Primitive elvish

not

root. count, reckon

This root was the basis for Elvish words for “counting” for much of Tolkien’s life. The earliest indications of the root are in primitive ᴱ✶notta > ᴱN. noth “number” in Early Noldorin word lists of the 1920s, along with related words like ᴱN. gonod- “count” (PE13/145, 151); the revision of noth “number” to nath may represent some uncertainty on its initial form, but it seems Tolkien restored noth in a marginal note (PE13/150, 151).

The root reappeared as ᴹ√NOT “count, reckon” in The Etymologies of the 1930s with a number of derivatives of similar meaning, the most notable being N. arnœdiad or arnediad “innumerable, countless, endless” (Ety/NOT) as in Nirnaeth Arnoediad “[Battle of] Tears Unnumbered”, a name Tolkien introduced in the 1930s and with minor variations (Nirnaith vs. Nirnaeth, Arnediad vs. Arnoediad) retained thereafter. The root √NOT itself appeared several times in Tolkien’s later writings (PE17/62; PE19/86), most notably as the basis for Q. únótima “numberless” from the Q. Namárië poem (LotR/377).

Derivatives

  • notmē “calculation, a sum” ✧ PE19/086
    • ᴺQ. nonwë “calculation, sum, *total”
    • Q. nonwë “calculation, sum” ✧ PE19/086
  • nōto “number in counting, numeral”
  • ᴺQ. nonwa “computer, (lit.) implement for reckoning”
  • Q. not- “to count, to count, [ᴹQ.] reckon”
  • ᴺQ. nótar “computer, calculator”
  • ᴺQ. (o)notasta “amount”
  • S. nedia- “to count”
  • S. nod- “to count”
  • ᴺS. noth “number”

Element in

  • Q. nótima “countable, limited in number (weight and measure); (colloquial) moderate in amount, some, few, several” ✧ PE17/062
  • ᴺS. núdef “some, few, several”
Primitive elvish [PE17/062; PE17/169; PE19/086] Group: Eldamo. Published by

lā-

verb. to not be

Derivations

  • LA “no, not; negative; not to be” ✧ PE22/153

Derivatives

  • Q. lá- “to not be” ✧ PE22/153; PE22/153; VT49/13
  • ᴺS. lae- “to not be”

Element in

Variations

  • la ✧ PE22/140
  • ✧ PE22/153
Primitive elvish [PE22/140; PE22/153; VT49/13] Group: Eldamo. Published by

umu

root. not, expressing privation, not, expressing privation; [ᴹ√] negative stems

The roots √UMU and variant √UGU were often assigned a negative sense, either as elaborations on the base root negative √Ū or sometimes (especially in the case of √UGU) serving as its source. The earliest iteration of these more elaborate negative roots was ᴱ√UMU or ᴱ√UVU in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like the negative verb ᴱQ. um- or ᴱQ. uv- as well as ᴱQ. ūvanimo “monster” (QL/98); ᴱQ. munta “nothing” from the Qenya Grammar of the 1920s was probably related (PE14/48, 81).

The Etymologies of the 1930s had negative stems ᴹ√UMU and ᴹ√UGU with derivatives like the negative verb ᴹQ. um- as well as ᴹQ. úmea “evil” (Ety/UGU; UMU). This document also had inverted forms ᴹ√ and ᴹ√, the latter the basis for the negative prefix ᴹQ. ú- with a bad or evil connotation (Ety/GŪ; MŪ). Finally both √UMU and √UGU were mentioned a number of times in later writings in connection to negation (PE17/143, 172; VT49/29). See the entry on negative √Ū and the entry on Quenya negation for further information.

Derivations

  • Ū “denial of fact, privation, negative element, denial of fact, privation, negative element, [ᴱ√] not”

Derivatives

  • ᴺQ. munta “nothing, *zero”
  • Q. ui- “to not be, to not do” ✧ VT49/29
  • Q. um(ba)- “[unglossed]” ✧ PE17/172
  • ᴺS. ont “no, none”
  • ᴺS. unt “nothing”

Variations

  • UGU ✧ PE17/143 (UGU); PE17/188 (UGU)
  • ugu ✧ VT42/32 (ugu)
  • ū̆gu/gū ✧ VT49/29
Primitive elvish [PE17/143; PE17/172; PE17/188; VT42/32; VT49/29] Group: Eldamo. Published by

ugu

root. expressing privation

ala

root. no, not; negative; not to be

la

root. no, not; negative; not to be

An invertible root, √LA or √ALA, used for negation. Its earliest iteration was as the primitive negative prefix ᴱ✶ḷ- from the 1910s (GL/50; PE12/11; QL/97). Its first appearance as ᴹ√LA “no, not” was in The Etymologies of the 1930s (Ety/LA), and it regularly appeared in documents from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Tolkien then abandoned this form of negation in 1959 (PE17/143), but restored it again around 1969 (PE22/160) only to abandon it again shortly after (VT44/4). For a full history of Tolkien’s shifting conceptions of negation in Elvish, see the Quenya entry on the negative.

Derivatives

  • lā- “to not be” ✧ PE22/153
    • Q. lá- “to not be” ✧ PE22/153; PE22/153; VT49/13
    • ᴺS. lae- “to not be”
  • Q. al(a)- “in-, un-, not; †-less, without” ✧ PE22/153; VT42/33
  • Q. ala- “to deny”
  • Q. la- “not, in-, un-”
  • Q. lá- “to not be” ✧ PE22/156; VT42/33; VT49/13
  • Q. “no, not” ✧ PE22/153; VT42/33
  • ᴺQ. lana “no, not any, not (a); none”
  • S. al- “no, not”
  • ᴺS. lad “nothing, zero”
  • ᴺS. law “not”

Variations

  • AL ✧ PE17/143 (AL); PE17/146; PE22/140
  • al ✧ PE18/088; PE22/140; VT42/32 (al)
  • la ✧ PE18/088; VT42/32 (la)
  • ✧ PE22/140
  • ✧ PE22/153
  • ALA ✧ PE22/153
  • (A)LA ✧ PE22/156
  • ala ✧ VT42/33; VT49/13
  • al/la ✧ VT48/25
Primitive elvish [PE17/143; PE17/146; PE17/158; PE18/084; PE18/088; PE22/140; PE22/153; PE22/156; VT42/32; VT42/33; VT48/25; VT49/13] Group: Eldamo. Published by