Page images

41. For mnr, ml in initial sound (m)br, (m)bl are used : Old Irish mrecht later brecht pied, Lith. márgas pied; bligim, I milk, Old High German melchan ; ón mlith atritione Ml. 23a 20, later do bleith, blith, inf. of melim, Latin molo; cf. arindi mblegar quia mulgetur.

42. The nasals disappear before the tenues and s, usually with lengthening of the preceding vowel (S 74): dét tooth, Cymr. dant, Skr. danta; brec, brécc lie, Skr. bhramça to fall, to deviate, to lose the way; lécim I leave, Latin linquo; month, g. mís, Latin mensis. In the borrowed word ífern = Latin infernum the nasal disappears before f. The lengthening is absent in unaccented syllables; berit ferunt, for prehist. berant-i; cara friend, gen. carat ; brage neck, gen. brágat (suff. ant); air-itiu receptio (air-ema suscipiat) for em-tiu, Lat. emtio cf. $ 25; óac youth, Cymr. ieuanc, Lat. juvencus ; do-anac, tánac veni, Skr. ānamça. It seems as if the lengthening of the a o or u was never practised where a nasal had disappeared: muc, mucc pig, Cymr. moch, for munc-ā, Greek Muktp, snout, åto-utoow I snort, Skr. root muc, muñcati to set free; oc at, ocus, Cymr. agos vicinus, for anc- one-, Goth. nehva near, nehvundja the next, Old High German nah, naho; crocenn hide, for crunc- (Skr. kruncati to bend ?), Old Norse hryggr back (St. hrugja), Old High German hrucki.

43. r and I answer to the r and l of European languages : srúaim stream, Grk. pewua; rigim I reach, Grk. opéyw; ad-condarc conspexi, Skr. dadarça, Grk. dédopka; daur oak, Grk. Sópu, Goth, triu tree; lenim adhaereo, Skr, lindmi, Latin lino; lige bed, Grk. lexos, Goth. ligan; lúath swift, lúam celox, Grk. Tlequa; clú fame, Grk. Kdéos; at-luchur budi I thank, perhaps the Latin loquor; gelim consumo, Skr. gilati.

44. f in initial sound takes the place of the Indo-Germanic v, an unaccented spirant for an accented : fiche, gen. fichet twenty, Latin viginti; fini cognati, Old H. G. wini friend; frass shower, Skr, varsha; froech, fraech heather, Grk.sepelky;

frith versus, root vart; frass shower, Sanskrit varsha; flaith sway, originally valt-is. When the combinations rc, lc are broken up by metathesis c remains unaspirated : du-thracair voluit connected with du-fu-tharcair, Skr. root tark, tarkayati to imagine, to remember to do something, tuaslucud resolutio beside tuasulcud (do-fo-od-salciud).

80. Besides the above cases of metathesis which are in part common to all Celtic languages there are others which are first perceived in Later and Modern Irish. Old Irish baitsim I baptize (from baithis baptism), Later Irish baistim, baisdim; Old Irish éitsim I hear, Later Irish éistim, éisdim ; Old Irish do acsin to see, Later Irish do aiscin ; Old Irish bélre speech, Modern Irish béurla.

CONTRACTION. 81. Similar vowels or vowels assimilated to one another which, owing to the disappearance of a consonant, have become directly contiguous might be contracted to one long vowel if one of them was accented (especially the first); dead finis, Cymr. diwedd, whence dédenach finalis; tee hot for tepe (Latin tepens) becomes , nom. pl. téit; lathe day already in Old Irish laa, ; ad-chíu I see, for -cisiu, Skr. root caksh (fr. cakas); biid gen.

of biad victus becomes bíd; broo, bró millstone, gen. broon, brón, Skr. grāvan.

82. Dissimilar vowels, which were not assimilated to oue another, remain side by side and often count in verses as two syllables, e.g. biad victus for bivat-am, Grk. Biotos. In like manner, perhaps after loss of a consonant, the following are dissyllabic; iach (Hy. 5. 72) immedon iach in a salmon's belly; niad (Hy. 5. 71), gen. of nii hero, warrior.

83. If neither of the two vowels was accented, one of them, most likely the first, was simply suppressed; Old Irish carid amat (a form like the Sanskrit sukhayati he rejoices) goes back through car-ati to cara-ati, caraj-ati as for-chongrimm praecipio is contracted from for-chon-garimm. In the same way no chara amat (of the conjoined flexion) does not go back to a contracted form carāt, but stands for cara-at, with loss of the last syllable according to the rule of termination.

84. In the same way contraction is not to be assumed where an original ia is represented by e: cride heart stands for prehist. cridi-am, e is the mutation of i due to a following a (as in fer for prehist. vir-as) and the syllable am has disappeared according to the rule of termination. In the same way the e in no guidem we pray may be explained for a prehist. godiam-as.

85. It is a form of absorption when e and a disappear after ó or ú: óac (dissyllabic Serclige Concul 37. 14, Old Cymr. ieuanc, Latin juvencus) youth, becomes óc; aue grandson becomes ó, ú, through óa, úa; núe new (Skr. navya) becomes .


86. Comparison with the allied languages teaches that numerous Irish word-forms have lost a syllable at the end, and Irish itself affords ground, in many cases, for the determination of how these syllables were sounded before they were lost. The prehistoric word-forms thụs inferred are by no means IndoGermanic primary forms, but stand in the process of individualizing language, at the same stage as the corresponding Latin and Greek forms. The traces of the lost syllable appear in Irish in two directions, viz. in the preceding syllable of the same word and in the initial sound of the following word.

