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la or (whenever stressed)[1] is a negation adverb meaning "no, not"

The word can get pronominal endings as if a negative verb when a verb is not expressed, apparently where the phrase “is not” is followed by a noun or an adjective as a predicate, or where some verb is understood , as in English “I do not”.


root LA[2]


  • ala "do not!"
  • lanye "I do not, am not" (melin apa lanye *“I love him but I do not him [that one]”)[3]

Other versions

In another conceptual phase of Tolkien's, had the opposite meaning "yes"[4]

Tolkien considered that the negation could receive tense markers however he later reconsidered it. The tenses where la was attested are:

  • la (aorist)
  • laia (present)
  • láne (past)
  • alaie (perfect)
  • lauva (future)


  1. Vinyar Tengwar 42 p.33
  2. Vinyar Tengwar 45 p.25
  3. Vinyar Tengwar 49 p.15
  4. Vinyar Tengwar 42 pp.32-33