Some scholars believe this word to be cognate to Quenya nai "may it be". Other think that it is the pronoun "they". The context in which this word occurs (The so-called "King's Letter") is not clear enough to intepret it with certainty
adverb. should be; ?may it be that
Carl Hostetter suggested (VT31/16) that this may be a cognate of Q. nai “be it that”, since in combination with the future verb estathar it resembles the nai + future construct of the Quenya subjunctive. David Salo suggested instead (GS/228) that it might be a pronominal subject of the same verb, though with less conviction. This entry follows Carl Hostetter’s theory. @@@ In VT50/13 Carl Hostetter suggested an alternate theory, that this is a subjunctive passive voice marker, vs. indicative passive voice marker en.
- Q. nai “maybe; be it that, may it be that; perhaps, it may be, there is a chance or possibility, maybe; be it that, may it be that; perhaps, it may be, there is a chance or possibility; [ᴱQ.] remoter possibility”
- S. edregol e aníra tírad i Cherdir Perhael (i sennui Panthael estathar aen) Condir i Drann “in especial he desires to see Master Samwise (who should be called Fullwise) Mayor of the Shire” ✧ SD/129
- S. i·Veleglind i eithro en estar i·Chîn Húrin “*the Great Song that is also called the Children of Húrin” ✧ VT50/13
- en ✧ VT50/13
noun. (unknown meaning)
adjective. (unknown meaning)
The word is not easy to analyze. If its meaning is "should", there is a possibility that it is a cognate or related to the Quenya expression nai, "may it be that".