Primitive Elvish - where it all began


Long they dwelt in their first home by the water under stars, and they walked the Earth in wonder; and they began to make speech and to give names to all things that they perceived. Themselves they named the Quendi, signifying those that speak with voices...

By making a language, the Firstborn of Ilúvatar identified themselves as Incarnates, children of the One: "The making of a lambe [language] is the chief character of an Incarnate," Pengolodh the sage of Gondolin observed (WJ:397). Indeed "the newly-waked devised many new and beautiful words, and many cunning artifices of speech" (WJ:422). The language made by the first Elves at Cuiviénen was to have an immense impact on the linguistic history of Middle-earth. Usually called Primitive Quendian, it was the ultimate ancestor of all Elvish languages, including Quenya and Sindarin. Even languages not directly descended from PQ had borrowed words from Elvish, as documented in the articles about Adûnaic, Mannish, Dwarvish and even Orkish and the Black Speech. WR:159 and PM:63 quote Faramir as saying that "all speech of men in this world is Elvish in descent". The sole language of Arda that may have been wholly free from Elvish influence may be Valarin. In practice, Valarin would also be the only language older than Primitive Quendian. True, Aulë had invented Khuzdul for the Dwarves long before the coming of the Elves, but since Ilúvatar did not want the Dwarves to come before his own Firstborn, the Dwarves were still sleeping when the Quendi awoke.
          What was it like, the tongue that the Elves formed in those first years of innocence by the starlit waters of Cuiviénen? We know much of its phonology and methods of derivation; we know less of its precise grammatical structure. Judging from the daughter-languages that are commonly held to be least changed from the original, namely Quenya and Telerin, PQ was a case language; an allative ending -da is explicitly mentioned by Tolkien (WJ:366). Concerning the general style of the primitive language, the vast majority of words had two or three syllables and ended in a vowel. In VT39:6, Tolkien states that in Quenya, "all final consonants had probably lost a vowel, if remote Quendian origins were considered". (Some of Tolkien's "reconstructed" forms nevertheless end in a consonant, but they are not many, and not all the asterisked forms necessarily describe the oldest stage of the language.) Very characteristic of primitive Elvish are the frequent long final vowels, e.g. in lindâ "sweet-sounding" or ndorê "land". In three-syllable words, the first and the second vowel are usually identical (e.g. karani "red"), and in a number of cases the final vowel is also the same, but long (e.g. eredê "seed", galadâ "tree", kyelepê "silver", ñgolodô "Noldo"). According to VT39:6, vowels in hiatus probably did not occur medially in the primitive language; where they occur in Quenya an intervening consonant has been lost. Tolkien's reconstructed forms nonetheless include at least one hiatic combination, ie, ; in light of his later concept we may assume that this represents even earlier *ihe or *iñe with a middle consonant that was later lost.
          In the Silmarillion Index, Christopher Tolkien refers to Quenya as "the ancient tongue, common to all Elves, in the form that it took in Valinor". However, the style of "the ancient tongue" in many respects differed markedly from later Quenya, and generally the word Quenya should not be applied to it at all. True, the sound-changes that separate Primitive Quendian from classical High-Elven are so tidy and straightforward that a speaker of Quenya might, with a little training, have been able to understand the primitive language without actually "learning" it as a foreign tongue. But even so, the primitive language would sound pretty outlandish to him, and he would hardly recognize it as a mere variant of his own tongue. Still, the fact remains that the Noldor held that Quenya was the language "most nearly preserving the ancient character of Elvish speech" (WJ:374). Actually the most conservative language seems to be the Telerin of Aman, as least as far as phonology is concerned - but then Telerin was sometimes thought of as a dialect of Quenya, though the Teleri themselves held it to be a separate language.
          Tolkien distinguished two stages of primitive Elvish. The very first stage, as noted above, was Primitive Quendian. This was the ancestor of all Elvish tongues in the world (except, possibly, any products of wholesale a priori language construction, if the Elves engaged in such we know, some humans do! However, it is said in the Silmarillion, chapter 17, that "all the languages of the Quendi were of one origin"). In the Etymologies, only a few of the asterisked forms are explicitly identified as Primitive Quendian (atar, atû, dêr/der-, khalatirnô, mâ3/ma3-, and taurâ; see the entries ATA, NI1, NÊR, TIR, MA3, TÂ/TA3). Nonetheless, most of the asterisked forms must be assumed to represent the most primitive stage of the language. The next stage was Common Eldarin, the ancestor of all the Eldarin (as opposed to Avarin) tongues, including Quenya and Sindarin. Common Eldarin would be the language spoken by the Elves that followed Oromë and embarked on the March from Cuiviénen to the Sea, or rather the language they developed during the March. In the Etymologies, only three words are explicitly identified as (Common) Eldarin (mahtâ-, ndæ^r, wa, see MA3, NDER, ...unfortunately the computer can't place a circumflex above æ). However, a number of Common Eldarin forms are given in WJ and PM.
          It might be helpful to know approximately how much time the periods involved represent. In WJ:5-6, a chronology in Valian years is set out. In WJ:20 we are told that 365 "long years of the Valar" equal "well nigh...three thousand and five hundred years of the Sun", sc. one Valian year is about nine and a half solar year. Using this figure, we get the following result: After the Elves awoke by the mere of Cuiviénen, they dwelt in peace for about 280 solar years (Valian Years 1050 to ca. 1080). Then they were found by the spies of Melkor and afflicted by them. About fifty more solar years passed, after which the Elves were found by Oromë in the Valian year 1085. The Separation of the Quendi into Eldar and Avari eventually followed, apparently in the year 1105, about 190 solar years later. (The impression one might get from the Silmarillion text, that the Separation occurred within weeks or months after Oromë's finding the Elves, turns out to be wholly wrong.) So from the Elves awoke until the Separation, well over five hundred solar years elapsed, ample time for developing a complete language - but still not very long by Elvish standards. (Cf. Legolas' words in LotR2/III ch. 6: "Five hundred times have the red leaves fallen in Mirkwood in my home since [the Meduseld was built], and but a little while does that seem to us." Half a millennium was not perceived as a very long time by the Elves.)
          The March from Cuiviénen to the Sea lasted well over two and a half century of solar years (Valian Years 1105-1132). During this time, the Marchers turned Primitive Quendian into Common Eldarin. Then the Vanyar and Noldor went over the sea, and about this point Common Eldarin evidently became Old Quenya, as the pre-record period in the evolution of Elvish was nearing its end. In Beleriand, Common Eldarin (or the Common Telerin dialect of it) started to evolve towards Sindarin.
          Millennia later, it was also in Beleriand that the exiled Noldor started to study comparative linguistics and reconstruct the primitive language: "It was...the contact with Sindarin and the enlargement of their experience with linguistic change (especially the much swifter and more uncontrolled shifts observable in Middle-earth) that stimulated the studies of the linguistic loremasters, and it was in Beleriand that theories concerning Primitive Eldarin and the interrelation of its known descendants were developed." - PM:342.


There seems to have been no point where Tolkien's Elvish languages existed in a historical vacuum, with no history of change and evolution behind them. Notes Christopher Tolkien, "Those languages were conceived, of course, from the very beginning in a deeply 'historical' way... Every element in the languages, every element in every word, is in principle historically 'explicable' - as are the elements in languages that are not 'invented' - and the successive phases of their intricate evolution were the delight of their creator... They image language not as 'pure structure', without 'before' and 'after', but as growth, in time." (LR:341) The diachronic aspect was very important to Tolkien; he seems to have been immensely attracted by the grand vision of an entire language family growing, changing, evolving, branching out in various directions. When discussing Elvish words, he very often introduces primitive stems and asterisked "ancestral" forms; he clearly felt that a word needs a history! (See for instance Letters:382-383.) Of course, this necessitated the construction (or at least sketching) of a primitive language, an ultimate ancestor for all the successive stages, since Tolkien could not well extend the history of the Elvish languages indefinitely into the past - especially when he thought of Elvish history as having one definite beginning in time and space, the awakening of the Quendi by the mere of Cuiviénen. All forms of Elvish had to be descendants of "Cuiviénenian".
          Already in the very first Elvish wordlist, the "Qenya Lexicon" of 1915, the words were derived from "primitive roots" (as in the Etymologies). These stems provide glimpses of a proto-language that seems somewhat inspired by the proposed reconstructions of Indo-European, the hypothetical tongue that most European and some Oriental languages descend from. For instance, Tolkien included stems involving syllabic N and L, such as SNKN and FLKL (LT2:341, where there are dots under the N's and L's to indicate that they are syllabic). Apparently starting from the same primitive stems, Tolkien two years later derived a new Elvish language, cognate with "Qenya" - Gnomish, a Celtic-sounding Elvish language that after thirty years of revisions and changing conceptions "ultimately became that of the type called Sindarin" (PM:379).
          The syllabic consonants of the "Proto-Elfin" of 1915 were gone twenty years later, when the Etymologies was written. Nevertheless, some ideas about the primitive language go back to the very beginning. For instance, there is the notion that many words originally began with nasalized explosives nd, mb, ng (that are reflected in the form that word has following the definite article in the Celtic-sounding language: Gnomish Golda "Gnome, Noldo", i Ngolda "the Gnome"; similarly Sindarin Golodh "Noldo", i Ngolodh "the Noldo"). In the Etymologies, quite a few "reconstructed" primitive words are given, allowing us to get a relatively good impression of the primitive language as Tolkien had now come to think of it.
          Of course, Tolkien's prime interest lay in the later Elvish languages, especially Quenya and (Noldorin >) Sindarin. Even in the Etymologies, primitive Elvish remains a somewhat shadowy entity whose prime function is to clarify the relationship between the various branches of Elvish and serve as the historical basis of them all, rather than being an "art-language" in itself. Like everything else, Tolkien's ideas about the ultimate derivation of certain words were subject to revision. For instance, both SD:419 and the Etymologies (stem TYUL) agree that the Quenya word for "mast" is tyulma. But according to the Etymologies, tyulma comes from primitive tyulmâ, while SD:419 has it that tyulma descends from primitive kyulumâ. Both of these would yield tyulma in Quenya, so there is no discrepancy concerning the sound-changes - but Tolkien's ideas about the ancestral form changed over time. A similar case is Quenya findë "tress, braid of hair": does it come from primitive spindê (The Etymologies, stem SPIN) or from phindê (PM:362)? Such indecision goes back to the very beginning: Discussing the earliest "Lexicons", Christopher Tolkien notes that "in some cases it seems clear that the word was 'there', so to speak, but its etymology remained to be certainly defined, and not vice versa" (LT1:246). But Tolkien's general ideas about the primitive language, as exemplified in the Etymologies, seem to have gotten into shape in the 1930s and did not undergo substantial revisions later. For instance, in what Christopher Tolkien calls "a very late note" - evidently meaning that it dates from the seventies - the primitive form of Aulë's title "world-artificer" is given as mbartanô (LT1:266). This seems to be the same kind of Primitive Elvish as the reconstructed forms in the Etymologies, written forty years earlier. In any case, the historical development of Quenya and Sindarin had become "minutely refined" in the last years of Tolkien's life, so he must then have held in mind a quite clear image of their common ancestral language. - PM:367.
          It should be noted that one early idea was rejected later: the notion that the Elves did not invent language on their own, but learnt Valarin from Oromë (LR:168). As we have seen, Tolkien later decided that the Elves were alone for centuries before they were found by the Valar.
          Needless to say, the distinction between "recorded" Elvish words and "unattested" forms is pure fiction. Tolkien's "reconstructed" forms are just as authoritative as the vocabulary of the "attested" languages: Even if someone could come up with a more plausible reconstruction of Primitive Quendian than Tolkien did, it would still have to be rejected! In this essay, primitive words "reconstructed" by Tolkien himself are not asterisked - though Tolkien usually does asterisk them, cheerfully playing his Game.

(The ultimate experiment in Tolkienian linguistics: Teach Primitive Quendian to a few thousand people and place them on a remote continent all by themselves. Then come back a millennium or two later and check if their descendants have developed languages similar to Quenya and/or Sindarin.)


The sounds

The vowels (monophthongs) of Primitive Quendian were a, e, i, o, u, short and long. The long vowels are usually marked with a macron by Tolkien; here we will use a circumflex instead: â, ê, î, ô, û. As noted above, the frequent long final vowels are very characteristic of primitive Elvish. (However, the final vowels are sometimes - but not always - shortened if the word appears the final element in a compound; compare tûrô "lord" with -turo in Spanturo "cloud-lord"; see also WJ:403 concerning khînâ "child" becoming -khîna. The plural ending -î remains long, though: kala-kwendî "Calaquendi".) The primitive diphthongs were apparently ai, au, ei, eu, iu, oi, *ou, ui. (*Ou is not explicitly given in any primitive word "reconstructed" by Tolkien, but it is implied to have existed, though it seems to have merged with au very early. Cf. Quenya nausë "imagination"; the root is given as NOWO, so originally, the initial syllable of this word must have been *now- = *nou-.) Combinations like âi may be taken either as "long diphthongs" or as â followed by i (two distinct syllables); we cannot know precisely what Tolkien intended. In VT39:11, Tolkien states that "Eldarin (and probably Primitive Quendian) exhibited a marked preference for diphthongs ending in i".
          The consonants may be listed as follows:
          Plosives, unvoiced t, p, k and voiced d, b, g. There were also the sounds that Tolkien spells th, ph, kh, that may represent either spirants (sc. th as in think, f, and German ach-Laut, respectively) or aspirated stops (sc. t, p, k followed by h). The latter interpretation is by far the most likely, since Old Sindarin th, ph, kh are said to be aspirated stops (LR:322), later becoming spirants in Sindarin. It is not an economical theory to postulate that primitive spirants turned into aspirated stops in Old Sindarin and then reverted to spirants in Sindarin. Th, ph, kh were evidently aspirates, contrasting with the unaspirated stops t, p, k (pronounced like French or Russian stops, but unlike PQ, these languages do not have a corresponding series of aspirated stops phonemically distinct from the unaspirated ones - however, Sanskrit does).
          Lateral/vibrant: r, l
          Glottal (?): h. The sound in question is represented by 3 in the Etymologies and h in the essay Quendi and Eldar (in LR:360, the original stem yielding Quenya ho "from" is given as , while in WJ:368 this stem is given as HO instead). Christopher Tolkien describes 3 as a "back spirant" in LR:360; this would be the sound spelt gh in Orkish, the spirant equivalent of G. It may be that Tolkien actually had a guttural or pharyngeal sound in mind, like Arabic 'ayn, Classical Hebrew 'ayin. Perhaps he later decided that it was more like English H, as the spelling used in Quendi and Eldar would suggest - but since we are dealing with a reconstructed form of Elvish, the exact quality of this sound is of little importance.
          Nasals: m, n, ñ (ñ = "ng" as in thing)
          Sibilant: s (that later, in Common Eldarin, became voiced to z before d). The status of z in the most primitive language is uncertain; there is the stem MIZD, but this may again be due to s becoming voiced by contact with d. EZDÊ must be taken as a Common Eldarin form, in light of what Tolkien says in WJ:403.
          Semivowels w and j; the latter is pronounced like English y as in you (not English "dzh" as in John). When editing the Etymologies for publication, Christopher Tolkien changed J to Y, e.g. KUY, DYEL where his father actually wrote KUJ, DJEL (see LR:346). This was done with good intentions, since many speakers of English would misunderstand the letter J, thinking that it referred to the English "dzh"-sound. We retain this revised spelling when referring to the basic stems listed in the Etymologies (in capital letters), but otherwise we henceforth restore Tolkien's original spelling in the actual word-forms mentioned in the Etymologies, e.g. njadrô instead of nyadrô (therefore, the reader should not be confused when njadrô is derived from a stem NYAD, since Tolkien actually wrote NJAD). In the essay Quendi and Eldar, where many reconstructed forms occur, Tolkien also used j rather than y, and here Christopher Tolkien left his father's spelling alone when editing the essay for publication. We also use j in primitive words where it seems that Tolkien did employ the letter y, to have a uniform spelling. - It may be that j and w often do not stand for independent semi-vowels, but merely indicate that the preceding consonant is palatalized or labialized, respectively. Some would count such palatalized and labialized sounds as independent phonemes in Primitive Quendian.
          In the Etymologies, Tolkien in a few cases changed w to v, the stems WAY, WEY becoming VAY, VEY. Does this mean that he considered introducing v as a primitive sound, as distinct from b or w? The sound v doesn't fit the phonology very well; it would be the sole spirant, unless we count 3 as spirant g rather than a guttural or pharyngeal sound (and Tolkien may even have decided to change 3 to H; see above). Perhaps v as a distinct phoneme in Primitive Quendian was just a passing idea.

Initial clusters

The largest group of initial clusters begin in s: sj-, sk-, skj-, skw-, sl-, sm-, sn-, sp-, sr-, st-, sw-.
          Some initial clusters may be considered simply nasalised stops: mb, nd, ñg. Already in the Gnomish Grammar (1917), Tolkien speaks of "words beginning with nasalized-explosives nd, mb, ng (a fairly numerous class originally)" (Parma Eldalamberon #11, p. 7).
          A number of clusters end in one of the two semi-vowels. In J: dj, gj, kj, khj, ndj, ñgj, nj, tj (and sj, skj already mentioned). In W: gw, ñgw, kw (and skw, sw already mentioned). It would seem that kw already before the Separation merged into a single labio-velar sound q that remained in Quenya (later spelt qu), while it very early became p in the dialect of the Teleri - still so in Sindarin and the Telerin of Aman. Some would interpret kw as a single labio-velar rather than a consonant cluster right from the start. (Tolkien's earliest "proto-Elfin" - the 1915 stuff - included stems like QORO; see LT1:264. Here, Q does stand for a labio-velar sound. See also ereqa in the wordlist below.) As mentioned above, some would indeed take several of the initial "clusters" involving a single consonant + -w or -j as merely a convenient way of spelling labialized and palatalized series of consonants; hence they would not really be clusters at all.
          SD:419 mentions a primitive word with initial hj (or hy, as it is there spelt). Is this a genuine cluster h + j, or simply hy as in Quenya, a unitary sound like German ich-Laut?


In the Etymologies, some twenty-eight reconstructed primitive words include an accent that apparently marks the stressed syllable (here we use italics instead of an accent mark). Seventeen of the words are marked as accented on the first syllable: abarô (abaro), alâkô, ba (and pl. ba in balî-ndore/-ndôre), balâre, Ba, banjâ, bata (ba), belek, belekâ, berja, boron-, b'ras-sê, orku, pheren, telesâ, ûbanô (see wordlist below for the meaning of the words). Four words are apparently stressed on the penultimate syllable: bara, ontâro, bere, moro, turumbê. Six words are stressed on the final syllable: barasâ, barjâ, barnâ, battâ, khalnâ, tambâ. From these examples it is clear that in Primitive Elvish, accent was not determined by the form of the word (as is generally the case in Quenya and Sindarin). The words belekâ, bara and barasâ have the same number of syllables and exactly the same distribution of consonants and vowels (short and long), but they are not stressed on the same syllable. There seems to be no certain way of predicting which syllable receives the accent in Primitive Elvish; we just have to take Tolkien's word in this matter. Some stems in the Etymologies, like MORÓK, are marked with an accent to indicate which syllable is stressed - and this is reflected in the derived word moro. The stem MORÓK just happens to be accented on the second o, and that's it.
          It may be noted that there is no connection between accent and long vowels. One might think that the frequent long final vowels were accented, but there seems to be no such rule. In alâkô, the one short vowel is also the one that is accented. Unlike the present writer, the early Elves apparently did not find it difficult to pronounce long vowels that were wholly unaccented.


