Teleri lambëo minaþurië - Enquiry into the Telerin language
CE - Common Eldarin
OT - Old Telerin
PQ - Primitive Quendian
N. - Noldorin
S. - Sindarin
T. - Telerin
Q. - Quenya
Etym - The Etymologies
LotR - The Lord of the Rings
PE - Parma Eldalamberon
PM - The Peoples of Middle-earth
SD - Sauron Defeated
UT - Unfinished Tales
VT - Vinyar Tengwar
WJ - The War of the Jewels
Ulmo returned to the
coasts of Beleriand, to bear them away to Valinor;
for his care was for the seas of Middle-earth and the shores of the Hither
Lands, and he was ill-pleased that the voices of the Teleri should be heard
no more in his domain.
This article deals with the Telerin language, created by J.R.R. Tolkien, in its external and internal development of phonology, grammar and vocabulary. Attempts are made at some parts of these three points to reconstruct forms in a prescriptive approach.
This work owes a lot to Helge Fauskanger's article on Telerin (especially the word list - the words published before VT41), which is, however, already quite old and does not involve the new pieces of information as well as ~90 new words mentioned in VT41-48.
Tolkien asterisked forms he had reconstructed himself, playing a scholar studying the Elvish tongues, but I have treated them as 'attested' and placed the asterisk only before my own reconstructions; unless there is a direct quote from a primary source, which is always italic and mirrors Tolkien's wording exactly, also keeping the asterisks.
Introduction - The four stages of Telerin
There are at least four distinct
stages in the external
development of Telerin. We encounter this language the first time in very early
writings around 1920-1925 (probably 1923). But the words mentioned at that time
are quite different in style from the Telerin of 'The Etymologies' (1937-38,
thus ca. 25 years later) and there is hardly a match to be found. This article will
deal mainly with 'The Etymologies' and the following stages.
The third stage is the essay 'Quendi & Eldar', written in 1959-60, whence we get to know new words, some derivation rules and even first phrases. Finally, the fourth and probably last stage is the time of about 1967-69, a productive period with a lot of essays. Not only do they give us lots of new words and rules, but finally establish the internal position and role of Telerin in Arda, as well as the relationship to Quenya and Sindarin (as a consequence of what was begun in 'Quendi & Eldar'). For the matter of convenience these stages will be subsequently referred to as pre-Etym-Telerin, Etym-Telerin, Q&E-Telerin and late Telerin. One should always keep in mind that there there is another large gap of more than 20 years between Etym-Telerin and Q&E-Telerin, while the second gap to the late writings is only about 8 years long.
I. 1. Historical development
The Elves awakened at Cuiviénen and
while the Eldar marched westwards their language began already to change,
evolving into Common Eldarin. There were three main clans - Vanyar, Ñoldor and
Teleri (or Lindar). The Teleri, going behind, were isolated from the other Elves and thus
developed an own dialect, called 'Common Telerin' by Tolkien. Then they split up into three main branches - Nandor, Sindar,
(Amanya) Teleri and so did
So 'Amanya Telerin' (a word Tolkien uses in WJ:411) would be a more precise term for the language to discuss, since Sindarin and Nandorin are in fact Telerin languages as well. Nevertheless it will be simply referred to as 'Telerin' in this article. The adjective 'Lindarin' will be used in reference to the third clan. In addition one could add another stage - 'Old Telerin' (between Common Telerin and Amanya Telerin), a hypothetical construct not mentioned by Tolkien.
The differences between Vanyarin and Ñoldorin are very few, so that both can be counted as dialects of Quenya. They share for example the same shift b > v (said to be begun by the Vanyar) and the noun plural marker -r (introduced by the Ñoldor) (PM:402), both absent in Common Telerin, so that the Vanyar and Ñoldor must have shared a dialect of Common Eldarin as well - called 'Prehistoric Quenya' in the diagram.
In Aman, the Ñoldor had close contact both to the Vanyar and to the Teleri, but the Teleri living on Tol Eressëa had little contact to the Vanyar. Thus there was much influence between Telerin and Ñoldorin Quenya.
Overall, Telerin takes an interesting
role of an 'interstage' between Quenya and Sindarin, sharing many features with both,
compare the following remark:
The names Findaráto and Angaráto were Telerin in form (for Finarfin spoke the language of his wife's people); and they proved easy to render into Sindarin in form and sense, because of the close relationship of the Telerin of Aman to the language of their kin, the Sindar of Beleriand, in spite of the great changes that it had undergone in Middle-earth. Artafindë and Artanga would have been their more natural Quenya forms [...] (PM:346)
I. 2. Telerin's
function in Arda
The Teleri of Aman lived about as isolated as their Nandorin kin in the east.
Only a couple of them went to Middle-earth, while the others were not much
involved into the great events; except for the tragedy of Alqualondë. Still,
regarding the amount of material, Telerin holds the third place among the Elvish
languages, right after
Quenya and Sindarin; and frequent references to it are given in the essays (unlike Nandorin). What
is the reason?
The reason is its very archaic phonology and a lot of interested Ñoldorin linguists nearby in Aman.
A good example is the question of *lemen. It was suggested that the words for 'five' had been derived from the stem LEP-, connected with fingers. The forms were:
S. leben, Q. lempë '5'; S. lefnui, Q. lemenya, lempëa '5th'.
An intrusion of m was observed in Quenya, which led to the assumption that the stem could have had the alternative form *lemen in CE, beside the regular lepen.
S. lefnui gave no answer here, since lepen > *lepn- > *lebn- > *lefn- [levn] would have yielded lefnui just as *lemen > *lemn- > *lefn-.
But a look at the Telerin forms clarified the situation, they were lepen '5' and lepenya '5th'. Thus, *lemen was rejected and Q. lempë had to be explained by a contraction of CE lepene to *lepne with reversal and assimilation: *lenpe > lempë. And lemenya as an analogical formation was satisfactory explicable (VT42:25).
On another occasion Tolkien got the idea that the element EN- 'again' needs to be distinguished from the extended form ÉNED- 'centre'. His intention was to alter ÉNED- to HENED- or HENET-. Probably he did not want to alter the Quenya and Sindarin derivatives and so they both lost initial h-, which produced Q. Endor, S. ennor 'Middle-earth' (VT41:16). Thus a Ñoldorin linguist would have had no idea whether the original stem had h- or not. Unless he would take a look at the Telerin form Hendor. This intention is not explicitly described and these musings are struck through, but we get the idea.
There must be a similar situation regarding SP-stems. Initial sp- becomes f- in Sindarin as well as in Quenya, so there would be no reason to assume an SP-stem for a word beginning in f- if there was no Telerin, which left initial sp- unchanged (cf. Q. fanya, S. faun, T. spania 'cloud'). Nandorin, however, did the same (cf. spenna 'cloud' (Etym:SPAN-)), but the study of Nandorin by the Ñoldor took place much later.
But Telerin did also show
other interesting details.
Common Eldarin strengthened many stems by intrusion of a, which formed the diphthongs ai, au, ao, ae. The first two were fairly stable, while ae and ao became in Quenya long ē and ō, respectively. The presence of ancient ae and ao was discovered by Fëanor (he was the chief linguist among the Ñoldor; this phonetic change became known as 'Fëanor's e and o') after he had compared Quenya forms with their Telerin cognates which showed long ā in both cases (VT39:9-10).
Thus Q: méla 'loving, affectionate' (< MEL-), for example, could not be explained by lengthening e > é, but had to be derived from older *maelā; given māla in Telerin.
I. 3. Influence of Quenya, Telerin and ... Adûnaic(?) on each other
Tolkien established several relations between Telerin and Quenya and a few loanwords can be given.
A very prominent loan is Q. telpe
from T. tel(e)pe 'silver' instead of the historical form tyelpe:
But in Quenya the 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)
A more detailed description is given in Let:347, where the form is telepe:
Though tyelpe remained in Q., telpe (with Q. syncope) became the most usual form among the Elves of Valinor, because the Teleri in their lands, to the north of the Noldor, found a great wealth of silver, & became the chief silversmiths among the Eldar.
According to this very late outline (1972) Quenya took T. telepe and made a regular syncope > Q. telpe. This became a common word in Valinor (so among the Ñoldor and Vanyar - but is Tol Eressëa itself counted, too, or did the Teleri stick to telepe?).
Due to the Teleri's affinity to silver it is also widely used in their names - Telperimpar (Celebrimbor), Tel(e)porno (Celeborn) - both are Teleri at the late stage of ca. 1968, Celeborn being the grandson of Olwë, while Celebrimbor is his companion (for more details see 'The History of Galadriel and Celeborn' in the 'Unfinished Tales').
An interesting kind of influence can be observed in the Telerin and Quenya forms of the name Galadriel. Celeborn, her lover, gave her the Telerin name Alatāriel(le) 'maiden crowned with a garland of bright radiance' (< CE ñalatā; ÑAL-; RIG-). This has been rendered into Quenya as Altariel with usual Quenya syncope of the medial vowel, but without the regular Quenya development of ñ- > n-; Ñaltariel would have been the true form (PM:347). But it was correctly rendered in Sindarin: Galadriel (ñ- > g-).
In 'The Etymologies' Quenya takes over the name Elwe from Telerin, instead of the historical Helwë (ƷEL-, VT45:17). Many years later Elwe is not connected to any stem or explicit meaning anymore.
Though archaic in many ways, Telerin did also employ several linguistic innovations in the pronunciation. One of them was the shift of bilabial f (ɸ) to a labio-dental f (VT41:7) (from aspirated p in CE) and it spread into Ñoldorin Quenya (but not into Vanyarin).
The Teleri took the word Vanyar (a term for the Elves of the first clan) over from the Ñoldor, adapting it as Vaniai (WJ:383) (they had almost no contact to the Vanyar themselves). It is derived from WAN- 'fair', CE wanjā in 'Quendi & Eldar', but from BAN- in 'The Etymologies' and BAN- reappears after 'Quendi & Eldar' in the CE form Banyai (PM:402). But since phonetic adaptations were not always historically correct (see Altariel above) and because BAN- yields Q. Vanya just like WAN-, this has probably no impact on the Telerin form.
seems also to share some fascinating features with Adûnaic, the language of the
Dúnedain of Númenor. We know that Adûnaic was strongly influenced by Quenya,
but perhaps also by Telerin.
Adûnaic expresses the instrumental case by the suffix -mā 'with' (SD:429). The Telerin instrumental preposition is mā (VT47:18) (< MAƷ-), but mentioned in a much later source; the meaning is derived from 'hand' (still so in Quenya). Did Tolkien change his idea that the element mā was used for the instrumental case in Adûnaic and applied it to Telerin or do we see influence here?
Adûnaic pluralizes verbs by the ending -m, e.g. dubdam '[they] fell' (SD:247); the subjective plural of non-neuter nouns is formed by -im (e.g. Ēruhīnim 'the Children of Eru' (ibid.) as a subject of a sentence or in apposition to another noun) and about at the same time Tolkien imagined that Telerin would keep the plural marker -m (see III.6. for a discussion). It becomes -n in Quenya, which cannot be the source of influence. However, it is also possible that the Edain took it over from the Avari in very early times, we cannot be sure.
The Akallabêth story tells us about the linguistic situation on Númenor and of the relationship between Númenoreans and Eldar:
For though this people used still their own speech, their kings and lords knew and spoke also the Elven tongue, which they had learned in the days of their alliance, and thus they held converse still with the Eldar, whether of Eressëa or of the west-lands of Middle-earth. And the loremasters among them learned also the High Eldarin tongue of the Blessed Realm [...]
However, the 'Elven tongue' should be understood here as Sindarin.
