Select Elvish Words 2.31-2.321: Husband, Wife, Bride

Select Elvish Words 2.31-2.321: Husband, Wife, Bride

2.31 Husband

ᴹQ. ender n. “bridegroom, *groom”

A word for “bridegroom” in The Etymologies derived from the root ᴹ√NDER, a strengthened form of the root ᴹ√DER “man” (Ety/NDER).

Conceptual Development: There is an unglossed word ᴱQ. vestaner the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s that is a combination of ᴱQ. vesta “marriage” and ᴱQ. ner “man” (QL/101). This Early Qenya word may likewise mean “*(bride)groom”, as there is a distinct word for “husband” under the same root: ᴱQ. veru.

Q. veru n. “husband”

The most common word for “husband” in Quenya (VT49/45).

Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s where ᴱQ. veru “husband” appeared as a derivative of the early root ᴱ√VEŘE [VEÐE] (QL/101). In the English-Qenya Dictionary of the 1920s the word for “husband” appeared as ᴱQ. vero, but this form was marked as archaic (†) and became in normal speech the longer word ᴱQ. veruner (PE15/74). In Early Noldorin Word-lists and notes on the Valmaric Script from the 1920s the word was still veru (PE13/146; PE14/112), and in the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s Tolkien gave ᴹQ. veru “husband” as an example of a ū-declension (PE21/15).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s, however, Tolkien gave a different form ᴹQ. venno for “husband” while ᴹQ. veru was a dual form meaning “husband and wife, married pair”, both derived from the root ᴹ√BES “wed” (Ety/BES). The nn in venno is because it was derived from primitive ᴹ✶besnō and sn > zn > nn in Quenya (PE19/49). In a 1969 note, Tolkien restored Q. veru for “husband”, deriving it instead from a root √BER “to mate, be mated, joined in marriage” (VT49/45).

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I prefer to retain the 1930s root ᴹ√BES for marriage words in order to preserve Noldorin/Sindarin forms, but I would still use the well-established veru for “husband”, just conceived of as a derivative of the root √BES, coming from *besū with intervocalic s > z > r.

G. bedhron n. “husband”

A noun appearing as G. bedhron “husband” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s replacing archaic G. †benn, a combination of the early root ᴱ√Beđ that was the basis for marriage words and the agental suffix G. -(r)on (GL/22).

Neo-Sindarin: I would adapt this into Neo-Sindarin as ᴺS. bethron “spouse (m.)”, a combination of the later root ᴹ√BES “wed” and the same agental suffix, where sr became thr.

N. doer n. “bridegroom”

A noun appearing as N. doer “bridegroom” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from the root ᴹ√NDER of similar meaning (Ety/NDER). It is unusual in that its primitive form is ᴹ✶ndǣr, a rare example of the a-fortification of primitive e to ǣ (PE18/46). In Old Noldorin this became ON. ndair, and in Noldorin of the 1930s the diphthong [ai] became [oe] or [ae]. Indeed, in another entry in The Etymologies, Tolkien gave a variant form daer for “bridegroom”, though somewhat mysteriously he marked it as Old Noldorin (Ety/DER).

Neo-Sindarin: The a-fortification of primitive e remained a feature in Tolkien’s later writings, though in the 1950s Tolkien marked the result as ę̄ rather than ǣ (PE18/95). Thus primitive √NDER > *ndę̄r > OS. ndair > S. daer remains a plausible scenario in Sindarin, but ai > oe no longer occurred as it did in Noldorin. Therefore, I’d use the form ᴺS. daer for Neo-Sindarin, as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

N. herven n. “husband”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “husband”, a combination of ᴹ√KHER “govern” and N. benn “man” (which itself archaically meant “husband”), the latter element based on the root ᴹ√BES “wed” (Ety/BES, KHER).

Conceptual Development: In Early Noldorin Word-lists from the 1920s, “husband” was {gwidhion >>} ᴱN. gwedhion, based on the root ᴱ√wed- having to do with marriage (PE13/146). It has a negated form ᴱN. yrwidhion “without husband” (PE13/156). Another precursor was ᴱQ. heruvesto “lord husband” from Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, which was assembled from elements similar to N. hervenn, but in the Qenya branch of the language instead.

Neo-Sindarin: In later writings, Tolkien seems to have revised ᴹ√BES > √BER as the basis for marriage words (VT49/45). However, I prefer to retain the 1930s root ᴹ√BES and would therefore use hervenn for “husband” in Neo-Sindarin, though ᴺS. bethron “spouse (m.)” is an alternative.

2.32 Wife

Q. veri n. “wife”

The most common word for “wife” in Quenya (VT49/45).

Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s appearing as ᴱQ. veri “wife” under the early root ᴱ√VEŘE [VEÐE] (QL/101), but there it was marked archaic (†). It also had a number of competing forms: archaic ᴱQ. †veruni and ᴱQ. †vesse along side only one non-archaic form ᴱQ. vestin. One of these forms, ᴹQ. vesse, reappeared for “wife” in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√BES “wed” (Ety/BES). Later veri “wife” was restored, but derived from a new root √BER for marriage words (VT49/45).

