Telerin - the language of the Sea-elves

Also called: Lindalambe, Lindárin (its own terms, WJ:371)


The Silmarillion, chapter 5, tells how the Teleri after crossing the Sea first dwelt in Tol Eressëa: "There the Teleri abode as they wished under the stars of heaven, and yet within sight of Aman and the deathless shore; and by that long sojourn apart in the Lonely Isle was caused the sundering of their speech from that of the Vanyar and the Noldor." Later they finally came to Aman. The tongue of the Teleri some held to be a dialect of Quenya, but the Teleri themselves thought of it as an independent language, the Lindalambe or "tongue of the Lindar". In Aman, the speakers of Telerin outnumbered the Quenya-speaking Vanyar and Noldor, but the Teleri and their language were not destined to play a prominent part in the history of Arda. Tolkien stated that from the viewpoint of speakers of Quenya, Telerin was a "closely related language still largely intelligible" (PM:332). However, the phonology of the two languages differed much, Telerin often being more conservative than Quenya: Finarfin, a speaker of Noldorin Quenya, is said to have learnt Telerin, clearly indicating that it was a language markedly different from his own (UT:229). The Telerin of Aman was the most well-preserved descendant of Common Telerin, the language spoken by the Teleri on the Great March from Cuiviénen and in Beleriand before many of the Third Clan went over the Sea. Back in Middle-earth, Common Telerin yielded Nandorin and Sindarin.

In at least one case, a Telerin word was adopted into Quenya. The linear descendant of Primitive Quendian kyelepê "silver" manifested as telpe (or telepe) in Telerin and tyelpe in Quenya. Nevertheless: "In Quenya the [Telerin] form telpe became usual, through the influence of Telerin, for the Teleri prized silver above gold, and their skill as silversmiths was esteemed even by the Noldor. Thus Telperion was more commonly used than Tyelperion as the name of the White Tree of Valinor" (UT:266).


Telerin as a language plays a very little role in Tolkien's narratives, and the fact that he still constructed parts of it confirms that to him, the languages were just as important as the stories, if not more. The Sea-elves were ever present in Tolkien's mythos, though under various names; in the early texts they are called Solosimpi (the name Teleri Tolkien originally applied to the First Clan, the later Vanyar). Whatever their name was, a distinct language for the Sea-elves was evidently always envisioned. In the very first Elvish wordlist, the "Qenya Lexicon" of 1915, we read (p. 38): "Felpa seaweed. A Solosimpe word = filqe. So[losimpe] had q > p." Filqe is evidently the "Qenya" cognate of this "Solosimpe" word. It is astounding to see that one central feature of later Telerin phonology was in place already in 1915: that this language had p for Quenya qu (q). The Qenya Lexicon briefly alludes to some vocalic umlauts occurring in "Solosimpe", but it seems unlikely that this information is still valid in Telerin as Tolkien later envisioned this language; the word felpa is not included in the wordlist below.
          As far as we know, Tolkien never mentioned any specific inspiration for Telerin (like Finnish was the prime inspiration for Quenya and Welsh for Sindarin). Some detect an Italian flavour in Telerin. For what it is worth, Tolkien did like this language: "I remain in love with Italian, and feel quite lorn without a chance of trying to speak it" (Letters:223).


Note: this article is a few years old and does not take into account material published in recent years. While this article is hopefully adequate as far as it goes, students of Telerin may also want to consult this recent study at the Sindanórie site.

Conservative Phonology

While Quenya is often thought of as the language that is least changed from the original tongue invented by the Elves at Cuiviénen, it seems that this honour actually belongs to Telerin, at least phonologically speaking. In many respects, the phonology of Telerin was very conservative. For instance, the Primitive Quendian initial cluster sp is unchanged, as in spanga "beard" from the stem SPÁNAG. No other Eldarin language except Nandorin preserves this cluster; both Sindarin and Quenya changed it to f. While Quenya changed initial b and d to v and l (or occasionally n), respectively, these sounds are unchanged in Telerin: Bala for Quenya Vala (primitive Bálâ), delia "go" for Quenya lelya (primitive del-ja, WJ:360). Following a vowel, d became r in Quenya, but in Telerin it was unchanged, primitive awada "away" (my reconstruction) yielding Quenya oar and Telerin avad. The medial cluster kt was also unchanged (spelt ct in Telerin), while it became ht in Quenya (compare Telerin hecta- "reject" with its Quenya cognate hehta-). The word gáialá "fell, terrible, dire" contains an absolutely unique example of a long final vowel (such vowels were frequent in the primitive language) still being preserved in a later Eldarin tongue: primitive *gâjalâ (my reconstruction). In Quenya such vowels had been shortened, in Sindarin they had been lost. Yet it seems that the long final vowels were normally shortened in Telerin as well as in Quenya, cf. aráta, not **arátá, for primitive *arâtâ "noble" (PM:363).

The major phonological changes is the Common Telerin change of KW to P (Pendi for Quendi) and the simplification of initial ñg and mb to g and b (initial nd probably became d, as in Sindarin, but our small corpus contains no example of this). Quenya simplified these combinations to ñ > n and m instead (Telerin golodo for Quenya Ñoldo, Noldo, primitive ñgolodô; Telerin bar "home" for Quenya mar, primitive *mbar). Telerin simplified initial ny to n; compare Telerin nelli *"singers" (in Fallinelli) with Quenya nyeldi. Primitive ky became t, probably via ty, still preserved in Quenya. The sequence dl evidently assimilated to ll, edlo (WJ:363) becoming Ello. It may be noted that in the word engole "lore" (stem ÑGOL), a vowel e has developed before an evidently syllabic ñ; in Quenya the vowel was i (ingolë, WJ:383 cf. PM:360; compare also Telerin endo with Quenya indyo, both from the stem ÑGYÔ). Primitive initial w became v, e.g. vilverin "butterfly" from the stem WIL; compare the prefix - descending from WO. Intervocalically, the same change occurred, *kawâ "house" (my reconstruction) yielding cava (Quenya coa - the change of áwa, *áua to oa did not occur in Telerin). According to WJ:367, "v remains w in sound" - is this to say that no real change occurred at all, but that the spelling conventions of Primitive Quendian and Telerin simply differ regarding the representation of [w]? Between a consonant and a vowel, the semivowel w became a full vowel u; compare Quenya Olwë, vanwa with Telerin Olue, vanua. Similarly, primitive y (also spelt j by Tolkien) became i, primitive delja "go" yielding delia (contrast Quenya lelya). The name Findo "Thingol" suggests that primitive th in Telerin manifested as f, at least initially: The word bredele "beech-tree" from BERÉTH seems to indicate that post-vocalically, th became d instead - did all the unvoiced aspirated stops become voiced stops in this position? Initial ph became f, as in ferne from PHÉREN, so stems like THIN and PHIN must have merged in Telerin. In a late source, Tolkien stated that Telerin did possess þ, sc. th as in English think (PM:332), but this sound does not appear in our corpus. In other Elvish languages that do have þ, the primitive aspirate th is always one of the origins of this sound, so it may be that Tolkien had changed his mind regarding the development of this aspirate in Telerin. But of course, Telerin may have developed þ in other ways as well.

The question of syncope: On December 17th, 1972 (very late = very reliable), Tolkien wrote to Richard Jeffery: "You are of course right in seeing that the [Quenya and Sindarin] words for 'silver' point to an orig[inal form]: *kyelepê: Q[uenya] tyelpe (with regular syncope of the second e): S[indarin] celeb: and Telerin telepi (in T[elerin] the syncope of the second vowel in a sequence of 2 short vowels of the same quality was not regular, but occurred in words of length such as Telperion)." (Letters:346 - it has been confirmed that "telepi" is a misreading for telepe; notice that Humphrey Carpenter editing this letter misread Quenya ortane as "ortani" on the very same page in Letters.) This both agrees with and contradicts material from the far earlier Etymologies of the late thirties. Under ÑGOL we find the unsyncoped form golodo as the Telerin word for "Noldo" (primitive ñgolodô, PM:360/WJ:383). However, in the Etymologies the Telerin word for "silver" is given as telpe (KYELEP/TELEP), not telepe. In the essay Quendi and Eldar from about 1960, the Telerin word for Noldo is given in the syncoped form goldo (WJ:383), not golodo. We must accept the very late information in Letters and reject the form goldo, all the more so when unsyncoped golodo reappears in an essay written no earlier than 1968 (PM:360). However, the compounds Goldórin and Goldolambe as Telerin names of Quenya can stay, this being "words of length" so that golodo was contracted, just like telepe is contracted in Telperion. Note that Galadriel's Telerin name Alatáriel, given her by her Telerin lover Teleporno/Celeborn, was syncoped to Altáriel when it was adapted to Quenya (though its true Quenya form would have been Ñaltariel, PM:347). Most of the evidence thus supports the notion that Telerin words were normally not syncoped. It would seem that Tolkien was in a "syncope" phase when he wrote the important essay Quendi and Eldar about 1960; notice that the word for "tree" is here given as galla (changed by Tolkien from galda), obviously representing primitive galadâ. After Tolkien revised the phonology (again!), the Telerin word for "tree" would probably have been *galada instead. (We may still accept galla as a valid Telerin word; perhaps it was influenced by Quenya alda. The Teleri may have adapted the Quenya dual Aldu denoting the Two Trees as *Gallu, later making a singular form based on this word.)