There is an Eldarin expedition to Númenor mentioned in the tale of Aldarion and Erendis:
In the morning before the feast Aldarion gazed out from the window of the bedchamber, which looked west-over-sea. "See, Erendis!" he cried. "There is a ship speeding to haven; and it is no ship of Númenor, but one such as neither you nor I shall ever set foot upon, even if we would." Then Erendis looked forth, and she saw a tall white ship, with white birds turning in the sunlight all about it; and its sails glimmered with silver as with foam at the stem it rode towards the harbour. Thus the Eldar graced the wedding of Erendis, for love of the people of the Westlands, who were closest in their friendship.
According to the description these Eldar must have been Teleri from Tol Eressëa, although this is never mentioned; and neither is the Telerin language. The Númenoreans preferred Quenya, not Telerin names.
II. Remarks on phonological development
|voiced liquids||r, l|
|voiceless spirants||ɸ (arch.)||f||s, θ (arch.)||þ||h, ?ch?|
These are the phonemes of
Telerin. Note a complete absence of voiced spirants, even of the otherwise usual
[v]. Common Eldarin did not have this sound (cf. VT46:28); Quenya developed it
from b, Sindarin by medial lenition of b and m. Neither of
these sound changes occurs in Telerin. Therefore Tolkien uses the letter v
to represent the bilabial approximant (English w [w]).
Neither did Telerin develop voiced z, ð; being in phonology most close to Common Eldarin, which did not have ð; and had z only by voicing of s in a voiced environment. This sound disappeared in Telerin before consonants (CE ezdē > T. Ēde (WJ:404)) and most probably became r between vowels (ending -ria < *-zia < -*sjā). On the other hand the word otos(o) '7' from late Telerin suggests that medial -s- is allowed and does not become voiced.
The guttural nasal ñ must appear before other gutturals, though it is always written n.
It is unclear whether Telerin features the back spirant ch [χ], evidence seems contradictory here (see II.4. below); it does occur in the corpus before 'The Etymologies', but not afterwards.
There is a similar situation concerning initial CE sl-, sm- and sw-. In Pre-Etym-Telerin they become l-, m- and su- respectively, but are not attested at later stages (see Appendix (3)); unchanged are: initial sp- occurring in 'The Etymologies' only, st- both in pre-Etym-Telerin and 'The Etymologies', sc- attested in pre-Etym-Telerin only.
Telerin has a usual Elvish set of 5 vowels; short: a, e, i, o, u and long: ā ē ī ō ū. Long vowels are marked by a macron most of the time, to distinguish Telerin orthography from other Elvish tongues - see II.6. The diphthongs ai, āi, ui, oi, au, eu, iu (iú) occur in our corpus, depending on the conceptual stage. Notable is the unusual presence of at least one long diphthong (though the notation iú might merely indicate that it is a rising one) and a long final vowel in gāialā (PM:363).
Etym-Telerin turned CE eu̯ into long ū (CE beu̯rō > T. būro 'vassal'). A table from late Telerin, however, shows another development - eu, iu both becoming iu (VT48:7), though Tolkien was apparently not sure of this and so eu is left unchanged in other notes (KEWE- > keu-rā > T. ceura (VT48:8)).
This table shows the following development: ei > ē, oi > ui, ou > ō, while ai, ui, au, iu do not change. This would mean a loss of oi, which was frequent in Q&E-Telerin (as e.g. in Elloi 'Elves').
The rare CE diphthongs ae, ao and the monophthong ǭ all became long ā (VT39:10).
Quenya develops au from primitive au̯ and so does Telerin, but only when this combination occurs in front of a consonant, e.g. auta-. The bilabial approximant is retained between vowels. But final -au seems impossible, at least in polysyllabic words; see the change hek-au > heco.
CE non-syllabic u̯ regularly becomes the vowel u after a consonant in Telerin, except for Olwe/Volwe, vilverin and Elwe (the latter struck through) where it seems to remain [w].
At the Common Telerin stage (or possibly even in PQ) a prominent Lindarin change was kw > p (alkwā > alpa (Telerin) > S. alph (VT42:7)). Another one may be the fortification of initial l- by adding g-. According to Tolkien it is debated whether gl- was an initial group in Common Eldarin or was a Telerin-Sindarin innovation; so no direct answer can be given.
See also Appendix (1) for an overview.
II. 1. The problem of þ
The 1968 essay 'The
Shibboleth of Fëanor' was a very important one in Tolkien's writing, as it
established a connection between the Eldarin tongues and the events of the First
Age. It is also a good point to demonstrate how the Elvish languages were
consciously changed by their speakers.
The change þ > s had been suggested by many loremasters of Quenya, yet Fëanor, the chief linguist among the Ñoldor, spoke against it. This sound change had to be presented as unnecessary (by external means), so the other languages of Aman had to preserve þ. Vanyarin, being very close to Quenya, certainly did, but we were puzzled regarding Telerin for a long time.
The only words involving th (aspirated t - the main source of þ in the other tongues) were those of distant Etym-Telerin, namely:
Findo (THIN-) 'Thingol',
Baradis (BARÁD-/BARATH-) 'Varda',
bredele (BERÉTH-) 'beech-tree',
Daintāro - 'Saviour of the Dani' (< Ndani-thārō) (LR:188)
The conception at that time was obvious - Tolkien thought that Telerin would turn initial CE th- into f-; intervocalic -th- into -d- and -nth- into -nt-.
But with the publication of VT47 in February 2005 and VT48 in December 2005 we know some new words:
þarma 'left-hand' (VT47:6) (< KHJAR-) and
nēþa 'sister' (VT47:14) (< NETH-)
toloþ '8' (VT48:21) (< *TOL-OÞ)
So in late Telerin initial þ evolves out of initial CE khj-. This builds up a consistent picture in the sound development - Telerin seems to suppress the palatalized consonants, turning e.g. the palatalized unvoiced guttural stop kj- into the unvoiced dental stop t- (cf. KJELEP- > tel(e)pe (Let:347)). So it would be a logical development if the palatalized unvoiced guttural aspirate khj- turned into the unvoiced dental aspirate and then into the dental spirant θ (pronounced with the tongue behind the upper teeth row). Indeed we get to know from a commentary to the 'Shibboleth of Fëanor' that the shift from dental and labial þ and f to interdental þ and labio-dental occurred first in Telerin (VT41:7) ('interdental' = 'post-dental').
Thus as a matter of redundancy one could exemplify the development as following: CE nēthā > OT nēθa > T. nēþa.
This does not contradict Findo - late Telerin may still turn initial th- into f-. And as we do not find any roots starting in ƷJ-, it cannot be the source for the voiced post-dental ð.
However, nēþa contradicts the earlier bredele (with identical intervocalic -th-). It does not necessarily contradict Baradis - this is derived from BARATH- in 'The Etymologies', but is said to show influence of baradā lofty (VT45:7). So it must be a blending of the two roots BARÁD- and BARATH- already in Etym-Telerin (cf. Q. Varda < BARÁD-). But bredele (very likely included in 'The Etymologies' to demonstrate the shift -th- > -d-) has probably to be read *breþele in late Telerin.
The shift -nth- > -nt- as in Daintāro may still be valid in late Telerin, although the diphthongization a > ai does not seem to be regular.
There is also ?lepþa,
a possible reading of leppa 'finger, feel with fingertips' (VT47:23)
(emended to the final form lepta). But it is doubtful whether this can be
the right reading, since in other combinations of two stops no such development
can be observed, compare occo, a rejected form of the word for 'seven'
(VT47:42) or nette, the play name for the fourth finger, which has
developed in the exactly opposite way, from CE netthi (VT47:12,32) -
Telerin favors geminated unvoiced stops.
II. 2. -u- in
the last syllable
From 'Quendi & Eldar'
we get to know the terms hecul, heculo for those of the Eldar who
had been left behind in Beleriand (WJ:365). Their derivation at this stage must be from
PQ hekla 'any
thing (or person) put aside from, or left out from, its normal company' (WJ:361).
A later rule tells us:
Short unstressed vowels were probably lost finally in Common Eldarin after l, r, n, m. Cf. *abaro 'refuser' > abar (VT47:13)
This must have been already valid in 'Quendi & Eldar', given PQ abaro > CE abar (WJ:371), so that we can reconstruct:
PQ hekla > CE *hekḷ(?) > T. hecul
Syllabic ḷ is supplemented with the vowel -u- and one could toy with the idea that it might be a late CE development. If so, we would see a similarity in the Lindarin languages and something different in Quenya.
In Quenya we find -i- as in macil 'sword' and in Sindarin -o- as in magol < PQ(?) makla 'sword' (Etym:MAK-). Sindarin and Noldorin turn u to o under the influence of final -a, -o, -e (compare urkā, urkō > S. orch (WJ:390)). Maybe Telerin keeps here the ancient vowel -u- (thus CT > T. *macul)? On the other hand the alternative N. magl and other forms show that syllabic consonants remained at least in Noldorin valid for a long time, so that this assumption of a CE development would contradict 'The Etymologies'.
not directly related to this: Final -o becomes medial -u- in
'Elf of Beleriand' > Hecellubar 'Beleriand, home of the Hecelloi'
(WJ:365). A similar thing occurs in Quenya, see: rusko, rusku-
'a fox' (VT41:10) - here final -u becomes -o.
Late Telerin shows a shift oi > ui (VT48:7), where o is raised under the influence of i in the same syllable.
We are also told in 'Quendi & Eldar' that both *edelō and *edlō regularly became ello in Telerin. But a later postulated rule states:
Telerin often lost ĕ, ŏ (not a) from older ē, ō (prim. C.E. ĕ, ă, ŏ were lost in Quenya, Telerin, Sindarin) after final sonant m, n, r, l and s, retained if in an accented syllable (VT47:25), where ĕ, ă, ŏ must signify short or maybe over-short e, a, o.
Note the word 'often' - it does not really obsolete ello. But given PQ heklō 'a waif or outcast; in personal form' (WJ:361) one can reconstruct the following (optional) development of hecul:
PQ heklō > CE *heklŏ > OT *hekḷ > T. hecul
Applying this rule to edlō 'Elda' we get the following:
PQ edlō CE *edlŏ > OT *edḷ > T. *edul
Interestingly this word already occurs in a plural form, traced all the way back in 'The Etymologies'. It reads there:
-m plural. Telerin pl. am, um, em. edulam. (VT46:29)
This may hint at a singular form #*edul (see III.6. below for the discussion of pl. -m). The note has been struck through, but nevertheless it is interesting that we arrive at *edul by applying a rule from late Telerin to a form of 'Quendi & Eldar'.
II. 3. The problem of CE -j-
From the examples in 'Quendi
& Eldar' and 'The Etymologies' we can derive a clear development of the CE
non-syllabic vowel j (also transcribed ɪ̯ and sometimes y
by Tolkien) - it becomes the vowel i after consonants, see:
spania < *spanjā 'cloud'
arpenia < *ar(a)kwen(d)jā *'noble'
delia < del-ja 'go, proceed'
Pendia < kwendjā 'Quenya'
-ria < *-sjā 'his'
Vaniai < bánjā-i 'Vanyar'
In late Telerin this system is partly preserved:
glania < *glanjā 'to bound, limit'
nia < *-njā 'my, of me'
However, the ordinal numbers, being formed like adjectives as well, contradict this system completely - j remains non-syllabic, transcribed y:
tatya < *(a)tatjā '2nd'
nelya < *neljā '3rd'
canatya < *kanatjā '4th'
lepenya < *lepenjā '5th'
enetya < *enekjā '6th'
ototya with analogical substitution of -tya (the historical form would have been *otosjā) '7th'
tolodya < *tolodjā '8th'
neterya < *neterjā '9th'
paianya < *kwajanjā '10th'
How to explain this? It
cannot depend on the preceding consonant, we see both j > i
> y after n, r, for example.
So it must be an irregularity of the ordinals. Perhaps Quenya influence played a significant role here - see the combination kj in *enekjā which becomes ty, just as in Quenya, instead of the regular Telerin shift kj > t. However, to be precise, we know kj > t only initially in Telerin, so kj > ty might be a regular medial development instead? Or maybe we dealing with a special case where the whole adjectival suffix must be preserved.
