Ad. azrîya du-phursâ akhâsada “that [the] seas should gush into [the] chasm”

Ad. azrîya du-phursâ akhâsada “that [the] seas should gush into [the] chasm”

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The 5th phrase of the Lament of Akallabêth (SD/247). The subject azrîya is the subjective plural of azra “sea”. Judging by the glosses, the verbal prefix du most likely indicates the optative or subjunctive moods (see those entries for discussion). The verb form phursâ resembles the aorist tense of the verb phurus-, except that the long â is unusual. Perhaps this variation is because the verb is actually in an infinitive form, though Andreas Moehn instead suggested the verb stem may be a derived verb *phursâ- (EotAL/PHUR). The last word akhâsada is the word akhâs “chasm” with the prepositional suffix -ada “towards, into”.

The gloss of the manuscript version was “that seas should gush into Chasm” (VT24/12). This gloss seems to indicate that this sentence might actually be a subordinate phrase of the preceding sentence Bârim an-Adûn yurahtam dâira sâibêth-mâ Êruvô “Lords of the West, they broke the Earth with assent from Eru”. This would fit well with its use of the optative/subjunctive mood, so that this phrase gives reason why the Valar broke the Earth (to sink Númenor). However, both the manuscript and typescript versions separated the two sentences with an ellipsis “...”, indicating that they are separate sentences.

References ✧ SD/247; VT24/12




azra “sea” plural subjective ✧ SD/247 (azrīya)
du “should, so-as” ✧ SD/247
phurus- “to gush, flow” aorist ✧ SD/247 (phursā)
akhâs “chasm” ✧ SD/247 (akhās)
-ada “to, toward, into, against, -ward” ✧ SD/247

Element In


Ad. azrē nai {phurusam >>} phurrusim akhās-ada “seas might-flow Chasm-into”

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The first draft of the 5th phrase of the Lament of Akallabêth (SD/311). Its has the same vocabulary as the final version except that it has nai “might” (an adverb?) instead of the prefix du. This nai is almost certainly a variant of Q. nai “maybe, be it that”.

The draft version has several other grammatical differences from later versions. The subject azrē “seas” seems to be a simple rather than subjective plural. Tolkien initially wrote phurusam for the verb and then changed to to phurrusim “flow”, perhaps aorist and past tenses of the verb phurus-, respectively. Both conjugations have the plural verb suffix -m. The last phrase akhās-ada “into Chasm” is essentially identical to the final version, however.

Reference ✧ SD/311 ✧ “seas might-flow Chasm-into”



azra “sea” draft-plural ✧ SD/311 (azrē)
nai “might (draft)” ✧ SD/311
phurus- “to gush, flow” past plural ✧ SD/311 (phurrusim)
akhâs “chasm” ✧ SD/311 (akhās)
-ada “to, toward, into, against, -ward” ✧ SD/311

Element In