Adûnaic

anadûnê zîrân hikalba

Númenor the beloved she fell (down)

The 6th phrase of the Lament of Akallabêth (SD/247). Its subject Anadûnê “Númenor” is in the normal-case rather than the subjective. This is consistent with the grammatical rules of Lowdham’s Report, which allowed a normal subject if the verb has a pronominal inflection (SD/429), in this case the prefix hi- “she” of the verb hikalba (place names in Adûnaic are often feminine-nouns).

The placement of the adjective zîrân “beloved” after the noun is curious, since according to Tolkien adjectives normally precede the nouns they modify (SD/428). Perhaps in this instance the adjective is used as a noun. Its manuscript gloss “the beloved” instead of simply “beloved” (as in the typescript) supports this possibility. Alternately, it could be in an abnormal position because it is a participle (verbal adjective).

The verbs in the typescript and manuscript versions are slightly different: kallaba “fell down” (SD/247) and kalba “fell” (VT24/12), the past and aorist tenses of the verb kalab- “to fall (down)”. Tolkien also vacillated between these two forms in the second draft version of the sentence before settling on the aorist. Since the fall of Númenor had already come to pass in the fictional context of the Lament, the past tense here could be functioning here as a pluperfect (SD/439), but the aorist tense would also work if the sentence describes the fall of Númenor at that point in the narrative. Tolkien’s vacillation is therefore understandable: either verb form could work albeit with slightly different meanings. The Quenya translation of this sentence, ᴹQ. Númenóre ataltane (SD/247), uses the simple past instead of the perfect, matching the Adûnaic manuscript version rather than typescript.

Adûnaic [SD/247; SD/312; VT24/12] Group: Eldamo. Published by