> Also, another instance that is puzzling, is the
> adverbial copula, which does not at all equal the
> mathematical sign =. An example from the Macgnimrada
> (Stories from the Tain) is: Is di Ultaib do (it is
> toward the beginning, I can't quote the line of
> Here, we have a adverbial phrase 'di Ultaib' (from
> Ulstermen), linked to a prepositional pronoun 'do'
> him) by the copula. It's unclear to me, how this
> works, if it's a 'mathematical sign'
> Um...please chime in!!
If I have anything to contribute to this discussion of the delightful
copula, which I refer to in my articles on teaching Modern Irish as the
“pons asinorum”, it is based almost entirely on my modest understanding of
common usage in Modern Irish.
Taking the sentence "Is di Ultaibh do" I would immediately re-write it as
"Is d'Ultaibh (de Ultaibh) dó” (Is of Ulstermen to him) with the meaning “He
is of the Ulstermen”, i.e., he is one of them. I continually get catalogs
(the miracle of search programs seeking ‘Oirish names’) that offer a ring
with the inscription “Is d’Éirinn mé” (I am of Ireland), I come from there,
and am, therefore, one of them.