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I prefer to retain the 1930s root ᴹ√BES for marriage words in order to preserve Noldorin/Sindarin forms, but I would still use the veri for “wife”, just conceived of as a derivative of the root √BES, coming from *besī with intervocalic s > z > r.

G. bedhril n. “wife”

A noun appearing as (archaic) G. †bedhril “wife” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, replaced in ordinary speech by G. bess (GL/22). It is a combination of the early root ᴱ√Beđ that was the basis for marriage words and the feminine agental suffix G. -(r)il (GL/22).

Neo-Sindarin: I would adapt this into Neo-Sindarin as ᴺS. bethril “spouse (f.)”, a combination of the later root ᴹ√BES “wed” and the same agental suffix, where sr became thr.

S. bess n. “wife; ⚠️[N.] woman”

A word for “wife” appearing in the King’s Letter written towards the end of the 1940s (SD/129).

Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to G. bess “wife” from the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, where it was a derivative of the early root ᴱ√Beđ (GL/22). In Early Noldorin Word-lists, Tolkien changed ᴱN. {bess >>} gweth “wife” based on the modified root ᴱ√wed- (PE13/139, 146); it also had a negated form ᴱN. urweth “without wife” (PE13/156). In The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien restored N. bess, now a derivative of the root ᴹ√BES “wed” (Ety/BES). However in that document the sense “†wife” was archaic, and it has come to mean “woman” in modern speech, replacing archaic N. † “woman” (Ety/BES, NDIS, NĪ¹). In scenario of The Etymologies, the normal word for “wife” was herves (Ety/BES, KHER). However, in the late-1940s King’s Letter, it seems the sense “wife” was restored to bess.

At some point in the mid-to-late 1960s, Tolkien changed the root for marriage words from ᴹ√BES to √BER (VT49/45), apparently motivated by a need to deal with some etymological problems with the name S. Elbereth. Indeed, in The Road Goes Ever On from 1967, Tolkien said S. bereth meant “spouse”, also “used of one who is queen as spouse of a king” (RGEO/66). This calls into question the continued validity of bess from ᴹ√BES.

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I prefer to retain the root ᴹ√BES for marriage word; see that entry for further details. I’d therefore keep bess, but I recommend using it only in the sense “wife”. For “woman” I’d use , much as I recommend using S. dîr for “man” over N. benn, which had similar conceptual developments.

N. herves n. “wife”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s for “wife”, a combination of ᴹ√KHER “govern” and N. bess “woman” (which itself archaically meant “wife”), the latter element based on the root ᴹ√BES “wed” (Ety/BES, KHER).

Conceptual Development: A precursor to this word was ᴱQ. herivesti “wife, *lady spouse” from Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, which was assembled from elements similar to N. herves, but in the Qenya branch of the language instead.

Neo-Sindarin: In later writings, Tolkien seems to have revised ᴹ√BES > √BER as the basis for marriage words (VT49/45). However, I prefer to retain the 1930s root ᴹ√BES and would therefore use herves for “wife”. However, in later writings Tolkien also used the short form bess for “wife” as well (SD/129), so I consider herves to be more formal.

2.321 Bride

Q. indis (indiss-) n. “[ᴹQ.] bride; ⚠️[Q.] wife”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “bride” derived from the root ᴹ√NDIS (EtyAC/NDIS). It was translate “wife” in the later phrase Q. Indis i·Ciryamo “The Mariner’s Wife” (UT/8), but I think this is a loose translation and “bride” is more accurate. In The Etymologies Tolkien gave two plural forms: inderi (which might be indesi) and indissi, the latter influenced by the plural ᴹQ. nissi for “women” (EtyAC/NDIS). I’d use the stem form indiss- for this word, to avoid awkward changes of the final consonant from s to r in inflected forms.

N. dineth n. “bride”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “bride”, a combination of N. † “woman, bride” and N. neth “young” (Ety/NĪ¹; EtyAC/NDIS, NIS).

N. dîs n. “bride”

A word for “bride” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from primitive ᴹ✶ndīse under the root ᴹ√NDIS (Ety/NDIS). Ordinarily the s in this word would have been lost, but it was influenced by N. †dess “young woman” < ON. ndissa from the same root (EtyAC/NDIS). Dîs “bride” in turn influenced the form of N. † “woman”, originally ON. < ᴹ√ (Ety/DER, NĪ¹; EtyAC/NDIS).

Neo-Sindarin: While I think this word is perfectly serviceable, for purposes of Neo-Sindarin it may be better to use the longer and more distinctive word dineth for bride.

Comments

Submitted by Atwe Fri, 02/18/2022 - 09:06

In the section for indis:
"I’d use the stem form indiss- for this word, to avoid awkward changes of the final vowel from s to r in inflected forms."
vowel > consonant