Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [tied] Iseut/Isolde etymology: Celtic?

Expand Messages
  • Rick McCallister
    Brian: Thanks for saying what I wanted to tell João. I am amazed by the breadth and depth of possible origins. I m trying to square the forms French Iseult
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 5, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Brian:
      Thanks for saying what I wanted to tell João. I am amazed by the breadth and depth of possible origins. I'm trying to square the forms French Iseult and Spanish Isolda, Isolde. One would expect the Spanish cognate of French Iseult to be *Isuelda. Did it pass through, say, Catalan? Or some Romance dialect where Spanish /ue/ and French /eu/ are resalized as /O/ <ò>?
      Is there a Celtic etymology for Drost, Drest? I remember reading somewhere, long ago, that it was very likely a title, like "Prince" --but since I am ignorant of Celtic, I don't know. Is it possible from the IE word for "hard, oak, tree", but if so, where was the -st- come from?


      From: Brian M. Scott <bm.brian@...>
      To: Joao S. Lopes <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, January 5, 2012 5:43 AM
      Subject: Re: [tied] Iseut/Isolde etymology: Celtic?

       
      At 8:19:31 PM on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, Joao S. Lopes
      wrote:

      > Is there a secure etymology for Iseut/Iseult, Isolde from
      > Tristan & Isolde?

      OFr <Iseldis> appears by 1113 and appears to be of
      Continental Germanic origin, from *I:s(a(r)n)-hildiz
      'iron-battle'. A masculine <Isoldus>, presumably with the
      same prototheme and a deuterotheme from *-waldaz 'power,
      rule', is attested even earlier; I shouldn't be surprised if
      the <o> forms of the feminine name were influenced by the
      masculine name. At any rate, <Iseut> is an expectable
      reflex of <Iseldis>. (The ON translation by 'Brother
      Robert', which is one of our main sources for the 12th
      century Anglo-Norman version of Thomas, makes her <Ísǫnd>,
      genitive <Ísóndar>; I've no idea why.)

      Middle Welsh <Essyllt> is a different name. I quote from
      Kenneth Jackson, _Language and History in Early Britain_, p.
      709, omitting references:

      In the Harleian 3859 OW. genealogies the mother of Rhodri
      Mawr (ninth century) is called <Etthil>. The same woman
      is <Ethellt> in the Jesus 20 pedigrees, and <Etill> in the
      Life of Gruffydd ap Cynan; otherwise she is known as
      <Essyllt> in MW. sources. There can be no doubt that this
      is the well-known MW. name <Essyllt>, <Esyllt>, cf. OC.
      <Eselt> (in a charter of 967). One may suggest a
      derivation from Brit. *Adsilita, 'she who is gazed at',
      'Miranda',: W. <syllu> ['to gaze' - BMS]. This would
      regularly give MW. <Essyllt>. The other spellings seem to
      point to a Brit. secondary bye-form *Adthilita or
      *Atthiltia, and to be the rare survival of this dental
      affricate (in dialect?) in Wales, alongside <ss>, as late
      as the ninth or tenth century at least.

      This etymology is accepted by Sabine Heinz in 'Textual and
      Historical Evidence for an Early British Tristan Tradition'
      in Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium, 28: 2008.

      <http://books.google.com/books?id=S2I5grdcY4EC&pg=PA98>

      The name <Tristan> is more problematic. It may appear, in
      the form {D}RVSTA(N)VS, in the inscription CSTLD/1, which is
      from Cornwall and has been dated to the 6th century by at
      least one fairly recent authority and has been connected
      with the Tristan legend.

      <http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/cisp/database/stone/cstld_1.html>

      However, the reading is uncertain, and in any case Jackson
      was unwilling to connect it with Brittonic <Drystan>.

      Pretty much all of the other early instances of possibly
      related names are from Scotland and Ireland. The Pictish
      Chronicles and the Irish translation of the Historia
      Britonum have very similar versions of a list of Pictish
      kings; in the third group, which is the first with any claim
      to historicity, <Drest> is the most common name, though not
      by much. It really does appear that <Drest> is a Pictish
      name, though this form may not be contemporaneous with the
      bearers (e.g., it may lack some inflectional ending).

      In one instance <Drest> in the Pict. Chron. is paired with
      <Drust> in the Irish version. The Annals of Ulster have at
      least <Drosto> (gen.), <Drostan> (presumably a diminutive),
      <Drostain> (gen. of the dimin.), and <Druist> (acc.), all of
      which are consistent with an i-stem *Drusti-. Despite the
      change in vowel, this seems more likely to be a borrowing of
      the Pictish name than a native Irish form, since IE *-st-
      should give OIr -ss-.

      Another early instance is the Drosten Stone, SVIGN/1, which
      is an inscription in the Latin alphabet from Pictland,
      probably from the early 9th century, towards the end of the
      existence of a separate Pictish kingdom. In 'The Drosten
      Stone: a new reading' (Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 123 (1993),
      345-53) Thomas Owen Clancy, discussing the question of
      whether <Drosten> (rather than the usual nominative
      <Drostan>) is a genitive says that Padel cites both
      <Drostain> and <Druisten> as Irish genitives. The former is
      unremarkable if <Drostan> was understood as a diminutive in
      <-án>; the latter looks as if the name had been
      reinterpreted as an n-stem. This does nothing to undermine
      the idea that the name is not native Irish.

