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LAƷ root. “cross, pass over, go beyond”

LAƷ root. “cross, pass over, go beyond”
ᴹ√LAƷ
ᴱ√TARA¹ “*across”

Tolkien considered several similar roots for the Elvish words “neck”, “throat” and “beyond”.

In The Etymologies, the words for “throat” were ᴹQ. lanko and N. lhanc from the root ᴹ√LAK¹ with nasal-infixion (Ety/LAK, Ety/TARAG). The Noldorin form also appeared as an element in the adjective N. tarlanc “stiff-necked, obstinate”. In The Lord of the Rings, it seems that this last word had shifted to S. tarlang, as in the place name Tarlang (LotR/790). The earlier words reappeared as S. lang and Q. lango “neck, passage”, whose roots were either √LAG (PE17/65) or √LAƷA (PE17/91-92).

Tolkien also established the word Q. as the Quenya element meaning “beyond”, most notably in the preposition pella (the Namárië poem, LotR/377), whose literal meaning was “beyond the border”. There is an early hint of this sense in The Etymologies in the root ᴹ√, unglossed but said to be related to the “ablative element” ᴹ√ (EtyAC/LŌ). Other possible precursors are ᴱ√ALA² “spread” and related ᴱ√LAHA or ᴱ√ from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s (QL/29, 32, 50).

In notes from 1965, Tolkien stated that the root of “beyond” was √LAŊ, distinct from the root √LAG of lango (PE17/65). But in notes from 1967, Tolkien briefly considered using the root √ALA/LA for “beyond” (PE17/90), but quickly changed it to √LAƷA “cross, pass over, go beyond” (PE17/91-92), the same as the root of Q. lango “neck” as noted above. This leaves us with two scenarios: that lango “neck” and “beyond” had distinct origins from the roots √LAG and √LAÑ respectively (1965: PE17/65), or that lango “neck” and “beyond” had the same origin in the root √LAƷ “cross, pass over, go beyond” (1967: PE17/91-92).

Neo-Eldarin: For purposes of Neo-Eldarin I prefer the 1967 scenario with the root √LAƷA “cross, pass over, go beyond”, and would assume “neck” is based on the sense “passage”, since it frees up the root √LAG to retain its meaning from The Etymologies: ᴹ√LAG “*cut” (Ety/LAG). For “throat” words, see the discusssion in the entry for ᴹ√LAK¹.

References ✧ PE17/65, 90-92, 146, 158-159

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ᴹ√ root.

See √LAƷ for discussion.

Reference ✧ EtyAC/LŌ

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ᴹ√LAK¹ root. “swallow”

A root in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “swallow” with variant ᴹ√LANK and derivatives ᴹQ. lanko/N. lhanc “throat” (Ety/LAK¹, LANK), the latter an element in N. tarlanc “stiff-necked, obstinate” (Ety/TÁRAG). This last word was changed to S. tarlang in Tolkien’s later writings (PE17/92; RC/536), consistent with an earlier but rejected form ᴹ√LANG for ᴹ√LANK in The Etymologies (Ety/LANK).

In later writings, Q. lango/S. lang meant “neck” rather than “throat”, so it is tempting to retain ᴹ√LAK for “throat” and other swallow-words. But it would be very confusing to have such similar but unrelated words for “neck” and “throat”, so I recommend using the root ᴹ√SLUK for “swallow” instead, and Q. lango, S. lang for both “neck” and “throat”.

References ✧ Ety/LAK¹, LANK, TÁRAG; EtyAC/LAK¹

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