Caratācos < Caratacus?

Margrave

Senior Member
Portuguese
Hi! :)

Seems like Caratācos is the original Brittonic spelling of the military chief the Romans named Caratacus (Caractacus). However, there is no information from where came this etymological proposition. I could not find if the Brittonic name Caratācos was attested in a contemporary inscription (100DC). Is this is Brittonic Caratācos spelling just a wild guess from someone in the last 200 years that took the Latinized Caratacus and "celiticized" it back to Caratācos? Any information, sources, are welcome :)

Rgs
 
  • ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Latin orthography seldom marked vowel length, so it is more than probable that the underlying Celtic and Latin pronunciation was -āk-. The Middle Welsh form Caratawc testifies it, cp. Matasović R · 2009 · “Etymological dictionary of Proto-Celtic”:
    • *esākos (p. 119) > ehawc
    • *kalyākos (p. 185–186) > keilyawc
    • *markākos (p. 256–257) > marchawc
    • *salākos (p. 319) > Old Welsh halauc
    • *towissākos (p. 386) > tywyssawc.
    I don't know if *-akos with a short a ever existed in Celtic (there was -akkos, however, but it produces the Middle Welsh -ach).

    This suffix is well-known and in particular is the source of countless French toponyms in -ac and -y. The u or o in the ending reflect respectively the Latin and the Celtic pronunciation of that time.

    P. S. The nonlenited t in the Middle Welsh Caratawc suggests that the original form had tt or some cluster that gave *tt by assimilation (indeed *Caractācos?).
     
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    Margrave

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    Thank you very much for the time and detailed reply. A PC word (not attested) ker(e)dikos (kerd + ikos) would make sense? I could not find information about the suffix -akkos and its function. Is it the same as -akos?
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    This etymology is certainly not suitable. The only remotely comparable forms I was able to find is the town Caracca of the Celtic Carpetani and Caracoticum. Their etymology is of course unknown.

    Celtic has the root *kar-, e. g. in kareti and karants, but I doubt it is found in this name.

    For *-ākos there's a Wiktionary page: -ākos.

    The very rare variant *-akkos>-ach is found in e. g. gwyach (vs. *-ākos in this word in Goidelic).
     
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    Margrave

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    Hi! :) Hope you are in good health. This helps me much because it is the attestation of MW ceredig>caradog (modern Welsh).
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    As to proper etymology, I guess it couldn't help in principle: if linguists have not suggested anything convincing to date, this name is most probably not etymologizable at the current level of knowledge (and may easily remain so forever).
     

    Margrave

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    Well, it is indeed a difficult name, Caradog, and it is still not attested by linguists. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    @Welsh_Sion, yes exactly. I think I've found the etymology, I will post here next week, need first to finish the paper about it.
     

    Margrave

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    Are you behind this, Margrave? I don't know how accurate it is, of course - no falo portuges!

    Carataco – Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre
    No, I never read that, but it is interesting. We have there Caradog ap Bran the legendary Welsh, however, Caradog's father was Cynfelyn.
    Edit: one part is not accurate, it says the Welsh king Caradog's legend stemmed probably from Caratacus. I believe not. Caradog's father was Scottish.
     
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