The University of Texas at Austin; College of Liberal Arts
Hans C. Boas, Director :: PCL 5.556, 1 University Station S5490 :: Austin, TX 78712 :: 512-471-4566
LRC Links: Home | About | Books Online | EIEOL | IE Doc. Center | IE Lexicon | IE Maps | IE Texts | Pub. Indices | SiteMap

Old Irish Online

Lesson 10

Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, Caren Esser, and Jonathan Slocum

This selection is taken from the Middle Irish tale Aislinge Meic Con Glinne, 'The Vision of Mac Con Glinne', most likely composed in the last quarter of the 11th century A.D. The lost original version has come down to us in two recensions: the shorter and more coherent recension H, though representing an earlier tradition, is linguistically later, being preserved in a Trinity College Dublin manuscript from the 16th or 17th century. This is why the selection of the present lesson is taken from recension B in the edition of Kenneth Jackson, which albeit greatly expanded (so much so that the logic of the story has suffered in parts), was written down by a single scribe between 1408 and 1411 A.D. and contains a number of rare words.

Aislinge Meic Con Glinne is a satire parodying the literature of visions. Its core lies in the widespread tradition about a legendary land of abundance or 'Land of the Living', an Earthly Paradise across the Ocean where the immortals feast eternally, here intertwined with the popular belief about curing a person of a tape-worm by starving the two and then luring the hungry worm out of the victim's mouth with delicious food. In Aislinge Meic Con Glinne these motifs have been expanded into a mockery of the Establishment of the time, and more specifically of lawyers, literary men and, above all, monks. As usual, the author is unknown, but from his malicious attitude towards the Church on the one hand and the absence of mockery regarding the nobility on the other, it has been inferred that he must have been a disgruntled cleric who had left the Church to become a poet and was hence employed by noblemen.

The story as preserved in B tells how a wandering scholar named Ainiér Mac Con Glinne, famous for his gifts of satire and eulogy, seeks out Cathal, king of Munster, who was possessed by a demon of gluttony, but first comes to stay for a night in the guesthouse of the monastery of Cork, a shabby place whose owners are outrageously mean and do not treat their guest with the due hospitality. When Mac Con Glinne satirizes the circumstances, Manchín, the abbott, sentences him to various kinds of corporal punishment with subsequent crucifixion, yet Mac Con Glinne shrewdly delays his execution by insisting on drinking a last ration of water drop by drop from the pin of his brooch. As the evening is too far advanced to execute the sentence, Mac Con Glinne is stripped naked and is tied to a pillar until the next morning, awaiting crucifixion. But at midnight an angel appears to him and reveals a vision which on the subsequent morning Mac Con Glinne relates to Manchín and his monks in the form of a verse parody upon the popular voyage tales (cf. Immram Brain in Lesson 7), but where everything is about food. As a consequence, Manchín sends him to Cathal at once, since it has been revealed to him that the scholar's vision will cure the king of his disease. Mac Con Glinne succeeds in freeing Cathal from the demon by reciting his vision in two poems, to which he adds another parody mocking various elements and genres of Irish literature and where again food is the central topic. Finally, the scholar is richly rewarded by the king, and the story ends by stating the virtue of the vision as revealed to and by the protagonist, and the reward to any person who might recite it.

Reading and Textual Analysis

In our selection (ll. 778-800), Mac Con Glinne is at Cathal's court, reciting his vision of the Land of Abundance to the king. This takes place during a big feast, ordered by Mac Con Glinne specifically for the purpose, during which the king, after two nights of fasting, is tied to the wall and forced to look at the protagonist eating the luscious food while he describes an edible house on a lake of milk.

"Maith, a Chathail," ar Mac Con Glinne, "aislinge domárfas, ocus itchuala it maithsiu oc breith for aislingi."

