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S. rhûn n. “east”

S. rhûn, n. “east, [N.] eastern; †rising”

The Sindarin word for “east”, cognate of Q. rómen (LotR/1116, 1123). It was ultimately derived from the root √RŌ/ORO “rise” (Ety/RŌ), and so likely originally meant “rising” as in “rising sun” (PE22/35).

Conceptual Development: The word N. rhûn “east” appeared in Etymologies from the 1930s along with ᴹQ. rómen, both derived from ᴹ√ (Ety/RŌ). At the time, there were no problems with this equivalence, since initial [r] was unvoiced in Noldorin. Tolkien went on to use both these forms in The Lord of the Rings.

Unfortunately, Tolkien later abandoned the unvoicing of initial r in Sindarin, making these two forms problematic. Tolkien considered modifying the Sindarin form to rûn (PE17/88) or the Quenya form to hrómen (PE17/18). The latter was probably derived from an s-strengthened form of the root ᴹ√SRŌ (PE22/127), where the initial sr- would become voiceless [r] in both Quenya and Sindarin. Ultimately, though, he left both forms alone. Perhaps he decided the s-strengthening of the root was a Sindarin-only variant.

References ✧ LotR/1116, 1123; PE17/18, 74, 88, 96, 122, 139, 141; SA/rómen

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N. rhûn n. “east, eastern; †rising”

See S. rhûn for discussion.

References ✧ Ety/RŌ; PE22/35; TI/307, 434

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rûn soft-mutation; rh-mutation ✧ Ety/RŌ

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Phonetic Developments

ON. rōna > rhûn [rōna] > [rūna] > [rūn] > [r̥ūn] ✧ Ety/RŌ