S. *lung, adj. “heavy”

Sindarin adjective meaning “heavy” attested only in the name Mablung “Heavy Hand” (S/185). Given this name’s Quenya cognate Q. Lungumá (VT47/19), S. lung probably developed from primitive *✶lungŭ, where the [u] was prevented from become [o] by the presence of the nasal [ŋ].

Conceptual Development: In the Gnomish Lexicon from the 1910s, the word for “heavy” was also G. lung (GL/55), an element in the name G. Mablung as well (LT2A/Mablung). Its primitive form was not given, but judging by the related word G. luntha- “to balance, weigh”, it might have been *ᴱ√LUŊU. The form ᴱN. lung “heavy” reappeared in the Early Noldorin Grammar from the 1920s (PE13/122), but became ᴱN. lhung in the (Early) Noldorin Dictionary (PE13/163), after Tolkien decided that initial [r], [l] were unvoiced.

In the Etymologies from the 1930s, the Noldorin form of this word was N. lhong derived from primitive ᴹ✶lungā (Ety/LUG¹), where the [u] became [o] due to a-affection. At this point in time, Mablung was Doriathrin/Ilkorin rather than a Noldorin name (Ety/MAP), so there was no conflict.

After Tolkien abandoned the Ilkorin language, Mablung would have become a Sindarin name, and Tolkien needed a new etymology for it. Judging by its new Quenya cognate Lungumá (VT47/19), it seems that Tolkien revised the primitive form of this word from ✶lungā to ✶lungŭ, as describe above. This meant there was no a-affection in the Sindarin development, making S. lung the Sindarin form of the word.

Neo-Sindarin: I personally prefer S. lung for the Sindarin word for “heavy”, but some Neo-Sindarin authors use the form S. ^long instead based on the Noldorin word lhong in the Etymologies, switching to a voiced [l] because the unvoicing of initial [l], [r] does not happen in Sindarin phonology. If you use S. long for “heavy”, you should also use Q. lunga for consistency.

Reference ✧ S/185.1203-1 ✧ “heavy”

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N. lhong adj. “heavy”

Reference ✧ Ety/LUG¹.007 ✧ “heavy”

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Phonetic Developments

ᴹ✶lungā > lhong [luŋgā] > [luŋga] > [loŋga] > [loŋg] > [l̥oŋg] ✧ Ety/LUG¹.007

ᴱN. lhung n. “heavy”

References ✧ PE13/122.1701; PE13/122.1704; PE13/149.5401; PE13/163.4701; PE13/163.4702; PE13/163.4705

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lhyng plural ✧ PE13/163.4705
luing plural ✧ PE13/122.1704

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G. lung n. “heavy; grave, serious”

References ✧ GL/55.4401; LT2A/Mablung.011

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