David Stifter wrote:
> On Mo, 9.02.2009, 15:54, Neil McLeod wrote:
>> (The attestaions are all quite late. As the word is an o-stem, I wonder
>> if it is a cpd with -crann, 'wood', perhaps a late form of *'fo-chrann',
> This explanation, although not impossible as such, involves a number of
> additional assumption: vowel assimilation *fochrann > *fachrann,
> generalisation of the lenited stem variant without the "f" from phrases
> like *isind fhochrunn "in the underwood"(which goes against the tendency
> to rather introduce initial "f" even where it does not belong). This
> explanation would also leave the variant with initial "e", i.e. "eachrann"
> unexplained - this could be a hypercorrect spelling.
Yes; this reduces its chances to 'possible but unlikely'.
> I assume that a compound *fochrann would have remained etymologically
> transparent at all stages of Irish (or Gaelic). It's hard to see why it
> should have developed away from its etymologically transparent form.
Yes, that is a good point. I think we are now down to 'extremely
unlikely and rather odd'.