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Etymology of _insula_ (was Re: Thoughts on Word building)

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Thursday, December 8, 2005, 8:08
Rob Haden wrote:
> On Wed, 7 Dec 2005 21:20:17 +0100, =?iso-8859-1?Q?J=F6rg?= Rhiemeier > <joerg_rhiemeier@...> wrote:
>> >>Irish has _inis_, Welsh has _ynys_, and Latin _insula_ looks >>like a diminutive of a similar word (perhaps _insula_ < *inis-ula?). >>So this looks like an Italo-Celtic etymology, but there may be >>problems with this I do not see. Ray?
As you will have seen, I quite independently wrote in with the some etymology :)
>>========================================================================= > > > AFAIK, *inis-ula would have given Latin *inirula or *inilla (< *inirla).
That assumes that the original was *inisula and, presumably, that the second 'i' was long. The comparison with the Celtic forms does not AFAIK demand this. In his "An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language", Alexander McBain gives the etymon of the Celtic forms as *n=ss. This would give Latin *inss- and thus the (originally) diminunitive would be ins(s)ula. Now, I am not an expert in Celtic etymology, so I cannot tell how sound McBain's etymology is. But if he is correct about *n=ss, then there is no problem with the Latin form as far as I can see. What I find less convincing is relating this stem to the Greek forms that I cited in my last mail. -- Ray ================================== ================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY