien’s life. The first appearance of the root was unglossed ᴱ√TUPU in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. tumpo “shed, barn” and ᴱQ. tupu- “roof, put lid on, put hat on, cover” (QL/95). Tolkien said this root was “much as TELE”, which in this document was glossed “cover in” (QL/90). The root ᴱ√TUPU also had derivatives in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon such as G. tub- “cover” and G. tump “a shed” (GL/71).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s the root ᴹ√TUP was given as a variant of ᴹ√TOP “cover, roof” with derivatives like ᴹQ. tupse/N. taus “thatch” (Ety/TUP; EtyAC/TOP). In Tolkien’s later writings its most notable derivative was Q. untup- “cover (over)” as in Q. ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë “and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya forever” (PE17/73; LotR/377). The root √TUP “cover over” itself was mentioned a couple times in Tolkien’s later writings (PE17/73), though in one place of these places it was given as √TUI “cover over, hide”, but since in that note it was the basis for primitive ✶Utupnu, this √TUI is clearly a malformed *√TUP (MR/69).

TUR “dominate, master, conquer; power [over others], mastery (legitimate or illegitimate), control (of other wills); strong, mighty in power; [ᴹ√] victory; [ᴱ√] am strong”

This root was connected to strength, victory and power for most of Tolkien’s life. It first appeared as ᴱ√TURU “am strong” the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. túre “might, strength, power”, ᴱQ. túrin “kingdom”, and ᴱQ. turu- “can, to be able” (QL/95). In the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon it had derivatives like G. tûr “king” and G. turm “authority, rule; strength” (GL/72).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s it appeared as ᴹ√TUR “power, control, mastery, victory” with derivatives like ᴹQ. taura/N. taur “mighty”, ᴹQ. tur-/N. tortha- “wield, control”, and ᴹQ. túre/N. tûr “mastery, victory” (Ety/TUR). The root √TUR was mentioned regularly in Tolkien’s later writings with glosses like “dominate, master, conquer” (PE17/104), “power” (PE17/113), “strong, mighty (in power)” (PE17/115), and “power of domination or dominion, control of other wills, legitimate or illegitimate mastery” (PE22/151).

TURUK “*strong”

A root in notes from the late 1960s (PMB) serving as the basis for Q. {turma >>} turko, unglossed but probably meaning “*stronghold” (PE17/22); it was likely an extension of √TUR “power, mastery”. It was probably also the basis for Q. turka “strong, powerful (in body)” in the name Q. Turkafinwe from 1968 (PM/352). However, in Common Eldarin: Noun Structure from the early 1950s, primitive ✶turuk was glossed “stake” (PE22/71).

ᴱ√TUVU “*receive”

An unglossed root in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. tuvu- “receive, accept, take, require, cost” and ᴱQ. tūvima “acceptable” (QL/96). In the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon it had derivatives like G. tû- “receive, take, get; become” and G. tuvrin “acceptable” (GL/71). ᴱQ. tuv- “receive, take” reappeared in the Early Qenya Grammar of the 1920s (PE14/58). However, by the time of the The Lord of the Rings of the 1950s and 60s, the verb Q. tuv- meant “find” or “discover” (LotR/971, PE22/155).

TUY “sprout, bud”

Tolkien used this root and ones like it for sprouting things for much of his life. Its earliest appearance was unglossed ᴱ√TUẎU in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, where the probably represents an ancient palatal spirant [ʝ] or [ç], with derivatives like ᴱQ. tuile “spring, (lit.) a budding” and ᴱQ. tuita- “to bud, burst, burgeon, grow” (QL/96). It also had derivatives in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon such as G. tuil “spring” and G. tuitha- “sprout, spring, gush” (GL/71). In The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien gave the root as ᴹ√TUY “sprout, spring” with derivatives like ᴹQ. tuia-/N. tuia- “sprout, spring” and ᴹQ. tuile “spring-time” (Ety/TUY). The root reappeared several times in Tolkien’s later writings with glosses like “sprout” (PE19/54) and “sprout, bud” (VT39/7).

ᴹ√TYAL “play”

This root first appeared as ᴱ√TYALA “play” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with the derivative ᴱQ. tyalie “play, game” (QL/49). Forms in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon like G. dairtha- “play” < ᴱ✶daı̯al- hint that the actual primitive form might have been *ᴱ√DYALA or *ᴱ√DAYALA (GL/29). In a table of vowel mutations added as a revision to the Gnomish Lexicon Tolkien instead had forms like ᴱ✶táliı̯èndǝ > G. teilian indicating a primitive initial t- (PE13/116); similar forms appeared in the Early Noldorin Dictionary of the 1920s (PE13/165).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien gave ᴹ√TYAL “play” with derivatives like ᴹQ. tyal-/N. telia- “to play” and ᴹQ. tyalie/N. telien “sport, play, game” (Ety/TYAL). Tolkien continued to use Q. tyalië “mirth” in later writings (PE21/80; PE17/64), but at some point in the 1950s decided that initial palatalized dentals were no longer a feature of Primitive Elvish (PE18/93-94), making the ongoing validity of this root doubtful: see the entry on how [j] was lost after initial dentals in the Welsh-like branch of the Elvish languages for further details.

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I think it best to ignore Tolkien’s decision to remove initial palatalized dentals from Primitive Elvish in order to retain roots like √TYAL.

ᴹ√TYUL “stand up (straight); [ᴱ√] tall”

This root first appeared as ᴱ√TYULU “tall” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. tyulta- “to rear up, stick up”, ᴱQ. tyulma “mast”, and ᴱQ. tyulusse “poplar” (QL/50). The last two words reappeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√TYUL “stand up (straight)” along with a Noldorin derivative N. tulus “poplar-tree” (Ety/TYUL).

In notes from the 1940s and 50s Tolkien gave new primitives forms for one of these words: ᴹ✶kyul(u)mā “mast” (SD/419; PE21/65, 74), indicating a change from ᴹ√TYUL >> *ᴹ√KYUL. This was probably in keeping with Tolkien’s decision in the 1950s to remove initial palatalized dentals as a feature of Primitive Elvish; see the entry on how [j] was lost after initial dentals in the Welsh-like branch of the Elvish languages for further details.

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I prefer to ignore Tolkien’s decision to remove initial palatalized dentals from Primitive Elvish. As such, I prefer √TYUL over √KYUL in order to retain attested Noldorin words from the 1930s form of the root.