The source of these ordinals is the essay 'The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor' and although I have counted it to the essay phase of 1967-69 it is actually written very late during that time, in June 1969 or later (VT42:6-7), so that these words are put down later than any others with j > i occurring.
II. 4. The
development of the gutturals H, KH, Ʒ, Ñ
PQ kh stands for an aspirated stop becoming a spirant already in CE, ʒ is its voiced counterpart and h stands for the same sound as in English (breath-h). Roots beginning in KH-, Ʒ- and H- suffered a lot of changes in Tolkien's external linguistic development. Let us try to establish the whole pattern involving Telerin.
In 'The Etymologies' the
following picture can be seen:
is not known what initial KH- yields in Telerin at this stage. It may be h-
as in the other languages or (less probably) remain ch-.
The only example of Ʒ > -- is written on a later rejected page - Elwe from the stem ƷEL- (VT45:17), same in Noldorin. A side note reads: alter to KHEL-, whatever this means for the development of consonants.
The final entry, however, states that ƷEL- was confused with EL- in Telerin and Noldorin. This must refer to the loss of initial ʒ-.
After the publication of
the LotR a new initial consonant H- appears, although one can guess that it is
not actually new, but takes over the role of old Ʒ-, and Tolkien simply
changed the archaic pronunciation without altering the phonological
developments. The stem HO-, which is spelled ƷO- in 'The Etymologies', is a
hint at this.
Ʒ-stems have now a somewhat different role. Thus we get the following table from 'Quendi & Eldar':
Q. Hildor 'the Followers' (WJ.387) (most probably from KHIL-) and S. hadhod (< chaðaud < chaðǭd, WJ:388,414), an adaptation of the Khuzdul word Khazâd.
A stem ʒăn- 'extend' with the alternative yăn- is dated December 1959 (VT47:27) and is thus (roughly) contemporary to 'Quendi & Eldar'. A CE derivative ʒandā 'long' is given, but no S., T. or Q. derivatives. Maybe Tolkien still had Q. anda, S. (<< N.) and, ann 'long' in mind, as ann-thennath *'long-shorts' had been already mentioned in the LotR.
And finally the late essay stage (a complete chart at last):
|H- >||h-||-- / h-||--|
|Ñ- >||--||ñ- > n-||g-|
KHAN- > T. hāno, Q. hanno, S. hawn 'brother' (coll.) (VT47:12,14);
ƷOR- (CE ʒōrē) > T. ōre, Q. órë, S. gûr 'heart' (in a moral sense)'. This reinforces the assumption that Telerin turned initial KH- into h- at the previous stages as well (cf. the statement: kh became in all Eldarin tongues the spirant , and then initially h (VT41:9)).
All occurring H-stems have been rejected, but their development is such that Telerin keeps this initial h-. Examples for this are:
HOR- > T. hor-, Q. #(h)or- 'to warn' (in a moral sense) (VT41:13) and:
HENED-/HENET- > T. Hendor, Q. endor, S. ennor 'Middle-earth' (VT41:16)
ÑAL- > T. Altāriel, Q. Ñaltariel, S. Galadriel (PM:347)
This development is also
confirmed by a note that Telerin lost the weak initial ñ and ʒ
This stage also gives us enough information to observe the development of medial -ʒ- and -χ-:
ʒ disappears after a vowel which is then lengthened, already in late CE: MAƷ- > T. mā- 'hand' (VT47:6) or LUƷ- > CE lū 'bow, curve' > T. lū - 'bow' (VT47:12) (Side note: In a Sarati mode for Qenya of the 20s long vowels were transcribed as short vowel + h - perhaps an orthographical regularization based on this kind of sound change.)
ʒ becomes devoiced in front of t, turning into χ (still in CE), which in its turn assimilates to t: MAƷ- > PQ maʒtā > CE maχtā > T. matta 'handle, wield, manage, deal with' (VT47:6); a similar development should take place when χ comes into contact with other voiceless stops.
Now a statement in VT41:9 tells us that in Quenya and Telerin medial χ eventually became h also in most cases. This is very strange and contradicts Quenya phonology as described in the LotR - it is said in Appendix E:
Thus No. 11 was called harma when it represented the spirant ch in all positions, but when this sound became breath h initially (though remaining medially) the name aha was devised [...]
So Quenya h is only a breath-h initially and either ach- or ich-Laut medially (The Quenya combination ht has the sound of cht, as in German echt, acht (ibid.)). The statement from VT41 must then refer to intervocalic -h-, maybe we are dealing here with an alternative pronunciation or perhaps this is just a slip of Tolkien's, who became confused by the transcription 'h'?
Anyway, matta with -χt- > -tt- was a contemporary derivation to the VT41:9 comment - from January / February 1968. Thus, the statement must refer to intervocalic -h- in Telerin as well; it has to be pronounced as a breath-h (a breath-h before any consonant is barely audible and not natural for the phonology of any Quenderin tongue). This way, no χ-sound exists in Telerin (if not produced by other, yet unknown sound shifts). But if the comment is a slip or shows optional pronunciation, we have intervocalic -χ- in Quenya (aha [aχa]) as in Telerin (*-ch-). Note that [χ] occurred in pre-Etym-Telerin: alacha (?aor.) '*to shield' (PE13:158).
A final remark has to be
made about the development of CE g. It remains in Telerin initially:
GAP- > gampa 'hook, crook' (VT47:20) (unlike Q. ampa); also medially before and after consonants:
LOG- > logna 'soaking wet, swamped' (VT42:10) (unlike S. loen), PHÉLEG- > felga 'cave' (unlike S. fela, Q. felya).
It may disappear if between vowels, while the preceding vowel is presumably lengthened, if short:
RIG- > CE rīgā > T. ría 'wreath, garland' (PM:347), but not always, see loga 'fenland'(?) (VT42:10, UT:263) (LOG-)
II. 5. Vowel syncope
CE vowels in long words disappeared according to the following rule:
Omission by phonetic loss of the unstressed vowel (short) before the Common Eldarin accent was frequent in Sindarin between stops and l, r, and usual in Telerin in word-forms that remained not less than dissylabic (VT47:9)
Thus, in the development of CE palátā
between the stop p and the liquid l is omitted, yielding T. plata
'flat of the hand' (PAL-) (VT47:8-9)
T. calca 'glass' (< KALAK-) could then be derived from CE *kalakā΄ (therefore no accent on the stem is given) (VT47:35). Note that in this example the second vowel is lost, not the first one, which would have led to the unpleasant **claca (though medial -cl- is allowed, see aclar below).
T. galla 'tree' (< GAL-/GÁLAD-?) is derived from CE galadā (Let:347, UT:266, SD:302), where the stress must be on the last syllable as well; but regarding GÁLAD- in 'The Etymologies' it could also be a similar omission after the Common Eldarin stress.
T. trumbe 'shield' (< TURÚM-) is derived from CE turúmbē in 'The Etymologies' showing that this phonetic loss had been already planned at this comparatively early stage, likewise T. bredele < CE *beréthelē (< BERÉTH-).
Such a syncope is absent in alata 'radiance, glittering reflection' < CE ñalatā (< ÑAL-), but 'usual' in the quote above does not mean 'always'.
T. golodo 'Ñoldo' (< ÑGOL-/ÑGOLOD-) shows no syncope in 'The Etymologies'; but CE ñgolodō yields goldo in 'Quendi & Eldar' (WJ:383); while PM:360 gives golodo again.
Overall it should be noted that 'Quendi & Eldar' shows quite a lot of words with syncope - goldo, galla, ello, elni.
There was already vowel omission at the Common Eldarin stage, which is distinguished from the 'phonetic loss' above. It is indicated by an apostrophe, as pal'tā (VT47:9) or ap'lata (VT47:13), both derived from PAL-. But Tolkien leaves the apostrophe out in aklara (< KAL-) > T. aclar 'glory, splendour' (probably with loss of short -a after r in CE).
The stem KYÉLEP- (VT45:25) in 'The
Etymologies' yields T. telpe
(CE *kjel'pē) and this form is also mentioned in late Telerin
(PM:356, UT:266; there < kyelep-).
However, a very late explanation (from 1972) contradicts this, stating:
Telerin telepe (in T. the syncope of 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) (Let:347)
The CE form is now given as kyelepē.
With this rule, we would expect *calaca instead of calca (unless one assumes CE *kal'kā), also *galada < CE galadā. T. ello must be explained to be derived from CE edlō, not edelō (WJ:364), but where stress is involved in one of these two vowels (see examples above) this rule is probably invalid; alata and golodo on the other hand fit very well. The remark that shortening still takes place in words of length leaves such names as Telperion (UT:266, Let:347) or Telperimpar (PM:318, VT47:23) unchanged, but Teleporno (UT:266) with telep- has to be updated to Telporno with the new #telp- and this name indeed occurs in the letter.
It is, however, stated that telpe (with Q. syncope) became the most usual form among the Elves of Valinor (see also I.3.).
II. 6. Length marks
Two diacritic signs are found in Telerin - macron and accent. The macron doubtlessly refers to vowel length. That is not necessarily true for the accent. If it refers to vowel length as well, we could expect the macron then marking over-long vowels, as both appear mixed in the same sources; and a similar distinguishing (but with a circumflex) is found in Sindarin or Adûnaic. On the other hand there would be then a great quantity of over-long vowels in various word shapes, so we might suppose a different spelling of the same length grade instead.
Another possibility could be that the accent refers to stress. The stress
rules given for Sindarin and Quenya in the LotR may not be necessarily true for
Going into detail we can find:
Daintáro (LR:188) comes from Ndani-thārō - apparently á represents here the remaining long ā. This form, however, is not part of 'The Etymologies' proper (which was itself written and expanded over a certain period of time), where we can only find macrons.
Q. avá is irregularly stressed on the last syllable (WJ:370) and the Telerin cognate abá has an accent as well.
However, the Quenya cognates of T. abapétima - 'not to be said' (WJ:371) and góle - 'long study (of any subject)' (WJ:383) are avaquétima and ñóle both with a long vowel; and it would be absurd to mark the stress in góle.
The word Ciriáran - 'mariner king' (PM:341) would be
stressed *Ciriaran according to Quenya/Sindarin rules if written
without the accent. Perhaps Telerin tries to preserve the morpheme aran
clearly heard in this combination or the former non-syllabic i cannot be
stressed (though a lengthening in the contact #ciria + #aran would
be a suitable explanation as well).
In the word ciúra - 'renew' (VT48:7) the accent could likely indicate a rising diphthong (thus in fact also the stress). If it is lengthening, why does it then not occur in ciure - 'renewed'?
Findaráto and Angaráto (PM:346) both contain arāta and the long vowel cannot perish here leaving stressed a behind, compare Alatāriel. The usage of the accent here could be explained by a Quenya transcription of vowel length - the names are mentioned among other children of Finarfin which are definitely given in Quenya; and Quenya uses the accent as length mark in the vast majority of cases.
Overall it should not be forgotten that
Tolkien had never been pedantically consistent in his writing conventions even
within a single source. Thus Quenya words may show mixed q / qu / kw
or c / k. Hence even the possibility that the accent sometimes
refers to stress and sometimes to length (dragging the stress along) cannot be
completely excluded here.
III. Corpus and Grammar
There are only a few
phrases apart from single words attested in the corpus:
Olue cava, cava Olue, cavaria Olue 'Olwë's house' (WJ:369)
abá care! 'don't do it!' (WJ:371)
ēl sīla lūmena vomentienguo (WJ:407) 'A star shines upon the hour of the meeting of our ways.'
