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Q. nev- v. (basic-verb) “to try” (Category: to Try)

Q. nev-, v. (basic-verb) “to try, *seek opportunity, experiment” (Category: to Try)

A verb for “to try” based on the root √NDEB in notes from the 1960s (PE17/167). As suggested by Christopher Gilson, this appears to be a draft of Tolkien’s attempt to define the phrase “try harder” in Quenya. Of the root √NDEB, Tolkien said it “too obviously = endeavor”, and he wrote another root √RIK below it, with Quenya verb forms rike or rihta. It seems Tolkien here changed √NDEB >> √RIK, but in later notes from 1969 Tolkien had the root √NDAB “endeavor, try, seek opportunity” with a Quenya verb form nauva “will try” (PE22/151), indicating that the concept of √NDEB was not entirely abandoned.

Neo-Sindarin: For purposes of Neo-Sindarin, I would mainly use ric- for “to try (put forth effort)”, but I think nev- is worth retaining with a different connotation: “to try, *seek opportunity, experiment”. In other words, you use ric- “try” when you are uncertain whether you are capable of performing the action, and nev- “try” when you know you are capable, but are uncertain what the result of the action will be. I prefer nev- over the 1969 form *nav- because it has a Sindarin cognate S. dev-.

References ✧ PE17/167; PE22/151





nauva future “will try” ✧ PE22/151

Element In



Phonetic Developments

‽√NDEB > nev- [ndeb-] > [ndeβ-] > [neβ-] > [nev-] ✧ PE17/167
NDAB > nauva [ndabuba] > [ndaβuβa] > [naβuβa] > [nauβa] > [nauva] ✧ PE22/151