√LAW root. “flourish (green), grow”
This root was variously connected to life and warmth throughout Tolkien’s life. The earliest iteration of the root was ᴱ√LAWA from the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s whose meaning was described as “much same as KOẎO [have life], but used of a vegetable”; it had derivatives like ᴱQ. laule “life, mode of life”, ᴱQ. laute “living thing, (esp.) vegetable”, and ᴱQ. lauke “vegetable, plant (species)” (QL/52). In the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon it had derivatives like G. lauth “a plant, herb” and G. laug “(of plants) alive, having sap, green, vigorous” (GL/53).
In The Etymologies of the 1930s it was glossed “warm” with derivatives ᴹQ. lauka and N. lhaug of the same meaning (Ety/LAW). In the Quenya Verbal System of the 1940s it was glossed “abound” with a Quenya verb ᴹQ. lauta- of the same meaning (PE22/103).
The root √LAW appeared in notes from the late 1950s serving as the basis for Q. loa “sun-year”, originally with the sense ✶lawā “growing, blooming”; it was also explicitly connected to its extended form √LAWAR with the sense “golden colour” (PE17/159). Its final appearance in currently published materials was in some Late Notes on Verbs from 1969, where it was given as √LAW “flourish (green), grow” with derivative Q. lauya- of the same meaning (PE22/156).
Despite all these minor variations, the general meaning of the root was fairly stable, having mainly to do with life and flourishing (especially of plants), and also connected to warmth and sunlight, probably by association with its extended form √(G)LAWAR “golden colour or light”, which applied to sunshine among other things.
References ✧ PE17/159; PE22/156
ᴹ√LAW root. “warm; abound”
References ✧ Ety/LAW; PE22/103
ᴱ√LAWA root. “*life (esp. plants)”
References ✧ QL/52