Nouns: The primitive language distinguished at least three numbers: singular, dual and plural. The singular was apparently the basic form of the noun, as in most languages. The dual was formed with the ending -û, seen in besû "married pair" (BES), lasû "ears" (pair of ears, two ears of one person) (LAS2) and peñû "pair of lips" (VT39:11 cf. 9). If the use of this dual element corresponds to its use in old Quenya, as outlined by Tolkien in Letters:427, this primitive dual applied only to two things belonging together as a pair, not to two things only casually associated.
          The normal plural ending was -î, the origin of Quenya -i (as in Quendi) and the i-affection seen in Sindarin plurals (like annon "gate", pl. ennyn, because a and o were assimilated to the Old Sindarin plural ending -i, later lost, and became e and y, respectively). Quendi descends from kwendî, the pl. of kwende (WJ:360); note that the short final -e is displaced by the plural ending. The frequent long final vowels are apparently not normally displaced, but the plural ending -î is shortened to -i when added to a long vowel: The pl. of Lindâ "Linda, an Elf of the Third Clan" (WJ:380) is given as Lindâi (WJ:378), not **Lindâî. It seems that these combinations of a long vowel + i tended to become normal diphthongs in -i, like âi > ai in this case; the pl. of Lindâ is also given as Lindai (WJ:385). In SD:302 the pl. of ornê "tree" is likewise given as ornei, not *ornêi (the earlier form?) However, sometimes the plural is formed directly from a naked stem instead of being added to the final vowel; thus, the pl. of ba "Vala" is balî, formed from the stem BAL, instead of **balâi, **balai. (In Quenya, the form Vali, from balî, is still an alternative to Valar as the pl. of Vala. It is seen in the name Valinor, the land or people of the Vali.)
          Another primitive plural ending, mentioned in the Etymologies under 3O, was -m. How and where it was used is not clear. It may have been used to indicate plurality after case endings and enclitic particles. This -m is apparently the origin of the plural ending -n seen in some of the Quenya cases, such as the ending -ssen for locative plural (singular -ssë). The prepositional element , jo- "together" (of more than two) is also given as jôm, jom- (WJ:361). It may be that this has something to do with the plural ending -m. Vinyar Tengwar #42 provides a little more information about it. Tolkien referred to this ending as "being certainly an ancient plural indicator in Common Eldarin" and cited the example lepem "fingers" (p. 26). Yet the normal plural indicator must have been the ending -î, directly reflected by -i in Quenya, Telerin and Old Sindarin.
          It would seem that the primitive language had at least some cases; Tolkien mentions an allative ending -da (WJ:366). The accusative found in archaic Quenya, formed by lengthening the final vowel of words (cirya "ship" > ciryá), may suggest that at an earlier stage, there was an accusative ending that consisted of some guttural sound. When it was lost, the previous vowel was lengthened (or remained long) in compensation: ?kirjâ3 > ciryá; contrast *kirjâ > cirya. However, some of the numerous case endings in Quenya may be particles that were later suffixed; we know that the genitive ending -o descends from an originally independent particle 3o or ho, "from". Indeed the distinction between case endings and enclitic particles may have been vague or absent in the earliest forms of Elvish. Interestingly, Tolkien states that "prepositional" elements were normally "attached" (= suffixed?) to noun stems in PQ; this was their "usual place" (WJ:368). It would seem that in PQ, the "prepositions" normally acted as postpositions instead. (Real prepositions must have become dominant in Common Eldarin, since they occur in both Quenya and Sindarin.)
          Verbs: There isn't too much we can say about the verbal system in the primitive language. Some frequent verbal endings, such as - and - (whence Quenya -ya, -ta) can be identified; see "Derivation in Primitive Elvish" below. WJ:415 suggests that in the primitive language, the past tense was marked by "the 'augment' or reduplicated base-vowel, and the long stem-vowel". Thus, the stem KWE "say, speak" had the past tense ekwê (the e of KWE being prefixed as an augment and the original e being lengthened to ê). The stem KAR "make, do", which stem might probably just as well be given as *kara, similarly has the past tense akâra "made, did". Similarly, we must assume that the past tense of kiri "cut" was *ikîri (my reconstruction), and so on. In the later languages, the prefixed stem-vowels live on in the Quenya perfects, while they also appear in one class of Sindarin past tenses (akâra yielding Sindarin agor).
          In Quenya, past tenses are often formed with the ending - (e.g. orta- "raise" > ortanë "raised") or by nasal infixion + final -ë (e.g. tac- "fasten", pa.t. tancë). Nasal infixion is also found in Sindarin past tenses (e.g. sogo "to drink" > pa.t. sunc). Since the past tenses involving nasals occur in both Quenya and Sindarin, they must go back to at least Common Eldarin. No primitive form of the Quenya past tense ending - is mentioned by Tolkien in the published material; if it existed, it would probably have been *-. Some of the nasal-infixed past tenses may simply be due to such an ending being added directly to a stem, whereupon the n and the final consonant of the stem were transposed. For instance, Sindarin sunc "drank" (Quenya *suncë, not attested) could be derived from, say, CE *sunkê < PQ *suknê, sc. the stem SUK "drink" with the past tense ending *-. But this is speculation and requires shifts like kn > nk, that do not regularly occur; it may be better to assume that the nasal-infixed form *sunkê is original.
          In Quenya, a form held to be the aorist is formed with the ending -ë, that changes to -i when any ending is added. In the primitive language, this must have been -i everywhere (since final short -i became -ë in Quenya, but remained unchanged when not final).
          One of our very few examples of a primitive present tense is uljâ *"pours", the source of Sindarin eil "it is raining" (see ULU). May this argue the existence of a primitive present-tense ending -â, the source of the Quenya ending -a? In WJ:372, Tolkien refers to the "the [present?] tense stems in -â". It would seem that the ending -â is "invisible" when added to a verb already ending in -â, for the verb uljâ certainly shows the frequent verbal ending -. Note, however, the form mâtâ "is eating", stated (in VT39:7) to be the "continuous form" of a stem mata- or MAT "eat" (VT39:7, 11; LR:371). With this compare Letters:427, where Tolkien states that Quenya palantír comes from a primitive form palantîrâ (or palantîra), and that this word includes a "continuative stem of TIR watch, gaze at". Clearly the "continous form" mâtâ "is eating" relates to MAT just like this "continuative stem" tîrâ *"is watching" relates to TIR. It seems that from basic verbal stems (with no ending like - or -) a continuous form corresponding to English "is ...-ing" can be derived by lengthening the stem-vowel and adding the ending -â. The Quenya descendants of these forms (not attested in this case: *máta, *tíra) are clearly what is often called the present tense. Since mâtâ is translated "is eating", it seems that the continuative stems could function as finite verbs already in the primitive language.
          We have one example of a primitive perfect, namely the form awâwiiê given in WJ:366. It would seem to be formed by lengthening and prefixing the stem-vowel and adding the suffix -iiê. In Quenya, the ending has become -, but otherwise perfects are still formed in the same way.
          How other forms of the verb were constructed in primitive Elvish, we don't know. The infinitive ending - is found both in Quenya and Old Sindarin ("Old Noldorin"), so it must go back to at least Common Eldarin. Its primitive form may have been - (perhaps attested buried in the word luktiênê, see below). The Quenya and Sindarin future tense endings, -uva and -tha, are evidently not cognate - perhaps suggesting that one or both are innovations with no counterparts in the primitive language.
          It may be noted that the primitive language had no inflectional imperative; instead the independent imperative particle â, variable in place, was used in conjunction with a verbal stem (WJ:365).
          Pronouns: Our knowledge of the primitive pronominal system is far from complete. A first person stem NI "I" is given in the Etymologies (LR:378 s.v. NI2), and ni is still found in Quenya (while the origin of the Sindarin word for "I", im, is obscure). The Quenya ending -mmë for (exclusive) "we" and the corresponding Sindarin ending -m argue the existence of a primitive 1st person plural pronoun including the sound m in Common Eldarin at the latest. Tolkien speaks of de and its variant le as "pronominal elements in the 2nd person" (WJ:363). Quenya tye "you" (as object, "thee") and the Sindarin ending -ch *"you" seem to indicate that there was also a 2nd person element including the sound k (since Quenya tye in light of the Sindarin ending must be assumed to descend from *kje, while Sindarin -ch represents older *-kk-). Concerning the 3rd person, the demonstrative stem TA "that" is relevant (it yields Quenya ta "that, it"). Quenya te "them" (and "they"?) may descend from unstressed *tai, sc. ta "that [one]" with a plural ending: *"those". The 3rd person was apparently primarily associated with another demonstrative stem, S-. Under this stem, the Etymologies lists or su (or /so) as an evidently primitive pronoun "he", while "she" is or si (or , se). Here, reference is also made to "-so inflexion of verbs" and the corresponding feminine "-se inflexion", evidently meaning that these pronouns were attached to verbs to express that "he" or "she" was the subject of the verb. Whether these inflections occurred already in the most primitive language is not clear.
          Other parts of speech: An example of an adverb is provided by the word akwâ, according to WJ:415 "an extension or intensification of *kwâ, used adverbially" (Quenya aqua "fully, completely, altogether, wholly"). Another example is hekwâ "leaving aside, not counting, excluding, except", stated to be both adverb and preposition (WJ:364-5). This is formed from the "adverbial element" HEKE, HEK, meaning "aside, apart, separate" (WJ:361, 364). No special adverbial ending, like English -ly, is known; the ending - seen in the word hekwâ is also an adjectival ending (see "Derivation" below). - One "primitive negative element" is mentioned in WJ:370: "no!" (also abâ, aba), expressing refusal, not denial of facts. Otherwise, words based on the stem LA "no, not" or the negative stems , and their prefixed variants UGU, UMU were evidently used to form negations. - It is not known whether there were articles in the primitive language; this may be doubtful. The source of the article i "the" in Quenya and Sindarin, namely the stem I, is stated to be a "deitic particle" (LR:361). So while Quenya i alda and Sindarin i 'aladh mean "the tree", primitive *i galadâ evidently meant "that tree" instead. Later, the meaning of i was weakened from "that" to "the" (perhaps already in Common Eldarin, since Quenya and Sindarin share this article). The Romance languages got their definite articles just like this: Their ancestor Latin had no word for "the", but the meaning of Latin demonstratives (typically ille, illa) was weakened to produce articles like la or el.


As noted above, Common Eldarin (CE) is the next stage of Primitive Elvish. This is the language of the original Eldar as distinct from the Avari, the tongue developed from Primitive Quendian during the two and a half centuries the March from Cuiviénen to the sea lasted, and hence the last common ancestor of Quenya and Sindarin.
          In PM:342, Tolkien actually states, "When the Eldar arrived in Aman and settled there they had already a long history behind them...also their languages had been elaborated and changed and were very different from their primitive speech as it was before the coming of Oromë." No drastic changes are reflected in the material that has been published to far, however. In many cases, PQ words would be unchanged in CE; note that ñgolodô (Noldo) is said to be both CE (WJ:379) and PQ (WJ:381). The plural ending was still -î, as in elenî "stars" (WJ:360).
          As mentioned in the introduction, there are only three forms in the Etymologies that are explicitly identified as "Eld" = Eldarin, evidently meaning Common Eldarin: mahtâ- "to handle", ndæ^r "bridegroom", wa "together" (see MA3, NDER, ). These three are derived from earlier ma3tâ-, ndêro and wo, forms that must necessarily be PQ. A number of other Common Eldarin forms are found in WJ and PM, as well as in Vinyar Tengwar #42. Some phonological developments may be observed. The change of stressed wo to wa is explicitly mentioned in Etym (under ). In PQ ma3tâ > CE mahtâ we are evidently to understand that the sound 3 (sc. spirant g, according to Christopher Tolkien) became unvoiced by assimilation to the following t, if the spelling "ht" in mahtâ represents German ach-Laut + t, as it does in the Quenya form mahta-. Forms like the verb wahtâ- "to soil, stain" and the noun wahsê "stain" from the stem WA3 must therefore be taken to be Common Eldarin for Primitive Quendian *wa3tâ-, *wa3sê. (Note that in wa3râ "soiled, dirty", 3 is unchanged, because there is no unvoiced consonant following.)
          The main change seems to have affected the short final vowels. Original -a, -e and -o disappeared; for instance, PQ abaro "recussant" yielded CE abar (WJ:371), while PQ kwene "person" became CE kwên (WJ:360 - the PQ word kwende seems to be unchanged in CE, though). According to most sources, long -â, -ê, -ô were unchanged, as were -î and -û - though VT42 cites some CE forms in which the long final vowels may seem to have become short already, e.g. daira "large, great" or netere "nine". Whatever the case may be, it may have been at the CE stage original short -i and -u turned into -e and o, a change reflected in Quenya. The change of short final -i to -e is also reflected in Old Sindarin, so it would seem that this change occurred in Common Eldarin, the ancestor of both languages. As the CE word kwên as compared to PQ kwene demonstrates, the vowel of the new monosyllabic words could be lengthened (but not in the plural form kwenî, where the word was not monosyllabic - this is still reflected in Quenya quén, pl. queni instead of **quéni).
          Another change was that "medial h was very early lost without trace in CE", the noun enclitic - "from" becoming -ô, the origin of the Quenya genitive ending -o (WJ:368). This would seem to support what we argued above: that in mahtâ-, the letter H actually stands for ach-Laut. This stronger "H" wasn't lost (still present in Quenya mahta-).
          Some difficult consonant clusters changed into more pronouncable combinations in Common Eldarin "and possibly earlier", sc. already in PQ (WJ:416). In WJ:416, the shift bm > mb is mentioned, PQ labmê "tongue" (language) becoming lambê in CE at the latest. In the Etymologies, we find double forms like stabnê, stambê "room" (STAB); may this suggest a similar change bn > mb, perhaps at the CE stage? (But in this case, the bn form must have survived alongside the new mb form, since "Old Noldorin"/Old Sindarin still has stabne.) We know from WJ:403 that the combination sd was assimilated to zd in Common Eldarin, esdê "repose" becoming ezdê. (The stem EZDÊ in the Etymologies must therefore be understood as an Common Eldarin form; not all the heads of the entries in Etym represent primitive roots. EZDÊ < esdê is itself a rearranged form of the basic stem SED "rest".) While s became voiced to z before d, it seems that d was devoiced to t before s, primitive sjadsê "cleft, gash" becoming sjatsê (SYAD). Perhaps the change ds > ts also occurred at the Common Eldarin stage.
          Common Eldarin may have introduced some new diphthongs derived from e, o. Later Loremasters were "inclined to the opinion, ao [produced by A-infixion] were not primitive developments, but comparatively late and due to the analogy of ai : i, and au : u" (see VT39:9-10). "Comparatively late" may mean at the Common Eldarin stage rather than in Primitive Quendian. The fact that words that originally must have contained the diphthongs ae, ao are found both in Quenya and in Telerin strongly supports this conclusion. In Quenya, these diphthongs became é and ó, respectively; in Telerin they both became á. As an example, Tolkien mentions Quenya méla "loving, affectionate", Telerin mála. Both of these are derived from an A-infixed form of the stem MEL "love", implied to be *maelâ (not explicitly given). See VT39:10.
          Common Eldarin was not an entirely uniform structure; already on the March, there were dialects. At a very early stage, perhaps even before the Separation, the Teleri shifted original kw (> Quenya qu) to p, a change that is still reflected in Sindarin and the Telerin of Aman (like Quenya quár "fist" corresponding to Sindarin paur, Telerin pár; all of these descend from primitive kwâra, PM:318). In PM:401, Pengolodh points out that "the Quendi were sundered also in speech: the Avari from the Eldar; and the Teleri from the other Eldar".


When we are dealing with primitive Elvish, the concept of the stem, root or base must be clearly understood. Already in his very early "Qenya Lexicon" of 1915, Tolkien stated that "roots...are not words in use at all, but serve as an elucidation of the words grouped together and a connection between them" (LT1:246). The root or stem is a somewhat abstract skeleton containing a basic meaning, and in the process of derivation this skeleton is fleshed out to produce actual words developing its meaning. For instance, the general idea of youth is apparently contained in the stem NETH - Tolkien simply wrote "young" to suggest its meaning - but this is not to say that the primitive Elvish word for "young" was neth. NETH is just the basis of actual words like nêthê "youth" or nethrâ "young" (whence Quenya nésë, nessa). The Etymologies is for the most part a list of such stems followed by some of the actual words that they yielded in various languages. (However, some of the entry-heads in Etym seem to be complete words in themselves, such as RAMBÂ "wall" or TINKÔ "metal".) The vast majority of primitive Elvish words consist of a stem combined with an ending; these endings are explored in detail below.
          "My father wrote a good deal on the theory of sundokarme or 'base-structure'," Christopher Tolkien informs us (LR:343). However, only his own summary of his father's ideas is available to us: "Very briefly indeed, the Quendian consonantal 'base' or sundo was characterised by a 'determinant vowel' or sundóma: thus the sundo KAT has a medial sundóma 'A', and TALAT has the sundóma repeated. In derivative forms the sundóma might be placed before the first consonant, e.g. ATALAT" (WJ:319). It would seem, then, that the "base" consists of consonants (like K-T in KAT) plus a "determinant vowel" (in this case A) that can move around and be reduplicated - but since it has to be present somewhere, the Quendian base structure is not a "Semitic" system with purely consonantal roots, as in Khuzdul. This is more like the Adûnaic system: consonantal roots that are associated with a certain "Characteristic Vowel" that can be inserted in various places, but has to be present in all derived words - or stems with the same consonants would become impossible to tell apart.
          The system that eventually crystalized at Cuiviénen featured a "basic structure" with a preference of stems of "the pattern X-X(-), with a fixed medial consonant...such as *Dele, *Heke, *Tele, *Kala, *Kiri, *Nuku, *Ruku, etc. A large number of monosyllabic stems (with only an initial consonant or consonant group) still appear in the Eldarin tongues; and many of the dissyllabic stems must have been made by elaboration of these" (WJ:392). When Tolkien speaks of "the pattern X-X(-)", he evidently means "consonant-vowel-consonant(-vowel)". Usually, the first and the second vowel are identical; indeed it doesn't seem to matter whether the stems for, say, "follow" and "lick" are given as KHILI and LABA (WJ:387, 416) or simply as KHIL and LAB, as in the Etymologies (LR:364, 367). In a similar manner, the stem for "pour" is given both as ULU (LR:396) and as UL (WJ:400). Likewise, stems like the ones Tolkien lists as examples - *Dele, *Heke etc. - could probably just as well be given as DEL-, *HEK- etc. (DEL is actually found in WJ:363). The latter system seems to be employed in the Etymologies (note that Etym has KAL where WJ:392 gives *Kala-); the stem ULU instead of UL is one of the few exceptions. In Etym, the suffixed stem-vowels may have been dropped simply to save space. But when Tolkien in WJ:392 mentions "monosyllabic" stems, he seems to be referring to stems with no consonant following the first vowel (like KWE, NA), so that the vowel cannot be suffixed.
          While Tolkien in WJ:392 speaks of a "large number" of such monosyllabic stems, they are relatively rare in our corpus. On the same page in WJ, Tolkien speculates that a stem KWE referring to vocal speech may have existed at the most primitive stage, but was later expanded to KWENE and KWETE, thus being adapted to the system that had evolved in the meantime. In the Etymologies, most of the stems listed consist of three elements: an initial consonant or a consonant group, a vowel, and one consonant following the vowel (e.g. BAL, SPAN). In some cases, there is no initial consonant (e.g. EL), but there are very few stems of one syllable that lack the final consonant, such as "to be" (LR:374 s.v. 2). As noted above, the latter seems to be the kind of stems Tolkien calls "monosyllabic" in WJ:392 (and not stems like KWEN, EL, DEL [WJ:361-363], that can readily be turned into polysyllabic stems by suffixing the stem vowel: KWENE, ELE, DELE [WJ:360]). Of the more than six hundred stems listed in the Etymologies, less than thirty have this "monosyllabic" structure, and several of them are not the stems of verbs, nouns or adjectives, but prepositions, particles, prefixes and the like. (Some stems originally ended in a guttural consonant written as 3, but lost it and had the vowel lenghtened in compensation: DO3 > and evidently TA3 > . Perhaps stems like THÊ, THÛ, are to be understood as later forms of *THE3, *THU3, *YO3, not given.) In accordance with this, Tolkien stated that "the later view [of the Loremasters in Middle-earth] was that in fact 'full stems' (meaning noun-adjective or verb stems) were actually by the end of the common development of primitive Quendian seldom if ever monoconsonantal" (VT39:11). "Monoconsonantal" is a better term for this kind of stems than "monosyllabic".
          The stem for "bite" is a good example of how a stem can be modified to produce the basis for new words. No less than four varieties of it are found in the Etymologies. First there is NAK, apparently the most basic form, with the simple meaning "bite". The stem NDAK "slay" is evidently to be understood as a strengthened form of NAK, the strengthening of the initial consonant symbolizing the intensified meaning. Another variant of NAK prefixes the stem-vowel to produce ÁNAK, a stem yielding words for "jaw", the body-part used for biting (Quenya anca, Sindarin anc, both from primitive ankâ, in turn derived from ÁNAK; see NAK). A fourth possible variant is NAYKA with an infixed Y (and the stem-vowel suffixed); this is called an "elaboration" of NAK. This "elaborated" stem seems to mean basically *"biting" and hence *"painful"; it yields words like Quenya naicë, Sindarin naeg "(sharp) pain". We will now have a closer look at the various ways of manipulating a stem.

