S. lad n. “plain, valley” (Category: Plain, Field)
An element meaning “plain” in many Sindarin names, such as S. Dagorlad “Battle-plain” (S/292) and S. Lithlad “Plain of Ashes” (LotR/636; RC/457). Christopher Tolkien translated it as “plain, valley” in The Silmarillion appendix, but it only seems to have had the sense “valley” in the word S. imlad as in S. Imladris “Rivendell”, so I think “plain” is the better translation.
Conceptual Development: This word was connected to flat things very early in Tolkien’s notions of the Elvish languages. It first appeared as G. lad “a level, a flat; fair dealing” in the Gnomish Lexicon of the 1910s (GL/52), probably a derivative of the early root ᴱ√LATA (QL/51). The element -lad also appeared in many Noldorin names from the 1930s and 40s, though in this period it likely had the form N. lhad, as in N. lhaden “open, cleared” (Ety/LAT). It seems to appear in the earliest name for the “Gladden Fields” from Lord of the Rings drafts form the 1940s: N. Palath-ledin (TI/114). Here it has an unusual plural form ledin using the plural suffix -in, but whether that would have remained true in Sindarin is unclear.
References ✧ S/292; SA/lad
N. #lhad n. “plain” (Category: Plain, Field)
References ✧ EtyAC/IMBE; TI/114
|#lad||soft-mutation; lh-mutation||✧ EtyAC/IMBE|
|ledin||soft-mutation plural; lh-mutation||“field[s]”||✧ TI/114|
G. lad n. “a level, a flat; fair dealing” (Category: Flat)
References ✧ GL/52; LT2A/Ladwen-na-Dhaideloth