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Lenition refers to the mutation of medial consonants, occurring usually between two vowels (VCV). It affected the Old Sindarin sounds p, t, k, b, d, g, m and s.
The sounds w, kh were lenited only at the beginning of a word.
More specifically, the evolution of these sounds can be visualized in these examples:
- p > b: OS *capro > S cabor "frog"
- t > d: OS *atar > S adar "father"
- k > g: OS *akar- > S agar "blood"
- b > v: OS Abóro > S Afor "refuser; Avar"[note 1]
- d > dh: OS *badro > S badhor "brother"
- g > -: OS *jaga > *jaȝa[note 2] > S iâ "abyss"[note 1]
As a consequence, this process took place also in compounds, envisioning retroactively the lenition process from Old Sindarin:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Similar softening occurred in Quenya also.
- ↑ The intermediate stage of g to extinction was yogh