√LEN root. “*way”
A variant of √LED in notes from the late 1950s or early 1960s that Tolkien considered to explain the derivation of S. lembas “waybread” (PE17/60). The root ᴹ√LEN “(?road), way” also appeared earlier in The Etymologies of the 1930s as the basis for N. lembas (EtyAC/LEN). Tolkien may have settled on this root when he revised the earlier root ᴹ√LED (Ety/LED) “go, fare, travel” >> √DEL¹ “walk, go, proceed, travel” in the 1959-60 Quendi and Eldar essay (WJ/360), deciding that its inversion √LED was used mainly in Quenya (WJ/363). Earlier indications of this root might be seen in the Gnomish words G. len “come, arrived” and G. lentha- “come towards speaker, approach, draw near” from the 1910s (GL/53).
References ✧ PE17/60, 159