S. medial [j] became [i]; [CjV] > [ViV]

S. medial [j] became [i]; [CjV] > [ViV]

In Sindarin and Noldorin any surviving medial -y- [j] became i at some relatively late date. This is the third stage of such changes: in Primitive Elvish [j] became [i] between a vowel and consonants ([VjC] > [ViC]) and in Old Sindarin/Old Noldorin [j] became [i] between vowels ([VjV] > [ViV]). In this final stage, the remaining medial [j] would have appeared between a consonant and a vowel ([CjV] > [CiV]). This series of sound changes is a factor in Sindarin orthography, where i always represents the vowel [i] medially. However, at the beginning of a word before another vowel, i represents the “y”-sound [j], because this is the only place where that sound can appear:

I initially before another vowel has the consonantal sound of y in you, yore in Sindarin only: as in Ioreth, Iarwain (LotR/1114).

Tolkien described this sound change in his notes on the Noldorin usage of the Feanorian Alphabet from the 1930s:

This change in use was due to the loss of all spirantal quality by ON y = [j] in Exhilic, and to its frequent conversion to vocalic [i] (PE22/32).

The clearest indications of the post-consonantal stage of these sound changes are the Sindarin verbs ending in -ia, which generally correspond to primitive -yā and Q. -ya:

It’s easiest to assume this change took place before i-affection, since the resulting forms invariably show this sound mutation wherever it is appropriate. However, some attested developmental series hint that the actual set of sound changes were a bit more complex:

These two examples indicate that y first became asyllabic ı̯, and may not have always developed into a full vowel, especially in cases of later i-intrusion. From a purely symbolic perspective, however, it is easiest to represent this change as [-j-] > [-i-]. Elaran suggested this approach to me in a private Discord chat on 2018-08-25.

Conceptual Development: In Early Noldorin, examples like ᴱN. leithia- “to release” (LB/154) and ᴱN. rhoidia- as well as i-intrusion in adjective forms like ᴱ✶mburyā́ > ᴱN. boir “hot, raging” (PE13/139) and ᴱ✶nindyā > ᴱN. nainn “blue” (PE13/150, 164) make it clear that this sound change was a part of the language’s phonological history in the 1920s.

There is not much clear evidence of this change in Gnomish of the 1910s, but since y only appears medially as a vowel, it seems likely this sound change was present even at the earliest conceptual stages, despite the fact that Gnomish did not include the later system of i-affection that was so influential in Noldorin and Sindarin.

Order (01400)

Before 01700 short [a], [o], [u] became [e], [œ], [y] preceding [i] MAY > amya- > anya- > S. ein- PE17/163

Phonetic Rule Elements

[CjV] > [ViV]

