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Subject: Re: Habitual present forms of copula?
From: Dennis King <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 25 Jul 2006 11:32:21 -0700
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It turns out then that in the copula the independent forms
"bid" (3sg) and "bit" (3pl) can be either future forms or
habitual present forms!  Some reinterpretations may be in
order.

The Sengoídelc collection of Irish quotations contains the
following legal maxim:

Bes ildánach bid ildírech.

http://www.sengoidelc.com/node/209

In the preface to the festschrift for Proinsias Mac Cana
entitled _Ildánach Ildírech_ the editors (Carey, Koch &
Lambert) translate this maxim as "He who will have many
skills will have many honour-prices."  I likewise read "bid"
as a future in my translation:

> Whoever is highly skilled will be highly valued.

Now it looks as if the correct translation should be

"Whoever is highly skilled is always highly valued."

The habitual present tense really does make better sense here.

Dennis

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