In light of the many conservative traits of Telerin phonology, how could the Noldor insist that it was Quenya rather than Telerin that "most nearly [preserved] the ancient character of Elvish speech"? (WJ:374) Tolkien did imagine that the Elves had a deeper understanding of their language as a whole (PM:398), so perhaps we are to understand that the fundamental structure counted just as much as the outward "sound" of the language. That Quenya had turned the original voiced stop b into a spirant v was perhaps perceived as a wholly superficial change, since this merely involved a new realization of the phoneme /b/. Telerin, on the other hand, had not introduced many new sounds when compared to Primitive Elvish, but there had been some major simplifications in the phonemic system. The palatalized and velarized series had been abandoned and had merged into other classes, with the change of kw to p as a prominent example: this was not merely a new realization of a previously existing phoneme, but a conflation with an existing phoneme, since the language already had /p/. Changes in the phonemic system may have been perceived as very drastic by the Noldor, even if the general "sound" of the language remained much the same. Quenya, on the other hand, retained many of the original phonemic oppositions. The fact that the actual realization of the phonemes in question had often changed may have seemed less important to the Eldar: When deciding whether a language was "conservative" or not, they may have cared more about whether the deeper structure was intact than about the outward, superficial realization of this structure. (Cf. Fëanor's vehement opposition against the ongoing merger of þ with s in Quenya: this again involved the conflating of two originally distinct phonemes, and the Loremasters were universally against such a change. See PM:335.)

Telerin Grammar

Our knowledge is of course wholly fragmentary. The following observations can be made.

The plural: The plural ending was apparently -i in all cases: él "star" pl. éli, Ello "Elf, Elda" pl. Elloi. Quenya has the same ending, as in Quendi, Teleri, but the plural ending -r is preferred in the case of stems ending in other vowels than e, as in Valar, Noldor. Telerin uses -i also in the case of such stems; compare Quenya Lindar with Telerin Lindai. According to PM:402, the plural ending -r was an innovation that first arose in Noldorin Quenya and was later adopted by the Vanyar, but it evidently never made it into Telerin. Perhaps Telerin also used -i in the plural forms of verbs: él síla "a star shines", *éli sílai "stars shine". It has been pointed out, though, that verbs have plural forms in -r both in Quenya and Sindarin. Unless our samples of Sindarin represent a Quenya-influenced variant, this would suggest that the verbal plural ending -r occurred already in the primitive language and is not a Quenya innovation. If this is the case, this ending would probably persist in Telerin as well, and we would have *éli sílar for "stars shine". The material presently available allows no certain conclusion in this matter.

Case endings: Very likely, Telerin had a case system about as elaborate as that of Quenya, but we know only a couple of the endings involved. The ones we do know suggest that they were generally similar to the Quenya endings. Telerin had the same genitive ending -o as in Quenya. It was "more widely used than in pure Quenya, sc. in most cases where English would employ the inflexion -s, or of" (WJ:369). Unlike the system in Quenya, -o did not become -on in the plural (presumably it was simply added to the plural stem in -i, so that the genitive plural of él is *élio). The allative ending -na (Quenya -nna) is attested in the word lúmena from the Telerin equivalent of Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo: Él síla lúmena vomentienguo. Compare the -na of Sindarin Tuorna *"to Tuor".

Verbs: Only a few verbs are known. The past tense of delia- "go" is given as delle, evidently formed directly from the stem del-; Quenya (C)VC-verbs also form their past tense with the ending -lë when the final consonant is L (e.g. wil- "fly", willë "flew"). The present (continuative) tense is apparently marked by the ending -a, as in síla "shines", identical to the Quenya form. As in Quenya, basic verbal stems seem to have their stem-vowel lengthened in the present tense; hence the form is síla, not **sila (stem SIL). The Quenya past tense ending -is probably valid also in Telerin, so that the past tense of hecta- "reject" is *hectane (Quenya hehta-, hehtanë), but this ending is not attested in our small corpus. The perfect of the (very irregular) verb auta- "go away, leave" is given as avánie, suggesting that the trick of prefixing the stem vowel as an augment in the perfect is used in Telerin as well as in Quenya. Imperatives evidently have the ending -a as in Quenya, as in ela! "see!"

Pronouns: We know one impersonal pronoun pen "one, person, someone". A pronominal ending -n "I", also known from Quenya, is seen in aban "I refuse". Two possessive endings are attested: -ria "his" in cavaria "the house of him, *his house" (WJ:369) and *-ngua "our" (inclusive dual), only attested with the genitive ending -o in vomentienguo "of our meeting" (WJ:407). The ending -ria probably covers "her" as well as "his", just like Quenya -rya. A construction involving the possessive endings was often used instead of the genitive ending in the case of a single possessor: "Olwë's house" would usually be expressed as cavaria Olue "the house of him, Olwë" instead of cava Olueo. A similar construction was also valid in Quenya. Genitival relationships could also be expressed by word order only: cava Olue or (older) Olue cava - but such constructions were apparently less common.

Derivation: An adjectival ending -ia is seen in arpenia, an adjective derived from the noun arpen "noble (man)". The ending -ima "-able", well known from Quenya, occurs in abapétima "not to be said, *unspeakable".

Order of compounded elements: In PM:346, we are informed that "the order of the elements in compounds, especially personal names, remained fairly free in all three Eldarin languages [Quenya, Telerin, Sindarin - did Tolkien forget Nandorin?], but Quenya preferred the (older) order in which adjectival stems preceded, while in Telerin and Sindarin the adjectival elements often were placed second, especially in later-formed names, according to the usual placing of adjectives in the ordinary speech of those languages". Because of this, Telerin names were sometimes easier to Sindarize than pure Quenya names, like Findaráto and Angaráto (with the adjectival element aráto [see aráta in the wordlist] at the end) becoming Finrod and Angrod in Sindarin.

TELERIN WORDLIST with etymological notes

Long vowels are indicated by accents; the sources use macrons instead. The diaeresis is not used here; in the sources it marks a few final e's in the words from PM (Altáriellë, riellë, Olwë), but it is not used in Telerin words found elsewhere. In PM:365 it is said that Telerin had a "large vocabulary of sea-words", as might be expected of the language of the Sea-elves, but very few of these words are found in our small corpus. - In the etymological notes, primitive forms "reconstructed" by Tolkien himself are not asterisked.

