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Q. #pempë n. “lip” (Category: Lip)

Q. #pempë, n. “lip” (Category: Lip)

A word for “lip” appearing only in its plural form pempi in 1964 notes on the parts of the mouth, where it was related to Q. “the closed mouth” (PE17/126). In 1968 notes on monosyllabic nouns, Tolkien said the primitive ✶ “lip” was reduplicated to ✶pē̆pe; this is likely connected to an irregular plural form péti in the (untranslated) phrase et i péti “*out of the mouth/lips”, with dissimilation of the second p to t as suggested by Patrick Wynne (VT47/35): *pēpi > péti. The 1964 form pempe is probably also the result of reduplication, likely *peñ-peñ > pempe(ñ), since √PEÑ was the usual root for “lip” (PE21/70; PE19/102).

Conceptual Development: The earliest “lip” word was ᴱQ. kilme from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s under the early root ᴱ√KILI “edge” (QL/46), a form also appearing in the contemporaneous Poetic and Mythological Words of Eldarissa (PME/46). A similar form ᴱQ. kilma “lip” appeared in a list of body parts from the 1920s, along with an alternate word ᴱQ. kaile “lip” (PE14/117). There are no signs of these early lip-words after that point.

Neo-Quenya: Tolkien also sometimes used Q. for “lip”; see that entry for discussion. For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I recommend using Q. mainly for “closed mouth” and pempë for a single “lip”. However, the dual form peu of was used of “the two lips, the mouth-opening” (VT39/9), which I would use for “a pair of lips for one person (open or closed)”, functioning as an irregular dual of pempë.

References ✧ PE17/126; VT47/35



pempi plural “lips” ✧ PE17/126
péti plural   ✧ VT47/35

Element In



ᴱQ. kaile n. “lip” (Category: Lip)

See Q. #pempë for discussion.

Reference ✧ PE14/117 ✧ “lip”


ᴱQ. kilme n. “lip” (Category: Lip)

See Q. #pempë for discussion.

References ✧ PE14/117; PME/46; QL/46





Phonetic Developments

ᴱ√KILI > kilme [kilmē] > [kilme] ✧ QL/46