Common Eldarin presented the ending of -r as a plural marker of uninflected verbal stems.
Common Eldarin is an evolution of Primitive Quendian, the original language of all Quendi (or Elves), developing after the Eldar left Cuiviénen for Valinor. As the years passed, the language of those traveling Elves became diverged from the one spoken before the March. By the time they reached Beleriand, dialects of Common Eldarin had already begun to develop.
Since the Eldar dominate the annals of the Elder Days, all the Elvish languages that are described in detail come from this branch. The Avarin languages followed a wholly different evolution, distinct from Common Eldarin, and the changes presented here may not have applied during the evolution of those languages.
At least at one point, the changes reflected coexisting alternative forms of PQ. For example, the pairs of endings -ô (m), -ê (f) and -û (m), -î (f). This is mirrored in the evolution of short -u becoming -o and the short -i becoming -e.
Evolution from Primitive Quendian
During the Great March, minor changes to the Primitive Quendian brought the later Eldarin languages. These changes had to do with several developments of the word-forms, usually normalization. For example:
- "Difficult" consonant clusters, usually those with nasals (like bm and dn), were rearranged
- PQ: labmâ (root LAB) > CE: lambâ
- PQ: stabnê (Root STAB) > CE stambê
- Final short -a, -e, -o are lost, sometimes producing a long monosyllable as their trace
- PQ: ndêro > CE: ndæ̂r
- (kwende > quendë is an exception)
- a infiction in some stems which produced new diphthongs like ae, ao
- PQ: *melâ (Root MEL) > CE *maelâ
- final long -â, -ê, -î, -ô, -û became short (later stage)
- CE: stambê > stambe
- CE: mahtâ > mahta
- CE: lambâ > lamba
At some point, dialects separated the uniformity of that language, and produced the Common Telerin branch.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Quenya Phonology", in Parma Eldalamberon XIX (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 103
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, The Etymologies root NDER
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "From Quendi and Eldar, Appendix D" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 39, July 1998, p. 10