[This is drifting off-topic. Keep any further discussion of this form related to
Tolkien's own usage and inventions, please. Discussion of the development of
forms in modern languages should otherwise be conducted off-list. CFH]
On 13.01.2005, at 20:14, Rich Alderson wrote:
> I would just like to point out that the word does appear in Modern English in
> the old compound _lychgate_ (also _lichgate_).
Thank you. Yes, I'm aware of this form but I understand, this being a compound,
the first element is pronounced /litsh/ rhyming with _switch_. Only if the noun
had survived should we see the development to /laik/ as in ModE _like_ and _to like_.
John Cowan pointed out some more survivors of the word (also in compounds), cf.
<http://tolklang.quettar.org/messages/Vol45/45.44>. As John also indicates,
there is also _lyke-wake (lykewake < ONo. _líkavaka_) but I don't know how current
the word _lyke_ is or if it is used independently at all.
Curiously, Rohirric _laik_ seems to represent an Old Norse precursor.
Among the undead creatures described in the _Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Monster Manual_ (c.1980) was one they called a "lich"; I hadn't encountered the word
before seeing it there, but it may still have had some currency before they revived it,
so to speak.
OE/ONo. _líc/k_ also survived into modern Danish (_lig_ with silent g) and modern
Swedish (_lik_) both meaning corpse / dead body.