          aba- (1) prefix indicating something forbidden: abapétima "not to be said" (WJ:371). Compare Quenya ava- and the related verb aba and the imperative abá. A derivative of the primitive stem ABA-, see aba- #2 below.
          aba- (2) verb "refuse", only attested in the form aban "I refuse, I will not" (WJ:371): this includes the pronominal ending -n "I", q.v. The verb aba- directly reflects the form and meaning of the verbal stem ABA- (WJ:370, not in Etym), said to be probably an elaboration of a primitive negation element BA "no!" Notice that these elements have to do with refusal to do something, not denial of the veracity of (what others present as) facts.
          abá "Don't!", abá care "don't do it" (WJ:371). Abá is yet another derivative of the primitive elements BA, ABA-; see aba- #2 above. This form is undoubtedly a direct cognate of Quenya avá, which is said (in WJ:371) to include the primitive imperative particle â; abá "don't" would thus seem to represent an imperative phrase *aba-â, *ab-â "refuse!" - See care concerning the second element in the phrase abá care.
          Abari, sg. *Abar, "Avar", "Elf who never left Middle-earth or began the march [from Cuiviénen]". As a Telerin word, this is attested in WJ:380 only. The Etymologies does not mention the Telerin word for Avar as such, but the Quenya and "Noldorin" equivalents were derived from a stem AB-, ABAR- "refuse, deny" (LR:347), and the primitive form was given as ábârô (or ábâro), including the personal (masculine/agental) ending -o: An ábâro is thus a "refuser" (that is, one who refused the invitation of the Valar to come to Valinor). The reconstruction ábârô and the stem AB-, ABAR- are superseded by information provided by Tolkien in a source that is about a quarter of a century younger than the Etymologies, namely the essay Quendi and Eldar from about 1960 (WJ:360-423). In WJ:370, the stem from which the Quenya and Sindarin words for Avari are derived is said to be ABA. This stem "probably derived from a primitive negative element, or exclamation, such as *BA 'no'! (...) it expressed refusal to do what others might wish or urge". The oldest form is now said (in WJ:371) to be abaro, not as in Etym ábârô or ábâro with long â. While Tolkien originally held the r to be a part of the stem ABAR given in Etym (LR:347), abaro must be analyzed as the new stem ABA with the longer agental ending -ro. The new reconstruction abaro is said to have yielded Common Eldarin abar (WJ:371), and this form persists unchanged in Telerin.
          aipen "if anybody, whoever" (WJ:375 cf. 372). Apparently one of the "few old compounds" (WJ:362) that include the element pen "person", q.v. Compare Quenya aiquen; cf. also Telerin arpen. The prefix ai- would seem to mean something like "any-", hence literally *"any person", but no plausible etymology of this element can be offered.
          alata "radiance, glittering reflection" (PM:347). Derived from a Common Eldarin stem ÑAL "shine by reflection"; the primitive form is given as *ñalatâ "radiance, glittering reflection", referring to the glittering from water, jewels, glass or polished metals. Contrasted with Quenya ñalta, Telerin alata is a good example of an unsyncoped word, the second of two identical vowels being preserved and not lost as in Quenya (cf. Letters:346). This word alone provides an example of how primitive initial ñ- (as opposed to ñg-) behaves in Telerin: it is lost without trace.
          Alatáriel, Alatárielle "Galadriel", "Maiden crowned with a garland of bright radiance" (compound of alata and rielle, q.v.) (PM:347, UT:266). In MR:182, the primitive form of Galadriel's name is given as galata-rîg-elle, but this would have yielded Telerin **Galatáriel, **Galatárielle instead. However, Tolkien reinterpreted the initial element, deriving it from ñalatâ- instead of galata; see alata above.
          alpa "swan" (UT:265, LR:348 s.v. ÁLAK). Primitive form given as alk-wâ, derived from a stem ÁLAK "rushing" (LR:348); alk-wâ would seem to be an adjectival formation (ending -), so the primitive word probably had the same meaning as the stem: "rushing", later used as a noun "rushing (one)" and applied to an animal.
          anga "iron" (PM:347). Not given as a Telerin word in the Etymologies, but since the Quenya cognate is identical in form and meaning, both words come from primitive *angâ (LR:348 s.v. ANGÂ). This is confirmed by PM:347, where angâ is said to be a Common Eldarin form. It seems that the stem itself means simply "iron". In PM:366, a stem ANGA "iron" is mentioned among the four stems for metals that are common to all Eldarin languages (the others denote gold, silver and copper).
          Angaráto "Angrod" (PM:346). Apparently = "Iron-eminent man", a compound of anga and aráto (see aráta concerning the latter).
          aran "king", isolated from Ciriáran, q.v. for further discussion.
          aráta "noble" (evidently personalized aráto in Angaráto, Findaráto) (PM:363). The primitive form of aráta is given in PM:363 as arâtâ, explained to consist of a stem ara- "noble" (not in Etym) that is "expanded" to arat- (see Extension in the section "The Stem and its Modifications" in the article about Primitive Elvish); to this extended stem the adjectival ending -â (WJ:382) has been suffixed; the resulting adjective arâtâ retains the meaning of the stem. For the lengthening of the vowel in the second-to-last syllable, compare perhaps forms like narâka (read *narâkâ) "rapid, violent" from the stem NARÁK (see LR:374). The noun ñalatâ from ÑAL (see alata) expands the stem to ñalat- just like ara- is expanded to arat- in arâtâ, but perhaps significantly, the vowel in the second-to-last syllable is not lengthened in ñalatâ. - The form aráto *"noble man" would descend from arâtô, with the masculine ending -ô instead of adjectival -â, or it may be derived from the adjective aráta at a later date. For the final vowel of a word being altered to make the form more fit as (the final part of) a masculine name, compare Quenya colla "vestment, cloak" appearing in "masculinized" form collo in the Quenya name Sindicollo "Grey-cloak, Thingol" (MR:385).
          arpen "noble (man)" (WJ:375). One of the "few old compounds" (WJ:362) that contain the element -pen "person" (q.v.); the prefix ar- is clearly to be referred to the stem ara- "noble" mentioned in PM:363.
          arpenia *"noble", adjective corresponding to arpen (WJ:375), the adjectival ending -ia would descend from primitive *- (Quenya -ya).
          au also au- "off, away" as verbal prefix. Tolkien's wording is not entirely clear, but au seems to be not only a prefix but also an independent adverb "away", corresponding to Quenya oa (WJ:367 cf. 365). A derivative of the primitive stem AWA, that "referred to movement away, viewed from the point of view of the thing, person, or place left" (WJ:361). Quenya oa "away" is said to derive from awâ (WJ:366), and this is apparently the source of Telerin au as well.
          Audel "Elf that departed from Middle-earth", pl. Audelli (WJ:364 cf. 360, 376). Primitive form given as awa-delo or awâ-delo, literally *"away-goer", from the stem AWA "away" + delo, a primitive agental formation "goer" based on the verbal base DELE "go" (WJ:360). Notice, however, the double ll in the plural; this indicates that the final element in the word was (etymologically speaking wrongly) associated with the noun ello "Elf, Elda". Compare Quenya Oarel pl. Oareldi (WJ:363), the assumption once again being that the final element is actually a shortened form of elda.
          auta- "go away, leave". Past váne and perfect avánie in the more abstract sense "become lost", vante with perfect avantie in the concrete sense "go away"; past participle vanua. (WJ:367 cf. 366) A derivative of the primitive stem AWA, that "referred to movement away, viewed from the point of view of the thing, person, or place left" (WJ:361), or the shorter stem *- (WJ:366). Auta- would come from *autâ (for *awtâ-) with a verbal ending - that is very well attested (most frequent in the case of transitive or even causative verbs, but this verb is not one of them). The pa.t. váne reflects the shorter stem -, to which is appended the past tense ending -ne also known from Quenya: primitive form probably *wânê. The alternative pa.t. vante is connected to auta-, a past tense formation derived by nasal infixion (before the t) and the ending -e; however, we might have expected *avantë instead, closely corresponding to Quenya cognate oantë (WJ:366, stated to be derived from áwa-n-tê). Perhaps the initial a disappeared under the influence of the parallel form váne. The perfect avánie has an identical Quenya cognate stated to be derived from awâniiê (WJ:366), sc. probably the stem with the stem vowel prefixed and the ending -iiê suffixed (evidently the normal primitive perfect formation); the n is stated to have "intruded from the past", sc. to have turned up in the perfect tense by confusion with the past tense form váne (*wânê). The alternative perfect avantie, corresponding to Quenya oantië, would seem to come from *awantiiê. This form may be influenced by the past tense form vantë. The past participle vanua, Quenya vanwa, must be derived directly from the stem -; the primitive form is clearly supposed to be *wânwâ or *wanwâ, the ending -nwâ most of all resembling a nasal-infixed version of the adjectival ending -.
          avad *"away" (WJ:367 cf. 366). A derivative of the primitive stem AWA, defined under auta- above. Quenya oa "away" is said to derive from awâ (WJ:366). The direct cognate of avad is rather a different Quenya word, oar, the final -r reflecting an earlier -d that is preserved unchanged in Telerin. This -d is the (Common Eldarin) remnant of the primitive allative ending -da, "indicating motion to or towards a point" (WJ:366). Avad would therefore seem to represent *awâd(a), literally "to away". Tolkien notes that Quenya oa can refer to both rest (as in "far away") and motion (as in "go away"), but oar, including the remnant of an allative ending, presumably refers to motion only, and this goes for Telerin avad as well. (The form corresponding to Quenya oa would seem to be au.)
