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Some thoughts on _moelui_

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  • Philipp Marquart
    In _The Etymologies_ we see under stem MIL-IK- some rather strange words which were apparently altered. When the Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 23, 2006
      In _The Etymologies_ we see under stem MIL-IK- some rather strange
      words which were apparently altered. When the "Addenda and Corrigenda
      to the Etymologies" was published (VT45,46) we were informed in this
      particular case that "N _moeleg_ appears to have first been written as
      _maelig_ (>> _maeleg_) and _moelui_ as _maelai_" (VT45:34). It further
      appears theat the given form _maelui_ in the _Etymologies_ in V should
      also have been noted as corrected to _moelui_ as Tolkien's final form
      (see the facsimile of folio 93 in VT45:31).

      [Actually, we deliberately didn't note that in _VT_ because Christopher
      Tolkien had already noted in that entry in V that all the original
      _ae_s in the Noldorin forms he cited in the entry were subsequently
      changed by Tolkien to _oe_, thus indicating implicitly all the forms
      _Moeleg_, _moel_, _moelui_. CFH]

      Nonetheless, I asked myself how we are to treat the diphtong –oe-. It
      seemed to be derived here in the case of MIL-IK- directly from
      primitive _mil_, turning *_-i_, _ai_ > _oe_ in correlation to attested
      primitive (a-infixed) *_Mailikô_ (V:373). I have collected a list of
      forms that will, hopefully, shed some light on that matter, with
      possible primitive forms noted (the circumflex is used for the macron).
      Comments follow after the list.

      N _aew_ < PE *_aiwê_ (AIWÊ-)
      N _oear, oer_ < PE *_áyar, air_ (ÁYAR-, AIR-)
      N _oeg, oegas_ < PE *_ayakâ, ayakassâ_ (AYAKAS-)
      N _gaer, goer_ < PE *_gay-râ_ (GAY-)
      N _gae_, _goe_* < PE *_gáyas_ (GÁYAS-) (VT45:14)
      N _glaer_ < PE *_glir_ (GLIR-) (VT45:15)
      N _haew_ < PE _khaimê_ (KHIM-) (VT45:22)
      N _Moeleg, mael (?moel), moelui_ < PE *_mil, milik_ (MIL-IK-)
      N _maew_ < PE *_miwê_ (MIW-)
      N _foen_ < PE *_phay-an_ (PHAY-)
      N _feir_ < PE *_phirê (PHIR-)
      N _peich_ < PE *_pisyâ_ (PIS-)
      N _gwein_ < PE *_winyâ_ (WIN-)

      The forms showing a development to _oe_ are _oear_, _oer_, _oeg_,
      _oegas_, _goer_, _goe_ and _foen_, which are all derived from primitive
      _áya_, _ay-(?a)_. Interestingly, for those in GÁYAS- and GAY- there are
      both –oe- and –ae- given; maybe –áya- can become both _ae_ or _oe_. We
      further see that medial (a-infixed) –(a)i- can become –ae- (such in
      _glaer_, _haew_, _maew_) or –ei- (such in _feir_, _peich_ or _gwein_ ).
      Because of this _moelui_ would be the only example showing –oe- while
      being defenitely derived from medial (a-infixed) –(a)i-. As Carl
      Hostetter pointed out in private correspondence, we have to look at the
      entry MIL-IK- as one in which an older layer was overwritten with later
      ideas (Looking at folio 93 I assume that Tolkien only corrected _ae_ to
      _oe_ in ink, leaving the rest in pencil. [Correct. CFH]) I think
      Tolkien toyed there with another possibility of how to explain the
      evolution of medial (a-infixed) _(a)i_. I want also to note that one
      above mentioned example shows parallels to _moelui_ in stem type and
      appearance: _oer_ derived from primitive _air_, though I have to add
      that this is not a-infixed. Yet, maybe Tolkien never saw this variation
      of _oe_ and _ae_ as strict and rigid.

      Many Sindarin students feel the need to "update" _–oe-_ to _–ae-_
      because Tolkien mentioned later forms like _Aelin-Uial_, e. g. Helge K.
      Fauskanger in his article on Sindarin: "_ael_ "pool, mere", pl. _aelin_
      (updated from "Noldorin" _oel_ pl. _oelin_, LR:349 s.v. AY; we have
      _Aelin-Uial_ for "Meres of Twilight" in _The Silmarillion_). While we
      learn in the _Etymologies_ that _ae_ and _oe_ are both possible in
      Noldorin there are actually in Sindarin examples of this variation too:
      consider _goe_ "fear" in XII:363 and compare it with Stem GÁYAS- "fear"
      (VT45:14) whence N _goe_/_gae_. It's very unlikely that Noldorin _oe_
      is "outdated" as many "Sindarin enthusiasts" claim.

      * In VT45:14 it reads "[after:]N _gae_ [add:] _goe_, _gae_"; Did
      Tolkien really mention _gae_ twice?

      [Yes. The further "_goe_, _gae_" is seperated on the line by
      considerable space from both preceding "N. _gae_" and following
      "*_gaisrâ_". I will also note here thate entire entry in question is in
      ink overwriting an original pencil version, which follows very closely,
      but the second ", _gae_" (that is, isncluding its preceding comma) was
      not overwritten in ink, but remains in pencil. CFH]

      Philipp Marquart

      P.S.: I want to thank Carl Hostetter for his kind advice, which much
      improved my original (too narrow-minded) post.
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