S. ae Adar nín i vi Menel “our Father who [art] in Heaven”
The first line of Ae Adar Nín, Tolkien’s Sindarin translation of the Lord’s Prayer (VT44/21). The first word Ae is probably a variation of the vocative a² “O”. The second word is adar “father”, modified by the possessive pronoun nín “my”, with the adjectival element following the noun as is usual in Sindarin. The fourth word is i² “who” followed by vi the lenited form of mi “in” and menel “heaven”. There is no Sindarin word for “to be” in this phrase, as there is in English (“art”).
Both Bill Welden and David Salo point out (VT44/22, GS/231) that Tolkien’s use of the 1st-person-singular possessive pronoun nín “my” in this first phrase (where the original prayer had “our”) is somewhat peculiar, since elsewhere in the prayer he used mín for the 1st-person-plural possessive “our”. Bill Welden suggested that Tolkien may have use the 1st-singular here to connote greater intimacy (VT44/22).
As pointed out by Bill Welden (VT44/23-4), Tolkien did not use Q. menel for the Christian Heaven in the final Quenya version of the prayer, replacing it with the name Q. Eruman. Elsewhere, S. menel properly referred only to “the heavens” (holding the stars) and its application to the Christian Heaven would not be appropriate (MR/387). Perhaps Tolkien would have replace S. Menel with a Sindarinized form *Eruvan of the Quenya name, if he had made the same change in the Sindarin prayer.
Decomposition: Broken into its constituent elements, this phrase would be:
ae Adar nín i vi Menel = “*O Father mine who [art] in Heaven”
Reference ✧ VT44/21 ✧ Ae Adar nín i vi Menel “our Father who [art] in Heaven”
|a²||“O!”||✧ VT44/22 (Ae)|
|i²||“who, that”||✧ VT44/22|
|menel||“the heavens, firmanent, region of the stars”||✧ VT44/23|