  • maith -- adjective; used as adverb; <maith> good -- well
  • a -- particle; introduces vocative; <aL> o -- o
  • Chathail -- proper name masculine; lenited vocative singular of <Cathal> Cathal -- Cathal
  • ar -- indeclinable; variant of <ol> says, said -- said
  • Mac Con Glinne -- proper name masculine; nominative singular of <Mac Con Glinne> Son of the Hound of the Valley -- Mac Con Glinne
  • aislinge -- noun; nominative singular feminine, yā-stem, of <aislinge> vision, dream -- a vision
  • domárfas -- verb; past indicative passive singular, deuterotonic, of <do°adbat> shows + infixed pronoun 1st person singular <mL, mmL> I -- has been shown to me
  • ocus -- conjunction; <ocus> and -- and
  • itchuala -- verb; 1st person singular past indicative active, deuterotonic, of <at°chluin> hears -- I have heard
  • it -- verb; 2nd person singular present indicative, absolute, of copula <is> is -- you are
  • maithsiu -- adjective; compound form of nominative singular masculine of <maith> good + emphasizing particle 2nd person singular <siu, so, su> you -- good yourself
  • oc -- preposition; <oc> at, with, by -- at
  • breith -- noun; dative singular feminine, ā-stem, of <breth> passing judgement, interpreting -- passing judgement
  • for -- preposition; <for> on, over -- on
  • aislingi -- noun; accusative singular feminine, yā-stem, of <aislinge> vision, dream -- a vision

"Do m' debroth," ol Cathal, "dia mbéraind for aislingi fer talman, ní béraind for th' aislingise."

  • do -- preposition; <duL, doL> to -- to
  • m' -- possessive pronoun; 1st person singular, shortened from <moL, mL> my -- my
  • debroth -- noun; compound form of <dé, día> god + dative singular feminine, u-stem, of <bráth> judgment -- God's doom
  • ol -- indeclinable; <ol> says, said -- said
  • Cathal -- proper name masculine; nominative singular masculine of <Cathal> Cathal -- Cathal
  • dia -- conjunction; <diaN> when; if -- even if
  • mbéraind -- verb; nasalized 1st person singular past subjunctive active, conjunct, of <berid> carries, brings -- I would pass judgement
  • for -- preposition; <for> on, over -- upon
  • aislingi -- noun; accusative singular feminine, yā-stem, of <aislinge> vision, dream -- the vision
  • fer -- noun; genitive plural masculine, o-stem, of <fer> man -- of the men
  • talman -- noun; genitive singular masculine/feminine, n-stem, of <talam> earth, ground -- of the earth
  • -- independent negative particle; <ní, ni> not -- not
  • béraind -- verb; 1st person singular past subjunctive active, conjunct, of <berid> carries, brings -- I would pass judgement
  • for -- preposition; <for> on, over -- on
  • th' -- possessive pronoun; 2nd person singular, variant of <doL, tL> your -- your
  • aislingise -- noun; compound form of accusative singular feminine, yā-stem, of <aislinge> vision, dream + emphasizing particle 1st person singular <se, sa> I -- vision myself

"Fortgillim," or Mac Con Glinne, "cen co rucasu, indisfither hí i t' fʰiadnaise."

  • fortgillim -- verb; 1st person singular present indicative active, deuterotonic, of <for-t-gella> affirms, calls to witness, invokes -- I swear
  • or -- indeclinable; variant of <ol> says, said -- said
  • Mac Con Glinne -- proper name masculine; nominative singular of <Mac Con Glinne> Son of the Hound of the Valley -- Mac Con Glinne
  • cen co -- conjunction; compound of preposition <cenL> without + conjunction <con, coN> until; so that; and -- even if... not
  • rucasu -- verb; compound form of 2nd person singular perfective RO-present subjunctive active, conjunct, of <berid> carries, brings + emphasizing particle 2nd person singular <siu, so, su> you -- you should... pass judgement
  • indisfither -- verb; future indicative passive singular, absolute, of <indis(s)id> tells -- shall be told
  • -- personal pronoun; 3rd person singular feminine of <(h)é, síL, (h)ed> he, she, it -- she
  • i -- preposition; <in, iN> in, into -- in
  • t' -- possessive pronoun; 2nd person singular of <doL, tL> your -- your
  • fʰiadnaise -- noun; lenited dative singular feminine, yā-stem, of <fiadnaise> presence -- presence

"Fóbrais trá a aislingi.

  • fóbrais -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite indicative active, deuterotonic, of <fóbair> begins, sets about -- he began
  • trá -- adverb; <trá, tra> then, well, so, indeed, moreover -- then
  • a -- possessive pronoun; 3rd person singular masculine <aL> his, its -- his
  • aislingi -- noun; accusative singular feminine, yā-stem, of <aislinge> vision, dream -- vision

Is amlaid didiu ro indis ocus dá mír nó a trí sech bél Cathail i na beólu fodén.

