Neil McLeod wrote:
>>>> go gairm don chúaich ós dloim(h) dúin
>> I would then interpret "ós" as a variant of "as = that is",
> With a long ó? I suspect it is 'ós' in the sense 'overhead' (which
> a later scribe treated as governing 'dlom', hence the palatal ending):
> "until the call of the cuckoo overhead [is] an announcement to us".
The use of the naked preposition "ós" (which, to further twist things,
is normally "os" with a short 'o' in Modern Irish) as an adverb
strikes me as very odd. DIL says that "úas, ós" is
"rarely used as an adverb (in place of túas, súas)".
All of the examples given might better be simply amended to "thuas"
rather than read as "ós".
If we take "ós" above a variant of "thuas" we could read our line as:
go gairm don chúaich thuas dloim(h) dúin(n)
This still seems odd, esp. since it leaves the expected copula --
which you do seem to acknowlege ("...[is]...") -- unexpressed, leaving
"dlomh dúinn" hanging there. The adverb "thuas" is not necessary
semantically, while the copula is. Why then would the poet intend
"ós" to be the adverb, rather than the copula. As you can tell, I'm
not much impressed by either the vowel or its length in "ós". As the
old saying goes, "accidents happen to vowels". The dán díreach poets
were expressly granted a good deal of latitude in the deformation of
words, and then there are the vagaries of MS transmission to contend
Now, having made that argument (for the sake of the argument,
naturally), I'll propose another solution. Modern Irish has the word
"ós", which is a compound of the preposition "ó" and the relative
copula "is" (= earlier "as"). It means something like "since (it)
is / because (it) is". If that is what the "ós" in our line is, we
could read the whole thing as:
until a call of the cuckoo, since it's an announcement to us
What thinkest thou?