          avánie see auta
see auta
          exclamation of refusal: "I will not" or "Do not!" (WJ:371). Derived directly from the primitive negation element BA "no!" (WJ:370).
          Bala "Vala". In the Etymologies derived from an undefined stem BAL (LR:350); a later entry BEL "strong" is however compared to BAL. The primitive form of bala is given as *bálâ, a formation that seems to parallel Bánâ from BAN; see Bana below. In WJ:403 Tolkien provides some information about Quenya Vala, the close cognate of Bala. Vala (and hence Bala) is properly a verb "has power", and plural Valar (Telerin *Balai) can be interpreted "they have power". Subsequently these verbs were also used as nouns: "a Power, the Powers".
          Bana = Quenya Vana, name of a Valië (Quenya form spelt Vána in the published Silmarillion). According to the Etymologies, the primitive form was Bánâ. The ending -â is usually adjectival and never explicitly feminine; it may simply be the stem-vowel suffixed and lengthened. Bánâ is derived from a stem BAN (LR:351) that is not defined as such, but it seems to have to do with beauty; it is the source of Quenya vanya "beautiful" (Telerin *bania, not attested - but see Vaniai). In WJ:383, reproducing a late source (ca. 1960), it is said that the Quenya name of this Valië, Vána, is derived from a stem WAN instead (again, see Vaniai). Here, the primitive form is probably meant to be *Wânâ, that would yield *Vána in Telerin as well.
          bar *"home", isolated from Heculbar, Hecellobar. The Quenya form is -mar (cf. Heceldamar). This Telerin word is not given in the Etymologies, but it is clearly to be referred to the stem MBAR "dwell, inhabit" (LR:372), and this is confirmed by phonological history: When a Telerin (or Sindarin) form in b- corresponds to a Quenya form in m-, the primitive word always began in the nasalized stop mb-.
          Baradis "Varda", changed by Tolkien from Barada. This rejected form was the direct cognate of Quenya Varda; the primitive form is given as barádâ, an adjective "lofty, sublime", derived from the stem BARÁD (LR:351) with the common adjectival ending -â. (Compare the word branda, q.v., from the same stem.) The stem BARÁD was not defined as such, but the stem BAR, the original significance of which was probably "rise", is compared to BARÁD in LR:351. BARÁD is evidently to be understood as an extended form of BAR, though extensions in D are rare (more often S or T). When Tolkien changed Barada to Baradis he derived the latter from a stem BARATH, not defined but "probably related to BAR and BARÁD" (LR:351). Baradis is referred to a primitive form Barathî, which is clearly the stem BARATH with the primitive feminine ending -î (Quenya -i as in heri "lady"). Post-vocalic primitive th comes out as d in Telerin (compare bredele "beech-tree" from the stem BERÉTH), so we would have expected Barathî to yield *Baradi. Tolkien suggests that the Telerin word was influenced by barádâ "lofty", but this seems unnecessary to explain how th became d and does not account for the final s in Baradis. While Tolkien does not address this question directly, we are probably to assume that *Baradi was altered to Baradis under the influence of a word derived from the stem NDIS (LR:375), a strengthened form of NIS "woman". A primitive form in ndis- would come out as dis- in Telerin. Baradis may thus be interpreted "Lofty Lady".
          belca "excessive" (in the source, LR:352, spelt belka - but C is used throughout in the Telerin words in Quendi and Eldar in WJ). Derived from a stem BEL "strong" (LR:352); the primitive form is clearly supposed to be *belkâ, with an adjectival ending - that is well attested (cf. for instance poikâ "clean" from POY).
          belda "strong" Derived from the same stem BEL "strong" (LR:352) as belca; the primitive form can safely be reconstructed as *beldâ, with medial fortification L > LD and the adjectival ending -â. Compare kuldâ "red" from the stem KUL (LR:365).
          belle "(physical) strength" Derived from same stem BEL (LR:352) as belca and belda above; the primitive form of belle would most likely be *bellê, since the ending -ê is often abstract. The doubling of the L could be a "medial fortification" (though L > LD is more common). It is also possible that *bellê is the stem BEL + the abstract ending - (see VT39:16).
          branda "lofty, noble, fine". Primitive form given in LR:351 as b'randâ, apparently representing an even more primitive adjective *barándâ before the loss of the unaccented vowel of the stem BARÁD. The stem is not defined as such but is suggested to be related to BAR, probably meaning "raise" (LR:351). B'randâ shows nasal infixion, or possibly a medial fortification d > nd, and the common adjectival ending -â.
          bredele "beech-tree" (also ferne). Derived from a stem BERÉTH (LR:352), itself undefined; the primitive form would be *b'rethelê with loss of an unaccented e. The ending - is usually a universal and abstract ending (VT39:16), but here it seems to act simply as a noun-former.
          búa- "serve". Derived from a stem BEW "follow, serve" (LR:352); the primitive form is given as beujâ- (spelt beuyâ- in LR:352); - is one of the commonest verbal endings. The words búa- and búro (below) indicate that the primitive diphthong eu became monophthongized to ú in Telerin. Búa- from beujâ also indicates that intervocalic j was lost.
          búro "vassal". Derived from the same stem BEW "follow, serve" as the verb búa- above (LR:352); the primitive form is given as beurô. The ending - is a very common masculine/agental ending. (Fem. *beurê > Telerin *búre.)
          Calapendi = Quenya Calaquendi, the Light-elves (WJ:362). Cala "light" undoubtedly comes from the stem KAL "shine" (LR:362). The Telerin word is not mentioned in the Etymologies, but the identical Quenya cognate cala is derived from a (remarkable) primitive form k'lâ; the stem-vowel has been lost in its normal position, but is restored in Quenya (and Telerin). For the second element of the compound, see Pendi.
          can- "cry aloud, call" or "to summons or name a person" (PM:362), derived directly from a stem KAN "cry, call aloud" (PM:361). This stem is not to be confused with an identical stem listed in the Etymologies: KAN- "dare" (LR:362).
          cáno "herald" (PM:362). The primitive form is given as kânô "crier, herald", derived from the same stem KAN "cry, call aloud" that yielded the verb can- (see above); the suffix -ô is a very common masculine ending often having an agental meaning, it is usually (though not always) combined with lengthening of the stem-vowel when added to a basic verbal stem. This formation is said to be "the older and simplest agental form" (PM:362).
          care "do", attested in the phrase abá care "don't do it" (WJ:371). Care, here used as an infinitive, would seem to be a verbal stem derived from KAR "make, do" (WJ:362). The primitive form would be *kari, final short -i later becoming -e (at the Common Eldarin stage). When endings are appended so that the vowel is not final, its original quality is probably preserved, e.g. *carin "I do". This is the case in Quenya, for which language we have plenty of attested examples (including carin "I make, build" - see LR:362 s.v. KAR).
          cava "house", with a pronominal ending cavaria "his house" (WJ:369). Taken together with the Quenya cognate coa (spelt "köa" in WJ:369), the primitive form can safely be reconstructed as *kawâ. This would require a stem *KAW, nowhere attested. However, there is a stem KHAW "rest, lie at ease" which is equated with KAY "lie down" (LR:364, 363). If the basic meaning of *kawâ is "resting-place" or something similar, we may assume a stem *KAW as the missing link between KAY and KHAW.
          ciria "ship", isolated from Ciriáran, q.v.
          Ciriáran "mariner king" (PM:341). Transparently a compound of ciria "ship" and aran "king" (Quenya cirya, aran); these Telerin words are not attested independently. Ciria "ship" would be derived from the stem KIR- "cut, cleave" (not defined in LR:365, but see kir- in the Silmarillion Appendix). The primitive form would be *kirjâ, though - is usually an adjectival (and verbal) ending, not normally used to derive nouns. (Compare spania "cloud" < *spanjâ form another noun in -.) The semantic idea is apparently that a ship cuts its way through the waves; in the entry kir- in the Silmarillion Appendix, Quenya cirya is defined as "sharp-proved ship" and compared to English "cutter". - Aran is certainly derived from the stem ara- "noble" (PM:363); it could simply be an "extension" in -n or represent primitive *arano with the masculine ending -no, hence "noble man". (Final short -o was lost at the Common Eldarin stage. The ending is more often - with a long vowel, which would yield Telerin *-no, but at least in the primitive word khalatirno "fishwatcher" [LR:394 s.v. TIR] the final vowel is marked with a diacritic indicating that it can be either long or short.) - In the Etymologies, Tolkien derived some words for "king" from a stem 3AR (LR:360), but this yielded aran in Sindarin ("Noldorin") only; the Quenya form had to be haran. Later, aran "king" with no initial h became a word common to both Quenya, Sindarin and evidently Telerin, so Tolkien had evidently changed its etymology. There is every reason to believe that it now connects with ara- "noble" as described above.
          Daintáro (masc. name, cognate of Denethor) (LR:188). Primitive form given as Ndani-thârô, "Saviour of the Dani [Nandor, Green-elves]"; thârô would be an agental formation similar to kânô above, though no suitable stem is known (it would have to be *THAR or less likely *THA; a stem THAR is actually listed in LR:392, but it is defined as "across, beyond" and cannot well yield a word for "saviour"). Interestingly, th becomes t following n, though it becomes f initially (see Findo) and d following a vowel (see bredele). Notice that Tolkien many years later proposed a totally different etymology for the name Denethor; see WJ:412 (where no Telerin form is quoted).