ōre nia pete nin (VT41:11) 'my heart (óre) tells me'
Of these the first three are from 'Quendi & Eldar', while only the last one is from late Telerin. It features a distinct adjectival possessive nia 'my' unlike the previous suffix -ria 'his', #-ngua 'our' (and unlike the Quenya possessive suffixes); maybe Tolkien changed his mind, so that Telerin develops possessive pronouns from older suffixes, just as Sindarin, and we have to read *cava ria Olue and *vomentie nguo (stressed *voméntie ngúo, not vomentiénguo) instead?
This external change of a
suffix to a separate pronoun shows that Telerin is meant to be less
agglutinative than Quenya. And as it can be seen below Telerin has fewer cases
than Quenya. So I think it is highly
unlikely that Telerin involves such multiple endings as e.g. Q. leltanelyes
'you send him' (VT47:21).
1. Plural formation
The Quenya plural marker -r for nouns was a Ñoldorin invention (PM:402). According to our material it never spread into Telerin which keeps the ancient plural marker -i < -ī:
T. Fallinel >
pl. Fallinelli 'Telerin Elves, lit. *Foam-singers' (Etym:NJEL-)
T. Solonel > pl. Soloneldi 'Telerin Elves, lit. *Surf-singers' (Etym:SOL-)
T. Audel > pl. Audelli 'Elves of Aman' (WJ:364)
T. Abar > pl. Abari 'Avari' (VT47:13,24, WJ:380)
T. ēl > eli 'stars' (WJ:362)
T. elen > pl. elni 'stars' (arch., poet.) (WJ:362)
T. leper > pl. leperi 'fingers' (VT47:10, VT48:5)
Note the syncope *eleni
> elni, but its absence in leperi. The first form is from 'Quendi
& Eldar' where we find syncoped Telerin words more often than in the late
sources, see II.5.
A curious medial fortification can be observed in Fallinelli, Soloneldi: -nel *'singer' as a suffix becomes -nell- in the first case and -neld- in the second. Maybe influence of edela > elda 'elf' played a role here. In Q&E-Telerin medial -ld- becomes -ll-, see galla (< GÁLAD-).
The plural marker
forms diphthongs with final vowels:
T. Ello > pl. Elloi 'Eldar, Elves of the March' (WJ:376)
T. Hecello > pl. Hecelloi 'Elves of Middle-earth' (WJ:365,376)
T. *Linda > pl. Lindai 'Teleri, lit. *Singers' (WJ:382)
T. Pendi 'Quendi, Elves' is used in the plural only, as a word of the historians (WJ:375); rarely used in ordinary speech, since the product of the change KWEN- > PEN- clashed with the already existing stem PEN- 'lack, be without'. Pendi reflects Q. Quendi, sg. quendë, but even this singular was not much used (WJ:361) in Quenya. Thus we must accept that Pendi really has no singular and cannot assume -e > -i in the plural on this basis. Nevertheless it seems that late Telerin at least does not possess the diphthong ei (it becomes long ē - see VT48:7), so that the plural in -i of nouns ending in -e is the most likely result.
However, late Telerin also turns oi to ui, which would the result in *Ellui, *Hecellui - quite a similar o-u-variation is already found in Hecellubar (WJ:365).
Another plural marker -m of Etym-Telerin is discussed separately in III.6.
It is not known how to
pluralize verbs, but as the marker -r exists in Sindarin (cf. Dor
of the Dead that Live' in 'The Silmarillion') as well as in Quenya (e.g. i
karir 'those who form' (WJ:391)), it is highly probable that it appears in Telerin
III. 2. The cases
All Eldarin tongues shared the same genitival suffix from Common Eldarin, derived from the element HO- 'away, from'. It was used as an enclitic particle and h was lost very soon, so that the Telerin declension is -o (most probably replacing final -a), just as in Quenya. It is said to be more widely used than in pure Quenya, sc. in most cases where English would employ the inflexion -s or of. (WJ:369)
But Quenya has a peculiar addition of a second plural marker -n (< -m), e.g. elenion 'of stars' (elen-i-o-n). This is explicitly said not to be the case in Telerin, so that we would expect *ēlio as the Telerin cognate.
Telerin does not employ a separate possessive case as Quenya does, it places the forms beside each other without inflection. The archaic way is to place the possessor first, so Olue cava 'Olwë's house', but in the later development this was reversed, thus cava Olue 'Olwë's house'. Sindarin has a similar development of the uninflected genitive, compare Ennyn Durin 'The Doors of Durin' (LotR II ch. 4); Quenya retains the ancient word order, as Oromë róma 'an Oromë horn' (WJ:368).
Yet the usual way to express such possessives in Telerin is to add up a possessive suffix: cavaria Olue 'Olwë's house' (lit. 'the house of him, Olwë'), which may mean a separate possessive pronoun *ria in late Telerin (not a suffix), as already mentioned.
· allative, ablative, locative
A single example of
the allative is known: lūmena,
out of which one can derive the short ending -na, in contrast to Quenya
-nna. Its origin must be the stem NĀ- yielding the Quenya
ana, na 'to, towards'. Compare also S. na in allative
sense (na-chaered *'into distance', LotR II, ch. 1). All this suggests
that Quenya -nna is a result of medial nasal fortification, absent in
Another allative element is -da, but with the loss of the final short vowel it remains as -d in the adverb avad and is probably irrelevant for grammatical declensions.
No example of the Telerin ablative is known. It would be a logical step to suppose short *-lo as a cognate of Quenya -llo, but without the medial fortification again (compare the root LŌ- in VT45:28).
I think it is very likely, however, that Telerin does not employ an ablative at all, substituting the genitive (more widely used than in pure Quenya) instead. Compare also Oiolossëo 'from Oiolossë' in 'Namárië' - a genitive form used as ablative. Denotation of the ablatival shade of meaning may be done by a preposition, the best candidate would be *et (cf. Q. et 'out (of)' (LotR VI, ch.5; VT45:13), S. ed 'out (of)' (WJ:366)), so that Q. Et Eärello Endorenna... 'Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth...' would possibly sound in Telerin as *Et Gaiaro (H)endorena... And this is the way some present-day Indo-European languages (e.g. Russian) are forming ablatival constructions.
has two locative endings - long -ssë and short -së (compare
se, sē 'at, in' (VT43:30)). The latter causes assimilations
if added to a final -n or -l, and so we find: -nze, -nde, -sse
or -lze, -lde, -lle,
-lse (VT43:16-17). A locative remnant is supposed to be found in S. ennas
'there, in that place' (SD:129-131). In Sindarin final -s can only come
from older -ssV, so that the CE form may have been *entassē.
If so, the variation -se/-sse was already present at the Common
Eldarin stage and we could find both endings in Telerin.
With our poor material it is, however, very difficult to answer which sound shifts would be caused by the short ending -se. Between vowels it could remain unvoiced, see otoso 'seven' (VT47:42); Quenya always uses long -ssë in such a case. Maybe Telerin keeps only long -sse to avoid sound shifts after a consonant? We do not know.
Anyway, Quenya has a way to express locatives by the preposition mi - this is most probably true for Telerin as well.
The only example for the dative in Telerin is nin '(to) me', evidently ni 'I' with the suffix -n; same in Quenya. Although we know that some languages (like English or Sindarin) employ distinct dative or accusative pronouns as echoes of the past while no true dative case can be found due to the lost declensions, these are languages with tendencies to become isolating. Telerin still has a lot of declensions and so it is very likely that it uses the dative case, especially if we suppose that its origin is the shortening of the allative, as the Plotz declinations suggest.
This is not a separate case, but is expressed using the preposition mā - 'by (of agents)' (VT47:18) followed by the genitive. A short form ma is also present in Tolkien's notes, but not identified as Telerin. It may be that length depends on stress in the sentence. The word is derived from the older meaning 'hand'. There is a similarity to Adûnaic -mā; see I.3.
hence, one could construct something like *Petin mā Lindalambeo 'I speak by (using) the Lindarin (= Telerin) tongue'.
The Telerin verb
system is almost identical to the Quenya one and is therefore fairly
unambiguous. It does also distinguish two classes of verbs: a-verbs and stem verbs.
· present, aorist
Telerin has a distinction between present tense and aorist:
'to tell, say' (KWET-) > pete 'tells, says' (aorist)
#car- 'to do' (KAR-) > care 'do' (aorist); in abá care! 'don't do it!'
#aba- 'to refuse' (ABA-) > aban 'I refuse' (aorist)
#sil- 'to shine' (SIL-) > sīla 'shines, *is shining' (pres. tense)
The formation is identical to Quenya. In the aorist, a stem verb receives the ending *-i, which becomes -e in an open final syllable (but one may suppose that it turns out as *-i- again if an ending is attached, e.g. *carin 'I do'). An a-verb remains unchanged in the aorist.
The present tense of stem verbs is formed by lengthening of the stem vowel and addition of -a. There is no evidence for a-verbs.
· past, perfect
Our attested forms are:
'go, proceed' (DEL-) > delle 'went, proceeded' (WJ:364)
auta- 'go away, leave' (AWA-) > vāne (pa. t.), avānie (perfect) 'went away (in an abstract sense)', thus 'lost, past, dead'
auta- 'go away, leave' (AWA-) > vante (pa. t.); avantie (perfect) 'went away (in a physical sense)' (WJ:366-367)
From the first example we can extract the ending #-ne which assimilates to a preceding l. It replaces the whole verb ending -ia < CE -jā. Such a formation is known from Quenya, where a loss of the whole ending indicates intransitive use, compare: Q. ulya- 'pour' (intr. pa. t. ulle, tr. ulyane) (Etym:ULU-). Since 'to go, proceed' is naturally intransitive, we may expect such a development in Telerin as well. There is however no mention of this distinction in 'Quendi & Eldar'. It may be that Telerin simply avoids -ne after -ia because the stress would then fall on the vowel i, which would sound a bit clumsy.
The verb auta- is highly irregular, but we observe the same past tense ending -ne, attached to the CE element wā (WJ:366); wāne > vāne ['wa:ne] in Telerin orthography. The form vante is said to be derived from a -ta verb, thus *wā-tā became *wā-n-te > vante. This may mean that verbs with the ending -ta after a vowel form their past tenses by n-intrusion rather then by attaching -ne. Such verbs are however rare, though the Quenya past participle envinyanta 'renewed' < envinyata- with n-intrusion instead of **envinyataina (MR:405) may be a hint at this.
The perfect avānie
is said to be formed from awāwiiē
(should we read *awāwijē?)
intrusion of n from the past.
So -n- should be seen as an irregularity here, it separates the two vowels.
Otherwise the pattern of the perfect seems clear for Telerin, it is again identical to Quenya - an
attachment of the ending -ie (replacing the verb ending), reduplication
and lengthening of the stem vowel. Note that the lengthening is absent when the
stem vowel is followed by two consonants, as in avantie.
Thus we would expect perfects like delia- > *edēlie 'has proceeded' or #pet- > *epētie 'has said', matta- > *amattie 'has handled, managed' and so forth.
'to bound, limit' ((G)LAN-) > glanna 'bounded, limited' (VT42:8)
auta- 'go away, leave' (AWA-) > vanua 'gone, lost, no longer to be had, vanished, departed, dead, past and over' (WJ:366-367)
ciuta- 'renew, refresh' (KEWE-) > ciure - 'renewed' (VT48:7)
ceura *'renewed' (KEWE-) (VT48:8)
the first example we can extract the ending -na, which replaces the verb
ending. This is in fact also an adjective ending which can be attached to a
stem; see logna 'soaking wet, swamped'
(VT42:10) < LOG- without a suitable verb given.
The participle vanua is irregular. It may be again the element wā with the ending -na (< nā) and a euphonic reduplication of the initial consonant, thus: wā-n(w)ā > T. vanua ['wanua] with regular w > u after a consonant; in Quenya vanwa ['vanwa].