  • is -- verb; 3rd person singular present indicative, absolute, of copula <is> is -- it is
  • amlaid -- adverb; <samlaid, amlaid> thus, so, in this way -- so
  • didiu -- particle; <didiu, didu> now, therefore, then -- then
  • ro indis -- verb; Middle Irish past indicative active, conjunct, of <indis(s)id> tells -- he told
  • ocus -- conjunction; <ocus> and -- and
  • -- numeral; nominative dual masculine of <L, díL, dáN> two -- two
  • mír -- noun; nominative dual masculine, o-stem, of <mír> morsel, mouthful, portion -- morsels
  • -- conjunction; <> or -- or
  • a -- particle; introduces numeral; <aH>... -- ...
  • trí -- numeral; nominative plural masculine of <trí, tri, teoir> three -- three
  • sech -- preposition; <sech> past, beyond -- past
  • bél -- noun; accusative singular masculine, o-stem, of <bél> lip; mouth, face -- mouth
  • Cathail -- proper name masculine; genitive singular of <Cathal> Cathal -- Cathal's
  • i -- preposition; <in, iN> in, into -- into
  • na -- nasalized possessive pronoun; 3rd person singular masculine <aL> his, its -- his
  • beólu -- noun; accusative plural masculine, o-stem, of <bél> lip; mouth, face -- lips
  • fodén -- indeclinable; <fodén> self, himself; own -- own

"Aislingi itchonnarc araír,
mo dul for fecht dís nó triúr,
co nacca in tech find forlán
i raba a lommnán do biúd.

  • aislingi -- noun; accusative singular feminine, yā-stem, of <aislinge> vision, dream -- a vision
  • itchonnarc -- verb; 1st person singular past indicative active, deuterotonic, of <ad°cí, at°chí> sees -- I saw
  • araír -- adverb; <araír> last night -- last night
  • mo -- possessive pronoun; 1st person singular of <moL, mL> my -- my
  • dul -- verbal noun; nominative singular masculine, u-stem, of <téit> goes -- going
  • for -- preposition; <for> on, over -- on
  • fecht -- noun; accusative singular masculine, o-stem, of <fecht> course, journey; time, occasion -- a journey
  • dís -- personal numeral; dative singular feminine of <dias> two people, pair, couple -- two
  • -- conjunction; <> or -- or
  • triúr -- personal numeral; dative singular masculine of <triar> three people -- three
  • co -- conjunction; used as verbal particle; <con, coN> until; so that; and -- and
  • nacca -- verb; nasalized 1st person singular preterite indicative active, prototonic, of <ad°cí, at°chí> sees -- I saw
  • in -- article; accusative singular masculine of <in, aN, indL> the -- a
  • tech -- noun; accusative singular masculine, s-stem, of <teg, tech> house, dwelling -- house
  • find -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <find, finn> white, bright -- white
  • forlán -- adjective; compound of preposition <for> on, over + accusative singular masculine of <lán> full, ample -- very full
  • i -- preposition; <in, iN> in, into -- in
  • raba -- verb; 3rd person singular perfect indicative, conjunct, syntactically relative, of substantive verb <attá> is -- which was
  • a -- article; variant of nominative singular masculine of <in, aN, indL> the -- an
  • lommnán -- noun; nominative singular masculine of <lom(m)nán> abundance -- abundance
  • do -- preposition; variant of <diL, deL> from, of -- of
  • biúd -- noun; dative singular masculine, o-stem, of <biad> food -- food

Co nacca in loch lemnachta
for lár muige find,
co nacca in tech lérgníma
iar na thugaid d' imm.

