> It is hard to prove a negative, such as that "Dobunni" is NOT Brittonic.
only say I have looked for likely Brittonic meanings and found nothing
I tend to look at Alan James' "Brittonic Language in the Old North" and to
Delamarre's DLG is an excellent resource, but you need to expand your
search. There are at least a half dozen other sources that you should be
consulting - for example:
Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (not every word is given an etymology, and some
of the etymologies are out of date, but it is still a great place to start).
Kenneth Jackson, Language and History in Early Britain.
Peter Schrijver, Studies in British Celtic Historical Phonology.
Kim McCone, Towards a relative chronology of ancient and medieval Celtic
Ranko Matasovic, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (has some errors,
but is still useful).
Nicholas Zair, The Reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European Laryngeals in Celtic.
Patrick Sims-Williams, The Celtic Inscriptions of Britain: Phonology and
Chronology, c. 400–1200
Julius Pokorny, Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (dated, but
still highly regarded).
Welsh, Cornish and Breton are not reliable guides to Brittonic
because they contain so many Irish loanwords.
Hunh? That's like saying French, Italian, and Spanish are not reliable
guides to Latin because they have some English loanwords. Welsh, Cornish
and Breton are the daughter languages of Brittonic; they are essential for
the reconstruction of it.
Anyway, there aren't _that_ many Irish loans on Welsh, Cornish, and Breton!
> This is partly a question of chronology. I really don't know when nd
into nn in Irish, or whether it happened at a particular point in time.
But "Dobunni" would be a fairly early example.
It's too early.
A Proto-Irish "-odio-" would, I feel, have existed very much earlier - it
been a thousand years earlier - and therefore would hardly be relevant.
It existed in names found in Ogam inscriptions from the 5th-6th centuries;
e.g., EQODDI (OIr Echde, Latinized Echodius) and LUGUDI (OIr [Latinized]
Lugudius, maybe the tribal name Luigde), perhaps also in MONGEDIAS and
It was cognate with Gaulish -odio-, found in names dating to the Roman
> Depends what you mean by "primary meaning". You may well be right about
the primary meaning in PIE, 6000 years ago, but in Irish toponymy it means
river mouth in the great majority of instances. (Hogan lists about 50
almost all refer to a river mouth, and a handful, perhaps 3 or 4, refer to
foothills of a mountain.) Other meanings existed in non-toponymic contexts,
such as "tree-trunk", but are a good deal rarer.
I am following the DIL; it says its primary meaning was "ground, bottom,
base" and I believe it.
> I wonder how securely it is known that "dyfod" came from "*tobuta".
That's the standard etymology, as far as I know. Seems totally reasonable
I am personally sceptical about the existence of "Proto-Celtic".
You believe in Proto-Indo-European, but are skeptical about Proto-Celtic???
The Celtic languages didn't just appear out of nowhere - they developed out
of an earlier language, which scholars call Proto-Celtic (and which was a
daughter branch of Proto-Indo-European, though it might have gone through
an intermediate stage of Italo-Celtic - still a hotly debated topic).
Anyway, good luck with your research!
- Chris Gwinn