          delia "go, proceed", past tense delle (WJ:364). Primitive form given as del-ja (read probably *deljâ), derived from a base DELE "walk, go, proceed, travel" (WJ:360); the primitive verbal ending - is well attested. The past tense delle might represent *delnê, with the past tense ending -; however, the form elni as the pl. of elen (q.v.) would seem to indicate that ln does not become ll in Telerin. Even so, *delnê seems to be the best reconstruction of the primitive form; in elni the n may be preserved because of analogy with the singular elen. We must, however, also consider the possibility of a nasal-infixed form *denlê; this may have produced delle by assimilation.
          Éde "Rest, Repose", used as the name of a Valië (WJ:404; in Quenya called Estë), the wife of Lórien. In the Etymologies, no Telerin form of this name is mentioned, but Quenya and various Sindarin/"Noldorin" forms are listed under an entry-head EZDÊ (LR:357). This entry, however, has a cross-reference to SED, which is the basic stem here: EZDÊ is rather a reconstruction of a primitive word. In WJ:403, Tolkien derives this name from a stem SED, stating that esdê became ezdê in Common Eldarin (s being voiced to z by contact with the voiced consonant d). Esdê would seem to be the most primitive form, including a rearranged form of the stem SED (vowel-consonant-consonant instead of normal consonant-vowel-consonant); the ending -ê can be both abstract and feminine. Originally esdê was evidently a common noun "repose"; in WJ:404, Pengolodh observes that while the Quenya and Telerin forms (Estë and Éde, respectively) had come to be used only as a name of the goddess, the Sindarin word îdh still had a general meaning "rest". This suggests that here, the ending -ê was originally abstract only, though the fact that there was a feminine ending of the same form would have made the word easily applicable as a feminine name.
          él "star", pl. éli (WJ:362). Cf. the greeting él síla lúmena vomentienguo "a star shines upon the hour of our meeting" (WJ:362, 407). According to WJ:360, Elvish legend had it that the Eldarin words for "star" are to be referred to a primitive exclamation ele, "lo!", "behold!" - supposedly what the Elves said when they first saw the stars. (Cf. WJ:422.) The primitive (Common Eldarin) form of él is given in WJ:360 as êl; in other words, the word was unchanged in Telerin. - In the Etymologies, the words for "star" are derived from a stem EL simply defined as "star" (LR:355); here the Telerin form is not mentioned.
          ela! *"see!", imperative exclamation, directing sight to an actually visible object (WJ:362). Derived from the same primitive element ele "lo!", "behold!" as él (see above); the imperative ending -a descends from an originally independent imperative particle â (WJ:365, 371). The primitive form of ela is given in WJ:360 as el-â.
          elen "star" (pl. elni), an archaic and poetic word (WJ:362). (Notice that in Quenya, elen is the normal word and él is the archaic and poetic word, the opposite of the situation in Telerin!) Elen has the same origin as él, but represents an "extended base" with a suffixed n (WJ:360).
          Ella occasional variant of Ello, primarily used "in quasi-adjectival position (e.g. as the first element in loose or genitival compounds)", like Ellálie "Elf-people", Quenya Eldalië (WJ:362, 375). Ella is the direct cognate of Quenya Elda (which Ello, q.v., is not). Ella descends from eldâ, an adjectival formation "connected or concerned with the stars" (formed by medial fortification l > ld and adjectival -â). This refers to the story that "Oromë loved the Quendi, and named them in their own tongue Eldar [primitive form actually Eldâi], the people of the stars" - because he found them under a starlit sky (Silmarillion ch. 3). Later, this word was no longer applied to all the Quendi, but only those who started on the March to Valinor, whether they ever got there or not. - While Quenya Elda has unquestionably turned the original adjective into a noun, a hint of its original function may still be present in Telerin, that uses Ella instead of Ello in "quasi-adjectival position".
          Ello = Quenya Elda, High-elf (WJ:364; pl. Elloi, WJ:376). While semantically equivalent to Quenya Elda, these forms are not cognate. Ello descends from edelô or edlô, primitive agental formations based on the verbal base DELE "go", hence a *"goer", a term used of those who embarked on the great March from Cuiviénen to Valinor (WJ:360, 364; the stem DELE is not in Etym, but cf. LED "go, fare, travel", LR:368, and its stemvowel-prefixed variant ÉLED "go, depart, leave", LR:356). Cf. Ella, Ellálie (WJ:364, 375), though these forms are actually unrelated (ella comes from eldâ, whence Quenya elda, not edlô/edelô). The confusion of Ella with Ello (similarly Quenya Elda vs. Eldo) may be responsible for the fact that the term Ella was later used of the (descendants of the) "Marchers" only, and no longer applied to Elves in general.
          endo "grandchild, descendant". Derived from a stem ÑGYÔ, ÑGYON (LR:377) that is similarly glossed; this is probably to be understood as a strengthening of the stem , YON "son" (LR:400), since Tolkien made a cross-reference to that stem. The Quenya cognate of endo is indyo; these forms together points to a primitive form *ñgjô; the details can be debated but we are probably to assume a development more or less like ñgjô > *ñdjô > *ñdô > *eñdo > endo (but in the case of Quenya *ñdjô > *iñdjo > indyo). The reason why an e (in Quenya an i) developed before ñ is evidently that this initial sound had become syllabic; see engole below for another example of this.
          engole "lore" (WJ:383; used most often of the special "lore" possessed by the Noldor; notice that engole comes from the same stem as golodo "Noldo"). The primitive form of engole is not mentioned in WJ:383, but the Quenya cognate ingolë is, and the primitive form of that word is given in PM:360: ñgôlê, clearly derived from the stem ÑGOL "wise, wisdom, be wise" (LR:377, but no Telerin word is there mentioned) with lengthening of the stem-vowel and the ending -ê, that is often used to derive abstracts. PM:360 gives evidence that before a syllabic ñ, a vowel i would develop in Quenya (and an a in Sindarin), as in the name Ingoldo from ñgolodô when the initial consonant was syllabic (Sindarin Angolodh, not used). In Telerin, the vowel that developed before a syllabic ñ was e, hence engole can also be referred to ñgôlê. This indicates that góle is a parallel form, derived from ñgôlê without syllabic ñ. Notice that while the original long ô is preserved in góle, it has become short o in engole, possibly because the stess evidently shifted to the new initial vowel and left the next syllable completely unstressed.
          epe "said, say, says", word used to introduce quotations, with no tense forms. Primitive form given as ekwê (WJ:392), a "curious and evidently archaic form that survives only in the languages of Aman" (Quenya equë). Tolkien explained this as a primitive past tense formation based on the very primitive stem KWE having to do with vocal speech, going back to the earliest stages of Elvish language (later expanded to KWETE, whence Telerin pet- and Quenya quet-, "say" - see WJ:391-392). In ekwê, the past tense is indicated by prefixing the base-vowel and lengthening it in its normal place (WJ:415); compare Quenya perfect formations. Tolkien also compares this to the past tenses of one class of Sindarin strong verbs, where similar formations can be shown to underlie the Grey-elven forms.
          eve "a person, someone (unnamed)" Primitive form given as ewê, derived from a stem EWE "person" (PM:340); this stem is not found in the Etymologies. (Tolkien invented the stem EWE to explain the ending - seen in many Quenya names [cf. -ue in Telerin Olue, q.v.], but the origin of this ending was actually explained differently in the Etymologies; see the entry WEG, LR:398.)
          Fallinel "Telerin elf", pl. Fallinelli (LR:379 s.v. NYEL). The literal meaning would seem to be "Foam-singer". The element falli-, independent form probably *falle (attested in Quenya), is derived from a stem PHAL "foam" (LR:381). The primitive form can be reconstructed as *phalli, given the compound form falli-; when final, short -i became -e at the Common Eldarin stage, but remained i when the word is used as the first element in compounds. The strengthening of medial l to ll is evidently simply a "fortification", but the ending -i (most often used to derive colour-adjectives) is sometimes used to derive nouns denoting substances, such as pori "flour, meal" (LR:382, s.v. POR, Telerin *pore); perhaps *phalli "foam" fits into this context. - The second element in Fallinel (-nell-) is obviously a cognate of Quenya nyello "singer", derived from a stem NYEL "ring, sing, give out a sweet sound" (LR:379 s.v. NYEL); the primitive form would be *njellô with fortification to double ll and the masculine/agental ending -ô. This would yield *nello as the independent Telerin word, and this form may well be assumed to have existed, but in compounds the final long vowel was at an early stage shortened: hence phallinjellô > *phallinjello. At the Common Eldarin stage, final short -o disappeared, producing *phallinjell, yielding Telerin fallinel. As we see, the cluster ll was simplified to l when final, but when not final, like before the plural ending -i, it remained double ll: Fallinelli. (For the processs sketched here, cf. WJ:363-364, where Tolkien describes how primitive eldâ became -elda in compounds; this in turn became -eld with the loss of final short -a in Common Eldarin, whereupon -eld was simplified to -el in Quenya, but remaining -eld- when an ending was added to the compound: hence plurals in -eldi.)
          felga "cave". In LR:381, this word is derived from a stem PHÉLEG of similar meaning - from which stem is also derived the Sindarin name Felagund. But since Tolkien later explained this name as a borrowing from Dwarvish (PM:351-352), the stem PHÉLEG and all words derived from it may be obsolete. (Of course, no Dwarvish word could make it into the language of the Teleri of Aman.) Ignoring this possibility, felga is clearly meant to derive from *phelgâ, compare Quenya felya and Old Sindarin phelga. The ending -â is often adjectival, but here simply forms a noun.
