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Select Primitive Elvish Roots: TAP-TAY

ᴹ√TAP “stop”

A root in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “stop” with derivatives like ᴹQ. tampa “stopper” and ᴹQ. tape “he stops, blocks” (Ety/TAP; EtyAC/TAP). The word Q. tapta “impeded” from notes associated with the Quendi and Eldar essay of 1959-60 was probably related (VT39/17), indicating the roots ongoing validity.

TAR “stand”

The root √TAR appeared unglossed in the Quendi and Eldar essay of 1959-60 as the basis for Q. tára “tall, high” (WJ/417), a word that elsewhere was derived from √TĀ/TAƷ “high” (Ety/TĀ; PE17/186). The root √TAR was glossed “stand” along with derivative tāra “tall” in rough notes on the back of a discussion of the comparitive from around 1965 (PE17/186). The past tense for Q. tarne “stood” appears in other notes from this period, along with Q. astarindo, artarindo or astarmo “bystander” (PE17/70-71). √TAR “stand” seems to be a later iteration of ᴹ√THAR² “stand” from the Quenya Verbal System of the 1940s; of this earlier root Tolkien said it “is only used [in describing the location of things] — except, of course, with reference to persons or animals when they are noted especially as ‘standing’ (not sitting or lying) — of mountains, high hills, towers, pillars” (PE22/126).

ᴹ√TARAG “*tough, stiff”

An unglossed root in The Etymologies of the 1930s with derivatives like ᴹQ. tarya/N. tara “tough, stiff” and N. tarlanc “stiff-necked, obstinate” (Ety/TÁRAG). As pointed out by Christopher Tolkien, this last word is undoubtedly connected to S. tarlang in Tarlang’s Neck (LotR/790), which elsewhere was glossed “stiff-neck(ed)” (PE17/92, 98). In rough notes for Tolkien’s 1967 discussion of the Nomenclature of the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien indicated the initial element of this name was S. tarch, perhaps representing a shift of this root to *√TARAK (RC/536).

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I’d stick with the better-known earlier form of this root: ᴹ√TARAG.

ᴹ√TARAK “horn (of animals)”

The earliest manifestation of this root was unglossed ᴱ√TARA⁽²⁾ in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. taru “horn” and ᴱQ. tarukko “bull” (QL/89). It was originally given as ᴱ√TAŘA “chevaux de frise [fortifications of wooden spikes]”, but that sense and associated derivatives (“hedge” words) were transferred to ᴱ√TAÐA; see that entry for details. As for ᴱ√TARA² “*horn”, it also had derivatives in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon such as G. târ “a horn” and G. tarog “ox” (GL/69).

The root ᴹ√TARAK “horn (of animals)” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s with derivatives ᴹQ. tarka/N. tarag of the same meaning, but the Noldorin word was also used of mountains, as seen in the name N. Taragaer “Ruddihorn” (Ety/TARÁK). The latter was an early precursor to the name S. Caradhras “Redhorn” in Lord of the Rings drafts of the 1940s; Taragaer was eventually abandoned (RS/419, 433).

Neo-Eldarin: I would ignore this root for purposes of Neo-Eldarin, and stick with derivatives of √RAS.

TAS “point out, indicate”; √TATHAR “*willow”; ᴱ√TASA “*fringe”

The root √TAS “point out, indicate” was mentioned a couple times in notes on Eldarin Hands, Fingers and Numerals from the late 1960s as the basis for various words for the index finger as a pointer, most likely as an extension of the demonstrative root √TA (VT47/11, 13, 26, 29). However, in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, the root ᴱ√TASA had derivatives like ᴱQ. tasarin “willow” and ᴱQ. taste “fringe” and was connected to ᴱ√TAŘA [TAÐA] which was the basis for “hedge” words (QL/89-90). A superscript S after the root seemed to indicate the primitive form was indeed ᴱ√TASA rather than **ᴱ√TAÞA as pointed out by Gilson, Hostetter, Wynne and Smith. The words G. tast “border, fringe” and G. tathrin “willow” from the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon were clearly related (GL/69), the latter most likely the result of the sound change whereby sr became thr in Gnomish as it also did in later Sindarin.