      All of this leaves Brittonic <Drystan> a bit up in the air.
      It's generally derived from *Drustagnos, but according to
      Sims-Williams there are no clear instances of native British
      names with the diminutive suffix *-agno-. It appears rather
      that the OIr suffix <-án> (from *-agno-) was borrowed by the
      British as <-an>, occasionally creating the appearance of a
      name derived from an old diminutive in *-agno-. Thus,
      <Drystan> *might* be a British borrowing of an Irish
      diminutive of an Irish borrowing of a Pictish name.

      However, that doesn't explain the <T> of <Trystan>, which
      according to Heinrich Zimmer, 'Beiträge zur Namenforschung
      in den altfranzösischen Arthurepen', Zeitschrift für
      Französische Sprache und Literatur, XIII (1891), 73, is *at
      least* [his emphasis] as old and as customary a form as
      <Drystan> in the mss.; /d/ > /t/ can't be explained by
      normal Welsh developments. Zimmer (76ff.) suggests that the
      <T> forms originated in Breton, for which there is evidence
      of D-/T- interchange. Specifically, he suggests a
      development from <Drestan> to <Trestan> and thence, via
      contamination by French <triste>, to <Tristan>; these <T>
      forms were then taken to Great Britain by Bretons and
      Anglo-Normans generally. This isn't unreasonable,
      considering that the romance gives Tristan a Breton origin,
      but I don't know how generally it's accepted.

      I've not seen a good recent discussion in depth, but my
      impression is that there's still considerable disagreement
      about the history of the name; in particular, not everyone
      accepts the Pictish name as the source.

      Brian



    • Rick McCallister
      Sorry about my garbled memory, it s been years since I d read that. There should be some old posts on Tristrum and Isolde in the Cybalist archives --maybe
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 5, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Sorry about my garbled memory, it's been years since I'd read that. There should be some old posts on Tristrum and Isolde
        in the Cybalist archives --maybe about 8 or 10 years ago. I certainly remember putting my two cents in. Torsten is usually good at dredging up old posts. Now that I mention him, I wonder if Torsten is a Danish fold etymology for Tristen --you know, like Kristin becomes Kirstin ;p

        From: Joao S. Lopes <josimo70@...>
        To: "cybalist@yahoogroups.com" <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 8:50 PM
        Subject: Re: [tied] Iseut/Isolde etymology: Celtic?

         
        I found some reference along Google, *ad-siltia.

        JS Lopes


        De: Joao S. Lopes <josimo70@...>
        Para: "cybalist@yahoogroups.com" <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
        Enviadas: Quarta-feira, 4 de Janeiro de 2012 19:58
        Assunto: Re: [tied] Iseut/Isolde etymology: Celtic?

         
        Is *Ad-solita celtic?

        JS Lopes


        De: Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...>
        Para: "cybalist@yahoogroups.com" <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
        Enviadas: Terça-feira, 3 de Janeiro de 2012 23:30
        Assunto: Re: [tied] Iseut/Isolde etymology: Celtic?

         
        Iseult is somewhere in the files Ad-solita (vel.sim) "she who must be looked it", i.e. the same as Miranda
        Tristan may be related to Pictish Drosten. I seem to remember reading that it meant "Prince"


        From: Joao S. Lopes <josimo70@...>
        To: Cybalist <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 8:19 PM
        Subject: [tied] Iseut/Isolde etymology: Celtic?

         
        Is there a secure etymology for Iseut/Iseult, Isolde from Tristan & Isolde? Esyllt could derive from ON i:shilDr, but we could relate this name to Latin or Breton origin?

        JS Lopes








      • Torsten
        ... It s not a common name here, so there s no tradition around it, it s more common in Sweden. And in Germany, after the war. Torsten
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 5, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...> wrote:
          >
          > Sorry about my garbled memory, it's been years since I'd read that. There should be some old posts on Tristrum and Isolde
          > in the Cybalist archives --maybe about 8 or 10 years ago. I certainly remember putting my two cents in. Torsten is usually good at dredging up old posts. Now that I mention him, I wonder if Torsten is a Danish fold etymology for Tristen --you know, like Kristin becomes Kirstin ;p

          It's not a common name here, so there's no tradition around it, it's more common in Sweden. And in Germany, after the war.


          Torsten
        • Rick McCallister
          Then that proves my point. If there s no tradition for Kirsten in Denmark, then Torsten must really be Tristen via scribal error (i o)  ;p
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 5, 2012
          • 0 Attachment
            Then that proves my point. If there's no tradition for Kirsten in Denmark, then Torsten must really be Tristen via scribal error (i > o)  ;p


            From: Torsten <tgpedersen@...>
            To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, January 5, 2012 9:52 PM
            Subject: Re: [tied] Iseut/Isolde etymology: Celtic?

             


            --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...> wrote:
            >
            > Sorry about my garbled memory, it's been years since I'd read that. There should be some old posts on Tristrum and Isolde
            > in the Cybalist archives --maybe about 8 or 10 years ago. I certainly remember putting my two cents in. Torsten is usually good at dredging up old posts. Now that I mention him, I wonder if Torsten is a Danish fold etymology for Tristen --you know, like Kristin becomes Kirstin ;p

            It's not a common name here, so there's no tradition around it, it's more common in Sweden. And in Germany, after the war.

            Torsten



          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.