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Re: Island

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Sunday, May 14, 2000, 13:58
At 5:37 am -0400 14/5/00, Nik Taylor wrote:
>Dan Sulani wrote: >> or did "i" derive from some other source, and if so, >> what? > >_i_ was native, from Old English íeg, not at all related to Latin >_insula_.
Indeed, not at all. And the word still survives, with a dimunitive ending, as 'ait' or 'eyot' (both pronounced /ejt/) meaning "a small island". Such small islands in the Thames are still so called, either as a common noun - "See that ait over there?" - or as part of proper names. Near the college where I lecture is "Raven's Ait". [snip]
>> (Modern German has "Insel" for island --- from the same >> Old French source?) > >I don't know, but it looks like it *could* be from Latin _insula_, in >which case it would be related to _isle_, but not _island_.
Oh yes, certainly a later borrowing from the Latin, which is a diminutive from an earlier *insa, related to a word preserved in insular Celtic, cf. Welsh: ynys; Cornish: enys; Breton: enez; Irish: Gaelic: innis (--> Scots Eng. 'inch' = island, water-meadow). Yet another Italo-Celtic isogloss. [...]
>> (BTW, what was the Proto-IE for "island"?) > >As far as I know, it's unknown. Each of the different branches has gone >a different direction.
That's my understanding also. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================