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Re: Poem by Cináed the Wise 16


Neil McLeod <[log in to unmask]>


Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>


Wed, 1 Apr 2009 08:11:19 +0800





text/plain (85 lines)

Liz Gabay wrote:

> BB

> Cormac ni tarat do a ferand
> ba rirobach rogand
> gorucallus catha is comairm
> mar tomaidm do thoraind.

> Lec

> Cormac ni tarid do a fhearand
> ba riroboc rogand.
> corucallos chatha is chomairm
> mar thomaidm to a fearand

I notice that at the ends of the lines you have expanded 'n+n-stroke' as
'nd'. It is probably better to stick with 'nn'.

In line (d), Lec has 'do a'.

> I thought there was probably a verb in 'gorucallus/corucallus'. Could it
> be 'coillid' (damages, violates, destroys)?

I went with 'co ruc allas catha' ('so that he got the sweat of battle').
Perf -3 sg to 'beirid'.

> I think that Lec might be corrupt in the 4th line.

Yes, I agree. I don't think you can use the same word to consonate with

> Because of lenition after the masculine possessive 'a', I would expect
> that 'do thoraind' and 'to a fearand' might sound similar. A scribe writing from
> dictation could confuse the two sets of words.
> I wonder how often the scribes wrote from dictation, and how often they
> were copying older texts?

I'm not aware of them using dictation. It seems that an individual
scribe just copied the exemplar in front of him. (Though they did often
do their copying in rotation, so it is feasible that one might read and
one write, and then swap round. I just haven't heard of it, that I can
recall.) Copying by eye rather than by ear would have advantages in
terms of calculating the space required on the page. The contractions in
Lec and BB mirror each other quite a lot - to the extent that it seems
to me they are frequently reproducing even the graphical form of the
word in a common exemplar (or from internediate exemplars closely
related to a common exemplar).

Also, instances of haplography suggest an error in copying the visual
word segments of an exemplar, rather than a reading error. Here in line
(d) I think we have haplography as well. The copyist's eye has fallen
back to the ending of the first line of the stanza, drawn there by
looking for the segment he had just copied 'do a'.

Here is how I divided the lines:

BB (108 r a)

Cormac ni tarat do ferann
ba ri rob[th]ach ro-gann
go ruc allus catha is coma(i)rm
mar t[h]omaidm do thora(i)nn

Lec (221 v b)

Cormac ni tarid do a f(h)earand
ba ri rob[th]oc[h] ro-gann
co ruc allos c(h)atha is choma(i)rm
mar thomaidm do a fearand [sic for 'thorann']

There is no alliteration in line (a).

The requirements of rhyme /consonance dictate that the final consonant
clusters in each line should either be all palatal or all non-palatal.
(I have gone for the latter.)

'Cormac' gives a poor internal rhyme with 'robthach' (-c and -ch are not
of the same class).

There is no internal rhyme in the second couplet at all. (Is the
spelling 'chomairm' there a scribe's attempt to make up for this deficit
by manufacturing an Aicill rhyme with 'thomaidm'?)


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