S. final [w], [v] vanished after [u]; [-u{vw}] > [-u]

S. final [w], [v] vanished after [u]; [-u{vw}] > [-u]

In Sindarin and Noldorin, any final [v] or [w] after the vowel [u] vanished, as noted by David Salo (GS/§4.173, GS/§4.176, GS/§4.177). The likely mechanism was [v] > [w], and then [w] became [u] which blended with the preceding vowel. This sound change also occurred after the diphthong au, as noted by Tolkien himself:

The adjective *nāba > nǭv, nǭf only remained current in the Northern dialect, where the name Novrod originated. In the other dialects nǭv, as a stressed independent word, proceeded to nauv > naw (with usual loss of final v after au, u [emphasis added]), and this word ceased to be used in current speech (Quendi and Eldar, circa 1960, WJ/414).

There are numerous examples:

In Noldorin the same disappearance occurred after the diphthong [ui]:

The last example reappears in Sindarin: S. Nen Echui “Water of Awakening” (SA/cuivië) and S. echuir “spring” (LotR/1107), so perhaps the same reduction after [ui] occurred in Sindarin as well.

There are a number of Sindarin and Noldorin examples that indicate that [v] did not vanish after [u] medially, consistent with Tolkien’s statement above that this was a word-final change:

In Noldorin at least, there are several examples where the medial disappearance of [v] after [u] seems to take place:

The second example could be a late or reformed compound as a combination of N. + lhinn. However, in the third example it is difficult to explain the diphthong [ui] without assuming the [m] vanishing between long [ū] and [i], and the most plausible explanation for such as disappearance would be [m] > [v] and then it vanishing after [ū]. Since there are also Noldorin examples of medial [v] surviving after [u] in similar conditions, it is hard to say what Tolkien’s intent might have been here.

There are similar vacillations around the disappearance of medial [w] after [u]. There is S. and N. dúath < du(w)ath = + gwath (PE17/87, 152; Ety/DOƷ), but there are also S. Deldúwath, S. Drúwaith and S. Eluwaith (S/155, UT/385, WJ/378).

One interesting example is ✶Oromē > Orom̆ > Orow̯ > S. Araw (PE17/99), which hints that final [v] became [u] after [o] as well. There is a similar example in Noldorin, where ᴹ√KUM > cofn [> *coun] > N. caun “empty, void” (Ety/KUM). All attested ov in Sindarin/Noldorin appear medially, which further supports the idea that [-ov] > [-ou] at the end of words, either when final itself or before another final consonant.

Conceptual Developments: There are a fair number of examples of medial uv in the Gnomish and Early Noldorin of the 1910s and 1920s, but it is hard to say what the phonetic developments were at the end of words given the lack of attested primitive forms in the earliest conceptual stages of the languages. This is especially true since [m] did not mutate to [v] after vowels in Gnomish, meaning there were fewer possible examples of this sound change.

Reference ✧ WJ/414 ✧ phonetics for example: naw < nauv < ✶nābā

Order (06400)

After 02100 [ǭ] became [au] nābā > nauv > S. naw WJ/414
After 02300 short final vowels vanished χīþilōmē > hithlũṽ > S. Hithlũ PE17/133
After 04600 long vowels shortened before clusters χīþilōmē > hithlũṽ > S. Hithlũ PE17/133
After 06000 non-initial [m] usually became [v] Val. Arǭmēz > arāmē/arǭmæ > araum(a) > araum̌/arauv > S. Araw WJ/400
Before 06500 [ou] became [au] Oromē > Orom̆ > Orow̯ > S. Araw PE17/99

Phonetic Rule Elements

[-uv] > [-u]
[-uw] > [-u]
[-ov] > [-ou]