          ferne "beech" (also bredele) Derived from a stem PHER, extended PHÉREN, that is simply defined as "beech"; the primitive form can be given as *phernê (while Old Sindarin pheren, Sindarin fêr must represent another form; *phernê should have yielded OS *pherne, S *fern.).
          Findaráto "Finrod" (PM:346). The first element, find-, would probably be *finde as an independent word; the final vowel has dropped out before the initial vowel (a-) in the second element of the compound. *Finde, like the identical Quenya form, means "hair", derived from *phindê "tress" (PM:362, cf. 340). Findaráto means *"hair-noble"; concerning the final element, see aráto under aráta. (Notice that the etymology of Finrod's name was quite different in the Etymologies; here it was derived from Phinderauto, evidently referring to one that has skill in metal-work: see the entries PHIN, RAUTÂ, LR:381, 383.)
          Findo "Thingol". Derived from an undefined stem THIN (LR:392), whence primitive thindi "grey". Clearly Findo does not correspond directly to Thingol "Greycloak" (primitive *Thindikolnô); it must represent simply *Thindô "Grey One", formed from THIN with medial fortification n > nd and the masculine ending -ô. This would refer to Thingol as the most prominent "Grey(-elf)" (Sinda).
          gáia "terror, great fear". The stem is given as GAYA "awe, dread" (of which GÁYAS "fear" in the Etymologies, LR:358, would seem to be an extended form), and gáia is said to descend from gâjâ (PM:363, there spelt with y instead of j - Tolkien's spelling conventions for the primitive language vary from text to text). In this word, an intervocalic j (y) persists as i in Telerin; ái may in effect be a long diphthong. Contrast búa- "serve" from beujâ-; we might have expected *búia, but this form may be impossible because it would have involved a "triphthong" *eui at an earlier stage; perhaps this was simplified to eu before eu in turn became monophthongized to Telerin ú.
          gáialá "fell, terrible, dire" (PM:363 cf. 347). Derived from the same stem GAYA "awe, dread" as gáia, q.v. for reference. The primitive form of gáialá is not given, but can safely be reconstructed as *gâjalâ/*gâjâlâ. In PM:363, gáialá is called an adjective formed on gâjâ "terror, great fear". The ending -, the final long vowel of which is curiously preserved, may be the noun-former -la (as in makla "sword", LR:371) combined with the adjectival ending -â; in effect, - would simply become a longer adjectival ending. (The Quenya participial ending -la must descend from -.)
          gaiar "the Sea". Primitive form given as Gajar- (Gayar-) "the Terrifier" (PM:363), derived from the same stem GAYA "awe, dread" as gáia, q.v. for reference. The hyphen at the end of Gajar- suggests that a final vowel is left out. *Gajaro may likely be the form of the complete word, -ro (more often -) being a well-attested ending that very often has an agental meaning: hence *"that which causes awe/dread", this being "the name made for the Sea, the vast and terrifying Great Sea of the West, when the Eldar first came to its shores" (PM:363, cf. the Silmarillion Appendix, entry gaer). - This explanation of the origin of the Eldarin words for "sea" (Telerin gaiar, Quenya ëar, Sindarin gaear) is relatively late. In the Etymologies, the words for "sea" had been derived from a stem AYAR/AIR simply defined as "sea" (LR:349 - no Telerin form is there mentioned). But in an essay dating from about 1960, Tolkien derived the Sindarin word for "sea" from the above-mentioned stem GAYA instead (WJ:400). Then he reverted to the stem AYAR yielding Sindarin aear, as is evident from a letter he wrote in 1967 (Letters:386). Then he changed his mind again; in a text written at least one year later, the Sindarin word for "sea" is once again gaear pointing to GAYA as the original stem (PM:363), and as far as we know, this was his final decision. (AYAR would have yielded Telerin **aiar, not gaiar.) Tolkien may never have noticed that in LotR he had published the Sindarin word aearon "(Great) Sea", so that according to his normal respect for published material (considered a "fixed" part of the mythos) he would not be free to prefix g- to the Elvish words for "sea", as he does in some post-LotR sources. Oraearon "Sea-day" occurs in LotR Appendix D; another word in the same list of week-days, Orgaladh(ad) or "Tree-day" demonstrates that g would not be lenited to zero in this environment (or we would have seen *Oraladh(ad) instead). If this had been pointed out to Tolkien, he might well have felt obliged to drop the idea that the words for "sea" come from a stem GAYA; perhaps he would have reinstituted AYAR as the stem, in which case the Telerin word would have to be altered to *aiar.
          galla "tree" (changed by Tolkien from galda) (VT39:7, 19). Several sources give galadâ as the primitive form of the word that yielded Quenya alda and Sindarin galadh (Letters:426, UT:266, SD:302), though the Telerin form galla is not mentioned in any of them. In Letters:426, the root is said to be GAL "grow", intransitive, and in UT:266, galadâ is defined as "great growth" (this word was used of spreading trees, while more slender trees were called ornê [Telerin *orne], though this distinction was not consistently maintained in Quenya - we have no way of knowing whether Tolkien intended galla to have acquired the same wide sense as Quenya alda, or still meant "spreading tree" only). In the Etymologies, Quenya alda is derived from a stem GALAD, simply defined as "tree" (LR:357); this may be understood as an extended form of the stem GAL mentioned in Letters:426. It is, however, tempting to compare galadâ from GAL with ñgolodô "Noldo, wise one" from ÑGOL; gala- could be an ómataina-form of the stem (base vowel suffixed), and - could be an ending comparable to the personal ending - in ñgolodô, the ending -â often referring to something inanimate just like the final vowel -ô very often denotes a (masculine) animate.
          glada- "laugh". Derived directly from a Common Eldarin stem g-lada-, not in the Etymologies (PM:359 cf. 343). The g followed by a hyphen is evidently meant as a secondary expansion of this stem (cf. WJ:411, where reference is made to "late PQ [Primitive Quendian] gl- as an initial variation of l-").
          Goldolambe *"Noldo-tongue" = Quenya (WJ:375). See golodo and lambe for a discussion of the separate elements.
          Goldórin *"Noldorin", in Telerin used as the name of Quenya, which language the Teleri knew primarily as the tongue of the Noldor, "for they had few contacts with the Vanyar" (WJ:375). The first element of the word Goldórin, namely Goldo-, is the compound form of golodo "Noldo" (q.v. for further discussion; notice that the long ó of the word Goldórin reflects the long final vowel of the primitive word for Noldo, ñgolodô). To this is added the adjectival ending -rin; see Lindárin for further discussion.
          góle "long study", especially with reference to Noldorin lore (WJ:383). Derived from ñgôlê without syllabic ñ; see under engole for further discussion and references.
          golodo "Noldo" (LR:377 s.v. ÑGOL, PM:360; the syncoped form goldo occurring in WJ:383 would only be used in compounds; cf. Goldórin, Goldolambe above). The primitive form is given in PM:360 and WJ:383 as ñgolodô (MR:350: ngolodô), derived from a stem ÑGOL "wise, wisdom, be wise" (LR:377) or "knowledge, wisdom, lore" (WJ:383). The form ñgolodô shows reduplication of the base-vowel (ómataina) and the masculine/animate ending -. The clan-name Noldor (Telerin *Golodoi) meant "Lore-masters" (MR:350) or "the Wise" (WJ:383) ("but wise in the sense of possessing knowledge, not in the sense of possessing sagacity, sound judgement" - Silmarillion Index entry "Noldor").
          heca! "be gone! stand aside!" (WJ:365 cf. 364). Primitive form given in WJ:365 as heke-â or hek-â; sc. the stem HEKE "aside, apart, separate" combined with the primitive imperative particle â. Notice that though HEKE is properly an adverbial element and not a verbal stem, it is here used to form an imperative phrase.
          heco adverb and preposition "leaving aside, not counting, excluding, except" (WJ:365 cf. 364). Tolkien tentatively suggested a primitive form hek au, not further explained. Hek is apparently the shortest form of the stem HEKE "aside, apart, separate" (in WJ:361, heke is defined as "apart, not including"), while au must connect with the element AWA "away" ("viewed from the point of view of the thing, person, or place left", WJ:361). Hence hek au = *"aside, away" (from).
          hecta- "reject, abandon" (WJ:365), primitive form given as hek-tâ, derived from the stem HEKE (originally an adverbial element "aside, apart, separate"). The frequent verbal ending - often has a causative meaning, so hek-tâ would mean, literally, *"make separate", hence *"distance oneself from", from which the meaning "reject, abandon" developed.
          Hecello "Elf [Ello] left (in Beleriand)", *"Sinda"; pl. Hecelloi (WJ:365, 376). Primitive form not given, evidently *Hekedlô or Hekedelô, sc. ed(e)lô (see Ello) with a prefix hek-, transparently based on the element HEKE "aside, apart, separate". Hence Hecelloi = *"separate Eldar", separate(d), that is, from their kin in Valinor. - The noun Hecello appears as Hecellu- in the compound Hecellubar; the shift -o > -u- is nowhere explained and may be due to subtleties in Telerin phonology that we cannot further explore because our corpus is so small.
          Heculbar, Hecellubar "Beleriand", literally "Hecul-home", "Hecello-home" (WJ:365). See hecul, hecello and bar for discussions of the separate elements.
