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A number of changes in modern Quenya seem rather irregular at first sight, when we look at the evolution from Old-Elvish to Quenya however, they can be explained. Let’s look at an example:

aran / arani "king"
elen / eleni "star"
talan / talami "floor"

Why has talami an m in the plural? On the page Nouns we have said that talam- was the stem of talan and we find the word as talan (talam-) in the word-lists.

When we look at this word in an Old-Elvish word-list we find simply talam. The stem-form is thus nothing else than the original Old-Elvish form of the word and the nominative-form talan is the irregular one.

The reason for this irregularity is that modern Quenya no longer allows an m to appear at the end of a word (see Phonology). So during the evolution of the language this m turned in the nominative into an n, in the other cases it however remained unchanged.

All nouns with a u-dual that belong to one of the categories on this page, use their stem-forms but are otherwise regular (we use toron, torn- "brother"):

Nom. tornu, Gen. tornuo, Poss. tornuva, Dat. tornun,
Abl. tornullo, All. tornunna, Loc. tornussë, Instr. tornunen, Resp. tornus.

The irregular stem-forms can be found on a separate page: Exceptional stems.


The first group of words ends in –n, –r or –l. Their stem-forms are made by adding a –d–.

The second group ends in –n, –r or –s and add -t to form the stem.

A list of the known Quenya-words belonging to this group can be found on following page: Neo-Quenya/Nouns: d/t-stems.

The adjectives on –n probably also belong to the d-stems (PE 14 pg. 77):

i hwarindi "the crooked (ones)"
hwarindi neri "crooked men"

When they are used as final declinable words (see Inflected adjectives), they get the vowels –e– or –i– between the stem and the case-ending:

harma furindessë "in a concealed treasure"
urur úrindinen "with blazing hot fires"

The declension of d- and t-stems is regular except in the possessive singular. In this case we use the suffix –wa with the nominative (all nouns in this group have u-duals):

singular plural dual part. plural
nominative fion fiondi fiondu fiondeli
genitive fiondo fiondion fionduo fiondelion
possessive fionwa fiondiva fionduva fiondelíva
dative fionden fiondin fiondun fiondelin
ablative fiondello fiondillon(r) fiondullo fiondelillo(n)(r)
allative fiondenna fiondinnar fiondunna fiondelinna(r)
locative fiondessë fiondissen fiondussë fiondelisse(n)
instrumental fiondenen fiondinen fiondunen fiondelínen
respective fiondes fiondis fiondus fiondelis

Contracted stems[edit]

Another group of stems lose the vowel of the second syllable. So the stem-form is a contracted form of the nominative.

Following nouns belong to this group:

coron, corn- "ball"
feren, fern- "beech"
haran, harn- "leader"
huan, hún- "dog"
laman, lamn- "animal"
soron, sorn- "eagle"
toron, torn- "brother"

In quite a number of cases of the singular these words use the nominative to produce these cases. In the partitive plural they also use the nominative:

singular plural dual part. plural
nominative haran harni harnet haralli
genitive harno harnion haranto harallion
possessive haranwa harniva harnetwa haralliva
dative harnen harnin harnent harallin
ablative harallo harnillon(r) harelto harallillo(n)(r)
allative haranna harninnar harnenta harallinna(r)
locative harandë harnissen harnetsë harallisse(n)
instrumental harannen harninen harnenten harallinen
respective harnes harnis harnetes harallis

There is a second group that have lost the final vowel + n in the nominative

calmar, calmarn- "child of light"
halatir, halatirn- "kingfisher"
mëar, mëarn- "gore, blood"
pur, purn- "(artificial) fire"
tavar, tavarn- "dale sprite"

and also

seler, sell- "sister"

They have in the singular only two exceptional cases:

singular plural dual part. plural
nominative seler selli sellet selli
genitive sello sellion selerto sellion
possessive selerwa selliva selletwa selliva
dative sellen sellin sellent sellin
ablative sellello sellillon(r) sellelto sellillo(n)(r)
allative sellenna sellinnar sellenta sellinna(r)
locative sellessë sellissen selletsë sellisse(n)
instrumental selernen sellinen sellenten sellinen
respective selles sellis selletes sellis

=Doubled stems[edit]

There are also words in -t that have a doubled stem but they can be found on the page about Exceptional stems.

doubled stems in ss[edit]

A number of stems double their final -s:

calas, calass- "brass"
coimas, coimass- "lembas" ^
eques, equess- "saying"
falas, falass- "shore, beach"
indis, indiss- "bride"
inwilis, inwiliss- "fairy"
is, iss- "light snow"
itis, itiss- "fly bite"
lis, liss- "honey"
nes, ness- "mead, valley, land"
niquis, niquiss- "frost-pattern"
nís, niss- "woman" ^^
oinalis, oinaliss- "ointment"
olos, oloss- "snow" ^^^
sintilis, sintiliss- "sparkling (of crystal)"
tiris, tiriss- "watch"
tolos, toloss- "knob, lump"
tyos, tyoss- "cough"

The proper name Tulcas also belongs to this group.

^ coimas also has the stem-form coimast-.

^^ The long í shortens before a double consonant.

