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Select Elvish Words 8.575-8.59 Lily, Rose, Violet

8.575 Lily

Q. indil n. “lily, other large single flower”

A Quenya noun for “lily” or more generally any “large flower”, cognate of Ad. inzil.

Conceptual Development: This word appeared in two forms with competing etymologies. In the early 1950s, it appeared as Q. insil, a loan word from Atani inzil, where the [nz] became [ns] (PE19/99). A similar word indil appeared in the 1959-60 essay Quendi and Eldar, where it was a derivative of Valarin iniðil (WJ/399), with the middle i lost due to the Quenya syncope and then the spirant [ð] becoming the stop [d] after the nasal [n].

In the second scenario, Tolkien did not directly connect Q. indil to Ad. inzil, but the coincidence of forms is too great: Tolkien must have imagined a reverse loan from Valarin > Quenya > Atani. Perhaps this loan took place before the [ð] became [d] in Quenya ([nð] > [nd]), and the voiced spirant was adapted as the sibilant [z] in Atani because that language did not possess spirants in its earliest historical stages.

I personally prefer this second scenario and the form indil, because using the first scenario would require discarding one of our few Valarin words (iniðil).

Q. linquë¹ n. “(leaf of a) hyacinth, *grass or grass-like leaf”

A word appearing as an element in a couple of untranslated labels for 1960s plant drawings by Tolkien: linquë súrissë “?grass in the wind” and ranalinque “?moon-grass” (TMME/184, 198). This word was also mentioned in a discussion of lassë “leaf” in some Notes on Galadriel’s Song (NGS) from the late 1950s or early 1960s, where Tolkien said “It [lasse] is only applied to certain kinds of leaves, especially those of trees, and would not e.g. be used of leaf of a hyacinth (linque)” (PE17/62). As pointed out by Helge Fauskanger, it is not clear from this note whether linque refers to a “hyacinth” or a “leaf of a hyacinth”. Given the grass-like nature of the two drawings where it appears, I think linque likely means “*grass or grass-like leaf”.

Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya I would assume linque applies mainly to grass and grass-like leaves but also to “hyacinth” as an example of a plant with such leaves. If you want to distinguish them, though, Tamas Ferencz proposed the neologism ᴺQ. iasintë “hyacinth” as a loan word from Latin “jacintus”.

G. nâla n. “(yellow) lily”

A noun appearing as G. nâla “yellow-lily” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, derived from primitive ᴱ✶nalda (GL/59).

Neo-Sindarin: Since there are no later “lily” words in Sindarin, I would retain ᴺS. nala “(yellow) lily” for purposes of Neo-Sindarin, perhaps with an updated etymology based on *nalga.

8.58 Rose

S. meril n. “rose”

A word for “rose” in the name Meril “Rose” of one Samwise’s daughters (SD/126). The name was initially given as Beril (SD/117).

8.59 Violet

ᴱQ. helin n. “pansy”

A word appearing as ᴱQ. helin “pansy” in the Qenya Lexicon and Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa of the 1910s (QL/39; PME/39). It was unrelated to the early root ᴱ√HELE having to do with ice (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: The root √KHEL remained the basis for ice words in Tolkien’s later writings, but if helin “pansy” could coexist with the earlier form of this root, I think it can coexist with the later form as well. ᴺQ. helin “pansy” is worth keeping for purposes of Neo-Sindarin since it is the basis for several words for purple flowers and colours. The word helin and its derivatives might be reconceived as being related to the 1930s root ᴹ√ƷEL “sky”, which had derived words having to do with “(pale) blue”.

ᴱQ. helinille n. “violet [flower]”

A word appearing as ᴱQ. helinille “violet” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an elaboration of ᴱQ. helin “pansy” (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: Since I retain ᴺQ. helin “pansy” for purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would retain ᴺQ. helinillë “violet [flower]” as well.

ᴱQ. helinillea adj. “*violet [colour]”

A word appearing as unglossed ᴱQ. helinillea in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an adjective form of the noun ᴱQ. helinille “violet”, so perhaps “*violet [colour]” (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: Since I retain ᴺQ. helinillë “violet [flower]” for purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would retain ᴺQ. helinillëa for “violet [colour]”.

ᴱQ. helinwa adj. “of pansies; (of colour) a blue-violet”

A word appearing as ᴱQ. helinwa “of pansies; of colour = a blue-violet” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, an adjective form of ᴱQ. helin “pansy” (QL/39).

Neo-Quenya: Since I retain ᴺQ. helin “pansy” for purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would retain ᴺQ. helinwa “of pansies; (of colour) a blue-violet” as well.

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