What are they? Some Hidden Forms of the Copula in Old Irish

04/11/2014 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Patterson Office Tower, 18th floor (Room F-G)
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Prof. Joshua Katz, Princeton University

It is uncontroversial that Proto-Indo-European *-nti# regularly becomes -t /d/ in Old Irish, as in beraitberat ‘(they) carry’ (< *bheronti).  Nevertheless, my principal claim in this talk is that just in the copula, and under certain specifiable conditions, the same sequence results instead in -n.  In the course of using this new phonological rule to uncover a couple of hitherto unnoticed copular forms, I also comment on morpho-phonological curiosities in the paradigm of the Old Irish copula more generally.

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