On Di, 11.08.2009, 19:17, Bernard Morgan wrote:
> I am finding the use in Irish of Dia as both day and god interesting. I
> assume the mixed use of “Dia” come from the Romans naming days after gods?
No, this is just an orthographic coincidence. The two are two different
words which - in early Old Irish - also sounded differently. The one is a
fossilised word for "day" (the normal Old Irish word for "day" is "lae")
and comes from a Proto-Celtic pre-form *diyous or something like that. In
early Old Irish this word was disyllabic with a hiatus /di.a/. The other
one comes from PrCelt. *deiwos "god" and was monosyllabic with a diphthong
in Old Irish: /dia/.
> Out of interest could “dia áine” 'day of the fast' be confused for “dia
> áine” who John O’Donovan identifies with goddess Diane (“Dia Aine”) and
> Anna Perenna (who gives us the word perennial)?
No. Apart from the difference in the first word in the collocations, there
is an enormous diffeence in the second. In phonological terms, the one is
/ain'e/ "fast", the other one I think is /a:n'e/, a name.
> (I see using the modern spelling of Aione avoids confusing with Aine the
For the very reason that the two have always been distinct.