Beware, older languages below! The languages below were invented during Tolkien's earlier period and should be used with caution. Remember to never, ever mix words from different languages!

Middle Primitive Elvish


root. play (on stringed instrument)

This root is attested only in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/ÑGAN), where it was glossed “play (on stringed instrument)” and was the basis of various “harp” words, mostly from its extended form √ÑGANAD. The root ᴱ√KᴬNTᴬN from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s is probably the precursor of ᴹ√ÑGAN(AD), given the shift the ᴱQ. vorokantele “monotonous repetition” in the Qenya Lexicon (QL/45) to ᴹQ. vorongandele “continual repetition (harping on one tune)” in The Etymologies (Ety/ÑGAN).

The later Quenya words Q. tanta- “to harp” and tant(il)a “harp” (VT41/10) might indicate its replacement by another root (?√TANAT or ?√KYANAT). ᴱQ. kantl “large harp” (< ᴱ√KᴬNTᴬN) might have developed conceptually into the later Q. tant(il)a “harp”, which might be an indirect derivative of an unattested root ✱√KYANAT (<< ᴱ√KᴬNTᴬN) via Telerin in the same way that Q. telpë “silver” developed from √KYELEP under influence of T. telpe. We have no cognates of Q. tant(il)a in other languages, so there is no clear way to determine the actual later root.

Neo-Eldarin: For Neo-Eldarin purposes, I would suggest using ᴹ√ÑGAN(AD) and its larger set of derivatives over hypothetical √TANAT or √KYANAT, which has only Quenya derivatives. For example, nande was used in NQNT (Neo-Quenya New Testament) over tant(il)a.




  • Ilk. gangel “harp” ✧ Ety/ÑGAN
  • ᴹQ. nanda- “to harp” ✧ Ety/ÑGAN
  • ᴹQ. nande “harp” ✧ Ety/ÑGAN
  • N. gann(ad)a- “to play a harp” ✧ Ety/ÑGAN
  • N. gannel “harp” ✧ Ety/ÑGAN

Element in

  • ᴹ✶tyalangando “harp-player, harper” ✧ Ety/ÑGAN; Ety/TYAL
  • ᴺS. cungan(d) “viol(in), (lit.) bow-harp”
  • ᴺS. langan(d) “stringed instrument with a neck (lute, guitar, etc.)”


  • ÑGAN ✧ Ety/ÑGAN; Ety/TYAL
Middle Primitive Elvish [Ety/ÑGAN; Ety/TYAL; EtyAC/ÑGAN] Group: Eldamo. Published by