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  • Manx, "horse."

    April 23, 2009

  • Manx showing a Latin gleaning here. I noticed recently that the welsh for "goat" was gaffran, which is presumably linked to the Latin root. I wonder how big the Latin impact on these Celtic languages was, and what the equivalent term was before the Romans came along.

    April 23, 2009

  • I came to this page to say that is sounded a lot like caballus, then I saw yarb's comment.

    April 23, 2009

  • The normal Welsh for "goat" is gafr. The interrelationships between the Celtic and Italic words here are not obvious: Don Ringe says the Celtic original of ceffyl "horse" seems to have gone from Latin to Celtic because it doesn't match up the way it would if it was a cognate, but this is uncertain. It is also unclear whether Italic and Celtic formed a sub-branch of IE and therefore particularly shared inherited vocabulary.

    April 23, 2009

  • Thanks qroqqa. Those Celts are a damnably obscure lot, aren't they.

    Actually I thought it was "gafr" that I'd heard, but when I googled lazily to confirm all I got was "gaffran". What is that, the plural?

    April 23, 2009

  • For completeness' sake, the Irish and Scottish Gaelic (the closest languages to Manx) cognates are both capall (though the ScG has undergone a bit of sense narrowing, so it just refers to colts now - the normal word being each, which is also valid in Irish). The Welsh, ceffyl as qroqqa mentions, is also cognate, obviously, but I'm not aware of a cognate in the other two Brythonic languages, Breton and Cornish; the usual words are marc'h and margh respectively (and Welsh has march). If anyone knows of cognates, I'd be interested.

    As for "gaffran", yarb, I don't know it and neither does my Welsh dictionary. The plural of gafr is geifr.

    April 23, 2009

  • cf. Latin capra, Spanish cabra. In historical linguistics, c's and g's are closely related (the latter voiced, the former unvoiced); ditto f's and b's. I wouldn't be surprised if both cabbyl and gafr both relate to, or to a coeval cognate of the Latin capra.

    April 23, 2009