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OLD-IRISH-L  July 2011

OLD-IRISH-L July 2011

Subject:

Re: Emne < Isamnion, etymology

From:

"Dr. David Stifter" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 27 Jul 2011 20:50:12 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (54 lines)

On 27 Jul 2011 at 12:20, Christopher Gwinn wrote:

> > If you look at all the places that contain "Inis", it won't look as
> > odd any more.
>
> I am sure that I understand what you mean.

I assume you meant that you were NOT sure what I meant. And yes, my
reply was so short as to border on crypticism. What I meant was that
"inis" = "island" can be applied to a wide range of places, including
many inland places, so I wouldn't be overly concerned if an element
like emain/emne was applied to topographically quite diverse places.

> > Of course, they could contain the etymon as well, in which case my
> > theory would be flawed. But most of them contain the stem iemurio-,
> > which - to judge by its usage - looks more like a kind of ethnonym.
> > To be honest, I don't know. In any case, the formation would be very
> > different from that required by OIr. emon anyway.
>
> They could come from the same root as your *imno-, though, if your
> root is the zero-grade, no?

Oh yes, definitly. That's the idea.

> Have you read Hamp's discussion of emon in "Varia I: 6. An ancient
> Indo-European idiom", Eriu 24, 1973, pp. 172-174? He makes a couple
> interesting points:

No, I hadn't seen it before.

> [p. 172] "Pokorny (IEW 505) has an entry *iem 'halten', *iemo-
> 'Zwilling".

In LIV2 312, the two roots are separated (following EWAia II 399-
400), and the meaning of the verbal root is defined not as "halten",
but as "ausstrecken, hinstrecken".

> Middle Irish emon (masc.) is said to be *emno-,

My point is that so far everybody simply assumed that emon had to be
*(y)emno-. But actually, it could just as easily be *imno-, and under
this assumption Gaulish and British forms can be compared (which
doesn't necessarily prove that they are actually related, of course).

> Then Germanic *ibna- 'even' is adduced; this
> looks dubious, even irrelevant.

Not quite. There is a long article by Stefan Schaffner on this word,
and he argues that it is *emno-, which he compares with OInd. amna-.
The article appeared in the proceedings of the Arbeitstagung of the
Indogermanische Gesellschaft in Erlangen (1997, if I am not
mistaken).

David

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