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KHAN¹ root. “brother”

KHAN¹ root. “brother”

A root for “brother” that Tolkien introduced in notes on finger-names from the late 1960s as a companion to √NETH “sister” (VT47/14, 26, 34). It conflicts with, and possibly replaces, earlier uses for √KHAN such as √KHAN “back” in notes from around 1959 serving as the basis for the prefix Q. han- in hanquenta “answer” (PE17/166). The root ᴹ√KHAN also appeared in The Etymologies of the 1930s glossed “understand, comprehend”, with various derivatives in both Quenya and Noldorin of similar meaning (Ety/KHAN).

It is unlikely that all these uses of √KHAN coexisted, but I think at a minimum both √KHAN “brother” and ᴹ√KHAN “understand, comprehend” should be retained for the purposes of Neo-Eldarin, as the latter has no good replacements in Tolkien’s later writing. As for hanquenta “answer”, it might be reinterpreted as “a saying providing understanding”, and so be derived from ᴹ√KHAN “understand”.

References ✧ VT47/14, 26, 34