The participles ciure and ceura also show exceptional endings. For the latter the primitive form ceu-rā is given, so that both seem to be early adjectival formations of KEW(E)-, rather than verb-derived participles. The ending -rā is rare in Quenya and is e.g. found in the word yára 'ancient' (Etym:YA-).
exclamation, directing sight to an actually visible object' (WJ:362)
heca! 'be gone! stand aside!' (WJ:365)
abá! negative imperative particle 'don't!' (WJ:371); in abá care! 'don't do it!'
imperatives seem to be fixed expressions, formed directly from the stems, rather
than by inflecting verb forms. Evidently, there had been an enclitic particle -ā
in CE, which moved to the beginning of a verb in Quenya, except for several
fixed forms, including ela! and heka!, but nothing can be said
about a similar development in Telerin.
· personal affixes
one is actually attested: -n 'I'.
And from what we know the others must be very close to
the Quenya endings.
The pronominal elements of the 2nd person are said to be le or de with a variation d/l in PQ (WJ:363), so it is highly probable that in Telerin, the characteristic consonant in the 2nd person is d, not l as in Quenya. However, we do not even know whether Telerin would then have long *-dye/*-die in addition to short *-d (probably not).
The characteristic consonant of the third person singular must be r, as it can be deduced from the ending -ria 'his' (< *-sjā). This must be related to S- of 'The Etymologies', the rhothacism s > r presumably occurred because the ending always came after a vowel. But unfortunately a note from VT42:25 may contradict this, it is said that T. ototya was an analogous formation with tya instead of sya. This may mean that intervocalic -sy- is allowed in Telerin, so that no obstacle can be seen in the development *-sjā > *-sya. But -ria can still be explained as an analogous formation - if the intervocalic (not palatalized) verbal endings *-so 'he' and *-se 'she' became *-ro and *-re it could have had influence on *-sjā; Quenya influence could have played a role, too. And finally, it may also be that ototya is already a phonological exception, see II.3.
Yet another complication is brought into this by the late Telerin form otos/otoso 'seven' (VT47:42) with an allowed intervocalic -s-. But we lack enough material to claim that the characteristic consonant of the third person has to be updated to s in the external development since 'Quendi & Eldar'.
Another different (and problematic) case is the 1st person plural where we can reconstruct the form *-ngue, see below.
problem of -nguo
the genitive form vomentienguo 'of our meeting' one can easily extract
the possessive suffix #-ngua (a > o in genitive). This is
fairly uncontroversial, but the question is - which form of 'we' does #-ngua
represent - dual or inclusive?
In the original context of 'Quendi & Eldar' this form is given as the Telerin cognate of Q. omentielmo >> omentielvo; the ending -lva being a dual form at that stage. Dual is also confirmed by the statement about wo- being a 'dual adverb' and by the translation 'meeting or junction of the directions of two people'; contrast: Q. yomenie 'meeting, gathering (of three or more coming from different directions)' (WJ:407); -t- in omentie (not in yomenie) must be of dual character as well.
So T. #-ngua seems to be dual at this stage.
in the second edition of
the LotR 1965/66 omentielmo (in Frodo's greeting to Gildor) was changed to omentielvo,
which became the new inclusive ending (and -mma the new dual; cf. VT43:6), at least according to Dick Plotz. Curiously Tolkien ignored o-
and -t-, both signs of dual in 'Quendi & Eldar'. One could try to
explain o- as now containing the former meanings of yo- and o-,
while #mentië could be derived either from men
'direction'/'place, spot' (VT41:6, Etym:MEN-) + tië 'way' or from menta-
'send, cause to go'.
Assuming this, vomentienguo would be the cognate of the new inclusive omentielvo with a likewise inclusive ending, unless Tolkien intended to revise this form as well.
Interestingly, Quenya charts from the 50's (preceding or maybe contemporary with 'Quendi & Eldar') show Q. -ngwë definitely as an inclusive ending (VT43:36). This is clearly the (early) Quenya cognate of T. #-ngua.
Furthermore there is a late note arising from an attempt to reinterpret yun(e)kwe '12', which states that [?we do] not have any other use of -we as dual except in the 1 pl. inclusive [?stem] -we (base ñwe) (VT48:10). Now this leaves two possibilities open - either we are dealing with the dual character of the inclusive form, so 'you and us' - 2 groups; or a 'dual inclusive' is meant here, so 'you and me, we two', not 'me and another person, we two'.
Other contemporary sources mention ñwe just as an inclusive form, derived from me (exclusive) with a similar sound combination. In this sense is also Q. -lwe with loss of ñ (VT48:10-11). It must be now the very ending in omentielvo, since Quenya does not permit the combination wo (obviously turning it to vo).
Thus the occurrence of a parallel *-me in Telerin is possible.
But there is also a third possibility - Telerin may not distinguish between several first person plural forms at all, having only one. This would at least explain the presence of inclusive Q. -ngwe at the one hand and T. #-ngua as a translation of a dual form on the other hand, in approximately contemporary sources.
a few words should be noted on the etymology of this ending. The Lindarin
languages turn kw > p and similarly ñkw > mp,
gw > b, ñgw > mb
(VT41:8), so that
cannot be the regular origin of T. #-ngua (cf. CE liñwi
> N. limb 'fish' (Etym:LIW-)).
Whatever internal sound change Tolkien may have imagined here, one could make the bold guess that he simply took a combination he felt to be typical for Telerin - see point IV.
Telerin adjective is usually placed after the noun it describes (WJ:369).
Some derivational suffixes are known:
· -ia (< -jā) - a neutral ending, forming an ordinary adjective: arpen 'noble (man)' > arpenia *'noble' (WJ:375); corresponds to Q. -ya
· -ima (< -imā) - means '-able' as in abapétima 'not to be said' (WJ:371); same ending in Quenya
· -na (< -nā) - functions as a past participle ending, but also as a simple adjectival suffix (see III.3. above); same ending in Quenya
· -re/ra (< -rā/*-rē) - has maybe a sense of completeness, as it is attested in ciure, ceura 'renewed' (the latter not translated); same ending in Quenya
· -rin (< *-rina) - seems to denote material in #telperin 'of silver' < Telperimpar (VT47:8) (PM:318); corresponds to S. -ren, Q. -in (as in Tyelpinquar); another usage is to denote a language, as in Lindārin (WJ:371), in this sense it corresponds to Q. -rin
· -ya (< -jā) - only attested in the ordinal numbers
For the problem of -ia/-ya see II.3. above.
The ending -rin in Telperimpar
externally changed from -in <
(Telepimpar in (VT47:23)). But -in may still be a valid ending in
Telerin, used in some other or similar context, cf. S. -en beside -ren.
6. The problem of the plural marker -m
'The Etymologies' the Q. ending -on is said to be derived from ʒō
'away' + plural marker m (ƷO-). The same marker with a vocalic
extension occurs in a note which has been struck through:
eme 'many', -m plural (VT46:29). And below stands:
Telerin pl. am, um, em. edulam.
A remark from late Telerin tells us:
In Telerin final n (< m, n) was not lost (VT42:24)
This statement denotes that T. -n may descend from -m, but no conclusion can be drawn about whether -m always became -n.
*lepe [...] An ancient plural formation from this with C.E. -m(e) was lepem(e) which eventually produced the word for 'five': T. lepen [...] The Telerin form might go back to C.E. lepem with dissimilation of m: Common Eldarin final -m survived as such in Telerin, but as n in Quenya [...] But more likely all three forms go back to late C.E. lepene with loss of the sense of plurality and addition of e (VT47:10)
This statement is contradictory, as it is already pointed out in VT47:24-25; if -m > -n was a specific Quenya development, not present Telerin, why would we have then CE lepen(e) with -m > -n already carried out?
Luckily, Tolkien has corrected this page and the new version reads:
Since Common Eldarin final -m became -n (with the same subsequent development as n in the descendant languages), it would appear that lepen, no longer felt as a plural formation, took the form lepenĕ (VT47:24) (lepenĕ is written with macron and breve at the same time in the original)
So -m > -n was a CE development after all. Yet it is said:
T. lepen : though it could < original lepem is probably < lepenĕ
This sounds strange at the first glance, but probably refers to the addition of the vowel in CE: lepem > lepenĕ/lepenē. Assuming that there was no such development, lepem would produce T. lepen as well, but there would be no explanation for Q. lempë (we would have lepem > Q. *lepen as in Telerin), but lepenĕ/lepenē is an explanation for both forms, in Quenya the three-syllabic word loses its second vowel, the medial combination is transposed and assimilated: > lepnē > lempë. The CE development lepem > lepenĕ/lepenē also explains S. leben.
So late Telerin has only dissimilated -n instead of -m, but the question is - where is this marker used grammatically? Quenya -n is an addition to cases, Telerin lacks this Quenya innovation (see above). But we lack detailed information about Telerin grammar and plurals are needed at many places, so it is simply unknown.
let us come back to 'The Etymologies' and edulam.
The singular form must be either #*edul or
#*edula; the first form has been already hypothetically reconstructed
from PQ edlō
in II.2., but it is also possible that CE edela (see ELED-)
yields T. #edul in 'The Etymologies' and the ancient vowel -a-
reappears when attaching the ending -m. The
um, em may indicate that -m is only attached to words ending in -a/-u/-e,
while others could receive another marker.
But the whole note is highly obscure and we can never be sure what really went through Professor Tolkien's head when he wrote am, um, em - there is not even a hyphen to indicate an ending.
What about the meaning of edulam at this stage? We can only speculate. Since it is apparently a plural word 'elves', it could be either an ordinary plural, as S. edhil, Q. eldar or a cognate of the S. collective plural -ath (not very probable) or, regarding eme 'many', a plural formation meaning 'many elves' (which might be identical to the controversial Q. ending -li).
All this is, as already said, highly speculative.
III. 7. Other
CE diminutive suffix -iki survived as -(i)ce in Telerin (-eg
in Sindarin), attested in several examples, e.g.: nette > nettice
'sister' (VT47:14). But nette itself is already a diminutive form, made
by medial reduplication in CE: *nethi > netthi.
Other words of that kind: hannace *'little brother', emmece *'mommy', attace *'daddy', vinice, vince *'baby' (VT48:6). They all represent play-names of the five fingers in children speech.
The difference between nettice and emmece can be explained by the fact that the former is derived from a word ending in -i in CE, while the latter must be from *emmē.
elegant way to refer to pairs is, apart from the dual, the suffix -ye, in
Quenya as in Telerin.
Tolkien cites Menel Kemenye 'Heaven and Earth' (VT47:11,30-31) as a Quenya example, mentioning that this construction is also possible in order to refer to Sun & Moon, Land & Sea, fire & water (VT47:31). This means that something like *Gaiar Dorye 'Sea and Land' would be valid in Telerin.
But it is added that ye can be prefixed before each item on a list in Telerin. Exemplified it would maybe look like this: *Goldōrin ye-Findārin ye-Lindārin 'Quenya, Sindarin and Telerin'.
IV. A real-world inspiration?
It is commonly known that Tolkien's art-languages, especially the deeper elaborated ones, were made with a certain inspiration from the real world, there is usually one or several languages on which they were modeled.
For Telerin these languages could have been Latin and/or Italian. This can be well shown by the earliest pre-Etym forms, such as:
T. morta, mars 'fate' - Lat. mortuus, It. morta 'dead'; Mars
final -s, as in:
T. págas 'stern (of ship)' - Lat. paganus 'a pagan'
T. axas 'bone' - Lat. axis 'axis'
initial sc-, st-, e.g.:
T. stanca 'split, cloven, forked' - Lat./It. statua 'statue'
T. scanta 'a blow with an axe' - Lat. scando 'to ascend, board'
final combination -gula:
T. tagula 'heavy woodman's axe' - Latin regula 'rule'; Caligula etc.
Later examples involve other similarities, like:
T. spalasta 'to foam, froth' - It. spalare 'to shovel'
the combination -ngua:
T. #vomentiengua 'our meeting' - It./Lat. lingua 'language'
double medial -tt-:
T. matta - 'handle, wield, manage, deal with' - It. matto 'mad'
In classical Latin before the Middle Ages [w] is transcribed v and [v] is missing, just as in Telerin.
