On 18 Jan 2012 at 22:15, Christopher Gwinn wrote:
> Maybe not common nouns, but there are some Brittonic personal names
> continuing the oblique (Maelgwn [*Maglocun- next to Meilyg from nom.
> *Maglocu:], Gwythur [Latin oblique *Uicto:r-; unless this is from nom.
> Uicto:rius], perhaps many of the names terminating in -ri [-rig-
> "king"]); if Neo-Brittonic *Ankou was death personified, I don't see
> why couldn't have an oblique here as well.
But then we do not know how the proto-Brits pictured death. If what I
mentioned about the concept of the ankou in Brittany is correct, this
could indicate a non-personalised concept of death.
In any case, the examples you mention are convincing. We can just
wonder why personal names occasionally survived in the oblique. An
explanation that immediately comes to my mind is that the oblqiue may
have survived in naming constructions, i.e. as genitives in the
patronymic. Something similar happened in Italian: even though in the
Italian language the synthetic genitive died out and was replaced by
the analytic construction with "di", the old genitive did survive in
personal names, ultimately giving us all those Italian surnames in -