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Select Elvish Words 1.71-1.72: Air, Ether, Wind

1.71 Air, Ether

ᴱQ. vilina adj. “airy, breezy; light [weight?]”
The adjective ᴱQ. {vilna >>} vilina “airy, breezy, light” appeared the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s as a derivative of the early root ᴱ√VILI (QL/101). The forms vílyava or vílina “airy” appeared in the English-Qenya Dictionary of the 1920s, but this entry was deleted (PE15/68).

Neo-Quenya: Since similar words like Q. vilya “air, sky” continued to appear in Tolkien’s later writings, I think ᴺQ. vilina “airy, breezy, light” may be used as-is in Neo-Quenya writing. The gloss “light” may mean light in weight like air, or perhaps light or clear weather; I think the light-weight meaning is more likely.

Q. vilya n. “air, sky”
A word for “air” or “sky” appearing Appendix E of The Lord of the Rings from older †wilya, serving as the name of tengwa #24 [n] (LotR/1123). It is clearly a derivative of the root ᴹ√WIL (Ety/WIL). It has an abnormal plural form wilyar in the 1950s version of the Nieninquë poem in the phrase yan i wilyar antar miquelis “*to whom the air gives kisses” (PE16/96), though this could just be a hold-over from the version of the poem written around 1930 (see below).

Conceptual Development: The notion of the “lower air” as a region dates all the way back to the earliest Lost Tales, where the innermost layer of air was called ᴱQ. Vilna (LT1/65). However, in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, the term was ᴱQ. Vilya “air (lower)” as a derivative of the early root ᴱ√VILI (QL/101). The word vilya “lower air” appeared English-Qenya Dictionary of the 1920s but was deleted (PE15/68), and this term appeared as both the singular “air” and plural “airs” in version of Nieninque and its drafts circa 1930: yan/yar i vilya(r) anta miqilis “to whom the air(s) give kisses” (MC/215; PE16/90, 92).

In the Ambarkanta of the early 1930s, the lower air was {Wilwa >>} Vista (SM/236, 240 note #1), but it was Wilwa again in the earliest tales of Númenor from the 1930s (LR/12) and was ᴹQ. {vilwa >>} wilma in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√WIL “fly, float in air” (Ety/WIL). Q. vilya “air, sky” in Appendix E seems to be the last iteration in this chain.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I think vilya refers mainly to air as the region above the ground, as opposed to ᴹQ. vista “air (as a substance)”. You breath vista, but birds fly through vilya, and breezes flow through vilya like ripples in a lake.

ᴹQ. vista n. “air as substance”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s for “air as substance” derived from the root ᴹ√WIS “air” (Ety/WIS). Elsewhere ᴹQ. Vista was a name for the region of (Lower) Air as the home of the birds (SM/236), but since that term seems to have become Q. vilya, I would use vista in its sense “air as substance” (the thing you breath) from The Etymologies.
N. gwelw n. “air (as a substance)”
A noun appearing in The Etymologies of the 1930s as N. gwelw “air (as a substance)” derived from primitive ᴹ✶wilwā under the root ᴹ√WIL “fly, float in air” (Ety/WIL).

Conceptual Development: An earlier precursor is G. gwail “air” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, derived from the early root ᴱ√gu̯il (GL/45).

Neo-Sindarin: If adapted to Neo-Sindarin, this word would be ᴺS. gwelu as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

⚠️N. gwelwen n. “air, lower air”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s given as the equivalent of ᴹQ. vilwa “lower air” under from the root ᴹ√WIL (Ety/WIL). Since ᴹQ. vilwa was changed to wilma, I’d abandon this word and use N. gilith instead.
N. gwilith n. “air (as a region), *lower sky; ⚠️[G.] breeze”
An abstract noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “air as a region” under from the root ᴹ√WIL (Ety/WIL). In other words, while you breath N. gwelw (ᴺS. gwelu) “air as a substance”, birds fly through gwilith, basically making it the lower sky below the clouds.

Conceptual Development: In Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, G. gwilith was “a breeze” (GL/45).

1.72 Wind

Q. hwarwa n. “violent wind”
A word for “violent wind” in notes from the late 1950s with variants hwá and hwarwa, based on a strengthened form of the root √ “blow”: ✶swa-swa (NM/237). I think the longer form hwarwa is preferable.
Q. n. “sound of wind, [ᴱQ.] noise of wind”
An ancient monosyllabic noun for the “sound of wind” appearing in notes from the late 1960s, which survived unchanged from its primitive form into modern Quenya (VT47/12, 35). It was derived from the root √ of similar meaning.

Conceptual Development: ᴱQ. appeared all the way back in Qenya Lexicon and Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa of the 1910s with the glosses “noise of wind” or “(noise) of wind”, but there it was derived from the early root ᴱ√SUHYU “air, breath, exhale, puff” (QL/86; PME/86). There was no mention of Q. in the intervening five decades, however.

ᴱQ. suiva adj. “soughing, moaning [of wind]”
A word appearing as ᴱQ. suiva “soughing, moaning” in Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an adjectival form of ᴱQ. “noise of wind” (QL/86). The word “soughing” is the present participle of the archaic English verb “sough” meaning “make a moaning, whistling, or rushing sound (of the wind in trees, the sea, etc.)”.

Neo-Quenya: Since Q. “sound of wind” reappeared in later writings (VT47/12), I think ᴺQ. suiva can also be used in Neo-Quenya to describing something with a moaning, wind-like sound.

