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Select Elvish Words 3.65: Fish

3.65 Fish

Q. ?fanto n. “whale”

This word only appears in the name of the Númenórean ship Turuphanto “Wooden-whale” (UT/191). The language of the name is unclear, but Carl Hostetter suggested (Tolklang/5.31) that the name is likely to be Quenya, since ᴱQ. turu meant “wood”. If so, the second element phanto might be Quenya for “whale”. This spelling is unusual, however. In Quenya, [f] was normally spelled “f”, while the spelling “ph” appeared only in languages like Sindarin or Adûnaic.

Conceptual Development: The only other attested words for “whale” are the very early G. uin and G. uimoth in the Gnomish Lexicon (GL/74).

ᴹQ. hala n. “(small) fish”

A noun for “fish” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from primitive ᴹ✶skala under the root ᴹ√SKAL² “small fish” (Ety/SKAL²). This replaced an earlier derivation from ᴹ✶khala under the deleted entry for the root ᴹ√KHAL¹ “(small) fish” (Ety/KHAL¹).

ᴱQ. ingwilin (ingwiling-) n. “eel”

This noun appeared as ingwil or ingwilin (ingwiling-) “eel” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, a combination of ᴱQ. ingwe “fish” and ᴱQ. lin (ling-) “snake” (QL/43). The word ingwil(in) “eel” also appeared in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/43).

Neo-Quenya: I would update this word to ᴺQ. lingwileuca “eel” for purposes of Neo-Quenya, a combination of the later words Q. lingwë “fish” and Q. leuca “snake”.

ᴱQ. kuluin (kuluind-) n. “goldfish”

A noun appearing as ᴱQ. kuluin (kuluind-) “goldfish” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, a combination of ᴱQ. kulu “gold” and some variant of ᴱQ. ingwe “fish” (QL/49).

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya I would update this to ᴺQ. culingwë as a combination of √KUL “gold” and Q. lingwë “fish”.

Q. lingwë n. “fish”

A word for “fish” appearing in its plural form lingwi “fish” in notes on The Lands and Beasts of Númenor from 1965 (NM/336) and appearing as ᴹQ. lingwe “fish” from primitive ᴹ✶liñwi under the root ᴹ√LIW in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/LIW).

Conceptual Development: Tolkien had ᴱQ. ingwe “fish” under the early root ᴱ√IWI “fish” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/43), and this word was also mentioned in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/43). The word {engwe >>} ingwe appeared unglossed in Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s (PE16/145). ᴹQ. lingwe “fish” with initial l first emerged in The Etymologies of the 1930s, as noted above.

ᴹQ. nikse n. “minnow, little fish”

A word appearing in the Declension of Noun from the early 1930s as nis (niks-) or nikse “minnow, little fish” (PE21/20, 27). It reappeared in the Quenya Verbal System from the 1940s in the phrase ᴹQ. niksi koitar nenesse “fish live in water” (PE22/125). It might be related to the root √NIK “small”.

ᴱQ. telpingwe n. “silverfish”

A noun appearing as ᴱQ. telpingwe “silverfish” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s as a combination of ᴱQ. telpe “silver” and ᴱQ. ingwe “fish” (QL/91).

Neo-Quenya: I think ᴺQ. telpingwë “silverfish” can be retained in Neo-Quenya as a combination of the later words Q. telpë “silver” and Q. lingwë “fish”, where the initial li of “fish” was reduced by haplology.

N. hâl n. “fish”

A noun for “fish” appearing on the front page of The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from primitive ᴹ✶khala (EtyAC/KHAL¹). As such, it was probably based on the root ᴹ√KHAL “(small) fish” (Ety/KHAL¹), but may have transferred to ᴹ√SKAL² “small fish” when Tolkien revised that root (Ety/SKAL²).

N. lhim n. “fish”

A noun appearing as N. lhim “fish” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, derived from primitive ᴹ✶liñwi of the same meaning (Ety/LIW), where the labialized velar ñw (> ñgw) became the labial m (< mb) and the initial l unvoiced to lh.

Conceptual Development: In the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, Tolkien had G. ing “fish” (GL/51), cognate to ᴱQ. ingwe of the same meaning (QL/43). In Gnomish labialized velars only became labials in limited circumstances, so the primitive ng survived.

Neo-Sindarin: Since the unvoicing of initial liquids did not occur in Sindarin, many people adapt this word as ᴺS. lim “fish” for purposes of Neo-Sindarin, as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

N. lhimlug n. “fish-dragon, sea-serpent”

A noun appearing as N. lhimlug “fish-dragon, sea-serpent” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, a combination of N. lhim “fish” and N. lhûg “dragon” (Ety/LOK).

Neo-Sindarin: Since the unvoicing of initial liquids did not occur in Sindarin, many people adapt this word as ᴺS. limlug for purposes of Neo-Sindarin, as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

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