  • co -- conjunction; used as verbal particle; <con, coN> until; so that; and -- and
  • nacca -- verb; nasalized 1st person singular preterite indicative active, prototonic, of <ad°cí, at°chí> sees -- I saw
  • in -- article; accusative singular masculine of <in, aN, indL> the -- a
  • loch -- noun; accusative singular masculine, u-stem, of <loch> lake, firth; pool -- lake
  • lemnachta -- noun; genitive singular masculine, i-stem, of <lemnacht> new/fresh milk -- of milk
  • for -- preposition; <for> on, over -- in
  • lár -- noun; dative singular masculine, o-stem, of <lár> floor, surface; middle -- the middle
  • muige -- noun; genitive singular masculine, s-stem, of <mag> plain, field -- of a... field
  • find -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <find, finn> white, bright -- white
  • co -- conjunction; used as verbal particle; <con, coN> until; so that; and -- and
  • nacca -- verb; nasalized 1st person singular preterite indicative active, prototonic, of <ad°cí, at°chí> sees -- I saw
  • in -- article; accusative singular masculine of <in, aN, indL> the -- a
  • tech -- noun; accusative singular masculine, s-stem, of <teg, tech> house, dwelling -- house
  • lérgníma -- noun; compound of adjective <léir> diligent + genitive singular masculine, u-stem, of <gním> action, work -- of diligent activity
  • iar -- preposition; <íarN, íarmL-> after -- under
  • na -- possessive pronoun; nasalized 3rd person singular masculine <aL> his, its -- its
  • thugaid -- noun; lenited dative singular feminine, dental stem, of <tuga> thatch -- thatch
  • d' -- preposition; variant of <diL, deL> from, of -- of
  • imm -- noun; dative singular masculine, n-stem, of <im(m)> butter -- butter

Tan tánuc 'na mórthimchell
do fʰégad a uird,
maróca ar na cétberbad
ba hiat sin a scuilb.

  • tan -- noun; used as conjunction; accusative singular feminine, ā-stem, of <tan, tain> time -- when
  • tánuc -- verb; 1st person singular past indicative, prototonic, of <do°icc, tic(c), tig> approaches; gets; comes -- I came
  • 'na -- preposition; compound of <in, iN> in, into + possessive pronoun 3rd person singular masculine <aL> his, its -- into its
  • mórthimchell -- adverb; dative singular masculine, o-stem, of <mórthimchell> great circuit -- perimeter
  • do -- preposition; <duL, doL> to -- to
  • fʰégad -- verbal noun; lenited dative singular masculine, u-stem/o-stem, of <fégaid> looking at, scanning, observing -- observe
  • a -- possessive pronoun; 3rd person singular masculine <aL> his, its -- its
  • uird -- noun; genitive singular masculine, o-stem, of <ord> arrangement -- structure
  • maróca -- noun; nominative plural feminine, ā-stem, of <maróc> sausage -- sausages
  • ar -- preposition; variant of <íarN, íarmL-> after -- upon
  • na -- possessive pronoun; nasalized 3rd person plural <aN> their -- their
  • cétberbad -- verbal noun; compound of numeral <cét> first; fresh, new + dative singular of <berbad> boiling, cooking -- recent boiling
  • ba -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite indicative, absolute, of copula <is> is -- it was
  • hiat -- personal pronoun; aspirated 3rd person plural <iat> they -- them
  • sin -- anaphoric demonstrative pronoun; <sin> this, that, those, the aforementioned -- indeed
  • a -- possessive pronoun; 3rd person singular masculine <aL> his, its -- its
  • scuilb -- noun; nominative plural masculine, o-stem, of <scolb> splinter, wattle -- thatch-rods

A dí ersaind bocai brechtáin,
a léibend do gruth is d' imm,
imdadai do blonaig bladaig,
scéith iumdai do thanaig thimm. ...

