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Attestation: TI·26 (teromui:kualui) (1)
Language: prob. Celtic
Word Type: proper noun
Semantic Field: patronymic

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

Morphemic Analysis: ku-al-ūi̯
Phonemic Analysis: /kualūi̯/ (?)
Meaning: 'for the son of Kuos'


Patronym in -al- in the dative from an individual name kuos; the exact phonetic form and etymology of the latter are uncertain.

To explain ⟨ku⟩ in a p-Celtic language, the name was originally booked as evidence for the preservation of the sequence *k̑u̯ in Lepontic (as proposed by Kretschmer 1905: 126) by Whatmough PID: 69, who connected it with PIE *k̑u̯on- 'dog'. This theory being obsolete, Eska 2006: 232, n. 7 (also Eska & Evans 2009: 36) suggests that a subset of the names in ⟨kuV⟩ in Cisalpine Celtic (cf. kuimpalui, kuaśoni) could preserve the labiovelar *k before the change to /p/ (considering the late loss of inherited *p as indicated by uvamokozis); this is rejected for kualui by Stifter 2020: 14 due to the lack of convincing etymologies; a derivation from the 'dog'-word does not work, as a thematisation of the on-stem should be k(u)u̯onos. As observed by Lejeune 1971: 68, a monosyllabic name ku̯os would not be plausible; the name should be kuu̯os or guu̯os (with the sequence uu̯ regularly spelled with single upsilon). Transalpine Gaulish comparanda are sparse to non-existent for both options; Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 139 and Motta 2000: 199 compare cua(sus) (Germania, s. AcS I: 1180), Rix 1995: 737 couus "on Gaulish coins"; Sims-Williams 2007: 332, n. 118 tentatively compares unlikely gos (Anlaut < PIE *gu̯h) with W gwelw 'pale'. The analysis offered by Delamarre 2007: 78, who suggests a segmentation ko(m)-u̯alos, cannot be correct, as -al- is certainly the patronymic suffix; cf. however kuimpalui and kuaśoni for analyses of the names in ⟨kuV⟩ with preverb kom- – maybe kuu̯os is a short name from such a compound with second element in ° (cf. Stifter 2020: 14). Cf. also atekua.

Corinna Salomon


AcS Alfred Holder, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz, Leipzig: Teubner 1896–1907.
Delamarre 2007 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de personnes celtiques dans l'épigraphie classique. Nomina Celtica Antiqua Selecta Inscriptionum, Paris: Errance 2007.
Eska & Evans 2009 Joseph F. Eska, David Ellis Evans, "Continental Celtic", in: Martin J. Ball, Nicole Müller (eds), The Celtic Languages, 2nd edition, London – New York: Routledge 2009, 28–53.
Eska 2006 Joseph F. Eska, "The genitive plural desinence in Celtic and dialect geography", Die Sprache 46/2 (2006), 229–235.