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Attestation: JU·1 (priś) (1)
Language: Celtic
Word Type: unclear

Grammatical Categories: indeterminable

Morphemic Analysis: brīg- or brig- or brist- (?)
Phonemic Analysis: /br??/
Meaning: unknown


See the inscription page for a discussion of the possible sound values of san.

Option (1): san = [ksi̯]. Verger 1998: 626 f. (2001: 285–287) suggests that a sequence brig-s-i̯- from a base brig- 'height' could be an abbreviated personal name, comparing a Gaulish name element brix-. Apart from the badly supported reading, there are multiple problems with this analysis. The element brig- in Gaulish personal names is not the 'height'-root brig-, but brīg- 'worth'. brigs-, much like simple brig-, is not a personal name element, but occurs in toponyms (*brixi̯a > Brescia, *brixinā > Brixen, *brixis > Braye, *brixellon > Brixlegg and Brescello, Anreiter & Roider 2007: 105 f., Falileyev 2010: 83, Delamarre 2012: 89, Delamarre 2019: 154) and associated ethnonyms (brixenetes). The function of -s- between base and derivational suffix (brig-s-) is unclear (cf. De Bernardo Stempel 1996: 116); the existence of an archaic s-stem *bʰr̥ǵʰ-s-ó- 'high' in PIE and Celtic (*brigsos) cannot be excluded (Stefan Höfler p.c., and cf. Repanšek 2018: 239, NIL: 33), but an attestation nowhere but in a handful of Central European toponyms is not entirely likely. In any case, personal names with brix- are very rare (e.g. CIL XIII 4401 brix[a]e [Belgica]) and probably derived from toponyms (e.g. CIL V 4629 brixianus [Brescia], CIL XIII 2812 brixantu [dat., theonym, Lugdunensis]). brig-s-i̯- (or indeed brīg-s-i̯-) is therefore highly unlikely to be either the first element of an abbreviated personal name or – to account for -- – an abbreviated simplex name like brixi̯os or brixi̯a (an abbreviation which leaves out only one or two final letters not being plausible in any case). At most, an abbreviated brixi̯an° derived from a toponym brixi̯a (PN or literally 'from Brixia') may be feasible (Verger 2001: 287), but the lack of good personal name comparanda in combination with the doubtful reading of san makes a connection with *brig- hard to maintain. Verger's observation that the form could be connected with the name of the Bresse plain (1998: 627, n. 26, 2001: 287, n. 73) is interesting. That a ModFr. toponym Bresse can be derived from *brix° is demonstrated by La Bresse < brixius (saltus) (Vosges) (Anreiter & Roider 2007: 106), though it must be observed that, while the prehistoric settlement at Montmorot was indeed situated on a hill, the Bresse plain is in fact a tectonic depression (but cf. LEIA: B-87 s.v. brí).

Option (2): san = tau gallicum. A personal name bristas (gen.) is attested in a graffito from Limoges (RIG L-74, Lejeune 1988b: 114). The name bristā* has been connected with OIr. bres 'fight, hit' (see brist-). Whatever the exact PIE etymology, the base *brist- contains a context for tau gallicum and makes for a plausible first element of a personal name (cf. OIr. bresal < *bristou̯alos) abbreviated to priś. Cf. Salomon 2022: 181.

Corinna Salomon


Anreiter & Roider 2007 Peter Anreiter, Ulrike Roider, "Quelques noms de lieux d’origine celtique dans les Alpes orientales (tout particulièrement en Autriche)", in: Pierre-Yves Lambert, George-Jean Pinault (eds), Gaulois et celtique continental [= École pratique des hautes études. Sciences historiques et philologiques. III. Hautes études du monde gréco-romain 39], Genève: Librairie Droz 2007, 99–125.
CIL Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. (17 volumes, various supplements)
De Bernardo Stempel 1996 Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, "Tratti linguistici comuni ad appellativi e toponimi di origine celtica in Italia", Travaux de Linguistique et de Philologie 33–34 (1995–1996), 109–136.
Delamarre 2012 Xavier Delamarre, Noms de lieux celtiques de l'Europe ancienne (-500/+500). Dictionnaire, Arles: Errance 2012.
Delamarre 2019 Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire des thèmes nominaux du gaulois. I. Ab- / Iχs(o)-, Paris: Les Cent Chemins 2019.
Falileyev 2010 Alexander Falileyev, Dictionary of Continental Celtic Place-Names. A Celtic Companion to the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, Aberystwyth: CMCS 2010.