§ Minos Giliath, Minos rhain, Othrain ’ .... city’, Minos tirith (TI:116)
This is another set of early names of Minas Tirith.
Minos is here probably a compound out of MINI- and N. ost ’city, town with wall around’ (OS-), simplified -st > -s finally, as in Imladris < Imladrist.
The first form then appends a noun in genitival position – N. giliath, a collective plural ’stars’ (GIL-) and it is interestingly unlenited, reflecting a change in the Noldorin grammar towards Sindarin. The same construction could be used in the second form with N. rhein, rhain ’border’ (REG-), but we might be also dealing with the adjective rhain ’free’ (RAN-, VT46:10). Both *’border city’ and *’free city’ (in the sense of ’free from the dominion of Sauron’) make sense, but the presence of Emyn Rhain ’Border Hills’ in the landscape rather suggests the variant *’border city’.
In Othrain medial -thr- seems to be the result of the contact between st and rh, i.e. < ost + rhain. Compare ost-rond > othrond ’fortress, city in underground caves’ (OS-).