√LIS root. “*sweet”
This root was connected to sweet things throughout Tolkien’s life. It appeared as ᴱ√LISI “sweetness” in the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s with some derivatives of similar meaning as well as others having to do with grace and blessing, such as ᴱQ. lis (list-) “grace, blessing”; Tolkien made it clear that “sweetness” was the root meaning (QL/54-55). In the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon the “sweetness” words all began with gl- and “grace” words with l-: G. glais “sweetness”, G. glist “sugar” (GL/39) vs. G. list “grace, favour, kindness”, G. lista- “bless” (GL/54). This connection between √LIS and “grace” survived in Tolkien’s later writing, since he used Q. lissë for “grace” in Quenya prayers of the 1950s (VT43/29; VT44/12).
This root appeared as ᴹ√LIS “honey” in The Etymologies of the 1930s, with Noldorin derivatives still beginning with gl-: ᴹQ. lis vs. N. glî “honey” (Ety/LIS). It appeared as √(G)LIS in “Definitive Linguistic Notes” (DLN) from 1959, still serving as the basis for words for honey and sweetness (PE17/154), though some of the Sindarin “sweet” words began with l- in this document, such as: S. laich “sweet” (PE17/148).
References ✧ PE17/148, 154, 160
ᴹ√LIS root. “honey”
References ✧ Ety/LIS, MAT, MOR; EtyAC/MAT
ᴱ√LISI root. “sweetness”
Reference ✧ QL/54 ✧ “sweetness”