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Select Elvish Words 1.63: Shade, Shadow

1.63 Shade, Shadow

Q. hala n. “cast shadow, *shade”
A Quenya word meaning “a cast shadow” appearing in two forms, hala and (archaic) †ixal, both cognates to S. esgal and derived from the root √SKAL “cover, veil, cloak, conceal” (PE17/184). The form hala is the normal development from primitive ✶skalā where the initial sk eventually became h, whereas ixal shows a vowel i developing before syllabic and then the surviving sk undergoing metathesis to ks (x).

Neo-Quenya: Given that primitive ✶skalā is actually “the action or effect of overshadowing”, I think hala can mean both “(cast) shadow” and “*shade” as in a shaded region beneath a screen of leaves or something similar. For the screen itself I’d use fanwa.

ᴹQ. halda adj. “veiled, hidden, shadowed, shady”
An adjective in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “veiled, hidden, shadowed, shady” derived from the primitive ᴹ✶skalnā based on the root ᴹ√SKAL¹ “screen, hide (from light), overshadow” (Ety/SKAL¹). A similar form halda “hidden, veiled” appeared in the entry for a deleted root ᴹ√SKAL³ “cover, hide” (EtyAC/SKAL³), probably abandoned when Tolkien adjusted the meanings of the roots ᴹ√SKAL¹ and ᴹ√SKEL; see those entries for details. This word might be consider an adjectival form of hala “cast shadow” from 1966-67 (PE17/154).
⚠️ᴹQ. laime n. “shadow (cast by an object or form), shade”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s variously glossed “shade”, “shadow (cast by an object or form)”, and “shadow cast by a thing” under different iterations of the root ᴹ√DAY “shadow” (Ety/DAY; EtyAC/DAY). This root was primarily used for N. dae “shadow” in N. Dor-Daedeloth “Land of the Shadow of Dread”; in later writings the Dae- element in that name seems to have become dae(r) “great” (WJ/183), so I suspect ᴹ√DAY “shadow” and its derivatives were abandoned.
⚠️ᴹQ. laira adj. “shady”
An adjective in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “shady” under the root ᴹ√DAY “shadow” (Ety/DAY; EtyAC/DAY). This root was primarily used for N. dae “shadow” in N. Dor-Daedeloth “Land of the Shadow of Dread”; in later writings the Dae- element in that name seems to have become dae(r) “great” (WJ/183), so I suspect ᴹ√DAY “shadow” and its derivatives were abandoned.
⚠️ᴹQ. leo n. “shade, shadow cast by any object”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “shade, shadow cast by any object” from primitive ᴹ✶daı̯ō under the root ᴹ√DAY “shadow” (Ety/DAY; EtyAC/DAY). This root was primarily used for N. dae “shadow” in N. Dor-Daedeloth “Land of the Shadow of Dread”; in later writings the Dae- element in that name seems to have become dae(r) “great” (WJ/183), so I suspect ᴹ√DAY “shadow” and its derivatives were abandoned.
Q. lómëa adj. “shadowed, gloomy, *dusk-like”
An element in various Entish phrases meaning “shadowed” or “gloomy” (LotR/1131; PE17/81). It is an adjectival form of Q. lómë “night, dusk”, so is perhaps more literally “*of or like the dim light of dusk or a star-lit night”, probably without the negative connotations that “gloomy” has in English.

Conceptual Development: A similar form appeared unglossed in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s as (ablative plural) ᴱQ. lómealloi in the phrase ᴱQ. fanwen tollillon lómëalloi, perhaps “*a dream from the gloomy islands” as suggested by Patrick Wynne and Christopher Gilson (PE16/147).

ᴹQ. lumbe n. “gloom, shadow”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “gloom, shadow” derived from the root ᴹ√LUM (Ety/LUM). It was an element in the name ᴹQ. Hísilumbe for N./S. Hithlum, more typically given as Q. Hísilómë. However, both the root √LUM “shadow” and derived Quenya words like Q. lumbulë “heavy shadow” continued to appear in Tolkien’s later writings (PE17/168; RGEO/59), so I suspect lumbe may remain valid as well.

