A noun glossed “fine rain” that developed from primitive ᴹ✶mizdē (Ety/MIZD). It is clear than the [z] became [r] and then the [i] broke into the diphthong [eo] before the liquid [r], though it probably first became [iu] before being lowered to [eo].
meordnoun. fine rain
denethormasculine name. Saviour of the Dani
In Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, the son of Dan and leader of those Danians who entered Beleriand (LR/119, 263). In The Etymologies, Tolkien did not explain this name other than to say it derived from the same root ᴹ√DAN as his father’s name (Ety/DAN). Elsewhere, Tolkien said the primitive form of this name was ᴹ✶Ndanithārō “Saviour of the Dani”, and gave derivatives of this name in every language but Danian (LR/188).
The Danian form most closely resembles Ilk. Denithor, and may have had a similar development. In particular, the long [ā] likely became [ǭ], perhaps shortening later when it became the vowel of the final syllable. The [a] in the first syllable was probably mutated to [e] by the following [i], though it is unclear why the [i] would then become [e]. Finally, the initial [nd] would simplify to [d].
Note that, according to the Comparative Tables (PE19/23), the medial [θ] (“th”) in this name should have voiced to [ð] (“dh”). Perhaps this name was archaic in this one aspect, or perhaps the name was partly Ilkorinized.
cognadjective. bowed, bow-shaped, bent
A noun for “man” that developed from the blending of primitive ᴹ✶besnō “man” and ᴹ✶berō “valiant man, warrior” > ber(n)ō (Ety/BER, BES). The simplest explanation is that ᴹ✶besnō > beznō > bernō, where first the [s] voiced to [z] before the nasal [n] and then the resulting [z] becoming [r]. The similarity of this word to ᴹ✶berō could have led it to develop into ber(n)ō as well. From there, the [e] broke into the diphthong [eo] before the liquid [r] and then the final vowel vanished.
legolasmasculine name. Greenleaf
A noun for “elm-tree” derived from the root ᴹ√(L)ALAM (Ety/ÁLAM). It does not seem to be a direct cognate with either ᴹQ. alalme or N. lalf. Helge Fauskanger suggested it might be derived from a primitive form ✶almā (AL-Nandorin/alm), but I think it may instead be derived from ✶alamā.
My rationale is that this word did not go through the vowel-breaking before a cluster starting with liquid [l] or [r] seen in other words like ealc. This can be explained if, at the time of vowel-breaking, this word had the form alamā̆, and thus had no applicable cluster of consonants. The middle [a] would then be lost later through the Danian syncope.
goldanoun. one of the wise folk, Gnome
A noun glossed “one of the wise folk, Gnome” developed from the root ᴹ√ÑGOLOD (Ety/ÑGOLOD), most likely from primitive *✶ñgolodō given its cognates. It is an example of the Danian syncope, with second unstressed [o] vanishing after the identical vowel. It is also one of the Danian words for which a long final vowel developed into short final [a]. Finally, it provides an example of how initial nasals vanished before stops.
sc(i)ellanoun. hide, shade, screen, shade, screen
A noun glossed “shade, screen” developed from the root ᴹ√SKAL¹ (Ety/SKAL¹), perhaps from a primitive form *✶skallā (though Helge Fauskanger suggested ᴹ✶skalnā). As noted by Helge Fauskanger (AL-Nandorin/scella), it seems the vowel [a] became [e]: scella. The mechanism is unclear, but perhaps this change was triggered by the initial [s] plus voiceless stop. Also noted by Helge Fauskanger, the word seems to have undergone further vowel-breaking of [e] to [ie]: sciella. The mechanism here is easier to explain, probably analogous to similar changes in Old English, where [e] became [ie] after initial [sk].
danascollective name. Green-elves
swarnadjective. perverse, obstinate, hard to deal with, perverse, obstructive, hard to deal with
An adjective glossed “perverse, obstinate, hard to deal with” developed from the root ᴹ√SKWAR (Ety/SKWAR), perhaps from a primitive form *✶skwarnā as suggested by Helge Fauskanger (AL-Nandorin/swarn). Here the initial [skw] became [sw], consistent with the changes described in the Comparative Tables (PE19/20).
eordfeminine name. rest
A noun for “precipice” developed from primitive ᴹ✶khrassē (Ety/KHARÁS). Here the aspirate [kʰ] became the voiceless spirant [x] (“ch”) and then the initial [x] became [h], unvoicing the following [r]. The [x]-sound is preserved in the compound name Gochressiel. This word is also an example of how a long final vowel sometimes developed into short final [a].
spennanoun. cloud, white fog
A noun glossed “white fog” developed from the root ᴹ√SPAN (Ety/SPAN, EtyAC/SPAN), perhaps from a primitive form *✶spannā as suggested by Helge Fauskanger (AL-Nandorin/spenna). As noted by Helge Fauskanger, it seems the primitive vowel [a] became [e]. The mechanism is unclear, but perhaps this change was triggered by the initial [s] plus voiceless stop.
edelnoun. Elf, Star-folk, Elf
A noun for “Elf” derived from primitive ᴹ✶edel-, an inversion of the primitive root ᴹ√ELED (Ety/ELED). Unlike most similar Danian nouns, it did not undergo the Danian syncope and retained its second vowel. One possible explanation is that the primitive form of this noun ended in a short vowel, *✶edelă, and this short final vowel vanished before the period of the syncope, preventing it from occurring in this word. Helge Fauskanger originally suggested a theory much like this one (AL-Nandorin/edel).
