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Subject: Re: Word play
From: David Stifter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 24 Oct 2008 09:59:30 +0200
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Neil McLeod wrote:

> > I just wonder why the word is spelt with "p" here? DIL indicates no
> > such spelling under "bas". If I am allowed to speculate, there may
> > be onomatopoeia involved, imitating the sound of a slap (compare
> > English "pat" or German "patsch").
> 
> As it is spelt with a 'p' in Kelly's unrelated legal gloss on 'bas' as
> well, I don't think we need to explain the 'p' in Aided Dhiarmada
> particularly. (Another version of that gloss is cited in DIL B 41.7-8,
> this time with a 'b'.)

I think it needs an explanation even more so. It's not the usual 
thing for a word with "b-" to be written with "p-". This may 
occasionaly happen in very late MSS that use very odd spelling 
conventions (and perhaps Kelly's gloss belongs to that category), but 
going by the rest of the episode that you cited it seems that our 
text does not come from such a source. 

Maybe there was a confusion of the two measures of length "bas" and 
"pas", even though they differ quite considerably in length.

David

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