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Type: lexical
Meaning: unknown
Language: unknown
Phonemic analysis: unknown
Attestation: kai, kaialoiso, kaio


Attested twice, maybe thrice in the Cisalpine Celtic corpus as base of personal names; linguistic ascription and etymology uncertain. Possible comparanda include Lat. caius (/gai̯us/, but spelled with kappa in the Lepontic alphabet), Etr. *kaie (Gambari & Colonna 1986: 136, fn. 76) and maybe Raet. kaial (see kaialoiso). An element kai- also occurs in Gaulish toponyms (e.g. caiocum > Cayeux-sur-Mer) and personal names (e.g. caiunus), derived from PC *kagi̯o- < *kagʰi̯o- 'enclosure' with Late Gaulish loss of intervocalic /g/ (DLG: 97); lexically attested in Gaul. cagiíon (L-86) and caio, glossed breialo sive bigardio 'field or enclosure' (Endlicher's Glossary), also Fr. quai 'quay' via Gallo-Latin (FEW s.v. caio), and Insular Celtic (MW kae 'hedge, enclosure' etc.) – cognates in Italic and Germanic; see Matasović 2009: 184, IEW: 518, GPN: 400, Lambert 1994: 204, Schrijver 1995: 306, Anreiter et al. 2000: 117, n. 16, Sims-Williams 2003: 85, Villar & Prósper 2005: 254–259, Delamarre 2007: 214.

David Stifter, Michela Vignoli, Corinna Salomon


Anreiter et al. 2000 Peter Anreiter, Ulrike Roider, Marialuise Haslinger, "The Names of the Eastern Alpine Region mentioned in Ptolemy", in: David N. Parsons, Patrick Sims-Williams (eds), Ptolemy. Towards a linguistic atlas of the earliest Celtic place-names of Europe. Papers from a workshop, sponsored by the British Academy, in the Department of Welsh, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 11–12 April 1999, Aberystwyth: CMCS 2000, 113–142.
Delamarre 2007 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.
DLG Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise. Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental, 2nd, revised edition, Paris: Errance 2003.
FEW Walther von Wartburg, Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Bâle: 1922–2002.
Gambari & Colonna 1988 Filippo Maria Gambari, Giovanni Colonna, "Il bicchiere con iscrizione arcaica da Castelletto Ticino e l'adozione della scrittura nell'Italia nord-occidentale", Studi Etruschi 54 (1986 [1988]), 119–164.