New Theme! What do you think?

Study, speak, and hang out with fellow Elvish students!

Select Elvish Words 1.222: Slope, Cliff

1.222 Slope, Cliff

ᴱQ. aiko (aiku-) n. “cliff”
A noun appearing as ᴱQ. aiko (aiku-) “cliff” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, apparently a noun variant of ᴱQ. aiqa “steep” appearing nearby (QL/29). Since ᴹQ. aiqa “steep” continued to appear in Tolkien’s later writings (Ety/AYAK), perhaps this word can be salvaged for Neo-Quenya writing as ᴺQ. aico (aicu-).
ᴱQ. aiqasse n. “precipice”
A noun appearing as ᴱQ. aiqasse “precipice” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, a noun formation from ᴱQ. aiqa “steep” appearing nearby (QL/29). Since ᴹQ. aiqa “steep” continued to appear in Tolkien’s later writings (Ety/AYAK), perhaps this word can be salvaged for Neo-Quenya writing as ᴺQ. aiquassë.
ᴹQ. am(ba)penda adj. “uphill, *sloping up; [ᴱQ.] arduous, difficult, tiresome”
An adjective meaning “uphill” in The Etymologies of the 1930s with variants ambapenda and shorter ampenda, a combination of amba “up(wards)” and penda “sloping” (Ety/AM²). More literally it means “*sloping up”, versus plain penda which has an implication of “sloping down”. It also appeared in the Early Noldorin Dictionary of the 1920s as ᴱQ. ambapenda, where its cognate ᴱN. amvenn had the glosses “uphill; arduous, difficult, tiresome” (PE13/159). Perhaps ᴹQ. am(ba)penda could colloquially have these meanings as well.
ᴹQ. ambon n. “upward slope, hill-side”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “upward slope, hill-side” derived from the root ᴹ√AM² “up” (Ety/AM²). As published in The Lost Road, this word had the form amban, but its actual form was ambon according to Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne (EtyAC/AM²).
ᴹQ. ampende n. “upward slope”
A noun meaning “upward slope” in The Etymologies of the 1930, a combination of am- “up” and pende “slope” (Ety/PEN).
Q. penda adj. “sloping down, (steeply) inclined”
An adjective meaning “sloping”, usually “sloping down” (PE17/24), with am(ba)penda being “uphill, *sloping up” (Ety/AM²). The adjective penda also has an implication of steeply sloping (PE17/173).

Conceptual Development: The word ᴱQ. penda² first appeared in the Early Noldorin Dictionary as an element in ᴱQ. ambapenda “uphill”. Its Early Noldorin and Early Telerin cognates ᴱN. benn and ᴱT. benda were used for both sloping up and down hill, so the Early Qenya form was likely the same. The primitive form in this document was ᴱ✶bendā, with initial b- > p- as was the case in Early Qenya (later b- > v-).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s it first appeared as ᴹQ. nenda “sloping” derived from ᴹ√DEN “hillside, slope”, but the meaning of this root was change to ᴹ√DEN “hole; gap, passage” (Ety/DEN). Tolkien introduced a new root ᴹ√PEN(ED) with the derivative ᴹQ. penda “sloping down, inclined” (Ety/PEN), and this notion that penda was specifically for downwards slopes reappeared in later writings (PE17/24). In later writings, though, its root form was √PED instead of ᴹ√PEN, as √PEN was given the new sense “lack, be without” (PE17/173; WJ/375).

Q. penda- vb. “to slope, incline”
A verb meaning “to slope, incline” derived from the root √PED (PE17/171, 173). It was a weak verb (PE17/173), probably based on the verb-like adjective form Q. penda “sloping”, since the strong forms would have collided with derivatives of √PER “half” (PE17/171).
Q. pendë n. “steep incline, hillside, [ᴹQ.] (down) slope, declivity”
A noun meaning “steep incline, hill side” (PE17/24) or “(down) slope, declivity” (Ety/PEN). It has the general implication of a downward slope; an upward slope would be ampendë.

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies of the 1930s it first appeared as ᴹQ. nende “slope, hillside” derived from ᴹ√DEN “hillside, slope”, but the meaning of this root was change to ᴹ√DEN “hole; gap, passage” (Ety/DEN). Tolkien introduced a new root ᴹ√PEN(ED) with the derivative ᴹQ. pende “slope, downslope, declivity” (Ety/PEN). In later writings, though, its root form was √PED instead of ᴹ√PEN, as √PEN was given the new sense “lack, be without” (PE17/171; WJ/375).

ᴹQ. talta n. “incline”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “an incline” derived from the root ᴹ√TALAT “to slope, lean, tip” (Ety/TALÁT).
ᴺQ. varassë n. “cliff”
A neologism coined by Paul Strack in 2018 specifically for Eldamo, the Quenya equivalent of S. brass. You may use this form if you prefer words based only on roots from Tolkien’s later writing, but I think ᴱQ. aiko “cliff” remains viable for Neo-Quenya writing if modernized to the form ᴺQ. aico.
N. atlant adj. “oblique, slanted”
An adjective in The Etymologies of the 1930s given as {tlant >>} N. atlant “oblique, slanted”, a derivative of the root ᴹ√TALAT “to slope, lean, tip” (Ety/TALÁT). It is not clear why the consonant did not undergo mutation to dl or gl, such as with ON. etlenna > N. eglenn (Ety/LED).

