√LEN root. “*way”
A variant of √LED in notes from the late 1950s or early 1960s that Tolkien considered to explain the derivation of S. lembas “waybread” (PE17/60). The root ᴹ√LEN “(?road), way” also appeared earlier in The Etymologies of the 1930s as the basis for N. lembas (EtyAC/LEN). Tolkien may have settled on this root when he revised the earlier root ᴹ√LED (Ety/LED) “go, fare, travel” >> √DEL¹ “walk, go, proceed, travel” in the 1959-60 Quendi and Eldar essay (WJ/360), deciding that its inversion √LED was used mainly in Quenya (WJ/363).
A possible precursor to this root is ᴹ√LĒ “go, fare” in the Declension of Nouns (DN) from the early 1930s with derivative ᴹQ. lesto “journey” (PE21/12). This is turn is probably a later iteration of ᴱ√LEHE¹ “come, be sent, approach” from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, given as a variant of ᴱ√ELE¹ (QL/52). It is probably the basis for contemporaneous G. len “come, arrived” and G. lentha- “come towards speaker, approach, draw near” (GL/53) and possibly ᴱQ. lehe- or ᴱQ. lehta- “ride” from the English-Qenya Dictionary of the 1920s (PE15/76).
References ✧ PE17/60, 159
ᴹ√LEN root. “(?road), way”
Reference ✧ EtyAC/LEN ✧ “(?road), way”
ᴹ√LĒ root. “go, fare”
Reference ✧ PE21/12 ✧ “go, fare”
Reference ✧ QL/52 ✧ LEHE “come, be sent, approach”
|ᴱ√ELE > LEHE||[lexxe-] > [lehe-]||✧ QL/52|