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+Ицхак Пензев

Yitzik, your latest post and list of words has inspired me to start something similar (and I do not want to hijack your dictionary or anything, I will still contribute to that, or the two be combined or whatever), so I have searched the net for the list of the 1000 most common words of the English language and created a wordlist out of it. Let's see to how many of them we can assign a NeoQuenya equivalent!
The document is linked below and is editable. Please feel free to share it in the FB chat page so that others can contribute if they are up for it.
This would also provide an opportunity for some interesting statistics, to see what percentage of the 1000 has an attested (or readily derivable) equivalent, i.e. how "modern" or "relevant" the attested vocabulary is.

The link below now points to the new, spreadsheet version of the document. Please add your contributions to this one - I have disabled sharing on the old version.
Thank you +Robert Reynolds and +Severin Zahler for the conversion!

Everyone Please use the spreadsheet version to make your contributions, not the old .doc version - use the link in this updated post. +Andre Polykanine +Łukasz Szkołuda

Sina hliasse merin sa nyaruvalve min exen pá parma ya *lanéya ehentanielve.
Nyaruvan len pá parma tékina ló nyarnamaitar ye mine i ammelde nyarnamaitanyaron: Stephen Donaldson. Láse i minya lú íre ehentánien i parma – senyave hentanyes *millume ilye nótime koranaressen. I parma estaina Mordanto Maure (Mordant’s Need), ar nas *intyaite nyarna.
Terisa Morgan nessa nís ye hare erinqua mí New York. *Tyarwenen *sahtaite atareryo náse íta *latanka. Marderya quanta kilintillaron, *itan antorya estelerya véra ieryasse.
Mine lómisse nessa nér mitta Teriso mar ter kilintilla, ta arka Terisanna sa tuluvas asesse Mordantanna, an i aránie alta raxesse ná ar savis i Terisa pole aþya tien mahta Mordanto kotumor. Terisa hilya i nér ter i kilnitilla Mordantanna.
Lahtaina tere i kilintilla kimis inse tarminasse estaina Orison. Tuvis sa tana ilúvesse kurumor polir yuhta kilintillar kole hya menta atani hya engwi mine nomello exa nomenna. Tuvis yú sa Mordanto aran, Joyse, olólie *hwinda, ar apta varya Mordant kotumoryannar. Terisa ar tultamorya, Geraden, yestar lende tuve man Mordanto naiti kotumor nar ar manen eke tien turitat.

*lanéya: adv. “recently, not long ago”
*millume: adv. “once”
*intyaite: adj. “fantastic, fantasy-”
*itan: conj. “so that, in order to”
*tyarwenen: conj. “because of”
*sahtaite: adj. “oppressive, tyrannical”
*latanka: adj. “unsure, insecure”
*hwinda: adj. “mad, crazy”

This words analysis has to do with negations. It is a problem that has been hashed to death, and in terms of the historical analysis I have little to add to Bill Welden’s thorough discussion in VT42 and VT44. Rather, this is my attempt to reconcile the various negative-paradigms Tolkien used throughout his life into a form that is internally consistent without requiring us to discard a large numbers of attested words.

To summarize the basics, by the end of Tolkien’s life he had used essentially three distinct roots for negations: BĀ, LĀ and Ū (or UG/GŪ). These roots may or may not be invertible, depending on when Tolkien used them.

is the easiest to work with. This root has to do with willful negation, refusing or forbidding. It requires a sentient entity performing the act of negation, and can be used this way in both Quenya and Sindarin in the derived particles: Q. , S. baw, as well as verbs for refusal or forbiddance: Q. and S. ava-. This verb was fossilized in Sindarin, nearly reduced to a negative adverb. In Quenya it could also be used as a negative prefix, but almost exclusively for negatives that involved some intentional action as in Q. avalerya- “to restrain, to deprive of liberty” or avaquétima “unspeakable” in the sense of “that which must not be said”, as well as Q. váquet- “to say ‘I will not or do not’; to refuse, forbid, prohibit”.

was Tolkien’s basic negative root in the 1930s and 40s, and probably remains the most popular form of negation in Neo-Quenya. It was used for a “simple negative”, absence of fact. Q. láquet- simply means “to say ‘it is not’, to deny a fact”. As a prefix, especially in Quenya, it seems to represent a simple absence of an attribute or entity, without any addition connotations. It could be used as an adverb, prefix and (semi-)verb in Quenya at least. In Noldorin/Sindarin there are few examples of it, almost exclusively in the form of the prefix al- “no, not”.

