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WEG root. “live, be active”

WEG root. “live, be active; [ᴹ√] (manly) vigour”

This root was connected to vigour and masculinity for much of Tolkien’s life. The earliest iteration of this root seems to be primitive ᴱ√gu̯eg- from the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s that served as the basis for various words such as G. gweg “man”, G. gwectha- “impregnate; generate”, and G. gwionert “deed of valour” (GL/44). Tolkien mentioned a few Qenya cognates like ᴱQ. wie and ᴱQ. wenga, but they were unglossed (GL/44). In the Gnomish Lexicon Slips Tolkien gave {ᴱ√we >>} ᴱ√waik as the primitive form beside {ᴱ✶u̯ē+kĕ >> ᴱ✶u̯ĕ+kĕ >>} ᴱ✶u̯ǝkḗ (PE13/117).

In the Early Noldorin Dictionary of the 1920s Tolkien gave ᴱ✶wikā > ᴱN. gweg “man” vs. ᴱQ. vika “valiant”; the Qenya form indicates this 1920s primitive was not specifically masculine, and it also had a primitive feminine variant ᴱ✶wiktā (PE13/162). It was nonetheless related to other words likes ᴱ✶wiqē > ᴱN. gwib “teors”, which is Old English = “penis” (PE13/162). Some similar forms like ᴱQ. via “male” and ᴱQ. vie “teors” appeared in Early Qenya Word-list of the 1920s as well (PE16/135). These 1920s forms seem to be based on primitive *ᴱ√WI instead of ᴱ√(g)weg.

In the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s Tolkien gave primitive weʒ- as the basis for N. gwe, ᴹQ. † “man, warrior” and the masculine suffix ᴹQ. -we common in names (PE21/1). In The Etymologies of the 1930s this masculine suffix was derived from ᴹ√WEG “(manly) vigour” along with other derivatives like ᴹQ. vea “adult, manly, vigorous”, ᴹQ. vie “manhood, vigour” and N. gweith “manhood; man-power, troop of able bodied men, host, regiment” (Ety/WEG; EtyAC/WEG).

In some notes from the late 1950s Tolkien again gave the suffix Q. -wë as masculine and derived it from √WEG or √WEƷ, but then changed his mind and decided it was derived from √ or √WEƷ “person” (PE17/189-190), an idea he seems to have stuck with thereafter; see the entry on √WĒ/EWE for further discussion. In Quenya Notes (QN) from 1957 Tolkien gave {√WEK >>} √WEG as distinct from √, giving it the gloss “live, be active” where it served as the basis for words like Q. vëo/S. gwê “living creature” and Q. vehtë “life”, though he clarified that this last word was “not Life in general or as a principle, but (a period of) individual activity, as in vehtequentalë ‘biography’ (PE17/189)”.

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I think it best to assume this root had to do with vigour and activeness, characteristics that were generally (but not absolutely) attributed as masculine. This allows us to retain the largest array of derivatives of this root from various periods. I also think it is best to assume it remains distinct from √WĒ/EWE “person”, though the two roots may originally have been related.

References ✧ PE17/189-190

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ᴹ√WEG root. “(manly) vigour”

See √WEG for discussion.

References ✧ Ety/BORÓN, ƷEL, ING, MAN, PHI, PHIN, PHOR, WEG

Glosses

Derivatives


ᴱ√WAIK root. “*man, male”

See √WEG for discussion.

References ✧ PE13/117

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Changes

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Derivatives


?ᴱ√WI² root.

See √WEG for discussion.

Derivatives