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_Mornvenniath_ and _Mornvegil_

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  • Patrick H. Wynne
    Another interesting datum pertaining to lenition or lack thereof after S./N. _morn_ in compounds occurs in Tolkien s early Noldorin Word-list , published in
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2005
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      Another interesting datum pertaining to lenition or
      lack thereof after S./N. _morn_ in compounds occurs
      in Tolkien's early "Noldorin Word-list", published in
      _Parma Eldalamberon_ #13. Under the entry for
      _magli_ 'a bear' (lit. 'honey-eater') we find _Gormagli_
      'Great Bear', a name given to Túrin by the Gnomes of
      Nargothrond, who also called him _Mornvegil_ 'Black
      Sword', = Q. _Mormakil_ (PE13:149). This same word-
      list also gives N. _morn_ 'black, dark' (pl. _myrn_) and
      N. _megil_ 'sword' (pl. _megiliath_) (p. 150).

      The change of _megil_ > _-vegil_ in _Mornvegil_ is
      particularly interesting given that the closely
      contemporary Early Noldorin Grammar (also given in
      Parma 13) states that N, M, L, R, S were _not_ affected
      by mutation! Perhaps _Mornvegil_ in the early word-
      list represents a dissimilative change of M > V for
      easier pronunciation, rather than actual lenition or
      mutation? The name _Gormagli_ (rather than **_Gor-
      vagli_) in the same entry as _Mornvegil_ might argue
      in favor of this point of view (the Qenya form is given
      as _Oromatsile_, with Q. _ile_ 'honey').

      What we really need in order to clarify what is going
      on in N. _Mornvenniath_ vs. later S. _Mormegil_ etc.
      is an analysis of attested _Noldorin_ mutations as
      evidenced in the _Etymologies_ and closely contemporary
      texts. So far as I know, no such study has been done --
      the existing writings on mutation lump Noldorin and
      Sindarin together, with predictably contradictory
      results. Perhaps a member of this list will feel inspired
      to compile and publish a study based on Noldorin alone.

      -- Patrick H. Wynne
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