Primitive elvish


root. good (physically), blessed, fortunate, prosperous, health(y)

A root variously meaning “blessed, fortunate, prosperous” (PE17/146) and in some circumstances “healthy” and “good (physically)” (PE17/149, 172) or just simply “good” (PE17/146, 150, 153, 158). It was first mentioned in The Etymologies of the 1930s in association with the root ᴹ√ALAM “elm” to which it might be related “since the elm was held blessed and beloved by the Eldar” (Ety/ÁLAM). In Quenya at least its sense was influenced by √GAL “grow, be healthy, flourish” (PE17/146, 153). At one point Tolkien said “this stem was less used in Sindarin, but occurs in a few old forms”, notably S. elia- “to cause to prosper, bless” and S. alw [alu] “wholesome (PE17/146).

The existence of this root is one of reasons that Tolkien decided to abandon la-negation around 1959, saying “AL, LA have too much to do”. Tolkien’s vacillations on the nature of la-negation might therefore have pushed this root in and out of favor, but it is difficult to tell for certain.


  • ALAALA “good, prosperous, healthy, fortunate” ✧ PE17/146


  • “interjection of pleasure/assent”
    • Q. (a)lá “yes” ✧ PE17/158; VT42/33
  • Q. al(a)- “well, happily” ✧ PE17/146; PE17/172
  • Q. alima “fair, good” ✧ PE17/146
  • Q. alla “welcome, hail” ✧ PE17/146
  • Q. almë “good (or blessed) thing, blessing, piece of good fortune” ✧ PE17/146; PE17/153
  • Q. alya “fair, good, [ᴹQ.] rich, prosperous, abundant, blessed; [Q.] fair, good” ✧ PE17/146
  • Q. alya- “to cause to prosper, bless (a work), help one” ✧ PE17/146
  • S. al- “well, happily” ✧ PE17/146
  • S. alu “wholesome, wholesome, *healthy” ✧ PE17/146
  • ᴺS. alvar “(good) luck, fortune”
  • S. elia- “to cause to prosper, bless (a work), help one” ✧ PE17/146


  • AL ✧ PE17/059; PE17/146; PE17/146; PE17/150
  • ALA ✧ PE17/146; PE17/146 (ALA); PE17/146; PE17/149; PE17/153; PE17/158; PE17/162; PE17/170; PE17/172 (ALA)
  • ala ✧ VT42/33
Primitive elvish [PE17/059; PE17/146; PE17/149; PE17/150; PE17/153; PE17/158; PE17/162; PE17/170; PE17/172; VT42/33] Group: Eldamo. Published by