AQ. [jei], [wou] became [jē], [wō]; [jei|wou] > [jē|wō]
The diphthongs [ei], [ou] generally became [ī], [ū] in Quenya, but as a somewhat earlier sound change, the combinations yei, wou became yē, wō. The clearest description of this change appears in the Outline of Phonetic Development [OP1] from the 1930s:
The stressed sequences yei, wou were the first to change. In these cases, loss of ı̯, u̯ by dissimilation producing yē, wō appeared already in AQ (OP1: PE19/54).
These sound changes are also reaffirmed in later notes. In a chart of diphthongal developments from the late 1960s, Tolkien notes that usually ei, ou > ī, ū but became “ē after i̯, y; ō after u̯, w” (VT48/7), but in these later notes there was no indication that stress was required for the sound change. There are also hints of this change in the developments for the suffix -itë, one form of which was “éte (from eiti after i, y)” (PE22/155). This last text also provides the clearest example of this sound change:
Conceptual Development: See the entry on how [ei], [ou] generally became [ī], [ū] for details on the conceptual development of the diphthongal pair ei, ou in Quenya.
|Before||03800||[j], [w] often reduced between vowels||✶-iti > [y]eiti > Q. éte||PE22/155|
Phonetic Rule Elements
||✧ VT48/7 (ei > ē; after ı̯, y)|
||✧ VT48/7 (ou > ō; after u̯, w)|
Phonetic Rule Examples
|-jeite > -jēte||jei > jē||✶-iti > [y]eiti > Q. éte||✧ PE22/155|
|skejeite > ksejēte||jei > jē||√SKEY > Q. xiéte||✧ PE22/155|