Conceptual Development: A possible precursor is ᴱQ. lōmin “shade, shadow” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s derived from the early root ᴱ√LOMO (QL/55).

Q. lumbulë n. “dark shadow, heavy shadow; deep in shadow”
A noun used in the Namárië poem and loosely translated as “deep in shadow” (LotR/377), but more accurately “heavy shadow, dark shadow” (PE17/72, 168; RGEO/59). It is a derivative of the root √LUM “shadow” (PE17/168), perhaps an elaboration of ᴹQ. lumbe “gloom, shadow” from The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/LUM).

Neo-Quenya: Based on its use, I suspect lumbulë refers to a great expanse of shadow (“shadowness”) rather than an individual cast shadow, which is Q. hala.

⚠️S./N. dae n. “shadow (cast by an object or form), [N.] shade”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “shadow” derived from the root ᴹ√DAY of the same meaning (Ety/DAY). The original penciled version had {daer >>} dae, while the inked version had daew “shadow (cast by an object or form)” and Dae “shade” (EtyAC/DAY). It was most notably an element in the name N. Dor-Daedeloth “Land of the Shadow of Dread” (LR/120, 405). Christopher Tolkien had S. dae “shadow” in The Silmarillion appendix (SA/dae), but I suspect that was copied from The Etymologies. In later writings, Tolkien seems to have changed the initial element of Daedeloth to a variant of S. daer “great”, and its meaning from “Shadow of Dread” to “Great Dread” (WJ/183).
S. dúath n. “night shadow, dark/black shadow, [N.] night-shade”
A word meaning “night shadow” (PE17/152) or “dark/black shadow” (PE17/87), a combination of “night” and the soft-mutated form ’wath of gwath “shadow” (SA/dú, gwath), usually written dúath but sometimes dúwath or duwath. Most notably it appeared in the name Ephel Dúath “Mountains of Shadow; (lit.) Fence of Shadow” (LotR/636; RC/457). In one place Tolkien said it was used metaphorically for darkness as an ethereal substances, the opposite of glae(gal) which was light as a substance (NM/283).

Conceptual Development: N. Dú(w)ath “night-shade” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s, already with the etymology given above (Ety/DOƷ).

S. esgal n. “cast shadow, shade; [Ilk.] screen, hiding; ⚠️veil”
A word meaning either “veil, screen, hiding” (Ety/SKAL¹; SA/esgal) or “a cast shadow” (PE17/184) derived from the root √SKAL “cover, veil”, most notably an element in the name Esgalduin (S/121) translated “River under Veil” (Ety/SKAL¹) or “River under Shade” (PE17/15, 184).

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies of the 1930s esgal was translated “screen, hiding, roof of leaves”, but there it (and the river name) were from the Ilkorin language. In notes from around 1966-67, however, Tolkien shift the semantics of the root, saying:

√SKAL was applied to more opaque things that cut off light and cast shadows over other things … √SPAN was applied to things of lighter texture, and corresponds closer to our “veil” … They appear also to have differed in that while SKAL was primitively verbal SPAN was primitively nominal. Thus the most primitive derivative of SKAL was skalā and this meant the action or effect of overshadowing: a cast shadow, S esgal, Q †ixal & hala. But spanā meant a thing that veiled, a veil (PE17/184).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I think esgal can refer to both a shading screen (as it did in the 1930s) or the shadow under that screen (as it did in the 1960s), but it is unlikely that Tolkien himself maintained these two senses simultaneously. However, there are a number of other Sindarin good words for “shadow” but not many for “screen, veil”, especially since fân < ✶spanā or ✶phanā is used mainly with the sense “cloud”. However, I would limit esgal to genuinely opaque screens and curtains, ones that block most if not all light, and for a diaphanous veil I’d use fân.

