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dhà bhliain is an tseachtain seo
Posted: 30 December 2011 05:22 PM   Ignore ]  
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“Two years ago this week”, I’ve been wonderig if “is” = copula, or the short form of “agus”? In Italian it could be the former (something like “this week it’s two years”) but I’m just guessing.

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Posted: 30 December 2011 06:14 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Should be the shortened form of “agus”, but I would say “dhà bhliain ò shin an tseachtain seo”.

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Posted: 30 December 2011 07:45 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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is an” here is a form of “ins an” (literary = in the)
according to Dinneen

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Posted: 31 December 2011 08:54 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Dinneen’s theory is an interesting one, based on a more general phonetic rule about the “weakness” of nasals in certain positions, but I feel that in this case the mutation would have produced a process like: ins an > san. Is it possible? Or, if we admit is < agus, the phrase might be rewritten “dhà bhliain agus an tseachtain seo” which semantically could mean “two years + this week = the whole period to be considered”. But I’m afraid that my guesses are a bit bold, don’t you think so?

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Posted: 31 December 2011 11:36 AM   Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Ó Dónaill’s dictionary doesn’t provide any etymological notes.
But there’s a different entry “is(2)” compared with “is(1)” (= copula) and “is(3)” (= agus)
And “is(2)” is defined as “prep. (of time) ~ an, up to, ago. Mí ~ an lá inniu, a month ago today, [...]”
So, it seems to be neither copula nor agus.

OK, there’s a fourth “is-(4)” as in istigh and istoíche which should be cognate to “is(2)” (an old derivation from “in”)

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Posted: 31 December 2011 12:24 PM   Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Yeah, I guess it’s an old form derived from Old Irish “isind” (which is one of the equivalents of modern “ins an”).
In the first place, the s was a part of the article (sindos/sindon/sindâ, which are all “an” nowadays).

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