Q. már (mar-) n. “home, dwelling, habitation” (Category: Home)
This is the basic Quenya word for a “home” or “dwelling”, derived from the root √MBAR “settle, dwell”.
Conceptual Development: This word dates back all the way to the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, where (archaic) ᴱQ. †mar (mas-) was glossed “dwelling of men, -land, the Earth” (QL/60). It appeared under the early root ᴱ√MBARA “dwell, live”, but that root was mingled with many others, and its stem form mas- indicates some unusual developments. The contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa instead has mař “dwelling, -land, †Earth” (PME/60), consistent with an earlier deleted form of the root, ᴱ√MAŘA [MAÐA] (QL/60).
In the Name-list to The Fall of Gondolin from the 1910s Tolkien had mar as a cognate to G. bar “dwelling” (PE15/21). In the Early Qenya Grammar of the 1920s it was glossed “house” in the phrase ᴱQ. i·mar tye “that house (of yours)” (PE14/55). In the English-Qenya Dictionary of the 1920s mar was glossed “home”, where its plural form mari indicated a stem form of mar- (PE15/74).
In the Declension of Nouns of the 1930s, ᴹQ. mar “house” had a stem form of mard- (PE21/27), and on the title page of The Etymologies from 1937, Tolkien had mar(d)- “home, dwelling” from the root ᴹ√MBAR (EtyAC/MBAR). It appeared in the form Mardello “from Earth” in Fíriel’s Song from the mid-1930s, along with an uninflected form i-mar “the earth” (LR/72), but as mar- in the (1930s) genitive form hon-maren “heart of the house” (LR/63).
In Outline of Phonetic Development (OP1) from this 1930s, it appeared as már “habitation”, the first time that it had a long á (PE19/36). In Quenya Verbal System from 1948, már “house” appeared with long á in a couple phrases like már karnelya e·tulle “having built a house he came” (PE22/108). The word már “habitation” reappeared in the Outline of Phonology (OP2) of the 1950s (PE19/76).
Tolkien discussed the word már at length in notes from the 1960s on the root √MBAR, first writing:
The usual word in Eldarin for a “home”, as the established residence of a family consisting of one or more associated buildings, was *mbā̆r (stem mbăr-), and *mbardā̆ (an adjectival formation). In Q mar (stem mard-), a blending of the two, was used like “residence” usually with a defining genitive, for the “great house” of a family. In place-names -mar (stem mār-) was used for a region settled by a community or group, as Eldamar “Elvenhome” the coastal region of Aman, settled by the Elves (PE17/164).
And then in a later version of the same notes:
The simplest form of this base *mbără became a much used word or element in primitive Eldarin: which may be rendered “dwelling”. This application was probably a development during the period of the Great Journey to the Western Shores, during which many halls of varying duration were made by the Eldar at the choice of their leaders, as a whole, or for separate groups. This element survived in various forms in Quenya and Sindarin with sense changes due to the divergent history of the Eldar that passed over Sea and of those remaining in Beleriand. The principal forms were the primitive simple form PE *mbăr(a) > uninflected mbār, inflected mbar-; and the derivative form *mbardā ...
The former survived in Quenya in the archaic word már, which was used with a defining genitive or more often in genitival compound: as Ingwemar, Valimar, Eldamar ... This signified, when added to a personal name the “residence” of a family of which the head was the named person; it included not only the permanent buildings, developed by the Eldar in Aman, but also the surrounding attached land ... After the name of a people or “kindred” it referred to the whole area occupied or owned by them, in which their dwellings or “houses” were distributed (PE17/106).
These revised notes indicate that marda was a distinct word:
The derivative form *mbardā became in Quenya marda “a dwelling”. This normally referred to the actual dwelling place, but was not limited to buildings, and could equally well be applied to dwellings of natural origin (such as caves or groves). It was nonetheless the nearest equivalent to “house” in most of its senses ... Not to the use of “house” as the name of a (small) separate building with a function such as bake-house, wood-house; nor to the use of “house” as a family especially of power or authority. The former in Quenya was usually koa. The latter was represented by words for “kindred” [nóre] (PE17/107).
Thus it seems in these notes, már = “residence”, marda = “dwelling” but coa = “house” as in a type of building.
In terms of its use in other words and phrases, mar or már is most notably an element in Eldamar “Elvenhome” (S/59), Val(i)mar “Dwelling of the Valar” (RGEO/62), and Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva “[ᴱQ.] Cottage of the Lost Play; House of Departed Mirth” (LT1/28; PE21/80). As for mard-, its most notable use was in oromardi “lofty halls” from the Namárië poem (LotR/377).
Although always meaning “home” or “dwelling” and always derived from √MBAR “dwell”, the various changes in the stem form between mar, mard- and már make the conceptual development difficult to trace. The rough timeline seems to be:
Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya I would use már mainly in the sense “home, a place dwelled in”, as opposed to marda for “a dwelling” whether inhabited or not. In place names -mar can refer to the dwelling place of an entire people, or of an individual family. The word már might be used as “house” in the sense of the dwelling place of a family, but when referring specifically to the building, the word coa is more appropriate.
References ✧ PE17/106, 164; PE19/76; SA/bar; VT47/6
|-mar||suffix||✧ PE17/164; PE17/164|
|✶mbăr(a) > mbār > †már||[mbara] ? [mbār] > [mār]||✧ PE17/106|
|✶mbar- > már||[mbār] > [mār]||✧ PE19/76|
References ✧ Ety/ÉNED, GAWA, MBAR, TAN; EtyAC/MBAR, SIL; LR/63, 72; PE19/36; PE21/19, 27, 69; PE22/108
|Mardello||ablative||“from Earth”||✧ LR/72|
|maren||genitive||“of the house”||✧ LR/63|
|mardunt||nominative dual||✧ PE21/27|
|mardin||nominative plural||“homes”||✧ PE21/27|
|mardulin||nominative plural||“houses”||✧ PE21/27|
|mar(d)-||stem||“home, dwelling”||✧ EtyAC/MBAR|
|mar(d-)||stem||“home, dwelling”||✧ EtyAC/SIL|
|ᴹ√MBAR > mar||[mbar] > [mar]||✧ Ety/ÉNED|
|ᴹ√MBAR > mar||[mbar] > [mar]||✧ Ety/GAWA|
|ᴹ√MBAR > mar||[mbar] > [mar]||✧ Ety/MBAR|
|ᴹ√MBAR > mar||[mbar] > [mar]||✧ Ety/MBAR|
|ᴹ√MBAR > mar||[mbar] > [mar]||✧ Ety/TAN|
|ᴹ√MBAR > mar||[mbar] > [mar]||✧ EtyAC/MBAR|
|ᴹ√MBAR > mar(d)-||[mbarda] > [mbard] > [mard] > [mar]||✧ EtyAC/MBAR|
|ᴹ√[?mbar] > mar(d-)||[mbarda] > [mbard] > [mard] > [mar]||✧ EtyAC/SIL|
References ✧ LT1A/Eldamar, Mar Vanwa Tyaliéva; PE14/47, 55; PE15/21, 74; PME/60; QL/42, 60
|marde||locative||“at home”||✧ PE15/74|
|mas-||stem||✧ LT1A/Eldamar; QL/60|
|ᴱ√MBARA > mar||[mbar] > [mar]||✧ QL/60|