Phonetic Rule Examples

alja- > alia- CjV > ViV ALA > S. elia- ✧ PE17/146
anja- > ania- CjV > ViV MAY > amya- > anya- > S. ein- ✧ PE17/163
atatja > atatia CjV > ViV atatya > S. edaid ✧ VT42/26
aθja- > aθia- CjV > ViV ATHA > S. eitha- ✧ PE17/148
balanja > balania CjV > ViV Balaniā > S. **Belain ✧ Let/427
banja > bania CjV > ViV GWAN > S. bain ✧ PE17/154
banja > bania CjV > ViV banya > S. bain ✧ PE17/165
benja > benia CjV > ViV gwenyā > bein > S. bain ✧ PE17/191
delja > delia CjV > ViV delya > deil > S. dail ✧ PE17/151
delja > delia CjV > ViV delya > S. deil ✧ PE17/151
elenja > elenia CjV > ViV elenyā > S. †elein ✧ PE17/139
enetja > enetia CjV > ViV HENET > enetya > S. enaid ✧ VT41/16
erja > eria CjV > ViV eryā > eir > S. air ✧ PE17/28
erja > eria CjV > ViV eryā > erı̯a > erı̯ > irı̯ > S. îr ✧ VT50/18
ɸanja > fania CjV > ViV FAN > S. fain ✧ PE17/26
ɸanja > fania CjV > ViV SPAN > S. fain ✧ PE17/36
ɸanja > fania CjV > ViV phanyā > S. fain ✧ PE17/174
ɸanja > fania CjV > ViV PHAN > S. fain ✧ PE17/179
ferja > feria CjV > ViV pheryā > feir > S. fair ✧ PE17/181
ferja > feria CjV > ViV Q. Firya > S. Feir ✧ WJ/387
ferja- > feria CjV > ViV PHERE > S. feria- ✧ PE17/181
firji > firi CjV > ViV Q. Firya > S. Fîr ✧ WJ/387
gelja > gelia CjV > ViV gilyā > geil > S. gail ✧ PE17/152
gilji > gilī CjV > ViV GIL > S. gîl ✧ PE17/152
glanja- > glania- CjV > ViV (G)LAN > S. gleina- ✧ VT42/8
gwanja > gwania CjV > ViV wanya > S. gwain ✧ PE17/150
gwenja > gwenia CjV > ViV WIN > S. gwein ✧ PE17/191
-jande > -iande CjV > ViV yandē > S. -iand ✧ PE17/42
-jandi > -iandi CjV > ViV yandē > S. iend ✧ PE17/42
-jaun > -iaun CjV > ViV S. -ı̯aun > S. -ion ✧ PE17/42
kaja > kaia CjV > ViV KAYA > S. #gai ✧ PE17/101
keɣja > keɣia CjV > ViV kegyā > S. cai ✧ UT/282
lanja > lania CjV > ViV ‽√LAN > S. #lain ✧ PE17/60
lepenja > lepenia CjV > ViV lepenya > lepein(a) > OS. lepni(a) ✧ VT42/26
lexja > lexia CjV > ViV lisyā > liχı̯ā > leχı̯ > leich > S. laich ✧ PE17/148
lixji > lixī CjV > ViV lisyā > S. lîch ✧ PE17/148
meljanna > melianna CjV > ViV Melyanna > S. Melian ✧ SA/mel
menja > menia CjV > ViV minya > mein > S. main ✧ VT42/25
oronje > oronie CjV > ViV oronyē > S. eryn ✧ PE17/119
oθθōja > oθθōia CjV > ViV otsōyā > S. othui ✧ VT42/25
ranja > rania CjV > ViV ran- > S. rain ✧ UT/242
ranja > rania CjV > ViV RAN > S. -rain ✧ VT42/12
ranja > rania CjV > ViV RAN > rein > S. rain ✧ VT42/13
rūnja > rūnia CjV > ViV RUN > S. ruin ✧ PM/366
satja > satia CjV > ViV SAT > S. said ✧ VT42/20
satja- > satia- CjV > ViV satya- > S. seidia- ✧ VT42/20
θarja- > θaria- CjV > ViV THAR > S. theria- ✧ PE17/187

N. medial [j] became [i]; [CjV] > [ViV]

@@@ but not [-ja]? compare final [i] intruded into preceding syllable

Reference ✧ PE22/33

Order (01400)

Before 01700 short [a], [o], [u] became [e], [œ], [y] preceding [i] ᴹ✶baryā́- > N. berio
ᴹ√DUL > dœlio > N. delio
ᴹ√NOT > N. nœdia
Ety/BAR
Ety/DUL
Ety/NOT

Phonetic Rule Elements

[CjV] > [ViV] ✧ PE19/23 (-kj- > -gi-); PE19/23 (-j- > -i-); PE19/23 (-khj- > -ch(i)-)

