S. verbal nouns grammar.

S. verbal nouns grammar.

The Sindarin verbal noun is formed with the suffix -ed (for basic verb) or -d (for derived verbs ending in -a). These are roughly equivalent to English verbal nouns ending in “-ing”: car- “do” vs. cared “doing”, that is they function as gerunds. In Sindarin, verbal nouns are also used as the objects of other verbs, functioning like an English infinitive: “to do”. This is a trait Sindarin seems to share with Welsh, which does not have distinct gerunds and infinitives but only has a verbal noun form which is used for both. Sindarin examples include:

The verbal object may also have objects of its own: e aníra tírad i Cherdir Perhael “he desires to see Master Samwise”. Unlike nouns that are the direct objects of verbs, a verbal nouns does not undergo soft mutation. As seen in the last example in the list above, the infinitive need not directly follow the main verb, because an adverb can intervene: e aníra ennas suilannad “(lit.) he desires there to see”.

The Sindarin verbal noun suffix is derived from the primitive suffix -ita; this suffix is also seen in the Quenya particular infinitive:

General infinitive [Q] -ie, karie. (S -ita. cared.) (PE17/68).

With basic verbs, presumably the i underwent a-affection, so that -ita > -ed(a). In the case of derived verbs, it seems -t(a) was applied directly to the verb stem to became -d. However, there are a few examples of the vowel a becoming o, as in galod gerund of gala- “to grow”. The likely phonetic developments are -ātā > -ǭta > -od(a) with the long ǭ shortening at the end of the polysyllable as it generally did. It may be that this -ad/-od variation in derived verbs reflects differences in ancient verb forms: those ending in vs. . Without more information, though, I’d stick with the established Neo-Sindarin practice of using -ad for all gerunds of derived verbs.

Conceptual Development: We have no real information on verbal nouns for Gnomish of the 1910s, but Early Noldorin of the 1920s had both infinitives and gerunds, though they often coincided. In Tolkien’s first sketch verbs in the Early Noldorin Grammar from the 1920s (PE13/126-127), he gave the infinitives for basic and derived verbs as maded (mad-) and glathrad (glathra-) respectively, similar to Sindarin forms of the 1950s and 60s. However, he also gave a verbal noun gladhros, as well as past infinitives derived by adding -ad to the past tense forms: manthiad, glathrathiad >> glathraithiad. The past infinitive forms were the same in his second sketch, but the present infinitives became medwi and glathrod (PE13/129).

The i-infinitives for basic verbs reappeared in Early Noldorin word lists of this period, but in a few cases the i intrudes to form i-diphthongs. Examples include:

These word lists also had several examples of what appear to be -ad/-od gerunds of derived verbs:

However, there were a couple of explicitly marked infinitives in the Early Noldorin word lists that were modification of the verb stems without a suffix:

The first of these appeared as the infinitive adog (g instead of b) in the Early Noldorin Grammar (PE13/132). There were also some infinitives formed with a suffixal -th that might be tied to the verbal noun glathros appearing in the first draft of verb conjugations from the Early Noldorin Grammar:

Finally, there were a few verbal nouns that don’t fit in to any of these patterns, such as: peda “to say” from ped- (PE13/152), inf. eithran “stabbing, pricking” from eithra- (PE13/158).

The i-infinitives reappeared for Noldorin basic verbs in The Etymologies of the 1930s:

Many of the above are attested only in their infinitival form. These i-infinitives caused internal i-affection of the base vowel (and in the case of esgeri the entire verb), but there is no sign of i-intrusion in this period.

Derived verbs in The Etymologies had a new infinitive form ending o. Examples were very numerous, and many derived verbs were attested only in their infinitival form. Some representative examples:

These Noldorin-style infinitives appeared in other contexts in the 1930s, such as medi “to eat” and tangado “to confirm, establish” from the (currently unpublished) Noldorin Grammar from this period (PE17/44), and they bear a striking resemblance to the more common Welsh verbal noun suffixes (-u, -o, -io, -i). However, there are also examples of verbal nouns ending in -ed/-ad, such as:

It may be these were true gerundal forms. However, there is no sign of the Noldorin-style infinitives with -i and -o in Sindarin of the 1950s and 60s, where -ed/-ad/-od forms seem to function as both gerund and infinitive, as discussed above.

Neo-Sindarin: It is the general assumption of most Neo-Sindarin writers that the -ed/-ad verbal nouns function as both gerunds and infinitives, and behave in all respects like nouns except (a) they cannot be inflected in the plural and (b) are not mutated when functioning as the infinitival object of another verb.

