Re: [tied] Re: Hi and question

From: Laura Mollett
Message: 8753
Date: 2001-08-26

> Welsh is indeed a Celtic language - but when you are speaking of single
> Celtic languages, and not the language family as a whole, the term "Celtic"
> only really refers to the parent language of the modern branches - otherwise
> called Common Celtic or Proto-Celtic (I suppose you could use Celtic as
> another name for Gaulish, however, as this does have an historical
> precedence from the ancient period).

Fair enough :) my apologies.

> The name Arianrot appears in the collection of Welsh legends called the
> Mabinogion, which was assembled in circa 1050 AD.

Yes (although your spelling is differs from my copy of the Mabinogion (in
translation) - both Gwyn and Thomas Jones and Jeffrey Gantz have it
'Aranrhod' and Gantz has a possible but not certain meaning of 'silver
wheel'), but I also didn't (and don't) know if it appears anywhere
previously or elsewhere to that or how old the root terms might be
considered - if I understand correctly, goddess/divine names (like place
names) have a long retention. That is, I don't know if the name is
considered "Common Celtic" (with any spelling variant, along with the others
in the Mabinogion, as Llew and Math et. al., who is Arianrhod's child) or
*just* Welsh. As the others closely associated with her are to be found
across the Celtic mythological stratum, while we might not have retained
this particular myth, it seems a bit premature to assume that she is a Welsh
derivation only... What we have extant of pre-Christian Celtic mythology is
somewhat slim.

> This means that they come from different roots at the Proto Indo European
> level.

I'd like to know why so I don't have to ask you all again if I have a
similar question. Do you know the roots? Is there some particular
phonological change between the two languages these names don't have?

As the underlying legends are similar (though certainly not the same) I'm
curious. (Both regarding goddess figures who are or are supposed to be
virgins who have children (if you conflate Arundhati with the other wives of
the sages) that are taken as fetuses and incubated elsewhere, but are later
convinced/coerced to provide at least some 'motherly' support for the son
(naming and arming by Aranrhod and all the wives of the sages (the mothers)
providing milk and nurturing in the case of Arundhati), who is a divine hero
of some kind.) Also both names are associated with a 'northern star' at
least sometimes. (Yes, this is simplifying and conflating a lot, especially
for the Sanskrit which has more than one version of the Birth of Skanda, and
pointing out similarities and ignoring differences - primarily that
Arundhati is the only one of the wives of the sages that *doesn't* end up
pregnant whereas Aranrhod is singular (unless you count the other
'footholders' of Math in some sort of star symbolism) and is the one who is
inappropriately pregnant. But there are a lot of interesting similarities.

If this is way off-topic, or a faq, or an annoying newbie question like a
million others you get all the time, just say so :) And especially if it's
posted to a faq somewhere, I'd love to go look it up. Thanks! :)