Paul Strack Mar 25, 2018 (00:51)

This is a follow up to my examination Eldarin words for husband/wife, man/woman, and of BER/BES/BED as roots for “marriage”:

At the time, I concluded that using the later root BER for “marriage” was problematic, because it meant we had to throw out a bunch of words in the Noldorin/Sindarin languages without any clear replacement. I concluded that the “best” Neo-Eldarin root for marriage (at in my opinion) was either BES or BED, but didn’t explicitly pick between the two.

I admit that my motive was that I was hoping to figure out a way to use BED, which would allow me to the salvage a bunch of Gnomish words related to marriage and kinship derived from the early root BEÐE. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out a way to do it.

Both besnō and bednō would produce N./S. benn, and bed+tā and bes+ta both produce Q. vesta, since primitive d+t > st. I thought I could figure out a similar replacement for bessē > bess, seduced by Tolkien’s apparent derivation of N. bess from BED in the Etymologies entries for NĪ¹ and NDIS (see VT45/37 and VT46/4).

Unfortunately, primitive d+s > ts, which in Sindarin evolves to th. Thus bedsē > betse > beth, not bess. As near as I can tell, the apparent connection of BED to bess is a remnant of the earlier derivation beðs(e) > G. bess.

Thus, I think the only reasonable option is either BES or (if you’d rather use the absolute latest root) BER. I still prefer BES, which allows me to retain the relevant Noldorin words in Sindarin. Note that none of this changes the conclusions of my original post: it just means I am picking BES over BED as the root for “marriage”.