Q. imbë² n. “deep valley, wide ravine, (lit.) tween-land” (Category: Dale, Valley)
A Quenya noun that is more or less the equivalent of S. imlad for a deep (and relatively narrow) valley or a wider-than-normal ravine.
Conceptual Development: ᴹQ. imbe “dell, deep vale” appeared in the Qenya Lexicon as a derivative of ᴹ√IMBE, which was also the basis for N. imm and N. imlad of the same meaning (EtyAC/IMBE). The form imbe “dell” appeared as a (deleted) name for a tengwar in notes on the Feanorian Alphabet from the early to mid 1940s (PE22/52). The word imbe “ravine, glen” appeared in rough (and ultimately rejected) notes on irregular verbs from the Quenya Verbal System of the late 1940s, where Tolkien contrasted it with ᴹQ. tumbo used of wide valleys, indicating imbe meant the valley was narrow (PE22/127). In this note Tolkien again connected imbe to N. im(b)lad as in N. Imladris, and gave the fuller Quenya form ᴹQ. latimbe its actual equivalent.
However in notes from the late 1960s on Galadriel and Celeborn, Tolkien gave Q. imbilat as the equivalent of S. imlad, and mentions primitive ✶imbē as an ancient word for a “cleft of great length in mountains between very high stone walls”, a variant of ✶imbi “between” (NM/355). This contradicts an earlier etymology given by Tolkien for imbe around 1965, where Tolkien said:
imbĕ < imbĭ [between] is a strengthened form of √IMI “in, within” giving the preposition mī > mi “in” ... The noun imbe (< imbē) is also probably a derivative, or felt to be: meaning a deep valley or wide ravine between high mountain sides (as Rivendell): sc. = “tween-land”. It is possibly from a similar but different stem √IBI, and to be compared with S îf (< *īb-), a cliff, a sheer descent (PE17/92).
Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would use imbe as the normal word for “deep valley”, and assume the more elaborate forms latimbe and imbilat exist only as hypothetical counterparts to S. imlad and were not used as actual words. I would also assume imbe is either a narrow valley or a wide ravine, as opposed to Q. tumbo which was a deep valley and Q. nan(do) for a wide valley. I would further assume it was derived from √MI/IMI as in the late 1960s notes on Galadriel and Celeborn, and assume the 1965 derivation from √IBI was a transient idea.
Reference ✧ PE17/92 ✧ imbe “deep valley, wide ravine, (lit.) tween-land”
|✶imbē > imbe||[imbē] > [imbe]||✧ PE17/92|
References ✧ EtyAC/IMBE; PE22/52, 127
|ᴹ√IMBE > imbe||[imbe]||✧ EtyAC/IMBE|
References ✧ PE14/107; QL/96
|ᴱ√Ū¹ > umbe||[umbē] > [umbe]||✧ QL/96|