Ū: In the 1930s there was another “strong negative” prefix ú- derived from UGU/GŪ. It came to have an “unpleasant” connotation (at least in Quenya) in association with roots like UMU/MŪ which had derivatives like ᴹQ. úmea “evil”. As an example, at one point Tolkien defined Q. úquétima “unspeakable” in the sense of “impossible to say or put into words, unpronounceable”. This LĀ vs. Ū weak/strong paradigm was also reflected in Early Elvish negative elements u vs (syllabic) , except that in the earliest period the meaning of the two were reversed.

In the 1950s, LĀ as a negative fell out of favor with Tolkien, in part because he increasingly used the root ALA with the meaning “good, blessed, fortunate” (this root also appeared in the Etymologies, but was barely used). The prefix al(a) came to mean “well, happily” in both Quenya and Sindarin, and was thus no longer suitable as a negative prefix. In this period he abandoned LĀ in favor of using Ū as the basic negative prefix. The only “canonical” appearance of negative LĀ in LotR was in S. alfirin as the name of a flower; it was unglossed in the text, but as indicated elsewhere it was clearly intended to mean “immortal”.

In the 1960s he changed his mind yet again (VT42/33; PE22/153, 160). This time Ū fell out of favor and he restored LĀ as the basic negative. The sense of Ū was modified to mean “difficult” or (as strengthened in Sindarin) “impossible”, becoming more of a pseudo-negative. Then in typical Tolkienesque fashion he vacillated at least one more time: flipping away from LĀ and back to Ū (VT44/4, 38). Tolkien changed his mind so many times and wrote so many confusing notes that it’s nearly impossible to figure out what his “final” decision was (if in fact there was one).

Many Neo-Quenya authors tend to favor either Ū over LĀ or vice versa. However, I think the best option is to restore the weak/strong negative paradigm of the 1930s, using LĀ for a “simple negative” and Ū for a “strong negative”, at least in Quenya. The root ALA “good, blessed, fortunate” is too useful to discard, however. As such, I think LĀ “not” should be treated as a non-invertible root, limiting its prefixal form to la- “not” rather than ala-. This allows the prefix al(a) to retain the sense “well, happily”.

For Ū, I think it should only be used for a “strong” negative. It can have senses like “impossible”, “anti-, opposite”, “hard, difficult” or “bad, unpleasant”. As such, it really only makes sense when used to negate something that can have an opposite: **úcarne “anti-red” is nonsensical. It is also generally used to negate positive things, so that Q. úmare “anti-good” = “evil” and úvanima “anti-beautiful” = “ugly, hideous”, but **únorto “anti-horror” (= “?calm”) would feel strange and ungrammatical.

Thus, in Quenya, the three common negative particles are:

“generic no, not”
ui “emphatic no, not”
“volitional no, not”

In answer to the question Ma tuluval enar? “Will you come tomorrow?”:

“no” (I’m simply not coming)
ui “definitely no; on the contrary” (in fact, I’m going away to Gondor)
“no; I refuse” (you can’t make me come)

All three can be used as “semi-verbs”, inflected for person before another verb:

lán tuluva “I will not come”
uin tuluva “I will definitely not come”
ván tuluva “I will refuse to come”

The subordinate verb generally has the inflection for tense. The semi-verbs are only inflected for tense when they stand alone:

lánen “I was not”
unen “I was definitely not”
avanen “I refused”

The particle is never itself inflicted for tense, since there is a distinct verb Q. ava- “I refuse, forbid” that may be fully inflected and used normally.

The three main negative prefixes are:

la- or lá- “not, un-” (as noted above, I would avoid ala- as a negative in Quenya)
ú- “strong not, anti-”
ava- “(volitional) not”

For example: laquetina “not said”, úquétima “unpronounceable”, avaquétima “forbidden to say”

In Sindarin, the situation is a bit different.

BĀ: Like Quenya, derivatives of this root can be used for volitional negation. As noted above, S. ava was fossilized as a negative adverb, functionally similar to Q. . S. baw (I refuse!) could only be used as an interjection or in answer to a question, and the Sindarin verb for “to refuse, forbid” was boda-. The Sindarin prefix av- was sometimes used in the same way as Q. ava-, but less commonly.

LĀ: Tolkien never developed a full LĀ-paradigm for Sindarin. Almost all the attested Sindarin forms use u- for simple negation, generally as a verbal prefix. Some Neo-Sindarin authors coin a neologistic verb ᴺS. law-, and use the same triple-negative paradigm as in Quenya. However, I think it is better to assume that LĀ was abandoned in Sindarin in favor of Ū, surviving only as a (rare) negative prefix al-. Given its likely association with ala- “well, happily”, I think this Sindarin prefix might be used only to negate unpleasant things, such as alfirin “not dying = immortal”. In this way, al(a)firin “well-dying” might be interpreted as “not dying” (which is more desirable than death itself).