Stem vowel prefixed: In the entry I in the Etymologies, Tolkien explains that i is an "intensive prefix where i is base vowel". He mentions ITHIL "Moon" as an example; this is derived from a stem (or "base") THIL "shine silver" (see SIL). INDIS "bride" as a name of the goddess Nessa comes from NDIS "woman"; the vowel-prefixed variant i-ndise is called an "intensive form". Cf. also WJ:318, where Quenya and Sindarin estel "hope" is said to be a stemvowel-prefixed derivative of a stem STEL "remain firm".
          In a number of cases, vowel-prefixed versions of a stem are given as separate entries in the Etymologies. Sometimes, the stress moves to the new first syllable; sometimes the original stem-vowel retains the accent. ÁLAK "rushing" is derived from LAK2 "swift". ÁNAK "jaw" from NAK "bite" has already been mentioned. ANÁR "sun" is stated to be a derivative of NAR1 "flame, fire". (In the Silmarillion appendix, entry nár, Christopher Tolkien mentions (a)nar as "the same ancient root" that yielded words for both fire and sun.) AYAN "holy" is derived from YAN of similar meaning. ELED "go, depart, leave" connects with LED "go, fare, travel". ÉNED "centre" comes from NED of similar meaning. ERÉD, yielding words for "seed", is derived from RED "scatter, sow". ÓLOS "dream" is connected to LOS "sleep". ÓROM, the stem that according to the Etymologies is the source of the name of the Vala Oromë, comes from ROM "loud noise, horn-blast" (but Tolkien later rejected this as an Elvish folk etymology). It has been suggested that ÓROK, the stem that the Elvish words for Orc are traced to in the Etymologies, is connected to ROK-, the stem for "horse". While this may seem semantically strained, ROK- may originally have referred to the steed of "the dark Rider upon his wild horse" that afflicted the Elves at Cuiviénen, evidently some servant of Morgoth (Silmarillion ch. 3). Hence the strengthened stem ÓROK could be used of other evil creatures. (However, Tolkien seems to have dropped this idea and decided to derive the Elvish words for "Orc" from a stem RUKU instead; see WJ:389.) The negative stems , have prefixed variants UGU, UMU. Slightly more complex is the derivation of AKLA-R *"brillance" from KAL "shine" and OKTÂ "war" from KOT "strive, quarrel"; here the stem-vowel is prefixed as usual, but also lost in its normal position, and other endings are introduced. Other examples of words where the stem-vowel is removed from its normal place between the first and second consonant of the stem to be prefixed instead include esdê "repose" from SED "rest" (see WJ:403), the above-mentioned ankâ "jaw" from NAK "bite" and ostô "fortress" from the stem SOTO- "shelter, defend" (see WJ:414 for the latter). Cf. also the agental formation edlô from DEL, DELE "walk, go, proceed travel" - but also edelô with the stem-vowel of DEL intact. In WJ:363, Tolkien says that the word edlô displays "loss of sundóma" (stemvowel), and so, obviously, do words like esdê, ostô, ankâ. The stem RUKU is said to have variant forms uruk- and urk(u). It is perhaps impossible for monosyllabic stems like KWA (having to do with completion) to appear without their stem-vowel in its normal place, but it may still be prefixed, as in the derivative akwâ (according to WJ:415 "an extension or intensification of *kwâ, used adverbially" - Quenya aqua "fully, completely, altogether, wholly").

A-infixion: In some cases, a new vowel A is inserted into a stem, turning the stem-vowels i, u into diphthongs ai, au. The stem SLIW "sickly" yields the adjective slaiwâ "sickly, sick, ill" (contrast another derivative, slîwê "sickness", that does not show infixion). A-infixion is also seen in the word taun ?"hill" from TUN (see MINI). From the stem MIL-IK *"greed" is derived Mailikô, a name of Melkor. Yet other examples from the Etymologies are thausâ "foul" from THUS and taurâ "mighty" from TUR. In WJ:337, Tolkien derives maikâ "sharp, penetrating, going deep in" from a stem mik "pierce". Besides, the Quenya word nauta "bound" derived from NUT points to a primitive form *nautâ (not given); likewise, Sindarin glaer (glær) "long lay" from GLIR must descend from *glairê (cf. Quenya lairë). In the essay Quendi and Eldar, naukâ "ill-shapen, *short" is derived from a stem NUKU "stunted". This is called an "adjectival formation" (WJ:413); note that maikâ, naukâ, slaiwâ, taurâ, thausâ are also adjectives. A-infixion is also found in the abstract khaimê "habit" form KHIM "adhere" (that also yields the adjective khîmâ "sticky" without A-infixion - as if to keep things from getting too predictive!) Furthermore, one of the "ancient forms" of the stem RUKU (having to do with "fear", the source of the Elvish words for Orc) is given as rauk- (WJ:415). Using examples from Quenya, Tolkien explained that words formed by A-infixion "were mostly 'intensive', as in rauko 'very terrible creature' (*RUK); taura 'very mighty, vast, of unmeasured might or size' (*TUR). Some were 'continuative', as in Vaire 'Ever-weaving' (*WIR)" (VT39:10). - Whether A-infixion ever produced diphthongs ae, ao from simple e, o, just like this process produced ai, au from i, u, was a matter of debate. Fëanor held that such forms had indeed occurred in the Primitive Quendian, but as mentioned above, later Loremasters were "inclined to the opinion that this ae, ao were not primitive developments, but comparatively late and due to the analogy of ai : i, and au : u" (see VT39:9-10).

I/Y-infixion: This seems to be rarer than A-infixion. It is stated that the stem NAYKA *"painful" may be an "elaboration" of NAK "bite"; NAYKA yields Quenya words in naic-. The stem WAIWA "blow" is apparently an I-infixed variant of WAWA, that in turn seems to be a reduplicated form of . In VT39:11, Tolkien indicates that "desiderative" formations often show i-infixion; see below.

Nasal infixion: Stems could be modified by infixing a nasal before the second consonant of the stem, m before b and p, and n otherwise (except possibly ñ before w, see below). Thus, the stem DAT "fall down" has a nasal-infixed variant DANT. LAK1 "swallow" becomes LANK-, yielding words for "throat". One of the "ancient forms" of the them RUKU is nasal-infixed: runk- (WJ:415).
          Nasal-infixion is not uncommon in the derived words. For instance, TUG yields tungâ "taut, tight", and ronyô "chaser, hound of chase" comes from a stem ROY "chase" (LR:384 s.v. ROY1). In some cases, it is hard to tell whether seemingly nasal-infixed forms are actually due to later metathesis. Quenya sambë "room" is said to descend from primitive stabnê, stambê. The latter would seem to reflect a nasal-infixed form of the stem STAB, but Tolkien's wording can also be interpreted to mean that the oldest form was stabnê derived from STAB simply by adding an ending, and that the cluster bn later underwent metathesis to become *nb > mb. Alternatively, Tolkien may have meant to say that it was impossible to tell whether the ancestral form of Quenya sambë was stabnê or stambê. Another such double form is found under SYAD: sjadnô, sjandô "cleaver" = sword. Whatever the case, the stem PAT yields both patnâ "wide" and the nasal-infixed form pantâ "open", words that were seemingly distinct also originally, so it would seem that nasal-infixion did occur also in the primitive language.
          There is one example of ñ-infixion before w: liñwi "fish" from the stem LIW.

Strengthening, fortification, reinforcement, enrichment: These are Tolkien's terms for certain changes that stems sometimes undergo. For instance, RUKU also appear as a "strengthened stem" gruk- (WJ:415); in this case the "strengthening" consists of a g-prefix. A prefix s is seen in s-rot- "delve underground, excavate, tunnel" as compared to the simpler stem rot (PM:365; groto in WJ:414 is apparently a g-prefixed variant). (According to VT39:11, later loremasters held that the original strengthening of r initially was dr rather than gr; the latter was modelled on the frequent variation l / gl.) Fëanor is said (in VT39:9) to have cited examples of initial strengthening involving "the relations between initial st- and s-, or t-; gl- and l-; ky- and kw- and k-". Another "frequent initial enrichment" (WJ:413), that particularly impressed Fëanor, is turning b, d, g into nasalized plosives mb, nd, ñg. This could be called nasal prefixion, the initial version of the nasal infixion discussed above. However, initial n, like d, may be strengthened to nd, and m can similarly become mb (changes that can also occur in the middle of words, see below). Perhaps initial ñ could be strengthened to ñg (no examples). In LR:377, the stem ÑGYÔ, ÑGYON "grandchild, descendant" is suggested to be related to , YON "son", suggesting that Y- can be strengthened to ÑGY-.
          The stem DORO "dried up, hard, unyielding" yields PQ ndorê "dry land" by initial enrichment d > nd (WJ:413). The stem NDER "bridegroom" is said to be a "strengthened form of der" (LR:375), sc. the stem DER "man". NDUL, yielding words meaning "dark, dusky, obscure", comes from DUL "hide, conceal". MBAD "duress, prison, doom, hell" is a strengthening of BAD "judge". MBUD, the stem that yields words for "nose", comes from BUD "jut out". MBAR "dwell, inhabit" is said to be related to BAR, though it is not clear how they connect semantically (the probable original meaning of BAR is given as "raise"). Concerning the strengthening N > ND and M > MB, there is the stem NDIS ?"bride", said to be a "strengthening" of NIS "woman" (LR:375). The stem NDÛ "go down, sink" comes from , an apparently prepositional stem yielding such words as "down" and "under". We have already mentioned NAK "bite" > NDAK "slay". The stem MASAG "knead" connects with MBAS of similar sense; presumably they are both elaborations of a simpler root *MAS. (Note, however, that there are many stems with initial MB, ND that cannot be matched with any corresponding stem in B-/M- or D-/N-. In such cases, we must assume that the nasalized stop is "original".)
          Similar changes can also occur in the middle of words. Kwende "elf" is derived from a stem KWENE by "primitive fortification of the median n > nd" (WJ:360). Cf. also some words in the Etymologies, like tundu "hill, mound" from TUN. The Quenya verb tamba- "knock, keep on knocking" vs. the simpler verb tam- "tap" indicates that a fortification m > mb has taken place (stem TAM). Tolkien explains that Lindâ "Linda, Teler-elf" is derived from the primitive stem LIN by "reinforcement of the medial N and adjectival -â" (WJ:382). Common Eldarin eldâ, "an adjectival formation 'connected or concerned with the stars' ", would seem to be derived after the same pattern and includes a medial fortification l > ld (stem EL, ELE); this is not found initially.
          In the middle of words, the "median" could also be doubled: Grottâ "a large excavation" is an "intensified" form (WJ:415) of grotâ "excavation" (WJ:414). Concerning the stem for "horse", ROKO, it is said that this is actually an "older simpler form of the stem, found in some compounds and compound names, though the normal form of the independent word 'horse' had the fortified form rokko" (WJ:407). As we see, rokko is "fortified" by doubling the middle consonant of ROKO. The word battâ "trample", with "medial consonant lengthened in frequentative formation" (LR:351), provides us with an example of a "fortified" verbal stem: The basic stem BAT means "tread", and the fortified stem symbolizes the repetition of the action by lengthening the middle consonant. For the semantic change, compare Quenya tam- "tap" vs. tamba- "knock, keep on knocking" mentioned above.

Extension: Some stems have special "extended" forms made by suffixing the stem-vowel (as in DELE compared to DEL - in Quenya, this is called ómataina or "vocalic extension") and adding a final consonant, usually n, k, t, or s. In the Etymologies, the stem BORÓN is said to be an extension of BOR "endure" (when accented on the second syllable it is a verbal form of the noun-stem bóron-). A similar extension involving a final n is provided by the stem EL, ELE yielding Common Eldarin elen "star" (said to represent an "extended base", WJ:360; compare Old Sindarin toron "brother" from TOR; cf. also the pairs PHER/PHÉREN "beech" and THOR/THORON "eagle").
          Among the "ancient forms" of the stem RUKU (having to do with fear) are rukus and rukut (WJ:415). Could the extended stems with ómataina followed by t be what Tolkien refers to as "the so-called kalat-stems" in WJ:392? Kalat looks like an extended form of KAL, the stem having to do with "light". If so, yet another example may be the stem ÓROT "height, mountain", that is apparently extended from the more basic stem ORO "up; rise; high". Here we see how the extended form develops the meaning of the more basic stem (the other examples of extended stems are not separately glossed). Double stem-forms in the Etymologies, like LEP/LEPET "finger" or ESE/ESET "name" seem to exemplify the same phenomenon. A certain example is arat-, that in PM:363 is said to be "an extended form of the stem ara- 'noble' ". When the stem NA "to be" yields Quenya nat "thing", this may reflect a similar t-extension.
          There are some possible extensions with final -k, like OTOK "seven" from OT. Perhaps NÁYAK "pain" is connected with NAY "lament", while KIRIK (whence Quenya circa "sickle") is definitely extended from KIR- "cut, cleave" (not defined in the Etymologies, but see kir- in the Silmarillion Appendix; cf. also KIRIS "cut" as noun - another expanded form). LEPEK is given as an extension of LEP "five" (also LEPEN). Cf. also MIL-IK *"greed", evidently an extension of a simpler stem *MIL (whence Quenya mailë by A-infixion).
          Extensions involving final -s (cf. rukus and KIRIS above) include OT/OTOS "seven" (also OTOK already mentioned), THEL/THELES "sister", TER/TERES "pierce", PHAL/PHÁLAS "foam" (plus the variant SPAL/SPALAS); cf. also KYEL(ES) "glass". The stem NIS "woman" is said to be "elaborated from INI" (see NDIS); perhaps NIS should rather be derived from the simple stem "woman", of which INI must be a vowel-prefixed version. (For the shortening of the long stem-vowel in the vowel-prefixed variant, compare the negative stems vs. UGU and vs. UMU.) Tolkien speculates that THUS ?"evil-smelling" is related to (extended from?) THÛ "puff, blow". The latter examples indicate that "monosyllabic" stems (stems with no final or "medial" consonant) can be expanded by adding the final consonant -n, -t, -s directly to the original stem-vowel; the vowel cannot be reduplicated finally because there is no consonant to which it can be suffixed. (But apparently the stem-vowel can be reduplicated following the new consonant after the consonant has been added; cf. Tolkien's reference in WJ:392 to the stem "*KWE, of which *KWENE and *KWETE were elaborations".)
          Note that there are some stems that seem to be polysyllabic right from the start. For instance, KYELEK "swift, agile" can for semantic reasons hardly be an expanded form of KYEL "come to an end".
          It should be noted that Tolkien sometimes uses the term "extended stem" also with reference to stems with a prefixed stem-vowel (see above), when the vowel is still present in its normal place.

Differentiation: As noted above, the long forms of stems with a final vowel usually involve simple repetition of the stem-vowel: DEL > DELE, KAL > KALA etc. But there are some rare cases where another final vowel, -U, turns up. In WJ:411, Tolkien mentions a stem TELE "close, end, come at the end" and adds that "this was possibly distinct from *tel-u 'roof in, put the crown on a building'... But *telu may be simply a differentiated form of *TELE, since the roof was the final work of a building." It would seem that variant or "differentiated" stems could be made by modifying the final vowel.
          Except for TELU, the evidence for such stems is usually indirect. The stem KEL "go, run (especially of water)" clearly has a longer form KELU. (The Index to Unfinished Tales, entry Celos, actually mentions a root kelu- "flow out swiftly".) The longer form turns up in Quenya celumë "stream, flow" (but not in celma "channel"). The Ilkorin word for "river", celon, is derived from what seems to be an expanded form in -n: "kelu + n", hence *kelun (LR:363). A similar case seems to be Quenya cotumo "enemy" from KOT, KOTH: the middle u has to come from somewhere. There are also some Quenya stems in -u, such as nicu- "be chill, cold (of weather)" (WJ:417) or hlapu- "fly or stream in the wind" (MC:223). But how they relate to "differentiated" stems like TELU, if they do at all, is far from clear.

Variation: There seems to be some variation between certain similar consonants, such as T/TH/D, and also between TH and S. In the Etymologies, there is obviously a connection (confirmed by Tolkien's own cross-reference) between the stems PAT, having to do with openness, and PATH, yielding words like "Noldorin" pathw "level space" (Classical Sindarin *pathu). It is also suggested (in LR:393) that THIN, yielding words for "grey", may be a variant of TIN "emit slender (silver, pale) beams". Similarly, there is obviously a connection between the stems DAL "flat", LAD *"wide" and LAT "lie open". The stems SIL, THIL "shine" are said to be variants, and a similar variation S/TH is seen in the pairs GOS/GOTH "dread" and KHIS/KHITH "mist, fog". Variation SP/PH is seen in SPAL/SPALAS, variant of PHAL/PHÁLAS "foam". KAR "make, do" seems to have a variant KYAR "cause", and under the stem KEL "go, run" we find references to KYEL "come to an end, run out" and KWEL "fade, fade away, wither". The variation between different semi-vowels (Y/W) that is seen in the pair KYEL/KWEL is also found in KHAW as compared to KAY "lie down"; in the Etymologies, KHAW is equated with the latter stem. This also provides an example of variation K/KH; cf. also RIK(H) "jerk, sudden move". Under TAM "knock" there is a reference to NDAM "hammer, beat"; the latter seems to display both "initial enrichment" with a prefixed nasal and variation T/D. Primitive Elvish evidently did not allow *NT as an initial combination, so it had to become ND instead. This principle may also explain the second element of the name Moringotto (MR:194), said to be the Quenya form of the name Morgoth, the Black Enemy: If the -ngotto part suggests a primitive form *ñgottô "enemy", this word could be referred to the stem KOT, KOTH "strive, quarrel" by assuming that the "initial enrichment" of K- is *ÑG- rather than ?ÑK-. The "initial enrichment" of P- would likewise be *MB- rather than ?MP-, though we have no examples.
          Variation P/T is found in the stems PIK and TIK; both of these evidently have to do with smallness. Under TIK, Tolkien made a cross-reference to PIK. Variation between T and D is seen in the pair TING, DING, but since these words are simply onomatopoeic, such variation is to be expected.
          According to WJ:363, there was "some evidence" that variation between D and L occurred in Primitive Quendian, "a notable example being de/le as pronominal elements in the 2nd person". In late PQ, GL appeared as an initial variation of L (WJ:411, cf. VT39:11).
          Variation between different vowels is much rarer, but BEL "strong" is tentatively compared by Tolkien to to the stem BAL (whence ba "Power, god, Vala"), and under NAT "lace, weave, tie" Tolkien made a cross-reference to NUT "tie, bind".


