Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings

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Parviphith Edhellen
Sindarin Wordlist

Bibliographical abbreviations: AI = J.R.R. Tolkien, Artist and Illustrator, Names = Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings (in A Tolkien Compass), LR = The Lost Road, LotR = The Lord of the Rings, PM = The Peoples of Middle-earth, RC = The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, RGEO = The Road Goes Ever On, Silm App = The Silmarillion Appendix; SD = Sauron Defeated, TI = The Treason of Isengard, WJ = The War of the Jewels, WR = The War of the Ring.

This English-Sindarin wordlist (Parviphith = parf i phith ”book of the words”) is based on the Sindarin-English vocabulary list provided in David Salo’s work A Gateway to Sindarin, pages 236-293. In a few cases, the spelling conventions here used differ from the ones preferred by David Salo. Vocabulary that has become available after the publication of Gateway is here supplied.
In most cases, this wordlist does not provide source references, especially when the words come from the Etymologies (LR:347-400; there the language is obviously still called ”Noldorin”). References are easier to provide in a Sindarin-English list, and the words here listed can normally be traced back to the primary sources by looking them up in the Hiswelókë dictionary, which is available online:
This English-Sindarin wordlist does not only provide the basic, uninflected forms of words, but also attempts to provide inflected forms: plural nouns and adjectives, plus the basic mutations (soft, hard, nasal) of initial consonants. A typical entry may go like this:
ARCH (i gû, o chû) (bow, crescent), pl. cui (i chui)
The word thus appears as following the singular definite article i; this covers the soft mutation (lenition). Following the preposition o ”from, of”, it appears as chû; this represents the hard mutation (stop mutation). Any additional glosses for the word under discussion (in this case ”bow, crescent”) are then slipped in before the plural form is listed – here cui, or when combined with the plural definite article in, chui. This represents the nasal mutation (the nasal of the article in disappears in this environment). – Plural forms are listed for virtually all nouns, though some of them may be seen as theoretical formations that are not really used (e.g. celib as the would-be plural of celeb ”silver” – perhaps ”silver objects”?)

Of course, these mutations do not appear only following the articles and the preposition o (and the plural form could also be subject to, say, soft mutation – e.g. na gui ”to arches”, since the preposition na triggers this mutation). See general descriptions of Sindarin grammar for a fuller discussion of the environments where the various mutations occur.

In the case of proper names that probably cannot receive the definite article i, the preposition na is used instead to indicate the lenited form, e.g. na Vanwe “to Manwë”.

For verbs the most relevant mutations would be the soft and nasal mutation, occurring after the relative pronoun i and its plural equivalent in (respectively). The relative pronouns thus trigger the same mutations as the articles of the same form. In the entries below, verbs are listed according to this pattern:

AFFECT pessa- (i bessa, i phessar)