Phonetic Rule Examples

ambarenja > ambarenia CjV > ViV ᴹ√MBAR > Emerein > N. Emerin ✧ Ety/MBAR
arjanθe > arianθe CjV > ViV ᴹ√ANA¹ > N. Eriant ✧ Ety/AR¹
atanja > atania CjV > ViV ᴹ√AT(AT) > N. eden ✧ Ety/AT(AT)
banja > bania CjV > ViV ᴹ✶bányā > N. bein ✧ Ety/BAN
barja- > baria- CjV > ViV ᴹ✶baryā́- > N. berio ✧ Ety/BAR
benja > benia CjV > ViV ᴹ√GWEN > N. bein ✧ Ety/GWEN
binje > binie CjV > ViV ᴹ√GWIN > N. bîn ✧ EtyAC/GWIN
brekja > brekia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶mrekjā > breig > N. braig ✧ Ety/MERÉK
dilja- > dilia- CjV > ViV ᴹ√DIL > N. dilio ✧ Ety/DIL
dulja- > dulia- CjV > ViV ᴹ√DUL > dœlio > N. delio ✧ Ety/DUL
eljanme > elianme CjV > ViV ON. elyadme > N. eilian(w) ✧ Ety/ƷEL
fanja > fania CjV > ViV ᴹ√SPAN > N. fein ✧ Ety/SPAN
farja- > faria- CjV > ViV ᴹ√PHAR > N. feira- ✧ EtyAC/PHAR
ferja > feria CjV > ViV ᴹ√PHIR > N. feir ✧ Ety/PHIR
firji > firī CjV > ViV ᴹ√PHIR > N. fîr ✧ Ety/PHIR
forja > foria CjV > ViV ᴹ√PHOR > fœir > N. feir ✧ Ety/PHOR
formenja > formenia CjV > ViV ᴹ√PHOR > N. fervein ✧ EtyAC/PHOR
galja > galia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶galyā > N. gail ✧ Ety/KAL
gelja > gelia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶gilya > N. geil ✧ Ety/GIL
gilji > gilī CjV > ViV ᴹ✶gilya > N. gíl ✧ Ety/GIL
gwinji > gwenī CjV > ViV ᴹ✶winyā > N. gwîn ✧ Ety/WIN
gwenja > gwenia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶winyā > N. gwein ✧ Ety/WIN
gwinje > gwinie CjV > ViV ᴹ√WINI > N. gwîn ✧ EtyAC/WIR
gwinje > gwinie CjV > ViV ᴹ✶winyē > N. gwîn ✧ EtyAC/WIN
-ɣj- > -ɣi- CjV > ViV ON. -gj- > N. i(ı̯) ✧ PE19/23
kalarja > kalaria CjV > ViV ᴹ✶kalaryā > N. celeir ✧ Ety/KAL
kerja > keria CjV > ViV ᴹ√KIR > N. ceir ✧ Ety/KIR
kirjaiθo > kiriaiθo CjV > ViV ᴹ✶kirya-k’tō > N. ciriaeth ✧ PE18/62
linje > linie CjV > ViV ᴹ√LIN¹ > N. lhîn ✧ Ety/LIN¹
maðja > maðia CjV > ViV ᴹ√MAD > meið > N. maið ✧ Ety/MAD
mineja > mineia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶miniı̯a > N. minei ✧ Ety/MINI
notja- > notia- CjV > ViV ᴹ√NOT > N. nœdia ✧ Ety/NOT
olja > olia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶ulyā > œil > N. eil ✧ Ety/ULU
palja- > palia- CjV > ViV ᴹ√PAL > N. pelio ✧ Ety/PAL
panja- > pania- CjV > ViV ᴹ√PAN > N. penio ✧ Ety/PAN
pexja > pexia CjV > ViV ᴹ√PIS > N. peich ✧ Ety/PIS
ranja > rania CjV > ViV ᴹ✶(a)ranı̯ā > rhein > N. rhain ✧ EtyAC/RAN
ranja- > rania- CjV > ViV ᴹ√RAN > N. rhenio ✧ Ety/RAN
ranja- > rania- CjV > ViV ᴹ✶ramya- > N. rhenio ✧ Ety/RAM
ronja > ronia CjV > ViV #ᴹ✶runya > rhoein > N. rhein ✧ Ety/RUN
ronjo > ronio CjV > ViV ᴹ✶ronyō > N. rhŷn ✧ Ety/ROY¹
senja > senia CjV > ViV ᴹ√SI > N. sein ✧ Ety/SI
sinji > sini CjV > ViV ᴹ√SI > N. sîn ✧ Ety/SI
sirja- > siria- CjV > ViV ON. sirya- > N. sirio ✧ Ety/SIR
sxalja- > sxalia- CjV > ViV ᴹ√SKAL¹ > ON. skhalia- ✧ Ety/SKAL¹
talja- > talia- CjV > ViV ᴹ✶tyalı̯ā- > N. telio ✧ Ety/TYAL
taljene > taliene CjV > ViV ᴹ√TYAL > N. te(i)lien ✧ Ety/TYAL
tallonja > tallonia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶tal-runya > tellœin > N. tellen ✧ Ety/RUN
tallonja > tallonia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶talrunya > tellein > N. tellen ✧ Ety/TAL
tirja- > tiria- CjV > ViV ᴹ√TIR > N. tirio ✧ Ety/TIR
θilja- > θilia- CjV > ViV ᴹ√THIL > N. thilio ✧ Ety/THIL
θinje > θinie CjV > ViV ᴹ√THIN > N. †thîn ✧ Ety/THIN
θlenja > θlenia CjV > ViV ᴹ✶slinyā > N. thlein ✧ Ety/SLIN
θlinji > θlini CjV > ViV ᴹ✶slinyā > N. thlîn ✧ Ety/SLIN
xanja- > xania- CjV > ViV ᴹ√KHAN > N. henio ✧ Ety/KHAN
xarja > xaria CjV > ViV ᴹ√KHYAR > N. heir ✧ Ety/KHYAR
xorja- > xoria- CjV > ViV ᴹ√KHOR > hoerio > N. herio ✧ Ety/KHOR
xwinja- > xwinia- CjV > ViV ᴹ√SWIN > N. chwinio ✧ Ety/SWIN