Q. yassen tintilar i eleni² “in which twinkle the stars”

Q. yassen tintilar i eleni², “in which twinkle the stars”

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The 6th phrase of the prose Namárië, essentially unaltered from its poetic form:

yassen tintilar i eleni (“in which twinkle the stars”)

It seems that Tolkien left this phrase in the “poetic” word order despite its inclusion in the “prose” version of the poem. In normal Quenya word order, the subject precedes the verb:

yassen tintilar i eleni »»» *yassen i eleni tintilar (“in which the stars twinkle”)

This (hypothetical) word order is consistent with the English translation of the poetic version: “wherein the stars tremble”.

Alternately, this example may indicate that even in ordinary Quenya speech, the subject could be displayed to after the verb in a subordinate clause. It seems unlikely this was a universal rule, since there are attested examples where this did not happen:

Reference ✧ RGEO/58 ✧ yassen tintilar i eleni “which-in (pl.) twinkle the stars”


ya “which, that (relative pronoun)” locative plural ✧ RGEO/58 (yassen)
tintila- “to twinkle, sparkle, glitter, give tremulous light, †tremble” plural ✧ RGEO/59 (tintilar)
“the” ✧ RGEO/59
elen “star” plural ✧ RGEO/59 (eleni)

Element In

ᴹQ. elli yas atintilar “*wherein the stars tremble”

Reference ✧ VT28/11



elen “star” plural ✧ VT28/11 (elli)
#ya “relative pronoun” s-case ✧ VT28/11 (yas)
#tintila- “*to sparkle” aorist plural ✧ VT28/11 (atintilar)

ᴹQ. yassen elli atintillinar “*wherein the stars tremble”

Reference ✧ VT28/11


#ya “relative pronoun” locative plural ✧ VT28/11 (yassen)
elen “star” plural ✧ VT28/11 (elli)
#tintila- “*to sparkle” aorist plural ✧ VT28/11 (atintillinar)

ᴹQ. yasse tintilar i eleni “*wherein the stars tremble”

Reference ✧ VT28/11 ✧ yasse tintilar i{n} eleni


#ya “relative pronoun” locative ✧ VT28/11 (yasse)
#tintila- “*to sparkle” aorist plural ✧ VT28/11 (tintilar)
“the” ✧ VT28/11 (i{n})
elen “star” plural ✧ VT28/11 (eleni)