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Subject: Echtra Nerai IV.6
From: David Stifter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 1 Jul 2004 20:44:35 +0200

text/plain (120 lines)

Liz wrote:

> >a)  "Ro fetur-so ni, a mo bopa, a Fergus, as sin laid
> >     ro gaubuis himbuarach," ol Briccriu.  Doneco Fergus
> >     seco la soduin ocus bentoi sethnu a chinn do Briccriu
> >     cona durn co lotur na cuicfir fichilli batar  hind-
> >     durn F[er]guso hi cenn m-Briccriunn, co m-bo buan
> >     d'olcc do.
> >
> >a1) [omit "ni"] ... popa a ferghais ... rogabus ...
> >     dodechai(d) secha ... benta sechnu(n) do [omit
> >     "Briccriu] conadurn fhergusa hicind in bricrend
> >     ... aolcc
> >
>     "Ro·fetar-sa ní, a mo phopa, a Fergus, asin laíd ro·gabais hi
> mbúarach," ol Bricriu.  Do·dechuid Fergus sech la sodain ocus bentaid
> sethnu a cheinn do Bricrinn cona durn co·lotar na cóicf*ir fidchille
> bátar hi ndurn Fergusa hi cenn mBricrenn, co mbo búan a olc de.

Very good, as usual, Liz.

I wondered a little bit about "as sin". I wondered if it could be the copula + "sin", since the two words are written separately. But in the end this doesn't make much
syntactical sense, and your edition is most probably correct. This is also what Thurneysen (IHKS 316) makes of it.

> I thought 'Ro·fetur-so' was the 1st singular perfect of the deponent
> verb ro·finnadar/ro·fitir (finds out, discovers, knows) plus an
> emphasizing particle.  I took the spelling from Strachan p. 67. DIL R
> 88.23 calls 'ro·fitir' the 'preterite present' and translates it as
> 'knows.' From that it looked to me as though it could be translated
> either as a perfect form or a present form.

That's correct. "ro·fetar-sa" means literally "I have found out", but its normal use is as present "I know", and I'd translate it as such here, too.

>  I thought 'ro gaubuis/rogabus' was the 2d singular perfect form of
> 'gabaid' (takes, seizes, sings.)


>  I couldn't tell from DIL which declension 'laíd' belongs to so I
> kept the manuscript form intact and hoped it was the dative form.

The declensional type of "laíd" is difficult to tell, probably an a-stem or long i-stem. Anyway, the form as it stands is indeed the dative.

> I thought 'himbuarach' corresponded to 'i mbúarach' from 'búarach' in
> DIL B 230.15.  This is defined as a spancel for cows at milking time
> and apparently generalized in meaning to mean milking time or the
> early morning and also to mean "a short time ago, just now."

It usually means "in the morning". But as Thurneysen IHKS 316 points out, Fergus sang his song the day before.

>  I thought 'Doneco/dodechai(d)' was the 3rd singular perfect
> of 'do·tét' as cited in Thurneysen p. 438.

Well, "do·dechaid" certainly is a form of "do·tét", but "doneco" is not. It must stand for "da·n-éccai" "looks at him". This makes better sense than "has come". Maybe the
scribe of a1) didn't recognise the verbal form and tried to make sense by changing it to "do·dechaid".

>    'Seco/secha' looked like the conjunction 'sech' which translates as
> 'and moreover, and besides.'

"sechae" is the 3rd sg. masc./neut. of "sech". "Sech" is frequently used "with suffixed pronoun referring to subject of preceding verb of going, looking, putting, etc.,
sometimes adding very little to the meaning of the verb" (DIL S 123.46). It may mean something like "he looks out of himself at him", and we could simply drop it in

> I was pretty sure that 'bentoi/benta' was a form of 'benaid' (hits,
> strikes) but it was difficult to identify the verb form.  It isn't
> listed among the t-preterites where I expected to find it based on the
> forms in the manuscripts.  Thurneysen on p. 428  includes it among the
> reduplicated preterites with some technical information which I
> gathered is basically saying that the reduplication involves an
> unvoiced consonant.  The end result is the 3rd singular preterite
> 'bii' (disyllabic) cited in DIL 72.23. I could not find any other
> suitable form of this verb so I stayed with the 3rd singular
> indicative present form.

Actually, the form is a 3rd sg. present "benaid" + suffixed object pronoun "-i" "him", the addition of which leads to syncope of the second syllable and to concomitant
delenetion and devoicing of the "d". "bentai" is "he strikes him".

> "Sethnu" is cited by DIL as an early form of the preposition 'sechnón'
> translated as 'throughout.' It is followed by the genitive form of the
> noun.  "Throughout his head" didn't make much sense in English so I
> translated it "about his head."

Well, it may be "through his head", or "all over his head". BTW, the gen. of "cenn" is "cinn", not "ceinn".

> I took the declined forms of 'Bricriu' from Strachan p. 15, where
> it is  described as a masculine noun with a nasal stem.

Basically correct, but with n-stems there is always the possibility that the dative may also have a form which is identical with the nominative. So we can leave "Briccriu" as
it is found in the MS.

> I thought 'lotur' was the 3rd singular preterite of 'téit' (goes).

Yes. Since the conjunction "co·" nasalises, we may write "co·llotar".

>  See DIL C 294.57 for 'cóicf*ir' (five men.) The reference is
> apparently to pieces used in the game.

Since "fer" is masculine, we have to change the article to "in chóicf*ir".

Since the dative causes lenition, we will have to write "bátar hi ndurn F*ergusa".

> I thought '-bo' was the past conjunct form of the 3rd singular
> copula

Yes. But since the copula is enclitic to preceding particles and conjunctions, we better write "combo".

> and that 'olc' here was a noun meaning 'evil, misfortune.'
> I thought the 'do' at the end of source (a) was a confusion for 'de.'

No, I don't think so. "do" rather stands for "dó", and I'd leave "d'olcc" = "de olcc". I'd only emend the dative to the classical OIr. form "ulc(c)". The phrase "combo búan
d'ulcc dó" literally means "so that it was (something) lasting of the misfortune to him" = "so that he had a lasting effect of the misfortune".

>    I guessed a bit at a few genitive forms in the passage
> (Fergusa/ceinn/fidchille.) I thought 'Fergus' might be a u-stem
> masculine.

Yes, it is.


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