emmë (2) pron. "we", emphatic pronoun; dative emmen (VT43:12, 20). In the source this pronoun is intended as the 1st person plural exclusive; later Tolkien changed the corresponding pronominal ending from -mmë to -lmë, and the plural emphatic pronoun would likewise change from emmë to *elmë. Since the ending -mmë was redefined as a dualexclusive pronoun, the form emmë may still be valid as such, as a dual emphatic pronoun "we" = "(s)he and I".
emmë (1) noun "mummy", hypocoristic form of "mother", also used in children's play for "index finger" and "index toe" (VT47:10, 26, VT48:4, 6, 17, 19). Also emya.
pronoun. we (emphatic exclusive), *we (dual emphatic exclusive)
- Q. sív’ emmë apsenet tien i úcarir emmen “as we forgive those who trespass against us” ✧ VT43/20; VT43/21
- emme ✧ VT43/20
noun. mummy, mother (familiar/family)
Conceptual Development: The earliest hypocoristic (pet-name) word for “mother” was the “childish word” ᴱQ. ama in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√AMA (QL/30); it was also mentioned in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/30). In The Etymologies of the 1930s it became ᴹQ. amme “mother” derived from the root ᴹ√AM of the same meaning (Ety/AM¹), though in this document it seems to be an ordinary word and not a pet name, a variant of ᴹQ. amil. In late 1960s notes on Elvish Hands, Fingers and Numerals Tolkien revised the Elvish root for “mother” from √AM to √EM, and the affectionate form became emme as noted above.
Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I prefer to retain the root √AM for “mother” since it is what Tolkien used for 50 years, and as such recommend restoring the 1930s form ammë to use as affectionate “mummy, mommy”; see the entry on Q. amil(lë) for further discussion.
- √AM “mother” ✧ VT48/19
Development Stages Sources √em > emme [emme] ✧ VT48/19
- emme ✧ VT47/10; VT47/26; VT48/06; VT48/19
-mmë "we", 1st person dual exclusive pronominal ending: "I and one other" (compare the inclusive dual form -ngwë or -nquë). First written -immë in one source (VT49:57). Carimmë, "the two of us do" (VT49:16, cf. VT43:6). At an earlier conceptual stage, the ending was already exclusive, but plural rather than dual: vammë "we won't" (WJ:371), firuvammë "we will die" (VT43:34), etemmë ?"out of us" (VT43:36); see also VT49:48, 49, 55. Also compare the corresponding emphatic pronoun emmë (q.v.). The ending -lmë replaced -mmë in its former (plural exclusive) sense. In some early material, -mmë was apparently used as an ending for plural inclusive "we" (VT49:55).
ammë noun "mother" (AM1)
*elmë, see emmë #2
emel noun "mother"; also amal (VT48:22, 49:22); the form amil (emil) seems more usual.
me (1) 1st person pl. exclusive pronoun "we, us" (VT49:51; VT43:23, VT44:9). This pronoun preserves the original stem-form (VT49:50). Stressed mé (VT49:51). Cf. also mel-lumna "us-is-heavy", sc. *"is heavy for us" (LR:47, mel- is evidently an assimilated form of men "for us", dative of me; the form men is attested by itself, VT43:21). For me as object, cf. álamë** "do not [do something to] us", negative imperative particle with object pronoun suffixed (VT43:19: álamë tulya, "do not lead us"), ámen** "do [something for] us", imperative particle with dative pronoun suffixed (ámen apsenë "forgive us", VT43:12, 18). Dual exclusive met "we/us (two)" (Nam, VT49:51), "you and me" (VT47:11; the latter translation would make met an inclusive pronoun, though it is elsewhere suggested that it is rather exclusive: "him/her and me", corresponding to wet [q.v.] as the true inclusive dual form). Rá men or rámen "for us/on our behalf", see rá. Locative messë "on us", VT44:12 (also with prefix o, ó- ?"with" in the same source). See also ménë, ómë.
-lmë 1st person pl. pronominal ending: "we" (VT49:38; 51 carilmë *"we do", VT49:16). It was originally intended to be inclusive "we" (VT49:48), including the person(s) spoken to, but by 1965 Tolkien made this the ending for exclusive "we" instead (cf. the changed definition of the corresponding possessive ending -lma, see above). _(VT49:38) Exemplified in laituvalmet "we shall bless them" (lait-uva-lme-t "bless-shall-we-them") (the meaning apparently changed from inclusive to exclusive "we", VT49:55), see also nalmë under ná# 1. (LotR3:VI ch. 4, translated in Letters:308_)
emil noun "mother", emilinya "my mother" (also reduced to emya) the terms a child would use in addressing his or her mother (VT47:26). Emil would seem to be a variant of amil. Also compare emel.
