Select Elvish Words 3.62-3.63: Cat, Mouse, Rodent

Select Elvish Words 3.62-3.63: Cat, Mouse, Rodent

3.62 Cat

ᴹQ. miue (miuy-) n. “cat”

A word for “cat” in the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s, from primitive {mauı̯ǝ >>} miuı̯ǝ (PE21/12-13), and so probably related to the root ᴹ√MIW “whine” from The Etymologies which had the derivative ᴹQ. miule “whining, mewing” (Ety/MIW). The stem form of this “cat” word was the rather unusual miuy-.

Conceptual Development: In the Qenya Lexicon and Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa of the 1910s, the word for “cat” was ᴱQ. meoi (QL/61; PME/61), as in ᴱQ. Vardo Meoita “Prince of Cats” (LT2/15), a sobriquet of ᴱQ. Tevildo. In Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s, Tolkien instead gave ᴱQ. yaule “cat”, probably an onomatopoeic word as suggested by Patrick Wynne and Christopher Gilson (PE16/132).

Neo-Quenya: In Parma Penyanë Quettaron (PPQ) from the early 2000s, Terry Dock suggested the neuter, feminine and masculine neologisms for “cat”: ᴺQ. miura, ᴺQ. miurë, and ᴺQ. miuro. However, this predates the publication of ᴹQ. miue “cat”, and I would recommend just sticking with the attested form.

ᴹQ. miule n. “whining, mewing”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “whining, mewing” derived from the root ᴹ√MIW “whine” (Ety/MIW).

Conceptual Development: A similar word ᴱQ. maule “crying, weeping” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s derived from the early root ᴱ√MAWA (QL/60), but that word seems to represent a lower sound, more like the bleating of sheep than the mewing of cats: compare G. maul “the lowing of cattle, bellowing” from the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon (GL/57).

ᴹQ. titse (tits-) n. “kitten”

A word for “kitten” in the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s, appearing in both a short form tis (with stem tits-) and longer titse used “in the simplex” (PE21/20, 27). It may be related to the root ᴹ√TIT “*tiny” from The Etymologies written around 1937 (Ety/TIT).

ᴱN. muig n. “cat”

The word ᴱN. muig “cat” appeared in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/150). In the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, Tolkien instead had G. {mio >>} miog “cat”, along with masculine and feminine variants miaug or miog “tom cat” and {miauli >>} miaulin “she-cat”. The derivation of these early forms isn’t clear.

Neo-Sindarin: I would retain ᴺS. muig “cat” for purposes of Neo-Sindarin, derived from ᴹ√MIW “whine” via an abnormal vocalization: m(i)wikē > mu̯ike > muig. Elaran pointed out that a more normal development would be *mŷg < miukē.

3.63 Mouse, Rodent

ᴹQ. nyarro n. “rat”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “rat” derived from primitive ᴹ✶nyadrō under the root ᴹ√NYAD “gnaw” (Ety/NYAD). In The Etymologies as published in The Lost Road, the form was incorrectly given as nyano (LR/379), but Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne corrected this to nyarro in their Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies (VT46/7).

Q. peccuvo n. “squirrel, (lit.) nut-hider”

A word for “squirrel” in Late Notes on Verbs (LVS) from 1969, literally meaning “nut-hider” (PE22/155), hence a combination of (otherwise unattested) *pecco “nut” and cuvo “hider”.

ᴱQ. qíni- vb. “to speak high, squeak”

The verb ᴱQ. qīni- “speak high, squeak” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√QINI (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: I would retained this verb as ᴺQ. quin- for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

ᴱQ. qíne n. “squeaking”

The noun ᴱQ. qíne “squeaking” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√QINI (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: I would retained this noun as ᴺQ. quínë for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

ᴱQ. qíne n. “squeaking”

The adjective ᴱQ. qínea “squeaking” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√QINI (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: I would retained this adjective as ᴺQ. quínëa for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

Q. rasillo n. “squirrel”

A word for “squirrel” in notes from 1968-69 based on the root √RATH “climb” (NM/363).

ᴱQ. rausime n. “vermin”

The word ᴱQ. rausime “vermin” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, apparently a noun form of the adjective ᴱQ. rausima “*hunted” under the early root ᴱ√RAVA (QL/79), thus meaning “a thing hunted”.

Neo-Quenya: This pattern may be modernized as a neologism ᴺQ. farinë “vermin”, a noun form of the passive participle farina “hunted” of the verb fara- “hunt”.

N. nâr n. “rat”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “rat” derived from primitive ᴹ✶nyadrō under the root ᴹ√NYAD “gnaw” (Ety/NYAD). Tolkien gave the intermediate form naðr, but it is not clear why the ð vanished; compare N. nadhor “pasture” < ᴹ√NAD (< *nadrō?), and indeed Tolkien had a variant archaic form naðor “rat” which shows the normal phonetic developments (EtyAC/NYAD).

G. nig(la) n. “mouse”

The words G. nig and nigla “a mouse” appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s above the verbs G. nigla- “thieve” and G. nig- “steal” (GL/60), probably derived from a variant of the early root ᴱ√NAQA “steal” (QL/64).

Neo-Sindarin: I would adapt this word into Neo-Sindarin as ᴺS. nigol “mouse”, reconceived of as elaboration of √NIK “small”.