New Theme! What do you think?

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

Select Elvish Words 2.27-2.28: Child, Infant

2.27 Child

Q. hína n. “child”
A word for “child” derived from the root √KHIN (PE17/157; WJ/403), most notably an element in Eruhíni “Children of God”, a term for Elves and Men as the children of Eru. This word illustrates that hína has an abnormal plural form: híni rather than the expected **hínar. A variant hina with a short i was “only used in the vocative addressing a (young) child, especially in hinya (< hinanya) ‘my child’ (WJ/403)”.

Conceptual Development: The term Êruhîn “Children of God” first appeared as an Adûnaic word in the 1940s (SD/247-8, 358), later adapted as Quenya Eruhíni and Sindarin Eruchîn, which seems to be the source of Q. hína and S. hên “child”. At one point Tolkien coined masculine and feminine variants Q. hindo and Q. hindë, but they were deleted (PE17/157). Tolkien occasionally used an alternate Quenya form sén (MR/423; UT/274), perhaps out of a desire to have a Sindarin form Eruhîn that was closer to the original Adûnaic form; this variant continued to appear as late as 1969, where sén was written below Eruhíni as a variant form in Late Notes on Verbs (LVS: PE22/158).

Q. onna n. “child, *offspring; ⚠️[ᴹQ.] creature”
A word for “child” appearing in various late notes and phrases (NM/31; PM/391; VT49/42), derived from the root √NŌ/ONO “beget, be born” and occasionally appearing in a variant form onwe (PE17/170). Giving its derivation, its actual meaning may be closer to “*offspring”, as first suggested to me by Tamas Ferencz.

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies of the 1930s, ᴹQ. onna was instead glossed “creature”, though it was still derived from the root ᴹ√ONO “beget” (Ety/ONO).

Q. winima adj. “childish”
A word appearing as winima “childish” in notes from 1968, an adjectival form of winë (wini-) “child not yet full grown” (VT47/26).

Neo-Quenya: In other notes from this period, Tolkien said of winë that “Pengoloð gives these in archaic Quenya form before the change of w, in most situations to v” (VT48/6), so I would likewise adapt this word as ᴺQ. vinima.

S. hên n. “child”
A word for “child” derived from the root √KHIN, more specifically from ✶khinā with short i which became e in Sindarin due to a-affection (WJ/403). It often appeared in its mutated plural form chîn in phrases like Narn i Chîn Húrin “Tale of the Children of Húrin” (WJ/160). This is pronounced with spirantal “ch” as in German Bach, not affricate “ch” as in English “church”.

Christopher Tolkien made the editorial decision to render this plural form as Hîn in The Silmarillion as published as well as in Unfinished Tales, where it “was improperly changed by me [Christopher Tolkien] to Narn i Hîn Húrin … because I did not want Chîn to be pronounced like Modern English chin” (LR/322). It seems Tolkien himself had similar concerns, as he sometimes rendered its Quenya cognate as sén, which would have Sindarin forms *sên “child” and *i hîn “the children”. However, Tolkien’s motive was probably a desire to retain the early (originally Adûniac) form Ad. Eruhîn “Children of God”, which in Sindarin otherwise became Eruchîn (LB/354).

2.28 Infant

ᴹQ. lapse n. “babe”
A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “babe” derived from the root ᴹ√LAP (Ety/LAP). The root was unglossed in The Etymologies, but in notes both before and after the 1930s this root had glosses like “enfold” and “fold”, so perhaps lapse meant something like “*swaddled one”; hat-tip to Lokyt for this suggestion.
⚠️ᴹQ. tet(ta) n. “baby”
A word in the Declension of Nouns of the early 1930s glossed “baby” with short and long variants tet and tetta (PE21/19).

Conceptual Development: The Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s had ᴱQ. tyetl “a tiny baby” under the early root ᴱ√TYETE “give suck” (QL/50), a word that also appeared in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa with the gloss “babe” (PME/50). This became ᴱQ. tetta “baby” in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s (PE16/135), and finally tet/tetta in the Declension of Nouns of the early 1930s as noted above. There are no signs of this word thereafter.

Q. †winë (wini-) n. “baby, little-one, ⚠️child not yet full grown”
A word glossed “baby” (VT47/10), “child not yet full grown” (VT47/26), or “little-one, baby” (VT48/6) in notes associated with Elvish Hands, Fingers and Numerals from the late 1960s, sometimes appearing beside longer variants winimo or win(i)ke (VT47/10; VT48/6). It was derived from the root √WIN (VT47/26).

Neo-Quenya: Tolkien said that “Pengoloð gives these in archaic Quenya form before the change of w, in most situations to v” (VT48/6), but I would keep this word as †wine since that would be easier for an infant to pronounce. I would use it only as an affectionate or play name, using longer †winimo (modern ᴺQ. vinimo) as the proper term for “baby”.

Q. †winimo n. “baby, little-one”
A word appearing as winimo “baby” (VT47/10) or “little-one, baby” (VT48/6) in notes associated with Elvish Hands, Fingers and Numerals from the late 1960s, in one place with the variant win(i)ke (VT48/6). It was an elaboration of winë (wini-) of similar meaning. Tolkien said that “Pengoloð gives these in archaic Quenya form before the change of w, in most situations to v” (VT48/6), so I would adapt this word as ᴺQ. vinimo.
S. gwinig n. “little-one, baby”
A word for a “baby” or “little one”, a combination of the root √WIN “young” with the diminutive suffix -ig (VT48/6), hence more literally “*little young one”.
⚠️N. lhaes n. “babe”
A noun appearing as N. lhaes “babe” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from the root ᴹ√LAP (Ety/KEM).

Neo-Sindarin: This word is sometimes adapted to Neo-Sindarin as ᴺS. laes, for example in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD). This updated form is the usual revision of the voiceless initial lh of Noldorin to voiced l in Sindarin. However, this is not the only phonological difficulty in this word. For example, there is some evidence that in Sindarin, the vocalization of spirantalized p is to u rather than i, suggesting ᴺS. *laus. There is also evidence that voiceless stops didn’t vocalize before s in Sindarin, but rather became simple spirants, as in ach “neck” < aks, suggesting instead *laph. In this case, I think it best to avoid all these complexities and just use the 1968 word S. gwinig for “baby”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *