From Lexicon Leponticum
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Attestation: TV·1 (:pazros:pompeteχuaios/kaialoiso) (1)
Language: Celtic
Word Type: proper noun
Semantic Field: patronymic

Grammatical Categories: gen. sg. masc.
Stem Class: o

Morphemic Analysis: kai̯-al-oi̯so
Phonemic Analysis: /kai̯aloi̯so/
Meaning: '(son) of Kaialos' (?)


Personal name in the genitive -oiso; the structure of the base is debatable. The suffix -alo forms patronyms in Lepontic, but an onomastic suffix of the same form is attested in Northern Italy, particularly in the area of Brescia (Untermann 1959: 131–134, 152) and also in Raetic (pitale) and Venetic (Untermann 1961b: 123); its relation with the patronymic suffix (if any) is unclear. For the present form, the choice between the two suffixes depends of the morphosyntactic analysis of the inscription. Eska & Wallace 1999: 131 f. interpret kaialoiso as a patronym formed with the genitive suffix '(son) of Kaialos', with -alo- as an onomastic formant; if -oi̯so is interpreted as having a syntactic function ('of Kaialos'), -alo could be the Lepontic patronymic suffix ('of the son of Kai°').

The base kai- cannot be ascribed to any particular language; see the morpheme page – a Celtic etymology is possible, but not the only option (though Lat. caius can be excluded, as /g/ would be spelled with chi as in pompeteχuaios). Eska & Wallace 1999: 131–133 consider *kaialos a Venetic name.

The possibility that the form is not a genitive, but a nominative on-stem kaialoisō was considered by Prosdocimi 1984c: 430; Morandi 2004: 695 suggests an alternative analysis as a nominative kaialoisos with loss of final /s/.

The Raetic inscription PA-1 from Padova contains an opaque word kaial, which does not feature any inflectional endings to identify it as a personal name.

Corinna Salomon


Eska & Wallace 1999 Joseph Francis Eska, Rex E. Wallace, "The linguistic milieu of *Oderzo 7", Historische Sprachforschung 112 (1999), 122-136.