The similarity in function between Sindarin and Welsh verbal noun (which in each language serves as both a gerund and an infinitive) can give additional clues to more complex uses of verbal nouns. In Welsh, the direct object of a finite verb undergoes soft mutation, but the direct object of an infinitive does not. This is because the infinitive is, strictly speaking, a noun, and its relationship to its object is essentially an appositional genitive. The closest Welsh equivalent to “I want to slay a wolf” would be “I want slaying of a wolf”. In Sindarin this might be merin daged draug (and not dhraug) where daged draug is an appositional genitive “slaying [of a] wolf”.

In the situation where the direct object of the verbal noun is a pronoun, Welsh uses a possessive pronoun, so “I want to slay him” would be “I want his slaying (the slaying of him)”. In Sindarin this might be merin i naged dín. In cases where the verbal noun has a subject, in Welsh it comes between the main verb and the infinitival verb in the dative, so perhaps in Sindarin merin ammen daged draug “I want us to slay a wolf, (lit.) I want for us slaying of a wolf” and merin an i adan i naged lín “I want the man to slay you, (lit.) I want for the man the slaying of you”.

This is all speculative, but fits the notion that the Sindarin infinitive is functionally a noun.

Examples (gerund)
achared “vengeance” [← #achar-] ✧ PE17/167
aned [← #anna-] ✧ PE22/163
cared [← car-] ✧ PE17/68
cared ← câr (present 3rd-sg) ✧ PE17/132
cared [← car-] ✧ PE22/168
galod [← gala-] ✧ PE17/132
haðwad [← hadhwa-] ✧ PE22/148
mened “to go” [← #men-] ✧ PE22/165
#noediad [← #nedia-] ✧ PE17/145
#nediad [← #nedia-] ✧ WJ/28
suilannad “to greet” [← #suilanna-] ✧ SD/129
tírad “to see” [← #tíra-] ✧ SD/129

Element In


N. verbal nouns grammar.

Examples (gerund)
bacthad ← bactha- ✧ EtyAC/MBAKH
heniad “*understanding” ← henio (infinitive) ✧ EtyAC/KHAN
#nœdiad ← nœdia ✧ Ety/NOT
#onoded ← gonod- soft-mutation g-mutation ✧ Ety/NOT

