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NAK root. “bite”

NAK root. “bite”

This root was the basis for Elvish words for “bite” from all of Tolkien’s life. It first appeared as ᴱ√NAKA “bite” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. naka- “bite” and ᴱQ. naksa “sour” (QL/64). In the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon it had derivatives like G. nactha- “bite” and G. naith “tooth” (GL/59). The root reappeared as ᴹ√NAK “bite” in The Etymologies of the 1930s along with augmented variant ᴹ√ÁNAK and derivatives like ᴹQ. anka/N. anc “jaw, row of teeth” (Ety/ÁNAK, NAK); in this same document Tolkien considered the possibility that the roots ᴹ√NAYAK “pain” and ᴹ√NDAK “slay” might be related to ᴹ√NAK, though he did not commit to either idea (Ety/NÁYAK; EtyAC/NDAK).

One interesting derivative of this root from the 1930s was N. naeth “biting, gnashing of teeth” from which N. nírnaeth “lamentation = *tear[ful]-gnashing” was derived, serving as an element in N. Nírnaeth Arnediad “[Battle of] Unnumbered Tears” (Ety/NAY; LR/310), replacing earlier Nirnaith of unclear etymology. In later writings Tolkien said S. naeth simply meant “woe” in the name S. Sigil Elu-naeth “Necklace of the Woe of Thingol” (WJ/258), but this may just be a generalization of its 1930s meaning “gnashing of teeth”. As for the root √NAK “bite”, it reappeared in the second version of Tengwesta Qenderinwa (TQ2), serving again as example of an abnormal vocalization leading to the derivative ✶ankā “jaws” (PE18/87).

References ✧ PE18/85, 87

Glosses

Derivatives


ᴹ√NAK root. “bite”

See √NAK for discussion.

References ✧ Ety/ÁLAK, ÁNAK, NAK, NÁYAK; EtyAC/NAK, NDAK

Glosses

Variations

Related

Inflections

ÁNAK augmentation ✧ Ety/ÁNAK; Ety/NAK

Derivatives


ᴱ√NAKA root. “bite”

See √NAK for discussion.

Reference ✧ QL/64 ✧ “bite”

Derivatives