S. [h] vanished after vowels; [Vh] > [Vø]

S. [h] vanished after vowels; [Vh] > [Vø]

In both Sindarin and Noldorin, any non-initial [h] vanished after vowels, as noted by David Salo (GS/§4.100, GS/§4.107, GS/§4.116). A similar sound change occurred in Welsh (WGCH/§94ii). This sound change primarily applied to the [h] that developed from intervocalic [s] which therefore ultimately vanished, as described by Tolkien in a note in The Etymologies from the 1930s:

N. dis “bride” cannot be direct for ON. dis since medial and final s were lost in Exilic Noldorin (EtyAC/NDIS).

This sound change was also described in the Comparative Tables of phonetic development from the 1930s: s > ON. s > N. h, - (PE19/23), with the “-” indicating a vanishing sound. There are numerous examples in both Sindarin and Noldorin:

The net result of this sound change was that isolated non-initial s could not appear in Sindarin except finally as a reduction of [ss]. The ultimate loss of [s] in Sindarin and Noldorin could lead to some interesting effects at the end of words. In particular, it could lead to some irregular plurals where a vowels was lost in the singular form but preserved in the plural by an [h] that later vanished:

These plurals were sometimes reformed to more regular forms. For example, S. thôl also has an alternate plural thuil, which is the more common plural pattern for monosyllables with long ô.

Note that medial isolated h could appear in compounds as the soft-mutation of s, indicating the loss of [h] was no longer an active phonetic rule in Sindarin: S. Eglahir = (probably) Egla- + sîr (WJ/117), S. Nanduhirion = nan(d) + + sîr + -ion (PE17/37).

Conceptual Developments: The example ᴱ✶ı̯aisa > G. gais (GL/37) indicates that this sound change was not part of Gnomish in the 1910s; this is further supported by the fact that the soft-mutation of s to h did not appear in the Gnomish Grammar (PE11/7). This soft-mutation also did not appear in the Early Noldorin Grammar of the 1920s (PE13/121). However, in the Early Noldorin word lists, there are several examples of intervocalic [s] vanishing, as noted by Roman Rausch in his Historical Phonologies of Ilkorin, Telerin and Noldorin around 1923 (HPITN/§4.1.3):

At this conceptual stage there seem to be some additional vocalic effects associated with the disappearance of s/h, but determining the exact rules from the small set of samples is difficult. It is very likely [s] passed through [h] before vanishing in Early Noldorin, so it seems Tolkien introduced this sound change sometime in the 1920s.

Order (06300)

After 00800 short [i], [u] became [e], [o] preceding final [a] ON. nuhina > nohen > N. noen EtyAC/NUS
After 01500 short [u] often became [o] ON. nuhina > nohen > N. noen EtyAC/NUS
After 02100 [ǭ] became [au] SAM > ahawv > S. aw PE17/173
After 02300 short final vowels vanished as(a) > a(h) > S. a PE17/41
After 05500 final [ll], [nn], [ss] shortened in polysyllables tindōmi-sel(dĕ) > tindúmhihel > S. Tinnúviel PE19/73
After 05700 non-initial [m] usually became [v] SAM > ahawv > S. aw PE17/173

Phonetic Rule Elements

[Vh] > [Vø]

Phonetic Rule Examples

ah > a Vh > Vø as(a) > a(h) > S. a ✧ PE17/41
ahamar > āmar Vh > Vø asmarō > S. ahamar ✧ VT48/20
ahau > au Vh > Vø SAM > ahawv > S. aw ✧ PE17/173
gorθūh > gorθū Vh > Vø ñgor(o)-thūsō > Gorthu > S. Gorthaur ✧ PE17/183
l̥ahu > l̥au Vh > Vø S-LAS > S. lhaw ✧ PE17/62
odoh > odo Vh > Vø Otos > S. odo- ✧ RC/384
odoh > odo Vh > Vø otoso > S. odo ✧ VT42/25
tahor > taˌor Vh > Vø tăsăre > tachaur > S. †taur/taor ✧ PE17/81
tinnūvihel > tinnūviel Vh > Vø tindōmi-sel(dĕ) > tindúmhihel > S. Tinnúviel ✧ PE19/73
θelyh > θely Vh > Vø ÞOL > S. thely ✧ PE17/188
θūh > θū Vh > Vø thūsē > S. thû ✧ PE17/183

N. [h] vanished after vowels; [Vh] > [Vø]

GS/§4.100 GS/§4.107 GS/§4.116 WGCH/§94ii [Kelt s > Brit h > W ø; medially between vowels] @@@

Reference ✧ EtyAC/NDIS

Order (04900)

After 01100 short [i], [u] became [e], [o] preceding final [a] ON. nuhina > nohen > N. noen EtyAC/NUS
After 01500 short [u] often became [o] ON. nuhina > nohen > N. noen EtyAC/NUS
After 02100 short final vowels vanished ON. nuhina > nohen > N. noen EtyAC/NUS
Before 05300 [mb], [nd] became [mm], [nn] ᴹ✶Tindōmiselde > ON. tindūmhiell Ety/TIN
Before 05500 final [ll], [nn], [ss] shortened in polysyllables ᴹ✶Tindōmiselde > ON. tindūmhiell Ety/TIN

Phonetic Rule Elements

[Vh] > [Vø] ✧ EtyAC/NDIS (s > ø; medial and final); PE19/23 (-h- > -)

Phonetic Rule Examples

barah > bara Vh > Vø ON. baraha > N. bara ✧ Ety/BARAS
gauh > gau Vh > Vø ᴹ✶gāsa > N. gaw ✧ Ety/GAS
glīh > glī Vh > Vø ᴹ✶g-lisi > N. glî ✧ Ety/LIS
heleh > hele Vh > Vø ON. kheleha > N. hele ✧ Ety/KHYEL(ES)
kauh > kau Vh > Vø ᴹ√KAS > N. caw ✧ Ety/KAS
l̥ahu > l̥au Vh > Vø ᴹ✶lasū > N. lhaw ✧ Ety/LAS²
l̥ūhien > l̥uien Vh > Vø ᴹ√LOS > N. Lhuien ✧ Ety/LOS
nohen > noen Vh > Vø ON. nuhina > nohen > N. noen ✧ EtyAC/NUS
oh > o Vh > Vø ᴹ√OS > N. o ✧ Ety/OS
pelih > peli Vh > Vø ON. pelehi > N. peli ✧ Ety/PEL(ES)
teleh > tele Vh > Vø ᴹ√TELES > N. tele ✧ Ety/TELES
teleih > telei Vh > Vø ᴹ√TELES > N. telei ✧ Ety/TELES
tindūmihell > tindūmiell Vh > Vø ᴹ✶Tindōmiselde > ON. tindūmhiell ✧ Ety/TIN
θauh > θau Vh > Vø ᴹ✶thausā > N. thaw ✧ Ety/THUS
θūh > θū Vh > Vø ᴹ√THUS > N. thû ✧ Ety/THUS
xīhlūm > xīlūm Vh > Vø ᴹ✶χīsi-slōmē > N. Cílu ✧ PE21/32
œlœih > œlœi Vh > Vø ᴹ√ÓLOS > N. elei ✧ Ety/ÓLOS