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Q. na carë indómelya, “thy will be done”
The fourth line of Átaremma, Tolkien’s Quenya translation of the Lord’s Prayer. The first word na “be” serves a subjunctive or imperative function, followed by carë “done”, the aorist or infinitive form of car- “to make, do”. This is followed by indómelya “thy will”, the second person singular polite possessive form of indómë.
Decomposition: Broken into its constituent elements, this phrase would be:na carë indóme-lya = “*be done will-thy”
Conceptual Development: In earlier versions of this phrase (I-IV), Tolkien vacillated over whether to use á or na for the subjunctive/imperative element. Tolkien also used mendë for “will” instead of indómë in the early versions of the prayer, and he used different verb forms for car-: carina (I-IIa, likely a passive-participle “done”) and cara (IIb-IV, perhaps a suffixed-imperative).
There is a peculiar form carima in version V of the prayer, which resembles an adjective. Elsewhere, the suffix -ima has a function similar to the suffixes “-able, -ful” in English (PE17/68), which would give carima the meaning “do-able”, but this seems unlikely to be the intended meaning. This form carima is not a mistake, though, since Tolkien deliberately altered it from carina.
Helge Fauskanger suggested (LP-AM) that this sentence may be an example of an impersonal, subject-less sentence, meaning “[may it] be done your will”. There are other examples of Quenya verbs that can be used in such subject-less impersonal constructions, such as ora “[it] warns” (VT41/13), for your conscience (órë¹) warning you against an action.
I IIa IIb III IV V VI na á na carina cara carima care mendelya indómelya
References ✧ VT43/8-12
|ná-||“to be”||subjunctive||✧ VT43/15.2201 (na)|
|car-||“to do, make, build”||aorist||✧ VT43/15.2501 (carina); VT43/15.3107 (cara); VT43/15.3111 (care)|
|indómë||“settled character; will of Eru”||2nd-sg-polite-poss||✧ VT43/16.0201 (indómelya)|
|á||“imperative particle”||✧ VT43/15.3305|
|#mendë||“will”||2nd-sg-polite-poss||✧ VT43/15.3601 (mendelya)|
|cárima||“feasible, able to be done/made”||✧ VT43/15.3008 (carima)|