On a tangent: I am wondering if "cloech" isn't just a (learned) spelling variant for "cloich" [kloxʲ]. In the late 8th century there arose a spelling fashion whereby palatalisation was not marked by an <i> written before the consonant, but by an <e>. Maybe that's what is meant by "airbert" (practice).
From: Old-Irish-L <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Dennis King
Sent: 06 January 2019 01:04
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: portmanteau words
Quoting Paul Russell in “A New History of Ireland” (because this platform sadly cannot support photos, which would eliminate my need to keyboard this, *osna*) in which he refers to entry 213 in Sanas Cormaic:
“A number of them occurs in the following entry: cloch, trí anmann lé .i. onn a íarmbérla, cloch a gnáthbérla, cloech a bérla n-airberta ar inní chlóes cach raod ‘cloch (stone), three names for it, i.e. onn the cryptic term for it, cloch the normal term for it, cloech the term of use for it because it blunts everything’. Of these terms, íarmbérla is common in the ‘Auraicept’ material. On the other hand, bérla n-airberta is a different term which seems to be called ‘of use’ because it has been modified to make its perceived semantic relation to chlóes more perspicuous; elsewhere in Cormac this type of modification of a word, in order to clarify its etymology, is often marked by the use of quasi.”
Cormac lacked the concept of portmanteau as we know it, but in the mashup of “cloch = stone” and “cloïd = blunts” to create “clōes” he comes damn close to it, I think. According to Russell, Cormac used the word “quasi” to signal just this strategy.