Q. álamë tulya úsahtienna “[and] lead us not into temptation”

Q. álamë tulya úsahtienna “[and] lead us not into temptation”

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The ninth line of Átaremma, Tolkien’s Quenya translation of the Lord’s Prayer. The first word Álamë is a combination of the negative imperative particle ála “not” and the pronoun me “us”. It is followed by the aorist form of the verb tulya “lead” and the allative form úsahtienna “into temptation” of the noun úsahtië “temptation”. Thus, Álamë tulya úsahtienna is more literally “*imperative-not-us lead temptation-into”. In the final version of the phrase, there is no Quenya element representing the English word “and”.

Decomposition: Broken into its constituent elements, this phrase would be:

á-la-më tulya úsahtie-nna = “*do-not-us lead temptation-into”

Conceptual Development: The word ar “and” appears only in version I of the prayer. It was omitted from all later versions for unknown reasons.

The earliest version used a different negative imperative particle úa (I-IIa). Versions IIa-IV also suffixed the pronominal element lye “you (polite)” to the imperative element, as was also the case in line 6 of the prayer. In all early versions of the prayer (I-IV), the object pronoun me appeared after the verb.

The early versions (I-IV) used a different verb mittanya- for “lead”. Tolkien considered several words for “temptation”: terfantië (I deleted) and terpellië (I-IIa), insangarë and sahtië (V deleted), before settling on úsahtië (V-VI). All appear with the allative suffix -nna: “(in)to temptation”.

    I   IIa IIb III IV V VI
{úna >>} úa úalye alalye Álalye Álame
mittanya tulya
{men >>} me  
{terfantie >>} terpellienna insangarenna {sahtienna >>} úsahtienna

References ✧ VT43/8-12



ála “do not” ✧ VT43/22 (alalye); VT43/22 (Álalye); VT43/22
me “us (exclusive)” ✧ VT43/22 (men); VT43/22; VT43/22
tulya- “*to lead” aorist ✧ VT43/22
úsahtië “inducement to do wrong, *temptation” allative ✧ VT43/23 (úsahtienna); VT43/23 (úsahtíenna)
ar “and” ✧ VT43/21
úna² “*it is not” ✧ VT43/21 (úna)
ua- “to not be, to not do” imperative ✧ VT43/21 (úa); VT43/21 (úalye)
terfantië “*temptation” allative ✧ VT43/22 (terfantie)
#terpellië “*temptation” allative ✧ VT43/22 (terpellienna)
mittanya- “*to lead (into)” aorist ✧ VT43/22
#insangarë “*temptation” allative ✧ VT43/22 (insangarenna)
sahtië “pressure or force (to do something against one’s will or conscience)” allative ✧ VT43/22 (sahtienna)

Element In