927Analysis of _Nimrodel_ and its preceding forms
- Sep 16, 2006In VII:223 is a nice poem (written around August 1940) in which
the name _Nimrodel_, and its precedent forms, first appears. We have
_Linglorel_, _Inglorel_, _Nimladel_, _Nimlorel_, _Nimlothel_ >>
_Nimrodel_; note that the third and fourth forms were composed before
the song (cf. VII:222, note 17). Only the last forms were apparently
corrected while the other forms were allowed to stand. Via Google I
found a forum archive containing translations for some of these forms
written by a pseudonymous "Dark Lord Andúril" ("DLA")
ubb=print_topic;f=20;t=000140>; I shall note them at the end of each
word-discussion. My analysis is presented here in a more "compact"
manner than my previous posts: All the (suggested) elements of words,
or compounds (for that's what they primarly are), are given with the
meaning as far as known or reconstructable. To distinguish each
word-element every one of them is followed by the semicolon. Further
discussion follows regularly after that. I want to note that I have
used the same analysis style as Christopher Gilson did in his
discussion of "_Sí Quente Feanor_".
_Linglorel_: Cf. _lin[?n]_ "air, tune", V:369 LIN-(2); _glor-_,
_lor-_ *"gold" appearing "in names, as _Glorfindel_, ... N
_Galad-loriel_" cf. V:368 LÁWAR-, N GLÁWAR- ; *_-el_ might be the
feminine suffix from primitive form *_elle_ exhibited in
_galata-rîg-elle_ "lady with garland of sunlight" which is the
primitive form of _Galadriel_ (X:182, cf. sidenote below), cf. also
_Gilthoniel_ (R:72-3) or _Nimrodel_ (below).
If it is indeed N. _lhinn_/_lin-(?)_ we would see _glor-_ being
left unmutated, a phenomenon maybe also seen in _Ninglor_ *"golden
water[flower]" (UT:280-1); the initial consonant cluster GL in _glor_ is
apparently unchanged when suffixed to final -N-. However, we have to
consider another possible explanation for medial -NGL-. The
Etymologies provide us with very similiar forms _Inglor_, _Indlour_
and their primitive cognates _Indo-klâr_, _Indo-glaurê_ (ID-, V:361).
Thus, a change of medial -NDL- to -NGL- could also be very likely.
_Linglorel_ might be translated as *"woman of the golden tune".
"DLA" gives a weird translation "song of the golden elf? Q". First, it
is surely not a Q(u)enya form (given medial -NGL-), secondly there is no
hint that any word-element could be simply translated with "elf".
_Inglorel_: Cf. _în_ "year" s. V:400 YEN-, or _inn_, _ind_ "inner
thought, meaning, heart"; _glor-_ and *_-el_ see above.
Under the stem GENG-WÂ- we find "N. _gemb, gem_; cf. _ingem_
`year-sick' " [Author's note: < PE. *_în_ "year" + *_gengwâ_
"sick"] showing that bare -G- is retained after -N-. If that is also
the case here, the translation might be *"woman of the golden year".
On the other hand, under stem ID- we perceive _Inglor_ (in various
drafts an earlier name of Finrod; cf. X:93, 104), apparently a masculine
cognate to _Inglorel_. Suggesting that _Inglorel_ is indeed inspired
by _Inglor_ we could assume that it has to mean *"Woman of the
golden heart". "DLA" translates it with "Not-gold-star/elf? S"; I don't
know how he supposes that *_in_ could here be used for negation.
_Nimladel_: Cf. _nimp, nim_ "pale, *white" (V:378, NIK-W-) often seen
in compounds as in _Nimdil-dor_ "Q. Taniqetil(de), High White Horn"
(V:378); _lad_ *"plain(?)" probably derived from LAT-, cf. also
_Tumladen_ "plain of Gondolin" (V:368) (Note that the GL gives a form
_lad_ "(1)level, smooth ..." (PE11:52) derived from stem LAHA or LA'A
(PE12:50)); *_-el_ see above.
Translation might be *"woman of the white valley". "DLA"
translates it as "White valley of stars S". It is not unthinkable that
*_-el_ could be derived from EL- (V:355) but I don't think it is here
the case, moreover in respect to Tolkien's translation of _Nimrodel_,
which surely implies that *_-el_ HAS to mean *"lady, woman". See also
discussion of _Nimrodel_ and sidenote on *_elle_.
_Nimlorel_: Cf. _nim, nimp_ above; _lor_ see above; *_-el_ see above.
Another compound consisting generally of components mentioned above.
Translation might be *"woman of the white gold". "DLA" suggests as
a possible translation "White dream of stars Q"; I don't think that we
have here a Q(u)enya word, though the word might be acceptable in
Q(u)enya phonology (the context here shows us clearly that Tolkien
intended to compose a Noldorin word). Moreover, there is no word
**_lor_ in Noldorin and we rather find _ôl_ (LOS-, V:370) for "dream".
_Nimlothel_: Cf. _nim, nimp_ see above; _loth_ "flower" cf. V:370 LOT(H)
giving a similiar form _Nimloth_; *_-el_ see above.
Translation might be *"woman of the white flower". "DLA" supposes
"Blossom of stars S", leaving out _nim_ "white" and ignoring Tolkien's
translation for _Nimloth_ "white blossom" (_Silmarillion_ Appendix).
_Nimrodel_: Cf. _nim, nimp_ above; _groth, grod_ "cave" cf.
_Silmarillion_ Appendix entry _groth (grod)_; *_-el_ see above.
The _Silmarillion_ Appendix gives for _Nimrodel_ the translation "Lady
of the caves". Since _nim_ means "white" and _grod_ "cave" (here
mutated to weak _rod_) we are left to assume that ending *_-el_ has to
mean *"Lady, woman" as proposed above of _Linglorel_. A more
"accurate" translation of _Nimrodel_ is given in the index to
_Unfinished Tales_: "Lady of the White Grotto".
Sidenote on *_-elle_ :
I assume that *_-elle_ might be derived from stem SEL-D- (V:385). We
are informed that when _selde_, the (apparently) ultimate predecessor
of *_-elle_, is used in a compound there is "a change assisted by the
loss of _s_ in cpds. and patronymics". The example mentioned fits well
with the further statements made: "(_tindômiselde_, Q _Tindómerel_)"
(V:385). Yet, this is debatable since _selde_ means precisely
"daughter", making it hard to see how this can be used to have a
meaning like "Lady" in the exact case of *_-el_ in _Nimrodel_.