emya noun "mummy", also used in children's play for "index finger" and "index toe" (VT47:10, 26, VT48:4, 6). Said to be a reduction of emenya *"my mother", seemingly presupposing #emë as a word for "mother" (but this word normally appears as emil or amil, incorporating a feminine ending). In VT48:19, emya is explained as deriving from em-nya "my mother". Compare emmë # 2.
amilyë or milyë (cited as (a)milyë), noun "mummy", also used as a play-name of the index finger, but Tolkien emended it to emmë, emya. (VT48:4) In its basic sense, (a)milyë would be a variant of amil, amillë "mother", q.v.
mamil noun *"mother, mummy" (UT:191)
amal noun "mother"; also emel (VT48:22, 49:22); the form amil (emil) seems more usual.
amil noun "mother" (AM1), also emil (q.v.) Longer variant amillë (VT44:18-19), compounded Eruamillë "Mother of God" in Tolkien's translation of the Hail Mary (VT43:32). If amil is a shortened form of amillë, it should probably have the stem-form amill-. Also compare amilyë, amya, emya. Compounded amil- in amilessë noun "mothername" (cf. essë "name"), name given to a child by its mother, sometimes with prophetic implications (amilessi tercenyë "mother-names of insight"). (MR:217).
Tolkien used a number of similar forms for “mother” for most of his life. The earliest of these are ᴱQ. amis (amits-) “mother” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s along with variants ᴱQ. ambi, âmi, amaimi under the root ᴱ√AMA (QL/30). An additional variant ammi appeared in the Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/30). In Early Qenya Word-lists of the 1920s Tolkien had ᴱQ. ambe or mambe “mother” (PE16/135). This became ᴹQ. amil “mother” in The Etymologies under the root ᴹ√AM “mother” (Ety/AM¹).
This 1930s form amil appears to have survived for some time. It appeared in a longer form Amille in Quenya Prayers of the 1950s (VT43/26; VT44/12, 18), and as an element in the term amilessi “mother-names” in a late essay on Elvish naming (MR/217). In the initial drafts of Elvish Hands, Fingers and Numerals from the late 1960s Tolkien used the form amilye or amye as an affectionate word for “mother”, and amaltil as the finger name for the second finger (VT47/26-27 note #34 and #35).
However, in those documents Tolkien seems to have revised the root for “mother” from √AM to √EM and the affectionate forms from amye to emya or emme (VT47/10; VT48/6, 19). The revised word for “mother” appears to be emil based on the 1st person possessive form emil(inya) (VT47/26).
Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I prefer to retain the root √AM for “mother”, since that is what Tolkien used for 50 years, and ignore the very late change to √EM. As such, I would recommend amil(le) for “mother” and affectionate forms amme “mommy” and amya. However, if you prefer to use Tolkien’s “final” forms, then emil(le), emme and emya seem to be what Tolkien adopted in the late 1960s.
- S. emel “mother”
- Amille ✧ VT44/18
ontari noun "mother" or etymologically "begetter, parent" (fem.); clashing with the plural ontari "parents", this was apparently an emphemeral form (see ontarë, ontaril, ontarië for other feminine forms of "begetter, parent") (VT44:7)
ontaril noun "mother", female *"begetter" (cf. onta-). Variant of ontarë. (VT43:32)
-lwë, later -lvë, pronominal ending "we" (VT49:51), 1st person pl. inclusive ending, occurring in the verbs carilwë "we do" (VT49:16) and navilwë (see #nav-). The ending became -lvë in later, Exilic Quenya (VT49:51). See -lv-.
-ngwë "we", 1st person dual inclusive pronominal ending: "thou and I" (compare the exclusive dual form -mmë). Caringwë, "the two of us do" (VT49:16). One source lists the ending as "-inke > -inque" instead (VT49:51, 53, 57; "inke" was apparently Old Quenya). In an earlier pronoun table reproduced in VT49:48, the ending -ngwë is listed as an alternative to -lmë, which Tolkien at the time used as the plural inclusive ending (a later revision made it plural exclusive).
ve (2) pron. "we", 1st person pl. inclusive (corresponding to exclusive me), derived from an original stem-form we (VT49:50, PE17:130). Variant vi, q.v. Stressed wé, later vé (VT49:51). Dative (*wéna >) véna, VT49:14. Dual wet*, later vet "the two of us" (inclusive; cf. exclusive met) (VT49:51). Also compare the dative form ngwin or ngwen (q.v.), but this would apparently be wen > ven** according to Tolkiens later ideas.
vi pron. "we", 1st person inclusive (PE17:130), variant of ve #2.
we, wé, see ve #2