From Lexicon Leponticum
Jump to navigationJump to search

Attestation: TV·1 (:pazros:pompeteχuaios/kaialoiso) (1)
Language: Celtic
Word Type: proper noun

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

Morphemic Analysis: pompe-tengu̯-ā-(i)i̯-os
Phonemic Analysis: /pompetengā(i)os/
Meaning: 'of the five tongues'


Analysed as a compound of pompe- 'five' and tengu̯ā 'tongue' by Prosdocimi 1984c: 431–437 (also 1986e: 86 f., 1987: 577 f., 1988: 305, Prosdocimi & Marinetti 1991: 423). (See North Italic Script on the non-spelling of /n/ before /g/.) While the first element is fairly unproblematic despite /o/ in the root (see the morpheme page), the second one raises difficulties discussed by Eska & Wallace 1999: 129–131. Firstly, PIE *dn̥ǵu̯heh₂ 'tongue' was transferred to a t-stem in Celtic (*tangu̯āt) which is not in evidence in pompeteχuaios. Secondly, the regular outcome of syllabic /n/ in Celtic is /an/ rather than /en/. The authors hold on to the etymology, arguing that an archaic Celtic ā-stem of the 'tongue'-word is attested in OIr. teng (only poetic) and implicitly in compound forms of regular OIr. tengae which do not inflect as consonant stems. /en/ instead of /an/ is explained as raising before nasal + homorganic stop, as attested sporadically in Continental Celtic and (arguably) in Lepontic siteś. Indeed, */n̥C/ > /en/ rather than /an/ is considered a feature of Lepontic by Lejeune 1971: 106 f. Cf. atekua.

The (i)i̯o-formation is interpreted as patronymic by Prosdocimi (Venetic formation, thus also Lejeune 1990: 71, though patronyms in -(i)i̯o are also attested in Cisalpine Celtic). Neither pompe- nor tengu̯-, however, are common as onomastic elements in Gaulish, and the underlying name *pompetengu̯ā does not have any morphology which would derive a masculine name from the ā-stem base. Eska & Wallace 1999: 131 prefer to interpret the form as an adjective 'of the five tongues' = 'quinquelingual' (or 'multilingual' after Prosdocimi & Marinetti 1991: 428), serving as an epithet.

Corinna Salomon


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