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Subject: Echtra Nerai IV.9
From: David Stifter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 20 Jul 2004 17:06:47 +0200

text/plain (35 lines)

Liz and Dennis wrote:

> > I thought 'coitelfat' was a more modern form of the 1st singular
> > future of 'con·tuili' (sleeps)  and DIL C 467.55 gives 'con·tuiliub'
> > as an older form, which looked fairly normal to me so I used it.
> Good.  But note that we need a prototonic form of this compound
> verb following "ná·", perhaps unattested "ná·cotlub"??

Looks good.

> > Now Medb switches to the present tense of the verbs.
> Both Meyer and Carey interpret the odd "ni bom" as a future
> tense form of "ibid".  I think the normal OI would be "ní·íb"
> (= "I will not drink").

Very odd, indeed. Like Liz, I think that the form can be more easily be accounted for as a mis-spelling for present "ní·ibimm" (first "i" dropped in writing after the "i" of "ní",
the second vowel a schwa that is rounded between the two labial sounds), than for "ní·íb".

> > I guessed at the accusative singular of 'bláthach' (buttermilk.)
> Right, I think the acc. sg. would be "bláthaich" or "bláthaig",
> with the first being the earlier form.
> > Could there be a plural form here, 'blátha' or 'bláthcha'
> > (buttermilks) ??  Do the Irish use a plural with this word?

"Bláthcha" does certainly look like a plural. Even though we have difficulties in explaining the semantics of the plural in this form, this shouldn't lead us to try to correct it
into singular under the assumption that we know "better" OIr. than the people of the time. Probably the special semantics elude only us, but were perfectly clear to the
original audience. DIL cites only a few attestations of the word, so that we cannot be very sure of how it could be used in various contexts. The only thing poses a slight
problem for me is that the genitive "bláithche" always shows palatalisation of the internal cluster after syncope of the second vowel. This should also be the case in the
plural, i.e. we would expect *bláithchea.


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