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On the 1th of April 1999 Michael Dawson sent a letter concerning a new edition of The Letters of JRR Tolkien to the Tolkien list. The message can be read here:
ftp://ftp.ii.uib.no/pub/bjornts/tolkien/archives/log9904.gz (search for 'meriu')
In his letter he mentioned a wholly new Quenya sentence Tolkien sent to some Dorothy, who had been mailing with Mr Dawson's mother. Dorothy wanted to know how to say 'I wish you a merry Christmas' in the Elfin [sic] language. Tolkien replied that it was difficult to translate, since the Elves did not celebrate Christmas and therefore had no word for it. However, he wrote that there was an Elvish greeting which could be a substitute for 'I wish you a merry Christmas'. The sentence he gave read according to Michael Dawson:

meriu sa haryalye alasse nó vanyalye Ambarello, lit. "I hope that you have happiness before you pass from the world" (the latter part nó vanyalye Ambarello is said to be added when greeting a mortal)

Though the Elfin language is mentioned, it is not said which of them it is, but there is no doubt that the sentence is in Quenya. The very first word of the greeting, meriu is an apparent error for merin, as the ending for the first person sg. is -n. Tolkien's 'n' usually tended to be undistinguishable from 'u' in his handwritting. There are some evidences of this in Etym, see Helge Fauskanger's article Probable Errors in the Etymologies. Given this it is not certain whether the greeting does not contain other errors caused by inaccurate transription of Tolkien's tough handwritting. This concerns, however, probably only the words sa and as they are not attested elsewhere. The rest is attested as such and/or is pressumable (e.g. the word vanya "go, depart, disappear" is attested along with the ending -lye "you" but not vanyalye itself).
There is no need to provide an analysis of the sentence, for this was already done by Helge Fauskanger on the TolkLang list. The discussion on the date of the sentence is included, too. Moreover, it was published with an analysis in TyTy14:32-5. For Helge's analysis see here:
One thing should be noted, though. As was pointed out, it is not certain if the word is genuine or not. Etym lists a preposition no "under" derived from the stem NU. Could be a misreading of this word? It may be possible that "before" means literally "under [the time]". Notwithstanding, Tolkien used nu for the sence "under" in other, later, sources, so this theory is not very probable. In his analysis, Helge also brings up the possibility that the word may be a misreading, he speculates that it may be read instead, which would refer to the stem NA "to, towards" forcing it to mean "before". This might be possible, too. Note that is actually given in Etym but it means "but" there (see NDAN; means "is" in Namárie).
In the 41st issue of the journal Vinyar Tengwar, the editors published another wholly new Quenya sentence which contains the word , but the word is translated as "but" (ore nin karitas nó namin alasaila "I would like / feel moved to do so but judge it unwise"). This word hence contradicts with the aforementioned in the greeting. What should be preferred is hard to say as well as it is hard to say whether "but" obsoletes nan from the Fíriel's Song. Despide it all, the sentence merin sa haryalye alasse nó vanyalye Ambarello is another piece of the Quenya puzzle.

[ *Addendum i., 1st dec. '01* There were uttered some doubts about the geniuneness of the Merin sentence. To quote from Helge Fauskanger's 20th Lesson of his Course:
There are several questionable points here. For one thing, not everyone is convinced that the "Merin" sentence, as it is often called, is genuine at all. I am told that various efforts to get in touch with this Michael Dawson have so far proved futile, and it is somewhat disturbing to notice that his posting was made on April 1. On the other hand, Carl F. Hostetter (who has seen nearly all of Tolkien's linguistic manuscripts) briefly commented on this sentence in VT41:18 and apparently recognized it as genuine, though he has later specified that it does not occur in any manuscript he knows of. The word sa is not inherently implausible; it could mean basically "it" (related to the ending -s), so that merin sa haryalyė alassė originally or basically signifies "I wish it [, namely that] you have happiness". But of course, even if the word sa is genuine Tolkien, it is impossible to say what stage of Q(u)enya it belongs to. Assuming that the Merin sentence is actually written by Tolkien, I would say that it is probably quite early, since its vocabulary corresponds so well to that of the Etymologies (of the mid-thirties - notice the use of the verb harya- "have, possess", otherwise only attested in Etym). So given the ever-changing nature of Tolkien's conception, sa as a particle forming nominal clauses may well have been abandoned by the time Tolkien published LotR. Yet writers can hardly do without this important word, and presently sa is our sole alternative.
On the Elfling mailing list in the message 6616, Carl Hostetter, one of the Editorial Team of Tolkien's unpublished linguistic writings, says that he considers the Merin sentence most likely genuine, though he has not seen any sign of it in any of Tolkien's paper, nor has Christopher Tolkien, who got a copy of Michael Dawson's letter.
It seems we will have to wait until more Tolkien's papers are published and see whether they will contain sa and in the meanings "that" and "before", respectively. ]

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