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GAL² root. “grow (like plants), flourish, be healthy, be vigorous, bloom”

GAL² root. “grow (like plants), flourish, be healthy, be vigorous, bloom, [ᴹ√] thrive”

A root meaning “grow, flourish” used in both Quenya and Sindarin, though in Quenya it was influenced by other roots such as √AL(A) “good, blessed”. Its precursors in the earliest versions of Tolkien’s languages seem to be ᴱ√ALA² “spread” (QL/29) and a Gnomish-only root ᴱ√cala [kala], unglossed but with derivatives like G. calw “green shoot, sapling, sprout” and G. caltha- “wax, grow, flourish” (GL/25).

The root ᴹ√GALA first appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s with various glosses, the last being “thrive” (Ety/GALA). The relevant entries went through considerable revision. For example, the meaning of this root was first given as “grow”, but this meaning was rejected and Tolkien said the verb for “grow” was ol- (EtyAC/GAL(AS)). This new verb seems to be based on a variant root *ᴹ√GOL, as indicated by ᴹQ. ola- “grow” < ᴹ✶golā- “grow” appearing in the Quenya Verbal System of the 1940s as a replacement for ᴹQ. ala- < ᴹ✶galā- (PE22/113, note #80), though the new root might also have been ᴹ√OL “grow” as indicated earlier in the same document (PE22/103). Since ᴹ√GALA was retained in The Etymologies, most likely the meaning of this root was changed from “grow” to “thrive” in the 1930s and 40s.

It seems *ᴹ√GOL “grow” or ᴹ√OL “grow” of the 1940s > √OL “become” by the early 1950s (PE22/113, 103, 134); see the entry on √OL for discussion. Meanwhile, the sense “grow” was restored to √GAL by the 1950s and 60s (Let/426; PE17/153; PE22/160). In this restored meaning, √GAL served as the basis for the Elvish verbs for “grow” such as S. gala- and Q. ala-¹ (PE17/131-132), though this verb may have been more limited in sense to the growth or growing of plants (PE17/100, 153).

References ✧ Let/426; PE17/25, 59, 135, 146, 153, 169; PE22/133, 153, 160

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ᴹ√GAL² root. “grow, thrive”

See √GAL¹ for discussion.

References ✧ Ety/ÁLAM, GALA; EtyAC/GAL², GAL(AS); PE22/98, 113

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ᴱ√ALA² root. “spread‽”

A root in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s glossed “spread”, though Tolkien marked the gloss with a question mark (QL/29). Its most notable derivative was ᴱQ. alda “tree”, and the Gnomish cognates of this word likewise began with a. In later writings, Tolkien gave a new etymology for this Quenya word from the root ᴹ√GALAD with Sindarin/Noldorin cognate galadh (Ety/GALAD; Let/426). The basic sense of the early root ᴱ√ALA² “spread” may have evolved into the later root √GAL² “grow, flourish”.

References ✧ LT1A/Aldaron; QL/29, 32

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ᴱ√KALA² root. “*grow”

See √GAL² for discussion.

References ✧ GL/25-26

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