  • a -- possessive pronoun; 3rd person singular masculine <aL> his, its -- its
  • -- numeral; nominative dual feminine of <L, díL, dáN> two -- two
  • ersaind -- noun; nominative dual feminine, n-stem, of <ursa(n), ersa> door-post -- door-posts
  • bocai -- adjective; nominative dual feminine of <boca> soft -- soft
  • brechtáin -- noun; genitive singular masculine, o-stem, of <brechtán> butter, fat, relish -- custard
  • a -- possessive pronoun; 3rd person singular masculine <aL> his, its -- its
  • léibend -- noun; nominative singular masculine, o-stem, of <léibend, léibenn> level surface -- platform
  • do -- preposition; variant of <diL, deL> from, of -- of
  • gruth -- noun; dative singular masculine of <gruth> curds, cheese -- curds
  • is -- verb; variant of participle present of copula <is> is -- and
  • d' -- preposition; variant of <diL, deL> from, of -- of
  • imm -- noun; dative singular masculine, n-stem, of <im(m)> butter -- butter
  • imdadai -- noun; variant of nominative plural feminine, yā-stem, of <imdae> bed, couch -- the beds
  • do -- preposition; variant of <diL, deL> from, of -- of
  • blonaig -- noun; dative singular feminine, ā-stem, of <blonac> fat, lard, grease -- lard
  • bladaig -- adjective; dative singular feminine of <bladach> famous, renowned; splendid -- splendid
  • scéith -- noun; nominative plural masculine, o-stem, of <scíath> shield, wing -- the... shutters
  • iumdai -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <im(m)da> many, abundant -- many
  • do -- preposition; variant of <diL, deL> from, of -- of
  • thanaig -- noun; lenited dative singular feminine, ā-stem, of <tanach> pressed cheese -- pressed cheese
  • thimm -- adjective; dative singular feminine of <timm> soft, pliant; feeble -- pliant

Lesson Text

"Maith, a Chathail," ar Mac Con Glinne, "aislinge domárfas, ocus itchuala it maithsiu oc breith for aislingi." "Do m' debroth," ol Cathal, "dia mbéraind for aislingi fer talman, ní béraind for th' aislingise." "Fortgillim," or Mac Con Glinne, "cen co rucasu, indisfither hí i t' fʰiadnaise." "Fóbrais trá a aislingi. Is amlaid didiu ro indis ocus dá mír nó a trí sech bél Cathail i na beólu fodén.

"Aislingi itchonnarc araír,
mo dul for fecht dís nó triúr,
co nacca in tech find forlán
i raba a lommnán do biúd.


Co nacca in loch lemnachta
for lár muige find,
co nacca in tech lérgníma
iar na thugaid d' imm.


Tan tánuc 'na mórthimchell
do fʰégad a uird,
maróca ar na cétberbad
ba hiat sin a scuilb.


A dí ersaind bocai brechtáin,
a léibend do gruth is d' imm,
imdadai do blonaig bladaig,
scéith iumdai do thanaig thimm. ...

Translation

"Well, o Cathal," said Mac Con Glinne, "a vision has been shown to me and I have heard you are good yourself at passing judgement on a vision." "To my God's doom," said Cathal, "even if I would pass judgement upon the vision of [all] the men of the earth, I would not myself pass judgement on your vision." "I swear," said Mac Con Glinne, "even if you should not pass judgement, she (i.e. the vision) should be told in your presence." Then he began his vision. It is so then he told [it], and two morsels or three past Cathal's mouth into his own lips.
"A vision I saw last night,
My going on a journey, two or three [of us],
And I saw a house, white and very full,
In which was an abundance of food.
And I saw a lake of milk
In the middle of a white field,
And I saw a house of diligent activity
Under its thatch of butter.
When I came into its perimeter
To observe its structure:
Sausages upon their recent boiling,
It was them indeed its thatch-rods.
Its two soft door-posts of custard,
Its platform of curds and of butter,
The beds of splendid lard,
The many shutters of pliant pressed cheese. ..."

Grammar

46. Conditional Clauses

There are basically three ways of introducing conditional clauses:

  • with maL/L 'if'; it coalesces into mad with the 3rd singular present subjunctive of the copula, as in do°gén-sa do lessu..., mad áil duit 'I shall do your bidding ..., if it should be a desire with you' (Lesson 8), where the apodosis has the indicative future. When negated, it appears as mani, cf. nico-t bʰia ícc ..., mani-m dʰ e°r°gais-siu 'there won't be a cure for you ..., unless you ask my pardon' (Lesson 4), where a perfective present subjunctive in the protasis is, again, linked to an indicative future in the apodosis. Otherwise it takes the indicative present whenever the condition is past or present, and the past subjunctive when the condition is unfulfilled or very doubtful;
  • with diaN 'if' in positive conditional clauses requiring the subjunctive; cf. día tís ar mo chend..., do°regsae lat 'if you might come for me..., I shall come with you' (Lesson 5) and bia marb, dia-nat chluine 'you will be dead, if he should hear you' (Lesson 8), both with subjunctive present in the protasis and indicative future in the apodosis;
  • with acht 'if only, provided that' with doubtful or unfulfilled conditions as in acht ro°feisind..., ní ... no°scarfamais 'if only I had known..., we would not have parted...' (Lesson 3), where the protasis is expressed in the past subjunctive and the apodosis in the secondary future of the indicative.
47. The Verb: Imperative

In Old Irish, the imperative mood is normally formed from the present stem and without further tense distinctions (only few strong verb form it from their sigmatic subjunctive stem).

