[Home] » Languages » Neo-Sindarin »  Neo-Sindarin Words[Search] [← Previous] [Next →][Search]

S. ritha- v. “to try, strive” (Category: to Try)

S. ritha-, v. “to try, strive” (Category: to Try)
ᴺS. !rig-² “to try, strive”
ᴺS. ^rítha- “to try, strive”

A verb for “to strive, *try” based on the root √RIK 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 (ultimately á ricë amrícië). This Sindarin verb has a number of difficult-to-interpret forms. The base verb was given as {reitha >>} raitha, cognate to Q. rihta and thus probably derived from ✶riktā-. However the expected result of primitive ✶riktā- would be S. rítha- or ritha- because of how spirants vocalized and became vowels, so that [ikt] > [ixθ] > [īθ] > [iθ]; compare [N.] critha- “reap” < ᴹ✶k’rikta- (Ety/KIRIK).

Indeed, Tolkien gave several inflicted forms of this verb, all showing ritha-: rithant, rithas, rithessin, rithanen, apparently various transitive and intransitive past forms. Perhaps the uninflected verb form {reitha >>} raitha indicates some kind of a-affection occurring only in the uninflected verb form: [-ikta] > [-ixθa] > [-exθa] > [-eiθa], but if so the expected result would be the deleted {reitha} and not raitha, since [ei] > [ai] only in final syllables in Sindarin.

Neo-Sindarin: Given the rather tenuous nature of this verb, various Neo-Sindarin alternatives have been proposed, including ᴺS. rítha- by Elaran and ᴺS. rig- by myself [Paul Strack] as a direct cognate of Q. ric- “try”. However, I have gradually become more comfortable using S. ritha- as given by Tolkien, since I retain the use of some similarly derived Noldorin verbs such as [N.] critha- “reap” and ᴺS. ritha- “jerk, twitch, snatch” [from N. rhitha-].

References ✧ PE17/167




rithant past ✧ PE17/167
rithas past ✧ PE17/167
rithantem past 1st-pl-exclusive ✧ PE17/167
rithanen past 1st-sg ✧ PE17/167
rithantin past 1st-sg ✧ PE17/167
rithessin past 1st-sg ✧ PE17/167



Phonetic Developments

RIK > raitha [rikta-] > [riktʰa-] > [rixθa-] > [rexθa-] > [reiθa-] > [raiθa-] ✧ PE17/167
RIK > rithant [riktant] > [riktʰant] > [rixθant] > [rīθant] > [riθant] ✧ PE17/167