Select Elvish Words 1.215: Sand, Grit

Select Elvish Words 1.215: Sand, Grit

ᴹQ. erume n. “desert”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “desert” derived of the root ᴹ√ERE “be alone, deprived” and connected to the name ᴹQ. Eruman which was described in this document as a “desert N.E. of Valinor” (Ety/ERE).

ᴹQ. litse n. “sand”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “sand” derived from the root ᴹ√LIT (Ety/ERE). Its Noldorin cognate N. lith was in later writings glossed as S. lith “ash”, so it is possible this word also shifted in meaning, but Helge Faugkanger used the neologism ᴺQ. littë for “ash” in his Neo-Quenya New Testament (NQNT) to keep the two words distinct, an approach that I also advocate.

ᴹQ. mál n. “grit”

A word in Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s glossed “grit” with various forms representing the inflections of nouns with lost ancient vowels: malǝ- (PE21/19, 24). It may be a later iteration of ᴱQ. mar (mard-) “grit, course grain or powder” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, a derivative of the root ᴱ√MṚŘṚ [MṚÐṚ] “grind” (QL/63). Later still Tolkien gave the primitive form ✶smalŭ with the gloss “dust, grit” in Common Eldarin: Noun Structure (EVS2) from the early 1950s, though this primitive form had no derivatives.

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I prefer to use ᴹ✶smalu with its 1930s sense “pollen, yellow powder”, as this form has derivatives in The Etymologies (Ety/SMAL), and its root meaning ᴹ√SMAL “yellow” is a better match to the later root √MAL “yellow, gold”. I think it is possible to retain ᴹQ. mál “grit”, however, by assuming that it is a derivative of ᴹ√MBAL “*pound”, which is a better match with 1910s ᴱQ. mar < ᴱ√MṚÐṚ “grind”.

N. eru n. “waste, desert”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “waste, desert”, the cognate of ᴹQ. erume and a derivative of the root ᴹ√ERE “be alone, deprived” (Ety/ERE).

Conceptual Development: N. eru is probably a later iteration of G. ermin “desert, waste” from Gnomish Lexicon Slips of the 1910s (PE13/113), itself replacing G. armin with the same gloss from the Gnomish Lexicon (GL/20). These 1910s forms are probably derived from the early root ᴱ√ARA “be dry” (QL/32), with G. ermin the result of i-affection.