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Q. alma n. “flower” (Category: Flower)

⚠️Q. alma, n. “flower” (Category: Flower)
Q. lótë “flower, single blossom; ⚠️[ᴱQ.] bloom”

A word for “flower” derived from primitive ✶galmā in notes on flowers in the same bundle containing Definitive Linguistic Notes (DLN) from 1959 (PE17/153). Initially Tolkien said alma meant both “a blessed thing and a flower”, then said that Q. almë was “a blessed thing” and alba was “flower” (< √GAL-AB), before saying that alma was “flower”. Tolkien implied that alma was a usual or general word for “flower” in Quenya. These same notes also said the word alda < ✶galadā was used mainly of flowering trees. It seems in this instance Tolkien connected the root √GAL² (normally just “grow, flourish”) specifically to flowers, giving it the gloss “bloom” along with other glosses like “grow, flourish, be vigorous”.

Neo-Quenya: Elsewhere alda was the general word for a “tree” and √GAL² had no special connection to flowers. I think alma as a “flower” word was a transient idea. I would use lótë “flower” instead for purposes of Neo-Quenya, since it is much better established.

References ✧ PE17/153







Phonetic Developments

galmā > alma [galmā] > [ɣalmā] > [almā] > [alma] ✧ PE17/153
GAL-AB > alba [galba] > [ɣalba] > [ɣalβa] > [alβa] ? [alba] ✧ PE17/153