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Type: derivational
Function: unclear
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: -/ed/-
Attestation: caledonos, keleśu, kiketu, oletu, plialeθu, seχeθu


Element of uncertain function and etymology; often indistinguishable from -et-. Always as an on-stem -edū except (possibly, but unlikely) sekezos.

Numerous potential Celtic attestations are collected in AcS I: 1407 sub -ēdon-/-ēdū in numerous PNN in -edu/o. Lejeune 1971: 20 f. and 64, n. 213, though he refers to Holder's entry, gives short e for the suffixes in seχeθu and oletu; Tibiletti Bruno 1979: 258 gives long ē (for kiketu). Both Lejeune 1971: 53 and Tibiletti Bruno 1979: 258, as well as Stifter 2020: ? (for plialeθu), are uncertain about the dental (/d/ or /t/).

IE comparanda are elusive – cf. e.g. Neri 2003: 47, n. 105, on the possibility that a suffix -ed- underlies some Latin -idus-adjectives, specifically calidus 'warm' < PIE *k̑l̥-ed-ó- (see NIL: 414, n. 1, on the root shape) : OI śarád- etc. 'autumn' < *k̑el-éd- 'warmth', where -ed- is also irregular (see NIL 415, n. 7, with literature). Schaffner 2014: 74 compares the derivation **meh₂k̑-éd- 'height' > Gk *mak̑-ed-ó- 'tall' (as basis for Μακεδόν- 'Macedonian'); cf. Nussbaum 1999: 407, n. 34, and further Nussbaum 2004 on an ablauting suffix -ed-/-ēd- in Greek and Latin. (Cf. Salomon 2023: 27 f., n. 11.)

In Cisalpine Celtic inscriptions, some of the PNN in (putative) -edon- appear sometimes in two-part names where a clear patronym is missing (uvamokozis plialeθu, oletu amaśilu), leading Markey (following Prosdocimi 1986: 239) to analyse the element as a suffix forming cognomina (Markey & Mees 2003: 140, 149, Markey 2006: 157). Markey compares Sabellic patronymic -id-i̯o- (Wallace 2007: 52), Messapic patronymic -id- (Matzinger 2019: 107 f.), and Greek -ιδᾱ, and also identifies the suffix in putative Celtic -iþu (read -idū by him) in Raetic inscriptions from Magrè (cf. also Markey & Mees 2004: 86 f.). -ed- is derived from *-id- with lowering in Markey & Mees 2003: 149 (cf. Villar & Prósper 2005: 286), while Markey 2006: 157 reconstructs Pre-Celtic *-ed-on, with Magrè -idū < -edū through raising before a high vowel.


AcS Alfred Holder, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz, Leipzig: Teubner 1896–1907.