Phonetic Rule Examples

orov > orou -ov > -ou Oromē > Orom̆ > Orow̯ > S. Araw ✧ PE17/99
ahauv > ahau -uv > -u SAM > ahawv > S. aw ✧ PE17/173
arauv > arau -uv > -u Orǭmē > Oraúmh > Araúv > S. Áraw ✧ PE17/153
arauv > arau -uv > -u Val. Arǭmēz > arāmē/arǭmæ > araum(a) > araum̌/arauv > S. Araw ✧ WJ/400
bauv > bau -uv > -u ñgwaum- > mbaum̃ > S. baw ✧ PE19/107
bauv > bau -uv > -u ñgwām > mbaum̃ > S. baw ✧ PE19/107
drūv > drū -uv > -u D)ROB > S. drû ✧ PE17/99
dūv > dū -uv > -u dōmē > S. ✧ PE17/152
dūv > dū -uv > -u dōmē > S. ✧ SA/dú
hiθlūv > hiθlū -uv > -u χīþilōmē > hithlũṽ > S. Hithlũ ✧ PE17/133
kūv > kū -uv > -u kūma > S. cû(f) ✧ PE17/122
nauv > nau -uv > -u nābā > nauv > S. naw ✧ WJ/414
r̥auv > r̥au -uv > -u S-RAB > S. rhaw(f) ✧ PE17/78
r̥auw > r̥au -uw > -u srāwe > S. rhaw ✧ MR/350

N. [w], [v] vanished after [u]; [u{vw}|ui{vw}] > [u|ui]

GS/§4.173 GS/§4.176 GS/§4.177 WGCH/§110iii-1 [-awf > -aw] @@@

Order (05500)

After 02100 short final vowels vanished ᴹ✶tuimā > tuiw > N. tui Ety/TUY
After 05300 non-initial [m] usually became [v] ᴹ✶tuimā > tuiw > N. tui Ety/TUY
Before 05600 [mb], [nd] became [mm], [nn] ᴹ√DOM > dúlind > N. dúlin Ety/TIN

Phonetic Rule Elements

[uv] > [u]
[uw] > [u]
[uiv] > [ui]
[uiw] > [ui]
[-ovC] > [-ouC]

Phonetic Rule Examples

kovn > koun -ovC > -ouC ᴹ√KUM > cofn > N. caun ✧ Ety/KUM
juiv > jui uiv > ui ᴹ√YAB > N. iui ✧ EtyAC/YAB
r̥uiv > r̥ui uiv > ui ᴹ√ROY¹ > N. rhui(w) ✧ Ety/ROY¹
suiv > sui uiv > ui ON. sōba > N. sui ✧ Ety/SAB
tuiv > tui uiv > ui ᴹ✶tuimā > tuiw > N. tui ✧ Ety/TUY
exxuiw > exxui uiw > ui ᴹ✶et-kuiwē > N. echui(w) ✧ Ety/KUY
r̥uiw > r̥ui uiw > ui ON. rōwi > N. rhui ✧ Ety/RAW
arauv > arau uv > u ON. Araume > N. Araw ✧ Ety/ORÓM
arauv > arau uv > u ON. Araume > Aráw > Ara͠uƀ > Aróu̯mh > N. Áraw ✧ PE22/37
dauv > dau uv > u ON. doume > N. daw ✧ Ety/DOƷ
dūv > dū uv > u ᴹ✶dōmi > dūmh > N. ✧ SD/302
dūvilind > duilind uv > u ᴹ✶dōmilindē > N. duilin ✧ SD/302
dūvlind > dūlind uv > u ᴹ√DOM > dúlind > N. dúlin ✧ Ety/TIN
eruv > eru uv > u ᴹ√ERE > N. eru ✧ Ety/ERE
goruv > goru uv > u ᴹ✶Górōmē > N. Goru ✧ EtyAC/GÓROM
jauv > jau uv > u ᴹ√YAB > N. iau ✧ Ety/YAB
pauv > pau uv > u ᴹ√KWAM > N. paw ✧ Ety/KWAM
r̥auv > r̥au uv > u ᴹ√RAB² > N. rhaw ✧ Ety/RAMBĀ
r̥auv > r̥au uv > u ᴹ✶rāba > N. rhaw ✧ Ety/RAB
r̥ūv > r̥ū uv > u ON. rūma > N. †rhû ✧ Ety/ROM
sauv > sau uv > u ON. sōba > N. saw ✧ Ety/SAB
teluv > telu uv > u ᴹ√TELU > N. telu ✧ Ety/TEL
tinduv > tindu uv > u ᴹ√DOM > tindumh > tindu > N. tinnu ✧ Ety/TIN
tuluv > tulu uv > u ON. tulugme > N. tulu ✧ Ety/TULUK
ūvan > ūan uv > u ᴹ✶ū́banō > N. úan ✧ Ety/BAN
uluv > ulu uv > u ᴹ✶Ulumō > N. Ulu ✧ Ety/ULU
xīlūv > xīlū uv > u ᴹ✶χīsi-slōmē > N. Cílu ✧ PE21/32