Ilk. initial nasals usually vanished before stops; [{mnŋ}{bdg}-] > [ø{bdg}-]

Ilk. initial nasals usually vanished before stops; [{mnŋ}{bdg}-] > [ø{bdg}-]

The Comparative Tables indicate that primitive initial combinations of nasals and voice stops generally lost their nasal sound (PE19/20). The same rule applied to “Beleriandic” development in Tolkien’s linguistic notes from around 1950 (PE18/103-4). There are a number of examples of this development in The Etymologies (see below).

However, the actual development in the Comparative Tables shows ✶mb > Ilk. b, mb; ✶nd > Ilk. d, nd; ✶ng > Ilk. g, ng. This indicates that while the normal development was to simple stops, in some case the development could be different. There a number examples of such alternate development in The Etymologies. The Doriathrin derivatives of the root ᴹ√ÑGOL all show variations beginning with both g- and ng-, while the Doriathrin derivatives ᴹ√ÑGOROTH all begin with ng-. Similarly, ᴹ√MBOTH > Dor. moth, with a simple nasal instead of a simple stop.

All the examples of this variation are Doriathrin and occur before the vowel [o]. There is an example of a Doriathrin noun with ✶[ŋg-] > [g-] before [a], however: ᴹ√ÑGARAM > Dor. garm. Furthermore, there are no examples of this variation for [nd-], whereas ᴹ✶ndorē > Dor. dôr. Therefore the conditions of this variant development may be where [mb-] and [ŋg-] precede the vowel be [o] (and perhaps [u]) and the variation may be limited to the Doriathrin dialect.

In the case of [mb-], it seems the variation leads to the simple nasal [m-]. It may be that ng- is an orthographic representation of the simple velar nasal [ŋ-], so that in both cases the nasal-stop cluster reduced to a simple nasal for the variation.

Reference ✧ PE18/104 ✧ Bel. initial nasals usually vanished before stops

Phonetic Rule Elements

[mb-] > [b-] ✧ PE18/105 (mb > b); PE19/20 (mb- > b, mb)
[nd-] > [d-] ✧ PE19/20 (nd- > d, nd)
[ŋg-] > [g-] ✧ PE18/105 (ñg > g); PE18/105 (ñgw > gw); PE19/20 (ŋg- > g, ng); PE19/20 (ŋgw- > gw, ngw)
[mbo-] > [mo-]
[ŋgo-] > [ŋgo-]

Phonetic Rule Examples

mbríl > bríl mb- > b- ᴹ√MBIRÍL > Ilk. bril ✧ Ety/MBIRIL
mboθ > moθ mbo- > mo- ᴹ√MBOTH > Dor. moth ✧ Ety/MBOTH
ndeniθor > deniθor nd- > d- ᴹ✶ndani-thārō > Dor. Deniþor ✧ LR/188
ndior > dior nd- > d- ᴹ✶ndeuro > Dor. Dior ✧ Ety/NDEW
ndolmed > dolmed nd- > d- ᴹ√NDOL > Ndolmed > Dor. Dolmed ✧ Ety/NDOL
ndōn > dōn nd- > d- ᴹ√NDAN > Dor. dôn ✧ Ety/NDAN
ndōr > dōr nd- > d- ᴹ✶ndorē > Dor. dôr ✧ EtyAC/NDOR
ŋg- > g- ŋg- > g- ᴹ✶ŋgj- > Ilk. g, ng ✧ PE19/20
ŋgaŋgel > gaŋgel ŋg- > g- ᴹ√ÑGANAD > Ilk. gangel ✧ Ety/ÑGAN
ŋgarm > garm ŋg- > g- ᴹ√ÑGAR(A)M > Dor. garm ✧ Ety/ÑGAR(A)M
ŋgōl > ŋgōl ŋgo- > ŋgo- ᴹ√ÑGOL > Dor. ngôl/gôl ✧ Ety/ÑGOL
ŋgold > ŋgold ŋgo- > ŋgo- ᴹ√ÑGÓLOD > Dor. (n)gold ✧ Ety/ÑGOLOD
ŋgolo > ŋgolo ŋgo- > ŋgo- ᴹ√ÑGOL > Dor. (n)golo ✧ Ety/ÑGOL
ŋgorθ > ŋgorθ ŋgo- > ŋgo- ᴹ√ÑGÓROTH > Dor. ngorth ✧ Ety/ÑGOROTH