In any way
these are just faint similarities, compared to the relation between Sindarin
and Welsh or Quenya and Finnish.
This influence took at least place in the beginning, late Telerin does not have much in common with Italian or Latin anymore (neither of them has þ for example), being rather a historical consequence of Common Eldarin.
Appendix (1) - A chart of the Telerin phonological evolution
This is a quick overview of the most important Telerin sound shifts, some have been reconstructed. The latest stage has always been assumed. V stands for any vowel, C for any consonant; -- means that the sound disappears.
MB- > b-
ÑG- > g-
ND- > d-
KJ- > t-
KHJ- > þ-
GJ- > *d-
NJ- > n-
SJ- > *s-(?)
TJ- > *t-(?)
Ñ > --
Ʒ- > --
H- > h-
KH- > h-
PH- > f-
TH- > f-
SK- > *sc- (so in pre-Etym-Telerin)
SL- > *l- (so in pre-Etym-Telerin)
SM- > *m- (so in pre-Etym-Telerin)
SN- > *n-
SP- > sp-
SR- > *r-
ST- > st-
GL- > unchanged
SW- > *su-(?) (so in pre-Etym-Telerin)
KW- > p-
KHW- > ph-
GW- > b-
W- > v- [w]
Y- > y-
ei > ē
oi > ui
ou > ō
eu > iu / eu (not a parallel development, but different conceptions)
ai, ui, au, iu > unchanged
ǭ > ā
> ā ('Fëanor's e and o')
au̯C > auC
au̯V > avV
Cu̯ > Cu (sometimes Cv/Cw)
dl > ll
ld > ll
ln > ll
lVn > ln (syncope)
nm > mm
χt > tt
tc > cc (rejected form occo)
tth > tt
pt > unchanged (<< pp)
cl > unchanged
VsV > unchanged (otoso) / r? (-ria)
nth > nt
VthV > VþV
gC > unchanged
Cg > unchanged
VgV > VV (first vowel made long) / unchanged
ñgj > nd
kw > p
ñkw > *mp
gw > b
ñgw > mb
khw > ph
-au > -o
-m > -n (only attested with the plural marker)
-i > -e
Appendix (2) - Telerin
Words from 'The
are marked red; from 'Quendi and Eldar' green
and from the late essays of 1967-69 blue;
newly introduced forms in Let:347 are violet.
in brackets are evidently rejected. Words with a prefixed question mark are
uncertain readings of manuscripts. A suffixed question mark means uncertain
stems or translations. Probable stems are given for reference even if not
attested in the source, but only attested CE forms are listed.
aba- (1) - a prefix showing prohibition (WJ:371) (ABA- < BA! 'no'), as in abapétima
#aba- 'to refuse'; see aban
aban (2) - 'I refuse, I will not' (WJ:371) (ABA- < BA! 'no');
abá - negative imperative particle 'don't!' (WJ:371) (< CE abā; ABA- < BA! 'no'); the accent may indicate unusual stress rather than vowel length
abapétima - 'not to be said' (WJ:371) (ABA- < BA! 'no', KWET-)
abar - 'Avar', one of the Avari (VT47:13, 24) (< CE abaro; ABA- < BA! 'no'); pl. Abari (WJ:380)
aclar - 'glory, splendour' (VT47:13) (< CE aklara; KAL-)
aipen - 'if anybody, whoever' (WJ:375, 372) (?, KWEN-)
alata - 'radiance, reflection' (PM:347) (< CE ñalatā; ÑAL-)
Alatāriel(le) - 'maiden crowned with a garland of bright radiance', Galadriel's Telerin name (PM:347, UT:266) (ÑAL-, RIG-)
alpa - 'swan' (UT:265, Etym, VT42:7) (< CE alkwā; ÁLAK-)
#amba - isolated from Ambaráto, probably *'top', cf. Q. Ambarussa 'top-russet' (PM:353) (AM-)
Ambaráto - father-name of Aikanáro (Aegnor) (PM:347); neither explicitly identified as Telerin, nor translated; but obviously #amba + arāta
anga - 'iron' (PM:347) (< CE angā; ANGĀ-)
Angaráto - Telerin name of Angrod, son of Finarfin and Eärwen (PM:346) < anga + arāta; made a masculine name by -a > -o; but Angrod in 'The Etymologies' is from RAUTĀ- 'metal' and probably ANGĀ- 'iron'
aplat - 'prohibition, refusal' (VT47:13) (< CE ap'lata; PAL-)
#aran - 'king'; isolated from Ciriāran (AR-?)
arāta - 'noble' (PM:363) (< CE arātā < arat-; AR-?)
arpen - 'noble (man)' (WJ:375) (< CE ara- (PM:363); AR-?, KWENE-)
arpenia - adjective derived from arpen (< CE ara- (PM:363); AR-?, KWENE-)
at(a) - *'double, bi-, di-'; 'in adverbial or prefixal use' (VT42:26) (AT(A)-)
atta(ce) - *'daddy' (diminutive ce), a play-name of the thumb (VT48:6); the source has -ke with k 'spelt as Quenya'
au - *'away' (adverb) (WJ:367) (< CE awā; AWA-); alternative form avad
au- - *'away' (prefix) (WJ:367) (< CE awā; AWA-)
Audel - an elf of Aman (WJ:364), pl. Audelli (< CE aw(a)delo; AWA-, DEL-); -ll- in plural probably by analogy to ello
auta- - 'go away, leave (the point of the speaker's thought)' (WJ:367) (AWA-)
avad - *'away' (adverb) (WJ:367) (AWA-); alternative form au
avānie - past perfect of auta- 'went away (in an abstract sense)', thus 'lost, past, dead' (WJ:367) (< CE a-wāniiē < awāwiiē; AWA-)
avantie - past perfect of auta- 'went away (in a physical sense)' (WJ:367) (AWA-)
bá - 'I will not!' or 'Do not!' (WJ:371) (BA! 'no')
Bala - 'Vala, a Power' (< CE bálā; BAL-)
Bana - 'Vana' (a Valië) (< CE bánā; BAN-)
#bar - 'home'; isolated from Heculbar, Hecellubar
[Barada - emended to Baradis]
Baradis - 'Varda, Elbereth' (BARÁD/BARATH-)
belda - 'strong' (BEL-)
belka - 'excessive' (BEL-); should be belca in the usual spelling
belle - '(physical) strength' (BEL-)
branda - 'lofty, noble, fine' (< CE b'randā; BARÁD-)
bredele - 'beech-tree' (BERÉTH-); read *breþele in late Telerin, see II.1.
būa- - 'serve' (Etym, VT45:7) (< CE beuyā΄; BEW-); read perhaps *beva- / *biva- (?) in late Telerin
būro - 'vassal' (Etym, VT45:7) (< CE beu̯rō; BEW-); read *beuro / *biuro in late Telerin
Calapendi - 'Kalaquendi, Light-elves, Elves of Aman' (WJ:362) (KAL-, KWEN-);
calar - 'lamp' (VT47:13) (< CE kalar-; KAL-)
calca - 'glass' (VT47:35) (KALAK-)
camba - 'the usual word for hand' (VT47:22) (KAB-); but should rather read 'a hand as flexed, with fingers more or less closed, cupped, in the attitude of receiving or holding', see VT47:7-8
campe - '14' (VT48:21) (KAN-, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
can- 'cry aloud, call' or 'to summons or name a person' (PM:362) (KAN- 'cry, call aloud' (PM:361))
canat - '4' (VT42:24, VT47:41, VT48:6,21) (KAN-AT-)
canatya - 4th (VT42:25) (KAN-AT-)
cāno - 'herald' (PM:362) (< CE kānō; KAN- 'cry, call aloud' (PM:361))
#car- - stem of the verb 'to do', see aorist form care
care - 'do' (aorist) (WJ:371) (KAR-); in abá care! 'don't do it!'
cava - 'house' (WJ:369) (*KAW-?)
[cenet - '4' (VT47:41) (KANAT-); it reflects a musing that either Q. altered KENET- > KANAT- to relieve the monotony of e in the numerals or that S., T. altered KANAT- > KENET- under the influence of the other numerals; not ultimately carried out]
ceule - *'renewal' (VT48:8) (KEW- 'new, fresh, renewed')
ceura (1) - 'renew' (prob. verb) (VT48:7) (KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated'), variant ciúra, on another note ciuta
ceura (2) - *'renewed' (prob. adjective) (VT48:8) (KEW- 'new, fresh, renewed'), on another note ciure
cēva - 'fresh, new' (VT48:21) (< kēwa; KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
#ciria - 'ship', isolated from Ciriáran
Ciriáran - 'mariner king' (Olwë) (PM:341) (KIR-, AR-?)
[ciura - (< keu-rā) emended to ceura (VT48:7)]
ciúra - 'renew' (prob. verb) (VT48:7) (KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated'); variant ceura, on another note ciuta
ciurān- - 'new-moon' (< keu̯rānă ; KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
ciure - 'renewed' (VT48:7) (KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated'), on another note probably ceura
ciuta - 'renew, refresh' (VT48:7) (< (e)kwē˘; KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated'); ceura, ciúra on another note
Daintáro - 'Denethor', lit. 'Saviour of the Dani (= Nandor)' (LR:188) (< CE Ndani-thārō; DAN-/NDAN-)
delia- - 'go, proceed' (WJ:364) (DELE-)
delle - past tense of delia-
damme - 'ebb, lowtide' (VT48:26) (< ndanmē; NDAN-),
donda - 'fist' (VT47:23) (< CE dond(a); *DON-?)
duime - *'flood, high tide' (VT48:26) (DUY- 'flow strongly, pour', cf. Q. luime 'flood, high tide' in VT48:24)
duine - 'large river (of strong current)' (VT48:24) (< CE duini 'river'; DUY- 'flow strongly, pour')
duita- - 'to flood, inundate, drench' (VT48:30) (DUY- 'flow strongly, pour')
Ēde - 'Estë', lit. 'Rest, Repose', a Valië (WJ:404) (< CE ezdē < esdē; SED-); only as a name, never as a general word 'rest, repose'
[edulam - probably *'the Elves, Eldar' (VT46:29), see II.2.; struck through]
ēl - 'star' (WJ:362) (ELE-); usual word; pl. ēli
ela! - 'imperative exclamation, directing sight to an actually visible object' (WJ:362) (ELE-)
elen - 'star' (WJ:362) (ELE-); archaic and poetic word; pl. elni
Ella - 'An occasional variant of Ello, which was the normal form of the word'
Ellālie - 'the Elven-folk' (WJ:375) (ELE-, LI-)
Ello - 'Elf, Elda' (< CE edelō / edlō; DELE-); pl. Elloi; usual form preferred to Ella
(Elna - adjective referring to the stars (< CE elenā; ELE-); not found in Telerin, but this would have been the form)
[Elwe - 'name of Teler-lord' (VT45:17) (ƷEL-); the whole page has been rejected]
emme(ce) - *'mommy' (diminutive ce), a play-name of the index finger (VT48:6); the source has -ke with k 'spelt as Quenya'
endo - 'grandchild, descendant' (ÑGJŌ-, ÑGJŌN-)
enec - '6' (VT48:6,21) (EN-EK-), enec(e) in VT48:11
ened- - 'middle' (VT48:25) (ENED/L-)
enempe - '16' (VT48:21) (EN-EN-?, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
enetya - '6th' (VT42:25) (EN-EK-)
engole - 'lore' (WJ:383) (ÑGOL-); 'used most often of the special 'lore' possessed by the Ñoldor'
epe - 'no tense forms and usually receives no pronominal affixes, being mostly used only before either a proper name (sg. or pl.) or a full independent pronoun, in the senses say / says or said. A quotation then follows, either direct, or less usually indirect after a 'that'-conjunction' (WJ:392) (< CE ekwē; KWE-)
er - '1' (VT48:6) (ER-), also min
eve - 'a person, someone (unnamed)' (PM:340) (< CE ewē; EWE-)
#falle - 'foam'; isolated from Fallinel
Fallinel - 'Teler', lit. 'foam-singer' (PHAL-, NJEL-); pl. Fallinelli
felga - 'cave' (PHÉLEG-)
ferne 'beech' (PHER-, PHÉREN-)
find- compound element referring to hair (PHIN-) (PM:346,362); see Findarāto
Findaráto - Telerin name of Finrod, son of Finarfin and Eärwen (PM:346) (PHIN-); find- + arāta; but Finrod < Phinderauto *'skilled-metal' in 'The Etymologies' (PHIN-, RAUTĀ-)
Findo - Telerin form of the name Thingol (THIN-)
forma - 'right-hand' (VT47:6) (PHOR-, MAƷ-)
fuine - 'gloom, unrelieved darkness (as a night without stars and moon)' (VT41:8) (PHUY-)
gāia - 'terror, great fear' (PM:363) (< CE gāyā; GAYA- 'awe, dread')
gāialā - 'fell, terrible, dire' (PM:363) (GAYA- 'awe, dread')
gaiar - 'the Great Sea of the West', lit. 'the Terrifier' (PM:363) (< CE Gayar-; GAYA- 'awe, dread')
[galda - emended to galla]
galla - 'tree' (VT39:7,19) (< GAL-/GÁLAD-?)
