Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

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Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Shemtov » Sun 26 Nov 2017, 05:29

(Format shamelessly lifted from Qwed's Mystery of the Desert thread)
Since the 1800s, Linguists (then known as Philologists) have known of a language that was spoken in County Donegal, specifically in Inishowen, known as Áifiúraí or Ábhadaí Ibhereiu Áimiór until the Tudor Invasion of Ireland in the 16th Century. It is a mysterious language, being sparsely written; however, manuscripts from the 11th Century include a Document titled Éabhánaigel Iónaí, which is identified as a translation into Áifiúraí of the Gospel of John, however it cannot serve as a Áifiúraí "Rosetta Stone" since all but the title and verse 1:1 has been destroyed, and that verse is written in what seems to be the Gaelic word order, without grammatical morphemes- just the Áifiúraí roots- it seems it was written by a non-fluent monk, and a poem titled Bíalái Geniasaíasaí, which is presumed to be a poetic retelling of the Book of Genesis in Áifiúraí. From these, Linguists have been able to identify words like Éialadán "G-d" Iéasu "Jesus" Mamár "word" Táibh "Begining" etc. Some suspect that the <b d g> are /p' t' k'/ because of a 10th Century note in Eclessiatical Latin found in Rome, given to a Papal Legate of Pope Benedict VII from a "Brother Thomas" from the Clonca Monastery, who argues that the Áifiúraí are "....not sons of Adam- sons of Satan, Demons, who have claimed to embrace Christ to fool the common Christian into sin...." supports his Racist tirade by the fact that "......their language is not one of humans, neither I nor any of the Brothers here have been able to learn it, and they make cracking sounds with their tongues, that only the sons of Lucifer could produce....." - the "cracking sounds" seem to be ejectives. Given the fact that Áifiúraí is clearly not Indo-European- some have tentatively assigned it as a part-Semitic Creole, others as a "Afro-Asiatic language that, while not Semitic, is closely allied to Semitic...." (Hetzron, 1989)- it is clearly the last remnant of the Pre-Celtic languages of Ireland.. Irish legends, given the similarities between the names "Áifiúraí" and "Ophir", and the fact that there are gold mines in Ireland, have claimed Ireland to be the Biblical Ophir, where Solomon obtained his gold (I Kings 10:11), and that the Áifiúraí were the descendants of Ophir son of Joktan (mentioned in Genesis 10:29).
However, a manuscript written by monks at the Clonca Monastery in 12th Century (who's relationship with the Áifiúraí had obviously improved since the days of "Brother Thomas") has been discovered at the library of the Lough Derg Friary Station Island, which is a glossary between Áifiúraí and Latin, written for monks and priests who were to interact with the
Áifiúraí, and has a "Paedogogis Pronuntiationis"- A "Teaching of Pronunciation" at the beginning. Irish linguists have studied the manuscript, and have written an article that is being peer-reviewed for Glossa.
To be continued.......
Last edited by Shemtov on Sun 26 Nov 2017, 17:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Void » Sun 26 Nov 2017, 09:02

Irish aesthetic without the Europeanness of it? Yes please. Definitely looking forward to more.
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Davush » Sun 26 Nov 2017, 16:44

I love Donegal, and I love Semitic languages and mysterious 'myths'...so combining all three can only be good! It actually reminds me of when I went to Donegal a few months ago and a local man started telling me about the 'Desert Monks' from Egypt and its links to Celtic monasticism (I don't know how much truth there is in it, but it was fun to listen to), so I am definitely looking forward to more of this. [:D]
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Shemtov » Sun 26 Nov 2017, 18:02

Davush wrote:
Sun 26 Nov 2017, 16:44
I love Donegal, and I love Semitic languages and mysterious 'myths'...so combining all three can only be good! It actually reminds me of when I went to Donegal a few months ago and a local man started telling me about the 'Desert Monks' from Egypt and its links to Celtic monasticism (I don't know how much truth there is in it, but it was fun to listen to), so I am definitely looking forward to more of this. [:D]
I'm posting this in bold to indicate that this is meta. I've never been to Ireland, but I chose Donegal because I knew I wanted it to be in the north of the Island, but in the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland, and Donegal made sense. I've also changed the OP to answer the question "If we have a Translation of the Gospel of John, why is it not an Áifiúraí Rosetta Stone?"
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by spanick » Mon 27 Nov 2017, 00:19

This is very well done and intriguing! I’ll be following this thread.
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Shemtov » Tue 28 Nov 2017, 03:10

