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PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb 2022 12:51 pm 
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Oh, found description in Thurneysen’s GOI of OIr. whose-relative clauses. Seems it’s mostly the same as in Classical Gaelic, ie. no possessive pronoun expressed. He gives the example don bráthir as éinirt menme ‘to the brother whose mind is weak’ which is exactly of the classical fear as mhór clú type.

GOI wrote:
507. GENITIVAL RELATION

Irish has no special form for the genitive of the relative. Genitival relation is expressed by one or other of the following constructions:

(a) The clause simply appears in the non-relative form, as in § 505, 1; e.g. ataat réte hic, ni réid a m-brith fri corpu ‘there are things here which it is not easy to refer to bodies’ (lit. ‘not easy is their reference to bodies’, aᴺ being the ordinary possessive pronoun) Wb. 13ᵈ4.

(b) If the substantive to be defined is the subject of the clause and the predicate is an adjective, the copula has the relative form but the genitival relation remains unexpressed. Examples: don bráthir as éinirt menme ‘to the brother whose mind is weak’ Wb. 10ᶜ1; is ed as maam serc la tuistidi ‘that is what is most loved by parents’, lit. ‘love (of which) by parents is greatest’ Ml. 99ᵇ5.

In poetry the possessive pronoun a can be appended to the copula (cp. (c) below); e.g. na féle ass-a fortrén taitnem ‘of the feasts whose radiance is mighty’ Fél. Prol. 330; ata (=ata-a) n-aidbli briga ‘whose vigours are vast’ ibid. Epil. 34.

(c) If the substantive is a predicative nominative, the possessive pronoun is always inserted between the relative form of the copula and the substantive itself. Examples: fir as-a c[h]athach ‘of the man whose trespass it is’ Laws v. 500, 13 (H.2.15); in gilla-sa ata (=ata-a) chomrama óen-aidche so ule ‘this lad whose fights of a single night all this is’ LU 9155; bennachais in rig bá (=ba-a) gaisced ‘he blessed the king whose armour it was’ LU 5048.

Substantives (without a preposition) which in themselves are non-predicative are brought into predicative construction by means of a special relative clause. Thus the clause ‘he whose name is in the superscriptions’ appears as ‘he that it is his. name (predic.) that is in the superseriptions’: intí as-a ainm bís isnaib titlaib Ml. 2ᶜ3; cp. also Zenobi ata (=ata-a) scél ro-c[h]lotha ‘of Zenobius whose tidings have been heard’ Fél. Aug. 24. (…)

(d) If the substantive to be qualified by the gen. is itself governed by a preposition, the relative particle (s)aᴺ (§ 492) attached to the preposition can function as the genitive of the relative, but is then separated from its noun by the verb. Example: lasna cumachtgu foa-m-biat … mám ‘by the mighty, under whose yoke they are’ Ml. 59ᵈ7 (non-relative: biit fo-a mám). Here too, iᴺ is used without the relative particle; e.g. mér n-ingen i-rraba féin chardes ‘many (are the) maidens in whose friendship thou hast been’ IT. III. 482, 1. 254. The lenition (chardes) in this and other examples is noteworthy as being, to some extent, an indication that the substantive is dependent on a preceding word.

(…)


The type (d) above is the same as the classical one with the prepositions, eg. crann ar a raibhe an t-éan chraoibh “the tree on whose branch the bird was”. The type (c) (and the smaller print to type (b)) seems to be the one of which McKenna noted only a few traces.


Last edited by silmeth on Tue 01 Feb 2022 9:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb 2022 1:07 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
What about "do mo bhualadh"?

Tá sé am bualadh - does this derive from do or ag? (this is the pronoun object of the verbal noun)

Táim am bualadh - does this derive from do or ag? (this is the passive object of the verbal noun)

Compare beidh mé ag úr n-iompar, “I will be carrying you”, with sibhse atá dúr n-iompar, “you who are being carried”, in Peadar Ua Loaghaire's Isaiah 46:3-4. Was he wrong to make such a distinction?


I am pretty sure both derive from ag. I don’t have a strong reference on the development now, but see eg. Diarmuid Ó Sé’s article The 'After' Perfect and Related Constructions in Gaelic Dialects in Ériu, vol. 54 – this is not his main focus there, but he mentions developments of passive there too. And he at least treats á in the passive structure as ag + a. That’s also what often happens in Keating’s texts.

On the other hand, there is this example from PUL in Aesop a tháinig go hÉirinn, the fable An León, agus an Machtíre, agus an Mada-ruadh:

“Tháinig na beithidhigh go léir go h-umhal ’ghá fhéachaint (…)” ‘All the animals came humbly to see him (…)’ (‘watch over him’?)

which I believe etymologically should have dhá – as this would be do + a expressing purpose (they came to see him; they weren’t (at) watching him the whole time when they were coming).