In Primitive Elvish, nearly all words can be split into a stem followed by a derivational ending, and we will here attempt to list these suffixes. In the primitive language, the stem and the ending are usually easy to distinguish, while the border between them is often blurred by sound-changes in the later languages. For instance, primitive sukmâ "drinking-vessel" is easily split into a stem SUK "drink" with the ending - denoting an implement - but in Quenya, that has shifted original km to ngw, the resulting word sungwa can no longer be analyzed as easily. (Despite examples like this, the original endings are usually recognizable in Quenya, with shortening of the final vowels: - normally appears as -ma. Much of what is said below still holds true for the direct Quenya descendants of these suffixes, but in Sindarin, the original endings are much worn down and sometimes even replaced with new endings.)
          It should be noted that the second, reduplicated vowel of the stem, the ómataina or "vocalic extension", is often not included when an ending is added to produce an actual word. There are definitely some words where the second vowel persists, as when ULU "pour" yields ulumô *"pourer", but often it disappears. In WJ:416, a stem NUKU "stunted" is given, but in the derivative nuktâ- "stunt", the second U of NUKU is not included. On the other hand, the ómataina may sometimes turn up in the derivatives even when the stem is given in the shortest form, as when the noun tjulussê "poplar-tree" is derived from TYUL "stand up (straight)"; this noun is actually based on the ómataina-form *TYULU.
          The second vowel of two-syllable stems like GÓLOB or STÁLAG may also be omitted in the actual words that are derived from them; these stems manifest as golb- and stalg- in the derivatives golbâ "branch" and stalgondô "hero, dauntless man". (See also below concerning laik-wâ from LÁYAK.)
          There are also words where the first vowel drops out when it is unaccented: for instance, the stem BERÉK yields b'rektâ- "break out suddenly" and KARÁN yields k'rannâ "ruddy" (but from the same stems come bere "wild" and karani "red" with the first vowel of the stem intact). This loss of unaccented stem-vowels is most often seen in the original forms of Sindarin words and may be thought to be a phenomenon that occurred after the oldest stage, in Common Telerin, so that b'rektâ-, for instance, represents earlier *berektâ-. But in at least one case, a form where an unaccented vowel has been omitted is seen to underlie a Quenya word: ráca "wolf" descending from primitive d'râk, stem DARÁK. Primitive *darâk- with the first vowel intact would have yielded Quenya **laraca instead. So in some cases at least, the unaccented vowel must have disappeared in Common Eldarin at the latest.
          In the case of two-syllable stems with a final consonant, this consonant and the final vowel may also change places when an ending is added: thus the stem ÚLUG manifests as ulgu- in the word ulgundô "monster".
          Note that in actual words, j as the final consonant of a stem invariably becomes i before a consonant, merging with the stem-vowel to produce a diphthong in -i (as when the stem TUY - or TUJ - yields the word tuimâ "a sprout, bud" - for *tujmâ). Similarly, w becomes u before a consonant, as when TIW yields tiukâ "thick, fat" (for *tiwkâ). If a two-syllable stem loses its second vowel in a derivative form, and the middle consonant is a semi-vowel that is thus brought into direct contact with the final consonant, the semi-vowel may again merge with the preceding vowel to form a diphthong (as when the stem LÁYAK manifests as laik-, for *layk- or *lajk-, in the derivative laik-wâ "green").
          Sometimes, but not always, j becomes i also before vowels, as when DAY (DAJ) yields daio "shade" - but contrast naje "lament" from NAY (NAJ).

Most primitive words ended in a vowel, sometimes short but often long. The vowel may be a complete ending in itself or part of a longer ending. No hard-and-fast rules can be formulated as to what the different final vowels denote; at most there are certain tendencies. Very generally speaking, words with final A are often verbs or adjectives, and if they are nouns, they denote concrete things more often than substances or intangibles. Words in E are usually nouns and tend to denote abstracts or substances rather than simple, tangible objects. Words in I are often colour-adjectives; if they are nouns they usually denote female beings. Words in O are for the most part nouns and typically denote animate (male) beings; very often such words have an agental meaning. Words in U are relatively rare; they are nearly always nouns and typically denote either male beings or body parts.

The ending -â (or -a) occurs on many types of words, but most prominent is the adjectival ending -â, mentioned by Tolkien in WJ:382. Adjectives may be derived by simple suffixation, like mizdâ "wet" from the stem MIZD or telesâ "rear" from TELES. However, the ending is often combined with certain manipulations of the stem:
          - Medial fortifications like M > MB, N > ND, L > LD, e.g. rimbâ "frequent, numerous" from RIM, kandâ "bold" from KAN, kuldâ "golden-red" from KUL.
          - Nasal infixion, e.g. tungâ "taut, tight" from TUG; cf. also WJ:375, where Tolkien derives pendâ "sloping" from a stem PED "slope, slant down".
          - A-infixion, e.g. thausâ "foul, evil-smelling, putrid" from THUS, taurâ "masterful, mighty" from TUR (cf. also maikâ "sharp" from MIK, WJ:337, and naukâ *"stunted" from NUKU, WJ:413).
          - I-infixion; this occurs in a small group of desiderative formations. For instance, the adjective meinâ "eager to go, desiring to start" comes from a stem MEN "go" (VT39:11). (Apparently this word could also be used as a verb "desire to go in some direction, make for it, have some end in view"; this is at least true for its Quenya descendant mína-.) Other examples are found in Quenya: maita "hungry" from the stem MAT "eat", and soica "thirsty" from SOK "gulp, quaff, drink" (primitive *maitâ, *soikâ, my reconstructions). See VT39:11.
          - Lengthening of stem-vowel, e.g. khîmâ "sticky, viscous" from KHIM, râba "wild, untamed" from RAB, dâla "flat" from DAL.
          - Stem-vowel prefixed: askarâ "tearing, hastening" from SKAR "tear, rend" (in effect, askarâ becomes a kind of participle).
          Nouns in -â display much the same variation; in most cases, such nouns denote inanimate things. Some are derived by simple suffixation, e.g. wedâ "bond" (WED) or golbâ "branch" (GÓLOB). Some show nasal infixion: kwentâ "tale" (from KWET "speak"), randâ "cycle, age" (RAD), kwingâ "bow" (KWIG). We also note cases where the stem-vowel is lengthened, such as râmâ "wing" from RAM or kânâ "outcry, clamour" from KAN (see PM:361-362 for the latter example). Doubling of the final consonant in the stem is also found: rattâ, ratta "course, river-bed" from RAT, gassâ "hole, gap" from GAS. The word ankâ "jaw, row of teeth" is based on a rearranged form of the stem NAK "bite"; Tolkien actually wrote "an-kâ" as if to emphasize that the middle vowel was lost. Whether the final -â is an independent ending or just the stem-vowel suffixed and lengthened is difficult to say. The similar formation OKTÂ "war" from KOT "strive, quarrel" clearly displays an independent ending -â, since the stem-vowel is here O.
          As noted above, there are many verbs showing final A, but then as part of the longer endings - or -. The simple ending -a, -â is very rare on verbs. We note olsa- "to dream" from the stem ÓLOS. Long -â combined with medial fortification M > MB occurs in tambâ "to knock" (TAM); the final -â is marked as accented. So is the final vowel of battâ "trample", with the "medial consonant [of the stem BAT, *BATA] lengthened in frequentative formation".
          In some verbal stems, the final -a is quite clearly just the stem-vowel repeated, for instance stama- "bar, exclude" (UT:282) or glada "laugh" (PM:359). They are therefore irrelevant here.

The suffix - is a (usually agental) ending that is preferred in the case of stems ending in N: ñgandô *"harper" from ÑGAN/ÑGANAD and lindô "singer" from LIN2. (In the latter entry in the Etymologies, only the later Quenya form lindo is listed, but the archaic form lindô is given as part of the compound tuilelindô "swallow", etymologically "spring-singer", in the entry TUY. Ñgandô is likewise attested only as a part of the word tjalañgandô "harp-player"; see TYAL, ÑGAN/ÑGANAD.) There is also the word ndandô "Nando, Green-elf", interpreted "one who goes back on his word or decision" (the Nandor were so called because they left the march from Cuiviénen; the stem DAN-, NDAN- indicates "the reversal of an action, so as to undo or nullify its effect", WJ:412). In ñgolodô "Noldo" (WJ:364, 380), the ending - follows the reduplicated stem-vowel (ómataina) of the stem ÑGOL. In this word, - apparently does not have any agental meaning; it is simply a personal (masculine) suffix, indicating one that has the property denoted by the stem ÑGOL (wise, wisdom).
          The Common Eldarin word rondô "vaulted roof" does not contain the ending -; this is the stem RONO (not in Etym) with medial fortification n > nd (VT39:9, cf. WJ:414). Indeed we cannot be sure that words like lindô are not derived from LIN by means of a similar fortification and the simpler ending -ô (see below). The question does not have much practical interest.
          The ending - also appear in a nasal-infixed form -ndo or -ndô. In the word ulgundô "monster, deformed and hideous creature" from ÚLUG it does not seem to be agental, but is simply used to form a noun. In the words kalrondô "hero" (from KAL "shine") and lansrondo, lasrondo "hearer, listener, eavesdropper" (from LAS2 "listen"), the ending -ndo, -ndô seems to be suffixed to another masculine ending, -/-ro (see below). Tolkien actually wrote "lansro-ndo, lasro-ndo" to make this clear. See also -ondô.
          As the feminine counterpart of - we would expect -, and this ending may be attested in asmalindê "yellow bird, 'yellow hammer' " (SMAL). The ending -(i)ndê that here occurs may be seen as a nasal-infixed form of *-, paralleling -ndô from -. (In Quenya, -ndë can apparently be used of an inanimate as well as a female agent: cf. ulundë "flood" from ULU "flow".)

The ending -ê, -e has several meanings, or rather a few specialized meanings as well as some very general ones. A number of words in -ê, -e denote abstract or intangible things; in such cases the stem-vowel is often lengthened: nêthê "youth" (NETH), ñgôlê "Science/Philosophy" (PM:360), ñôle "odour" (ÑOL), rênê "remembrance" (PM:372), slîwê "sickness" (SLIW), tûrê "mastery, victory" (TUR). The stem-vowel remains short in we3ê "manhood, vigour" (WEG), et-kelê "spring, issue of water" (KEL) and naje "lament" (NAY), while khaimê "habit" shows A-infixion instead of lengthening (KHIM). In the word esdê > ezdê "repose", the origin of the Quenya name of the Valië Estë, the stem SED occurs in an alternative form ESD- (WJ:403). For -ê as an abstract ending, compare also the longer endings -, -, -, that are often used to derive abstract words.
          Another group of nouns in -ê denote substances: khjelesê "glass" (KHYEL(ES) ), kjelepê "silver" (KYELEP), laurê "golden light" (LÁWAR/GLÁWAR), mazgê "dough" (MASAG), rossê "dew, spray" (Letters:282), slingê "cobweb" (SLIG); srawê "flesh" (MR:350); we may even include mizdê "fine rain" (MIZD).
          A feminine ending -ê, -e is seen in the word tawarê, taware "dryad, spirit of woods" (evidently fem., contrast masc. tawarô, tawaro) (TÁWAR). Cf. also bessê "wife" (BES), though this may contain a longer ending -, and the final vowel in the pronoun , se "she" (stem S; also , si).
          A few nouns in -ê denote localities: ndorê "land" (NDOR, WJ:413), taurê "great wood, forest" (TÁWAR); we may also add et-kelê "spring, issue of water" already mentioned (KEL).
          However, the ending -ê also occurs in many nouns that seem to have nothing in common semantically. The ending -ê may be used alone (as in spinê "larch" from SPIN, tatharê "willow-tree" from TATHAR), but more often it is combined with some other manipulation of the stem, such as nasal-infixion (londê "narrow path" from LOD), lengthening of the stem-vowel (rîgê "crown" from RIG), A-infixion (laibê "ointment" from LIB2), medial fortifications like M > MB or N > ND (rimbê "crowd, host" from RIM, spindê "tress, braid of hair" from SPIN) or doubling of the final consonant of the stem (lassê "leaf" from LAS1, b'rittê "gravel" from BIRÍT). Nîbe "front, face" shows short -e, but the stem-vowel of NIB is lengthened. In some nouns, the ending -ê, -e may be analyzed as being simply the stem-vowel suffixed and sometimes lengthened, e.g. in eredê "seed", kjelepê "silver", ndere "bridegroom" (ERÉD, KYELEP, DER/NÊR). Adjectives like dene "thin and strong, pliant, lithe" (WJ:412) or verbal stems like dele "walk, go, proceed, travel" (WJ:360) should probably be analyzed in the same way; no actual derivational ending is present. The same is the case with the noun kwende "Quendë, Elf"; it is derived from the stem KWENE by medial fortification N > ND, not by any distinct ending -e (WJ:360).

The ending -i occurs in a number of adjectives, many of which are colour-words. In the case of monosyllabic stems ending in N, it is always combined with the fortification N > ND: slindi "fine, delicate" (SLIN), thindi "pallid, grey, wan, pale or silvery grey" (THIN, WJ:384), windi "blue-grey, pale blue or grey" (WIN/WIND; windi was struck out). Ninkwi "white" combines the ending -i with nasal-infixion of the stem NIK-W. On the other hand, karani "red" (KARÁN) shows no extra modifications, just the ending. Yet another colour-adjective, lugni "blue" (LUG2), seems to contain a longer ending -ni that is attested in this word only. In ringi "cold" the ending may be the stem-vowel suffixed. Mori is stated to be both the adjective "dark" and the abstract "darkness" (Letters:382; in the Etymologies, stem MOR, the gloss is simply "black"). This brings us over to nouns in -i. Some are abstract, such as rinki "flourish, quick shake" (RIK(H), note nasal-infixion). The word etsiri "mouth of a river" is in origin plainly the abstract "outflow(ing)" (ET, compare SIR). A few nouns in -i refer to periods of time: ari "day" (AR1) and dômi- "twilight" (DOMO).
          Some few denote substances: g-lisi "honey" (LIS) and pori "flour, meal" (POR); khîthi "mist, fog" may also be seen as a substance (KHIS/KHITH). In light of this, may liñwi "fish" (LIW, note nasal-infixion) be "fish" as a substance, as food, rather than "fish" as an animal? Only one word in -i refers to a single, concrete, tangible object: phini "a single hair" (PM:362 - this word is stated to be Common Eldarin rather than Primitive Quendian). In several of the examples above, including phini, the "ending" may also be the stem-vowel suffixed (but obviously not in ari, dômi-, pori).

A feminine ending -î is seen in the two words Barathî (BARATH), an early name of Varda, and in târî "queen" (wife of a târo, "king"). The word târî is probably formed after târo, since there is no R in the stem TA/TA3 and the feminine equivalent of the masculine ending -, -ro seems to be properly - (as in weirê "weaver", WEY), not *-. For -î as a feminine element, cf. also the pronoun , si "she" (stem S; also , se). (Note, however, that Tolkien later implied another etymology for Quenya Vairë; see weirê in the wordlist below.)
          The -î of the word îdî "heart, desire, wish" seems to be unconnected (an abstract ending, or just the stem-vowel suffixed, or even a misreading for *îdê as the Quenya form írë may suggest?) The stem ID is not defined.

An abstract/infinitive ending -ie is found in Quenya and Old Sindarin, and we would expect it to correspond to something like - in the primitive language. This ending may be attested in the word luktiênê "enchantress" (LUK), if this is *luktiê "enchantment" + the feminine ending -, hence *"enchantment-female". *Luktiê would be an abstract or verbal noun formed from *luktâ- "enchant" (my reconstruction, cf. Quenya luhta-).
          In gwa-lassiê "collection of leaves, foliage" from lassê "leaf", the ending - + the prefix gwa- "together" is used to form a collective (Letters:282).

An adjectival ending -imâ occurs in the word silimâ "shining white", "silver" (as adj.) (SIL). This would be the origin of the Quenya adjectival ending -ima (often meaning "-able", but sometimes used in a more general sense). Alternatively we would have to explain silimâ as including the ómataina-form of SIL, namely *SILI, followed by the ending -; see below. But this ending is typically used to derive words for implements and is found on no (other) adjective, so it is better to assume an ending -imâ.

The feminine ending -ittâ is mentioned in PM:345; this is the origin of Sindarin -eth. See also -otta, -otto.

The ending -, -ja, -, -ia has several meanings. It occurs on a number of adjectives: banjâ "beautiful" (BAN), erjâ "isolated, lonely" (VT42:4), kalarjâ "brilliant" (KAL), miniia "single, distinct, unique" (MINI), oijâ "everlasting" (OY), slinjâ "lean, thin, meagre" (SLIN), windiâ "pale blue" (WIN/WIND - it is uncertain whether Tolkien rejected the word windiâ or not). Wanjâ "fair, beautiful" is called an "adjectival derivative...from the stem WAN" in WJ:383, and Tolkien explicitly referred to -ja as a Common Eldarin adjectival element (VT42:10). It also occurs in some ordinals that are said to be Common Eldarin: lepenja "fifth", otsôja "seventh" (VT42:26, 25). The word kwendjâ, the origin of Quenya, is explained as being an adjective meaning "belonging to the *kwendî, to the people as a whole" (WJ:360, 393). May this wording suggest that kwendjâ comes from *kwendî-â, sc. the plural form kwendî "Elves" + the adjectival ending -â?
          The verbal ending -, -ja, - is attested in the words barjâ- "to protect" (BAR), berja- "to dare" (BER), beujâ- "follow, serve" (BEW), ramja- "fly, sail; wander" (RAM), tjaliâ- "to play" (TYAL), uljâ "it is raining" (ULU). In the Etymologies, the word barjâ has a diacritic indicating that the ending - (or its final vowel) was accented (BAR). But we cannot conclude that this is always the case; berja "to dare" is marked as accented on the first syllable. (Adjectival - is apparently not accented; cf. banjâ "beautiful".)
          There are only a few nouns in -, -ja: galjâ "bright light" (KAL), gilja "star" (GIL), kegjâ "hedge" (UT:282), talrunja "sole of foot" (TALAM, RUN). Tolkien struck out winjâ "evening" (WIN/WIND). Wanjâ "Vanya" (Quenya pl. Vanyar, the first clan of the Eldar) is really an adjective "fair, beautiful", as noted above (WJ:380, 383). Tolkien also reconstructed the primitive form of Vanya as banjâ (BAN; cf. pl. "Banyai" in PM:402).

Another adjectival ending is -. In Letters:282, Tolkien mentions a "basis" LAY (also present in Quenya lairë "summer") that yields laikâ "green". Other examples include gajakâ "fell, terrible, dire" (PM:363), poikâ "clean, pure" (POY), tiukâ "thick, fat" (TIW); later - became short -ka as in lauka "warm" (LAW). The ending -, attested only in the word tiukô "thigh" (TIW), would seem to be a nominalized form of - (tiukâ "thick" > tiukô *"thick thing" = "thigh").

The ending -la seems to mean little more than "thing" (or "person"); it is used as a noun-former. Tolkien defines hekla as "any thing (or person) put aside from, or left out from, its normal company" (WJ:361; stem HEKE "aside, apart"); this could be turned into a "personal form" heklô "waif or outcast" with the masculine ending -ô; see below. (There is also an adjectival form heklâ formed with the adjectival ending -â, discussed above.) In the Etymologies, -la is found in the names of a number of implements where the ending - (see below) could presumably have been used as well: makla "sword" from MAK "sword, fight with sword", tekla "pen" from TEK "write" (hence *"thing for writing"), and, with a nasal-infixed stem, tankla "pin, brooch" from TAK "fix, make fast". In the word magla (read *smaglâ?) "stain" from the stem SMAG- "[?to] soil, stain" the ending simply acts as a noun-former. (In the Etymologies, the Sindarin word mael that is referred to magla is glossed both "stain" as a noun and adj. "stained", but the adjective "stained" is presumably derived from *(s)maglâ with adjectival -â.) In one case, the ending -la is added, not directly to the root, but to another derived word: Sjatsela/sjatsêla "broadsword-blade", "axe-blade" includes the word sjatsê < sjadsê "cleft, gash" derived from the root SYAD "shear through, clear"; a sjatsêla is thus a *"thing used for making gashes".
          The adjective ndulla "dark, dusky, obscure" may not contain the ending -la; it is apparently formed from the root NDUL by "strengthening" the final consonant to double LL and adding the adjectival ending -â. Indeed the form in PQ and CE must have been *ndullâ with a long final vowel, for primitive ndulla would have yielded Quenya **nul (null-), but the actual Quenya form is nulla. Ndulla must be understood as being ancient Quenya (after the shortening of the original long final vowels) rather than primitive Elvish.
          The ending -la combined with the adjectival suffix -â produces -, as in heklâ mentioned above. This - would seem to be the origin of the Quenya participial ending -la, Sindarin -l.