The article in Glossa has been published. This is a summary.
The authors identify Áifiúraí as "....a mixed language, consisting of Semitic (piticuraly the Canaanite branch), Berber and a previously unknown branch of the proposed Dené–Caucasian family." Commenting on this last point, the authors say that "Despite the fact that the Dené–Caucasian Theory has met with much critisism from Linguists, the existence of many Basque, Caucasian, Sino-Tibetan and Na-Dené cognates in Áifiúraí almost confirms it."
The Orthography is based on the Old Gaelic orthography, but as has been the tradition of many attempted decipherers in the past, it has been transliterated into Modern Irish Orthography. It follows the rule of "caol le caol agus leathan le leathan", the letter used to mark caol consonants before leathan vowels being <i> and in the reverse, <a>.
This is the Phonology and Orthography (Note that most consonants have a pair in the Orthography, because of "caol le caol agus leathan le leathan":
/p pʲ pʼ pʲʼ t tʼ t͡ʃ t͡ʃ ʼ c cʼ k kʼ/ <p p b b t d t d c g c g>
/m n ɲ/ <m n n>
/f fʲ v vʲ θ θʲ s ʃ ç x/ <f f bh bh th th s s ch ch>
/r rʲ/ <r r>
/l ʎ j/ <l l i>

/i u e o a/ <i u e o a>
/i: u: e: o: a:/ <í ú é ó á>

Lexicon, with sources, (?) indicates a possible source:
Pronouns:
1P sing: Né- PDC */ŋV/
2P sing: Cáibh- PDC */KwV/
3P sing Masc: Bhiá- PDC */w/
3P sing Fem: Tabhiá- PDC */w/ +Berber feminine prefix t-
1P plr: Nébhiúibh- PDC */ŋV/ + unknown plural marker (Semitic -im?)
2P plr: Cáibhiúibh- PDC */KwV/ + unknown plural marker (Semitic -im?)
3P plr: Bhiábhúibh- PDC */w/ + unknown plural marker (Semitic -im?)

Numbers 1-10
1 Én- Proto-Berber *yn
2. Sé- Chechen шиъ /ʃij/
3. Thubh- Proto-Sino-Tibetan *k-t'um (?)
4. Ák- Proto Berber *okkoz
5. Paích- Chechen пхиъ /pxij/
6. Choc- Proto-Sino-Tibetan *k-r'uk
7. Naís- Proto-Sino-Tibetan *s.Nis
8. Tiáib- Navajo tseebíí
9.Cabha- Proto-Sino-Tibetan *t-kua (?)
10- Dóibh- ?

Words of Semitic Origin:
Ábhad- Servant- Heb. /ʕɛvɛd/
Miáiliáich- King- Heb. /mɛlɛx/
Éialadán- G-d- Heb. /el adon/ "God Master"
Cátha- settlement- Aram. /karta/ (?)
Bál- pagan god- Heb. /Baʕal/
Bha- and- Heb. Aram. /wə/
Iábh- sea- Heb. /jam/ (?)
Sád- Witness- Aram. /sahad/ (?)
Sián- smoke- Heb. /ʕaʃan/
Chalám- dream- Heb. /ħalom/
Gibhiár- hero- Heb. /gibor/
Gadáis- Holy; Divine- Heb. /qadoʃ/
Mamár- word- Aram. /mɛmra/
Esiár- straight- Heb. /jaʃar/
Éas- tree- Heb. /ejsˤ/
Saidég- revered person- Heb. /sˤadijq/ "Rightious person/

Words of Berber origin:
Étiam- brother- /aitma/
Súg- color- /zuaq/
Did- eye- /tˤitˤ/
Thagór- rain /tagut/ (?)
Aná- peace- /hənna/
Lóiléath- wife- /lulijt/
Bhiúg- anal sex- /mjuqu/
Tadath- hut- /tad:art/

Words of DC Origin:
Tiag- to bite- Pre-Proto-Athabaskan *tsəg
Laéd- mud- Proto-Athabaskan *łe̓dž "dirt"
Niúbh- hand- Old Chinese /*hnjɯwʔ/
Cú- long- Old Chinese /*kaːw/ "Tall"
Sebhiá- son- Proto-Basque *sen-be
Ráin- fish- Proto-Basque *arrani
Áthan- wine- Pro-Basque *ardano

This is what I am allowed to post now, but more is coming, including words of unknown origin, Gaelic loans, and basic Morphosyntax.
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Pabappa » Tue 28 Nov 2017, 05:29

I love the language and the concept of a cornerstone language uniting all the languages around it in all directions.

My only doubt is that a word for wine would make it to northwestern Ireland far enough back in time to go through the sound changes implied here. Wine grapes can grow in cold climates today due partly to modern research, and the discovery of at least one native New World cultivar that is hardier than European ones, but historically were limited to warmer sunnier parts of Europe. Irish Gaelic fíon seems to be a loanword from Latin, not from PIE, and was likely associated with Christian scripture.

