√TALAT root. “to slip (down), collapse, fall in ruin; slipping, sliding, falling down; ground (bottom)”
This root was connected to the name Q. Atalantë “Downfall(en)” as a sort of multilingual pun on “Atlantis”. The first appearance of this root was as unglossed ᴱ√TḶTḶ in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with derivatives like ᴱQ. talta “shaky, wobbling, tottering; sloping, slanting” and ᴱQ. tilt- “make slope, incline (tr.), decline, shake at foundations, make totter” (QL/93). Further signs of this early root can be found in the Early Noldorin Dictionary of the 1920s where Tolkien gave ᴱ✶tḹtá > ᴱN. tlad “hillside, slope” and ᴱ✶tḷtā́ > ᴱN. tleth/ᴱQ. tilta “slanting” (PE13/165).
In The Etymologies of the 1930s the root appeared as ᴹ√TALAT “to slope, lean, tip” with derivatives like ᴹQ. talta-/N. atlanna- “to slope” and ᴹQ. talta/N. talad “an incline” (Ety/TALÁT). The root was mentioned regularly thereafter, mostly in a verbal sense with glosses like “incline, slope, slide down” (PE18/38), “slip (downwards)” (PE18/61), “topple over, slip down” (SD/249), “slip (down)” (PE18/85) and “collapse, fall in ruin” (PM/158). In notes from the late 1950s or early 1960s, Tolkien gave the root a noun sense “ground (bottom)” alongside “fall down” (PE17/150) and in a 1964 letter to Christopher Bretherton gave it the sense “slipping, sliding, falling down” (Let/347).
References ✧ Let/347; PE17/150, 186; PE18/85, 89; PM/158
ᴹ√TALAT root. “to slip or slide down, incline, slope, lean, tip, topple over”
References ✧ Ety/DAT, TALÁT; PE18/35, 38, 61; PE22/98; SD/249
ᴱ√TḶTḶ root. “*slope”
Reference ✧ QL/93