I have a question concerning the form _hlonite_:
In VT48:29, Patrick Wynne cites the form _hlonite_ "phonetic" from
a Tolkien manuscript. He notes that this provides "the singular of
_hloníti_", a plural adjective cited in XI:394-5.
Would not the singular of _hloníti_ simply be *_hloníte_ with
a long vowel in the singular form as well? Obviously _hlonite_
and *_hloníte_ are close variants of the same word, as Pat
observes. But is there any reason to believe that the _i_
in the penultimate would be lengthened in the plural form
of the adjective?
In some attested examples, lengthening of vowels in inflected
forms is indeed observed in the corpus. For instance, the
Etymologies s.v. PHUY gives _huine_ as the word for "deep
shadow", but there we also learn that its possessive-adjectival
form is _huinéva_ rather than **_huineva_ (as in the name
However, the adjective _hlonite_ "phonetic" could be expected
to form its plural in _-i_, with exactly the same number of
syllables and the same distribution of long and short vowels.
Do we, then, have any reason to believe that the vowel in
the penultimate syllable would be lengthened in the plural?