gampa - 'hook, crook' (VT47:20) (GAP-)
glada - 'laugh' (PM:359) (< CE g-lada-)
glana - 'edge, rim' (VT42:8) ((G)LAN-)
glania - 'to bound, limit' (VT42:8) ((G)LAN-)
glanda - 'a boundary' (VT42:8) ((G)LAN-)
glanna - 'limited, bounded' (VT42:8) ((G)LAN-)
Goldolambe - 'Quenya', lit. *'Ñoldo-tongue' (WJ:375) (ÑGOL-, LAB-)
Goldōrin - 'Quenya', lit. *'Ñoldorin' (WJ:375) (ÑGOL-)
goldo - 'Ñoldo' (WJ:383) (< PQ ñgolodō; ÑGOL-), see golodo
góle - 'long study (of any subject)' (WJ:383) (ÑGOL-); 'used most often of the special 'lore' possessed by the Ñoldor'
golodo - 'Ñoldo' (< CE ñgolodō ; Etym:ÑGOLOD-, PM:360)
hanna(ce) - *'brother / little brother' (diminutive ce), a play-name of the middle finger, variant tolle (VT48:6) (KHAN-); the source has -ke with k 'spelt as Quenya'
hāno - 'brother' (colloquial word) (VT47:14) (KHAN-)
heca! - 'be gone! stand aside!' (WJ:365) (HEKE-)
Hecello - 'Elf of Beleriand', lit. *'a forsaken one' (WJ:365) (HEKE-, DELE-); pl. Hecelloi (WJ:376); see ello
heco - adverb and preposition: 'leaving aside, not counting, excluding, except' (WJ:365) (< hek + au; HEKE-)
hecta - 'reject, abandon' (WJ:365) (HEKE-)
Hecellubar - 'Beleriand', lit. *'home of the Hecelloi' (WJ:365) (HEKE-, MBAR-); also Heculbar
Heculbar - 'Beleriand', lit. *'home of the Hecelloi' (WJ:365) (HEKE-, MBAR-); also Hecellubar
hecul - 'one lost or forsaken by friends, waif, outcast, outlaw' (HEKE-); also heculo
heculo - same as hecul (HEKE-)
[Hendor - 'Middle-earth' (VT41:16) < HEN-, HENET- (<< HENED-); this is from jottings of an (external) change ÉNED > HENET- to distinguish it from the element en- 'again', but see ened-]
ho- - 'away, from, from among', but the point of view was outside the thing, place, or group in thought' (verbal prefix) (WJ:369) (HO-)
[hor- - rejected element from HOR- 'urge, impel, move / warn' in favour of ƷOR- > ōre (VT41:13)]
[hŏra - no translation given; see hōre]
[?horath - alternative of hōre, reading uncertain (VT41:15)]
[hōre - 'warning, caution' (VT41:15); probably obsolete by the external change HOR- > ƷOR-]
ilpen - 'everybody' (WJ:375) (IL-, KWEN-)
imbe - 'a gap, gully; low, narrow tract between high walls', also 'a path or pass between the mountains, hills or trackless forest' (VT47:11, 14) (MI-); not a preposition in Telerin
iūnec(e) - orthographical variant of yūnece (i = [j] in this case) and firstly written with y (VT48:21)
lamba - 'tongue' (physical) (< CE lambā < lab-mā, LABA-) (WJ:394,416)
lambe - 'language' (< CE lambē < lab-mē, LABA-) (WJ:394,416)
lanca - 'sharp edge (not of tools), sudden end, as in e.g. a cliff-edge, or the clean edge of things made by hand or build' (VT42:8) ((G)LAN-)
lepempe - '15' (VT48:21) (LEP-, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
lepen - '5' (VT42:24, VT47:10, VT48:6) (LEP-)
lepenya - '5th' (VT42:25,26) (LEP-)
leper - 'finger', pl. leperi (VT47:10, VT48:5) (LEP-)
[lepet - 'thumb, ('picker')' (VT47:27) (< CE lepet(ā); LEP-); on list of words not included into the 'Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals' essay; compare tolmo, nāpo]
[leppa - rejected form of lepta- (VT47:23)]
lepta- - 'finger, feel with fingertips' (VT47:10,24) (LEP-)
[?lepþa - alternative reading of leppa (VT47:23)]
#lie - 'folk, people'; isolated from Ellālie
#linda - *'beautiful of sound' or as a proper noun: Linda lit. 'singer', 'a Nelya, member of the third clan'; isolated from Lindai
Lindai - 'Teleri, Nelyar of the 3rd clan', lit. 'they sang before they could speak with words' (WJ:382) (< CE Lindā; LIN-)
Lindalambe - 'Amanya Telerin' (WJ:371) (LIN-, LABA-); also Lindārin
Lindārin - 'Amanya Telerin' (WJ:371) (LIN-); also Lindalambe
lō - 'pool, bathing-place, esp. water left in a rocky hollow by receding tide' (VT47:12) (< CE lō 'lying water'; LOƷ-)
loga - *'fenland' (< loga; VT42:10, UT:263) (LOG-)
logna - 'soaking wet, swamped' (< logna;VT42:10) (LOG-)
lū - 'bow' (VT47:12) (< CE lū 'bow, curve'; LUƷ-)
luine - 'blue' (VT48:24) (< CE luini- 'blue'; LUY- 'blue')
#lūme - 'hour' = *'a point in time'? (WJ:407) (LU-?); from lūmena 'upon the hour' (allative)
lūta- - 'bow, bend' (VT47:12) (< CE lū 'bow, curve'; LUƷ-)
mā (1) - 'hand', in derivatives and compounds only (VT47:6) (MAƷ-)
mā (2) - 'prep. with genitive; by (of agents)' (VT47:18) (MAƷ-); meaning changed from 'by (hand of), of agent'; ma with a short vowel also appears in notes, but not identified as Telerin
[māga - 'the manager(?)' (VT47:18) (MAG-); obsolete by the assignment of Q. and T. mā to MAƷ-]
māla - 'loving, affectionate' (VT39:10) (MEL-)
mālime - 'wrist (hand-link)' (VT47:6) (MAƷ-, LIM- 'link, join'); written with accent instead of macron, obviously because the Q. and T. forms coincide
mapa - 'hand' (normal word) (VT47:7) (< CE makwā < mā + kwa; MAƷ-, KWA-)
mapa- - 'take hold of, grasp' (VT47:7); probably derived from mapa 'hand' rather then from *MAP-, being 'a deliberate variation of NAP-'
[mapo - 'the usual word for hand' (VT47:20) (MAP- / < CE makwā); obsolete by mapa]
matta - 'handle, wield, manage, deal with' (VT47:6) (< maχtā < maʒtā; maʒa; MAƷ-)
min - '1' (VT48:6) (MIN-), also er
minipe - '11' (the notes hold a broad variety of CE forms: minikwē˘, min(i)k(e)we / late CE minikwē < min(i)kewe / min(i)kewē˘, minikwe 'fresh one'; MIN-, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated') (VT48:6-8)
minya - '1st' (VT42:25) (MIN-)
Moripendi - 'Moriquendi, Dark-folk', but 'not applied to the Elves of Telerin origin who had not reached Aman' (WJ:362,371) (< CE mori-kwendī; MOR-, KWENE-); a word 'in historical use'
nāpa - 'thumb' (VT48:5) (NAP- 'take, pick up' in VT47:29); from a source slightly later than nāpo below
nāpat - 'thumb and index [finger] as a pair' (VT48:5) (NAP- 'take, pick up' in VT47:29)
[nāpo - 'thumb', an agental (personalized) derivative of NAP- 'take hold' (VT47:28-29); but Tolkien decided that it should be a Quenya word, not mentioning a (new) Telerin form, but compare nāpa]
neled '3'; from the rough notes to the ELN essay, see nelet
nelet (neled-) '3' (VT48:6) (NEL-, NEL-ED-); final -d devoiced
nellepe - 'middle finger' (VT48:5) (NEL-, LEP-); written with the definite article (i nellepe) in the source
nelpe - '13' (VT48:21) (NEL-, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
nelya - '3rd' (VT42:25, 28) (NEL-, NEL-ED-)
nente - 'ring finger' (VT48:5) (prob. < EN-, ENET- 'once more, again' VT47:15)
neter - '9' (VT48:6,21) (NET-ER-)
neterpe - '19' (VT48:21) (NET-ER-, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
neterya - '9th' (VT42:25) (NET-ER-)
nette - 'sister' (diminutive; play-name for the ring finger) (VT47:12,32, VT48:6) (< CE netthi; NETH-)
nettice - nette 'sister' with a diminutive suffix (VT47:12,14,32, VT48:6) (< netthi + -iki; NETH-)
[nettica - emended to nettice (VT47:32)]
[nēþa (1) - 'gay, lively, girlish' (VT47:32-33, 38) (NETH-); meaning probably rejected in favour of (2), as there is NETH- 'sister' in the final essay (VT47:12)]
nēþa (2) - 'sister' (VT47:14) (NETH-)
nia - 'my, of me' (VT41:15) (NI-)
níce - 'little finger' (VT48:5) (NIK- 'small' in VT47:26); the source has níke with k 'spelt as Quenya' (VT48:6)
nin - '(to) me' (VT41:15) (NI-)
[occo (variant okko) - '7'; experimental version, see otoc(o) (VT47:42) (OT-OK-)]
Olue - 'Olwë' (king of the Teleri) (WJ:369); see Olwe
Olwe - 'Olwe in Telerin as in Quenya' (king of the Teleri) (PM:357); see also Olue, Volwe
[ora - no translation given, probably verb 'to urge, wish, desire, feel moved'; '?impersonal' - reading uncertain; this word may be obsolete in the exact form (VT41:15) (HOR-?)]
ōre - 'heart, inner mind (in a moral sense)' (VT41:15) (ƷOR-)
orna - 'uprising, tall', see Teleporno (UT:266) (OR-); said to be an 'ancient adjectival form' - maybe not in common use in Telerin
[osko - '7'; experimental version, see otoc(o) (VT47:42) (OT-OK- with 'tk>sk in Q., T., S.')]