Ū: Owing to the frequent interchange of the vowels o and u in the phonetic development of Sindarin, I think the association of ú- with unpleasant roots either never developed or was lost in Sindarin, and it was weakened to serve as a more general negative element, replacing LĀ. It was used as uninflected ú- before verbs causing soft-mutation (as in ú-chebin), though it could be inflected for person and tense if used alone (únen “I was not”, uin “I am not”, ?uathon “I will not”). It also served as a general negative prefix ú- (often reduced to u- when unstressed), and û “no” could be used in answer to a question.

This interpretation of S. ú- means ignoring Tolkien’s late 1960s notes on ú-chebin indicating that it is a properly a strong negative “impossible to keep” (PE22/160). However, this interpretation is consistent with the majority of attested Sindarin negatives and requires no neologisms. If you aren’t happy with it, you can use the neologism ᴺS. law- and the same triple-negative paradigm as Quenya, but I personally find that less satisfying.

This word analysis has to do with “smells”, both good (fragrant), bad (stinking) and neutral.

As is often the case, the picture is fairly clear in the early Elvish languages. The root ᴱ√NṚÞṚ has to do with sweet smells, ᴱ√YOLO with foul smells and the roots ᴱ√FAWA, ᴱ√NUFU and ᴱ√NUSU are more neutral. Here are some derivatives of those roots:

ᴱ√NṚÞṚ (or ᴱ√NṚŘṚ): ᴱQ. narda- “to smell sweetly” ([nṛθa] > [narθa] > [narða] > [narda]), nardile “fragrance”, nardilea “perfumed”; G. drith “savour, smell, flavour; suggestion, inkling” ([nṛθ] > [nriθ] > [driθ]), narth “odour”, narthiel “fragrance”, narthol “fragrant, odorous” (QL/68, GL/30, 59).

ᴱ√YOLO (later ᴱ√ƷOLO): ᴱQ. yolme “stench”, yolo- “to stink”; G. gol- “to stink”, golod “stink, stench”, golog “stinking” (QL/106; GL/41) and later ᴱN. golwad- “to stink”, golw “stink, stench”, golwai “stinking” from ʒolwe (PE13/145, 162)

ᴱ√FAWA: ᴱQ. fausta- “to get smell of”, fausta “?smell”, faustima “?odorous, able to be smelled” (the last two forms unglossed in QL); G. fau- “to smell, give off a smell”, fost “odour”, fostrin “odorous”, faust “smell, odour”, faug¹ “stinking” the last having a more unpleasant connotation to due the influence of faug² “wood smoke” (QL/37, GL/34)

ᴱ√NUFU: ᴱQ. nupte “a sniff”, nuvu- “smell, sniff at”, G. nuf- “get smell of, perceive scent of, smell (tr.)”, nufri “sense of smell” (QL/68, GL/61)

ᴱ√NUSU: ᴱQ. nus “smell”, nuste “sense of smell”, G. nûn “nose (of men only)”, nus- “to take notice, perceive”, nusimos “sagacity”, nusiol “sagacious” (QL/68, GL/61)

Of these roots, there is only evidence of the last one by the 1930s. We have ᴹQ. nusta- “to smell” (PE22/103) and the root ᴹ√NUS “sense, wisdom” (EtyAC/NUS). Given the Gnomish words nusimos “sagacity” and nusiol “sagacious”, it may be that ᴹ√NUS could still be connected to “smell”. We also have ᴹ√ÑOL “smell” with derivatives like ᴹQ. olme, N. ûl “odour” as well as intensive N. ongol “stench” (Ety/ÑOL); this is perhaps a remnant of ᴱ√YOLO/ƷOLO. These two roots seems to be our best option for a neutral “smell”, though like ᴱ√FAWA it seems that ᴹ√ÑOL has some negative connotations.

For sweet smells, we have √NE “scent” with primitive ✶_nes_ “sweet smelling” as an element in Q. alanessë, S. galenas “nicotiana, pipeweed” (PE17/100). This likely reflects Tolkien’s bias as a pipe-smoker; I personally find the smell of tobacco to be unpleasant. A bit more promising is the name Nísimaldar “Fragrant Trees” (UT/167), presumably containing nísima “fragrant” which is perhaps from a verb *nis- “*to smell sweetly”. This could be from either √NIS or √NITH. The former is closer to ✶_nes_ but conflicts with √NIS “woman”. On the other hand, √NITH is closer to ᴱ√NṚÞṚ and would produce more useful Sindarin derivatives.

