Thank you for all of your comments. It must be obvious to you that I am
only feeling my way in the dark. That is the disadvantage of living in a
rural community, far from academia, and trying my best to pick up what I can
from the internet. If you don't mind, I would like to probe some more.
* When you state that " There is no reason why /b/ should be lenited to
/bh/ after a masculine nominative singular", I assume that the masculine
nominative singular you refer to is "filius" or "mac". If that is the case,
then why is it that 'son of Beth' becomes lenited to "MacBheth" (McVey)? Is
that a different situation? I have been given the impression that it is the
practice for nearly all patronymics in Scots Gaelic to be lenited.
* When you state that "/bh/ is not spelt <f> in early Irish.", I have to
assume that you are not insinuating that it would not be heard as an <f> by
someone transcribing it into Latin, correct? So if the patronym was
properly spelled 'mac Bhili', a Latin translator would transcribe it as
* You state "/b/ does not mutate to zero". But the chronology of Pict
kings (pulled from both the AU and Chronicum Pictorum) suggests that with
these patronyms, it probably does. One goes from "Bili" to "mac Bhile" to
"mac Deir Ile" over the course of 40 years. It is my understanding that
lenition with patronymics is much more prevalent in Western Scotland than in
Ireland. Have you taken that into consideration?
Thank you for your comments from other inquiries. I will study them