Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: NATLANG: Irish greeting

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Thursday, August 28, 2003, 19:03
Stephen Mulraney scripsit:

> This strikes me as odd. The name in English is "O'Neill", while in > Irish it's "Ó Niall". The form "Ui Niaill" (with the change "Ó" to > "Ui" and the slenderisation of "Niall" to "Niaill") is the genitive > of the Irish name, presumeably a shortened form of "Clann Ui Niaill"
I think you've nailed it here.
> "Ui Niaill" is short for a specific way to referring to the whole > lots of them folk (using the genitive, as is decent and natural in any > self-respecting IE language :).
Well, suuuuuure. But we *like* being able to say "electronic ground automatic destruct sequencer" (the thingy that blows up a rocket if it veers too much off course -- check the acronym). Syntax, what's that? -- "And it was said that ever after, if any John Cowan man looked in that Stone, unless he had a great strength of will to turn it to other purpose, he saw only two aged hands withering in flame." --"The Pyre of Denethor"