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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct 2022 7:31 pm 
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A few more semi-random notes to all this:

If there’s still any doubt about my explanation of the “na daoine is lú ciall in Éirinn” as meaning in origin literally “the people whose sense is smallest” (ie. possessive relative clause), here’s the same assertion from someone actually competent in this stuff ;-):

Mícheál Hoyne (2017), Early Modern Irish Miscellanea, Ériu, vol. 67 wrote:
In the course of a discussion of constructions used to express lesser degree in Modern Irish (Hoyne 2016a, 72–3), I made reference to some examples given in Graiméar Gaeilge na mBráithre Críostaí of what are in origin possessive copular relative clauses with a comparative/superlative adjective as predicate, such as an duine ba lú eagla ‘the person whose fear was least’, that is, ‘the least fearful person’. All of the examples given in the Graiméar have definite headwords. I remarked, ‘It should be noted that, to my knowledge, sentences of this type cannot contain an object of comparison: *an duine ba lú eagla ná mé “the person less fearful than me” is not found’. The statement of this restriction is probably accurate, as far as it goes, but applies only where the headword of such a relative clause is definite. I should have added that duine ba lú eagla ná mé ‘a person less fearful than me’ is certainly grammatical.

(…)

This construction is also well attested in Early Modern Irish:
(7) go nach raibhe dúil duine ar talmhuin i bhféugmhais Sir Uilliam do b’fhearr inneall ⁊ éuccosg inās, ‘And there was no creature on earth, save only Sir Uilliam, fairer in appearance [more lit. ‘whose aspect and appearance was better’] than he’ (O’Rahilly 1949, ll 4055–6)
(…)


And another, about the use of do in relative progressive – some nice notes by Bergin in the léamh.org Glossary, from his edition of Trí Bior-Ghaoithe an Bháis:

O. Bergin, notes to Keating’s Trí Bior-Ghaoithe an Bháis as cited in Léamh.org Glossary, s.v. do wrote:
Used in all dative relations, in varied application:---

(…)

5. With verbs of motion: do-chuaidh...don teaghdhais, 8749; imirce...don árus, 2728

6. Hence with verbal nouns to express purpose: do bhriseadh na híomháighe, 78; teacht d’fhios, 87; do theagasg an phobail, 151; do mhúchadh a hainmhian, 176; do chlaonadh na toile, 186; do thabhairt uirísle, 489; d’iarraidh milse, 584; do thurnamh an díomusa, 634; dol do dhéanamh comhairle, 652; do dhéanamh luaithridh, 1111

7. Its most characteristic use is to connect a vn. with a preceding noun or pron. which is the virtual subject or object of the action. Thus instead of, tig don pheacadh dalladh an aithrighigh ‘there comes from sin the blinding of the penitent,’ 9249, we find far more commonly the type, ‘tig don pheacadh an t-aithrigheach do dhalladh,’ lit. ‘there comes from sin the penitent for blinding.’ So, i ndiaidh déanta na póite, 9244, might be written, i ndiaidh na póite do dhéanamh. The virtual subj. or obj. (it can only be the former when the vn. belongs to an intrans. vb.) is in case-relation with the principal clause, and is not affected by the following vn. The construction may be compared to that of the Latin gerundive: príomh-ughdair na ngrás do dháil, 7986 = auctoris gratiarum afferendarum, or the type of ab urbe condita = ó aimsir na cathrach do chur ar bun.

[…]

8. By a peculiar idiom a rel. clause with atá may be inserted between the virtual obj. and do + vn.: na beatha suthaine do bhídís do thuar, ‘of the eternal life which they used to be earning,’ 2286 [[/i]ag tuar[/i] would be impossible here, for the vn. governs the gen. and the implied rel. pron. can only be nom. or acc.; hence, do bhí sé ag ól dighe, but, an deoch do bhí sé d’ol; ag ól in the latter phrase would be as ungrammatical as ag ól deoch]

9. When accompanied by a poss. pron. do may take the place of ag before a vn.; thus = agá, and one or other may occur as a variant in the MSS.; an uair bhíos dá chor amach, ‘when he is being evicted,’ 794; go raibhe dá il-chéasadh, ‘so that he was being tortured,’ 564; beid dá n-iomchur, 1255; atá Dia féin dá bhagar, 1471; atá Pól dá theagasg, 1693; ag gleic...7 dom chuibhreach, ‘repugnantem...et captivantem me,’ 2102


I still don’t really see how an teach atáim do thógbháil could be grammatical (an teach still can be neither the object nor the subject of atáim do thógbháil – it already has a subject, and does not take object…), but at least I can accept where it came from. Actually I see some similarity to the double relative construction (an fear a duart a dhein é or an bhean a duart a chonac) – the antecedent is connected directly to the last part of the sentence (an teach … do thógbháil, an fear … a dhein é, an bhean … a chonac) and some other phrase is inserted in the middle. In this sense it works better than ag tógbháil because indeed an teach … ag tógbháil in itself doesn’t make much sense and certainly doesn’t express the building of the house, doesn’t mark the house as the object of the action.

