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MBAR root. “settle, dwell; establish, fix, decide, determine, make a decision”

MBAR root. “settle; establish, fix, decide, determine, make a decision; dwell, [ᴹ√] inhabit, [ᴱ√] live”

This root was connected to the sense “dwell” for all of Tolkien’s life. In the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s it appeared as ᴱ√MBARA “dwell, live”, though in Qenya it was blended with ᴱ√ŊWAÐA “tarry, linger” since initial [ŋʷ] became [m] (QL/60). In Gnomish the two roots remained distinct: G. bar “home” (GL/21) vs. G. gwadh- “dwell” (GL/46). However, other Gnomish derivatives hint at an unstrengthened variant ᴱ√MARA: G. mar “Earth, ground, soil” and G. Môr “The Earth”, of which Tolkien said “mar and môr probably conceal two roots and a confusion; mbara” (GL/56). The source of this confusion might be ᴱ√MARA¹ “ripe” (QL/59, 63).

In The Etymologies of the 1930s the root appeared as ᴹ√MBAR “dwell, inhabit” (Ety/MBAR); an earlier version of this entry had the extra gloss “build” (EtyAC/MBAR). In The Etymologies, it seems this root was a strengthened form of ᴹ√BAR “raise” (Ety/BAR), but the root ᴹ√MBARAT “fate” seems to be unrelated at this point (Ety/MBARAT). The root mbar- was mentioned in the Outline of Phonetic Development (OP1) from the 1930s (PE19/36) and again as √MBAR “{house >>} dwell” in the second version of Tengwesta Qenderinwa (TQ2) from around 1950 (PE18/92).

The root √MBAR still had the basic sense “dwell” in Notes on Galadriel’s Song (NGS) from the late 1950s or early 1960s (PE17/64); in those notes it seems it was distinct from both √BAR “raise” and √MAR(AT) or √MBART “doom, fate” (PE17/66). But in notes on Ambar, umbar, Turambar from the late 1960s, Tolkien shifted the meaning of the root:

English “settle” in its various branches of meaning closely resembles the development of the meanings of √MBAR: thus settlement can mean the act of colonizing or taking up an abode, or the area or place so occupied (by a family or community); or (the terms of) an agreement fixed after debate. The development was not, however, the same: the senses of settle proceed from a sense “place in or take up” a firm position, especially in a place that seems suitable; from which the sense of settling affairs that were in confusion or doubt arose. √MBAR meant basically to make a decision, and the meanings relating to dwelling or occupying land proceeded from that (PE17/105).

This new definition for √MBAR was to support a more direct connection between this root and words like Q. umbar “fate”, hence establishing an etymological relationship to extended √MBARAT for the first time, for example with √MBAR > ✶mbartā- “to define, decree, destine” (PE17/104). For purposes of Neo-Eldarin, I think this late 1960s meaning “settle, decide, establish; (by extension) dwell” is probably the best.

References ✧ PE17/64, 66, 78, 90, 104-105, 124, 163-164; PE18/92; PE22/131

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ᴹ√MBAR root. “dwell, inhabit”

See √MBAR for discussion.

References ✧ Ety/BAR, GAWA, MBAR, TAN; EtyAC/ÉNED, MBAR, SIL; PE19/36

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MBAR strengthened ✧ Ety/BAR

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ᴱ√MBARA root. “dwell, live”

See √MBAR for discussion.

References ✧ GL/56, 58; LT1A/Eldamar; QL/60, 63

Glosses

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Related

Derivatives