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917Analysis of _Eccuilë_ and _Eremar_

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  • Philipp Marquart
    Jul 3, 2006
      While Arda still grew and flourished, and the two Lamps stood at the
      north and south sides of the world, there was an island in the midst
      of Arda. Tolkien, now working in the late 1940s on a revised version
      of the "Ainulindale" (published in "Morgoth's Ring" as Version C),
      produced three name for this island, though only the last one was
      allowed to stand: _Almar_ (X:23, called _Almaren_ on pg. X:7). I shall
      here discuss the preceding forms _Eccuilë_ and _Eremar_ (X:22-3,
      note 18):

      _Eccuilë_: We find here at least one attested element in _cuilë_
      "life, being alive" (KUY, V:366); the first one however is difficult: it
      could be a prefix like _et-_ "out, forth" (ET-, V:356) connected with
      _cuilë_; and indeed we can find in V:366 a Noldorin word _echui(w)_
      "awakening" derived from PE *_et-kuiwê_. Thus it is very likely that a
      similiar reconstruction fits for Quenya _Eccuilë_ as well,especially in
      this case of _cuile_ "life". While in Noldorin the medial combination
      –TK- became a voiceless velar –CH-, Quenya would have turned –TK- into
      double consonant –KK-. We meet this same phenomenon also c. 1940
      in the Qenya verb form *_ekkoita-_ "to awaken" (VT14:17;
      _erenekkoitanie_ "that he might awake them"), being derived from
      _et-_+ KOYO (QL:48). But also in our later sources we can find that
      kind of mutation of consonants as in _Et-pele_ > _Eppele_ (VIII:137).

      Another possibility for explaining _Eccuilë_ would be an intensive
      prefix: VT45:11 mentions the intensive prefix _e-_ as in _Ender_, the
      surname of Tulkas. Yet, this is said to be only applied when the
      base vowel is also _e_. How would that fit together with _Eccuilë_?
      Due to the fact that the base vowel of _cuilë_ would be _u_ (s. a.
      above) we would rather think of something like **_uccuilë_.
      Fortunately we have another example, which agrees that this is not
      necessarily the case, in _ekkaira_ *"most far away" (KHAYA-, V:364).
      In VT45:21 it is supposed that this may be an "?int[ensive]" form of
      _haira_ "remote, far".

      Putting it all together: What is the meaning of _Eccuilë_, and which
      reconstruction is desirable? Looking at the context, we have to favor
      the first one:

      The stem from which _cuilë_ itself is derived is KUY- "come to life,
      awake", and Tolkien says of _Eccuilë_ that the Gods took up their
      abode on this isle "when all things were new, and green was yet a
      marvel in the eyes of the makers" (X:18). Though I don't know whether
      _et-_ could bear the meaning "new", I'd suggest as a translation for
      _Eccuilë_ *"New Life, Life's awakening, Awakening".

      Yet, we have to consider that the context is not always the deciding
      factor, and it is also possible that the second reconstruction is
      right: If _Eccuilë_ was indeed built by an intensive prefix we may
      assume that it could mean *"high, extraordinary, divine Life".

      _Eremar_: the first word element *_ere_, or shortened _er_, appears
      with two different meanings in Tolkien's works: The Etymologies
      list _er_ "one, alone" (ERE-, V:356), but in the "New Era Calender"
      from 1949-50 we meet _er_ with the meaning "first", e.g.
      _Ertuilë_ *"First-Spring" (XII:133-136; see also Patrick Wynne's
      discussion of the "The Quenya Prefixes _ER-, NÓ-, METE-_" in
      Lambengolmor Message #830). We have to assume that the latter meaning
      must be apposite since Tolkien tells us that "there upon the isle of
      Almar [<< Eremar] in a great lake was the first dwelling of the gods",
      supporting the view that _ere_ must be translated as "first". _mar_
      "home, dwelling" (MBAR-, V:372, VT45:33; this occurs often as a word
      element, e. g. _Endamar_, V:372) as the second word element seems to
      be connected directly to the stem ERE- without syncopation and we can
      surely assume that _Eremar_ means *"First home, first dwelling".

      Philipp Marquart

      P.S.: I want to thank Patrick Wynne for his invaluable help in
      suggesting other possible explanations (and translations) for
      _Eccuilë_ and _Eremar_.
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