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1088Dating TQ1 / Adjectives in -_itë_

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  • elucubrator
    Dec 8, 2009
      Perhaps another detail to corroborate the dating of Tolkien's TQ1 manuscript is seen in the Quendian term for the third grade of consonants, representing voiced stops: _ómaisi_. (PE18, pg. 30).

      _Ómaisi_, 'voiced', seems to be the plural form of an adjective *_ómaite_ formed by suffix -_itë_, parallel to _maitë_ (pl. _maisi_) of Etym. (sv. entry MA3-). (LR:371)

      Fauskanger theorises that Tolkien primarily states the plural form in order 'to illustrate another point: that adjectives in -itë have plural forms in -isi, the consonant "t" turning into "s" before "i". (Fauskanger's Quenya Course, Lesson 4, paragraph 19). Fauskanger continues: 'This particular idea seems to have been dropped later, though: In a much later, post-LotR source, Tolkien wrote _hloníti tengwi_, not ?hlonísi tengwi, for "phonetic signs" (WJ:395) [cf. also VT48, 29]. So perhaps the plural form of _maitë_ ["handy, skilled; handed"] could simply be ?maiti as well.'

      The plural formation of such adjectives (-_itë_ > -_isi_), then would appear to have been Tolkien's conception of Q morphology in 1937. Unfortunately, Tolkien left the Quendian terminology out of TQ2. It would have been nice to see whether he would have revised the name of the voiced stops from _ómaisi_ to *_ómaiti_ at the later date.

      There are very few adjectives formed with this suffix; two others may be _hanuvoitë_ & _inimeitë_ (Etym. INI).

      -- J. Sebastian Pagani