√MEN root. “go, move, proceed (in any direction); make for, go towards; have as object, (in)tend; direction, object, point moved toward; region”
This root first appeared as unglossed ᴹ√MEN in The Etymologies of the 1930s, but seemed to be stationary in nature given its derivatives ᴹQ. men “place, spot” and ᴹQ. ména “region” (Ety/MEN). It was an element in direction words like ᴹQ. formen/N. forven, apparently meaning “*north place” at this conceptual stage. In the Quenya Verbal System of the 1940s, Tolkien first gave the root the gloss “aim at, intend, purpose” with the more specific sense “make for, proceed towards” when used with the allative, but then crossed this out and simply made the gloss “go, proceed” (PE22/103 and note #21). In Common Eldarin: Noun Structure of the early 1950s, Tolkien first gave √MEN the gloss as “place, situation, site”, then revised it to “direction, object, point moved toward” (PE21/79 and note #39).
Thereafter Tolkien mostly gave this root the basic sense “go” (PE17/93, 143, 165; VT39/11; VT42/32). Tolkien gave a somewhat lengthy description of the root in Definitive Linguistic Notes (DLN) from 1959:
√MEN go, move, proceed in any direction (irrespective of speaker’s position, or assumed point of thought). mēn- a way, a going, a mov[ement] (PE17/165).
Thus in the 1950s and 1960s, Q. formen likely meant “*north way” rather than “*north place”. However, in a footnote in The Road Goes Ever On, Tolkien did say that men had the meaning “direction, region” as part of an explanation of √MENEL “heavens” = men + el (“region of stars”), so it seems Tolkien did not entirely abandon the use of this element as a name for places.
For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I sometimes see √MEN use for movement in general (as in motion picture) rather than movement in a direction. I personally recommend using ᴱQ. lev- “(intr.) move” from Qenya Wordlists of the 1920s for that purpose (PE16/132) since I think it is important to distinguish “move” from “go”, but if you prefer to use only later words you might be more comfortable expanding the semantic scope of √MEN to movement in general.
References ✧ PE17/93, 143, 165; PE21/79; RGEO/64; VT39/11; VT41/6; VT42/32; VT43/15; VT49/23
ᴹ√MEN root. “go, proceed”
References ✧ Ety/MEN, NDŪ, PHOR, RŌ; PE22/103