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Subject: Echtra Nerai IV.12
From: David Stifter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 2 Aug 2004 08:43:40 +0200

text/plain (40 lines)

Liz wrote:

> >>> a)  Forfagbud Nero tra cona muinntir ...
> >It is a passive, and you're right about the augment 'r', but the verb
> >is "fo-ácaib" (= leaves).

> The form 'forfacbad' is given as a singular passive preterite/perfect
> Middle Irish form in DIL 176.54.   
> I couldn't figure out where the second 'f' came from.

It is a so-called "inorganic f", i.e. an "f" that has no etymological 
justification, but pops up at some stage in the history in Irish 
words, especially verbs, which originally began with a vowel. There 
are loads of such words in Irish (old and modern) dictionaries, e.g. 
ModIr. "foscail" "to open", against OIr. "oslaicid". The reason for 
this is that after leniting words or particles, original "f" at the 
beginning of words was lost, e.g. "ní·fhácaib" /ni:·a:g@v'/ "he 
doesn't leave it", so that a form like "ní·oslaici" "he doesn't open 
it" could also be interpreted as containing a lenited f. Therefore an 
"f" was added to the word in non-leniting contexts.

>      The 3rd singular passive preterite and perfect conjunct form of
> 'gaibid' is '- gabad' so I thought the corresponding Old Irish perfect
> form of 'fo·ácaib' would be 'for·agabad.'  

In classical OIr. the form must have been "fo·árcbad" < *fo-ad-ro-gab-

> Most of the preterite and
> perfect forms in DIL did not have the fada on the first 'a' so I left
> it off.  I wonder if the fada is lost for some phonetic or grammatical
> reason here.

IMO, it can't be phonetic, but the short "a" must be analogical to 
the originally short "a" of "fo·acaib". That we find "fo·ácaib" with 
a long "á" in the dictionary, is itself due to analogy to the 
prototonoc form "·fácaib".


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