√PHĀ/APHA root. “before of time”
A root appearing a paradigm of roots for spatial and temporal directions from 1969, with an unglossed (primitive?) derivative ✶afar and the Quenya form fai with variant afea, apparently meaning “before” in the phrase Eru fai, sî, euva “*Eru (was) before, (is) now, will be (after)” (PE22/147). Later in the same set of notes Tolkien seems to have reverted to earlier roots for these functions (PE22/168).
References ✧ PE22/147