Re: Degrees of adjectives
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, February 5, 2005, 7:41|
On Friday, February 4, 2005, at 10:06 , Tristan McLeay wrote:
> On 4 Feb 2005, at 6.47 pm, Ray Brown wrote:
>> There is another degree that is found in the Insular Celtic langs (a
>> feature which AFAIK they do _not_ share with the Semitic langs!) and
>> is the _equative_: as X is as adj as Z.
>> Cf. Welsh:
>> cryf (strong) cryfed (as strong [as]) cryfach (stronger) cryfa
>> da (good) cystal (as good [as]) gwell (better) gorau
> Nifty feature :). Is _gwell_ borrowed from/related to English 'well'?
I am fairly certain it is not a borrowing - the meaning is not right for
one thing. I do not know the etymology for certain, but I suspect it may
be cognate with the same set of words as:
Germanic: English _well_ <-- OE _wel_; Gothic _waila_; German _wohl_; and
English _will_ <-- OE _willan_; Gothic _wiljan; German _wollen_.
Latin: _uollo:_, _uelle_ --> Fr. _vouloir_, It. _volere_ etc
I.e. a root common to the Celtic, German & Italic IE langs.
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]