The ending - is used to derive nouns that "seem properly to have been universal or abstract" (VT39:16); this also goes for its direct Quenya descendant -. In most attested examples it simply acts as a verbal noun ending. The root TUY "spring, sprout" yields tuilê "day-spring" or "spring-time"; the basic meaning would be simply *"springing, sprouting". Keglê comes from keg- "snag, barb" and would mean basically *"snagging, barbing", but abstracts often take on a concrete meaning, and in Sindarin cail (< keglê) means "fence" or "palisade" (UT:282).
          The -rille of silimarille "Silmaril" may be a verbal noun derived from RIL "glitter", so that rille means something like *"radiance, brilliance".
          The -le of nenle "brook" (NEN) may or may not be connected; if it is, the word would mean "watering". But this -le may also be a diminutive ending.
          How does ramalê "pinion, great wing (of eagle)" fit in? (RAM)

The suffix - is one of the most productive endings. Tolkien points out that this suffix is frequent in the names of implements (WJ:416). Hence the stem TAK "fix, make fast" may yield takmâ "thing for fixing", the origin of Quenya tangwa "hasp, clasp". SUK "drink" yields sukmâ "drinking-vessel". Another word of the same meaning, julmâ, is likewise derived from a stem meaning "drink" (WJ:416 - this is the origin of Quenya yulma "cup", known from Namárië). From the stem YAT "join" comes jatmâ, apparently meaning "bridge" or "joining" (Quenya yanwë). Note that the stem to which - (-ma) is appended is not required to have a verbal meaning; kasma "helmet" comes from a stem KAS "head". Telmâ "hood, covering" comes from a stem (TEL/TELU) that is not defined, but apparently has to do with the top or canopy of something. (In the Etymologies, the final vowel of telmâ has a diacritic denoting that it may be either long or short, so the variation - vs. -ma is unimportant.)
          Some "implements" may even be body parts, such as nakma "jaw" from NAK "bite", or labmâ "tongue" from LABA "lick" (WJ:416).
          However, not all words in - denote implements. Often the meaning of the ending - is very general; it simply denotes an object somehow connected with the state or action denoted by the stem. Parmâ "book" comes from a stem PAR "compose, put together"; a parmâ is simply a "thing that is composed or put together". Sometimes - denotes an impersonal agent, as in tuimâ "a sprout, bud" from TUY "spring, sprout" or tjulmâ "mast" from TYUL "stand up" (but in SD:419, the primitive form of Quenya tyulma is reconstructed as kjulumâ instead). In some cases, - is used simply to derive concrete nouns, as in pathmâ "level space, sward" or sjalmâ "shell, conch, horn of Ulmo" (stems PATH, SYAL not defined). Similarly, skelmâ "skin, fell" comes from a stem SKEL that is not clearly glossed; it may mean "strip, strip bare" (cf. SKAL1). Quenya corma "ring" plainly represents a primitive form *kormâ (not reconstructed by Tolkien); the stem KOR means "round", so a *kormâ is simply a "round thing".
          Infrequently the ending - may also denote a substance, as in wilmâ "air, lower air" from the stem WIL "fly, float in air", or sagmâ "poison" from SAG (stem meaning not given; perhaps "bitter").
          The ending - also seems to occur in one adjective, silimâ "shining white", "silver" (as adj.) (SIL). But this is probably a longer adjectival ending -imâ; see above.

The ending - is properly an abstract or verbal noun ending, much like English "-ing", as in julmê "drinking, carousal", from the stem JULU "drink" (WJ:416) or labmê "the action of *LABA", sc. a stem having to do with licking or moving the tongue (WJ:416). The name of the Vala Oromë is really adapted from Valarin (an early Eldarin form was Arâmê), but in later ages the Eldar took the name to mean "horn-blowing", wrongly supposing that it contained the verbal noun ending - (WJ:400).
          A number of other words are easily explained as abstract words that have taken on a more concrete meaning, as such words often do: rakmê "fathom" from RAK "stretch out, reach", tekmê "letter, symbol" from TEK "make a mark", tinmê "sparkle, glint" from TIN "to sparkle", tulukmê "support, prop" from TULUK (stem not defined but having to do with being firm or steadfast). Note that English "support" may have both an abstract and a concrete meaning (the act of supporting vs. a tangible prop), illustrating how abstracts and concretes are easily conflated. In one case, the ending - seems to be confused with -; both telmâ and telmê (or telma, telme) "hood, covering" are mentioned by Tolkien when he etymologizes Quenya telmë "hood" (TEL/TELU). Once again, a full abstract "covering" takes on a concrete meaning: a hood, that should more properly be called a telmâ with the ending for implements.
          In a few cases, the ending -/-me occurs in the names of substances: khithme "fog" (KHIS/KHITH), silimê "light of Silpion", also a poetic word for "silver" (SIL; this may actually be a nominalized form of the apparently adjectival ending seen in silimâ; see -imâ). In one word - simply denotes something intangible: do3mê "night" (DO3, see DOMO).

The agental ending - is attested in the word Ulumô "Pourer, Ulmo" only (ULU). However, its Quenya descendant -mo is well attested and is stated to be an ending that "often appeared in names or titles, sometimes with an agental significance" (WJ:400; here "the Pourer" as the meaning of Ulmo is said to be an Elvish folk etymology, for the name was actually adopted and adapted from Valarin Ul(l)ubôz).

The ending - (-na) is very productive. In a few cases (khalnâ, barnâ under KHAL2, BAR) the final vowel is marked as accented; perhaps this ending received the accent in primitive Elvish. Its function is to form adjectives: In UT:266, a word in - is called as an "ancient adjectival form", while in WJ:365 another such word, heklanâ, is called an "extended adjectival form" (extended as compared to the shorter adjectival form heklâ, presumably). Examples include ku3nâ "bowed, bow-shaped, bent" (KU3 "bow"), magnâ "skilled" (MAG, under MA3), ndeuna "second" (NDEW "follow, come behind"), ornâ "uprising, tall" (UT:266), patnâ "wide" (PAT), pathnâ "smooth" (PATH), ragnâ "crooked" (RAG), sarnâ "of stone" (SAR, see STAR), ta3na ?"high, lofty, noble" (TÂ/TA3), tubnâ "deep" (TUB). This ending may well be added to stems that already have an adjectival meaning, such as k'rannâ "ruddy (of face)" from KARÁN "red" or mornâ "dark" from MOR "black" (see Letters:382 for mornâ; this derivative is not given in the Etymologies, though its Quenya descendant morna is).
          Sometimes the ending - (-na) produces forms that may be considered past participles, as when DUL "hide, conceal" yields ndulna "secret" (or *"hidden, concealed"). Gjernâ "old, worn" may be seen as a past participle if the stem GYER means "to wear (out)" like its Quenya derivative yerya does. Likewise, skelnâ "naked" comes from a stem (SKEL) that may mean "strip bare" (cf. SKAL1 ). Clearly participial are the forms skalnâ "veiled, hidden, shadowed, shady" from SKAL1 "screen, hide (from light)", skarnâ "wounded" from SKAR "tear, rend", and barnâ "safe, protected, secure" from BAR "uplift, save, rescue". We also note wannâ "departed, dead" from WAN "depart, go away, disappear, vanish" and khalnâ "noble, exalted" from KHAL2 "uplift". Lebnâ "left behind" would seem to be a past participle from its gloss, but surprisingly the stem LEB/LEM does not mean "leave behind"; it is glossed "stay, stick, adhere, remain, tarry".
          In a few cases, words in - are used as nouns rather than adjectives, like staknâ "cleft, split". This would be a past participle used as a noun; the stem STAK is glossed "split, insert". There is also the original form of Lindon, Lindânâ; the name refers to the Lindarin (Telerin) Green-elves that settled there (WJ:385). Lindânâ would mean simply "Lindarin [Area]". The word ramna "wing (horn), extended point at side, etc." doesn't quite fit in; it is derived from a stem already meaning "wing" and must be seen simply as a variant (RAM).
          A longer form -inâ, -ina is found in a few words: smalinâ "yellow" (SMAL), Bedûina ("Bedû-ina") "of the Spouses" (Bedû, Aulë and Yavanna; see LEP/LEPEN/LEPEK), ngolwina "wise, learned in deep arts" (ÑGOL). In the case of ngolwina, the ending is not added directly to the stem ÑGOL, but to *ngolwê (my reconstruction), the origin of Quenya nolwë "wisdom, secret lore".

The word luktiênê "enchantress" (LUK), the primitive form of Lúthien, seems to contain a feminine ending -. It would be the counterpart of masculine -; see below. It is apparently suffixed to a noun *luktiê "enchantment" rather than directly to a verbal stem. A distinct ending - occurs in ornê "(slender) tree", stated to be related to the adjective ornâ "uprising, tall" (UT:266). In this word, - would seem to be a nominal ending corresponding to adjectival -, an ornê being literally a "tall thing", used with reference to slender trees. How slignê "cobweb" fits in is difficult to say, since Tolkien did not define the stem SLIG. In neinê "tear", the ending - adds nothing to the meaning of the stem NEI "tear" and must be seen simply as a nominal ending.

The suffix - is a masculine ending. It occurs in bernô "man" and besnô "husband" (BES, cf. BER). Since the stem BES means "wed", besnô "husband" might be interpreted *"bridegroom", if we assign an agental meaning to -. It is clearly agental in khalatirnô "fish-watcher": stem TIR "watch, guard". (In the Etymologies, the final vowel of khalatirnô has a diacritic indicating that it may be either long or short: - or -no.) Cf. also stabnô "carpenter, wright, builder" from STAB (also stabrô, so the endings - and - are sometimes interchangeable). In some cases, - denotes impersonal agents, like sjadnô "cleaver" = sword from SYAD "shear through, cleave". In adnô "gate" the ending does not add any meaning to the stem AD "entrance, gate".

The ending -ô, -o is predominantly a masculine ending; compare the pronoun /so "he" (stem S, also /su). The ending -ô seems to correspond to feminine -ê just like the masculine ending -û corresponds to feminine -î. Often -ô is seen to have an agental meaning: Kânô "crier, herald" from KAN "cry" (PM:362, 361, 352), mâlô "friend" from MEL "love as friend" (Tolkien comments on the irregular vocalism E > A), ndâkô "warrior, soldier" from NDAK "slay", tanô "craftsman, smith" from TAN, "make, fashion", tûrô "master, victor, lord" from TUR "[have] power, control". (According to PM:362, kânô is an example of "the older and simplest agental form".) Except in tanô, the vowel of the stem is lengthened (cf. also delô below). Sometimes the stem is manipulated in other ways when -ô is added. Nasal-infixion is seen in ronjô "chaser" = hound of chase (ROY1 "chase") and sjandô "cleaver" = sword (SYAD "cleave"; sjandô may also be a metathesized form of sjadnô). In raukô, a Common Eldarin word applied to "the larger and more terrible of the enemy shapes" known to the first Elves, the stem RUKU is A-infixed (WJ:390). Whether raukô can be considered an agental formation is uncertain and perhaps doubtful (RUKU has to do with fear; Tolkien defines Quenya rauco as "very terrible creature" in VT39:10). In the Primitive Quendian word edelô "one who goes, traveller, migrant" the stem-vowel (sundóma) is prefixed; cf. the stem DELE "go, travel" (WJ:360). The simpler variant delô, delo is seen in the Common Eldarin words awa-delo, awâ-delo (also ?wâ-delô) *"Away-goer", a name made in Beleriand for those who finally departed from Middle-earth (WJ:360). Edelô "traveller" also has a possible variant edlô "with loss of sundóma" (WJ:363, 364). Of course, the stem-vowel isn't really "lost", but the consonant-vowel-consonant structure of the stem is rearranged to vowel-consonant-consonant (EDL for DEL).
          In some words -ô, -o has no agental meaning, but is simply a masculine ending: urkô ?"Orc" (WJ:390), ndêro "bridegroom" (NDER, strengthened form of DER "man"), wegô "man" (WEG "manly vigour"), berô "valiant man, warrior" (BER "valiant"; under BES berô is simply glossed "man"), tawarô/tawaro "dryad, spirit of woods" (evidently masc.; fem. tawarê/taware) (TÁWAR "wood, forest"). We also note iondo "son" (mentioned under SEL-D; read *jondo?), clearly derived from YON with medial fortification n > nd and the masculine ending -o.
          The ending -ô also occurs in the names of some animals: rokkô "horse" (Letters:282, 382, stem ROK given in the Etymologies) and moro "bear" (MORÓK); we may include ûbanô "monster" (BAN). Whether we should insist that such words are exclusively masculine we cannot know. Since -ô corresponds to feminine -ê, a she-bear may explicitly be a *moro, while a mare is a *rokkê. Similarly, an *urkê would be a female Orc (never seen, never mentioned and never heard of, but according to Silm. ch. 3 "the Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Ilúvatar", so Orc-women must have existed!) But words like moro, rokkô and ûbanô can probably be used with generic reference, irrespective of sex.
          Only rarely is -o, -ô used to derive words denoting inanimate things with no agental meaning. We note daio "shade, shadow cast by any object" (DAY "shadow"), panô "plank, fixed board, especially in a floor" (PAN "place, set, fix in place (especially of wood)"), tinkô "metal" (TINKÔ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem"). Abstracts in -ô are very rare indeed; we note mbandô "custody, safe-keeping" (MR:350) and alâkô "rush, rushing flight, wild wind (ÁLAK; "wild wind" is at least relatively concrete). In the words lokko "ringlet" (LOKH), ndôro "land or region" (WJ:413), rondô "a vaulted or arched roof" (WJ:414), ostô (CE) "fortress, stronghold" and tollo "island" (TOL2), the final vowel is probably just the stem-vowel suffixed. This is also the case in verbal stems like groto "dig, excavate, tunnel", rono "arch over, roof in" or soto "shelter, protect, defend" (WJ:414).

Yet another masculine ending, -ondô, is seen in stalgondô "hero, dauntless man" (STÁLAG). In kalrondô "hero" (KAL) it seems to be combined with the masculine ending -ro. An old form of Sauron is given (in Letters:380) as thaurond-. The hyphen indicates that the word is not complete; we must assume that the full form would be *thaurondô. This -ondô is evidently just a longer form of -, see above (cf. the feminine ending -indê, apparently paralleling an unattested shorter form *-).

The endings -otto, -otta may be observed in the Tolkien's suggested reconstructions of the primitive form of Sindarin nogoth "dwarf": nukotto, nukotta "a stunted or ill-shapen thing (or person)" (WJ:413). These endings simply denote someone or something that has the properties described by the stem (in this case NUKU "stunted", WJ:413). Compare the -tt- seen in kwelett- "corpse" from KWEL "fade, wither". The word would mean literally *"faded/withered/dead one"; its full form may be *kweletto or *kweletta. The feminine ending -ittâ mentioned in PM:345 may be related to these other double-T endings.

The ending - is a fairly productive adjectival suffix: wa3râ "soiled, dirty" (WA3), târâ "lofty" (TÂ/TA3, cf. TÁWAR), ubrâ "abundant" (UB), magrâ "useful, fit, good (of things)" (MAG, under MA3), mikrâ "sharp-pointed" (WJ:337), sagrâ "bitter" (SAG), nethrâ, nethra "young" (NETH), gairâ "awful, fearful" (WJ:400), akrâ "narrow" (AK), teñrâ "straight, right" (TEÑ, TE3), gaisrâ "dreadful" (GÁYAS), taurâ "masterful, mighty" (TUR, TÂ/TA3, cf TÁWAR), nûrâ "deep" (NÛ). Letters:380 gives thaurâ "detestable", said to be derived from a stem THAW (not in Etym). A special case is the adjective katwârâ "shapely", that seems to have two adjectival endings added to the stem KAT, first - and then -. Short -ra in lakra "swift, rapid" (LAK2) and daira "large, great" (VT42:11, base given as DAY); cf. also nethra beside nethrâ.

The ending - seems to have several meanings. It functions as an abstract ending in the two words idrê "thoughtfulness" (ID) and thêrê "look, face, expression" (THÊ). On the other hand, it is a collective ending in the word nôrê "family, tribe or group having a common ancestry" (WJ:413); it would be the ancestor of the collective ending - known from Quenya. The stem WEY "wind, weave" gives weirê "weaver" as the original form of the Quenya name of the Valië Vairë; this - is plainly an agentive suffix, evidently the feminine counterpart of masculine -. In the word stalrê "steep, falling" (STAL) - seems to function as an adjectival ending (may this be a misreading for *stalrâ, with a well attested adjectival suffix?)
          Is the ending -re in balâre, the archaic form of the name of the island Balar at Sirion's mouth (BAL), somehow connected to any of these -'s?

Words with the ending -, -ro are identified by Tolkien as agental formations (WJ:371 - here he also mentions a form -rdo, that is nowhere attested). In WJ:371, Quenya Avar (pl. Avari) is said to go back on a primitive form abaro, derived from a stem ABA having to do with refusal. The Etymologies agrees quite well with this; most words in - and -ro are indeed seen to have an agental meaning: beurô "follower, vassal" from BEW "follow, serve", onrô or ontâro "begetter, parent" from ONO "beget", ndeuro "follower, successor" from NDEW "follow, come behind". Stabrô "carpenter, wright, builder" is seen to have an agental meaning, though the stem STAB is not glossed. Tolkien states that tamrô "woodpecker" means literally "knocker", from TAM "knock". Another animal name, njadrô "rat", literally means *"gnawer" (NYAD "gnaw").
          Tolkien notes in WJ:371 that while the short form -ro is used after a suffixed stem-vowel (ómataina), as in abaro, the long form - may be added directly to the stem "with or without n-infixion". But the only nasal-infixed word with this ending that occurs in the Etymologies, kwentro "narrator" from KWET "speak", shows the short form -ro. (Perhaps we should indeed read *kwentrô since the Quenya descendant quentaro shows -o, while an original short final -o would have been lost at the Common Eldarin stage.) We may also throw in lansrondo from LAS2; this -rondo seems to be -ro + another masculine ending (also in kalrondô "hero"; see -ndô under -, and -ondô).
          In a few words, -, -ro functions simply as a masculine ending and has no agental significance. Cf. târo "king" from TÂ/TA3 "high, lofty, noble". Kalrô "noble man, hero" is a doubtful case, but perhaps it means literally "shining one" (KAL "shine").
          The masculine ending - apparently has a feminine counterpart -, as in weirê "weaver" (WEY).

An apparently adjectival ending - occurs in the word neresâ. This is said to be a "feminine adjectival formation" from NER "man", meaning "she that has manlike valour or strength" (WJ:416). This particular ending does not seem to be attested anywhere else; neither did Tolkien explain precisely how this adjective can be considered "feminine". Perhaps we are to assume a stem *NERES as a "feminine" variant of NER "man", to which the normal adjectival ending -â is added. The double stem THEL, THELES "sister" in LR:392 may suggest that extended stems in -S may sometimes be typically "feminine" (though there are other examples of such extensions in -S that clearly have nothing to do with gender).

An ending - occurs in a number of words, but it seems to have several meanings. In some words it apparently denotes something that is made by the action denoted by the stem: khotsê "assembly" from KHOTH "gather", sjadsê (later sjatsê) "cleft, gash" from SYAD "shear through, cleave", wahsê "stain" from WA3 "[to] stain, soil". We may add b'ras-sê "heat" if the undefined stem BARÁS means something like "burn" or "heat up" (it yields words for "hot, burning, fiery"). Does khjelesê "glass" fit in somehow, or does the S belong to the stem, that Tolkien confusingly listed as KHYEL(ES)? It could be an "expanded" form of a shorter stem *KHYEL. A few words indicate that - may also be used to derive words for implements (taksê "nail" from TAK "make fast") or constructions (tupsê "thatch" from TUP, not defined). A distinct feminine ending - seems to occur in a few words, such as ndîse "bride"; this might seem to be the stem NDIS with the feminine ending -e, but the Etymologies lists a sub-entry NDIS-SÊ/SÂ that seems to indicate that an ending - really is present. Does this ending occur in bessê "wife", or is the double S simply the final consonant of the stem BES doubled? The latter is almost certainly the case in the words khrassê "precipice" (KHARÁS), kwessê "feather" (KWES), lassê "leaf" or "ear" (LAS1, cf. Letters:282) and risse- "a ravine" (RIS). But what about the long ending -ssê in tjulussê "poplar-tree", added to an ómataina-form of the stem TYUL? Some Quenya nouns also show the ending -ssë, e.g. hopassë "harbourage" (KHOP) - for *khôpassê?

