First: huge thanks to the author as the whole wiki is a really great resource for information about Gaelic!
And I especially like that it often does give some historical background for the stuff discussed there – that’s very helpful! – there are some (mostly minor) details in a few articles which I think are not entirely accurate, though, and I hope my feedback can help to improve them.
Hope my criticism isn’t too harsh.
The Jesus is life? page
Not sure what it’s based on but I’ve recently got access to Brian Ó Cuív’s article The etymology of dia do bheatha (in Celtica, vol. 14, 1981) which presents very similar story but one detail is very different.
In Ó Cuív explanation the supposed original *rot·bia do bethu and *rot·bé do bethu would mean ‘thou shalt have thy life’ and ‘mayest thou have thy life’ – they contain do bethu in the sense your life. He even cites an argument against the preposition here – there are no instances of long dative bethaid attested in this phrase which strengthens the argument that bethu, later betha, should be interpreted as nominative (thus not following de).akerbeltz wiki wrote:The de is what it seems to be, the preposition "of" and bethu is, well, bheatha.
This explanation was actually first suggested by an tAthair Peadar Ua Laoghaire in a 1897 letter in which he noticed a greeting rotfia do betha in “The adventure of Tadhg mac Céin”, and Ó Cuív mentions that “[t]he spelling rot fia is a fairly common variant of rot bia” (so the greeting in this form is attested in at least one late, 15th century, manuscript).
Ó Cuív also observes that Old Irish at·beir ‘(s)he says it’ evolved into later a-deir (and modern Irish deir(eann), Gaelic their) showing parallel development of internal /dv/, thus one can also reconstruct intermediate Middle Irish form ro·dia do betha (which later unsurprisingly lost the unstressed preverb, compare a-tá → tha, ad-chí → chì, etc.).
This at·beir ‘says it’ → a·deir ‘says’ → deir parallel might be worth mentioning on the page (the -t·bia → dia development probably is the weirdest part of the explanation – at least was for me when I first read it years ago).
Ó Cuív also notices that in the earliest texts variants of this greeting are said to people who had recently been wounded or ill (so it’s a quite appropriate salutation) – and probably later spread during Christian times because of the association of initial dia with ‘god’ (so eg. in later texts it replaces older Dia latt ‘God with you’, eg. in Passion of Christ in Leabhar Breac, composed ~1200, ms. from early 15th c.: Aue rábii .i. Dia latt, a maigistir!, and in Smaointe Beatha Chríost, 15th c.: Aue rabi .i. Dia do betha, a Maighistir!; Passion of Christ: Dia latt, a rig na n-iúdaide!, Smaointe B. Chr.: De do betha, a ri!).
The Interrogatives or Who the what why? page
It claims that cò às? keeps old co· meaning ‘where’ – I don’t believe this to be true. Its main meaning was ‘how?’ and multiple sources don’t even list the meaning ‘where’, cf. eg. eDIL entry for 4 co. Thurneysen’s A Grammar of Old Irish gives it as part of cote, cate which “is used (sometimes also in the sense of ‘where is?’)” and notes “In ancient maxims, when co has the meaning ‘where?’ before other verbs, it is followed by -du- (probably dú ‘place’); e.g. codu·accobra creici cech dindba ‘where does every poor man seek to buy?’” – I don’t think Scottish Gaelic continues some usage from compounds of ancient maxims.
Instead it’s just regular cò meaning ‘which, who, what, where?’, just like cà ‘where’ which continues the exact same Old Irish interrogative, cía, which had all sorts of meanings depending on context. See explanations (c) and (o) in eDIL for cía used as ‘where?’.
This unstressed pretonic co· which merged with the following verb doesn’t seem relevant here to me, especially since ‘where’ wasn’t even its main meaning.
Later, about càite:
Perhaps worth mentioning that today the same construction also requires the dependent form, eg. an taigh anns a bheil thu. Càite a is basically the same, except that the old short i → a is used instead of newer longer anns a for ‘in which’ (also compare Irish an áit a bhfuil tú for ‘the place in which you are’ with the same old usage of a kept).akerbeltz wiki wrote:Over time, this fused into one word càite, followed by a dependent verb because that's what this construction required back in the day, even though it no longer looks like it used to at all and even though it doesn't behave like the other question words.