          hecul, heculo "one lost or forsaken by friends, waif, outcast, outlaw" (WJ:365). The primitive forms of these words are given in WJ:361 as hekla and heklô, respectively. The element hek- represents a stem HEKE "aside, apart, separate", while the ending -la is simply a noun-former: hekla is defined as "any thing (or person) put aside from, or left out from, its normal company" (WJ:361). Most primitive nouns in -la tend to denote inanimates, such as magla "stain", makla "sword", tankla "pin, brooch", tekla "pen" (see SMAG, MAK, TAK, TEK in the Etymologies). This may be the reason why a "personal" form heklô was made, combining the ending -la with the ending -ô that often denotes an animate (masculine) being. It seems that medial and final kl became cul in Telerin (hecul would descend from hekl, after the loss of short final -a in Common Eldarin).
          ho- "from" (verbal prefix) (WJ:369 cf. 368). Derived from HO, "an ancient adverbial element" (WJ:368). Cf. the stem 3O "from, away, from among, out of" in the Etymologies, LR:360.
          ilpen "everybody" (WJ:375 cf. 372). The element -pen, q.v., means "person". The prefix il- "every-" is clearly to be equated with the stem IL "all" (LR:361); cf. the derived Quenya word ilya (Telerin *ilia), which means "each, every" (VT39:20) as well as "all" (LR:361).
          lambe "tongue" meaning language (isolated from Lindalambe, Goldolambe) (WJ:371, 375). This word is said to be derived from a stem LABA "move the tongue, lick" (WJ:416; Etym has LAB "lick", LR:367). Tolkien stated that lambe is probably from lab-mê, the ending - being a frequent abstract ending, hence "licking" or "tongue-movement". By metathesis this became lambê in Common Eldarin at the latest, later used = language. (The word for the physical tongue as opposed to "tongue" = speech is in Quenya lamba; in all likelihood, this word was used in Telerin as well.)
          lie "people", isolated from Ellalie "Elf-people" = Quenya Eldalië (WJ:362, 375). Derived from a stem LI "many" (LR:369 - no Telerin word is there listed), primitive form probably *liê.
          Lindai *"Singers", what the Teleri called themselves, Quenya Lindar (WJ:382). Sg. *Linda; cf. the compound Lindalambe (q.v.) Pl. Lindai comes from primitive Lindâi (WJ:378). Lindâ was originally the name of a member of the Third Clan of the Elves, among the Eldar also called the Teleri. In WJ:382, Lindâ is stated to be derived from a stem LIN, the primary reference of which is to "melodious or pleasing sound" (compare the stem LIN "sing" in the Etymologies, LR:369). Lindâ, derived by medial fortification n > nd and adjectival -â, would seem to be in its origin an adjective, but later applied to the third clan of the Elves and used as a noun. The reference was to their love of song.
          Lindalambe *"Linda-tongue" = Telerin (WJ:371). See Lindai, lambe for a discussion of the separate elements.
          Lindárin *"Lindarin" = Telerin (WJ:371). The first element is the word Linda (q.v.), here appearing as Lindá- with a long á reflecting the long final vowel of the primitive form lindâ (compare the ó of Goldórin, q.v.) To this is added the adjecival ending -rin, well attested in Quenya and often used to derive the names of languages (Nandorin, Sindarin, Telerin etc.) The Sindarin adjectival ending -ren is evidently cognate and suggests an earlier form *-rina.
          lúme "hour", only attested in the allative: lúmena (WJ:407). In the Etymologies, Quenya lúmë is glossed "time" and derived from a stem LU (LR:370 - no Telerin word is there listed). The primitive form would be *lûmê, the ending - often being used to form abstracts. The stem LU is not defined, but compare Quenya "a time, occasion".
          mála "loving, affectionate". Implied (in VT39:10) to be derived from *maelâ, sc. an A-infixed form of the stem MEL "love" (LR:372) combined with the adjectival ending -â.
          Moripendi = Quenya Moriquendi, the Dark-elves, but not applied by the Teleri to their Eldarin kin in Middle-earth (Sindar and Nandor), so in Telerin usage the term must have been equivalent to Avari (WJ:362, 371). Mori- means "black, dark", directly from primitive mori, sc. the stem MOR (LR:373, Letters:382) with the ending -i often occurring in primitive colour-adjectives. The independent form of mori- was probably *more, as in Quenya (since final short -i became -e at the Common Eldarin stage), but no Telerin form as such is mentioned in the entry MOR in the Etymologies (LR:373). - See Pendi for a discussion of the second element in the compound.
          -n, pronominal ending "I", attested in the word aban (q.v.). Identical to the Quenya ending and clearly to be referred to the stem NI "I" (LR:378).
          -na allative ending attested in the word lúmena, q.v. Clearly related to the prepositional element 1-, evidently meaning "to" - cf. the Quenya preposition na (LR:374) and the Quenya allative ending -nna.
          nelli *"singers". Isolated from Fallinelli, q.v. for reference and etymological discussion. Variant -neldi in Soloneldi (this may actually be a Quenya-Telerin hybrid, see Soloneldi). It is probable that the plural form -nelli is used in compounds only; as argued in the entry Fallinel, the independent word "singer" is probably *nello, with pl. *nelloi.
          *-ngua, possessive ending "our", only attested with the genitive ending (-nguo) in vomentienguo "of our meeting" (*vomentiengua "our meeting"). No etymology can be offered at this stage; the form does not seem to be directly cognate with any of the Quenya endings for "our": -lma , -mma, *-lwa. Since vomentienguo corresponds to Quenya omentielvo, the pronominal ending of which is dual inclusive "our" (sc. "our" = "of thee and me"), the Telerin ending may also have this specific shade of meaning. If so, the u of *-ngua may be a dual element, related to the Quenya dual ending -u (Letters:427).
          -o genitive inflection (WJ:369), derived from the element HO "from" used as an enclitic and eventually as a suffix; medial h was lost in Common Eldarin. See ho-.
          Olue "Olwë" (WJ:369, but PM:357 gives Olwe). The first element of this name could not be interpreted even by the Eldar of Valinor; the ending -ue (-we) seems to mean simply "person", see eve. The name was sometimes connected with vola "a roller, long wave", but this was just a kind of pun; see Volwe (PM:357).
          pár "fist" ("though its chief use was in reference to the tightly closed hand as in using an implement or a craft-tool rather than to the 'fist' as used in punching"). Shortened -par in Telperinpar, q.v. Primitive form given as *kwâra, derived from a Common Eldarin base KWAR "press together, squeeze, wring" (PM:318). In the Etymologies, the stem KWAR is defined as "clutching hand, fist" (LR:366), and while no Telerin word is listed, there is a Quenya form quár (as in PM:318), changed to quárë. The latter would point to a primitive form *kwârê or less probably *kwâri, which would yield Telerin *páre. But since PM:318 reproduces a manuscript far younger than the Etymologies, the Telerin and Quenya forms pár and quár should be accepted as most authoritative, despite the change made in Etym.
          pen "one, person" (as an impersonal pronoun), also -pen "in a few old compounds" (WJ:362). Primitive Quendian form given as kwene, Common Eldarin kwên; the stem is stated to be KWENE (WJ:360). (Notice that while Quenya quén preserves the long vowel of kwên, Telerin pen has shortened it.) This KWENE is in turn suggested (in WJ:391-392) to be an extended form of a very primitive stem KWE, having to do with articulate speech (see epe for another extension, KWETE, that more nearly preserves the basic meaning of KWE). The stem KWENE has to do with beings capable of articulate speech, hence "persons" as opposed to animals lacking any form of language.
          Pendi = Quenya Quendi, (the entire race of) the Elves. Only used in the pl. in Telerin, this was "a learned word of the historians" (WJ:375). Primitive form given (in WJ:360) as kwendî, sg. kwende, formed from the stem KWENE (see pen above) with medial fortification n > nd. Since KWENE is probably expanded from KWE, the most primitive stem having to do with articulate speech, the term kwendî identifies the Elves as "speakers"; cf. the Silmarillion chapter 3, in the story about the awakening of the Elves: "Themselves they named the Quendi, signifying those that speak with voices, for as yet they had met no other living things that spoke or sang." However, the Lindarin shift kw > p introduced some confusion and led to certain folk etymologies: "The Ñoldorin Loremasters record that Pendi was used by the Teleri only in the earliest days, because they felt that it meant 'the lacking, the poor' (*PEN), with reference to the indigence and ignorance of the primitive Elves." (WJ:408). - In the Etymologies, LR:366, Quenya quendë "Elf" is derived from a stem KWEN(ED) simply defined as "Elf", and the primitive form is given as kwenedê instead of kwende as in WJ:360. Kwenedê would have yielded Telerin *penede pl. *penedi (no Telerin form is listed in this entry in Etym), but since the text reproduced in WJ:360 is a far later source than Etym (most importantly, a post-LotR source), this earlier etymology can be ignored.
          pet- stem "say", only attested in abapétima "not to be said", q.v. This pet- transparently comes from the stem KWET "say" (LR:366; however, the Telerin word is not listed there. Notice, however, that the Lindarin form of the stem - PET - is mentioned). KWET, or KWETE, is in turn suggested to be an extended form of a very primitive stem KWE; see epe.
          ría "wreath, garland", primitive form given as rigâ, derived from a Common Eldarin stem RIG "twine, wreathe" (PM:347). The ending -â is often used to derive nouns denoting inanimate objects. The stem RIG is also listed in the Etymologies, LR:383, but it is not there defined. The derivatives suggest that Tolkien at that time intended it to mean "crown" (Quenya rië from rigê), but a semantic development from "wreath" to "crown" is quite plausible, so no real contradiction needs to be postulated.
          rielle (-riel) "a maiden crowned with a festival garland" (PM:347). Primitive form *rîgellê (> rielle), in compounds -rîgelle (> -riel, probably -riell- when an ending is added; cf. Fallinel, Falinell- for such developments). Rig- comes from the stem RIG, yielding rigâ "garland" (see ría above), while the element elle (*ellê) "maiden" is mentioned in MR:182, where the primitive form of Galadriel's name is given as galata-rîg-elle. (See Alatáriel.)
