I disgaree here. I think that the point is that they actually did see SOMETHING, namely the main topic of the tale, and this expressed at the very end of the sentence: "a n-echrada fadésin 7 a mmac cona lurchurib" (their own horses and their/her son with his foals), i.e. a plurality of objects which is in fact mirrored by the proleptic plural infixed pronoun "-da". The long phrase "i n-airthiur in Broga cen tech cen éunu" functions as a sort of parenthesis which could perhaps be rendered in English as "east of the Brug, with the house and the birds gone". The infixed pronouns serves as a cataphoric marker for the object which does not follow the verb immediately, but is separated by the long prepositional phrase "i n-airthiur...".
From: Old-Irish-L [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Romanas Bulatovas
Sent: Sonntag, 28. Februar 2016 20:35
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OLD-IRISH-L] Compert Con Culainn 19
I do not agree with David and here are my reasons:
> On 27 Feb 2016, at 10:09, David Stifter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Tráth ba maiten dóibh conda accatar ní i n-airthiur in Broga
> The usual phrase is "co·n-accatar ní" "they saw something", i.e. the "ní" is he direct object of the verb.
That would be very much true, but this is not what we have in the text, and not only because of the infixed pronoun. The whole narrative of the story is against such an interpretation.
First of all, there was nothing for them "to see" in the morning, actually the whole point of the story is that there was *nothing* left in the morning, the next clause exactly points out that when they woke up, there was no house, no birds no anything. Mind you, they went to sleep in a *house*, presumably after getting drunk. So this their surprise was that when they awoke they were in a plain field, the house was gone. Translating that "they saw something" does not make any logical sense, the main news of the morning was that the house was gone, not that there was "something" in the east, not even properly defined. Secondly, they were *already* in the east of Brú na Bóinne as they came there chasing the birds, so saying they saw "something in the east of the Brú" is a bit odd at this stage after they have spent a night there.
To sum up, maybe my interpretation of "they saw themselves" is wrong, but the translation "they saw something" is even worse as it goes against the logic of the story, makes 2 grammatical emendations (a pleonastic infix when the object directly follows the verb + a wrong pronoun altogether due to a supposedly MidIr development) and is quite akward in the flow of the story. Saying "they saw something, there was no house" frankly speaking grates against my understanding of Irish story-telling canon.
Comments are welcome,