This is a valid point, although I am under impression (I never made statistical analysis though) that the distinction was much better preserved in the plural than in the singular. Maybe it is due to the fact that the forms were much more distinct from the start. In the singular there was an additional factor for confusion - the forms of ar and for were obviously influencing each other phonetically.
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> On 2 Feb 2016, at 19:22, David Stifter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Old-Irish-L [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Romanas Bulatovas
>>> accusative: Ferais sneachta mór forru.
>> Me-- I am wondering how strictly the accusative case was used with
>> prepositions other than 'i' when motion was implied? Liz
>> There are 2 a little bit unrelated questions:
>> 1. Usage of accusative with prepositions ar, for, i, fo in general, when motion is implied - if we are dealing with nouns, it was quite strict up to almost Early Modern Irish.
>> 2. Usage of separate accusative forms of prepositional pronouns from the same - here there is a question of date. I see from texts that for the oldest ones there is a quite strict distinction, but in the Middle Irish period there is a lot of levelling and confusion, some forms are obsolete, the other are used indiscriminately. As majority of the texts has been transmitted in Middle Irish mss, the usage in the actual texts is quite confused.
> Although I never made any systematic notes, my impression has been that the confusion in either category started fairly early on in Old Irish. This is not to say, though, that the distinction could not be maintained for a long time if the speakers made an effort - but sometimes they didn't even in Old Irish. I think it varies from form to form. For instance, the original distinction between 3rd sg m/n acc. "fair" : dat. "for" is virtually inexistant in almost the entire literature. "Fair" is almost exclusively used for either case.