|Lehite PN||1.||Nephite rebel, of the order of Nehors, 1st c. BC (Alma 2:1; 2:31)|
If the pronunciation “ăm´li-sī” is correct, then a derivation from the root (?)
It is possible that AMLICI is derived from the common Semitic root mlk, “to reign; advise; king; advisor.” The form, however, is interesting. It could be the qal 1c.s. imperfect verb, “I reign,” and would fit the context of his life. It could also be hiphil 1c.s. imperfect ʾmlyk, as in 1 Samuel 12:1, “[I] have made a king over you.” This form would explain all but the final i vowel, which could simply be a Nephite strengthening of a final aspiration.
It could be an unusual noun form with prosthetic aleph and 1c.s. pronominal suffix, meaning “my kingship” (JH). In this regard note the biblical PN Melicu (Nehemiah 12:14) with the Kethib mlwky, and the Qere mlykw. The addition of a prosthetic aleph would yield a form similar to Amlici (JH).
There is also the root mlṣ, yielding ʿmlṣ, possibly “shark.” This is suggested by an emendation of Psalms 74:14, lʿmlṣy ym, “to the sharks of the sea.” See KB entry. This solution would solve the problem of the final sibilant.
It could be that an identical root, mlk, “sacrifice, offering,” (DNWSI “mlk5”) would yield a similar PN, “my sacrifice.”
A distant possibility is to derive AMLICI from West Semitic mlʾk, “messenger, envoy; angel,” with prosthetic aleph and 1c.s. pronominal suffix. This would yield the hypocoristic “my messenger [is DN].”
AMLICI cannot be derived from the usual noun form for “king,” which in West Semitic is malku, with variants depending on language and time period. For example, malku becomes in Hebrew melek except when certain affixes are added or in pausal form, in which case it reverts back to malk without the case ending u. The only time the a vowel elides is in certain plural forms where the vowel has been shortened because it is propretonic. Otherwise the a vowel must be retained because it is a phoneme of the lexeme.