Q. Vairë f. “Weaver, Ever-weaving”
The spouse of Námo (Mandos), this Valië weaves all things that have ever been into her storied webs (S/28). Her name is translated “Weaver” or “Ever-weaving” (MR/49, VT39/10). It is derived from √WIR “weave” (PE17/191), probably from an a-fortified form of that root: *✶Wairē (VT39/10).
Conceptual Development: In the earliest Lost Tales, ᴱQ. Vaire was an Elf, the wife of ᴱQ. Lindo (LT1/14). At this early stage, the spouse of Mandos was ᴱQ. Nienna (LT1/66). In Silmarillion drafts from the 1930s, ᴹQ. Nienna became unmarried, and a new Valië, ᴹQ. Vaire “Weaver”, was named as the spouse of Mandos (LR/110).
In The Etymologies from the 1930s, ᴹQ. Vaire developed from ᴹ✶Weirē < ᴹ√WEY “weave” (Ety/WEY), since at this stage primitive [ei] became [ai] when stressed and non-final (PE19/25). Later, Tolkien modified the development of this primitive diphthong so that stressed non-final [ei] became [ē] (PE19/53, 106). As further evidence of this phonetic change, Tolkien briefly considered changing the name of Vairë to Vérë (PE17/33), probably from the same primitive form ✶Weirē.
Tolkien did not adopt this variant name, however, which implies that the new primitive form of this name must have been ✶Wairē (not directly attested). Tolkien specified that this name did not develop from √WAY (which meant “blow”), proposing instead that it developed from a new root √WIR “weave” (PE17/191). Elsewhere Tolkien stated that the primitive form of Vairë probably developed from √WIR via the process of a-fortification (VT39/10).
References ✧ MR/49; MRI; PE17/33, 191; PMI; S/28; SI; VT39/10
|√WER > Vérë||[wēre] > [βēre] > [vēre]||✧ PE17/33|
|√WIRI > Vaire||[waire] > [βaire] > [vaire]||✧ PE17/191|
|√WIR > Vaire||[waire] > [βaire] > [vaire]||✧ VT39/10|
ᴹQ. Vaire f. “Weaver”
References ✧ Ety/WEY; LRI/Vairë; SMI/Vairë
|ᴹ✶weı̯rē > Vaire||[weire] > [waire] > [vaire]||✧ Ety/WEY|