"Patrick H. Wynne" wrote:
> In the typescript text "C" of the Epilogue to _The Lord of the
> Rings_, "the letter of the King ... begins _Aragorn Tarantar_ (at
> which Sam explains 'that's Trotter') _Arathornsson_ &c." (IX:121).
> _Tarantar_ was subsequently altered on the typescript to the
> now-familiar _Telcontar_, and Sam's gloss changed to 'that's
[snip; Patrick goes on trying to find out the origin of the word,
> Q. _Tarantar_ 'Trotter' points to an unattested root *TARAT-. QL gives
> TARA (2) 'batter, thud, beat' (PE12:89), and assuming that this root
> survived into the 1950s, it might have yielded an extended form
> *TARAT-, perhaps 'to beat the ground rapidly with the feet'.
**It may be just a coincidence, but the name _Tarantar_ is similar
to its descendant _Telcontar_. I know there were various discussions
on the origin of the latter, but I do not remember all suggestions and
My opinion is that _Telcontar_ is to be segmented to _telco_ "leg"
(see Etym s.v. TELEK), _nta_ verbal formant, _r_ agentive suffix.
While both _telco_ and _r_ are well-known, the _nta_ element does
not seem to occur much in the corpus -- we see another verbal formant
_ta_ instead. Yet it cannot be said it is not found, because the form
_nta_ is apparently a variant of _ta_ -- or was at least in QL. This
can be nicely demonstrated on _paimeta-_ and _paimenta-_ "exact or
inflict a penalty, punish", derived from _paime_ "the vengeance taken,
the punishment, the penalty. -- an infliction" (p. 72).
[Another possible example of _nta_ as a verbal formant
was pointed out in Carl F. Hostetter's analysis of _Telcontar_ in
VT31:33: _alkantam�ren_ '[they] made it shine' (MC:216) < AKLA-
'shine' (V:362 s.v. KAL-). Cf. also the noun _alka_ 'ray of light'
(V:348). -- PHW]
Likewise, we could devide _Tarantar_ to _tar(a)_ ?, _nta_ verbal
formant, _r_ agentive suffix. However, we do not know the origin of
_tar(a)_. Patrick mentions the base TARA (2) from QL, but I think a
more likely QL base is TARA (1). The meaning of this base is not
given, but the verb _tara-_ given under the entry means "cross, go
athwart, cross rivers, etc.". Although it is not exactly the same,
the meaning is close to "to trot".
Let me note that the base THAR "across, beyond" from Etym is probably
a reflex of TARA (1) from QL. This does not, however, mean that TARA
itself is obsolete and was replaced by THAR. Cf. bases TIN and THIN
in Etym: they are suggested to be related.
Yet, this base does not have to be necessarily the origin or _tar(a)_,
Tolkien might have created another base. Just an idea.