Following the basic verbal stem pessa-, the present tense of the verb is thus listed parenthetically, both sg. and pl. It would in this case be pessa and pessar, but these forms are here combined with the relative pronoun i(n) to indicate the mutations: i bessa ”that affects”, pl. i phessar ”that affect” (with soft and nasal mutation, respectively).
In the case of nouns that begin in a vowel or in consonants that are not affected by the mutations, the forms used following the articles i and in are not listed. In other cases, these are included, but the form following the preposition o (representing the hard mutation) is omitted because the form of the noun following o would be the same as the uninflected form listed initially: Some consonants, like m and the voiced stops b, d, g, are not affected by the hard mutation.
However, the present tense of verbs (sg. and pl.) is normally included – listed for its own sake – even if nothing happens to the initial sound following the relative pronouns i, in.
The collective plural (coll. pl.) or class plural of nouns is only included where it involves other changes to the noun than simply adding the ending -ath.
In some entries, a construct form is provided; this is the form a noun may take before another noun when the two express a genitive phrase. Vowels may be shortened, and final consonant groups simplified. A good example is noss ”clan, family, house” having the construct form nos ”house of”, as in Nos Finrod ”House of Finrod” (LR:378 s.v. ). Where no distinct construct form is listed, the compiler of this wordlist assumes the construct would not differ from the other forms of the noun (sg. and pl.)
For adjectives, both the lenited and the plural forms are given, separately. Where an adjective does not begin in any of the consonants that have distinct lenited forms, no lenited form is listed.
The English alphabet is not perfectly suited for the spelling of Sindarin; in particular certain provisional spellings are used in connection with the sound ng (as in ring), that must be distinguished from ng as in anger (with an audible g following). Using the symbol ñ for the simple nasal (so that these English words would be represented as riñ, añger), certain clarifying spellings are here provided next to the provisional spelling. Thus in the case of the word gîl ”star”, the form i ngîl ”the star” represents i ñîl, and the plural form in gîl is a sub-optimal spelling used for what is properly i ñgîl (and would be so represented in Tengwar spelling). In the case of the hard mutation of such words, we here use the spelling o n’gîl (”from a star”) to indicate that the intended pronunciation is o ñgîl rather than o ñîl.
It may here be remarked that it is not altogether certain how b-, d-, g- derived from primitive mb-, nd-, ñg- would turn out in positions where stop mutation (hard mutation) is due; in this wordlist it is assumed that the original nasalized consonants are preserved in this position. Cf. Gateway, p. 77.
In certain archaic forms the vowel ö occurs (to be pronounced as in German). Tolkien himself often used the digraph ”oe” for this vowel, which is potentially confusing since Sindarin has a quite distinct diphthong oe.
The symbol # indicates a form isolated from a longer (compounded) word, e.g. #gûd ”enemy, foe” isolated from the name Thuringud ”Hidden Foe” (WJ:256). Since the compiler of this wordlist could not find the time to check every entry in David Salo’s wordlist against the primary sources, the symbol # is probably still missing from a number of forms that could have had it.
The asterisk * marks words that are not attested in this form, e.g. *craban as the unattested singular of crebain ”crows”.
However, the asterisk is only used (where appropriate) in the case of the first form listed as the equivalent of any English gloss – i.e. the basic, uninflected and unmutated form. Obviously, the vast majority of the inflected/mutated forms here suggested are not directly attested in our small Sindarin corpus. In the case of these secondary forms, it is more economical to indicate the words that are attested. This is done by citing them in bold italics, whereas unattested inflected forms are given in simple bold.
Even the uninflected form listed initially is not normally asterisked even if it has been slightly modified in terms of spelling and phonology, to conform with the general patterns observed in Sindarin. Typically, no note is here taken of the more trivial cases of phonological ”updating”, such as reading Sindarin r- and l- for ”Noldorin” rh- and lh-, reading ae for ”Noldorin” oe, reading ai for ei in final syllables, or turning final -w following a consonant into a full vowel-u. Cross-references and annotations in the Hiswelókë dictionary referenced above will still allow the interested student to trace the forms back to the primary sources.
The symbol † identifies an archaic or poetic form.
Uncertain forms are marked with a query – which is not to say that forms without a query are in all cases correct beyond any doubt. While most of the inflected forms here listed are probably reasonably uncontroversial, they should be seen as suggestions rather than hard ”Tolkien fact”. For instance, where -o in a final syllable is derived from earlier au, as in balrog for earlier *balraug (cf. Quenya valarauco), it is here assumed that singular o still corresponds to plural oe. This is because au becomes oe in plural forms (as in Nibin-noeg ”Petty-dwarves”, WJ:187, 420; singular -naug.) But it is entirely possible that Tolkien would have let the plural be re-formed by analogy with such pairs as annon / ennyn ”gate, gates”, so that the plural of balrog became simply ?belryg in late Sindarin.
Some plural forms suggested below would also be ”analogical” rather than the theoretical outcobme of the phonological development of the language, and are annotated as such in the body of the wordlist.
It is here assumed that the plural article in appears as idh before words in -, as the general patterns seem to suggest, but it should be understood that this idh is not attested in published material.

ABANDON awartha- (forsake) (i awartha, in awarthar)

ABANDONMENT awarth, pl. ewerth if there is a pl.

ABHOR fuia- (i fuia, i fuiar) (feel disgust at)

ABHORRENCE delos (i dhelos) (fear, horror, dread, detestation, loathing), pl. delys (i nelys), coll. pl. delossath. Notice that a side-form ends in -oth (pl. -yth) instead of -os (-ys).

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