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Subject: Re: Life force?
From: Searles O'Dubhain <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 23 Sep 2008 17:21:49 +0100
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On Tue, 23 Sep 2008 23:44:08 +0800, Neil McLeod 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> Not all the kennings come as two words that alliterate with the next line. 
>> Maybe about 25% of them do so. 
>
>I think you may be getting confused here. Remember, we are only talking 
>about the Bríatharogam Maic ind Óc (the other two lists don't show 
>linking alliteration.) The only break in the alliteration the 
>Bríatharogam Maic ind Óc is that noted by McManus - it marks the advent 
>of the five supplementary letters.
>

I'm not confused at all. I'm quite familiar with the three Bríatharogam.  It's true 
that McManus has emphasized the alliteration in teh lists that he has provided 
however those are not the only lists as shown by the Annectdota and the 
Auraicept to name only two. In those lists the alliteration is only evident in the 
list of mac ind Oic and not in every line of that.

>Bear in mind that the website you refer to shows only one of the 
>manuscripts. Occasionally the linking alliteration is obscured there by 
>scribal errors, but it is shown to be uniform when all the manuscripts 
>are consulted (see the variant readings given by McManus).
>

See the readings from BB, Auraicept and the Anecdota.

>> q bríg anduine .i. ceirtech 
>> m marusc n-airlig .i. muin 
>> 
>> "Anduine" above does not alliterate with "marusc" in the next line because 
it is 
>> in the next stanza (or aicme) of kennings. 
>
>As the other manuscripts confirm, the first word of that kenning is 
>'árusc', not 'marusc'. (See also Calder: arusc n-airlig.) So yes, it 
>does alliterate.
>

Perhaps. I will look at more sources tonight when time and availability are both 
not in short supply as they are now.

>>fethal 
>> can mean ...
>
>DIL does not support your contention that the word 'fethal' can mean any 
>of the following: 'declare; characteristic;  shield; appurtenances; 
>Divine; service; pagan; attestation; valuable; distinctive'
>

I got the list of words provided above *directly* from the eDIL.

>Some of these words don't appear in the DIL entry at all, others are not 
>given as the meaning of 'fethal' itself. Others you have manufactured by 
>slicing a definition up into its constitent words (but perhaps these are 
>merely copying errors?).
>
>> The meaning would be the same no matter what color of grammar one 
wants 
>> to place upon it.
>
>On the contrary. Grammar makes a significant difference to meaning. That 
>is why languages have it. And why we are so keen about discussing it on 
>this list.
>
>Neil

I accept that grammar is very useful in determining meaning. In the case that 
I was referencing, grammar did not change the meaning of the kenning 
significantly. There is also context and other forms of usage to be considered. 
In understanding a kenning or a rosc, these are very important. That's why 
the DIL and eDIL are great places to start in attempting to translate such an 
esoteric phrase or word grouping.

Searles O'Dubhain

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