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Select Elvish Words 1.223: Mound, Pile

1.223 Mound, Pile

Q. coron n. “mound; [ᴹQ] globe, ball”

A word glossed “mound” in the name Q. Koron Oiolaire “Mound Ever-summer” in the Quendi and Eldar essay from 1959-60 (SA/coron; WJ/401). In The Etymologies of the 1930s, however, ᴹQ. koron was glossed “globe, ball” and was derived from the root ᴹ√KOR “round” (Ety/KOR). If this was its primary meaning, then perhaps it could also refer to round hills as hemispheres. In The Etymologies, its stem form was korn- as indicated by its (Middle Quenya) genitive kornen but this stem form is rather unusual. Perhaps its primitive form was also *korn and the -on developed by syllabification of the final -n in the uninflected form, but if so it is atypical of how nasals become syllabic. Alternately, kornen may be a variant form rather than a genitive.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I’d ignore this word’s stem/variant form kornen from the 1930s.

ᴹQ. kumbe n. “mound, heap”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “mound, heap” derived from the root ᴹ√KUB (Ety/KUB). It is a later iteration of ᴱQ. kúme or kumbe “a pile, heap, load, burden” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s where it was a derivative of ᴱ√KUMU “heap up” (QL/49). Its Noldorin cognate N. cum appeared in the name N. Cûm-na-Dengin “Mound of Slain” in Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s (SM/312, LR/147), but later this name became S. Haudh-en-Ndengin.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I’d avoid this word and use Q. hamna instead, the cognate of S. haudh. In later writings the root √KUB was given the new meaning “hide, secrete” (PE22/155).

ᴹQ. hahta n. “heap, pile, (piled) mound”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “pile, mound” derived from the root ᴹ√KHAG “pile up” (Ety/KHAG). It also appeared in the Outline of Phonetic Development (OP1) from the 1930s with the gloss “heap, piled mound” (PE19/45). In that document it illustrated how combinations of voiced stops were unvoiced so that ᴹ✶khagdā > *khakta > hahta. This derivation reappeared in Outline of Phonology (OP2) from the 1950s, but there the root was changed √KHAG >> √KHAB in revisions made in 1959 or later, and a new Quenya form Q. hamna was given (PE19/91-92).

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I’d use the later form Q. hamna and give Q. hahta its later meaning “fence, hedge” (PE19/91).

Q. hamna n. “pile, (artificial) mound, [ᴹQ.] heap”

A noun appearing in Outline of Phonology (OP2) as part of revisions made in 1959 or later. It had the gloss “pile, (artificial) mound” and was derived from the root √KHAB “heap up, pile up” from a primitive form ✶khabnā (PE19/91). In this word, the ancient voiced stop b became nasal m before another nasal.

Conceptual Development: In the original draft of OP2, this word was given as hahta “piled mound, heap”, but this word was deleted and the section where it appeared was rejected (PE19/92). See the entry for ᴹQ. hahta for a discussion of the earlier iteration of this word.

Q. luppo n. “clumsy piece or lump”

A noun appearing in both the Outline of Phonetic Development from the 1930s (OP1: PE19/45) and the Outline of Phonology from the 1950s (OP2: PE19/92) with the gloss “a clumsy piece or lump” derived from primitive ✶lubbu and illustrating how combinations of voiced stops were unvoiced in (Ancient) Quenya: bb > pp.

ᴹQ. tumpo n. “hump, lump”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “hump” derived from the root ᴹ√TUMPU of the same meaning (Ety/TUMPU). It is a later iteration of tunt (tump-) “lump” from the Declension of Nouns of the early 1930s (PE21/27).

Conceptual Development: Possible earlier precursors include ᴱQ. tupse “lump, knob” from Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/154) and ᴱQ. kumpo “pile” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/49).

Q. umbo(n) n. “lump, clump, mass, ⚠️hill”

A noun from 1967 notes on the comparative, apparently meaning “hill, lump, clump, mass” and derived from the root √MBŎNO (PE17/93), where the um- developed from syllabic initial ṃ-. Tolkien introduced the root √MBŎNO to serve as a new basis for S. amon “hill”, motivated by his decision to give the root √AM “up” a new meaning: √AMA “addition, increase, plus”, so that it could serve as the basis for the intensive prefix am- (PE17/91).

Neo-Eldarin: I prefer Q. an- as the basis for intensives, but I think the word umbo(n) might be worth retaining in the more limited sense “lump, clump, mass”. For “hill”, however, I’d use the better attested Q. ambo.

S. cerin n. “circular mound, artificial hill; [N.] round enclosure”

A noun described as a “circular mound or artificial hill” in the Unfinished Index of The Lord of the Rings, appearing in the place name Cerin Amroth “Amroth’s Mound” (RC/309; LotR/350).

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies of the 1930s, N. cerin was glossed “round enclosure” as a derivative of the root ᴹ√KOR “round” (Ety/KOR; EtyAC/KOR). This in turn was a later iteration of ᴱN. gwerin “enclosure” from Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/146), which was itself a later version of G. gorin or gwarin “circle of trees” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/47), first given as corin “an enclosure, especially a (sacred) circular enclosure fenced with trees” (GL/26), but the meaning of that last word was changed to adjectival “round, circular; rolling”. Note that corin “enclosure” also reappeared in the Early Noldorin Grammar of the 1920s, only to be deleted again (PE13/121).

Thus it seems 1910s {corin >>} gorin “enclosure or circle of trees” >> 1920s {corin >>} gwerin “enclosure” >> 1930s cerin “round enclosure”. As for Cerin Amroth, Tolkien described it as follows: “Upon it, as a double crown, grew two circles of trees: the outer had bark of snowy white, and were leafless but beautiful in their shapely nakedness; the inner were mallorn-trees of great height, still arrayed in pale gold. High amid the branches of a towering tree that stood in the centre of all there gleamed a white flet (LotR/350).” Thus, perhaps this name originally referred to the rings of trees, and only later did Tolkien decide that cerin referred to the mound itself.

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would use this word mainly in its 1930s meaning “round enclosure”, but would assume it could also be used of round things in generally, such as a mound, that surrounded something in the middle, such as the great tree at the center of Cerin Amroth.

N. gwastar n. “hummock”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “hummock”, a combination of the prefix N. gwa- “together” and the root ᴹ√STAR “stiff” (Ety/STAR; WŌ).

S. mâf n. “pile or mass of rock or earth”

A noun from 1967 notes on the comparative, glossed “a pile or mass of rock or earth” (PE17/93). It appeared underneath the root √MBŎNO, but was almost certainly actually derived from √MAB “lump, mass” appearing earlier in the same notes (PE17/90). Both these roots were considered as a new basis for the words Q. ambo and S. amon “hill” when Tolkien repurposed the root √AM “up” as √AMA “addition, increase, plus” in order to serve as a new basis for Quenya comparative forms, with √MAB >> √MBŎNO.

Neo-Eldarin: Given the evolution of its roots, this Sindarin word is pretty dubious, but I don’t have a good alternative for it at the moment.

ᴺS. tomp adj. “humped, bulging”

A neologism coined by Paul Strack in 2018 specifically for Eldamo as a replacement for Gnomish G. caug of similar meaning. It is a hypothetical adjective form of N. tump “hump”, derived from *tumpā.

N. tump n. “hump”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “hump” derived from the root ᴹ√TUMPU of the same meaning (Ety/TUMPU). A possible earlier precursor is ᴱN. tuf “lump, knob” from Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/154).

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