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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 >> that >> is the _equative_: as X is as adj as Z. >> Cf. Welsh: >> cryf (strong) cryfed (as strong [as]) cryfach (stronger) cryfa >> (strongest) >> da (good) cystal (as good [as]) gwell (better) gorau >> (best) > > 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. Ray =============================================== =============================================== 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" ]