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Select Elvish Words 8.30-8.31: Plough; to Sow; Seed

8.30 Plough

ᴱQ. hyar n. “plough”

A noun appearing as ᴱQ. hyar (hyarm-) “a plough” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√HYAŘA [HYAÐA] “plough through” (QL/41). In the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa it appeared only as its stem form hyarm- “plough” (PME/41). Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s had ᴱQ. hyarma “a plough” (PE16/144).

Neo-Quenya: The form hyarma conflict with the later word Q. hyarma “left hand”. However, since the later root ᴹ√SYAD had a similar meaning “shear through, cleave” in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/SYAD), I think ᴺQ. hyar “plough” can be salvaged for purposes of Neo-Quenya derived from a primitive form like *syadĕ.

8.31 to Sow; Seed

Q. ala- v. “to grow (of plants) [intr. and trans.], plant; *to thrive, flourish (of other creatures)”

A verb glossed “plant, grow” in notes on Words, Phrases and Passages from The Lord of the Rings from the late 1950s or early 1960s discussing the derivation of S. galenas “pipeweed” (PE17/100). The verb ala- was used several times in verb charts, such as illustrating pronominal suffixes (PE17/132) or giving the inflections of a-verbs (PE22/164).

Conceptual Development: As suggested by Gilson, Welden and Hostetter, the earliest appearance of this verb might be in the phrase ᴱQ. alildon ornin lassevarnen, which seems to mean something like “*grow trees leaf-brown” (PE16/80). The word element (and verb?) ᴹQ. ’al appeared under the root ᴹ√GALA “thrive” in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/GALA); an earlier iteration of this root had the glosses “grow, thrive, prosper, be healthy, be glad” along with a word element (and verb?) al-, but the gloss “grow” was deleted along with a statement that “grow is ol-” (Ety/GAL(AS)).

Indeed, the verb ᴹQ. ’alā- “grow” appeared in Quendian & Common Eldarin Verbal Structure (EVS1: PE22/98) from the late 1940s and again in Quenya Verbal System from 1948 (QVS: PE22/106 note #39), but in the latter document it was replaced by ᴹQ. ola- “grow” (PE22/113 note #80). However, in Common Eldarin: Verb Structure (EVS2) from the early 1950s, primitive ✶galā- was restored, but with a more specific sense “grow (of plants)”, as opposed to ✶olā- “become, come into being, turn into (another state)” (PE22/134). This plant-growth meaning seems to have carried forward into Tolkien’s later writings (see above: PE17/100).

Neo-Quenya: For purpose of Neo-Quenya, I would assume the verb ala- only means “grow” when applied to plants, but more generally could mean “*thrive, flourish” when applied to other living creatures, as in i lótë ala “the flow grows” but i Elda ala “the Elf thrives/flourishes”. Based on its glosses from PE17/100, I would assume it can also be used transitively when applied to plants to mean “cause to grow = plant”, as in i Elda ala lóti “the Elf grows/plants flowers” or alëa lóti “… is planting flowers”.

ᴹQ. erde v. “seed, germ”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “seed, germ” derived from primitive ᴹ✶eredē under the root ᴹ√ERÉD “scatter, sow” (Ety/ERÉD).

Conceptual Development: The Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s had ᴱQ. mile (mili-) “seed” under the early root ᴱ√MILI (QL/61) and ᴱQ. ore (ori-) “seed, grain” under the early root ᴱ√ORO² (QL/70).

ᴱQ. ore (ori-) n. “seed, grain”

A noun appearing as ᴱQ. ore (ori-) “seed, grain” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√ORO² (QL/70). Tolkien indicated its primitive form was *[or]ı̯ǝ. Tolkien also indicated that its root may be better analyzed as o- + ᴱ√RIẎI “scatter” (QL/70, 80).

Neo-Quenya: There are indications that the root ᴹ√RĪI̯ survived until at least the early 1930s, so I would salvage this early word but update it to ᴺQ. ori “grain” = o + . I would use the later word ᴹQ. erde for “seed”, however. I would assume that like English “grain”, ori be used both collectively for a mass of “grain” as well as an individual “grain”.

ᴱQ. polu n. “kernel”

A word appearing as ᴱQ. polu or polūne “kernel” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√POL-I (QL/75). In this document, the root was distinct from ᴱ√POLO “have strength” (QL/75).

Neo-Quenya: Although Tolkien did sometimes use √POL in his later writings for “grain” words, he seems to have eventually decided that it meant only “strength, physical ability”. I generally use *√MUL “grind” and ᴹ√POR for “grain” and “flour” related words in Neo-Quenya. As such I would update this Early Qenya word to ᴺQ. poru “kernel” < ᴹ√POR.

ᴹQ. rer- v. “to sow”

A verb appearing as 1st-sg ᴹQ. rerin “I sow” with past tense rende in The Etymologies of the 1930s, derived from the root ᴹ√RED “scatter, sow” (Ety/RED). Here the ancient d became r as it usually did after vowels.

Neo-Quenya: In both Outline of Phonetic Development (OP1) from the 1930s and Outline of Phonology (OP2) from the 1950s, Tolkien indicated that when medial d followed an r, it could dissimilate to l rather that following its usual development to r (PE19/32, PE19/70). In OP2 he gave the verb Q. ral- < √RAD as an example (PE19/99). Thus it is possible that ᴹQ. rer- should be revised to ᴺQ. rel- “to sow” to fit this rule, as suggested by Elaran. However, since Tolkien had this rule in the 1930s but still had ᴹQ. rer- in The Etymologies, I prefer to think the dissimilation of medial d to l was a sporadic change, and would therefore retain rer- for purposes of Neo-Quenya.

Conceptual Development: The Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s had ᴱQ. orya- “sow” in the Qenya Lexicon under the early root ᴱ√ORO² (QL/70).

N. eredh n. “seed, germ”

A noun in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “seed, germ” derived from primitive ᴹ✶eredē under the root ᴹ√ERÉD (Ety/ERÉD). An earlier version of the entry instead had N. erð (EtyAC/ERÉD).

Conceptual Development: The Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s had G. pim “bead, any small round thing, seed” (GL/64), probably from the early root ᴱ√PINI having to do with small things (QL/73).

N. rhedh- v. “to sow”

A verb in The Etymologies of the 1930s appearing in its [Noldorin] infinitive form N. rheði “to sow” under the root ᴹ√RED “scatter, sow” (Ety/RED).

Neo-Sindarin: Since initial r unvoiced to rh in Noldorin of the 1930s but not in Sindarin of the 1950s and 60s, most Neo-Sindarin writers adapt this word as ᴺS. redh- “to sow”, as suggested in Hiswelókë’s Sindarin Dictionary (HSD).

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