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_Im_, _Gwahaedir_ and _Fornarthan_: in light of the A&C

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  • Didier Willis
    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
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 13, 2004
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      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
      distance").

      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      Further on, A&C, p. 37, lists a previously unpublished stem NARTA,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.

      Didier.

      [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]
    • Patrick H. Wynne
      ... (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_,
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 13, 2004
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        Didier Willis wrote:

        > 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 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
      • hisweloke
        ... My mistake, of course, and RGEO:72 should also have applied, instead, to _haered_, as readers might have corrected by themselves. Thanks for, pointing this
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 13, 2004
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          Patrick H. Wynne wrote:

          > Didier Willis wrote:
          > > [...] 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_, [...]

          My mistake, of course, and RGEO:72 should also have applied, instead,
          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
          carefully.

          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.).

          Didier.

          [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]
        • hisweloke
          ... Further to Patrick s correction to my post, it actually seems the slip in my notes was more serious and that all references got switched in my message as
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 13, 2004
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            I wrote:

            > Previously published in XII:273 (PM), the word _Gwahaedir_
            > was there used as the name of the Palantiri in Sindarin/Noldorin.

            Further to Patrick's correction to my post, it actually seems
            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 :(

            Didier.
          • Pavel Iosad
            Hello, ... Which is not at all surprising, given its outstanding similarity with the Welsh word _glan_ clear, bright (where the vowel, incidentally, is long,
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 14, 2004
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              Hello,

              Dider Willis wrote:

              >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_,

              Which is not at all surprising, given its outstanding
              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 with
              >this hitherto unpublished entry, we could perhaps
              >interpret it more precisely as "white, *(shining as bright
              >light)".

              I agree. It must be pointed out that this association of
              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_.

              Pavel
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