848Re: _Uvanwaith_ 'the Nomenlands'
- Nov 13, 2005I wonder whether the element _úvan-_ 'noman' or 'nomen' could be
formed of the negative prefix _ú-_ plus a lenited form of the personal
pronoun _man_ 'who'. Such a pronoun is only found, to my knowledge,
in Quenya interrogative phrases, which counts against this interpretation
for a Noldorin noun, but it's perhaps another possible explanation.
[Given that Quenya _man_ 'who?' is interrogative -- cf. "the Eldarin
interrogative element _ma, man_" (XII:357, n. 18) -- it seems an
unlikely candidate for the second element in N. _uvan-_ 'noman',
the literal sense of which would then be 'not-who?'. Attested Elvish
words meaning 'no one, nobody, no man' are formed from non-
interrogative elements. I mentioned Gn. _umon_ (< either _an_
'person' or _on_ 'he') and _unweg_ 'nobody, no one' (< _gweg_ 'man,
male of Elda or Indi (Saska)', PE11:44) in my post. The entry for
_unweg_ in GL also gives a feminine form _umir_ (< *_ir_ 'she'; cp.
the attested possessive _irtha_ 'her', PE11:11). In the later material
we find Q. _Úner_ 'Noman' (UT:211), Ancalimë's name for her ideal
mate, in which the second element is Q. _ner_ 'man', as in _Nerwen_
'man-maiden' (UT:229). -- PHW]
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