Q. pé n. “(closed) mouth; lip” (Category: Mouth)
A word for the (closed) mouth (PE21/70; PE17/126) which Tolkien sometimes used as “lip” (VT39/9; VT47/12); see below. Its dual form peu referred to “the two lips, the mouth-opening” (VT39/9), as opposed to a single lip which seems to be Q. pempë (PE17/126).
Conceptual Development: This word dates all the way back to the Qenya Lexicon of the 1910s, where Tolkien gave ᴱQ. pē “the two lips, the (closed) mouth” from primitive ᴱ√PĒ (QL/72). In the contemporaneous Gnomish Lexicon, ᴱQ. pê was simply glossed “mouth” and was connected to G. beg “chin” (GL/22), indicating that the early root might actually have been *ᴱ√BĒ since primitive initial voiced stops were unvoiced in Early Qenya.
ᴱQ. pē “mouth” reappeared in a list of body parts from the 1920s (PE14/117), and ᴹQ. pé “mouth” appeared again in the Declension of Nouns from the early 1930s as an example of vocalic monosyllabic noun from primitive ✶pē (PE21/38); at the beginning of this document the primitive form was glossed “mouth, lips” (PE21/1). In The Etymologies of the 1930s it was ᴹQ. pé “mouth” derived from the root ᴹ√PEG (Ety/PEG); this entry had a difficult-to-read word inserted before its gloss, possibly “outer”, so perhaps the meaning was revised to “outer mouth” (EtyAC/PEG).
In the 1950s and 60s, the word pé was generally derived from √PEÑ (PE19/102; PE21/70; VT39/11). In notes associated with the Quendi and Eldar essay of 1959-60, Q. pē was glossed “lip” and its dual peu referred to “the two lips, the mouth-opening” (VT39/9). In 1964 notes on parts of the mouth Tolkien glossed pē as “the closed mouth” (PE17/126), but in notes from 1968 it was again glossed “lip” (VT47/12). In notes on monosyllabic nouns from this period Tolkien said ✶pē “lip” was a primitive monosyllabic vocalic noun, but that it was reduplicated to ✶pē̆pe (VT47/35). In green-ink revision to Outline of Phonology from around 1970, Tolkien again affirmed the original primitive form was pe(ñ), though the ñ was lost very early (PE19/102 note #102).
Neo-Quenya: For purposes of Neo-Quenya, I would use pé as a word meaning “mouth”, more specifically for “closed mouth” as opposed to the general word for mouth: Q. anto. For a single “lip” I would use pempë, but I would use peu as a dual form indicating both lips, whether open or closed. All these words are in general use, but pé is also used as a technical term in linguistic discussions for the close mouth in formation of consonants such as voiced and voiceless stops.
References ✧ PE17/126; PE19/102; PE21/70; VT39/9, 11; VT47/12
|peu||dual||“the two lips, the mouth-opening”||✧ VT39/9|
|✶peñ > pē||[peŋ] > [peɣ] > [pē]||✧ PE19/102|
|√peñe > pē||[peŋe] > [peɣe] > [pē]||✧ VT39/11|
|✶peñū > peu||[peŋū] > [peɣū] > [peu]||✧ VT39/11|
|✶pē > pé||[pē]||✧ VT47/12|
References ✧ Ety/PEG; PE21/38, 41
|pellut||ablative dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pélut||ablative dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pēt||accusative dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pentau||allative dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pétau||allative dual||✧ PE21/38|
|peu||dative dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pehta||genitive dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pémet||instrumental dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pesset||locative dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pent||nominative dual||✧ PE21/38|
|pélin||nominative plural||✧ PE21/38|
|ᴹ√PEG > pē||[pege] > [peɣe] > [pē]||✧ Ety/PEG|
|ᴹ✶pē- > pē||[pē]||✧ PE21/38|
References ✧ GL/22; PE14/117; QL/72
|ᴱ√PĒ > pē||[bē] > [pē]||✧ QL/72|