^^^ This word also has the nominative olossë. It should not be confused with olos "dream" which has an irregular stem-form (see Exceptional stems).

singular plural dual part. plural
nominative falas falassi falasset falasseli
genitive falasso falassion falasto falasselion
possessive falasseva falassiva falassetwa falasselíva
dative falassen falassin falassent falasselin
ablative falassello falassillon(r) falasselto falasselillo(n)(r)
allative falassenna falassinnar falassenta falasselinna(r)
locative falassë falassen falassetsë falasselisse(n)
instrumental falassenen falassinen falssenten falasselínen
respective falasses falassis falassetes falasselis

The word solor "surf" has stem-form soloss- and uses the same forms as these words except the possessive singular which is solorwa.

doubled stems in ll/nn[edit]

Final l and n can also be doubled:

amil, amill- "mother"
aranel, aranell- "princess"
horinel, horinell- "pine-needle"
miril, mirill- "jewel"
riel, riell- "flower-girl"
sil, sill- "moon"
tol, toll- "island" ^
ailin, ailinn- "lake"
cailen, cailenn- "throat"
calimban, calimbann- "barbarian land"
campin, campinn- "hips"
colman, colmann- "summit"
elwen, elwenn- "heart"
helin, helinn- "pansy"
irin, irinn- "town"
irmin, irminn- "inhabited world"
latúcen, latúcenn- "tin"
licin, licinn- "horn"
mindon, mindonn- "turret"
olwen, olwenn- "branch, wand"
onin, oninn- "anvil"
pequen, pequenn- "comb"
tamin, taminn- "forge"
túrin, túrinn- "province"
wilin, wilinn- "bird"

The proper name Silmaril also belongs to these words.

^ The cases of tol are formed with an –o– between stem and ending (see Exceptional stems).

The exceptional cases are: the possessive singular, the allative or ablative in singular and plural, and all cases of the partitive plural.

singular plural dual part. plural
nominative amil amilli amillet amilli
genitive amillo amillion amilto amillion
possessive amilwa amilliva amilletwa amilliva
dative amillen amillin amillent amillin
ablative amillo amillon(r) amillelto amillillo(n)(r)
allative amillenna amillinnar amillenta amillinna(r)
locative amillessë amillissen amilletsë amillisse(n)
instrumental amillenen amillinen amillenten amillinen
respective amilles amillis amilletes amillis
singular plural dual part. plural
nominative olwen olwenni olwennet olwelli
genitive olwenno olwennion olwento olwellion
possessive olwenwa olwenniva olwennetwa olwelliva
dative olwennen olwennin olwennent olwellin
ablative olwennello olwennillon(r) olwennelto olwellillo(n)(r)
allative olwenna olwennar olwennenta olwellinna(r)
locative olwennessë olwennissen olwennetsë olwellisse(n)
instrumental olwennenen olwenninen olwennenten olwellinen
respective olwennes olwennis olwennetes olwellis

doubled stems in rr[edit]

condor, condorr- "warrior"
hostar, hostarr- "tribe"
indor, indorr- "groom"
lamandar, lamandarr- "herdsman"
lar, larr- "place, region"
maquar, maquarr- "(human) jaw"
milnar, milnarr- "sown field"
neldor, neldorr- "beech"

They are declined as follows:

singular plural dual part. plural
nominative lar larri larret lalli
genitive larro larrion larto lallion
possessive larwa larriva larretwa lalliva
dative larren larrin larrent lallin
ablative larrello larrillon(r) larrelto lallillo(n)(r)
allative larrenna larrennar larrenta lallinna(r)
locative larressë larrissen larretsë lallisse(n)
instrumental larrenen larrinen larrenten lallinen
respective larres larris larretes lallis


As told in the introduction, the letter m is no longer allowed at the end of a word and has changed into n in the nominative:

artan, artam- "hammer"
ilin, ilim- "milk"
men, mem- "nose, beak"
quin, quim- "female"
ran, ram- "noise"
talan, talam- "floor"

These words have exceptional locatives, instrumentals and partitive plurals:

singular plural dual part. plural
nominative men memi memet melli
genitive memo memion mento mellion
possessive memeva memiva memetwa melliva
dative memen memin mement mellin
ablative memello memillon(r) memelto mellillo(n)(r)
allative memenna meminnar mementa mellinna(r)
locative mendë memissen memetsë mellisse(n)
instrumental memnen meminen mementen mellinen
respective memes memis memetes mellis

The words with stem on -ng also behave like these words:

falaswin, falaswing- "wavecrest"
fen, feng- "reed"

The locative is fendë and the partitive plural felli (but the instrumental is regular: fengenen).


Four words originally ended in -c, and this letter is also not allowed at the end of a word:

filit, filic- "little bird"
nelet, nelc- "tooth"
oryat, oryac- "badger"
quesset, quessec- "pillow"
singular plural dual part. plural
nominative filit filici filicu filiceli
genitive filico filicion filicuo filicelion
possessive filiqua filiciva filicuva filicelíva
dative filicen filicin filicun filicelin
ablative filicello filicillon(r) filicullo filicelillo(n)(r)
allative filicenna filicinnar filicunna filicelinna(r)
locative filixë filicissen filicussë filicelisse(n)
instrumental filincen filicinen filicunen filicelínen
respective filices filicis filicus filicelis

The locative of nelet is neletsë, but otherwise it is declined the same as the other three nouns.

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