Primitive elvish

ma

root. interrogative base, interrogative base; [ᴱ√] root of indef[inite]

This root is the basis for Elvish question words. When it first appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s, Tolkien said ᴱ√MA was the “root of indef[inites]” (GL/55), and it served as the basis for the indefinitive suffix G. -(u)m and ᴱQ. -(u)ma (GL/55; PE14/42, 71). In the Gnomish Lexicon, question words were derived from the root ᴱ√DO instead: G. don “who”, G. dos “when”, G. dui “where”, etc. (GL/30). There are no signs of interrogative ᴱ√DO in Tolkien’s later writings, however.

Indeed, by the time Tolkien wrote the ᴱQ. Oilima Markirya poem around 1930, Quenya question words generally began with ma-: ᴱQ. man kiluva kirya ninqe? “Who shall see a white ship?” (MC/213). This remained true thereafter, and the same seems to be true of Sindarin as well, though we have far fewer examples: S. ar·phent Rían Tuor·na: man agorech?, untranslated but apparently: “and said Rían to Tuor: what have we done?” (VT50/5). The “interrogative base” √MA* is mentioned in Quenya Notes from 1957 (QN: PE17/162) and again in notes from around 1968 (VT47/19).

MA does not seem to be completely divorced from indefinites in Tolkien’s later writings, however, given his use of Q. ma for an indefinite neuter pronoun “(some)thing” as opposed to the indefinite personal pronoun Q. mo “(some)one” (PE22/154; VT42/34). Whether these indefinites are based on the same root or a similar but unrelated root isn’t clear.

Derivatives

  • Q. ma “interrogative particle”
  • ᴹQ. ma “interrogative particle”
  • S. man “*what, who”
  • ᴺS. mas “where”

Element in

  • ᴺS. mabed- “to ask [a question]”
Primitive elvish [PE17/161; PE17/162; VT47/19] Group: Eldamo. Published by

noun. hand

Variations

  • māh ✧ PE19/102
  • ✧ VT47/18; VT47/34 ()

Derivatives

  • Q. “hand” ✧ PE19/102; VT47/06
  • S. maw “hand” ✧ VT47/06
  • T. “hand” ✧ VT47/06

Derivations

  • maha “hand, the manager” ✧ PE19/074; PE19/102; VT47/06; VT47/07; VT47/35
    • MAH “handle, manage, control, wield; serve, be of use, handle, manage, control, wield; serve, be of use; [ᴹ√] hand; [ᴱ√] grasp” ✧ VT47/18; VT47/18
    • MAG “good (physically); to thrive, be in a good state, good (physically); to thrive, be in a good state; [ᴹ√] use, handle” ✧ VT47/18
  • MAH “handle, manage, control, wield; serve, be of use, handle, manage, control, wield; serve, be of use; [ᴹ√] hand; [ᴱ√] grasp” ✧ PE21/70
  • MAG “good (physically); to thrive, be in a good state, good (physically); to thrive, be in a good state; [ᴹ√] use, handle” ✧ VT47/18

Element in

  • makwā “a hand-full, complete hand with all five fingers” ✧ VT47/07
  • mā-limi “wrist, (lit.) hand-link” ✧ VT47/06

Phonetic Developments

DevelopmentStagesSources
maʒa > [maɣa] > [mā]✧ VT47/06
Primitive elvish [PE19/074; PE19/102; PE21/70; VT47/06; VT47/07; VT47/18; VT47/34; VT47/35] Group: Eldamo. Published by

-mā

suffix. instrumental suffix

Variations

  • ✧ PE17/044; PE22/138 ()
  • -mā̆ ✧ PE18/101
  • n-ā̆ ✧ PE18/101
  • n-ā ✧ PE18/101

Derivatives

  • Q. -ma “instrumental”

