AQ. [jei], [wou] became [jē], [wō]; [jei|wou] > [jē|wō]

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 , . 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.

Order (03600)

Before 03800 [j], [w] often reduced between vowels -iti > [y]eiti > Q. éte PE22/155


Phonetic Rule Elements

[jei] > [jē] ✧ VT48/7 (ei > ē; after ı̯, y)
[wou] > [wō] ✧ 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

ᴹAQ. [jei], [wou] became [jē], [wō]; [jei|wou] > [jē|wō]

Reference ✧ PE19/53

Order (03700)

Before 03900 [j], [w] often reduced between vowels


Phonetic Rule Elements

[jei] > [jē]
[wou] > [wō]