[otoc(o) - emended to otos(o) (VT47:42)]
otos(o) - '7' (VT47:42) (OT-OS-); otos (VT48:6,21)
otospe - '17' (VT48:21) (OT-OS, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
ototya - '7th' (OT-OS-) (VT42:25, VT47:42) with analogical substitution of -tya instead of -sya
[pae(n) - emended to pai(n) (VT48:21)]
pai(n) - '10' (VT48:6,21) (KWA-)
paianya - '10th' (VT42:25) (KWA-)
[palata - changed to plata and struck out (VT47:23)]
palta - 'pass the sensitive palm over a surface: feel with the hand, stroke' (VT47:9) (< CE pal'tā; PAL-)
pāne - 'small gull, petrel' (KWǼ- onomatopoetic (with macron in the original)) (VT45:24)
pār - 'fist; tightly closed hand as in using an implement or a craft-tool rather than the 'fist' used in punching' (VT47:8, PM:318) (KWAR-)
[paya(n) - '10', a variant of pai(n) which has been struck through, though seems to appear again in the later paianya (VT48:21) (KWA-)]
pen - 'man', obviously in the sense 'person' (WJ:375) (KWENE-); survived in a few compounds only, see aipen, arpen, ilpen
Pendi - 'Quendi'; 'survived only as a learned word of the historians'; 'was used by the Teleri only of the earliest days, because they felt that it meant the lacking, the poor (*pen)' (WJ:375,408) (KWENE-); 'plural only'
#pet- - 'to tell, say'; see pete, abapétima
pete - 'tells, says' (aorist) (VT41:15) (KWET-)
pince - *'baby, small one', play-name of the little finger - 'pinky' (variants vinice, vince) (VT48:6) (PIKI- 'little'); the source has -ke with k 'spelt as Quenya'
plata - 'the flat of the hand, the hand held upwards or forwards, flat and tensed (with fingers and thumb closed or spread)' (VT47:8-9) (PAL-)
ría - 'wreath, garland' (PM:347) (< CE rīgā; RIG-)
riellë, -ríel - 'a maiden crowned with a festival garland' (PM:347) (RIG-)
#sil- - 'to shine', see sīla
sīla - 'shines' (pres. tense) (WJ:407) (SIL-)
Soloneldi - 'Teleri' (pl.), lit. *'surf-singers' (SOL-, NJEL-); earliest Q. Solosimpi 'the Shoreland Pipers' (LT1:253)
spalasta- - 'to foam, froth' (SPAL-, SPÁLAS-)
spanga - 'beard' (< CE spangā; SPÁNAG-)
spania - 'cloud' (SPAN-)
Spanturo - 'lord of cloud' (Mandos) (SPAN-); not explicitly identified as Telerin, but would yield #turo 'lord'
stalga - 'steady, firm' (< stalga; STÁLAG-)
tassa - 'index finger' (VT48:5) (TAS- 'point out, indicate' in VT47:11)
tat - '2' (VT48:6) (TATA-); a slightly later source gives tata
tata - '2' (VT42:26-27) (< CE (a)táta; ATATA-)
tatya - '2nd' (VT42:25) (< TATA-, ATTA-)
telep- 'silver' (in compounds) (UT:266) (KJELEP-); see Teleporno, apparently also #telp-; see Telperion
telepe - 'silver' (Let:347) (< CE kyelepē; KJELEP-); misread **telepi in the letter; but: 'telpe (with Q. syncope) became the most usual form among the Elves of Valinor'; see II.5., I.3. for a discussion
[Teleporno - 'Celeborn', 'Silver Tree' >> 'silver' + orno < orna; obviously a > o in masc. name (UT:266) (KJELEP-, OR-); probably obsolete by Telporno]
telpe - 'silver' (< CE kyelep-; Etym:KJÉLEP-, PM:356, UT:266), see telepe; II.5., I.3. for a discussion
Telperimpar - 'Celebrimbor', lit. 'Silver-fist' (VT47:8) (PM:318) (KJELEP-, KWAR-)
#telperin - 'silver' (adj.), isolated from Telperimpar
Telperion - the silver tree of Valinor (UT:266) (KJELEP-, RIG-?)
[#telepin 'silver' (adj.), isolated from Telepimpar; see telperin]
[Telepimpar - 'Celebrimbor', lit. 'Silver-fist' (VT47:23) (KJELEP-, KWAR-); emended to Telperimpar]
Telporno - 'Celeborn' (Let:347); < telp- 'silver' + orna; see Teleporno
tolle - *'sticker-up, big boy' a play-name of the index finger (VT48:6) (TOL- 'stick up' in VT47:26); variant hanna(ce)
[tolmo - 'thumb' (VT47:28) (personalized from of tolma; TOL- 'stick up, stand up (stiff), raise the head'); written on a rejected page in the HFN essay; emended to nāpo; compare lepet, nāpa]
tolpe - '18' (VT48:21) (TOL-, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated')
tolodya - '8th' (VT42:25) (possibly TOL-OD; Tolkien was uncertain about the last consonant of the stem, see VT47:31-32)
toloþ - '8' (VT48:21) (*TOL-OÞ; Tolkien was uncertain about the last consonant of the stem, see also VT47:31-32; maybe it should be rather *tolot (d-))
trumbe - 'shield' (< CE turúmbē; TURÚM-)
#turo 'lord' (TUR-); can be isolated from Spanturo if it is Telerin
þarma - 'left-hand' (VT47:6) (KHJAR-, MAƷ-)
urus (urust-) - 'copper' (VT41:10) ((U)RUS- 'used of a varying brownish red from what we should call brick-red to auburn')
ulga - 'hideous, horrible' (ÚLUG-)
ulgundo - 'monster, deformed and hideous creature' (< CE ulgundō; ÚLUG-)
vāne - past tense of auta- 'went away (in an abstract sense)' (WJ:367) (< CE wā; AWA-)
Vaniai - 'Vanyar', lit. *'the fair ones' (pl.); ''fair' with reference to hair and complexion; [...] it meant 'pale, light-coloured, not brown or dark', and its implication of beauty was secondary' (WJ:383) (< CE wanjā; WAN-); 'no doubt taken from the Ñoldor'
vante - past tense of auta- 'went away (in a physical sense)' (WJ:367) (AWA-)
vanua - past participle of auta- in an abstract sense: 'gone, lost, no longer to be had, vanished, departed, dead, past and over' (WJ:367) (AWA-)
vilverin - 'butterfly' (WIL-)
vinice - *'baby' (diminutive), a play-name of the little finger (variants vince, pince) (VT48:6) (WINI- 'little' >> WIN- 'young' in VT47:26); the source has winike, winke with w, k 'spelt as Quenya'
vince - variant of vinice
vō-, vo- - prefix 'used in words describing the meeting, junction, or union of two things or persons, or of two groups thought of as units' (WJ:367) (WO-); short vowel when unstressed
vola - 'a roller, long wave' (PM:357) (*WOL-??)
Volwe - connection of Olwe with vola; 'not a serious 'etymology' but a kind of pun; for the king's name was not normally Volwe (Common Eldarin *wolwē) but Olwe'
#vomentie - 'meeting or junction of the directions of two people' (WJ:407) (WO-, MEN-, TEƷ-?); isolated from vomentienguo 'of our meeting'
ye - 'could be used as usually in pairs or prefixed [?sep.] and appears before each item of a list' (VT47:31) (related to the exclamation yé 'lo!')
yumpe - '12' (VT48:8) (YŪ-, KEWE- 'new, fresh, anew, repeated'), variant of yūnece
yūnece - '12' (VT47:41, VT48:8,9) (< CE yūneke, yū(e)neke 'clearly a dual of 6 enek'; YŪ-, EN-EK-); yúnec(e) in VT48:8 (< yū-(e)nekē, yūnekē˘, yū-eneke); variant: yumpe
Appendix (3) - word list of earliest Telerin (pre-Etym.; around 1923)
Regarding phonology this earliest concept of
Telerin is similar to the late one in many ways, compare:
kw>p, -sye>-rie, -rya>-ria, sw->su-, -kt->-tt-, -dl->-ll-, -eu->-ú-;
but also quite different in many others, see:
-agd->-aid-, mb->m-, -rt>-rs, -r:- (long syllabic r) >-ar-; ḷ>-il- /-ol-
aia < aiya = cry of pain (PE13:158)
aili(n) pl. ailindi 'lake' (PE13:158)
axas pl. axati 'bone' (PE13:160)
alacha aor.(?) alchíne < alakya- '*to shield' (PE13:158)
amba 'up' (PE13:159)
ambabenda 'uphill' (PE13:159)
anga 'iron' (PE13:159)
ar pl. arni 'child' (PE13:160)
aurina < aurind-, aurina- 'hot' (PE13:160)
austa < awésta-, austa- 'summer' (PE13:160); < austá 'summer' (PE13:137)
baga < du̯ag- 'to beat' (PE14:66)
balga < balgá 'hump' (PE13:138)
benda < bendā 'slanting, sloping' (PE13:160)
bende (1) < bendē 'slope' (PE13:160)
Bende (2) '*elf' (PE13:146)
camparon < kamp'rû 'flea' (PE14:66)
celpe < kelekwé 'silver' (PE13:140)
dá < dā < da'a 'hush, be silent' (PE13:142)
daga < dagá 'high' (PE13:141) < dagā΄ (PE13:161)
daida- < dagd- 'to weary' (PE14:66)
danga- < dang- 'to beat' (PE14:66)
gargo < gr:go 'throat' (PE13:144)
goldo < ngol(o)dō 'Noldo' (PE13:145)
Illa < Eid(e)lā '*elf' (PE13:155)
jagula < dׁɪ̯ag- 'sacrifice' (PE14:66)
líva < sleiwa 'pale' (PE13:149)
mars < a-mbˉṛ̣̣t 'fate' (PE13:159)
mige < smeigé 'crumb' (PE13:150)
milga 'fat' (PE13:139)
milgo < mlgo 'oil' (PE13:139)
mire < míye 'mist, drizzle' (PE13:150)
morta (1) < (a)mbrtá: 'fate' (PE13:137)
morta (2) < a-mbṛ̣̣tá 'fated' (PE13:159)
muria < mburyá 'close, muggy' (PE13:139)
murra < mbúrya 'heat, close weather' (PE13:139)
narge < nr:gwé 'pain' (PE13:150)
ninda 'water, river' (PE13:164)
nirga < nrga 'painful' (PE13:150)
pa < ?apa 'to, on' (PE13:151)
págas, págant 'stern (of ship)' (PE13:152)
pelera < pelesa 'fence' (PE13:147)
pia < peia 'scorn' (PE13:146)
pirie < pisye 'sap, juice' (PE13:147)
plinde < p(i)lind- 'arrow' (PE13:163)
scanta < skantá 'a blow with an axe' (PE13:147)
sitta < siktā 'moist, wet' (PE13:163)
suada < swada 'hide [i.e. skin]' (PE13:146)
súna < souna 'clean' (PE13:148)
staino < stainá 'a plain' (PE13:153)
stanca < stanká 'split, cloven, forked' (PE13:154)
tagula < dagla 'heavy woodman's axe' (PE14:66)
tanca 'firm, steady, steadfast' (PE13:165); 'firm' (PE14:66)
telpe < t'lē΄pe 'butter' (PE13:154)
tigna, tingna < tegnā 'straight' (PE13:165)
tolta < tḷtā΄ 'leaning, tottering' (PE13:165)
túta < teutá 'thigh' (PE13:154)
ūru < our˘û 'sun' (PE13:155)
va- 'together' (PE13:162)
vica < wikā 'valiant' (PE13:162)
vie < wiɪ̯ē΄ 'penis' (PE13:162)
This work owes a lot to Helge
Fauskanger's article on Telerin (especially the word list - vocabulary published before VT41).
I would also like to thank Thorsten Renk for his remarks on several points and
for his provision of the earliest Telerin vocabulary.
Roman Rausch (Aran) email@example.com
Okt. 22nd, 2005
(last update: Feb 5th '06, [information from VT48 added])