The root ᴹ√TAS reappeared in revisions to the The Feanorian Alphabet from the early 1940s, where it served as the basis for ᴹQ. atsa {“claw” >>} “tassel, fryse, fringe” (PE22/50). However, as the basis for ᴹQ. tasar(e) “willow” the root ᴹ√TAS was problematic, because starting in the 1930s intervocalic s > z > r in Quenya (PE19/49), as opposed to Early Qenya of the 1910s where this transition happened only before nasals, liquids and voiced spirants (PE12/15-16, 19). Thus in the The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien introduced a new root ᴹ√TATHAR as the basis for ᴹQ. tasar(e)/N. tathor “willow-tree” and N. tathren “of willow” (Ety/TATHAR). The root {√TASĀR >>} √TATHAR reappeared in Words, Phrases and Passages in the Lord of the Rings from the late 1950s or early 1960s as the basis for Q. tasar/S. tathar “willow” (PE17/81).

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I would posit the existence of a Neo-Root ᴺ√TATH as a replacement for early ᴱ√TASA to salvage “fringe” words from that period, and as well as being the basis for √TATHAR, reserving for √TAS the sense “point(er)” it had in the late 1960s.

ᴱ√TAÞA “count”

The root {ᴱ√TASA >>} ᴱ√TAÞA “count” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, with derivatives ᴱQ. tanta “number” and ᴱQ. tasta- “reckon” (QL/90). It also had derivatives in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon such as G. {tant >>} tast “number” and {tath- >>} G. tathna- “number, count, reckon” (GL/69), the later the basis for {udathriol >>} G. udathnarol as in G. Nínin-Udathriol “[Battle of] Unnumbered Tears”, the earliest name for S. Nirnaeth Arnoediad of the same meaning. In Tolkien’s later writings, counting and number words were based on the root √NOT (Ety/NOT; PE17/62).

TAW “wood”

Tolkien used a similar set of words for “forest” starting with the earliest versions of Elvish, but their derivation evolved somewhat over time. The earliest related root was ᴱ√TAVA “beam” with variant ᴱ√TAFA (the latter marked by Tolkien with a “?” and with no obvious derivatives) from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s as the basis for words like ᴱQ. taule “great tree”, ᴱQ. tauno “forest” and ᴱQ. tavar “dale-sprite” (QL/90). It also had derivatives in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon such as G. tavros/G. taur “forest” and G. tavor “wood fay” (GL/69).

ᴱQ. taure “forest” did not appear as an independent word until drafts of the Oilima Markirya from around 1930 (PE16/62; MC/213). Thereafter Tolkien mostly stuck with Q. taurë and N./S. taur for “forest”. In The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien gave the root ᴹ√TAWAR “wood, forest” (Ety/TÁWAR), though in one place it was ᴹ√TAR (EtyAC/TUR). In notes associated with the Quendi and Eldar essay from 1959-60 Tolkien gave √TAWA “wood”, and in notes on “big & small” roots from 1968 Tolkien had √TAW “wood” (PE17/115).

TAY “stretch, [ᴹ√] extend, make long(er); [√] mark, line, limit”

The root ᴹ√TAY first appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s with the gloss “extend, make long(er)” and derivatives like ᴹQ. taile “lengthening, extension”, ᴹQ. taina “lengthened, extended” and N. taen “long (and thin)” (Ety/TAY). Tolkien considered making it a variant of ᴹ√TAƷ (EtyAC/TAY), perhaps intending ᴹ√TAY to refer to horizontal length as opposed to vertical ᴹ√TAƷ. The root ᴹ√TAY “stretch” also appeared in the first version of Tengwesta Qenderinwa (TQ1) from the 1930s as the basis for ᴹ✶tainā “long”, and there were various related linguistic terms like Q. ómataima “vocalic extension” and Q. ómatailë “vowel lengthening” that appeared in both the first and second version of Tengwesta Qenderinwa (TQ1: PE18/34, 45; TQ2: PE18/86, 95).

The root √TAJA “stretch” appeared in notes associated with the Quendi and Eldar essay of 1959-60 (VT39/7), and √TAY “stretch” appeared in a list of sound roots from around this same time (PE17/138). However, in notes on the origin of the river name S. Taeglin “*Boundary Singer”, Tolkien glossed √taya “mark, line, limit” with extension tayak as the basis for ✶taika “boundary, limit, boundary line” > S. taeg (WJ/309). Perhaps it was Tolkien’s intent that the sense “mark, line, limit” only applied to the extended form tayak.

 

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