Select Elvish Words 1.27-1.31: Shore, Beach, Water

Select Elvish Words 1.27-1.31: Shore, Beach, Water

1.27 Shore, Beach

Q. falassë n. “(wave-beaten) shore, seashore, line of surf; ⚠️[ᴹQ.] beach”

A word for “(wave-beaten) shore” (VT42/15; PE17/135), or “seashore, surfline” (PE17/62), derived from the root √PHAL “foam” (PE17/62).

Conceptual Development: This word first appeared as ᴱQ. falas (falass-) “shore, beach” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s as a derivative of the root ᴱ√FALA² (QL/37). It appeared with the gloss “beach” and variants falas and falasse in the contemporaneous Name-list to the Fall of Gondolin (PE15/24) and as falasse “beach” in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s (PE16/138). ᴹQ. falasse “beach” reappeared in in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived the root ᴹ√PHAL “foam” (Ety/PHAL) and similar derivatives appeared in Tolkien’s later writings as noted above.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would reserve this word for its later meaning “(sea)shore” and “surfline”, and for the beach itself I would use the word Q. hresta.

Q. hresta n. “beach, shore”

A word for “shore” (MC/221) or “beach” (MC/222) in the Markirya poem from the 1960s. Its etymology is unclear, but it might be related to S. ras(t) “cape, shore”.

Conceptual Development: In the earlier version of ᴱQ. Oilima Markirya from around 1930s, Tolkien used the word ᴱQ. ailin instead.

S. falas n. “beach, shore, strand, surf(line)”

A well-established word for “beach” or “shore”, derived from the root √PHAL “foam, splash” (PE17/62, 73).

Conceptual Development: In the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s this word appeared as G. falos “sea-marge, surf, coast, line; margin, fringe, edge” (GL/33), but it was G. falas “beach” in the contemporaneous Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin (PE15/24) as well as in names from this period such as G. Falas-a-’Wilb “Beach of Peace” and G. Falathron = “Ossë”. It appeared as N. falas “beach, shore” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from the extended form ᴹ√PHÁLAS of the root ᴹ√PHAL “foam” (Ety/PHAL). Similar derivations appeared in Tolkien’s later writings well (PE17/62, 73).

1.31 Water

Q. limba n. “drop”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “a drop”, derived from the root ᴹ√LIB¹ “drip” (Ety/LIB¹).

Conceptual Development: It may be a later iteration of ᴱQ. litl or lipte “a tiny drop” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, a derivative of the root ᴱ√LIPI (QL/54).

Q. nén (nen-) n. “water, ⚠️[ᴱQ.] river”

The word for “water”, a derivative of the root √NEN of the same meaning (PE17/52; Ety/NEN). Its stem form was nen- (Ety/NEN) and its primitive form was given as ✶nē̆n, the vowel length variation due to distinct subjective nēn versus objective/inflected nĕn- in ancient monosyllables (PE21/64).

Conceptual Development: This word first appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with two senses: “river” and (archaic) “†water”. Tolkien indicated the two senses were based on distinct roots: ᴱ√NEŘE [NEÐE] and ᴱ√NENE respectively, with two distinct stem forms nend- and nēn (QL/64-65). The Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa also mentions the forms nen (nēn-) “water” versus nen(d-) “river” (PME/64-65). In the English-Qenya Dictionary of the mid-1920s Tolkien had both nēn “river” (PE15/76) and nēn “water” (PE15/78), but in the Early Qenya Grammar he had only nēn “water” (PE14/43, 72), also appearing as nen “water” in documents on The Valmaric Script from this period (PE14/110).

In the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s, Tolkien had ᴹQ. nēn “water”, but in this document it had nēn- with long ē in its inflected forms as well (PE21/23). In The Etymologies of the 1930s, however, uninflected nén “water” had a stem form of nen- with short e (Ety/NEN), and the reasons for this variation was discussed in Primitive Quendian Structure: Final Consonants from 1936, the nominative/objective distinction noted above (PE21/64). This seems to be the paradigm Tolkien stuck with thereafter.

Q. yulunefítë n. “amphibious, *(lit.) drinking-breathing”

A word for “amphibious” in notes from 1969, a combination of nefítë “air-breathing” with the initial element of yuluitë “drinking (as a habit), *aquatic” (PE22/155).

ᴱN. limig n. “drop of water”

A noun appearing as ᴱN. limig “drop of water” in the Early Noldorin Grammar of the 1920s, given as a singular form of the collective word ᴱN. lim “water” (PE13/123-124).

Conceptual Development: In the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s Tolkien gave the noun G. glib “drop of water” as a variation of G. lib “a drop, gout” (GL/39, 54), the gloss “gout” probably used in its more archaic sense “drop (of something, such as blood)” rather than referring to the disease. Both these Gnomish words were probably derivatives of the early root ᴱ√LIPI which had derivatives like ᴱQ. lipte “a tiny drop” (QL/54).

Neo-Sindarin: I think the word ᴺS. limig can be salvaged as a neologism for “drop”, based on the 1930s root ᴹ√LIB¹ “drip” and its Quenya derivative ᴹQ. limba “drop” (Ety/LIB¹). In this new formulation, I would assume primitive *limbiki was originally a diminutive form, that eventually shifted to become the normal form of the word. I think this is preferable over a neologism ᴺS. *lem that is a direct cognate of ᴹQ. limba, as this form resembles too many other words.

S. nen n. “water; lake, pool; (lesser) river, [ᴱN.] stream”

A noun for “water”, also regularly applied to bodies of water like lakes, pools and rivers, especially in names like S. Bruinen “Loudwater” (a river) and S. Nen Echui “Water of Awakening” (an inland sea).

Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s where {nen >>} G. nenn “water; river” appeared (GL/60), a derivative of the early root ᴱ√NENE “flow” as suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LT1A/Neni Erúmëar; QL/65). ᴱN. nen and nenn appeared in various Early Noldorin documents from the 1920s with glosses like “stream” (PE13/123), “water” (PE13/151), and “water, river” (PE13/164), but in this period Tolkien indicated the primitive form was ninda (PE13/123, 164). This seems to have been a transient idea, since in The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien gave N. nen “water” as a derivative of ᴹ√NEN (Ety/NEN), and this derivation appeared in Tolkien’s later writings as well (PE17/52).

N. nenn adj. “watery”

An adjective given as N. nenn “watery” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, derived from primitive ᴹ✶nendā (Ety/NEN).

Neo-Sindarin: In keeping with the idea that the sound “remained nd at the end of fully accented monosyllables” in Sindarin (LotR/1115), I would represent this word as ᴺS. nend in Neo-Sindarin.

G. ulin adj. and n. “liquid”

A word in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s appearing as G. ulin “liquid” (GL/74), clearly a derivative of the early root ᴱ√ULU¹ “pour, flow fast” (QL/97).

Neo-Sindarin: If adapted to (Neo) Sindarin, this word would be ᴺS. ylin with i-affection, probably originally an adjective formation: *ulin(a).