Q. súrë (súri-) n. “wind, breeze”
The most common word for “wind” in Quenya, appearing in both the Namárië (LotR/377) and Markirya (MC/222) poems. In one place it was glossed “breeze” (PE17/62) so it seems to cover a wide variety of winds. It was derived from primitive ✶sūri (NM/237), a varient of ✶sūli (VT47/35) from which S. sûl “wind” was derived, all based on the root √ “blow, move with audible sound (of air)” which was primarily applied to the wind (NM/237).

Neo-Quenya: A likely precursor is ᴱQ. súru, used of air spirits in the earliest Lost Tales (LT1/66) but translated as “wind” in the Earendel and Oilima Markirya poems written around 1930 (MC/216, 220). In one glossary appearing among Oilima Markirya drafts, Tolkien translated súru as “wind, gale” (PE16/75).

Q. vailë n. “[strong] wind, *gale”
An obscure word for “wind” in notes from December 1959 (D59) derived from the root √WAYA and appearing in various forms: vëa, vaiwe, and vaile, the last of these with an adjectival form vailima “windy” (P17/189). A similar set of Quenya derivatives of √WAY appeared in notes from 1957, but there most of the forms were rejected: {vaiwe, view-, vaive, víw}, along with unrejected váva (PE17/33-34). Tolkien considered all these as possible cognates of S. gwae “wind”.

Conceptual Development: Precursors include ᴱQ. ’wā “wind” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√GWĀ (QL/102), ᴱQ. or vanwe “wind” from Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1930s (PE16/142) and ᴹQ. vaiwa “wind” from The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√WAIWA (Ety/WĀ). Thus the Quenya forms were much less stable than their Sindarin equivalent and its precursor, which were simply G. gwâ “wind” (GL/43; PE13/146) >> N./S. gwae(w) “wind” (Ety/WĀ; NM/237; PE17/33-34, 189).

Neo-Quenya: Of the various forms, I prefer Q. vailë since (a) it is later, (b) has an adjectival form and (c) has a possible direct cognate S. gwael “*wind”, also from around the same time. Q. súrë is the usual word for “wind” and is thus preferable for most uses, but I think vailë might be used for a strong wind or gale, since elsewere in Quenya derivatives of √ seem to be tied to stronger winds: hwarwa “violent wind”, vangwë “storm” (NM/237).

Q. vailima adj. “windy”
A word for “windy” in notes from December 1959 (D59), the adjectival form of Q. vailë “wind” (PE17/189).

Conceptual Development: A similar word ᴱQ. ’wanwavoite “windy” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an adjectival form of ᴱQ. ’wanwa “great gale” (QL/102).

S. gwae n. “wind”
The normal Sindarin word for “wind”, usually appearing as gwae but sometimes as gwaew, most frequently derived from √WAY “blow” but also a bewildering variety of other roots (NM/237; PE17/33-34, 189); see the entry for √ for further discussion.

Conceptual Development: The earliest form of this word was G. gwâ “wind” from both Gnomish Grammar and Gnomish Lexicon from the 1910s (GG/14; GL/43). The form ᴱN. gwá “wind” reappeared in Early Noldorin Word-lists from the 1920s (MC/217), but in the Nebrachar poem from circa 1930 the form was gwaew “wind” (MC/217). It was N. gwaew “wind” from ᴹ√WAIWA (Ety/WĀ), and appeared a number of times in later writings as both gwae and (more rarely) gwaew, as noted above.

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I prefer using only gwae for “wind”, reserving gwaew for “storm”.

⚠️S. gwael n. “?wind”
A word appearing only in the untranslated name Bar-in-Gwael (WJ/418), possibly the cognate of Q. vailë and thus related to gwae “wind”, which is the much better attested form and is thus preferable to use.
S. gwaeren adj. “windy”
A word appearing in the rejected name Côf Gwaeren Bel “Windy Bay of Bel” (VT42/15), an adjectival form of gwae “wind”. Despite this rejection, I think ᴺS. gwaeren “windy” is perfectly viable for purposes of Neo-Sindarin.

Conceptual Development: A likely precursor is G. {gwavwed >> gwanwed >>} gwavwed “windy” from the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, an adjectival form of G. gwâ “wind” (GL/43).

G. n. “noise of wind”
A noun appearing as G. “noise of wind” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/68), probably derived from the early root ᴱ√SUHYU “air, breath, exhale, puff” as suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LT1A/Súlimo; QL/86).

Neo-Sindarin: Since Q. “sound of wind” appears in Tolkien’s later writings (VT47/12), I think ᴺS. “noise of wind” still works for Neo-Sindarin.

S. sûl n. “[strong] wind, *gust”
A noun for “wind” appearing in names like Amon Sûl, derived from the root √ “blow, move with audible sound (of air)” (NM/237; PE17/124).

Conceptual Development: A percursor to this word is G. saul “great wind” from the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/67), derived from the the early root ᴱ√SUHYU “air, breath, exhale, puff” as suggested by Christopher Tolkien (LT1A/Súlimo; QL/86).

Neo-Sindarin: Given its connection to the sound of wind, I think sûl would be used mostly for strong or noisy wind, including (but not limited to) gusts of wind, as opposed to more ordinary (and less noisy) gwae “wind”. This notion is supported by its Gnomish precursor G. saul “great wind”.

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