Q. shortened final syllables grammar.
With rare exceptions, Quenya does not allow long vowels in final syllables. Such long vowels in final syllables were shortened in the history of Quenya’s phonetic development. It seems this remains an active phonetic rule in Quenya, applying to new compounds as well. Probably the best example of this is the Quenya word már “home”, which reduced to -mar at the end of compounds, as noted by Tolkien (PE17/106): Valimar, Eldamar, etc. This is not the only example of this phenomenon, though: nén “water” is shortened in the compound Cuiviénen for example.
Furthermore, there are number of examples where a short final vowel is dropped in longer compounds to produce a shorter version of a word. Compare long Valinórë “Valar-land” vs. shortened Valinor, and long Moriquendë “Dark-elf” vs. shortened Moriquen. After such shortenings, long vowels and consonant clusters are also shortened in the new final syllable, as in these two examples. This likewise was the result of ancient sound changes, but probably remained an active rule in “modern” Quenya. For example, the name Eldacar “Elf-helm” = Elda + cára (or carma) is the result of such a shortening, but it cannot have been an ancient reduction, because then the form would be Eldacas, since the word “helm” was derived from root √KAS (PE17/114).
Elvish personal names are usually a compound of two elements and these “shortenings” were probably common if the resulting Quenya name was considered “too long”. There are very few Quenya names with more than four syllables.
Conceptual Development: Tolkien discussed compound formation in some detail in documents from the 1920s and early 1930s (PE14/45, 75; PE21/32). These earlier systems are similar to the one described above, except that in this earlier stage Quenya was prone to reducing the final syllable of the first element as well as the second element. It is hard to say which of these earlier rules remain relevant to Tolkien’s later conception of the languages. In particular, these earlier rules involve some vowel changes not seen in Late Quenya phonology.
There are some signs of the reduction of medial elements in “long” compounds in Late Quenya, such as: ✶tār(a)-ninqui-tilte > Taniquetil (PE17/186). There are not enough examples to establish any general rules, however.
Reference ✧ PE17/106 ✧ for example: Valimar, Eldamar, Ingwemar
ᴹQ. shortened final syllables grammar.
References ✧ PE21/32
ᴱQ. shortened final syllables grammar.
References ✧ PE14/45, 75