917Analysis of _Eccuilë_ and _Eremar_
- Jul 3, 2006While 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,
_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".
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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