Like many other paradigmatical categories, the imperative does not distinguish a special absolute inflection. Moreover, in compound verbs it is always prototonic, unless the first element is followed by an infixed pronoun.

As in other languages, there are only few instances of the 1st person singular. Cf. in the following the forms of móraid 'magnifies', lécid 'leaves', suidigidir 'places', beirid 'bears', and ro°clu(i)nethar 'hears':

Imperative Active

    A I   A II (Act., Dep.)   B I (Act., Dep.)
1 Sg.   ---   ---, ---   biur, ---
2 Sg.   mór   léic, suidigthe   beir, cluinte
3 Sg.   mórad/-ath   léced/-eth, suidiged/-eth   *bered/-eth, cluined/-eth
             
1 Pl.   móram   lécem, suidigem   beram, cluinem
2 Pl.   mór(a)id/-(a)ith   lécid/-ith, suidigid/-ith   berid/-ith, cluinid/-ith
3 Pl.   mórat   lécet, *suidigetar   berat, cluinetar

Imperative Passive

    A I   A II (Act. = Dep.)   B I (Dep. = Act.)
General Form   mórthar   suidigther   berar (vs. ta°barr from do°beir)
3 Pl.   mórtar   suidigter   bertar
48. Some Productive Noun-Suffixes

Abstract and collective nouns are often expressed by derivatives in -acht/-echt and -e, cf. ógacht 'chastity', marcadacht 'cavalry' and daire 'oak wood; grove', orbbae 'heritage'; abstracts from adjectives are also expressed by derivatives in -(i)us/-es, cf. goirtius 'bitterness' from goirt 'bitter'. Collective formations can also be formed by adding a feminine suffixoid -rad, as in the ā-stems marcrad 'horsemen, cavalry' and rígrad 'troupe royale'.

To the semantic category of nomina actionis belong derivatives in -ad/-ed, -(i)ud, -igud/-ugud, -t(i)u, and later also -á(i)l: cf. marbad 'killing' in Lesson 8 and techtad 'having, possessing', cotlud 'sleeping' in Lesson 2 (from the verb con°tu(i)li), bláthugud 'blossoming', toimtiu 'act of thinking, opinion' (from the verb do°moinethar 'thinks') and aicsiu 'act of seeing' in Lesson 1 (from the verb ad°cí), baccáil 'hindering' (from the verb baccaid 'hinders').

Nomina essendi are mostly expressed by derivatives in -as/-es, cf. banas 'condition of a woman, womanliness', cennas 'leadership', marcachas 'horsemanship'.

Nomina agentis are mainly formed by means of suffixes such as -aige, -em (with genitive -emón) or -id, to which Latin loan suffixes such as -(a)ire, -óir, -atóir, -denmaid have to be added: cf. cathaige 'fighter, warrior', flaithem 'ruler' in Lesson 6, selgaid 'hunter' (from selg 'the hunt'), fíachaire 'bird-seer' (from fíach 'raven'), loingseóir 'seaman' (from loinges 'ship'), glantóir 'purifier', feóldenmaid 'carnifex'.

Diminutives can be formed by adding the suffixes -ín, -án: cf. mírín 'small morsel', lebrán 'little book' (from mír and, respectively, lebor).

Very seldom is the suffix -es for deriving feminines (laíches 'laywoman', mainches 'nun'), which are rather expressed by prefixing ban- 'woman-' to a masculine substantive, cf. banéces 'poetess' in Lesson 5.

Quite often one can appreciate a whole string of suffixes in one and the same word, cf. oentaigech 'agreed' from oentaige 'agreement', which is itself derived from oentach 'agreed', a derivative of the abstract oentu 'unity, consent' from oen/oín 'one'.

49. Word Formation of the Adjectives

Regarding the morphology of adjectives, five inflection classes can be distinguished, with only minor differences with respect to the substantive declension: o-/ā-stems, yo-/-yā-stems, i-stems, u-stems, and consonantal stems.

