About the root of "Ilúvatar"

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About the root of "Ilúvatar"

Postby TheFlameofAnor » Wed May 18, 2016 6:52 pm

I always thought that the root of this word was 'vatar', a quasi-germanic word given the familiarity of Tolkien with european languages. Recently I read it's atar, referring to father precisely. Since the influence of germanic shouldn't go as far in the vocabulary of quenya itself, do you think it's a coincidence, a misinterpretation by my side, a Tolkien slip (I doubt it), maybe he did it on purpose? I'm curious to read your insights.
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Re: About the root of "Ilúvatar"

Postby Denethor » Wed May 18, 2016 7:35 pm

My personal guess (and it really is a guess) is that it's a modification of Ilmatar, a primeval Finnish air spirit (and mother of Väinämöinen). Finnish being the inspiration for Quenya, after all. Note that the -tar suffix is feminine in Finnish.
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Re: About the root of "Ilúvatar"

Postby TheFlameofAnor » Wed May 18, 2016 9:41 pm

A quick search on google gave me this link (page 28),which states and almost confirms your theory. I say almost because it seems it's also a theory of the author of the essay. I must say, I didn't remember that name from the Kalevala (it's been some years already from the last time I grabbed that book).

It's really not a surprise the enciclopedic knowlegde of Tolkien behind his work. The lecture of the word in discussion seems to have several layers in deepness. Just to name, the use of the terms "heavenly father" or "all-father" in european and biblical literature and how he manages to use it all at once in an ethymology that he doesn't even bother to reveal to the public.
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