S. gwath n. “shadow, dim light, [N.] shade”
A word for “shadow” but more accurately an area of “dim light”, since it was “not for the shadows of actual objects or persons cast by sun or moon or other lights” (VT42/9) but was used “in the sense of dim light, owing to cloud or mist, or in deep valleys” (UT/261). A cast shadow would be morchant “(lit.) dark shape” (VT42/9). Gwath was derived from the root √WATH.

Conceptual Development: N. gwath “shade” appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s, already with the derivation given above (Ety/WATH).

S. gwathra- v. “to overshadow, dim, veil, obscure”
A verb meaning “overshadow, dim, veil, obscure” appearing in The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor of the late 1960s, from the root √WATH (VT42/9).
S. gwathren adj. “shadowy, dim”
A word meaning “shadowy, dim” appearing in The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor of the late 1960s, the adjectival form of gwath “shadow” (VT42/9).
S. gwathui adj. “*shadowy, of shadow”
A word apparently meaning “*shadowy” or “*of shadow” appearing only as an element in the name Gwathuirim “Dunlendings” (PM/330).
N. hall adj. “veiled, hidden, shadowed, shady”
An adjective in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “veiled, hidden, shadowed, shady” derived from the primitive ᴹ✶skalnā > ON. skhalla under the root ᴹ√SKAL¹ “screen, hide (from light), overshadow” (Ety/SKAL¹).
N. lhum n. “shade, *a thing blocking light; [G.] [dark] cloud”
A word appearing as N. lhum “shade” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, derived from the root ᴹ√LUM, most notably an element in the name N. Hithlum (Ety/LUM). It was the cognate of ᴹQ. lumbe, and thus derived from primitive *lumbē, which explains why the final m survived as a reduction of mb.

Conceptual Development: The earliest iteration of this word was G. lôm {“pool, sl…” >>} “gloom, shade” from the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, based on primitive ᴱ✶lou̯me (GL/54) and probably derived from the early root ᴱ√LOMO as suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LT1A/Hisilómë). In this early document, G. lum or glum was “a cloud” (GL/55), likely a derivative of ᴱ√LUVU for “*dark weather” as also suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LT1A/Luvier). In Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s Tolkien had ᴱN. {lom >>} lhom “shadow” (PE13/149). This became N. lhum “shade” in The Etymologies, as noted above.

Neo-Sindarin: In later writings, Hithlum was designated North Sindarin and its final element was based on a loan from Q. lómë “dusk”, with the m surviving only because it was from the North dialect (PE17/133; WJ/400). However, the root √LUM “shadow, darkness” also survived in later writings (PE17/168), so I think N. lhum “shade” can be salvaged, though if adapted to Neo-Sindarin it would need to become ᴺS. lum as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD). Given the later use of Q. lumbo for “(dark) cloud”, I think the Gnomish sense G. lum “[dark] cloud” can be salvaged as well.

N. lhumren n. “shady, [G.] overcast”
A word appearing as N. lhumren “shady” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, an adjective form of N. lhum “shade” (Ety/LUM).

Conceptual Development: The earliest iteration of this word was G. lómin “shady, shadowy, gloomy; gloom(iness)” from the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, the adjective form of G. lôm “gloom, shade” (GL/54). A similar word G. lumbrin or lumba “overcast” was an adjective based on G. lum “a cloud” (GL/55).

Neo-Sindarin: Since the root √LUM “shadow, darkness” survived in later writings (PE17/168), I think N. lhumren “shady” can be salvaged, though if adapted to Neo-Sindarin it would need to become ᴺS. lumren as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD). Given the later use of Q. lumbo for “(dark) cloud”, I think the sense “overcast” from Gnomish lumbrin can be salvaged as well.

S. morchant n. “shadow cast by light, (lit.) dark shape”
A word for “the shadows of actual objects or persons cast by sun or moon or other lights” attested only in its plural form morchaint (VT49/9), a combination of mor- “dark” and cant “shape” as suggested by Carl Hostetter (VT42/28 note #18).

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