Examples (infinitive)
atlanno “to slope, slant” [← atlanna-] ✧ Ety/TALÁT
adlegi [← †#adleg-] ✧ EtyAC/LEK
Adleitho [← adleitha-] ✧ EtyAC/LEK
anno “to give” [← anna-] ✧ Ety/ANA¹
ath-rado “to cross, traverse” [← athrada-] ✧ Ety/RAT
#vedi [← *bad-] ✧ Ety/BAT
bartho “to doom” [← bartha-] ✧ Ety/MBARAT
batho “trample” [← batha-] ✧ Ety/BAT
bauglo- “to oppress” [← baugla-] ✧ Ety/MBAW
berio “to protect” [← beria-] ✧ Ety/BAR
bertho “dare” [← bertha-] ✧ Ety/BER
blebi “flap, beat (wings etc.)” [← #blab-] ✧ Ety/PALAP
breitho “break out suddenly” [← breitha-] ✧ Ety/BERÉK
brenio “endure” [← brenia-] ✧ Ety/BORÓN
brono “last, survive” [← brona-] ✧ Ety/BORÓN
buio “serve, hold allegiance to” [← buia-] ✧ Ety/BEW
critho “reap” [← critha-] ✧ Ety/KIRIK
cuino “to be alive” [← cuina-] ✧ Ety/KUY
degi “to slay” [← dag-] ✧ Ety/NDAK
dagro “to battle” [← dagra-] ✧ Ety/NDAK
deri “stop, halt” [← dar-] ✧ Ety/DAR
dæri [← dar-] ✧ EtyAC/DAR
delio “conceal” [← delia-] ✧ Ety/DUL
dilio “to stop up” [← dilia-] ✧ Ety/DIL
dilio “to stop” [← dilia-] ✧ EtyAC/DIL
dravo “to hew” [← drava-] ✧ Ety/DARÁM
dringo “to beat” [← dringa-] ✧ Ety/DRING
echedi “fashion, shape” [← echad-] ✧ Ety/KAT
egledhio “go into exile” [← egledhia-] ✧ Ety/LED
ercho “to prick” [← ercha-] ✧ Ety/ERÉK
erio “rise” [← eria-] ✧ Ety/ORO
faltho “to foam” [← faltha-] ✧ Ety/PHAL
faro “to hunt” [← fara-] ✧ Ety/SPAR
faro “hunter” [← fara-] ✧ EtyAC/PHAR²
fuio “feel disgust at, abhor” [← fuia-] ✧ Ety/PHEW
gedi “catch” ← gad- ✧ Ety/GAT
galo- “to grow” [← gala-] ✧ Ety/GALA
galo “to grow” [← gala-] ✧ EtyAC/GAL²
gannado “play a harp” [← gann(ad)a-] ✧ Ety/ÑGAN
ganno “play a harp” [← gann(ad)a-] ✧ Ety/ÑGAN
garo- “hold, have” [← gar-] ✧ Ety/ƷAR|GAR
garo ← gar- ✧ EtyAC/GAR
garo “hold, keep” [← gar-] ✧ EtyAC/GAR
gartho “defend, keep” [← gartha-] ✧ EtyAC/GAR
giri “shudder” [← gir-] ✧ Ety/GIR
glavro “to babble” [← glavra-] ✧ Ety/GLAM
lirio “sing” [← glir-] ✧ EtyAC/LIR¹
gwaedo “enfold” [← gwaeda-] ✧ EtyAC/WAY
gwanno “depart, die” [← gwanna-] ✧ Ety/WAN
gwatho “to soil, stain” [← gwatha-] ✧ Ety/WAƷ
gwedi “bind” [← #gwedh-] ✧ Ety/WED
gwerio “betray” [← gweria-] ✧ Ety/WAR
gwesto “to swear” [← gwesta-] ✧ Ety/WED
hedi “hurl” [← had-] ✧ Ety/KHAT
harno “to wound” [← harna-] ✧ Ety/SKAR
hasto “hack through” [← hasta-] ✧ Ety/SYAD
henio “understand” [← henia-] ✧ Ety/KHAN
herio “begin suddenly and vigorously” [← heria-] ✧ Ety/KHOR
chwinio “twirl, whirl, eddy” [← chwinia-] ✧ Ety/SWIN
iuitho “employ” [← iuitha-] ✧ Ety/YUK
lhathro “listen in, eavesdrop” [← lhathr(ad)a-] ✧ Ety/LAS²
lhathrado “listen in, eavesdrop” [← lhathr(ad)a-] ✧ Ety/LAS²
lhathra [← lhathr(ad)a-] ✧ EtyAC/LAS²
lhefi “to lick” [← #lhav-] ✧ Ety/LAB
lheitho “to release, set free” [← lheithia-] ✧ Ety/LEK
medi “eat” [← mad-] ✧ Ety/MAT
medi “to eat” [← mad-] ✧ PE17/44
matho “stroke, feel, handle” [← matha-] ✧ Ety/MAƷ
melo “to love” [← mela-] ✧ EtyAC/MEL
mîl “love, kindness” [← mîl] ✧ EtyAC/MEL
minno “enter” [← minna-] ✧ EtyAC/MI
misto “stray about” [← mista-] ✧ Ety/MIS
mudo “labour, toil” [← muda-] ✧ Ety/MŌ
negro “to pain” [← negra-] ✧ Ety/NÁYAK
naro “tell” [← †nara-] ✧ Ety/NAR²
nartho “kindle” [← nartha-] ✧ EtyAC/NARTA
neledhi “walk” [← #neledh-] ✧ TAI/150
nestegi “insert, stick in” [← #nestag-] ✧ Ety/STAK
nestegi “insert, thrust in” [← #nestag-] ✧ EtyAC/NĒ̆
ortho “raise” [← ortha-] ✧ Ety/ORO
ortheri ← orthor (present) ✧ Ety/TUR
esgeri “cut round, amputate” [← #osgar-] ✧ Ety/OS
ovro “to abound” [← ovra-] ✧ Ety/UB
panno “to open, enlarge” [← panna-] ✧ Ety/PAT
pathro “fill” [← pathra-] ✧ Ety/KWAT
pelio “spread” [← pelia-] ✧ Ety/PAL
penio “fix, set” [← penia-] ✧ Ety/PAN
presto “to affect, trouble, disturb” [← presta-] ✧ Ety/PERES
puio “spit” [← puia-] ✧ Ety/PIW
rado “to make a way, find a way” [← rada-] ✧ Ety/RAT
rheði “to sow” [← #rhedh-] ✧ Ety/RED
rhenio “wander” [← rhenia-¹] ✧ Ety/RAM
rhenio “to stray” [← rhenia-¹] ✧ Ety/RAN
rhenio “fly, sail” [← rhenia-²] ✧ Ety/RAM
thribi “scratch” [← thrib-] ✧ Ety/SRIP
rhimmo ← rhib- ✧ Ety/RIP
rhisto “cut” [← rhista-] ✧ Ety/RIS²
risto “rend, rip” [← rista-] ✧ Ety/RIS¹
rhitho “jerk, twitch, snatch” [← rhitha-] ✧ Ety/RIK(H)
rosto “to hollow out, excavate” [← rosta-] ✧ Ety/ROD
sirio “flow” [← siria-] ✧ Ety/SIR
sogo “drink” [← #sog-] ✧ Ety/SUK
taetho “fasten, tie” [← taetha-] ✧ Ety/TAK
tammo “to knock” [← tamma-] ✧ Ety/TAM
tangado “to make firm, confirm, establish” [← tangad(a)-] ✧ Ety/TAK
tangado “to confirm, establish” [← tangad(a)-] ✧ PE17/44
teitho “write” [← teitha-] ✧ Ety/TEK
telio “to play” [← telia-] ✧ Ety/TYAL
teilio [← telia-] ✧ Ety/TYAL
thio “to seem” [← thia-] ✧ Ety/THĒ
thilio “to glisten” [← thilia-] ✧ Ety/THIL
thosto “to stink” [← thosta-] ✧ EtyAC/THUS
thuio “breathe” [← thuia-] ✧ Ety/THŪ
tinno “it glints” [← tinna-] ✧ Ety/TIN
tiri “watch” [← tir-] ✧ Ety/TIR
tirio “watch” [← tiria-] ✧ Ety/TIR
tobo “to cover, roof over” [← toba-] ✧ Ety/TOP
tegi “to bring” ← tôg (present) ✧ Ety/TUK
teli “to come” ← tôl (present) ✧ Ety/TUL
toltho “fetch” [← toltha-] ✧ Ety/TUL
tortho “to wield, control” [← tortha-] ✧ Ety/TUR
treneri “recount, tell to the end” [← trenar-] ✧ Ety/NAR²
trevedi “traverse” [← #trevad-] ✧ Ety/BAT
tuio “to swell” [← tuia-] ✧ Ety/TIW
tuio “sprouts, springs” [← tuia-] ✧ Ety/TUY

