847_Uvanwaith_ 'the Nomenlands'
- Nov 12, 2005In an early draft of the chapter "Farewell to Lórien" presented
in "The Treason of Isengard", Keleborn -- describing the lands
south of Lórien through which the Company will pass on
its way down the Anduin -- mentions an interesting Noldorin
name: beyond the Wetwang "are the Nomenlands, dreary
Uvanwaith that lies before the passes of Mordor" (VII:281). A
variant draft of Keleborn's account repeats the name and gloss
as "the Nomenlands (of Uvanwaith)" (VII:283). The index to Vol.
VII cites the name as _Úvanwaith_, in which the long _Ú-_ is
apparently an error.
The only analysis of this name that I've found appears in David
Salo's _A Gateway to Sindarin_, in which he glosses _Uvanwaith_
as 'wilderness of monsters', < _úan_ + _gwaith_ (pg. 394). EN _úan_
'monster' appears in the _Etymologies_ s.v. BAN- *'fair, beautiful',
from *_ûbanô_ (with an acute accent over the _û-_), lit. *'not-
beautiful one'. N./S. _gwaith_, in its lenited form _-waith_, is a
common final element in place-names, in which it = '-land', and
Tolkien's First Map for LotR provides several Noldorin examples
contemporary with _Uvanwaith_: _Forodwaith_ 'Northerland',
_Enedwaith_ 'Middlemarch', and _Haradwaith_ 'Sutherland'
Salo's interpretation presents two difficulties: 1) The first element
in _Uvanwaith_ is _uvan-_, not _úan_, and (so far as I can tell)
Salo doesn't account for this phonological difference; 2) In both
occurrences, _Uvanwaith_ is glossed by Tolkien as 'the Nomenlands',
not *'the Monsterlands' or *'Wilderness of Monsters'. This seems all
the more significant given that the Noldorin name was to vanish,
while its English gloss survived into the published text as "the
Noman-lands" (in the chapters "Farewell to Lórien" and "The Passage
of the Marshes").
If Tolkien's gloss of _Uvanwaith_ is literal, then _uvan-_ should
mean 'nomen' or 'noman', in which case the most straightforward
analysis would be negative prefix *_uv-_ 'no' + N. _anw_ 'a male,
man (of Men or Elves), male animal' (V:360, VT45:16) -- *_uvanw_
'noman' + -waith '-land' > _Uvanwaith_ 'Noman-land'. These
elements are examined in more detail below:
QL lists the roots UMU-, UVU as variants of the negative stem Û(2),
with a derivative "_u-_ or _ûv-_ prefix mainly used before vowels,
= un-"; and GL gives _û_, "negative prefix with any part of speech",
which has a "strengthened" variant _um-_ clearly corresponding to
the root UMU in QL. The _Etymologies_ gives the negative stems UGU-
or UMU-, and a rejected base MÛ- (whence N. _mû_ 'no'; VT45:35)
that is obviously a variant of UMU-. N. *_uv-_ 'no' in _Uvanwaith_
would thus evidently derive from UMU- (which had been in existence
since 1915) with the usual Noldorin development of medial M > V;
in other words, N. *_uv-_ is apparently the later conception of Gn.
_um-_ (in Goldogrin, medial M was retained unchanged).
ANW 'a male, man'
According to the entry for *_anu_ (= EN _anw_) in Didier Willis's
Sindarin dictionary (Edition 1.4):
"A literal interpretation of the _Etymologies_ would class this word
as a noun, but David Salo notes that the punctuation in _The
Etymologies_ is not always reliable. Noldorin _anw_ cannot be
cognate to the Quenya noun _hanu_ (*_3anû_) because the final
_-u_ would drop. It must rather be cognate to the Quenya adjective
_hanwa_ (*_3anwâ_) attested under the stem INI, where it is also
stated that _inw_, corresponding to Quenya _inya_ "female", has
been remodelled after _anw_. The combination of these two
entries, along with the phonological evidences, clearly indicates
that _anw_ is actually an adjective".
The entry in the _Etymologies_ reads: "3AN- male. Q _hanu_ a male
(of Men or Elves), male animal; ON _anu_, N _anw_; Dor. _ganu_.
(The feminine is INI.)", and as Didier notes, this seems to clearly
indicate that N. _anw_, like Q. _hanu_, was used as a noun meaning
'a male' -- entries with the identical format are common in the
_Etymologies_, e.g., "PÁRAK- Q _parka_ dry; ON _parkha_, N _parch_."
The appeal to "unreliable" punctuation to explain away the entry's
obvious meaning is unconvincing, since no change in punctuation,
short of replacing the semicolon after the entry for Q. _hanu_ with a
"not equal to" symbol, would yield a plausible alternative
On the other hand, the phonological objection raised -- that N.
_anw_ must be cognate with Q. adj. _hanwa_ rather than Q. noun
_hanu_ -- appears valid. The Noldorin cognate of Q. _hanu_ ought
to be *_an_ -- and interestingly enough, GL does in fact list Gn.
_an_ 'person, "-body", "one", anyone, someone, "they"' (the Qenya
cognate appears in QL as noun _anu_ 'a male'), which originally had
the negative forms _umon_ or _unweg_ (the latter is glossed in a
separate entry in the U-section as 'nobody, no one'). The first form,
_umon_ (later struck out), might end in Gn. _on_ 'he', but it could
also end in _an_ 'person', since unaccented _-an_ > _-on_ in
Goldogrin (PE11:13). If so, then Gn. _umon_ (< earlier *_uman_)
looks very much like the conceptual predecessor of N. _uvan-_
Where Didier's dictionary entry errs, however, is in its flat
assertion that _anw_ "is actually an adjective", without considering
the possibility that _anw_ might be both an adjective _and_ a
noun. Certainly there are many such Noldorin noun/adjectives
found in the _Etymologies_, e.g., "N _gloss_ snow ... N _gloss_
also adj. snow-white"; "N _sarn_ stone as a material, or as adj.";
"[N] _mael_ (*_magla_) stain and adj. stained"; etc. (V:359, 385,
386). It seems possible that the noun *_an_ 'a male' was not used
because this syllable was already overworked in Noldorin -- cf. _an-_
'with, by' (V:374), _an-_ 'long' in _Anfang_ 'Longbeard' (V:348),
_-an_ '-land' in _Rohan_ 'Horseland' (VI:434, n. 22), _-an_ 'gift' in
_Rhian_ 'crown-gift' (V:383), etc. -- and this may have resulted in
the more distinctive adjectival form _anw_ being used substantively
as well, a process probably aided by analogy with the large class of
Noldorin nouns ending in _-w_, including _tinw_ 'spark, small star',
_gwanw_ 'death', _ianw_ 'bridge' (V:393, 397, 400); _curw_ 'craft',
_harw_ 'wound' (V:366, 386); _celw_ 'spring, source', _golw_ 'lore'
(V:363, 377); and _hithw_ 'fog', _pathw_ 'level space, sward',
_gwelw_ 'air (as substance)' (V:364, 380, 398).
-- Patrick H. Wynne
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