Trade, of course, would be a possible source for the drink and thus the word to reach the people, but I've been told that even shipping wine was difficult until a few centuries ago because people hadn't figured out various little things that we know today about how to stop oxygen from spoiling the taste of the wine, and other things I can't quite remember.
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Shemtov » Tue 28 Nov 2017, 06:25

Pabappa wrote:
Tue 28 Nov 2017, 05:29
I love the language and the concept of a cornerstone language uniting all the languages around it in all directions.

My only doubt is that a word for wine would make it to northwestern Ireland far enough back in time to go through the sound changes implied here. Wine grapes can grow in cold climates today due partly to modern research, and the discovery of at least one native New World cultivar that is hardier than European ones, but historically were limited to warmer sunnier parts of Europe. Irish Gaelic fíon seems to be a loanword from Latin, not from PIE, and was likely associated with Christian scripture.

Trade, of course, would be a possible source for the drink and thus the word to reach the people, but I've been told that even shipping wine was difficult until a few centuries ago because people hadn't figured out various little things that we know today about how to stop oxygen from spoiling the taste of the wine, and other things I can't quite remember.
They note this, and note that a monk had scribbled by the entry for <Vinum>, something that they translate as
it is not common for them to drink wine, but [something] like beer.
But it will be used to teach their pagans about the Holy Eucharist
The same Monk scribbled by the entry for <Bhiúg> "Anal Sex" something that they translate as:
it will be used to teach their pagans about the sin of sodomy
So, it seems that <Áthan> really meant "some kind of alcoholic beverage drunk Áifiúraí, probably made from cereal grain" that the Monks chose to Translate as <Vinum> to introduce the fact that in Judea, wine was drunk like the Áifiúraí drank Áthan, to explain why it was so available to Jesus. This explanation seems to have been felt to be needed because some Monks kept a small bit of the racist attitude of "Brother Thomas", thinking of them as idiots or small children, even though relations with the Áifiúraí improved significantly. The authors feel that the PDC word meant "Alcoholic Beverage" and the meaning was narrowed in both Basque and Áifiúraí to their respective meanings. They thus reconstruct a PDC word */artan(V)/
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Shemtov » Wed 29 Nov 2017, 06:19

I should note that even though "Brother Thomas" said in 10th century that the Áifiúraí "have claimed to embrace Christ", the Clonca manuscript makes it clear that some Áifiúraí kept their pagan religion, and fled into the caves in Malin Head.
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Shemtov » Mon 04 Dec 2017, 09:05

The Authors have given me permission to publish more words of DC origin. These include words that come from PDC as reconstructed by proponents of the Theory.

Dúich "Foot"-PDC *tʼwiːɦVː
Bálo "Horn" - PDC *bʕáːɫho "Forehead; Edge" see Proto-Lezghian */pːaˁlː/ ‘horn’
Sobh "Fire" Basque <Su>
Árabh "Grass" Chechen /oramat/ "herb"
Taí "Water" Proto-Sino-Tibetan *təy 
Cháiria"Earth"- Basque <Harea> "Sand"
Cháith- "to create" Basque <Hazi> "to grow"

Words of Gaelic Origin:
Cára "Sheep" - Caora
Ech "horse"- Each
Dúin "Non-Áifiúraí- Duine "Person"
Ubhal "Apple" -Ubhal
Cocat "War"- Cogadh
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Re: Who were the Áifiúraí/Ábhad Ibhereiu of County Donegal?

Post by Shemtov » Tue 05 Dec 2017, 04:21

Words of unknown origin:
Táibh- beginning (did the Berbers who arrived in Ireland have Egyptian contacts, thus linking this to ancient Egyptin TP "First"?)
Bhalaír- Sky
Daláith- death
Sióc- Mythical beast resembling a large snake; used to translate <Serpens> in Bíalái Geniasaíasaí.
Bíalái- song
Fál- the Sun
Lóifiú- Elder
Sialóbh- influential man


Morphology:
Noun cases:
Ergative: -ú/ubh/iúbh
Absolutive-∅
Genitive-i
Dative- e/che
Instrumental- s/as/iás
Locative- r/ar/iár

Verbal Morphology seems to be similar to Berber

Word order:
VSO

Example (From the first sentence of Bíalái Geniasaíasaí):
Iacháith táibhiár Éialadánu bhaláir bha cháiria
Ia-cháith táibh-iár Éialadán-u bhaláir-∅ bha cháiria-∅
PST.3P-create beginning-LOC g-d-ERG sky-ABS and earth-ABS
"In The Beginning, G-d created the heaven and earth"

They are working on another paper dedicated to Morphosyntax.
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien
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