Element in

  • kambā “(cupped) hand” ✧ VT47/20
  • labmā “*(physical) tongue” ✧ WJ/416
  • phanmā “veil, screen” ✧ PE17/180
  • syandā “pressed mass, crowd, crowd, pressed mass, [ᴹ✶] throng” ✧ PE18/101
  • tekma “pen” ✧ PE17/044
  • teñwā “letter, sign, token” ✧ PE22/149
  • yulmā “drinking-vessel” ✧ WJ/416
  • Q. calma “lamp, (device for shining) light, lamp, (device for shining) light, [ᴱQ.] candle; (day)light” ✧ PE17/180
  • Q. cauma “protection, shelter, shield” ✧ PE17/108
  • ᴺQ. haswa “medicine”
  • ᴺQ. leppa “thimble”
  • ᴺQ. lóma “moss”
  • ᴺQ. malma “lemon”
  • ᴺQ. malma “pulp, paste, mash, mush; dough, grume”
  • ᴺQ. nuqua “obstacle”
  • ᴺQ. palma “flat tool, flat plank, oar”
  • Q. parma “book, writing, composition, written document of some size, book, writing, composition, written document of some size; [ᴱQ.] skin, bark; parchment” ✧ PE17/180; PE18/101
  • ᴺQ. ramma “lever”
  • ᴺQ. ronwa “block, solid piece”
  • ᴺQ. tirma “spyglass”
  • ᴺQ. tyalma “toy, plaything”
  • ᴺQ. ur(u)ma “coal, charcoal”
  • ᴺQ. varma “armour”
  • ᴺQ. wenwa “lime (fruit)”
  • Q. yulma “cup, drinking vessel, drinking implement, goblet” ✧ PE17/068; PE17/068; PE17/180
  • ᴺS. barf “armour”
  • ᴺS. corf “ring (for fingers)”
Primitive elvish [PE17/044; PE17/068; PE17/108; PE17/180; PE18/101; PE22/138; PE22/149; VT47/19; VT47/20; WJ/416] Group: Eldamo. Published by

manrā

adjective. good

Derivatives

  • Q. mára “good, proper, good, proper; [ᴹQ.] useful, fit, good (of things), [ᴱQ.] excellent; mighty, power, doughty” ✧ PE17/162

Derivations

  • MAN “good (morally), blessed, holy, unmarred, free from evil, good (morally), blessed, holy, unmarred, free from evil; [ᴹ√] holy spirit” ✧ PE17/162
Primitive elvish [PE17/162] Group: Eldamo. Published by

tekma

noun. pen

Variations

  • ✧ PE17/044
Primitive elvish [PE17/044] Group: Eldamo. Published by

ndorē

noun. land

Variations

  • (n)dor ✧ Let/384
  • ndōr ✧ PE17/106
  • NDŌR/NDŎR- ✧ PE17/107
  • ndor ✧ PE17/164; SA/dôr
  • ndōrē ✧ PE19/076; VT42/04

Derivatives

  • Q. -ndor “land, country” ✧ SA/dôr
  • Q. nór “land” ✧ PE17/106; PE17/107
  • Q. nórë “land, country; †people, race, tribe, land, country, [ᴹQ.] region where certain people live, [ᴱQ.] nation; [Q.] †people, race, tribe, [ᴹQ.] folk, [ᴱQ.] family” ✧ PE19/076
  • S. dôr “land, land, [N.] region where certain people live, [ᴱN.] country; [G.] people of the land” ✧ PE17/164; SA/dôr; WJ/413

Derivations

  • NDOR “land; hard, firm; [ᴹ√] dwell, stay, rest, abide” ✧ PE17/106; PE17/107
    • DOR “hard, tough, dried up, unyielding”
  • DOR “hard, tough, dried up, unyielding” ✧ WJ/413

Element in

  • etlā-ndŏrē “Eglador” ✧ VT42/04; VT42/04
  • mbar-ndor “home land, native land” ✧ PE17/164
  • Q. Endórë “Middle Earth, (lit.) Middle Land” ✧ Let/384
  • Q. Valandor “Land of the Valar” ✧ WJ/413
  • S. Ennor “Middle-earth” ✧ Let/384
  • S. Eriador “Lonely Land” ✧ VT42/04
  • S. Thonador ✧ VT42/04
Primitive elvish [Let/384; PE17/106; PE17/107; PE17/164; PE19/076; SA/dôr; VT42/04; WJ/413] Group: Eldamo. Published by

ndōro

noun. land

Derivatives

  • Q. nór “land” ✧ WJ/413

Derivations

  • DOR “hard, tough, dried up, unyielding” ✧ WJ/413
Primitive elvish [WJ/413] Group: Eldamo. Published by

preposition. with

Derivatives

  • Q. “with, with, [ᴹQ.] by, [ᴱQ.] with (accompaniment)” ✧ PE17/095
  • S. di “with” ✧ PE17/095
Primitive elvish [PE17/095] Group: Eldamo. Published by