The ending -stâ would seem to be basically a verbal noun ending; Sindarin haust "bed" is said to derive from khau-stâ, literally "rest-ing" (KHAW).

The ending -, -ta is in most cases a verbal suffix. Most verbs in -ta are clearly transitive: anta- "to present, give" (ANA1), bâta "ban, prohibit" (WJ:372), ektâ "prick with a sharp point, stab" (WJ:365), hektâ "set aside, cast out, forsake" (WJ:361; hekta, WJ:365), k'riktâ "reap" (KIRIK), ma3tâ (> Common Eldarin mahtâ-) "to handle" (MA3), maktâ "wield a weapon" (MAK), rista- "cut" (RIS), skelta- "strip" (SKEL), wahtâ- "to soil, stain" (WA3). Wedtâ "swear" (to do something) was struck out (WED). In one verb, the ending - takes on a causative meaning: tultâ- "make come" from tul- "come" (TUL). The verb nuktâ- "stunt, prevent from coming to completion, stop short, not allow to continue" may also be seen as a causative form of the stem NUKU "stunted" (WJ:413). Some ta-verbs are intransitive, though: swesta- "to puff" (SWES) and b'rekta- "break out suddenly" (BERÉK). There was also winta- "fade" (WIN/WIND), but Tolkien struck it out.
          There are only a few nouns in -, -ta. We note sjadta "axe-stroke" (SYAD), bestâ "matrimony" (BES), smalta "gold" (LÁWAR/GLÁWAR cf. SMAL) and jakta- "neck" (YAK).
          The adjective arâtâ "exalted" does not contain the ending -, but is an adjective derived from the extended stem arat- (PM:363). The Common Eldarin noun ñalatâ "radiance, glittering reflection" may similarly be an extended form of the stem ÑAL (PM:347, not in the Etymologies). Kalata- ?"shine" is stated to be an expanded form of kala- (WJ:392). The element kwata seen in Eldarin words for "full" also goes back on a simpler stem KWA (WJ:412).

The ending - in kirtê "cutting", the origin of Sindarin certh "rune", seems to denote something that is made by the action denoted by the stem (here obviously KIR "cut", though this stem is not listed in Etym). Tolkien calls kirtê "a verbal derivative" and adds that it was of a type not used in Quenya, apparently meaning that no Quenya words contain a descendant of the ending -, or that no such descendant is productive in that language (WJ:396). Another possible example of the same ending is provided by the word wahtê "a stain", evidently Common Eldarin for Primitive Quendian *wa3tê, since the stem is WA3 (LR:397). If we take Tolkien's glosses to WA3 - "stain, soil" - as verbs rather than nouns, wahtê has much the same semantical relationship to its root WA3 as kirtê has to KIR. Interestingly, Quenya vakse (vaxë) "a stain" does not come from wahtê, but from the synonymous primitive word wahsê with another ending, apparently confirming that the derivation exemplified by the primitive words in - was not used in Quenya.

An adjectival ending -ti or -iti is seen in a few words: ma3iti "handy, skilled" (MA3), neiti- "moist, dewy" (NEI), phoroti "right" or "north" (PHOR). In the case of phoroti, the adjectival ending may simply be -i added to *phorot, an extended form (a so-called kalat-stem?) of the basic stem PHOR. The Quenya ending -itë in adjectives like uruitë "fiery" (UR) is clearly descended from -iti.

The ending -û is a dual suffix, but it also has other meanings. Words in -û, -u are nearly always nouns (rarely verbs and never adjectives). A masculine ending -û seems to be present in atû "father" (ATA) and kherû "master" (Letters:282). In kundû "prince", the ending may be the stem-vowel reduplicated, but probably it is the same ending as in atû, kherû. Cf. also short -u in orku "goblin", Orc (ÓROK). In Tolkien's later reconstructions of the primitive word for "Orc", such as urk(u) or uruku (WJ:390), the ending -u may just as well be the stem-vowel suffixed. A masculine ending may be present in rauku, the possible origin of the final element in Balrog; Tolkien also suggested raukô as a possible reconstruction, and this word undoubtedly contains a masculine ending (WJ:390). Some words in -u denote body parts: mbundu "snout, nose, cape" (MBUD), ranku "arm" (RAK), tûgu "muscle, sinew" (TUG). Note nasal infixion in mbundu, ranku. Some u-words denote localities: jagu "gulf" (YAG), tumbu "deep valley" (TUB) and tundu "hill, mound" (TUN); note nasal infixion in tumbu and medial fortification N > ND in tundu. Only one word in -u denotes a substance: smalu "pollen, yellow powder" (SMAL). In the word tulku "support, prop" (TULUK) the final -u is probably just the stem-vowel suffixed. The words suglu "goblet" and the name Utubnu, the primitive form of Utumno, seem to contain endings -lu and -nu not otherwise attested (SUG [see SUK], TUB).

Among the rare verbal stems in -u we note tel-u, telu "roof in, put the crown on a building". Tolkien suggested that this is a "differentiated form of *TELE", a stem meaning "close, end, come at the end" (WJ:411). WJ:417 also mentions a Quenya stem niku- "be chill, cold (of weather)"; it would descend from *niku- but no further information is given. We need not concern ourselves with stems like ULU "pour, flow" (LR:396), since the final U is simply the stem-vowel reduplicated and suffixed; compare the short form UL in WJ:400.

The ending -, -wa is seen to be basically an adjectival suffix. It occurs in several colour-words: khithwa "grey" (KHIS/KHITH), laikwâ "green" (LÁYAK; laikwa under LAIK), smalwâ "fallow, pale" (SMAL), narwâ "fiery red" (NAR1 - the long final vowel gives away that this is an archaic form and not Quenya). There is also the adjective katwâ "shaped, formed" from the stem KAT "shape". If the latter English gloss is to be understood as a verb rather than a noun, the -formation here functions as a past participle. On the other hand, it functions almost like an active participle in terêwâ "piercing, keen" from TER, TERES "pierce".
          In one case - turns up in a word stated to be an "adverb and preposition": hekwâ "leaving aside, not counting, excluding, except" (WJ:365). This is simply an elaboration of an "adverbial element" HEKE, meaning "aside, apart, separate" (WJ:361).
          The ending - also occurs in a couple of bird-names, alkwâ "swan" (ÁLAK) and kukûwâ "dove" (KÛ). Perhaps these are originally adjectives that were applied to these birds; alkwâ would seem to mean *"rushing", while kukûwa is obscure (echoic?)
          In one case, the ending - is given as part of the head of an entry in the Etymologies. The entry GENG-WÂ, whence Quenya engwa "sickly", is evidently to be understood as a stem GENG with this ending.

The ending - is identified by Tolkien as an abstract suffix (see WEG). It is clearly used to produce verbal nouns in words like et-kuiwê "awakening" from KUY "awake" or wanwê "death" from WAN "depart"; Tolkien made it clear that wanwê refers to the act of dying, not "death" as a state. Some concrete words in - can be explained as abstract verbal nouns that have taken on a concrete meaning. Atakwê "construction, building" (TAK) is the best example; compare the English glosses that are properly verbal nouns, but these words are commonly applied to the structure that is constructed as well as referring to the construction process itself. Likewise, the word skarwê "wound" from SKAR "tear, rend" must properly refer to the tearing or rending as an abstract action, but is then applied to a concrete rent. Us(u)kwê "reek, smoke" may properly be the verbal noun of a stem meaning "to (give out) smoke" (stem USUK not defined). Jagwê "ravine, cleft, gulf" is likewise in origin a verbal noun derived from YAG "yawn, gape", later applied to a locality. Short -we is seen in the word tenwe (WJ:394; this seems to be a misprint for *teñwe, since the word is derived from a stem TEÑ and yielded Quenya tengwë). It means "indication, sign, token", and since the stem TEÑ (not in Etym) means "indicate, signify", *teñwe is evidently originally just another verbal noun.
          In the case of the word uñgwê "gloom", the ending - seems simply to denote something intangible (UÑG). We need not consider Wolwê, the tentative reconstruction of the earlier form of Olwë; Tolkien points out that this reconstruction is doubtful (PM:357).

The ending - is found only in the word nidwô "bolster, cushion". Since the stem NID means "lean against", X-wô would seem to mean "thing exposed to the action X". This ending could be a nominal counterpart of the adjectival ending -.


The spelling of y/j is regularized to j; as noted above, Christopher Tolkien altered his father's original spelling in the Etymologies when editing the material, changing j to y (LR:346). We restore Tolkien's original spelling in the Etymologies material, thus bringing it into accord with the spelling of the primitive words listed in the essay Quendi and Eldar (WJ:359-424), the other main source concerning the oldest stages of Elvish. We also regularize other words from sources where it seems that Tolkien really did use y rather than j, such as Letters.
          In the sources, long vowels are marked with macrons; in this list, circumflexes are used instead. In Tolkien's spelling, accents in the primitive words indicate stress (not long vowels as in the spelling of Quenya). Hence, álâkô "rush" is accented on the first syllable, while the two following vowels are long. The accent mark is rare; normally, Tolkien does not mark the accented syllable. However, he sometimes marks a vowel with both a macron and an accent to indicate that the vowel is both long and accented. This combination cannot be reproduced here, so we do as we did above and dispose of the accent marks altogether, marking the stressed vowels by means of italics instead (e.g. alâkô, banjâ, barasâ).
          A (very rare) diacritic indicating that a vowel is short is here omitted, since the absence of the circumflex means the same. Tolkien sometimes uses a diacritic indicating that a vowel may have been either short or long; in such cases we here give a double form, e.g. rattâ/ratta (where Tolkien marked the final -a with the diacritic in question to indicate that it was either long -â or short -a; see the Etymologies, entry RAT).
          It should be noted that in some cases, Tolkien (or possibly the transcriber) seems to have failed to indicate that a final vowel is long. For instance, ndulla "dark, dusky, obscure" (NDUL) must have been *ndullâ at the most primitive stage, or it would have yielded Quenya **nul instead of the actual form nulla. Similarly, there is little reason to doubt that lakra "swift" (LAK) should have been *lakrâ, since the adjectival ending - is attested in a number of other words (and since Quenya larca has not lost the vowel, only shortened it, while original short final -a was lost in Common Eldarin). Note inconsistencies like laikwâ (laik-wâ) also appearing in the form laikwa (LAYAK vs. LAIK). It should be remembered that the Etymologies is actually a quite chaotic document of rough working notes, not a carefully made manuscript that Tolkien ever intended to publish in this form. Therefore, there is no need to construct overwrought theories to explain certain apparent irregularities. We may choose to see words like ndulla as later forms, archaic Quenya, after the shortening of the original long final vowels.
          The asterisked form *mad-lî ("honey-eater" = bear) listed under LIS is not included in this wordlist, for as the lenitions give away, this is archaic Sindarin and not a primitive form. The asterisked form *Goss "Ossë" that is mentioned under GOS/GOTH is also excluded; this is not an archaic form, but the hypothetical, unused "Noldorin" cognate of Quenya Ossë ("Noldorin" used Oeros instead). The primitive form yielding Quenya Ossë and "Noldorin" *Goss would be *Gossê, not mentioned by Tolkien.
          Words that were struck out in the Etymologies are bracketed; if the stem itself was struck out, the entire entry is bracketed.