87. The vowel of the last syllable was introduced in the preceding syllable and has affected the vowel of that syllable as shown § 16 et seq. The alteration of the short a of the last syllable to e or i can be clearly perceived but not so the alteration of the a to 0. The short o, before the syllable was lost, was either not sharply distinguished from a short a; or it has only produced effect as a short a upon the vowel of the preceding syllable. Traces of the alteration perhaps are to be found in the most ancient genitive-forms of stems in i, u, and n: fáith vates, gen. fátho for vātaj-os ; suth fetus, gen. sotho for sutav-os ; brithem judge, gen. brithemon for briteman-os. The nominative Corpimaquas (whence the Corbmac, Cormac of the manuscripts) from an Old Irish Ogham inscription, may be put forward against assuming the alteration. The numerous Old Gaulish nominatives in os (e.g. tarvos, Old Irish tarb bull) correspond only for the area of the Old Gaulish language.

88. The following table, without claiming to be complete, demonstrates how the vowels of the last syllable are treated in Irish:

[blocks in formation]

Voc. Sg. a maic O son for maqu-e, Greek

pile, Latin amic-e: Nom. Du. diuid
two soothsayers for druid-e, Grk.
Alavt-e: 2 Sg. Imperat. beir for ber-e,
Grk. pépe, Latin ag-e: 2 Pl. Imperat.
berid for beret-e, Grk. Pépet-e, Latin
agit-e: 3 Sg. Perf. cechuin cecinit
for cecan-e, Grk. réyov-e: cóic five
for quenqu-e, Latin quinqu-e, Greek

Nom. Sg. fer man for vir-as, Greek

Lúk-os, Latin lup-us: Gen. Sg. máthar
for mātar-as, Grk. untp-ós, Old Latin
Vener-us : fátho (later fátha) poetae
for vātaj-os, Grk. róle-ws: Nom. Sg.
teg, tech house (Modern Irish teach)
for teg-as, Grk. Téy-os, Latin gen-us:
do-beram damus for beram-as, Latin
agi-mus: 2 Sg. Perf. cechan cecinisti

for cecan-as, Grk. réyov-as. Nom. Pl. carit amici for car-'ant-es, Grk.

Dépovt-es: teoir Fem. three for tesor-es,
Skr. tisr-as : 2 Sg. Pres. do-beir thou
givest for ber-is, Grk. č ep-es, Latin
agis, cf. tige houses for teg-es-a, Grk.

Téy-e-a, Latin gen-er-a.
Nom. and Acc. N. nemed n- holy

[blocks in formation]


an, on

place, for nemet-an, Old Gaulish veuntov, Grk. Métp-ov, Latin jug-um: Acc. Sg. fer n- for vir-an, Grk. Núk-ov, Latin

vir-um. Acc. Sg. menmain n. mentem for mene

man-en: bráthir n- for brāter-en, Latin fratr-em (Grk. matép-a).

en, in

[blocks in formation]

nói n- nine for nov-en, Latin nov-e-m

(Grk. évvéa): deich n- ten for dec-en,
Latin dec-em (Grk. déka): Nom. and
Acc. Sg. N. ainm name for anm-en,
Latin nom-en (or for anm-e, Skr.

nām-a, cf. § 100). eter, etir between, Latin inter, Skr.

antar: Voc. Sg. a bráthir O brother,

Grk. ώ πάτερ. 3 Sg. Pres. do-beir dat for ber-it, Grk.

pep-e, Latin ag-it. Nom. Sg. F. túath people, Latin mens-a,

Grk. xup-a, Goth, thiud-a: Nom. Du. M. and N. fer two men for dvā vir-a, Grk. dúo AT-w, Latin du-o: Nom. Pl. N. grán for gran-a, Latin gran-a, Grk. Métp-a: 1 Sg. Conj. ér-bar dicam for (ass-ru-) ber-a, Ved. stav-ā I will praise: Nom. Sg. flaithem

prince for valtim-a, Skr. brahm-ā. 1 Sg. Pres, as-biur dico for ber-u, ber-o,

Lat. fer-o, Gr. pép-w: no rádiu loquor for rādio, Latin fugio: Nom. Sg. airmitiu reverentia for mentio, Lat. men

tio. Nom. Pl. F. túatha for tötās, Goth.

thiudos: 2 Sg. Conj. Pres. as-bere, -bere, -bera dicas for berās, Latin feras,

Skr. bharās. Gen. Pl. of all declensions fer n- for vir

an, Grk. De-wv, Latin de-um, Goth. fish-e: túath n- for töt-an, Goth. thiudo : bráthar n- for brātar-an, Lat. fratr-um, Grk. Tatép-wv, Goth. brothr-e: fáithae, fāithe prophetarum for vätej-am, Grk. móle-wv (from Irish alone the length of the a cannot be inferred; beside

bráthar also bráthre). 3 Sg. Conj. Pres. as-bera dicat, for berāt,

Latin ferat, Ved. bharāt; cf. nia, nia filius sororis, Gen. niad for nep-at-as,

Latin nepotis. 2 Sg. Imperat. cluinte hear, Ved, vahatād. máthir, Latin mater, Grk. Mátmp: athir

Lat. pater, Grk. matńp: bráthir, Lat.

frater, Grki opathp. siur sister, Lat. soror. 3 Pl. Pres. as-berat dicunt for berant,

Grk. èpepov, Latin ferunt. Acc. Pl. firu, Lat. viros, Cret. Tovs,

Herakl. Tws, Attic toús. Nom. Sg. menme mind, Gen. menman; cf.

Grlk. μέλας.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »