On 12 Feb 2012 at 15:20, Christopher Gwinn wrote:
> > No. The Irish word looks to all intents and purposes like a compound
> > of so/u- "good" and cíall "sense, intelligence, mind"
> Compare Welsh hybwyll, "thoughtful, discreet, prudent, sensible, prudent, wise".
This is very similar, but not strictly the same. The Welsh adjective
is a possessive adjective ("having good sense" = somebody who has a
good sense), whereas the Irish word is rather a determinative
compound noun ("good sense" = a sense which is good). One might
assume that such a noun could simply be the abstract of the
possessive adjective ("the condition of having good sense"), but I
would rather expect a *-i̯ā-abstract then (*soichle).
The thing that makes soichell a young formation is the palatalised
ch. If the formation were old and inherited, *suku̯ēllā should have
resulted in *suchall or perhaps *sochall. The fact that the ch is
palatalised shows that the formation was transparent and the
palatalisation could be carried over from the simplex cíall.
Well, alternatively the palatalisation could also have been
generalised from syncopated forms like gen. soichle, but one never
knows whether that form was frequent enough in face of the
unsyncopated ones to spread its palatalisation.