          â imperative particle, independent and variable in place (WJ:365, 371). Cf. heke-â.
          -â adjectival ending (WJ:382)
          abaro (PQ) "recusant, one who refuses to act as advised or commanded" > CE abar pl. abarî "refuser, one who declined to follow Oromë" > Quenya Avar, Avari (WJ:371, 361, 380, 411) The Etymologies has abârô/abâro "refuser, one who does not go forth" (AB/ABAR)
          adnô "gate" (AD)
          ailin ("ai-lin") "pool, lake" (AY)
          aiwê "(small) bird" (AIWÊ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          ajan- "holy" (AYAN)
          akâra "made, did", a primitive past tense of KAR, marked as a past tense by the augment, the reduplicated stem-vowel (WJ:415)
          akrâ "narrow" (AK)
          akwâ "fully, completely, altogether, wholly" (if = Quenya aqua, the word it yielded) (WJ:392, said to be an "extension or intensification of *kwâ, used adverbially", WJ:415)
          al- (prefix) "no, not" (AR2)
          alâkô "rush, rushing flight, wild wind" (ÁLAK)
          alkwâ "swan" (ÁLAK, where the spelling is "alk-wâ", but in VT42:7, the form is cited without a hyphen)
          ankâ ("an-kâ") "jaw, row of teeth" (NAK)
          anâr- "sun" (ANÁR; be polite and don't ask how Primitive Elvish could have a word for "sun")
          andâ "long" (ÁNAD/ANDA); andambundâ "long-snouted" = elephant (MBUD)
          angâ (CE) "iron" (PM:347, cf. also ANGÂ in the Etymologies; though this is the head of an entry, it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          angwa or angu "snake" (the forms ANGWA/ANGU are found in the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but they seem to be complete words and not just "stems")
          anta- "to present, give" (ANA1)
          ap-pata "walk behind", on a track or path (PM:387)
          ara- "noble", extended stem arat-; arâtâ "exalted" (PM:363)
          Arâmê (not capitalized in source) evidently the oldest Elvish form (adopted from Valarin) of the name that became Oromë in Quenya and Araw in Sindarin (WJ:400, where various intermediate archaic forms are also mentioned)
          ari "day" (AR1)
          askarâ "tearing, hastening" (SKAR)
          asmalê "yellow bird, 'yellow hammer' " (SMAL)
          asmalindê "yellow bird, 'yellow hammer' " (SMAL)
          atar (PQ) "father" (ATA)
          atata, cardinal "two", also (a)tata (VT42:27)
          at-jên-ar "anniversary day" (YEN)
          atû (PQ) "father" (ATA)
          atakwê "construction, building" (TAK)
          au- (CE) "away", from the point of view of the thing, person, or place left (WJ:361)
          aud possible origin of the Sindarin preposition o "from, of"; sc. au with the suffix -d(a) (WJ:366)
          awâ = au, as an independent adverbial form, apparently also as prefix, as an intensive form of awa-, au- (WJ:361). Cf. -
          awa-delo, awâ-delo (also ?wâ-delô) (CE) *"Away-goer", a name made in Beleriand for those who finally departed from Middle-earth (WJ:360)
          awâwiiê *"has passed away" (WJ:366), evidently the perfect of -. Later *a-wâniiê, "with intrusion of n from the past"
          aw'tha "a dim shape, spectral or vague apparition" (VT42:9)
          "No! Don't!" (WJ:372)
          bad- "judge" (prob. verb); bâd- "judgement" (BAD)
          bal'tar- *"Vala-king" = Vala (BAL)
          ba, pl. balî ("bal-î") "Power, God" (BAL)
          balâre archaic form of the name Balar, referring to a large island at Sirion's mouth (BAL)
          balî-ndôre/balî-ndore "Valinor" (BAL. WJ:413 also gives Valinôrê, but this form must be late, after the Quenya change of initial b > v.)
          Ba (not capitalized in source) "Vána", name of a Valië (spelt Vana in the Etymologies) (BAN; however, Vána's name is derived from a stem WAN in WJ:383)
          banjâ "beautiful" (BAN), also "Vanya-elf"; pl. Banyai "Vanyar" in PM:402 may be taken as ancient Quenya (primitive *banjâi). See also wanjâ.
          bara "lofty, sublime" (BARÁD, BARATH)
          barasâ "hot, burning" (BARÁS)
          barjâ- > Quenya varya "to protect" (BAR)
          Barathî "Varda", spouse of Manwe, Queen of Stars (BARATH)
          barnâ > Quenya varna "safe, protected, secure" (BAR)
          bâta ("bâ-ta") "ban, prohibit" (WJ:372)
          ba/bata "beaten track, pathway" (BAT)
          battâ "trample" (BAT)
          Bedûina ("Bedû-ina") "of the Spouses" (Aule and Yavanna) (LEP/LEPEN/LEPEK)
          belê "strength" (BEL)
          belek (unglossed, the source of:) belekâ "mighty, huge, great" (BEL)
          bere "wild" (BERÉK)
          berja- "to dare" (BER)
          bernô "man" (BES)
          berô "valiant man, warrior" (BER), "man" (BES)
          besnô "husband" (BES (BER) )
          bessê "wife" (BES)
          bestâ "matrimony" (BES)
          besû "husband and wife, married pair" (BES, LEP/LEPEN/LEPEK)
          beujâ- "follow, serve" (BEW)
          beurô "follower, vassal" (BEW)
          boron- "steadfast, trusty man, faithful vassal" (BOR)
          [b'radil-] "Varda" (BARÁD)
          b'randâ "lofty, noble, fine" (BARÁD)
          b'ras-sê "heat" (BARÁS)
          b'rekta- "break out suddenly" (BERÉK)
          b'rethâ "beech-mast" (BERÉTH)
          b'rittê "broken stones, gravel" (BIRÍT)
          b'rônâ "that has long endured, old" (of things only; implies that they are old, but not changed or worn out) (BORÓN)
          daio "shade, shadow cast by any object" (DAY)
          daira "large, great" (VT42:11)
          dâla "flat" (DAL)
          dan- = ndan-, q.v.
          dattâ "hole, pit" (DAT/DANT)
          de pronominal element in the 2nd person; also le (WJ:363)
          dele (also with suffix del-ja) "walk, go, proceed, travel" (WJ:360)
          dene "thin and strong, pliant, lithe" (WJ:412)
          Denwego (must for historical reasons be CE) "Lenwë", the leader of the Nandor. The name is interpreted "lithe-and-active", evidently dene + wego (WJ:412)
          dêr, der- (PQ) "man" (NI1, NÊR)
          dess "young woman" (BES)
          "bride" (?) (BES)
          dimbâ "sad, gloomy" (DEM)
          dimbê "gloom, sadness" (DEM)
          dîs "bride" (?) (BES)
          do3mê "night" (?) (DOMO)
          dômi- "twilight" (DOMO, SD:302), cf. dômilindê "nightingale" (SD:302)
          d'râk "wolf" (DARÁK)
          edela "eldest" (also "firstborn", struck out) (ÉLED)
          edelô (PQ) "one who goes, traveller, migrant" (from dele). A name made at the time of the Separation for those who decided to follow Oromë. (WJ:360)
          edlô possible variant form of edelô, "with loss of sundóma" (stem-vowel) (WJ:363, 364)
          [Eigolosse "Ever-snow", name of Taniquetil (EY)]
          [ejâ "ever" (EY)]
          eke (PQ) "sharp point" (WJ:365)
          ek-tâ "prick with a sharp point", "stab", and (by blending with hek-ta) "treat with scorn, insult", often with reference to rejection or dismissal (WJ:365)
          ektele "spring, issue of water" (metathesized tk > kt; oldest form et-kelê) (KEL)
          ekwê *"said" (WJ:392), a primitive past tense marked by the "augment" or reduplicated base-vowel (WJ:415)
          el, ele, el-â (CE) "lo! look! see!", derived from PQ ELE (WJ:360)
          êl pl. eli, êli "star", also elen pl. elenî with "extended base" (WJ:360)
          eldâ (CE) an adjectival formation "connected or concerned with the stars", used as a description of the kwendî, the origin of Quenya Elda. (WJ:360) This obsoletes the (slightly) earlier reconstruction in Letters:281: Eledâ "an Elf" (cf. Eled- "Starfolk" = Elves under EL in the Etymologies)
          Eled-nil "Ælfwine" (Elf-friend, Quenya Elendil) (NIL/NDIL)
          [eleda] "firstborn" (ÉLED)
          Eledandore *"Elf-land" (ÉLED)
          Eleðser (masc. name = Old English Ælfwine, Elf-friend) (SER; the change d > ð seems to indicate that this form is later than Primitive Quendian or Common Eldarin.)
          elen pl. elenî "star" (Letters:281, said to be "primitive Elvish"; cf. WJ:360 [see êl])
          elenâ (CE) = eldâ (WJ:360). Cf. Letters:281: elenâ "Elf"
          Endero (archaic or alternative Quenya form?) a surname of Tulkas (NDER)
          eredê "seed" (ERÉD)
          ereqa "isolated" (ERE; this seems to be an unorthodox spelling for *erekwa, unless Tolkien wanted to denote that original [kw] had merged into a single labio-velar sound - or this may be an indication that what is normally spelt "kw" was a single labio-velar sound all along, that could fittingly be written as one letter, "q". But cf. erikwa below.)
          erikwa "single, alone" (VT42:10)
          erjâ "isolated, lonely" (VT42:4)
          esdê > ezdê (CE) "Repose", origin of the Quenya name of the Valië Estë, Telerin Êde (WJ:403)
          et-kat "fashion" (KAT)
          et-kelê "spring, issue of water" (KEL)
          et-kuiwê "awakening" (KUY)
          etlâ-ndorê, etla-ndore, ulterior form of the name Eglador (VT42:4)
          etsiri "mouth of a river" (ET)
          ezdê see esdê
          gairâ "awful, fearful" (WJ:400)
          gais- "to dread" (GÁYAS)
          gaisrâ "dreadful" (GÁYAS)
          gaj- "astound, make aghast" (WJ:400)
          gâjâ "terror, great fear" (PM:363)
          gajakâ "fell, terrible, dire" (PM:363)
          Gajar- (CE) "the Terrifier", the name first made for the vast Sea (> Quenya Eär) (PM:363; gayâr, WJ:400)
          galadâ "great growth", "tree"; applied to stout and spreading trees such as oaks and beeches; contrast ornê. (UT:266, SD:302, Letters:426; in the latter source, the root GAL is defined "grow", intransitive)
          galjâ "bright light" (KAL)
          [gâlæ- "light"] (KAL)
          gardâ "bounded or defined place, region" (WJ:402)
          gâsa "void" (?) (GAS)
          gassâ "hole, gap" (GAS)
          gattâ "cavern" (GAT(H) )
          [geiâ "ever" (GEY)]
          [Geigolosse "Everlasting Snow" = Taniquetil (GEY)]
          gilja "star" (GIL)
          gjernâ "old, worn, (of things:) decripit" (GYER)
          g'lâ "radiance" (KAL)
          glada ("g-lada") (CE) "laugh" (PM:359)
          glindâ alternative (late PQ) form of lindâ (PM:380, 411)
          glisi ("g-lisi") "honey" (LIS). (There can be little doubt that g-lisi is meant to be the ancestral form of "Noldorin"/Sindarin glî "honey", the form mentioned just before it, though g-lisi is not asterisked.)
          golbâ "branch" (GÓLOB)
          gon(o), gond(o) "stone, rock" (Letters:410, PM:374)
          gor-ngoroth "deadly fear" (ÑGOROTH)
          Gothombauk- (personal name > Sindarin Gothmog) (MBAW)
          grauk- "a powerful, hostile, and terrible creature", origin of the second element in Quenya Valarauco, Sindarin Balrog (WJ:415)
          grotâ (also rotâ) (CE) "excavation, underground dwelling"; -grota in the compound nâba-grota (WJ:414). Intensified form grottâ "a large excavation" (WJ:415)
          groto "dig, excavate, tunnel" (WJ:414); cf. rot-.
          "not, un-, in-" (UGU/UMU), prefix - (prefix) "no, not" (GÛ)
          guldâ "red" (GUL)
          guruk- see ruk-
          gwa-lassa, gwa-lassiê "collection of leaves, foliage" (Letters:282)
          heke (PQ) "apart, not including" (WJ:361); imperative heke-â "be off!" (WJ:365)
          hekla (PQ) "any thing (or person) put aside from, or left out from, its normal company"; personal form heklô "waif or outcast"; adjectival heklâ and hekelâ (WJ:361), extended adjectival form heklanâ (CE) "Forsaken", the name given by the Sindar to themselves after they were left behind in Beleriand (WJ:365).
          hek-tâ (PQ, CE) "set aside, cast out, forsake" (WJ:361; hek-ta, WJ: 365)
          hek-wâ adverb and preposition "leaving aside, not counting, excluding, except" (WJ:365)
          hjôlâ "trump" (SD:419)
          , ho adverb "from, coming from", the point of view being outside the thing referred to (WJ:361); - an enclitic that is the origin of the Quenya genitive ending -o (WJ:368)
          -î a plural ending, see for instance elen pl. elenî
          îdî "heart, desire, wish" (ID)
          idrê "thoughtfulness" (ID)
          -ikwâ an abjectival ending meaning roughly "-ful" (WJ:412). Also -kwâ.
          indise ("i-ndise") intensive form of ndîse > Quenya Indis (NDIS-SÊ/SÂ)
          Indo-glaurê (may be primitive Lindarin) (masc. name) (ID)
          Indo-klâr (may be primitive Lindarin) (ID)
          iondo "son" (SEL-D; read *jondo?)
          -ittâ a feminine ending (PM:345)
          -ja, adjectival ending (VT42:10)
          jagâ "void, abyss" (Letters:383)
          jagu "gulf" (YAG)
          jagwê "ravine, cleft, gulf" (YAG)
          jakta- "neck" (YAK)
          jantâ "yoke" (YAT)
          jatmâ > Quenya yanwe "bridge, joining, isthmus" (YAT)
          jên, jend- "daughter" (YÔ/YON)
          , jôm "together", of more than two; as prefix jo-, jom- (WJ:361)
          julmâ "drinking-vessel" (WJ:416)
          julmê "drinking, carousal" (WJ:416)
          kala-kwendî "Calaquendi, Light-folk", the Elves that had experienced the Light of Aman (WJ:373)
          kalarjâ "brilliant" (KAL)
          kala ?"shine", expanded stem kalata- (WJ:392)
          kalrô "noble man, hero" (KAL)
          kalrondô "hero" (KAL)
          kanata, kanatâ, cardinal "four" (VT42:24)
          kandâ "bold" (KAN)
          kânô "crier, herald"; original form of the ending in Fingon, Turgon (PM:362, 352)
          karani "red" (KARÁN)
          kassa, kasma ("kas-ma, kas-sa") "helmet" (KAS)
          katwâ "shaped, formed" (KAT)
          katwârâ "shapely" (KAT)
          k(a)wâk "crow" (WJ:395)
          keg- "snag, barb"; keglê > Sindarin cail, a fence or palisade of spikes and sharp stakes; kegjâ "hedge" (UT:282)
          kelun ("kelu-n") "river" (KEL)
          khagda "pile, mound" (KHAG)
          khaimê "habit" (KHIM)
          khalatirnô/khalatirno (PQ) "kingsfisher", etymologically "fish-watcher" (TIR)
          khalnâ "noble, exalted" (KHAL2)
          khaustâ "resting" (khau-stâ = "rest-ing") (KHAW)
          kher- "possess"; noun khêr, kherû "master" (Letters:178, 282)
          khîmâ "sticky, viscous" (KHIM)
          khînâ "child", in compounds khîna, khinâ (WJ:403)
          khîthi "mist, fog" (KHIS/KHITH)
          khithme "fog" (KHIS/KHITH)
          khithwa "grey" (KHIS/KHITH)
          khjelesê "glass" (KHYEL(ES) )
          Khô-gorê ( "heart-vigour" > Quenya Huore, Sindarin Huor) (KHÔ-N; Khôgore, GOR)
          khotsê "assembly" (KHOTH)
          khrassê "precipice" (KHARÁS)
          khugan "hound" (KHUG, see KHUGAN)
          kirtê "cutting" (WJ:396)
          kjelepê ("kyelepê") "silver" (Letters:426; cf. UT:266)
          kjulumâ "mast" (SD:419; this may obsolete the earlier reconstruction tjulmâ, q.v.)
          k'lâ "light" (KAL)
          kogna (from even older ku3nâ) "bowed, bow-shaped, bent" (KU3)
          koro (primitive Quenya?) "Kôr" (KOR)
          kot-t- "quarrel" (KOT > KOTH)
          k'rannâ "ruddy (of face)" (KARÁN)
          k'riktâ "reap" (KIRIK)
          krumbâ "left" (> Sindarin crom), krumbê "the left hand" (> Sindarin crum) (KURÚM)
          ku3nâ "bowed, bow-shaped, bent" (KU3)
          kukûwâ "dove" (KÛ)
          kuldâ (1) "hollow" (WJ:414), (2) "red" (KUL)
          kundû "prince" (KUNDÛ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          kûua (CE for PQ *kukûwâ?) "dove" (KÛ)
          kuw (from kû3) "bow" (KU3)
          kwa, kwa-ta element seen in Eldarin words for "full" (WJ:412); *kwâ the base of the "intensified" form akwâ, q.v.; -kwâ adjectival ending "-ful" (WJ:392). Also, it seems, -ikwâ.
          kwâra "fist" (PM:318)
          kwelett- "corpse" (KWEL)
          kwene (PQ) "person" (m. or f.) > CE kwên (in compounds -kwen), pl. kweni, "person", "one", "(some)body"; pl. "persons", "(some) people" (WJ:360, 392). In WJ:416, kwene is translated "user of articulate speech", the most basic etymology.
          kwende (PQ and CE), pl. kwendî (WJ:360, 409; "kwendi" in WJ:393 would seem to be an error) "Quendi, Elves", probably first used in the plural for all the first Elves: "people, the people of the Elves". (WJ:360; this obsoletes the earlier reconstruction kwenedê in the Etymologies, stem KWEN(ED).)
          kwendjâ adj. "belonging to the *kwendî, to the people as a whole" (WJ:360, 393)
          kwentâ "tale" (KWET)
          kwentro "narrator" (KWET)
          kwessê "feather" (KWES)
          kwetta "word" (KWET)
          kwingâ "bow" (for shooting) (KWIG)
          la- (prefix) "no, *un-" (> Quenya il- via vocalic l) (LA)
          labmâ earliest form of the word that became lambâ (q.v.) in Common Eldarin "and possibly earlier", sc. in Primitive Quendian (WJ:416).
          labmê earliest form of the word that became lambê (q.v.) in Common Eldarin "and possibly earlier", sc. in Primitive Quendian (WJ:416).
          lâda "flat" (DAL)
          laibê > Quenya laive "ointment", Sindarin glaew "salve" (LIB2)
          laikwâ (laik-wâ) "green" (LÁYAK; laikwa under LAIK is evidently a later form, after the shortening of the final vowels. Letters:282 gives what must be a variant form: laikâ.)
          lakra "swift, rapid" (LAK2)
          lambâ "tongue" (the physical tongue, not = language) (WJ:394). From labmâ (WJ:416).
          lambê "tongue-movement, (way of) using the tongue", in non-technical use the normal word for "language" (WJ:394; VT42:17 cites "lambe-" as a Common Eldarin word for language). From labmê (WJ:416).
          lansrondo, lasrondo ("lansro-ndo, lasro-ndo") "hearer, listener, eavesdropper" (LAS2)
          lassê "leaf" or "ear" (LAS1, Letters:282)
          lassekwelêne "autumn" (lit. *"leaf-fading") (LAS1)
          lasû "ears" (a dual form = two ears of one person) (LAS2)
          lauka "warm" (LAW)
          laurê "light of the golden Tree Laurelin, gold" (but not properly used of the metal) (LÁWAR/GLÁWAR)
          lawa "year" (VT42:10)
          le pronominal element in the 2nd person; also de (WJ:363)
          lebnâ "left behind" (LEB/LEM)
          lepem (CE) "fingers"; the word incorporates the C.E. plural indicator -m. (VT42:26)
          lepen, cardinal "five", in Common Eldarin also lepene "with a final vowel modelled on the other numerals" (VT42:24), later (after syncope) lepne as the form immediately preceding Quenya lempë (VT42:25)
          lepenja, ordinal "fifth" (VT42:26)
          leth- "set free" (LEK)
          libda "soap" (LIB2)
          ligâ "fine thread, spider filament" (SLIG)
          lindâ (1) "Linda" (Quenya pl. Lindar), what the Teleri called themselves (PM:380). Primitive pl. Lindâi (WJ:378) or Lindai (WJ:385)
          lindâ (2) "sweet-sounding" (SLIN)
          Lindân-d "musical land" (> Lindon) name of Ossiriand because of water and birds (LIN2). However, Tolkien later reconstructed the primitive form of the name Lindon as Lindânâ and explained the name as referring to the Lindarin (Telerin) Green-elves that settled there (WJ:385).
          linkwi "wet"(LINKWI is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          liñwi "fish" (LIW)
          loga = sloga (?) (VT42:10)
          logna "soaking wet, swamped" (VT42:10)
          lokko "ringlet" (LOKH)
          londê "narrow path, strait, pass" (LOD)
          lugni "blue" (LUG2)
          lotta-, apparently a verb "to bloom", the source of Quenya losta- of similar meaning, and also influencing Sindarin loth "flower" (VT42:18)
          luktiênê "enchantress" > Luthien, Lhúthien, Lúthien (LUK)
          lungâ "heavy" (LUG1)
          -m a plural ending (3O), in VT42:26 said to be an ancient Common Eldarin plural indicator. See lepem.
          - suffix frequent in the names of implements (WJ:416); see julmâ, sukmâ, takmâ
          mâgâ "soil, stain" (SMAG)
          magit- (CE) "shapely" (PM:366)
          magla "stain", "stained" (though asterisked in Etym, this may be Old Sindarin, since the S of the stem SMAG has been lost - primitive *smagla?)
          magnâ "skilled" (MAG, under MA3)
          magrâ "useful, fit, good (of things)" (MAG, under MA3)
          maha "hand" (VT39:11); cf. PQ mâ3 (ma3-) in the Etymologies (MA3)
          ma3tâ ("ma3-tâ") "to handle" (evidently PQ, since it yielded CE mahtâ-) (MA3, also mentioned in the entry MAK)
          ma3iti "handy, skilled" (MA3)
          mahtâ- ("Eld" = CE) "to handle" (from PQ ma3tâ) (MA3)
          maikâ "sharp, penetrating, going deep in" (called a "strong adjective", whatever that means). (WJ:337)
          Mailikô, Mailikâ "Greedy One", Melkor (MIL-IK)
          makla "sword" (MAK)
          maktâ "wield a weapon" (MAK)
          mâlô "friend" (MEL)
          mâmâ "sheep" (WJ:395)
          mapâ "hand" (MAP)
          mâtâ "is eating", continuous form of the stem mata- "eat" (VT39:13)
          mauj- "need" (impersonal) (MBAW)
          mazgâ "pliant, soft" (MASAG)
          mazgê "dough" (MASAG)
          mbakhâ "article (for exchange), ware, thing" (MBAKH)
          mbanda "duress, prison" (MBAD)
          mbandô "custody, safe-keeping" (MR:350)
          mbartanô "world-artificer", title of Aulë (LT1:266)
          mbelekôro (said to be the "oldest Q[uenya] form" of Melkor, but evidently far more primitive than the Quenya of historical times) (WJ:402)
          mbundu "snout, nose, cape" (MBUD)
          - abstract or verbal noun ending, as in julmê "drinking, carousal", from the stem JULU "drink" (WJ:416)
          meinâ "desiring to start, eager to go" (VT39:11)
          metta "end" (MET)
          mikrâ "sharp-pointed" (WJ:337)
          miniia "single, distinct, unique" (MINI)
          minitaun "tower" (MINI (and TUN) ); minitunda "isolated hill" (TUN)
          mi-srawanwe "incarnate" (cf. srawâ) (MR:350)
          mizdâ "wet" (MIZD)
          mizdê "fine rain" (MIZD)
          môl- "slave, thrall" (MÔ)
          mori "black", "dark(ness)" (MOR, Letters:382, WJ:362; the latter source discusses the possibility of a later form mora- in very early Sindarin); Mori-kwendî "Moriquendi, Dark-folk" = Avari, as opposed to Kala-kwendî (WJ:373)
          mornâ "dark" (Letters:382)
          moro "bear" (MORÓK)
