OS. final [e] became [a] after single [s] and [st]; [-se|-ste|-sse] > [-sa|-sta|-sse]

OS. final [e] became [a] after single [s] and [st]; [-se|-ste|-sse] > [-sa|-sta|-sse]

In the Old Noldorin of the 1930s, it seems a final [e] following an [s] or [st] shifted to [a], unless it followed a double [ss], in which case the [e] was preserved. The clearest examples of this rule are ᴹ✶khyelesē > khelesa > ON. kheleha (Ety/KHYEL(ES)) and ᴹ✶peltakse > ON. pelthaksa (Ety/PEL). In the case of [st], note that ON. phasta has the cognate ᴹQ. fasse (Ety/PHAS), which implies a primitive form ending in [e] and thus a similar change of [e] to [a] in Old Noldorin after [st].

For counter-examples involving [ss], consider ON. (s)pharasse in which the final [e] is preserved, and similarly for its (rejected) precursor pharasse (Ety/SPAR, EtyAC/PHAR²).

Since later in Noldorin, short final vowels vanished, in many cases this phonetic change in Old Noldorin is not noticeable; whether the final vowel was -e or -a before it vanished has little effect. In a few cases, though, this change to -a in Old Noldorin can have further ramifications, in particular via a-affection, whereby short [i], [u] became [e], [o] preceding final [a].

There are only two attested examples of primitive forms ending in -se where the a-affection may also apply. The first example is ᴹ✶tupsē > N. taus (Ety/TUP). Here, the ON. shift to final -a means that the medial vowel [u] became [o], which means that after the voiceless stop was spirantalized and then vocalized before the [s], it produces the same final result as [o] in this position: the diphthong [au]. Compare this example to ᴹ✶oktā > N. auth (Ety/KOT).

Conversely, consider ᴹ✶tyulussē > N. tulus (Ety/TYUL). In this case, since the [u] remains, it implies that a-affection did not occur, indicating that the final -e was preserved after the double [ss], as noted above.

Conceptual Development: It’s not clear whether this sound change still applied to Sindarin, but there is nothing to contradict it. There is no evidence (for or against) for this change in Tolkien’s early versions of the language either.

@@@ possible Sindarin example: rinse > rinsa > S. riss vs. Q. risse (PE17/87) but it does not show expected a-affection; possibly related to change of final [ǝ] > [a] in ON, but [ǝ] was supposedly lost after [s] (PE22/26-27)

Order (02900)

Before 03100 intervocalic [s] became [h] ᴹ✶khyelesē > khelesa > ON. kheleha Ety/KHYEL(ES)
Before 03200 [p], [t], [k] spirantalized before [s] ᴹ✶peltakse > ON. pelthaksa Ety/PEL

Phonetic Rule Elements

[-se] > [-sa]
[-ste] > [-sta]
[-sse] > [-sse]

ON. final [e] became [a] after single [s] and [st]; [-se|-ste|-sse] > [-sa|-sta|-sse]

See OS. final [e] became [a] after single [s] and [st] for discussion.

Order (03900)

Before 04100 intervocalic [s] became [h] ᴹ✶khyelesē > khelesa > ON. kheleha Ety/KHYEL(ES)
Before 04400 [p], [t], [k] spirantalized before [s] ᴹ✶peltakse > ON. pelthaksa Ety/PEL

Phonetic Rule Elements

[-se] > [-sa]
[-ste] > [-sta]
[-sse] > [-sse]

Phonetic Rule Examples

karakse > karaksa -se > -sa ᴹ√KÁRAK > N. #charaes ✧ Ety/KARAK
kotse > kotsa -se > -sa ᴹ✶kotse > N. coth ✧ EtyAC/KOT
lapse > lapsa -se > -sa ᴹ√LAP > N. lhaes ✧ Ety/LAP
lokse > loksa -se > -sa ᴹ√LOKH > N. lhaws ✧ Ety/LOKH
nakse > naksa -se > -sa ᴹ✶nakse > N. naes ✧ EtyAC/NAK
pelθakse > pelθaksa -se > -sa ᴹ✶peltakse > ON. pelthaksa ✧ Ety/PEL
takse > taksa -se > -sa ᴹ✶taksē > N. taes ✧ Ety/TAK
telese > telesa -se > -sa ᴹ√TELES > N. tele ✧ Ety/TELES
tupse > tupsa -se > -sa ᴹ✶tupsē > N. taus ✧ Ety/TUP
xelese > xelesa -se > -sa ᴹ✶khyelesē > khelesa > ON. kheleha ✧ Ety/KHYEL(ES)
gamɸasse > gamɸasse -sse > -sse ON. gampasse > N. gammas ✧ EtyAC/GAP
glasse > glasse -sse > -sse ᴹ√GALÁS > N. glas ✧ Ety/GALÁS
sɸarasse > sɸarasse -sse > -sse ᴹ√SPAR > ON. (s)pharasse ✧ Ety/SPAR
targasse > targasse -sse > -sse ᴹ√TÁRAG > N. tarias ✧ Ety/TÁRAG
tulusse > tulusse -sse > -sse ᴹ✶tyulussē > N. tulus ✧ Ety/TYUL
tulussi > tulussi -sse > -sse ᴹ✶tyulussē > N. tylys ✧ Ety/TYUL
xrasse > xrasse -sse > -sse ᴹ✶khrassē > N. rhass ✧ Ety/KHARÁS
ɸarasse > ɸarasse -sse > -sse ᴹ√PHAR² > ON. pharasse ✧ EtyAC/PHAR²
ɸaste > ɸasta -ste > -sta ᴹ√PHAS > ON. phasta ✧ Ety/PHAS

ON. final [ǝ] was lost after [l, r, n, s], otherwise it became [a]; [-ǝ|-{lrns}ǝ] > [-a|-{lrns}ø]

@@@ also in Sindarin?

References ✧ PE22/25-27

Order (02800)

After 00600 final voiceless stops and [s] vanished in polysyllables ᴹ✶galā́sŏ > galṓsǝ > ON. galṓs PE22/26
After 02700 [ā], [au] became [ǭ] ᴹ✶galā́sŏ > galṓsǝ > ON. galṓs PE22/26

Phonetic Rule Elements

[-ǝ] > [-a]
[-{lrns}ǝ] > [-{lrns}ø]

Phonetic Rule Examples

galōsǝ > galǭs -{lrns}ǝ > -{lrns}ø ᴹ✶galā́sŏ > galṓsǝ > ON. galṓs ✧ PE22/26