Also another confirmation about agá and (and ag mo, agam’ and dom’) being mixed in the progressive (but I knew already the two were pretty interchangeable in Keating’s writing).

And regarding his remark about the infinitive X do ⟨verbal noun⟩ construction, that X is the subject of intransitive verb… There is another very interesting (and fairly long) article by Mícheál Hoyne, Unaccusativity and the subject pronoun in Middle and Early Modern Irish about intransitive verbs taking the disjunctive (ie. the “object”) forms of the pronouns in Middle Irish and Classical Gaelic and showing similar syntax to the passive (modern autonomous) verbs. Hoyne explains it as being a highly marked construction signalling lack of agency in the subject, ie. the subject undergoing the action/state/change of state but not by their own decision.

This also shows that Middle Irish had some ergative features in its pronouns system. As Hoyne himself states:

Quote:
The Irish language in the Middle and Early Modern period is in most respects a nominative-accusative language: broadly speaking, the nominal subjects of transitive and intransitive verbs are distinguished morphologically (by initial mutation and case-marking) and/or syntactically (by word-order) from nominal direct objects of transitive verbs. With respect to pronouns, however, the Irish language in this period shows some clear ergative features.

(…)

The morphosyntax of the pronominal subject in Irish can be described as a ‘split’ (or more accurately ‘fluid’) intransitive system.


Some examples:

Do-chádar d’ég uile íad
‘They all have died’, lit. ‘They all went to death’

Mar thánuig go hEamhuin é
‘As he came to Eamhain’, but probably better understood as ‘as/when he happened to be in Eamhain, ended up in Eamhain’

da-fuit lessium
he [Girion] fell by him [Heracles]; he got killed by him’

nī roerchōidigestar dō
It [ie. fire] did not do harm to him’

Acht masa i n-uamas an catha Troíanna rohairged in fi[d]ceall ní torracht hÉrinn and sin í
‘But if fidchell [a board game] was invented at the time of the Trojan war, it had not reached Ireland yet’

ocus dá lá déc ro baí immuigh
‘and she was away for 12 days’ [about a girl/woman who was kidnapped]

‘Ragaid duitsiu ,’ ar Mac Rethi
‘“You will have her”, said Mac Rethe’ (but lit. “she will go to you” – about an arranged marriage where the bride doesn’t have a choice)

go raibhe í ag Éireannach
‘until it [a settlement] was in the hands of an Irishman’

Cia úaibh do agaill an rí
an uair do bhí againn é

‘Who of you did the king speak to while he was still among us?’ (or ‘while we had him’, probably from an eulogy)

and modern example (a speaker born in 19th c., Co. Clare):

nuair do chuaigh i dtalamh iad
‘when they [ie. potatoes] went into the ground’

The last one showing that the construction might have survived in some marginal capacity til modern times.


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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct 2022 9:47 pm 
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The quote from Mícheál Hoyne does not show there is a possessive. He glosses it as that, but his quote form O'Rahilly 1949 does not have a relative pronoun. As far as I can see O'Nolan's view that that "ba lú ciall" contains the accusative of specification remains correct. Hoyne does not specifically refute it or mention it.

Bergin does not say that dá for agá is only used where the sense is passive (dá chur amach, being evicted, rather than á chur amach, evicting him/it). Even if it turns out this is a phoney distinction, Peadar Ua Laoghaire swore by it.

All the stuff on Middle/Classical Irish is OK - but it is not really connected to study of the modern dialects. In fact, Éigse is wall-to-wall discussion of Middle Irish - often undertaken in the so-called Caighdeán Oifigiúil by people who are insistent that Gaeltacht Irish is just "wrong". I think Éigse should cut down massively on the Middle Irish - and ask people to write in modern Irish dialects, if writing in English. The arrogant assumption that their CO has resolved all issues with modern Irish, which is therefore not worthy of study, must be rejected.


Last edited by djwebb2021 on Thu 13 Oct 2022 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct 2022 10:34 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
The quote from Mícheál Hoyne does not sure there is a possessive. He glosses it as that, but his quote form O'Rahilly 1949 does not have a relative pronoun. As far as I can see O'Nolan's view that that "ba lú ciall" contains the accusative of specification remains correct. Hoyne does not specifically refute it or mention it.


