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N. coe n. “earth” (Category: Earth, Land)

⚠️N. coe, n. “earth” (Category: Earth, Land)
S. ceven “*earth; Earth”

An indeclinable word given as {cíw >>} coe “earth” in The Etymologies of the 1930s as a derivative of the root ᴹ√KEM (Ety/KEM; EtyAC/KEM).

Possible Etymology: The primitive form of rejected cíw is given as ᴹ✶kēm and its derivation is clear: the long ē became ī and then the final m reduced to w after i as usual. The derivation of coe is more obscure, however. The likeliest explanation is that Tolkien imagined its ancient form with a slightly lowered vowel which he generally represented as ǣ in this period (in later writings as ę̄). According to the first version of the Tengwesta Qenderinwa and Comparative Vowel Tables from the 1930s (PE18/46; PE19/25), ǣ > ei > ai > ae, and in The Etymologies itself, it seems ai often became oe instead of ae.

Neo-Sindarin: Updating the derivation of hypothetical *kę̄m would produced ᴺS. cae in Sindarin phonology. But given the obscurity of its derivation, I recommend using 1950s S. ceven for “earth” instead.

References ✧ Ety/KEM; EtyAC/KEM






Phonetic Developments

ᴹ√KEM > coe [kǣm] > [kaim] > [kai] > [koe] ✧ Ety/KEM
ᴹ✶kēm > cíw [kēm] > [kīm] > [kīv] > [kīw] ✧ EtyAC/KEM