Conceptual Development: In an earlier version of this entry, the Danian word for Elf was given as Elda (Ety/ELED).
diormasculine name. dior
In the Etymologies from the 1930s, Tolkien first marked the name Dior as both Doriathrin and Ossiriandic (EtyAC/NDEW). He then changed the name so that it was only Doriathrin, perhaps because [the diphthong [io] did not appear until very late in Ossiriandic](/w/later [eo], [iu] became [io] in Ossiriandic).
A noun for “swan” that developed from primitive ᴹ✶alkwā (Ety/ÁLAK). It is an example of how [w] vanished after medial velars in Ossiriandic and of how [a] broke into the diphthong [ea] before the liquid [l].
A noun for “gold” developed from primitive ᴹ✶laurē, and one of the few words explicitly marked as Ossiriandic (Ety/LÁWAR). In this word the long final vowel was lost. Unlike the rules described in the Comparative Tables, this [au] did not become [ō], so perhaps Tolkien changed his mind on the development of [au] in Ossiriandic.
An adjective for “pale” developed from primitive ᴹ✶lugni (Ety/LUG²). It seems that this word underwent i-mutation of [u] to [y], as in the plural yrc of Dan. urc. However, it is known that short final [i] became [e] in Common Eldarin, so that ᴹ✶lugni became ᴹ✶lugne before the divergence of these languages, making the i-mutation difficult to explain (as noted by Helge Fauskanger, AL-Nandorin/lygn). One possible explanation is that the short final [ĕ] either reverted to [i] or did not change in the first place in the Danian branch of Eldarin.
A (rejected) noun for “wolf” developed from the (rejected) root ᴹ√ƷARAM (Ety/ÑGARAM), most likely from primitive *✶ʒaramā [ɣaramā] given its cognates. It is an example of the Danian syncope, with second unstressed [a] vanishing after the identical vowel. It is also one of the Danian words for which a long final vowel developed into short final [a]. Finally, it provides an example of how [ɣ] became [g] in Danian.
leikvircollective name. leikvir
The name of the East Danians who remained beyond the Blue Mountains (LR/188). David Salo first suggested a connection of this name to an “Old Icelandic” style Elvish Language in 1996 (<a href="tolklang.quettar.org</a>): given the unusual combination [kv], it is very likely this name is from the East Danian language itself, since [[non-initial [w] became [v] in East Danian]]. If so, its resemblance to primitive ᴹ✶laikwā cannot be a coincidence, since this was the source of their Quenya name Laiqendi “Green-elves”. According to the Comparative Tables, medial [kw] could become [kv] in East Danian (PE19/23). Those same tables also indicated that the primitive diphthong ✶[ai] would survive in that language (PE19/25), but perhaps Tolkien imagined a different development when he coined this name, so that: [ai] > [ei].
gochressielplace name. gochressiel
Earliest name of S. Crissaegrim from Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s (LR/285, 301). In the Etymologies, it was marked as Danian and contained the element Dan. hrassa “precipice” (Ety/KHARÁS), where the older “ch” [x] did not [become [h] because it was not an initial consonant](/w/initial [x] became [h], unvoicing following [l], [r], [w]), and the [[a] was mutated to [e] by the following [i]](/w/[a], [u] became [e], [y] before following [i]) in the suffix -iel. The [a] also appeared unmutated in the shorter form Gochrass. The meanings of the prefix go- and suffix -iel are unclear.
Word Gloss Source hrassa precipice Ety/KHARÁS.014
danmasculine name. dan
In Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, Dan was the leader of the Danians when they turned back from the March and was the source of their name (LR/175, 215). In the Etymologies, this name was derived from the Danian-only root ᴹ√DAN which Tolkien suggested may be related to ᴹ√NDAN “back” (Ety/DAN). This name sometimes appeared with a long â: Dân (LR/215).
Variations of the word: Dan, Dân.
Element in: DAN. Danas
An adjective for “black” developed from the root ᴹ√DUN (Ety/DUN). It most likely developed from primitive *✶dunnā given its cognates, as suggested by Helge Fauskanger (AL-Nandorin/dunna). It is a counter-example to Danian a-affection, perhaps indicating that this change was prevented or reverted before nasal clusters as was the case in Ilkorin.
A noun for “goblin” developed from primitive ᴹ✶orku, also attested in its plural form yrc (Ety/ÓROK). The change of [o] to [u] is hard to explain, as noted by Helge Fauskanger (AL-Nandorin/urc). In an earlier version of the entry Tolkien wrote Dan. orc (EtyAC/ÓROK), which is the expected form. The simplest explanation is that this form actually developed from a variant primitive form *✶urku. There is a similar issue with Ilk. urch, so perhaps this variant was used by those Eldar who did not complete the journey to Valinor.
utumplace name. utum
* -assuffix. class-plural suffix