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Noun Plurals

    In Sindarin, plurals are formed in a decided pattern (with the exception of a few words, listed near the bottom of this page).  Once the system is learned, any noun can be pluralized without concern.  This system involves not suffixes, but a change in vowels.  Ex: "adan" has a plural of "edain".

*****

a:

    (in monosyllables) a or >

    (in monosyllables) > ai

    (in final syllables) a > ai

    (in non-final syllables) a > e

    (in non-final syllables) >

***

e:

    (in mono and final syllables) e > i

    (in mono and final syllables) >

    (in mono and final syllables) >

    (in non-final syllables) no change

***

i:

    does not change

***

o:

    (in mono and final syllables) o > y

    (in mono and final syllables) or >

    (in mono and final syllables) io > y

    (in non-final syllables) o > e

***

u:

    u > y

    >

    > ui

 

in a small group of words, u does not change but it does force a to become ei:

    anu "male animal" - einu

    inu "female animal" - inu

    celu "water spring" - cilu

    galu "blessing"- geilu

    gwanu "death" - gweinu

    haru "wound" - heiru

    hithu "fog" - hithu

    nedhu "cushion" - nidhu

    neun - niun

    pathu "level space" - peithu

    tinu "spark, small star" - tinu

    tindu "starry night" - tindu

***

y:

    does not change

**

au:

    (in some older words) au > ui

    (the rest of the time) au > oe

**

ai:

    usually does not change

 

in a small group of words, ai does change; these words are

    cai "fence" - c

    cair "ship" - cr

    fair (feir) "mortal being" - fr

    fair "right hand" - fr

    gwain "new" - gwn

    sain (sein) "new" - sn

    lhain "thin, lean, meager" - lhn

    paich "juice, syrup" - pich

***

ie:

    ie > i

ae, ea, ei, ui:

    do not change

**

special cases where plurals are irregular

    l "star" - elen

    Elda "Elf" - Eldar (actually this is not so much an irregular plural as a Quenya-based one)

    nl "tooth" - nelig

    galadh "tree" - galadhad (though the regular plural gelaidh is also acceptable)

    gwaun "goose" - gwin or guin

    fr "beech-tree" - ferin

    pel "fenced field" - peli

    l "dream" - elei

    tr "brother" - telein  (though the regular plural tr is also acceptable)

    thl "sister" - thelei (though the regular plural thl is also acceptable)

**

when dealing with compound words

    first part does not change, remains "singular"

    second/last part becomes plural

**

dual-plural form

This is a particular way of forming double and singular nouns.  Most likely a remnant of the Silvan tongue, this method involves certain words which are "singular" when speaking of a pair of objects that belong together.  To speak of one of a pair, the suffix -ig is added.  Few of these words remain, and even these were more common in the slightly older forms of Sindarin.  By the late Third Age this formation was mostly extinct in "modern" Sindarin, instead replaced by using the former dual-form as a singular, and forming plurals in the regular method.  However, as such words may still be found in older writings, it is worth mentioning.

Examples of older forms:

            lhew "pair of ears" - lhewig "ear",   now   lhew "ear" - lhiw "ears"

            gwanun "pair of twins" - gwanunig "twin",   now   gwanun "twin" - gwenyn "twins"

**

class/collective plurals

    -ath: "all the"

    -iath: "all the" (when the root vowel is i)

(if the ending -ath is added to a noun ending in -nc or -m, they change to -ng- and double -mm- respectively, whereas final -nt and -nd would both become -nn-)

    -rim: "people", "folk"

    -hoth: host, horde (uncomplimentary term)