To the first group belong also those adjectives which are derived by means of the suffix -ach/-ech: originally, they were possessional adjectives derived from a substantive, like clothach 'famous' from cloth 'fame'; cf. also bennach 'horned' or corpach, which glosses Latin corpulentus and is opposed to corpdae, glossing Latin corporalis.

The latter loan-blend is in fact derived by means of the suffix -(i)de, which belongs to the yo-/-yā-stems and originally designates something that possesses the same quality as the substantive from which it is derived; cf. also fáelda 'wolfish' from fáel 'wolf' or ferdae 'male'.

Less productive though still quite numerous are the adjectives formed with suffixoids such as -mar 'big' and -(*s)amail 'like': cf. compounds such as linnmar 'abounding in pools' (linn 'pool'), which led to forming adjectives like ágmar 'warlike, valorous' from the substantive ág 'fight, battle', and later on to adjectives like lonnmar 'fierce, vigorous' from the adjective lonn 'fierce, strong'. The latter suffixoid is found in adjectives such as mnáamail 'female', laithemail 'daily', lasamail 'flaming', respectively from ben 'woman', laithe 'day', lasaid 'takes fire, blazes'.

50. The Necessity of Reading: Some References
    Cid glic fri halchi úara,
    cid saer ac imirt béla,
    cid binn a dord fri dúana,
    do chúala as borb nat léga.
     
    Though one be clever at cold splinters of rock,
    though one be a master at handling an axe,
    though his voice is sweet in singing,
    I have heard that he who does not read is ignorant.

The text of this short Irish poem has been taken, together with the translation given by Ruth P.M. Lehmann, from her collection Early Irish Verse (Austin, 1982: University of Texas Press), where it is found as No. 58 on pp. 63 and 110, under the title "The Necessity of Reading."

50.1. Handbooks
  • Meid, Wolfgang. Die keltischen Sprachen und Literaturen: ein Überblick. Innsbruck and Budapest, 1997: Archaeolingua, Series Minor.
  • Russell, Paul. An Introduction to the Celtic Languages. London & New York, 1995: Longman, Linguistics Library.
  • Lewis, Henry, and Holger Pedersen. A Concise Comparative Celtic Grammar. Göttingen, 1974: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  • Thurneysen, Rudolf. A Grammar of Old Irish. Dublin, 1946 and reprints: Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies.
  • Pokorny, Julius. Altirische Grammatik. Berlin, 1969: Sammlung Göschen 896.
  • Strachan, John, and Osborn Bergin. Old-Irish Paradigms and Selections from the Old-Irish Glosses. Dublin, 1949 and reprints: Royal Irish Academy.
  • de Bernardo Stempel, Patrizia. Nominale Wortbildung des älteren Irischen: Stammbildung und Derivation. Tübingen, 1999: Max Niemeyer, Buchreihe der Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie no. 15.
50.2. Dictionaries
  • (Contributions to a) Dictionary of the Irish Language. Dublin, 1913-1976: Royal Irish Academy.
  • Vendryes, Joseph, Edouard Bachellery, and Pierre-Yves Lambert. Lexique étymologique de l'irlandais ancien. Dublin & Paris, 1959ff. : D.I.A.S. and C.N.R.S.
  • Green, Anthony. Old Irish Verbs and Vocabulary. Somerville, 1995: Cascadilla Press.
50.3. Further Readings for Beginners
  • Lehmann, Ruth P.M. & Winfred. An Introduction to Old Irish. New York, 1975: The Modern Language Association of America.
  • Meid, Wolfgang. Die Romanze von Froech und Findabair: Táin Bó Froích. Innsbruck, 1970: Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft, Sonderheft 30.
  • Strachan, John, and Osborn Bergin. Stories from the Táin. Dublin, 1944 and reprints: Royal Irish Academy.
  • O'Rahilly, Cecile. Táin Bó Cúailnge: Recension I [Irish text with English translation]. Dublin, 1976: D.I.A.S.
50.4. Further Bibliography
  • Bromwich, Rachel. Medieval Celtic Literature: A Select Bibliography. Toronto, 1974: University of Toronto Press (Toronto Medieval Bibliographies 5).
  • CSANA Celtic Studies Bibliography (http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/celtic/csanabib.html)