ᴹ√SER root. “love, be fond of (of liking, friendship)”
A root in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “love, be fond of (of liking, friendship)” with derivatives like ᴹQ. serme, ᴹQ. sermo, and ᴹQ. seron, all meaning “friend” = feminine, masculine and neuter respectively (Ety/SER). Tolkien also considered given this root the form ᴹ√THER (EtyAC/SER). Tolkien compared ᴹ√SER to ᴹ√SON “love, befriend, cherish” which was “only used of persons” and had derivatives ᴹQ. sonda “dear, fond” and ᴹQ. sondo/N. thond “friend” (the latter implying a root *ᴹ√THON), but the root ᴹ√SON was rejected (EtyAC/SON). Tolkien further compared ᴹ√SER to ᴹ√MEL “love (as friend)” (EtyAC/MEL), which is a much better known basis for “love” and “friend” words in both earlier and later writings. However, Tolkien’s use of S. seron “lover” in the 1968 name S. Seron Aearon “Sea-lover” (PM/348) indicates he did not complete abandon ᴹ√SER.
Neo-Eldarin: I would retain this root for purposes of Neo-Eldarin, but would assume it applies to a less intense form of love and friendship than √MEL, more “like” than “love”.
References ✧ Ety/SER; EtyAC/MEL, SER, SON
ᴹ√SON root. “love, befriend, cherish”
References ✧ EtyAC/MAN, SON