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S. Feir n. “Mortal” (Category: Human Being)

S. Feir, n. “Mortal, [N.] mortal man” (Category: Human Being)

A term used for Men meaning “Mortal”, appearing in the Quendi and Eldar essay of 1959-60, cognate to Q. Firya of the same meaning, both derived from √PHIR which was the basis of words for natural death (WJ/387). According to Tolkien this word was borrowed from Quenya, since the Noldor had pre-knowledge of the nature of Men having learned of them from the Valar. The plural form of Feir was Fîr and its class plural Firiath, the latter also appearing in contemporaneous Silmarillion drafts (WJ/219 footnote). It is unclear why this word did not become *Fair, since ei became ai in Sindarin monosyllables. Perhaps it remained Feir because it was an adaptation from Quenya, or it could be a conceptual remnant of its Noldorin form (see below).

Conceptual Development: Probably the first precursor to this word was ᴱN. fion “man, human being” from Index of Names for The Lay of the Children of Húrin compiled in the early 1920s (PE15/62), also appearing with the gloss “mortal man” in Early Noldorin Word-lists of the same period (PE13/143). In The Etymologies of the 1930s Tolkien gaven N. {fîr “man, mortal” >>} feir pl. fîr “mortals” under the root ᴹ√PHIR “die of natural causes” (Ety/PHIR; EtyAC/PHIR), hence with basically the same form, meaning and etymology as it had in later Sindarin.

References ✧ WJ/219, 387; WJI

Glosses

Variations

Inflections

Firiath class-plural “Mortals” ✧ WJ/219; WJI/Feir
Firiath class-plural   ✧ WJ/387
Fîr plural   ✧ WJ/387
Fîr plural “Mortals” ✧ WJI/Feir

Element In

Cognates

Derivations

Phonetic Developments

Q. Firya > Feir [firja] > [ferja] > [feria] > [feri] > [feir] ✧ WJ/387
Q. Firya > Fîr [firji] > [firi] > [fir] ✧ WJ/387

N. feir¹ n. “mortal man, mortal” (Category: Human Being)

See S. Feir for discussion.

References ✧ Ety/KHIL, PHIR; EtyAC/PHIR

Glosses

Variations

Changes

Inflections

firiath class-plural   ✧ EtyAC/PHIR
fîr plural “mortal men” ✧ Ety/KHIL
fîr plural “mortals” ✧ Ety/PHIR

Element In

Cognates

Derivations

Phonetic Developments

ᴹ√PHIR > feir [pʰirja] > [ɸirja] > [ɸerja] > [ferja] > [feria] > [feri] > [feir] ✧ Ety/PHIR
ᴹ√PHIR > fîr [pʰirji] > [ɸirji] > [firji] > [firī] > [fir] > [fīr] ✧ Ety/PHIR

ᴱN. fion n. “mortal man” (Category: Human Being)

See S. Feir for discussion.

References ✧ PE13/143; PE15/62

Glosses

Variations

Inflections

fionwaith class-plural   ✧ PE13/143: collective
fionin plural “men” ✧ PE15/62
fionnir plural   ✧ PE13/143

Element In