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Q. tintila- v. (weak-verb) “to twinkle, sparkle, glitter, give tremulous light, †tremble”

Q. tintila-, v. (weak-verb) “to twinkle, sparkle, glitter, give tremulous light, †tremble”

A verb appearing in the Namárië poem, where Tolkien translated it as “tremble” (LotR/377). It is clear form his writings elsewhere that this a poetic rendering, and the actual meaning of the word is “twinkle, give tremulous light” (PE17/66) or “sparkle, glitter” (RGEO/61). It seems to be a combination of the roots √TIN “sparkle” and √THIL “shine silver” (PE17/66), and so is especially appropriate for describing starlight.

Conceptual Development: In The Etymologies from the 1930s, there was a similar verb ᴹQ. tintina- “to sparkle”, likely a reduplication of the root ᴹ√TIN “sparkle”. For Neo-Quenya writing, it is probably preferable to use the better known tintila-.

References ✧ LotR/377; PE17/66, 69; PM/364; RGEO/58-59, 61





tintilar aorist plural “tremble” ✧ LotR/377; RGEO/58
tintilar aorist plural “twinkle” ✧ PE17/66; RGEO/59
tintilar aorist plural   ✧ PM/364
tintilar present plural “sparkle, glitter” ✧ RGEO/61


TIN “sparkle, spark” ✧ PE17/66; PE17/66; RGEO/61
THIL “shine silver” ✧ PE17/66 (ΘIL)
tin- “to spark, glitter” ✧ PE17/69

Element In


ᴹQ. tintina- v. “to sparkle”

See Q. tintila- for discussion.

Reference ✧ Ety/TIN ✧ tintina “it sparkles”



Phonetic Developments

ᴹ√TIN > tintina [tintina-] ✧ Ety/TIN