Neo-Sindarin: If you use this word for Neo-Sindarin, it would probably be best to reform it to ᴺS. adlant, as originally suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary.

N. aclod adj. “sloping, tilted”
An adjective in The Etymologies of the 1930s given as {tlaud >>} N. atlaud > aclod “sloping, tilted”, a derivative of the root ᴹ√TALAT “to slope, lean, tip” (Ety/TALÁT). In The Etymologies as published in The Lost Road it was given as atland, but this was corrected to atlaud > aclod by Carl Hostetter and Patrick Wynne (EtyAC/TALÁT). The change tl > cl was normal in the Noldorin period, but it is not clear why the consonant did not undergo mutation to gl, such as with ON. etlenna > N. eglenn (Ety/LED). The form unaugmented form tlaud “sloping” < ON. tlāta appeared in the first version of Tengwesta Qenderinwa (TQ1), also from the 1930s (PE18/38).

Neo-Sindarin: If you use this word for Neo-Sindarin, it would probably be best to reform it to ᴺS. adlod.

N. amben adj. “uphill; [ᴱN.] arduous, difficult, tiresome”
An adjective (and adverb?) for “uphill” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, a combination of am “up” and N. penn “declivity, *slope” (Ety/PEN). It was contrasted with N. dadben “downhill, inclined, prone” (Ety/AM², PEN).

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies it first appeared as N. amdenn, a derivative of ᴹ√DEN “hillside, slope”, but the meaning of this root was change to ᴹ√DEN “hole; gap, passage” (Ety/DEN), after which the form amben < ᴹ√PEN(ED) given above was introduced. The earliest appearance of this word was in Early Noldorin Word-lists as ᴱN. amvenn “uphill; arduous, difficult, tiresome” explicitly marked as both an adjective and adverb, along with a noun variant ᴱN. amvinn “slope, incline, hillside” (PE13/139, 159-160). This early Noldorin form was a combination of ᴱN. am “up” and ᴱN. benn “sloping”.

Neo-Sindarin: Given its Early Noldorin use for “arduous, difficult, tiresome”, it is possible amben can be used colloquially in Neo-Sindarin with a similar sense of something difficult.

S. avras n. “precipice”
A noun glossed “a precipice”, given as a derivative of the root √BARAS (PE17/22-23).
S. brass n. “great cliff”
A noun glossed “great cliff”, derived from the root √BARAS (PE17/22-23).
S. îf n. “cliff, sheer descent”
A noun glossed “a cliff, a sheer descent” in notes from 1967, a derivative of √IBI (PE17/92).
S. pend n. and adj. “slope, steep incline, hill side, [N.] declivity; [S.] sloping (down), steeply inclined”
A noun for “slope” (RC/525) or a “steep incline, hill side” (PE17/24), also used as an adjective for “steeply inclined, sloping down” (PE17/24) or “steeply sloping” (PE17/173). In keeping with the general conventions of this lexicon, I represent it as pend since Tolkien said -nd frequently survived “at the end of fully accented monosyllables” (LotR/1115), but in his notes Tolkien marked pend as Old Sindarin and gave penn as the modern form (PE17/24, 173).

Conceptual Development: The earliest appearance of this word was in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s as ᴱN. benn (†bend) with glosses like “inclined, sloping” (PE13/138) or “slanting, sloping, up or down hill” (PE13/160). In this period it as derived from primitive ᴱ✶bendā and was an adjective only; the noun form was ᴱN. binn.

In The Etymologies of the 1930s it first appeared as N. denn (†dend) “sloping” as a derivative of ᴹ√DEN “hillside, slope”, but the meaning of this root was change to ᴹ√DEN “hole; gap, passage” (Ety/DEN). Tolkien introduced a new root ᴹ√PEN(ED) with the derivative N. penn (†pend) “declivity” (Ety/PEN). In later writings, though, its root form was √PED instead of ᴹ√PEN, as √PEN was given the new sense “lack, be without” (PE17/173; WJ/375).

N. pendrath n. “passage up or down slope, stairway”
A noun for a “passage up or down slope, stairway” in The Etymologies of the 1930s with variants pendrath and pendrad, probably a combination of N. penn “declivity, *slope” and either N. rath “course” or its root ᴹ√RAT (Ety/PEN, RAT).
N. rhass n. “precipice”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s gloss “precipice”, derived from primitive ᴹ✶khrassē (Ety/KHARÁS). Tolkien listed two soft mutated forms: i-rass and (archaic) †i-chrass, the latter the proper historical development but the former reformed to match normal (Noldorin) patterns of mutation.

Neo-Sindarin: This word would remain rhass if adapted into Sindarin, as its ancient initial consonants khr- would still produce rh-. But its mutations would likely be different; see the discussion of the Sindarin soft mutation.

N. talad n. “incline, slope”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “an incline, slope” derived from the root ᴹ√TALAT “to slope, lean, tip” (Ety/TALÁT).

Conceptual Development: ᴱN. tlad “hillside, slope” from the Early Noldorin Dictionary of the 1920s is a likely precursor; this word was derived from primitive ᴱ✶tḹtá (PE13/165).

Speak, Friend!