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CIIC 187. Kilmalkedar (CILL MAOILCHÉADAR), Co. Kerry

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Transcription

Remains of earlier inscription: ANṂ
Later inscription: ẠṆM MẠỊLE-INBIR/ MACI BROCANN

Translation

'name/insciption of Máel-Inbher son of Broccán'

Commentary

This inscription 'undoubtedly commemorates a cleric... Máel has definite Christian connotations and means servent or client' (Moore 2010, 15).

The E is represented by the first supplementary character (or forfid) with its /e/, rather than its consonantal value /k/ or /x/, usually transliterated K. With this vocalic usage, 'late linguistic features tend to be more frequent'. There is also 'a correlation with this usage and that of the ANM formula, which is also symptomatic of late date' (McManus 1991, 79; Swift 1997, 83-90).

Further late features (late sixth or early seventh century) of this ogham inscription are MACI, with an artifical -I reflecting 'the tenacity of the orthographical convention of writing final I in this formula word', and syncopated IN*BIR (McManus 1991, 80, 81, 90, 96). If we were to take the survivng letters of the earlier inscription as M and Q, rather than N and M, then we would have examples of an earlier MAQI and later spelling MACI on a single ogham stone. However, since ogham is generally read up rather than down, the likelihood is that the surviving letters represent the word ANM.

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