_Im_, _Gwahaedir_ and _Fornarthan_: in light of the A&C
- Thanks to the publication of the "Addenda and Corrigenda to the
_Etymologies_" (VT #45), some later words from Tolkien's manuscript
can now find a correct interpretation. _Gwahaedir_ "Palantir", _Fornarthan_
"North-beacon" and _im_ "vale" are among these.
A&C, p. 21, lists "N. _hae (hoe), haen, gwahae_" under the stem
KHAYA, along with an interesting note nuancing the meaning of this
stem (with regard to Q. _palan_, "distant and remote" vs. "far in
Previously published in XII:273 (PM), the word _Gwahaedir_ was there
used as the name of the Palantiri in Sindarin/Noldorin. It may now
find a complete interpretation: "remote-seing" stone. It seems worth
mentioning that several people had already deduced the word _hae_,
by comparison with _haered_ (LotR Book II Ch. I) and _haeron_ (RGEO:72).
For instance, refer to the article "Compound Sindarin Names in ME" on
the _I Lam Arth_ website, or to the gloss for that entry in my own
Sindarin dictionary project). As it seems, however, these interpretations
generally failed to interpert _gwahae_ as a unitary word and suggested
it could be a compound including the prefix _gwa-_ and henceforth meaning
"all-seeing stone" (or something to that extent). We now have the
complete and accurate interpretation, to be linked, as noted by the
editors of the A&C, with the cognate intensive form in Q., _vahâya_.
Further on, A&C, p. 37, lists a previously unpublished stem NARTA,
with _nartho_ "to kindle" as S. derivative.
It may be linked to _Fornarthan_, a word published VT #42, p. 30,
where _narthan_ is transparently intended to be a "beacon",
a signal of fire. According to the Webster's 1913, the English
word "beacon" is in origin a "signal", but not necessarily of
fire, so it would not have been easy to fully analyze the
S. word without this new imput from the A&C.
This relation is also interesting as it adds another word to a
small list of nouns ending in -an and derived from a verb: of
course the well known _leithio, leithian_, but also and more
interestingly _neithan_ "the deprived" (UT:456) - For the latter,
people had suggested that *_neitha-_ could be a verb meaning
"to deprive". To my knowledge, this small class of nouns has
seldom been studied.
Finally, A&C, p. 18, also lists "N. _im(b), imm_" as a "dell" or
"deep vale". Later words such as _imloth_, _imlad_ (both attested
in LotR) and _imrath_ (UT:465) now all find a satisfying
explanation, that fits well with their actual meanings as we
know them from.
For the record, it is worth mentioning again that people had
often failed to interpret these three words correctly, assuming
that the first element might have been related to Q. _imbe_
"between", and then trying to interpret them differently (such as
_imlad_ as "a watercourse between (hills or mountains)", hence "a
valley", etc.). From the A&C, we now learn that there are actually
two similar stems (even leading to homonyms in Q.), but that
they are wholly distinct.
The _Etymologies_, as presented in HoME V, allowed us to interpret
many words and were immediately regarded as a major document at
their publication. There is no doubt that they haven't finished
to astonish us and that the A&C will reveal other "pearls" as the
ones mentioned above - For the greatest pleasure of people studying
Tolkien's invented languages.
[I'd like to take this opportunity to say that my intention is to publish
the second part of the A&C this month, if profession and events finally
decide to conspire to give me the necessary free weekends to complete
the layout and proofing and get everything to the printers soon. CFH]
- Didier Willis wrote:
> Previously published in XII:273 (PM), the word _Gwahaedir_ was there(RGEO:72).
> used as the name of the Palantiri in Sindarin/Noldorin. It may now
> find a complete interpretation: "remote-seing" stone. It seems worth
> mentioning that several people had already deduced the word _hae_,
> by comparison with _haered_ (LotR Book II Ch. I) and _haeron_
For the sake of accuracy, note that the page reference given here
for _haeron_ is in error; the word actually occurs in XII:273 in _Dor
Haeron_, a name for the region (in what would become Rohan) between
the Entwash and the Isen. According to Christopher Tolkien, this is
the only known occurrence of the name.
-- Patrick H. Wynne
- Patrick H. Wynne wrote:
> Didier Willis wrote:My mistake, of course, and RGEO:72 should also have applied, instead,
> > [...] by comparison with _haered_ (LotR Book II Ch. I) and _haeron_
> > (RGEO:72).
> For the sake of accuracy, note that the page reference given here
> for _haeron_ is in error; the word actually occurs in XII:273 in _Dor
> Haeron_, [...]
to _haered_, as readers might have corrected by themselves. Thanks for,
pointing this error. I should also have noted that the association of
this word with _hae_ or _haered_ is, of course, a guess, for a region
made less accessible because of a river boundary and probably
regarded as distant from Gondor, with respect to the closer part
of Calenardhon. But it's not unusual for Elvish words to look alike
in surface, as actually illustrated for _im_ "vale" in my message,
so I should have been more cautious and noted that fact more
In addition to my list, I could also have mentioned another
interesting item from the A&C, on p. 13, regarding another
entry of interest but not published in HoME V.
Under the stem GALÁN "bright", we find N. _glan_ "clear" (first
glossed as "daylight").
This could perhaps be linked to _Curunír 'Lân_, an Elvish
(sur)name for Saruman the White (UT:390). People had long
deduced that _'lân_ could be a mutated adjective *_glân_,
related to other derivatives of GAL/ÑAL -- but along with
this hitherto unpublished entry, we could perhaps interpret
it more precisely as "white, *(shining as bright light)".
For the sake of completeness, note that this deduced word
has an homonym, _glân_ "hem, border" (VT 42 p.8), also
_glann, _gland_ "boundary", _glan-_ (ibid.).
[The proposal that _'lân_ in _Curunír 'Lân_ 'Saruman the
White' == N _glan_ 'clear' (<< 'daylight') in the A&C seems
likely, especially in light of the fact that most of the words
meaning 'white' in the IE languages come from the original
notion of 'bright' -- e.g., Greek _leukós_ 'white' is cognate
with Latin _lucere_ 'to shine', _lux_ 'light'. -- PHW]
- I wrote:
> Previously published in XII:273 (PM), the word _Gwahaedir_Further to Patrick's correction to my post, it actually seems
> was there used as the name of the Palantiri in Sindarin/Noldorin.
the slip in my notes was more serious and that all references
got switched in my message as submitted. The above should read
"Previously published in XII:186 (PM)..."
Sorry for the inconvenience :(
Dider Willis wrote:
>Under the stem GALÁN "bright", we find N. _glan_ "clear"Which is not at all surprising, given its outstanding
>(first glossed as "daylight").
>This could perhaps be linked to _Curunír 'Lân_, an
>Elvish (sur)name for Saruman the White (UT:390). People
>had long deduced that _'lân_ could be a mutated adjective *_glân_,
similarity with the Welsh word _glan_ 'clear, bright'
(where the vowel, incidentally, is long, which is
concealed by Welsh orthographic convention).
>related to other derivatives of GAL/ÑAL -- but along withI agree. It must be pointed out that this association of
>this hitherto unpublished entry, we could perhaps
>interpret it more precisely as "white, *(shining as bright
these senses with this form must have followed Tolkien
from very early on: cf. PE11:39, which has _glan_ 'clean,
pure' (originally 'bright') and PE13:144, where we find
_glann_ 'clean'; pl. _glainn_.