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A NOTE ON THE NAME OF IRELAND IN IRISH AND WELSH
Vol. 59 (2009), pp. 49-55
Published by: Royal Irish Academy
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20787545
Page Count: 7
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Etymology, Naming conventions, Irish poetry, Syllables, Orthographies, Place names, River water, Streams, Consonants, Vowels
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The etymology of the name of Ireland has not been thoroughly clarified. The competing proposals remain those of Rhys: Ériu < Celtic *Īweryon- < PIE *piHuerion-, and Pokorny: Ériu < Celtic *Eiweryon- < PIE *epi-uerion-. The former has the apparent advantages of accounting for the Welsh form Iwerddon and ancient attestations, e.g. Ptolemy Iouernías (gen.sg.), but it remains unclarified how Rhys's form can be derived regularly next to the clear reflex of PIE *piHuerion- in Old Irish íriu 'earth'. Pokorny's formal etymology has the advantage of accounting regularly for Ériu, but seems to leave Welsh Iwerddon with irregularities. The following note attempts to resolve these difficulties, drawing attention on the way to the rarely noted fact that the oldest extant form of the name of Ireland in Welsh is MidW Ywerdon, not Iwerdon.
Ériu © 2009 Royal Irish Academy