New Theme! What do you think?

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

Select Elvish Words 4.74-4.742: Life, Immortal (Quenya)

4.74 to Live; Living; Life

Q. ceula adj. “?alive (of vegetable)”
A word in Quenya Notes from 1957 (QN) derived from the root √KEWE/KWĒ “live of vegetables” (PE17/159), so perhaps an adjective meaning “*alive (of vegetables)”.

Conceptual Development: The word ᴱQ. lausiva “living (of plants)” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s as an adjective form of ᴱQ. laute “living thing, esp. vegetable” (QL/52).

Q. coirëa adj. “living, ⚠️[ᴱQ.] lively, alive”
An adjective for “living” appearing in notes from the 1950s as part of the phrase Q. coirëa quenya “living speech” (PM/399).

Conceptual Development: ᴱQ. koirea “alive, lively” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√KOẎO “have life” (QL/48).

Q. coita- v. “living, ⚠️[ᴱQ.] lively, alive”
A verb for “to live, be alive, have life” appearing as [ᴹQ.] koita- the Quenya Verbal System (QVS) of 1948 (PE22/103, 125). It had a strong past form koine (PE22/103). This strong past appeared (unglossed) in Late Notes on Verb Structure (LVS) from 1969 hinting at its ongoing validity (PE22/152), although this same set of notes used Q. cuita- for “live” (PE22/154, 156).

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin I prefer to use the root √KOY for “live” and √KUY for “awake”, so I’d use coita- for “to live”, and assign cuita- the meaning: “to waken, rouse”.

Q. coivië n. “life, [ᴱQ.] liveliness; ⚠️awakening”
The usual word for “life” in Tolkien’s later writings based on the root √KOY (NM/84, 119; VT49/42), in one place appearing with the variant koive (PE17/68). In another place Tolkien instead used kuivie for “life” in the phrase kuivie-lankasse “on the brink of life”, reflecting Tolkien’s ongoing vacillation between √KOY and √KUY as the root for life.

Conceptual Development: ᴱQ. koivie was “awakening” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/48) as reflected in the name ᴱQ. Koivie-néni “Waters of Awakening” from this period (QL/48), but the word was glossed “liveliness” in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon (GL/29). The noun for “life, being alive” was ᴹQ. kuile in The Etymologies of the 1930s under the root ᴹ√KUY “come to life, awake” (Ety/KUY), but was usually coivie in Tolkien’s writings from the 1950s and 60s, as noted above.

Neo-Quenya: I prefer √KOY as the root for “life” for purposes of Neo-Eldarin, so I’d use coivie as the noun “life, liveliness”, and use cuivië for “awakening” as seen in the later form of the name Q. Cuiviénen “Water of Awakening” (S/48).

ᴹQ. (ek)koiru- v. “to come to life”
A verb appearing as {ekkoitu >>} (ek)koiru “come to life” in the Quenya Verbal System (QVS) from 1948 (PE22/112), a u-verb based on the root ᴹ√KOY “live” with the (optional) prefix ᴹQ. et-, where tk became kk as it did in cases where it did not undergo metathesis to kt > ht.
ᴱQ. koiva adj. “lively, ⚠️living; awake”
A word appearing as ᴱQ. koiva “awake” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√KOẎO “ground” (QL/48), but in the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon it was glossed “lively, living” (GL/29).

Neo-Quenya: I’d retain this word as ᴺQ. coiva “lively” for purposes of Neo-Quenya, since I use √KOY as the root of words having to do with life. For “awake” I’d use ᴺQ. cuiva, and for “living” I’d use Q. coirëa.

ᴹQ. kuina adj. “alive”
An adjective appearing as ᴹQ. kuina “alive” in The Etymologies of the 1930s derived from the root ᴹ√KUY “come to life, awake” (Ety/KUY).

Conceptual Development: A similar adjective ᴱQ. koina “living, alive” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s based on the early root ᴱ√KOẎO “have life” (QL/48).

Neo-Quenya: Tolkien vacillated between the two roots √KOY and √KUY for “life”; I prefer to use √KOY for purposes of Neo-Eldarin, so I’d use ᴺQ. coina for “alive”. For “living” I’d using the word Q. coirëa from the 1950s (PM/399).

ᴱQ. laule n. “life, mode of life”
A noun appearing as {laume >>} ᴱQ. lauste “life, mode of life” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√LAWA “*life (of plants)” (QL/52). Tolkien also gave laule = laume, so presumably this also equivalent to lauste. The word laume “life” also appeared (undeleted) in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/52).

Neo-Quenya: Since √LAW had a similar meaning in Tolkien’s later writings, I’d retain ᴺQ. laulë “mode of life” for purposes of Neo-Quenya, along with other words derived from it.

ᴱQ. laulesta n. “life, mode of life”
A noun appearing as {laumesta >>} ᴱQ. laulesta “livelihood” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an elaboration of ᴱQ. laule “mode of life” (QL/52).

Neo-Quenya: Since I retain ᴺQ. laulë, I’d also retain ᴺQ. laulesta for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

ᴱQ. laulesta- v. “to lead a life, gain a living”
A verb appearing as {laumeta- or laumesta- >>} ᴱQ. lausta- or laulesta- “lead a life, gain a living” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an elaboration of ᴱQ. laule “mode of life” (QL/52).

Neo-Quenya: Since I retain ᴺQ. laulë, I’d also retain ᴺQ. laulesta- for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

Q. vehtë n. “[a span of] life; habitat, haunt”
A noun for “life” appearing in Quenya Notes (QN) from 1957 derived from primitive {✶we’te [weʒte] >>} ✶weg-tē “activity, occupation” (PE17/189). Tolkien said that vehte meant:

not Life in general or as a principle, but (a period of) individual activity, as in vehtequentale “biography”. It was used therefore sometimes almost like nóre “land” — of the place where a person, people etc. lived and had their business, i.e. habitat, haunt. So Beleriand might be described as an Eldavehte, a habitation, haunt or place occupied by Eldar.

Thus vehte refers to a span of life or activity (temporal or physical), and in this sense was the basis for words like vehtequentalë “biography = *life-history” as well as various place names for regions where people lived.

4.742 Immortal

ᴹQ. alfírima adj. “immortal”
An adjective for “immortal” in the Quenya Verbal System (QVS) from 1948 appearing only in its plural form alphírimar, using the adjective plural formation of QVS (PE22/124). Its more typical Quenya adjective plural form would be alfírime. It also appeared in a noun plural form Alphírimor “Immortals”. It is a combination of ᴹQ. fírima “mortal” with the negative prefix ᴹQ. al-.

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies of the 1930s the word for “immortal” was ᴹQ. ilfirin, a combination of ᴹQ. il- “not” and firin “dead (by natural cause)” (Ety/PHIR).

Speak, Friend!