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## Re: Miqilis?

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• ... **Well, the whole entry goes like this: NIQI white _ninqe (i)_ white. _niqis (ss)_ snow. _niqissea_ snowy. _niqilis_ fine snow. _niqileninqe_ snow-white.
Message 1 of 8 , Jan 3, 2003
I wrote:

> **However, the problem is that _niqi-_ is rather "white" than "snow".
> We have base NIQI "white" and derivatives _ninqe_ "white", _niqis (ss)_
> (_niqi-_ "white" + _is_ "(light) snow").

Carl responded:

> [Actually, the _root_ NIQI means 'white'; but among the derivatives of
> NIQI are many forms in _niqi-_ meaning 'snow'; while 'white' itself is
> _ninqe_. Carl]

**Well, the whole entry goes like this:
NIQI white
_ninqe (i)_ white.
_niqis (ss)_ snow.
_niqissea_ snowy.
_niqilis_ fine snow.
_niqileninqe_ snow-white.
_niqetil (d), niqetilde_ snow-cap.
_niqisya, niqista-_ to snow. [pret. _-stine_ or _-stane_.
_nikte-_ to whiten, cleanse. [_niqente_.

As far as I can see the only speculative word is _niqileninqe_ "snow-
white"; the others can be more or less easily explained as containing
the element _niq(i)_ meaning "white".

First of all there is _ninqe_ "white", then _niqis_, presumably _niq(i)
+ is_ "white + snow"; _niqissea_ would be an adjectival derivative
thereof; _niqisya_ and _niqista_ seem to be verbal derivatives thereof
(_niqis + ya/ta_). _nikte-_ seems to be _niq + te_, showing the change
_q_ > _k_ before _t_.

As regards _niqetil(de)_, although it is translated as "snow-cap", I
think it is not a literal translation but rather an English idiom
(though I was not able to find it my dictionary; I found only
'snow-capped'). _tilde_ is translated as "point" and "tip, peak" in
QL resp. PME (QL:92R). I believe _niqetil_ means just "white-peak"
(cf. Tolkien's statement in _Quendi and Eldar_: "_nique_ does not
refer to snow" (WJ:417), thought this may not be relevant, since the
underlying base _nique_ (_niku-_) was reinterpreted).

So except for the dubious _niqilis_ we are left with _niqileninqe_
"snow-white". I think it is safe to say that the segment _ninqe_ is
the same as _ninqe_ "white". If the translation "snow-white" is
(which may not be the case, though) a literal one, then _niqele-_
would be "snow". In that case it might be just "whiteness", sc.
"snow", if _-le_ is an abstract suffix.

This is my view and it may not be the best one. I am eager to see
yours (Carl's), and for that matter any other else's.

[My own view is that _niqi-_ does in fact mean 'snow', as a concrete
noun derived ultimately from, but not sharing precisely the same meaning
as, the primitive root NIQI 'white' with abstract meaning. This view, in
my opinion, more succinctly explains the derivative given, and avoid the
gymnastics required to develop an explanation for such words as
_niqileniqe_ 'snow-white' and _niqetilde_ 'snow-cap' if one assumes that
the reflex _niqi-_ must have the same meaning as the root. Carl]

> **Sure, but words would be easier to locate. I had, for instance,
> problems with _Elwenillo_. And I must note, it was *not* an objection
> or complaint.
>
> [I would myself tend to give the page numbers, so no argument here. But
> I do understand Pat's reason for omitting them from Lexicon references,
> and wouldn't reject a post for not using them in that case. Carl]

**I understand it, too. As I said, it was not any complaint or
objection. I think I should have formulated it otherwise, since my aim
was just to ask for page numbers, since it would ease my searching.
And I certainly did not want to imply that posts without references
should be rejected (I am against rejecting, anyway).

> **You may be right, but since I am not sure I wrote that these words
> might be analyzed thus and thus. I would not say they are clearly
> diminutive and I thought this was your objection about David Salo's
> attitude toward _Elpino_.
>
> [But they _are_ diminutive: I mean, 'darling' (< 'dear-ling' =
> 'little dear') and 'lamb' = 'little sheep' _are_ diminutives. Carl]

**I see: you meant the English words. We misunderstood. However,
I would not call 'lamb' a diminutive, just as I would not call "child"
a diminutive, because it is 'little human'.

Another problem is that it is _eule_ that means "lamb"; _eulitse_
would be then "little lamb" if it was a diminutive.

It must be pointed out that there is a gap is my theory that _eulitse_
is a feminine form: if it is, why its masculine counterpart was not
mentioned? One possible answer may be that _eule_ covers both
"he-lamb" and "lamb in general". Another answer may be that the
entry EWE is not finished or written hastily. Are there any indications
of this in Tolkien's manuscript?

[I'll check this when I get a chance, and let you know. Carl]

> As regards _eulitse_, it is unglossed in QL, so my interpretation was
> necessarily a guess. This may not be your case, of course.
>
> [I followed your lead on that; I know nothing more than what is in QL.
> Carl]

**Ok, though I find it strange that Tolkien did not write anything which
could shed more light on _eulitse_.

Ales Bican

--
Words are useless, especially sentences, they don't stand for anything,
how could they explain how I feel? (Madonna, _Bedtime Story_)
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