          nâbâ (CE) "hollow"; nâba-grota "hollow underground dwelling" = Novrod, Nogrod (WJ:414)
          naje "lament" (NAY)
          nakma "jaw" (NAK)
          nakt- "biting" (NAY)
          ñalatâ (CE) "radiance, glittering reflection" (from jewels, glass, polished metals or water) (PM:347)
          narâka "rushing, rapid, violent" (NÁRAK)
          narwâ "fiery red" (NAR1; the wording in this entry in Etym may seem to suggest that this is a Quenya word, but the long final vowel indicates that it is meant to be Primitive Elvish.)
          natsai "gore" (This is not the pl. of Sindarin naith, but an archaic pl. form that sg. naith is derived from.) (SNAS/SNAT)
          naukâ adjective "especially applied to things that though in themselves full-grown were smaller or shorter than their kind, and were hard, twisted or ill-shapen" (WJ:413)
          nauþe "imagination" (NOWO; the letter þ represents th as in English thing. This sound apparently did not occur in the most primitive language [though the aspirate TH did], so nauþe must rather be archaic Quenya. Cf. also the form of the root, suggesting that at the oldest stage, the initial syllable was *nou- rather than nau-.)
          ndæ^r ("Eld" = CE) "bridegroom". From PQ ndêro. (NDER)
          ndâkô "warrior, soldier" (NDAK)
          ndan- element "indicating the reversal of an action, so as to undo or nullify its effect, as in 'undo, go back (the same way), unsay, give bak (the same gift: not another in return)' " (WJ:412). Also dan-. Cf. ndangwetha, ndandô.
          ndandô "Nando", interpreted "one who goes back on his word or decision" (the Nandor were so called because they left the march from Cuiviénen) (WJ:412)
          ndangwetha "answer" (noun, may be Old Sindarin), sc. a stem gweth- "report, give account of" with the prefix ndan-, here simply meaning *"back" (PM:395)
          ndere "bridegroom" (DER, NÊR)
          ndêro "bridegroom" (NDER)
          ndeuna "second" (NDEW)
          ndeuro "follower, successor" (NDEW)
          ndîse "bride" (NDIS-SÊ/SÂ; ndis under I)
          ndorê (PQ) "the hard, dry land as opposed to water or bog" (WJ:413). In the Etymologies defined as "land, dwelling-place, region where certain people live" (NDOR); this may be the meaning that developed later. Confused with nôrê.
          ndôro "(a particular) land or region" (WJ:413)
          ndulla "dark, dusky, obscure" (NDUL)
          ndulna "secret" (DUL)
          ndûnê "sunset" (NDÛ)
          neinê "tear" (NEI)
          neiniel- "tearful" (NEI)
          neiti- "moist, dewy" (NEI)
          nenle ("nen-le") "brook" (NEN)
          neñwi "nose" (NEÑ-WI is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem"; the stem may be NEÑ, not given separately)
          nere, nêr (probably PQ and CE, respectively) "a male person, a man" (WJ:393)
          netere (CE), cardinal "nine" (VT42:27)
          nêthê "youth" (NETH)
          nethrâ ("neth-râ") "young" (NETH)
          ñgol-, ñgolo- the stem of the four following words (PM:360)
          ñgôlê "Science/Philosophy" (PM:360)
          ngolda (read *ñgolda) "wise" (ÑGOL)
          ñgolodô "Noldo" (WJ:364, 380; ngolodô, MR:350)
          ngolwina (read *ñgolwina) "wise, learned in deep arts" (ÑGOL)
          ñguruk- see ruk-
          ñgwalaraukô "balrog, demon" (RUK)
          nîbe "front, face" (NIB)
          nidwô "bolster, cushion" (NID)
          nindi "fragile, thin" (NIN-DI is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem"; the stem may be NIN, not given separately)
          ninkwi "white" (NIK-W)
          njadrô "rat" (NYAD)
          Ninkwitil(de) Tára a name of Taniquetil, presumably not belonging to the oldest stage (the accent seems to mark vowel-length rather than stress) (NIK-W)
          ñôle "odour" (ÑOL)
          nôrê "family, tribe or group having a common ancestry, the land or region in which they dwelt" (WJ:413) Confused with ndôrê.
          not- "count" (WÔ)
          Nôwê Círdan's original name, difficult to interpret (PM:392; the PM Index gives Nôwë, but this would seem to be an error)
          nukotta, nukotto "a stunded or ill-shapen thing (or person)" (the origin of Sindarin nogoth "dwarf") (WJ:413)
          nuktâ- "stunt, prevent from coming to completion, stop short, not allow to continue" (WJ:413)
          numê-n "going down", sunset, West (Letters:303)
          nûrâ "deep" (NÛ)
          nut- "tie" (WÔ)
          oijâ "everlasting" (OY)
          oio "ever" (Letters:278, said to be "Primitive Elvish")
          okta "strife" (KOT > KOTH); cf. also the entry OKTÂ (> Quenya ohta "war"), that seems to be a complete word in itself and not just a "stem". The primitive word was evidently oktâ.
          Olo(s)-fantur > "Noldorin"/Sindarin Olfannor and Quenya Olofantur, names of the Vala Lórien (ÓLOS; because of the f in fantur, a sound not occurring in the primitive language, this must be taken as archaic Quenya.)
          olsa- "to dream" (ÓLOS)
          onrô "parent" (ONO)
          ontâro "begetter, parent" (evidently masc.) (ONO)
          orku "goblin" (Orc) (ÓROK)
          ornâ "uprising, tall" (UT:266)
          ornê "tree" (originally applied to straighter and more slender trees such as birches or rowans; contrast galadâ) (UT:266, Letters:426, SD:302; the latter source gives pl. ornei.)
          Orômê "Orome" (ORÓM; this form is evidently obsoleted by Arâmê [q.v.] in a later work)
          ortur- "master, conquer" (TUR)
          ostô (CE) "fortress, stronghold" (made or strengthened by art) (WJ:414 - MR:350 gives osto without the long final vowel, perhaps the compound form since the second element in Quenya Mandos is there discussed: primitive *mbandô-osto, *mbandosto???)
          otsôja (CE), ordinal "seventh" (VT42:25)
          palantîrâ/palantîra "Palantír" (Letters:427)
          panô "plank, fixed board, especially in a floor" (PAN)
          pantâ "open" (PAT)
          parmâ "book" (PAR)
          pathmâ "level space, sward" (PATH)
          pathnâ "smooth" (PATH)
          patnâ "wide" (PAT)
          peltakse "pivot" (PEL)
          pendâ "sloping" (WJ:375)
          peñe "lip", dual peñû (VT39:11 cf. 9)
          Phaj-anâro "radiant sun" (= masc. name Fëanor, later reinterpreted as "Spirit of Fire") (PHAY)
          phaja "spirit" (PM:352, MR:349)
          pheren "beech" (BERÉTH)
          Phinderauto (masc. name, > Sindarin Finrod) (PHIN)
          phindê "a tress" (PM:362)
          phini (CE) "a single hair" (PM:362)
          phoroti "right" or "north" (PHOR)
          poikâ "clean, pure" (POY)
          pori "flour, meal" (POR)
          potô "animal's foot" (POTÔ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          râba "wild, untamed" (RAB)
          ragnâ "crooked" (RAG)
          rakmê "fathom" (RAK)
          râmâ "wing" (RAM)
          râmalê "pinion, great wing (of eagle)" (RAM)
          rambâ "wall" (RAMBÂ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          ramja- "fly, sail; wander" (RAM)
          ramna "wing (horn), extended point at side, etc." (RAM)
          Ranâ "Moon" (RAN)
          randâ "cycle, age" (100 Valian Years) (RAD)
          ranku "arm" (RAK)
          ratâ "path, track" (RAT)
          rattâ/ratta "course, river-bed" (RAT)
          râu "lion" (RAW)
          rauk- see ruk- and cf. raukô, rauku.
          raukô or rauku (CE form of a word said to be present already in PQ) a word applied to "the larger and more terrible of the enemy shapes" known to the first Elves (WJ:390)
          rautâ "metal" (changed from "copper"). (RAUTÂ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          reddâ " 'sown', sown field, acre" (marked with a query) (RED)
          rênê (CE) "remembrance" (PM:372)
          rîg-anna ("crown-gift" > Sindarin fem. name Rhian) (RIG)
          rîgâ (CE) "wreath, garland" (PM:347)
          rîgê "crown" (RIG)
          rimbâ "frequent, numerous" (RIM)
          rimbê "crowd, host" (RIM)
          ringi "cold" (RINGI is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          rinki "flourish, quick shake" (RIK(H) )
          risse- "a ravine" (RIS)
          rista- "cut" (RIS)
          -ro agental ending, added to ómataina (suffixed stem-vowel). Also - added to stem, with or without n-infixion, and -rdo > (CE?) -rd. (WJ:371).
          rôda (> rôdh) "cave" (ROD)
          rokkô "horse" (Letters:282, 382)
          rondô (CE) "a vaulted or arched roof, as seen from below (and usually not visible from outside)", "a (large) hall or chamber so roofed" (WJ:414); "cavern" (Letters:282)
          ronjô " 'chaser', hound of chase" (ROY1)
          rono "arch over, roof in" (WJ:414)
          rossê "dew, spray" (of fall or fountain) (Letters:282)
          rot- (also s-rot) "delve underground, excavate, tunnel" (PM:365); cf. groto (q.v.) and CE rotâ (also grotâ) "excavation, underground dwelling" (WJ:414)
          ruk- one of the "ancient forms" of the stem RUKU, that yielded the word Orch (Orc) in Sindarin. Other forms include rauk-, uruk-, urk(u), runk-, rukut/s; also the "strengthened stem" gruk- and the "elaborated" guruk-, ñguruk (the latter by combination with a distinct stem NGUR "horror", WJ:415). None of these derivatives are clearly glossed, though urku (or uruku) is said to have yielded Quenya urko, vague in meaning in the lore of the Blessed Realm ("bogey"), but later recognized as a cognate of Sindarin Orch. The adjective urkâ is said to mean "horrible" (WJ:389-90).
          rukut, rukus see ruk-
          rundâ "rough piece of wood" (RUD)
          runk- see ruk- (WJ:390)
          ruskâ "brown" (RUSKÂ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          russâ (CE) ?"red" (PM:366, cf. 353)
          sagmâ "poison" (SAG)
          sagrâ "bitter" (SAG)
          sarnâ "of stone" (STAR)
          -se (evidently a pronominal ending meaning "she") (S)
          /se, also /si "she" (S)
          silimâ "silver, shining white" (adj.) (SIL)
          silimarille "Silmaril" (RIL - for historical reasons, this cannot be a PQ word, or hardly even CE; it may be archaic Quenya)
          silimê "light of Silpion", also a poetic word for "silver" (SIL)
          sjadta ("syad-ta") "axe-stroke" (SYAD)
          sjadâ (meaning unclear; but since this is the origin of Sindarin hâdh, and Sindarin hadhafang is equated with Quenya sangahyando "throng-cleaver", hâdh < sjadâ should mean "cleaver") (SYAD)
          sjadnô " 'cleaver', sword" (SYAD)
          sjadsê > sjatsê "cleft, gash" (SYAD)
          sjalmâ "shell, conch, horn of Ulmo" (SYAL)
          sjandô " 'cleaver', sword" (SYAD)
          sjatsê - see sjadsê
          sjatsela/sjatsêla "broadsword-blade", "axe-blade" (SYAD)
          skalnâ "veiled, hidden, shadowed, shady" (SKAL1)
          skarnâ "wounded" (SKAR)
          skarwê "wound" (SKAR)
          skelmâ "skin, fell" (SKEL)
          skelnâ "naked" (SKEL)
          skelta- "strip" (SKEL)
          skjapat- "shore" (SKYAP)
          slaiwâ "sickly, sick, ill" (SLIW)
          slignê "spider, spider's web, cobweb" (SLIG)
          slindâ > Quenya linda "fair", blended with primitive slindi "fine, delicate" (that would regularly have become Quenya *linde if the words had not been confused) (LIND)
          slindi "fine, delicate" (SLIN)
          slingê "spider, spider's web, cobweb" (SLIG)
          slinjâ "lean, thin, meagre" (SLIN)
          slîwê "sickness" (SLIW)
          sloga, word used for streams of a kind that were variable and liable to overflow their banks at seasons and cause floods when swollen by rains or melting snow (VT42:9)
          smaldâ "gold" (as metal) (SMAL)
          smalinâ "yellow" (SMAL)
          smalta "gold" (LÁWAR/GLÁWAR cf. SMAL)
          smalu "pollen, yellow powder" (SMAL)
          smalwâ "fallow, pale" (SMAL)
          -so (evidently a pronominal ending meaning "he") (S)
          /so "he" (also /su) (S)
          solos "surf" (SOL)
          spâna "cloud" (SPAN)
          spangâ "beard" (SPÁNAG)
          Spanturo "lord of cloud" > Quenya Fantur, surname of Mandos (SPAN)
          spindê "tress, braid of hair" (SPIN; this reconstruction of the original form of Quenya findë is apparently obsoleted by phindê in PM:362)
          spinê "larch" (SPIN)
          srawâ "body" (if = Quenya hroa, the word it yielded) (MR:350). Cf. mi-srawanwe.
          srâwê "flesh" (if = Quenya hrávë, the word it yielded) (MR:350)
          srot- ("s-rot-") "delve underground, excavate, tunnel"; also rot- (PM:365); cf. also groto-
          stabnê > stambê "room, chamber" (STAB)
          stabnô, stabrô "carpenter, wright, builder" (STAB)
          staknâ "cleft, split" (also stankâ) (STAK)
          stalga "stalwart, steady, firm" (STÁLAG)
          stalrê "steep, falling" (STAL)
          stalgondô "hero, dauntless man" (STÁLAG)
          stama- "bar, exclude" (UT:282)
          stambê < stabnê "room, chamber" (STAB)
          stangâ > Quenya sanga "crowd, throng, press" and Sindarin thang "compulsion, duress, need" (STAG)
          stangasjandô "throng-cleaver" (sword-name) (SYAD)
          stankâ "cleft, split" (also staknâ) (STAK)
          starâna "stiff, hard" (STARAN)
          stintâ "short" (STINTÂ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          /su "he"; also /so (S)
          suglu "goblet" (SUG; see SUK)
          sukmâ "drinking-vessel" (SUK)
          swanda "sponge, fungus" (SWAD)
          swesta- "to puff" (SWES)
          soto "shelter, protect, defend" (WJ:414)
          ta3na (meaning unclear, probably "high, lofty, noble") (TÂ/TA3)
          tad "thither" (Evidently CE for PQ *tada, including the allative ending -da: hence "to that") (TA)
          taika (may be Old Sindarin) "boundary, limit, boundary line" (from tayak, extension of a stem TAYA "mark, line, limit" (WJ:309)
          takmâ "thing for fixing" (> Quenya tangwa "hasp, clasp", Sindarin taew "holder, socket, hasp, clasp, staple") (TAK)
          taksê "nail" (TAK)
          talrunja "sole of foot" (TALAM, RUN)
          tambâ "to knock" (TAM)
          tamrô "woodpecker" (etymologically "knocker") (TAM)
          tân-nig element that may be the origin of tani- in Taniqetil (TÂ/TA3)
          tankla "pin, brooch" (TAK)
          tanô "craftsman, smith" (TAN)
          târâ "lofty" (TÂ/TA3, (TÁWAR) )
          târa-khil *"high-man" = Númenórean (KHIL)
          targâ "tough, stiff" (TÁRAG)
          târî "queen" (wife of a târo) (TÂ/TA3)
          târo "king" (TÂ/TA3)
          tathar, tatharê "willow-tree" (TATHAR)
          tathrê "willow-tree" (TATHAR)
          taurâ "masterful, mighty" (TUR, (TÁWAR, TÂ/TA3) )
          taurê "great wood, forest" (TÁWAR)
          tawar "wood" (material) (TÁWAR)
          tawarê/taware "dryad, spirit of woods" (evidently fem.) (TÁWAR)
          tawarô/tawaro "dryad, spirit of woods" (evidently masc.) (TÁWAR)
          [te3ê "path, course, line, direction, way" (TE3)]
          tekla "pen" (TEK)
          tekmê "letter, symbol" (TEK)
          telesâ "rear" (TELES)
          telmâ/telma "hood, covering", also telmê/telme (TEL/TELU)
          telu, tel-u "roof in, put the crown on a building" (WJ:411)
          têñe "line, row" (TEÑ)
          teñrâ "straight, right" (TEÑ, TE3)
          teñ-wê "sign, token" (VT39:17). Cf. tenwe (WJ:394) (read teñwe? The word is derived from a stem TEÑ and yielded Quenya tengwë) "indication, sign, token"
          terên, terênê "slender" (TER/TERES)
          terêwâ "piercing, keen" (TER/TERES)
          thandâ "shield" (apparently noun) (UT:282)
          thara- "tall (or long) and slender" (WJ:412)
          thausâ "foul, evil-smelling, putrid" (THUS)
          thaurâ "detestable" (Letters:380; said to be derived from a root THAW. The th of thaurâ is spelt with a single (Greek) letter in the source.)
          thaurond- "Sauron, *Detestable One"; said to be derived from thaurâ, q.v. (Letters:380; the th of thaurâ and thaurond- is spelt with a single (Greek) letter in the source.)
          thêrê "look, face, expression" (THÊ)
          thindi "pallid, grey, wan" (THIN), "grey, pale or silvery grey" (WJ:384)
          tindômiselde "daughter of twilight", a kenning of the nightingale; = Sindarin Tinúviel. (TIN, SEL-D)
          tinkô "metal" (TINKÔ is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          tinmê "sparkle, glint" (TIN)
          tiukâ "thick, fat" (TIW)
          tiukô "thigh" (TIW)
          tjalañgandô "harp-player" (TYAL), also tjalañgando with shortening of the final vowel of the final element of a compound (ÑGAN/ÑGÁNAD)
          tjaliâ- "to play" (TYAL)
          tjulmâ "mast" (TYUL; this reconstruction may be obsoleted by kjulumâ in SD:419)
          tjulussê "poplar-tree" (TYUL)
          tollo "island" (TOL2)
          tôp- "cover, roof" (TOP)
          tor, toron- "brother" (THEL/THELES)
          tubnâ "deep" (TUB)
          tûghor, tû-gor, Tûgore "Strength-vigour", masc. name > Sindarin Tuor (TUG, GOR)
          tûgu "muscle, sinew, vigour, physical strength" (TUG)
          tuilê > Quenya tuile "spring-time", also used = "dayspring, early morn" (TUY)
          tuilelindô "swallow", etymologically "spring-singer" (TUY)
          tuimâ "a sprout, bud" (TUY)
          Tulkatho (name of a Vala; = Quenya Tulkas) (TULUK)
          tulku "support, prop" (TULUK)
          tultâ "make come" (TUL)
          tulukmê "support, prop" (noun) (TULUK)
          tumbu "deep valley", under or among hills (TUB)
          tumpu "hump" (TUMPU is the head of an entry in the Etymologies, but it seems to be a complete word and not just a "stem")
          Tûnâ/Tûna name of an Elf-city in Valinor (TUN)
          tundâ "tall" (TUN)
          tundu "hill, mound" (TUN)
          tungâ "taut, tight" (of strings:) "resonant" (TUG)
          tupsê "thatch" (TUP)
          tûrê "mastery, victory" (TUR)
          tûrô, also turo, -tur? "master, victor, lord" (TUR; turo, TÂ, TA3)
          turumâ, turumbê "shield" (TURÚM)
          tussâ "bush" (TUS; tussa, ÓR-NI)
          -û dual element, used of natural pairs (Letters:427); see besû, lasû, peñû
          ûbanô "monster" (BAN)
          ubrâ "abundant" (UB)
          ugu "not-, un-, in-" (UGU/UMU)
          Ui-nend "Uinen" (NEN)
          ulda "torrent, mountain-stream" (ULU)
          ulgundô "monster, deformed and hideous creature" (ÚLUG)
          uljâ "it is raining" (ULU)
          Ulumô name of the Vala of all waters > Quenya Ulmo (ULU)
          uñgwê "gloom" (UÑG)
          urkâ "horrible" (WJ:390)
          urkô, urk(u), uruku ?"Orc" (WJ:390); cf. ruk-
          uruk ?"Orc" (WJ:390); cf. ruk-
          usukwê, uskwê ("usuk-wê, usk-wê") > Quenya usqe, Sindarin osp "reek", Ilk usc "smoke" (USUK)
          Utubnu name of Melko[r]'s vaults in the North > Quenya Utumno (TUB)
          wa ("Eld" = CE) "together" (WÔ); wa-nôrô "of one kin" > Quenya onóro "brother", Old Sindarin wanúro/Sindarin gwanur "kinsman" (TOR)
          - a verbal stem (not glossed: ?"go away"), perfect awâwiiê; connected with au, awâ; possibly also used in composition with verbal stems (WJ:361). wâ-delo (WJ:364) = awa-delô
          ?wâ-delô (CE) *"Away-goer", a name made in Beleriand for those who finally departed from Middle-earth. Also awa-delo, awâ-delo. (WJ:360, 363)
          wæ^de "bond, compact, oath" (WED; must be CE because of the vowel æ; PQ *wêdê; cf. ndæ^r).
          wa3râ "soiled, dirty" (WA3)
          wahsê "stain" (WA3)
          wahtâ- "to soil, stain" (WA3)
          wahtê "a stain" (WA3)
          wâjâ "envelope", especially of the Outer Sea or Air enfolding the world within the Ilurambar or world-walls (WAY, [GEY])
          wanjâ "Vanya-elf", Quenya pl. Vanyar, the first clan of the Eldar (WJ:380). But in the Etymologies, Quenya vanya is said to come from banjâ (BAN), and in his last years Tolkien apparently returned to this idea: in PM:402, it is said that "of old" the name Vanyar was Banyai (evidently ancient Quenya for primitive *banjâi).
          wannâ "departed, dead" (WAN)
          wanwê "death" (act of dying, not death as a state or abstract) (WAN)
          wath "shade" (WA3; but wath = stem WATH)
          - abstract suffix (WEG)
          we3ê "manhood, vigour" (WEG; given this root, this word must be proto-Quenya for earlier *wegê)
          [wed-tâ] "swear" (to do something) (WED)
          wedâ "bond" (WED)
          wegô "man", in compounds -wego with short final vowel (WEG)
          wegtê ("weg-tê") (Unglossed; Christopher Tolkien therefore thinks the entry WEG "was left unfinished", but this is rather the primitive form of the element -waith, -weith in Sindarin Forodweith, Forodwaith "Northmen" mentioned just before.) (WEG)
          -wego, -weg (compound form) "man", frequent element in masculine names (WEG)
          wei (archaic element meaning "wind, weave") (WEY)
          weirê "Weaver", the archaic form that yielded Quenya Vairë, name of a Valië (stem WEY "weave", LR:398). Note, however, that Tolkien in a later source derives Vairë from a stem WIR and states that it is A-infixed to express "Ever-weaving"; this would point to a primitive form *Wairê (not explicitly mentioned). (VT39:10)
          wen- "maiden" (WEN/WENED)
          wilmâ "air, lower air" (distinct from the 'upper' air of the stars, or the 'outer'). Changed by Tolkien from wilwâ. (WIL)
          [windi "blue-grey, pale blue or grey" (WIN/WIND)]
          windiâ "pale blue" (It is uncertain whether Tolkien rejected this word or not.) (WIN/WIND)
          wingê "foam, crest of wave, crest" (WIG)
          [winjâ "evening" (WIN/WIND)]
          [winta- "fade" (WIN/WIND)]
          , prefix wo- "together", a dual adverb "together", referring to the junction of two things, or groups, in a pair or whole. (WJ:361) The Etymologies likewise has , wo "together" (evidently PQ, since it yielded CE wa), but nothing is there said about this being exclusively dual. (WÔ)
          Wolwê (CE) hypothetical early form of Olwë; Tolkien points out that this should rather have yielded Volwë in Telerin, so this reconstruction may be doubtful (PM:357)
          (Y - see J)

Ardalambion Index