On Sa, 29.08.2009, 23:52, Aaron Griffith wrote:
> How does this apply to Old and Primitive Irish? No idea, but here are a
> couple thoughts. I did a quick check some material in the Milan and
> glosses and found a couple relevant examples:
> Wb 5c7: it carit dom-sa immurgu "they are friends of mine, however"
> Ml 44c6 a n-nu·mothaigtis .i. mo charait "when they used to be amazed,
> my friends"
> I am guessing that both "it mo charae" and "it carae dom" are acceptable,
> depending on the context. What those contexts are, I'm not sure, but it
> may have to do with politeness issues and how close the friends are.
Thanks for providing these examples. Unfortunately, I have no books to
look at their further contexts, but my gut feeling is that they do not
exactly illustrate the point you wanted to make. Whereas the example from
Wuerzburg is a full sentence and incidentally has the shape that I
postulated (but its pragmatic value in regard to the possible usages
indicted by you is unclear, given the lack of context), I think that the
Milan example is something different. I think it is a very elliptic
example of fronting, i.e. of topicalisation. If it were to be construed in
full the sentence might go (in English): "when they used to be amazed,
that is to say, (it is) my friends (who were amazed)". The 3pl "it" is in
this case simply the plural equivalent of the copula in its topicalisation
function (which is usually "is" for all other persons).
Probably we could find more about the construction of sentences of the
"you are my friend"-type in O Coisdealbha's book on the copula in Irish.
> dangerous to project these modern assumptions about politeness and
> friendship back like that, but I think there is some validity to it. If
> this speculation turns out to be correct, it will allow me to speculate
> further: the phrase "it mo charae" would be fine to say to a close friend,
> while "it carae dom" would be a little more marked (for social distance,
> David mentioned the notae augentes (-su and -sa). I purposefully avoided
> them because they are still a somewhat murky category, at least what
> concerns their usage. I have been looking at them fairly intensively for a
> while now, but I'm not yet ready to say exactly when they should be used,
> especially for the first and second person. The sentences "it mo
> and "it carae-su dom-sa" are certainly fine, but how they differ from the
> same sentences without the notae augentes is not at all clear.
> That's my two cents (or perhaps a bit more) worth.