Element In


ᴱN. verbal nouns grammar.

Examples (infinitive)
-tho ← -tha ✧ PE13/153
adog ← adag- ✧ PE13/132
adob “to build, erect” [← adag-] ✧ PE13/158
adob “build, building” [← adag-] ✧ PE13/165
amrost [← amra-] ✧ PE13/159
carach “to make oneself, become” ← cara ✧ PE13/161
curenni “to curdle (intr.)” [← #curan-] ✧ PE13/141
crenni “to finish, complete, accomplish” [← crann-] ✧ PE13/161
dangu [← dag-] ✧ PE13/130
dengwi [← dag-] ✧ PE13/130
eithran “stabbing, pricking” [← eithra-] ✧ PE13/158
eithlod “springing, welling forth” [← #eithla-] ✧ PE13/158
alaith “shielding, warding off” [← elaig-] ✧ PE13/158
glabod “babbling” [← #glaba-] ✧ PE13/162
gonoth ← go-nod ✧ PE13/145
goenoid ← go-nod- ✧ PE13/162
genaid ← go-nod- ✧ PE13/162
genedi ← go-nod- ✧ PE13/162
lhui “to wash” ← †lub- ✧ PE13/132
maded ← #mad- ✧ PE13/127
madwi [← mad-] ✧ PE13/129
medi ← mad- ✧ PE13/131
medi ← mad (present) ✧ PE13/163
medi “eat” ← mad ✧ PE13/163
medi “to eat, eating” ← mad ✧ PE13/163
medi “eat, eating” [← mad-] ✧ PE13/165
meriad “to dwell, live, stay” [← #meria-] ✧ PE13/150
peda “to say” [← ped-] ✧ PE13/152
rhengi “to slay in battle” [← rhang-] ✧ PE13/152
rheing ← rhengi (infinitive) ✧ PE13/152
rhoid “to let go” ← rhoid (infinitive) ✧ PE13/152
glathrad ← glathra ✧ PE13/126
glathrod [← glathra-] ✧ PE13/129
sagoth ← sag- ✧ PE13/153
tangod “fixing, to fix” ← tangad- ✧ PE13/131
tangod “to fix, fixing” [← tangad-] ✧ PE13/153
thau ← tha- ✧ PE13/153
thā ← tha- ✧ PE13/153
thirod “making complete, filling in the last details” [← #thirad-] ✧ PE13/165
golod “stinking, to stink” ← golwad- ✧ PE13/162
menniad [← mad-] aorist ✧ PE13/129
manthiad ← #mad- past ✧ PE13/127
mainthiad ← #mad- past ✧ PE13/127
manthiad [← mad-] past ✧ PE13/129
glathraithiad ← glathra past ✧ PE13/126
glathrathiad ← glathra past ✧ PE13/126
glathraithiad [← glathra-] past ✧ PE13/129

Examples (gerund)
madeg ← #mad- ✧ PE13/127
glathros “to polish, polishing” ← glathra ✧ PE13/126
glathros ← glathra ✧ PE13/126
glathraith ← glathra past ✧ PE13/126
lathros [← glathra-] soft-mutation g-mutation ✧ PE13/128


G. infinitive grammar.

Examples (infinitive)

Examples (gerund)