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OP root. “(opening of) mouth”

OP root. “(opening of) mouth”

A root associated with the mouth in late notes on speech of unclear date, given as {√OK >>} √OP described as the “opening of which the lips, or pempi, are the edges: {√ōka >>} ōpa ({√OK >>} √OP). [versus] The closed mouth, ” (PE17/126). Tolkien’s exact intent is hard to decipher, but it seems ōpa is the opening of the mouth as opposed to the lips surrounding that opening, probably in reference to its function as one of the articulatory mechanisms for speech. Its only other derivative was Q. ūpa “dumb [mute]” < ✶ūopa, used in the phrase Q. essë úpa nas “he is dumb”. Elsewhere in Tolkien’s late writings, primitive √OPO was glossed “before, ahead, in front of place” (PE22/168), so √OP might also simply refer to the front of the (open) mouth.

References ✧ PE17/126, 171