There is also S. lissuin “a fragrant flower” and Q. vardarianna “fragrant evergreen tree” (both from UT), but I think both of these are descriptive of the species of plants rather than etymologies of the words.

Most of the later words for foul smells are connected in some way to the name Sauron. From the Etymologies there is ᴹ√THUS with derivatives N. thost “smell”, thosta- “to stink”, thû “stench” (as in Sauron’s other name from this period: N. Thû) plus ᴹQ. saura “foul, evil-smelling, putrid” (Ety/THUS, EtyAC/THUS). The last of these reappears in the 1950s as derivatives of either √THAW or √SAW with a variety of meanings: “stinking, foul, evil” (PE17/68), “foul, vile” (PE17/183) or “cruel” (PE17/184). In one place √THAW is said to ultimately derive from √THOW “stink” (PE17/68); this derivation has the strongest connection to foul-smelling.

√THOW “stink” is one of later roots used to derive Sauron’s other name S. Thû, but it was also derived from the root √THU “puff, blow”, apparently in the sense “*foul wind” (PE17/68, 99, 124). Later, Sauron was given a new Sindarin name: S. Gorthaur “Mist of Fear” (PE17/183), from the extended root √THUS (< √THU), which was given a new gloss “evil mist, fog, darkness” (PE17/183, 187).

Tolkien seems to have ultimately abandoned the connection between stench and Sauron’s name, deciding it had more to do with cruelty instead. In the Silmarillion he was given the epithet “the Cruel” (S/32) and in a letter from the 1960s Tolkien said his name was related to a primitive adjective θaurā “detestable” (Let/380). This means that for “stench” we are left with a variety of (possibly rejected) roots of unclear meaning.

In light of the later meanings of Sauron’s name, its probably best to assume √THAW means “cruel” rather than “stink”. The root √SAW has a number of useful derivative worth preserving, but its best gloss seems to be “digusting, foul, vile” and its derivatives have more to do with “filth” and “putrescence” than stench per se. √THOW “stench” has no useful derivatives of its own and it would merge with √THAW “cruel” in almost all cases anyway. This leaves us with ᴹ√THUS from the Etymologies, if we assume that its later gloss “evil mist, fog, darkness” was a transient idea.

We are thus left with the following roots for pleasant and unpleasant smells:

*√NITH: fragrant
ᴹ√NUS: sense, wisdom; *smell
ᴹ√ÑOL: smell
ᴹ√THUS: stench

√NE “scent” might be useful, except it has no derivatives other than words for tobacco. For now I am leaving it out because there are simply too many words it might come into conflict with.

Merin nyare len pá i osto yasse sí séran: Budapest.

Sí rie *naþumo nán sisse, an háran Angalnóresse. Nostaina ostosse lárion lepenquain oa, túlelme hare sis as ontaronyar íre oianen koranari toloque. Ta handen sinome tere pella koranari *yuquain.
Budapest Mayarnóreo *hérosto. Lier oianer sisse oirello, mal koranari tuxa ar *nelquain lempe yá ostor nelde - Buda, Pest, ta Óbuda - olaner *ertaine ve Budapest.
I síre Duna (*Anduna) sirya tere i osto formenello hyarmenna. Buda ar Pest *lavéle nar: Buda ambuna ná, Pest lára. Yéni yá Pesto nómesse luxor lante.
Sí lie *yundóra oiar sisse. Náse vanima osto - íta *kekennalima (visitable).

Anin nyare pá i osto, opele yasse harille.

To mull:
'propose, offer, suggest'
All hint at something (idea, help etc.) being put forward to someone.

Not helped by the fact that we don't have a verbal prefix meaning 'forward, onward, fore-', but perhaps one can simply use ompa/póna as a separate adverb to compose a phrasal verb; or we could assume (o)po- could be a prefix. Or use an/na-.
As for the verbs: taita-? *rahta-?

I Nakie-téma

Navillo *pepella i tauresse sa i morko akárie nakie-téma ar nakuva ilye nastor i nar i témasse, ha þosta i kelvar.
Mettasse i nauro lá pole kole i horie, ar mene i morkonna. 'Aiya, morko, nánye i nakie-témalyasse?'
'É, nalye', i morko hanquéta.
'Þá, mal *annún na eke nin quete namárie nossenyan, mekin.'
I nauro quete namárie nosseryan, ta i morko nake se.
I neuna arinesse i rusko mene i morkonna. 'Aiya, morko, inye yú ná i nakie-témalyasse?'
'Náto', i morko hanquéta.
'Þá, mal itas merin *annún quete namárie vessenyan ta hinyain.'
I rusko quete métima namárie nosseryan ta i morko nake se.
I lopo hlare i sinyar ar yú mene i morkonna.
'Aiya, morko, ahlárien sa akáriel nakie-téma.'
'Náto, akárien.'
'Nánye sasse?'
'Á lasta, eke lyen aukaritan i témallo?'
'Ná, tankave, manan lá?'