The Minding Your Ps and Qs or Why Porcom is a Headache page
Found this one recently by checking if there still is activity in the wiki – I clicked the Mùthaidhean ùra link. It does have a few more striking issues.
As a native speaker of a satem language I feel offended. Proto-Indo-European had 14–15 phonemic stops, the article is missing all the palatovelars (a.k.a. palatalized velars or palatal dorsals: *ḱ, *ǵ, *ǵʰ). There’s a reason why my native Polish has sto ‘hundred’ starting with an s and not a k.akerbeltz wiki wrote:Well, Indo-European, which is not recorded, but reconstructed based on what we know of its daughter languages, seems to have had an elaborate system of stops, 12 of them:
Not sure how to understand it. In most positions *p was completely lost, eg.:akerbeltz wiki wrote:Late Common Celtic dropped p and said k wherever there was a p before.
- PIE *ph₂tḗr → *ɸatīr → Late PCelt. *atīr → OIr. athair, cf. Latin pater, English father, Sanskrit pitā́,
- PIE *pl̥h₂meh₂ → *ɸlāmā → Late PCelt. *lāmā → OIr. lám → Sc. Gaelic làmh, cf. Latin palma (→ English palm), Greek παλάμη (palámē), OEng. folm,
- PIE *pl̥nós → *ɸlānos → Late PCelt. *lānos → OIr. lán, cf. English full, Polish pełny.
Might be worth mentioning that earlier in Celtic *gʷ merged with *b (and the *ɡʷ that remains continues older aspirated *ɡʷʰ) – but that might be too much detail (it’s seen in one pretty common word though, compare Gaelic bò and English cow from PIE *ɡʷṓu̯s).akerbeltz wiki wrote:Goidelic on the other hand would have none of it and did not redevelop the p. However, out of sheer spite, it merged the labial series with the plain stops so that kʷ merged with k and gʷ with g.
Not sure if that’s just a joke about the spelling, or some suggestion that Manx continues the /kʷ/ as a separate phoneme.akerbeltz wiki wrote:Well, it does explain it because in Manx because cóig is spelled queig.
If the latter – I don’t believe it does. Indeed in Manx five is queig /kweɡ´ ~ kwɛɡ/ – but I don’t believe it has anything to do with the labialized velar in Primitive Irish – the distinction between /k/ and /kʷ/ gets lost already in later ogam inscriptions, there’s no trace of it in Old Irish. I don’t know Manx history but I’d rather think that the vowel /oː/ got broken to a diphthong and gave /we/ later or something along those lines happened here.
Also it seems to me Manx for ‘head’ is typically spelt kione (and fockleyreen doesn’t know the spelling qione at all).
Later in the list of cognates the row with clòimh shouldn’t be there – it’s a borrowing from Latin plūma (and is rightfully listed as so in the table below), also the listed proto-form *petna makes no sense to me (and doesn’t look like an IE stem at all) – Wiktionary gives *plewk- (which would lose its *p in Celtic, cf. eg. làmh).
And the image at the end has quite a few issues:
The Old Irish forms cét, cóic (I guess the Goidelic in the image is transcription of them) should be transcribed as /kʲeːd/ and /koːɡʲ/ respectively (see my Guide to Old Irish spelling for an overview of basics of phonology and orthographic conventions in OIr.).
(Added later: Also I’d change the label to Old Irish – because Goidelic without further attribution just after Insular might suggest it’s Pritimitive Irish while it’s clearly post-apocope post-lost nasals OIr. forms (Prim.Ir. would have something like *kentan, later *kēdan for ‘hundred’, but that’s not attested).)
Scottish Gaelic koːkʲ doesn’t look right either, I’d expect either koːɡʲ or kʰoːkʲ.
Irish has cúig /kuːɡʲ/ (and on a side note, the word for ‘hundred’ in Munster, similarly to Sc. Gaelic, also has the long vowel broken: /kʲiad/, but /kʲeːd/ is good for other areas).
“Common Slavic” pjetĭ makes no sens at all, it should be pętь or pętĭ, or if using phonemic IPA, /pɛ̃tĭ/ – the PIE *-en- is continued as a nasal vowel in Proto-Slavic. Belarusian should either be the same as Russian (pʲatʲ) or perhaps pʲat͜sʲ (it most certainly doesn’t end in /c/). Slovak for ‘hundred’ should read stɔ – the same as Czech or Polish.
There probably are some other issues but those are the ones that caught my eye in this article.