Primitive elvish


root. cross, pass over, go beyond

Tolkien considered several similar roots for the Elvish words “neck”, “throat” and “beyond”.

In The Etymologies, the words for “throat” were ᴹQ. lanko and N. lhanc from the root ᴹ√LAK with nasal-infixion (Ety/LAK, Ety/TARAG). The Noldorin form also appeared as an element in the adjective N. tarlanc “stiff-necked, obstinate”. In The Lord of the Rings, it seems that this last word had shifted to S. tarlang, as in the place name Tarlang (LotR/790). The earlier words reappeared as S. lang and Q. lango “neck, passage”, whose roots were either √LAG (PE17/65) or √LAƷA (PE17/91-92).

Tolkien also established the word Q. as the Quenya element meaning “beyond”, most notably in the preposition pella (the Namárië poem, LotR/377), whose literal meaning was “beyond the border”. There is an early hint of this sense in The Etymologies in the root ᴹ√, unglossed but said to be related to the “ablative element” ᴹ√ (EtyAC/LŌ). Other possible precursors are ᴱ√ALA “spread” and related ᴱ√LAHA or ᴱ√ from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/29, 32, 50).

In notes from 1965, Tolkien stated that the root of “beyond” was √LAŊ, distinct from the root √LAG of lango (PE17/65). But in notes from 1967, Tolkien briefly considered using the root √ALA/LA for “beyond” (PE17/90), but quickly changed it to √LAƷA “cross, pass over, go beyond” (PE17/91-92), the same as the root of Q. lango “neck” as noted above. This leaves us with two scenarios: that lango “neck” and “beyond” had distinct origins from the roots √LAG and √LAÑ respectively (1965: PE17/65), or that lango “neck” and “beyond” had the same origin in the root √LAƷ “cross, pass over, go beyond” (1967: PE17/91-92).

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin I prefer the 1967 scenario with the root √LAƷA “cross, pass over, go beyond”, and would assume “neck” is based on the sense “passage”, since it frees up the root √LAG to retain its meaning from The Etymologies: ᴹ√LAG “✱cut” (Ety/LAG). For “throat” words, see the discusssion in the entry for ᴹ√LAK.


  • lā̆ “beyond” ✧ PE17/065
    • Q. “beyond, over, across, athwart” ✧ PE17/065; PE17/065
  • langa ✧ PE17/091
    • Q. langë “surpassingly, superlatively, extremely” ✧ PE17/091
  • langō “route or connection between to places; neck” ✧ PE17/091
    • Q. lango “neck, neck, [ᴹQ.] throat” ✧ PE17/092
    • S. lang “passage; neck, passage; neck, *throat” ✧ PE17/092
  • lañna “athwart” ✧ PE17/065
    • Q. lanna “athwart, (to a point) beyond, athwart, (to a point) beyond, *across” ✧ PE17/065
  • Q. “beyond, over, across, athwart” ✧ PE17/065; PE17/090; PE17/091
  • Q. lahta- “to cross, pass over, go over; to surpass, excel” ✧ PE17/065; PE17/092
  • Q. lan “*while”
  • Q. langa “thing that crosses, ferry, ford, crossway, bridge, cross-bar” ✧ PE17/065
  • Q. lango “neck, neck, [ᴹQ.] throat” ✧ PE17/065
  • Q. lanna “athwart, (to a point) beyond, athwart, (to a point) beyond, *across” ✧ PE17/065
  • ᴺS. lo “while”

Element in

  • ᴺQ. lancanta- “to transform, turn into (trans.)”
  • ᴺQ. lanquet- “to converse, debate, *discuss”
  • ᴺQ. lanquetta “conversation, debate, interchange of words”
  • ᴺQ. lanquinga “crossbow”
  • Q. pella “beyond (boundary or limit)” ✧ PE17/090


  • LAŊ ✧ PE17/065; PE17/159
  • LAG ✧ PE17/065; PE17/159
  • ALA/LA ✧ PE17/090; PE17/146
  • LAƷA ✧ PE17/091; PE17/092; PE17/159
  • LA ✧ PE17/158
Primitive elvish [PE17/065; PE17/090; PE17/091; PE17/092; PE17/146; PE17/158; PE17/159] Group: Eldamo. Published by