*pepella-: vb "circulate, orbit"; freq. of pel-
*annún: adv. "at least"

Lá merin moia enar.

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Manen estuvalve si lotse? Esserya eirien Sindarinesse, hetheglon Goldogrinesse. Naike ora men kile aqua exa esse *minome querieryo.

This word analysis focuses on transitive verbs meaning “put, place, lay, set”. Finding a good choice for these words is a challenge, and requires some invention.

We have some good options for these senses from the earliest versions of Tolkien’s language:

1) transitive ᴱQ. kaita- “to place, lie down“ vs. intransitive kaya- or kay- “to lie” (QL/46, PE16/75), both from the root KAYA “lie, rest; dwell”.

2) ᴱQ. kasóro- “to make sit, set” from the root ÐORO “sit” (QL/43).

3) G. pâ- “to put” and panta- “to arrange, order, settle; to set, put, place; to write a book” (GL/63), both likely from PANA “arrange”.

Of these, the roots KAY and PAN survive into Tolkien’s later writing. From the Etymologies we also have:

4) [rejected] ᴹQ. esta- “to place, set, plant” from [rejected] root ES², appearing beside a [rejected] noun esse “place” (EtyAC/ES).

5) ᴹQ. panya- and N. penia- “to fix, set” (Ety/PAN).

We don’t have any good verbs in this semantic space in Tolkien’s later writing, however.

The most recent unrejected word with an appropriate seems to be ᴹQ. panya- and N. penia- “to fix, set”. The root PAN retained the sense “arrange” in Tolkien’s later writings, and the glosses “fix” seems to imply this verb means fixing in place rather than simply putting or placing an object. Similarly, salvaging G. pâ- and panta- is difficult. G. panta- would need to be reformed as N./S. panna- which already has several other attested and important meanings: “to open, enlarge” (Ety/PAT) and “to fill” (Ety/KWAT). A verb form like Q./S. pan- is very close to the root and probably should mean “to arrange”.

Q. caita- survives, but Tolkien is very emphatic in his later writing that this verb is intransitive: meaning “to lie (down)” rather than “to lay”.

We do, however, have an alternate, unglossed verb caia- (PE22/159). This verb is marked OQ., but it could have survived in Quenya, could conceivably have a transitive sense “to lay”. This would be a reversal of the transitive/intransitive senses from ᴱQ.

The noun esse “place” was rejected and seems to have been replaced by Q. nómë “place” (VT42/17, WJ/206), perhaps from an [unattested] root NOM. This could have a transitive verb form nom- or nonta- “to place”.

Finally, the root ÐORO “sit” seems to be replaced but KHAD “sit”, which might also have a transitive verb form hasta- “to make sit, set”. This conflicts with (unattested) Q. hasta- “to mar” deduced from adjectives alahasta “unmarred” and hastaina “marred” (MR/254), but that verb is rather obscure making a homonym more tolerable.

On the Sindarin side, we might cognates nov- or nonta- “to place” and/or hasta- “to make sit, set”. A cognate of caia- might be caea-, though figuring out how exactly to inflect the Quenya or Sindarin verb forms would be a challenge.

Any of these are candidates for neologisms for transitive verbs meaning “to put”. At the moment, I am inclined to keep them all of them with slightly different meanings:

1) ᴺQ. nom, ᴺS. nov “to place, put” from the (unattested) root NOM “place”, with an emphasis of putting into a specific location or place.

2) ᴺQ., ᴺS. hasta “to set, (lit.) to make sit” from the root KHAD “sit”, with an emphasis on the action of placement.

3) ᴺQ. caia-, ᴺS. caea- “to lay (down)” from the root KAY “lie”, with an emphasis on the downward motion and placement in a horizontal position.

EDIT: Based on conversations with Shihali (on the Discord server's #eldarin channel) and Tamas (see below) I've made the following changes:

1) ᴺQ. satta-, ᴺS. satha- “to place, put” from SAT “space, place”, with an emphasis of putting into a specific location or place.

2) ᴺQ., ᴺS. sesta- “to set, (lit.) to make rest (on)” from the root SED “rest”, with an emphasis on the action of placement.

3) I am leaving alone for now.

#1 was changed to derive from an attested root, #2 was changed to avoid conflict with hasta- “to mar”.
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