Print

Print


On Tue, 9 Mar 1999, Sally Caves wrote:

> And does Celtic really have an -ing that corresponds
> to OE -and? Yr wyf i yn tynnu y trol, "I pull/am pulling the cart."
> W. uses the verb noun in such constructions, not a present
> participle.  "I am in pulling (gerund)."  Are you (or Tolkien)
> in suggesting that the E. use of  "am pulling" is in deriving  from
> the Welsh?

What about constructions such as "I've gone a'fishin'" (now non-
standard and generally stigmatised as 'quaint'), where the "a-"
prefix is a reduced form of "on".  You know more about Old English
than I do, but wasn't the original construction something like
"he is on sleopan" = "he is on sleep-INF", or something of the
kind?

Matt.