u̯er-

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Type: lexical
Meaning: 'over'
Function: intensifying
Language: Celtic
Phonemic analysis: /er/-
From PIE: *Huper-
From Proto-Celtic: *u̯er-
Attestation: uer, uericou, uerkalai, uerkou

Commentary

Well-attested prefix in Gaulish onomastics, personal names (e.g. uercingetorix, uercombogios, uercondarius, ueriugus), ethnonyms (e.g. ueragri), toponyms (e.g. uernemetum), and also lexically (e.g. uernemetis 'fanum ingens' in Venentius Fortunatus). No secure onomastic attestations are known from Celtiberian, but the superlative formation ue/oramos (K.3.11, K.3. 18, K.3.7) may contain the root. See KGP: 290–292, GPN: 279 f., DLG: 314, Delamarre 2007: 236 et passim, Wodtko 2013: 228.

From the PIE preposition *Huper-. While Gaulish and two of the three Continental Celtic attestations of ueramos have /e/ in the root, the Insular Celtic forms of the preposition have /o/ (OIr. for, OW guar, etc.); see GPN: 279 for opinions on this difference – most likely due to influence of u̯o- 'under' (also in Celtib. uoramos, see also Wodtko 2013: 228, n. 29) or to inherited ablaut variation (thus Hamp 1953: 124).

Corinna Salomon

Bibliography

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.
GPN David Ellis Evans, Gaulish Personal Names. A Study of Continental Celtic Formations., Oxford: Clarendon Press 1967.
Hamp 1953 Eric P. Hamp, "OWelsh guar, Welsh gor-, Bret. gour- , OIr. for, Gaulish ver-", Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 15.2 (1953), 124.