Mícheál Hoyne (2017), Early Modern Irish Miscellanea, Ériu, vol. 67 wrote:
(1) Do cheanglófaí fear dob fhearr ciall ná é, ‘It would have enraged a more restrained man than him [more lit. ‘a man whose sense was better than him would have been tied up’]’ (Ó Gaoithín 1970, 35)

(…)

(7) go nach raibhe dúil duine ar talmhuin i bhféugmhais Sir Uilliam do b’fhearr inneall ⁊ éuccosg inās, ‘And there was no creature on earth, save only Sir Uilliam, fairer in appearance [more lit. ‘whose aspect and appearance was better’] than he’ (O’Rahilly 1949, ll 4055–6)

(…)

It will be noted that there is a formal asymmetry in these constructions. In Example 1, for instance, the sense (ciall) of one person is being compared, at least formally, to another person rather than to another person’s sense. In Example 1, if we were to re-phrase as a main clause what is historically a relative clause, it would read *dob fhearr a chiall ná é, lit. ‘his sense would be better than him’. Similarly, in Example 7, on a formal level, the appearance of a hypothetical person (dúil duine) is compared not with the appearance of another person but with the person himself. Again, if we were to rephrase the relative clause in this example as a main clause, we would have *dob fhearr a inneall agus a éagosc ionás, lit. ‘his aspect and appearance were better than him’. (…)


(boldface mine)

Better?

Those relative clauses historically did not contain an overt possessive pronoun, there was no way to include a possessive pronoun in them, modern indirect relative clauses with the possessive pronoun were not a thing yet. See also the description of relative clauses from BST, and also of Old Irish ones from GOI, which I cited earlier; and also the example from Stair na Gaeilge: as tú an fear mhealluim mhnáoi ‘is tú an fear a meallaim a bhean’.


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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct 2022 2:26 am 
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In that case, it is only Hoyne's decision to rephrase as a phrase with a relative pronoun. That is his way of interpreting it. But that is not the etymological origin. As O'Nolan says: it is an duine is lú ciall - the person who is lowest (in terms of sense) with the accusative of specification.

Does Hoyne write anything on modern Irish dialects? Or does he content himself that a "Standard" made up by a committee of the 1950s overrides Gaeltacht Irish? This is the key issue for me.


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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct 2022 8:56 am 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
But that is not the etymological origin.

Says who? The guy who butchered early 17th century Irish by “normalizing” it to is Alba fé hainm don chrích sin on his blog?

Show me a single use of accusative form in this construction in historical Irish, from the times when accusative was still in use.

And Mícheál Hoyne deals with historical Irish linguistics and bardic poetry. That is, mostly Classical Gaelic, but also Old and Middle Irish, as well as dialectal developments in the early modern era. I don’t see how an Caighdeán Oifigiúil is relevant to any of that (I wouldn’t think he cares much for it, but… I don’t care if he cares).

You keep writing about the relevance of stuff to modern dialects and showing your frustration with CO by projecting some imagined love for it onto others – but none of this is relevant to historical origins of the construction – to the diachronic grammar – the thing I was concerned with in this thread.


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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct 2022 8:17 pm 
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silmeth wrote:
djwebb2021 wrote:
But that is not the etymological origin.

Says who? The guy who butchered early 17th century Irish by “normalizing” it to is Alba fé hainm don chrích sin on his blog?

Show me a single use of accusative form in this construction in historical Irish, from the times when accusative was still in use.

And Mícheál Hoyne deals with historical Irish linguistics and bardic poetry. That is, mostly Classical Gaelic, but also Old and Middle Irish, as well as dialectal developments in the early modern era. I don’t see how an Caighdeán Oifigiúil is relevant to any of that (I wouldn’t think he cares much for it, but… I don’t care if he cares).

You keep writing about the relevance of stuff to modern dialects and showing your frustration with CO by projecting some imagined love for it onto others – but none of this is relevant to historical origins of the construction – to the diachronic grammar – the thing I was concerned with in this thread.

I don't know why everything is reduced to an argument and an insult.
I have never commented on 17th century Irish on any blog. O'Nolan wrote before the days of blogging. If you mean I may have quoted (and I'm not going to bother to check) a sentence from O'Nolan, then I believe I would have transcribed the sentence as he gave it.

I believe O'Nolan did have an knowledge of Old and Middle Irish. If you have accurate knowledge and are telling me he is wrong on this point, then I'm prepared to listen.

But telling me "is lú ciall" contains the possessive (is lú a chiall) while quoting a passage that doesn't give a possessive, is not the way to convince me.

I made it clear re: Hoyne that he is part of general trend among academics to focus solely on Old and Middle Irish.

I really don't want to argue about nothing (yet again) with someone I don't know on the Internet. If you have good evidence that it was never the accusative, then I will be interested and persuadable.


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