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Select Elvish Words 4.93-4.98: Bald, Dumb, Blind, Drunk

4.93 Bald

Q. parnë adj. “bald, bare, ⚠️naked”
A word derived from √PAR “peel” appearing in various notes from the late 1950s and early 1960s, given as parna or parne and variously translated as “bare”, “bare, naked” and “bald, bare” (PE17/86, 171). In one note its primitive base PARAN was glossed “peeled, bare, naked, unclad”, but that note was deleted (PE17/171). This word exists in connection with Tolkien’s later explanation for S. Dol Baran “*Bare Hill” (RC/433).

Conceptual Development: The Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s had the word ᴱQ. falkasse(a) “bald” under the early root ᴱ√FALA¹ (QL/37), where its second element is ᴱ√KASA “head” (hat-tip to Lokyt for pointing out), thus literally meaning “*bare-headed” (QL/37). There were a number of other words meaning “naked”; see Q. parca for discussion.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would use this word in the sense of “having no natural covering”, so meaning bald or hairless in reference to people or animals, or without trees in references to landscape (naturally so, because none happen to grow there). I would use [ᴹQ.] helda for “naked = *without clothing”.

S. rûdh adj. “bald”
A word for “bald” in the name Amon Rûdh “Bald Hill” (S/204). It sometimes had a variant rhûg (WJ/187).

Conceptual Development: The Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s had G. cafol or cafalon “bald” from primitive ᴱ✶cas-falon- = “*head-bare” (GL/24).

4.96 Dumb

Q. úpa adj. “dumb [unable to speak]”
A word for “dumb” in notes probably dating to the early 1960s derived from ✶ūopa (PE17/126), a combination ōpa “mouth (as a speaking apparatus)” with the negative prefix ū-, so perhaps originally meaning something like “*without a working mouth”. Note that this word means “dumb” only as in “unable to speak”, not as in “stupid”.
Q. úpahtëa adj. “speechless”
A word for “speechless”, a negated adjectival form of pahta “speech” (PE17/126).
ᴱN. orlham adj. “dumb”
A word appearing in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s, first given as uvlam “dumb” in the (untranslated) phrase maint uvlam o ballam “*better dumb than evil-tongued”, which was then revised to maint orlham o vallam, although uvlam as an independent word was allowed to stand (PE13/138). The revision clearly relates to Tolkien’s decision to change the negative prefix from ᴱN. um- to ᴱN. ur-/or- in this document (PE13/155). The second element of uvlam/orlham is ᴱN. lham(b) “tongue” (PE13/148).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would update this word to ᴺS. úlam “dumb, unable to speak, (lit.) untongued” using the later negative prefix ú-.

4.97 Blind

Q. lacenítë adj. “unseeing, blind”
A word for “unseeing, blind” in a deleted paragraph of notes from 1969, a combination of la- “not” and cenítë “seeing, *able to see”, hence referring to “creatures that cannot/do not (by nature) see”, as in laceníte cuimar (PE22/153 note #50).

Neo-Quenya: I think [ᴺQ.] lacenítë “blind” remains viable for purposes of Neo-Quenya despite the paragraphs’s deletion, and refers to permanent blindness as opposed to [ᴺQ.] lomba for temporary blindness. There have been quite a few neologisms proposed for “blind”, including ᴺQ. cellóra, ᴺQ. cénelóra, and ᴺQ. cenenca, but I’d stick with the attested word.

Q. lomba adj. “blind”
A word for “blind” in a deleted paragraph of notes from 1969, derived from the root √DOM “dark” (PE22/153 note #50). This paragraph was deleted because of Tolkien’s shifting thoughts on the behavior of the prefix la-, so I think [ᴺQ.] lomba “blind” may remain viable for purposes of Neo-Quenya. I think this word may refer to temporary blindness, as opposed to lacenítë for one who is permanently unable to see.
S. dom adj. “blind”
A Sindarin word for “blind” in a deleted paragraph of notes from 1969, derived from the root √DOM “dark” along with a plural form dym (PE22/153 note #50). This paragraph was deleted because of Tolkien’s shifting thoughts on the behavior of the Quenya prefix la-, so I think [ᴺS.] dom “blind” may remain viable for purposes of Neo-Sindarin.

Conceptual Development: There is a remarkably similar word ᴱN. damb or dam “blind” from Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s (PE13/141), but its etymology is unclear.

4.98 Drunk

ᴱN. balfaug adj. “drunken”
A word appearing as ᴱN. balfaug “drunken” in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the 1920s, a combination of ᴱN. bal- “evil” and ᴱN. faug “thirsty” (PE13/138).

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would update this word to ᴺS. rhufaug “drunken” using the later prefix rhu- for “evil”.

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