          síla "shines", present tense (WJ:407). The primitive form can be given as *sîlâ, sc. the "continuative" form of the stem SIL "shine silver", variant of THIL of similar meaning (LR:385, 392, Letters:425, footnote). For other "continuous" or "continuative" forms formed by lenghtening the stem-vowel and adding the ending -â, cf. mâtâ "is eating" from MAT "to eat" (VT39:7, 11; LR:371), and tîrâ (in palantîrâ), stated to be the "continuative stem of TIR watch, gaze at" (Letters:427).
          Soloneldi "Teleri" (= Fallinelli). Sg. *Solonel, cf. Fallinel. Concerning the final element -neldi, see nelli. (Soloneldi is said to be "a Telerin form" in LR:387 s.v. SOL, but we would rather expect *Solonelli; perhaps we are to understand that Soloneldi is a semi-adapted Telerin-influenced form that was used in Quenya, a compromise between pure Quenya Solonyeldi and pure Telerin *Solonelli). The first element, solo-, means "surf", derived from the above-mentioned stem SOL. (Cf. Solosimpi, Tolkien's older name of the Elves that were later called Teleri.)
          spalasta- "to foam, froth". Primitive *spalastâ-, derived (with the frequent verbal ending -) from SPALAS, itself an extended form (with ómataina and ending -s) of a shorter stem SPAL (LR:387), variant of PHAL (extended PHÁLAS) "foam" (LR:381).
          spanga "beard". Primitive form given as spangâ, derived from an undefined stem SPÁNAG (LR:387); the ending -â often marks nouns denoting inanimates. Alternatively it may just be the base-vowel suffixed and lengthened.
          spania "cloud". Derived from a stem SPAN "white" (LR:387); a primitive form spâna is listed but cannot be the source of spania (spâna would yield Telerin *spán). Spania, like Quenya fanya, must rather come from *spanjâ. The ending - is more commonly used to derive adjectives and verbs, but here it forms a noun (compare ciria "ship" < *kirjâ).
          telepe "silver" (Letters:426, where the misreading "telepi" occurs - but the Etymologies [LR:366 s.v. KYELEP/TELEP], UT:266 and PM:356 give the syncoped form telpe). In PM:366, a stem KYELEP "silver" is mentioned among the four stems for metals that are common to all Eldarin languages (the others denote gold, iron and copper), and the Etymologies also lists KYELEP, TELEP for "silver" (LR:366). The primitive form of telepe is given (in Letters:426) as kjelepê (there spelt kyelepê). The final -ê may be the base-vowel suffixed and lengthened; on the other hand, one of the functions of the ending -ê is to denote a substance. In Quenya, kjelepê became tyelpë, but the Telerin-influenced form telpë became more usual, "for the Teleri prized silver above gold, and their skill as silversmiths was esteemed even by the Noldor. Thus Telperion was more commonly used than Tyelperion as the name of the White Tree of Valinor" (UT:266).
          Teleporno "Silver-high" = Sindarin Celeborn. (PM:347 cf. UT:266). For the element telep-, see telepe above. The final element, orno, is evidently derived from *ornô, a personalized form of the adjective ornâ "uprising, tall"; hence Teleporno = *"Silver-tall". Originally, Tolkien intended Sindarin Celeborn to mean "Silver-tree", the final element being derived from ornê "tree" (the Telerin form would then have been *Teleporne), but the etymology "Silver-tall" appears in Tolkien's latest philological writings. See UT:266.
          Telperimpar "Silver-fist" = Sindarin Celebrimbor (PM:318). The first element, telperim-, is apparently an assimilated form of an adjective *telperin "silvery", primitive *kjeleprina (> Sindarin celebren, celebrin- as in Idril's "title" Celebrindal, Silver-foot). For the second element, see pár.
          Telperion The White Tree of Valinor (Letters:346, UT:266). Telpe- is a syncoped form of telepe "silver" (see above). The exact etymology of the -rion part is not entirely clear, but a form *-rigondo, meaning something like "great wreathed one", seems to be the most likely reconstruction based on what has been published so far. Cf. ría, rielle.
          trumbe "shield". Derived from an undefined stem TURÚM; the primitive form is given as turúmbê, with medial fortification m > mb and the ending -ê, here deriving a concrete noun, though this ending is often abstract (or feminine). Trumbe represents *t'rumbê with the loss of an unaccented pre-stress vowel; such loss often occurs in the Lindarin branch of Eldarin.
          ulga "hideous, horrible". Derived from an undefined stem ÚLUG (LR:396); the primitive form can safely be reconstructed as *ulgâ with the common adjectival ending -â. The most basic stem may rather be *UL, of which ÚLUG could be an extended form. If so, the Quenya adjective ulca "evil" may ultimately be related.
          ulgundo "monster, deformed and hideous creature". Derived from the same stem ÚLUG as ulga above; the primitive form is given as ulgundô, apparently including a nasal-infixed variant of the masculine/animate ending - (as in ñgolodô "Noldo"). The stem ÚLUG- here becomes ulgu- instead (an alternative form ÚLGU- is actually given in LR:396); such transpositions are not uncommon.
          váne see auta
          Vaniai "Vanyar" = "The Beautiful" or "the Fair Ones", the First Clan of the Elves (WJ:383); Telerin singular *Vania. Tolkien stated that this word was "no doubt taken from the Ñoldor", sc. from Noldorin Quenya Vanya pl. Vanyar: The Teleri had few contacts with the First Clan. Tolkien's ideas about the primitive form of Vanya (and hence of Telerin Vania) are seen to differ over time. In the Etymologies, the Quenya adjective vanya "beautiful" is derived from a primitive form bánjâ (there spelt bányâ, LR:351), the ending - being adjectival. The stem BAN is not defined (see Bana). However, in the essay Quendi and Eldar from about 1960, Tolkien stated that Vanya comes from primitive wanjâ, said to be an "adjectival derivative" and showing the same adjectival ending as bánjâ, but a different stem WAN: "Its primary sense seems to have been very similar to English (modern) use of 'fair' with reference to hair and complexion; though its actual development was the reverse of the English: it meant 'pale, light-coloured, not brown or dark', and its implication of beauty was secondary. In English the meaning 'beautiful' is primary." (WJ:383; this stem WAN is of course wholly unrelated to WAN "depart, go away, disappear, vanish" in the Etymologies, LR:397.) Wanjâ thus referred to the yellow or golden hair of the Vanyar (according to WJ:383, the stem WAN is the source of the name of the Valië Vána as well, though this name had also been derived from BAN in the Etymologies - its Telerin form therefore being Bana). However, one source even later than Quendi and Eldar seems to indicate a return to the former concept (stem BAN instead of WAN): In PM:402 it is said that Quenya Vanyar appeared as Banyai at an earlier stage. In Telerin we would then have expected *Baniai if the word was inherited, but since Tolkien stated that Vaniai was a word the Teleri borrowed from the Noldor, we can keep it in this form no matter which derivation we accept (initial primitive b and w both becoming v in Noldorin Quenya).
          vante see auta
          vanua "gone, lost, no longer to be had, vanished, departed, dead, past and over" (WJ:367 cf. 366), a cognate of Quenya vanwa of similar meaning, derived from a stem (WJ:366). In Telerin, vanua is counted as the past participle of the verb auta- (just like vanwa in Quenya), but the form is clearly quite irregular, being derived directly from the stem rather than from the actual verb. It might just as well be considered an independent adjective. See auta- for a suggested primitive form.
          vilverin "butterfly", derived from a stem WIL "fly, float in air" (LR:398); the Quenya cognate wilwarind- would come close to the primitive form. The first element in vilverin would seem to be a cognate of Quenya wilwa, vilwa "air, lower air" (the primitive form wilwâ includes an ending that is usually adjectival, so this may be a noun derived from an original adjective). According to the examples found in the late essay Quendi and Eldar we would have expected wilwâ to yield *vilua rather than vilve (cf. vanua corresponding to Quenya vanwa); Tolkien's precise ideas about Telerin may have changed over time. - It may be that vilverin should actually read *vilvarin, given the Quenya cognate.
          , vo- a prefix used in words describing the meeting, junction, or union of two things or persons: vomentie *"meeting (of two)"; see él. (WJ:367). The prefix is derived from a stem "together" (WJ:367, also LR:399, but the Telerin form is not mentioned in the latter source).
          vola "a roller, long wave" (PM:357). No etymological information given; it is said that the Teleri sometimes connected the name of their king Olue with this word (apparently altering it to Volwe, q.v.), but this was simply a pun. The primitive form can hardly be anything else than *wolâ, but this word cannot be connected to any stem or form in the published corpus; "together" (LR:399) seems quite unable to produce this meaning, unless a wave is perceived as water gathering "together" (the ending - is normally adjectival). Quenya falma "(foaming) wave" is wholly unrelated.
          Volwe (read *Volue?) punning alternation of the name of King Olue (Olwë). (PM:357) See vola, Olue.
          vomentie "meeting of two" (attested with a pronominal ending inflected for genitive: vomentienguo "of our meeting", WJ:407). Concerning the prefix -, vo-, see above. The element it is prefixed to, mentie, looks like the gerund of a verb *menta-, undoubtedly to be derived from the stem MEN "go" (VT39:11; perhaps not the same as the undefined stem MEN in Etym, yielding words for place, spot, region: LR:372). Perhaps we are to assume a primitive verb *mentâ (with the frequent verbal ending - that in this case may not add much to the meaning of the stem itself). A vo-ment-ie would then be a "together-go-ing", a going together: two parties meeting. Cf. WJ:367, where Tolkien defines the Quenya cognate omentië as "meeting or junction of the directions of two people".

Ardalambion Index