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KHEN root. “base of eye-words”

KHEN root. “base of eye-words; ⚠️[ᴹ√] look at, see, observe, direct gaze”

This root first appeared as ᴹ√KHEN “look at, see, observe, direct gaze” with an extended form ᴹ√KHEN-D-E “eye” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, with derivatives ᴹQ. hen (hend-) and N. hên “eye” (Ety/KHEN-D-E, EtyAC/KHEN). The derived forms were even older, however, since ᴱQ. hen “eye” appeared in The Qenya Phonology of the 1910s, but there it was a derivative of ᴱ√þeχe > þχe-ndǝ > hen (PE12/21). Indeed, the majority of the derivatives of this early root show s- in Qenya, and the root was given as ᴱ√SEHE or ᴱ√SE’E in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/82). Contemporaneous forms in the Gnomish Lexicon such as G. thê- “see” and G. thest “sight” (GL/72) indicate the actual root remained ᴱ√ÞEHE [þeχe].

The word G. hen “eye” also appeared in the Gnomish Lexicon (GL/48), probably with an origin similar to ᴱQ. hen, and these two words reappeared in Early Noldorin word lists from the 1920s, but as a derivative of ✶ske-ndá (PE13/147). Thus it seems the initial combination evolved from the 1910s þχ- >> 1920s sk- >> 1930s kh-. In the 1930s, the base root ᴹ√KHEN meant “see”, but Tolkien established a distinct root √KEN “see” by the 1940s (PE22/103), and in notes from 1955 Tolkien described √KHEN as “base of eye­words” without mentioning sight (PE17/187).

References ✧ PE17/157, 187

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ᴹ√KHEN(DE) root. “eye; look at, see, observe, direct gaze”

See √KHEN for discussion.

References ✧ Ety/KHEN-D-E; EtyAC/KHEN

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ᴱ√ÞEHE root. “*see”

See √KHEN for discussion.

References ✧ PE12/21; QL/82

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