Ar 12:36 PM -0700 6/26/98, scríobh Candon Clannach:
>> What is the origin of the Gael. fionn beside of older finn/find ?
>> Might the -io- of Gwion be a late Welsh developement of -i- ?
>Well, I'm no Gaelic expert but the development of gwyn from Celtic vind
>is regular: /v/ becomes /gw/, and the consonant cluster /nd/ fall
>together (both being aveolar stops Cf. Rhiannon from Rigantona).
>I would guess that Old Irish find develops regularly too. In OIr
>orthography the slender vowels (i,e) cause the preceding consonant to
>palatize. I believe in Middle and Modern Irish that to show that the
>following consonant is not "slenderized" that a non-slender vowel is
>inserted between the slender vowel and the non-palatized consonant.
>So, fiond would show orthographically that the /n/ is not palatized.
>The /nd/ to /n(n)/ is the same falling together of alveolar stops as
>found in Welsh.
>Dennis, is do I have it right?
Looks good to me. To restate: the change from "finn" to "fionn"
has to do mainly with the evolution of Irish spelling, not a major
change in pronunciation. OI spelling is notoriously ambiguous in
certain areas (broad/slender quality in some situations, existence
of lenition or eclipsis in others), but the "modern" spelling adopted
by the bardic schools around AD 1200 greatly improved the situation.
We know that "find/finn" derives from Common Celtic *wind-os/-â, and
the resulting slender quality of the "w -> f" and the broad quality
of the "nd -> nn" have been preserved down to the present day. In
fact, the consonants and their quality are of more importance to the
identity of the word than the vowel between them, which can be realized,
depending on dialect, as /i/ or /u/ or /@u/ or even /a/ (leaving out the
question of vowel lengthening and lax/tense quality of the "nn" across
dialects!). Is that scary enough for all the non-Irish-speakers out