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2 ní

Cite this: eDIL s.v. 2 ní or
Last Revised: 2013


Forms: ní, neich, neith, ní, neche, neiche, neithe, neithinna, nídh, ní, neith, neithe, aen-, én-, ní

subst. n. and m. a thing . The transition from indef. pron. to subst. is gradual and begins already in O.Ir., cf. mór ní (in Glosses) a great thing, gen. used adverbially = greatly: mór ní bes n-adblamu foir ar soírad, Wb. 2d14 (greatly will our salvation be readier on him = how much readier will he be to save us). mór ní as dénti ní airriu how much the more is something to be done for them, 15a23 . cia fíu .i. mór ní (gl. quam folld. by an adj.), Ml. 17b13 , cf. 138c14 , 140b9 , 146d1 , Wb. 25a25 . gl. quanto, Ml. 80a5 ; quanta, 82c4 , cf. Wb. 16b12 . Preceded by indef. pron. adj.: na ní ararogart som anything which he has forbidden, Wb. 5c23 . na nní robu thol dó do frithoircnib whatever injuries he wished (to do), Ml. 33a18 . condomroib . . . na ní ara ṁbáigiu whatever I contend for, Fél. Ep. 360. Cf. also the compd. nephní nothing (see neimní). The transition was further aided by confusion with the O.Ir. demonstr. pron. 2 í, in neut. with art. a n-í (siu, sin) this, that , which was later analysed as a-ní; aní is common in Mid.Ir. both as demonstr. and introducing rel. clause, being used indifferently with the forms anní, in ní. Or rather abstracted from na-nní, na ní: see 1 nach (N 5.37), Celtica xxi 175-77 .

As subst. in d s. after a prep. the form ní supersedes O.Ir. neuch (neoch), which is reserved for use as an indef. pron. (see nech III above). g s. neich, later neith (already in PH). Dual and pl. forms occur: n du. dá ní , LL 110a30 . PH 8392. g du. dá neche , CCath. 1008. n a p. neiche, later neithe (already in PH). neithinna, BCC 150.25 . Mod.Ir. nídh ( ní ), g s. neith and neithe.

A thing (matter, item, fact, circumstance) in wide sense, less definite and concrete than rét; employed in many cases in the same way as 1 ní but with more definite signification. Rarely accompanied by an adj. of quality: ni gua ēm a crand . . . atchuaid in fer-sa a false thing is the tree of which this man has told, Ériu ii 120 § 59 (Tenga Bithnúa). a ḟlaith Cermna can ni clé `without partiality', CRR 54. mór-ní do cenelchi a great part of the kindred, CCath. 804. Cf. acht Issu de doinib | as amram ni genair the most wonderful thing (being) born of men, Fél.² Sept. 24 ( Rawl. 505 ), perh. an inversion for: ní as amram génair.

Preceded by art. or pron. adj.: ni hingnath anni sin, Hib. Min. 5.154 (perh. = a n-í). ba saeth leissi in ní sin, IT i 124.24 . adfes do M. ind ní this (fact) was told to M., Mon. Tall. 34. ro fitir cech ní for bith, aingil oc indisi cech neich do, PH 1976. cethri rigshuide déc . . . co mbet fo thorud cech ni dib each one of them, 1255 . forémdid nach ní dó he was not able to do anything to him, 4891 . d'fhoillsiughadh an neith seo to demonstrate this fact, Keat. i 224.56 (an neithe-si v.l.). In late lang. the sense anything is rendered by the compd. aen- (én-) ní : adubairt . . . nach d'iarraidh ēn-neth ele tanic, ZCP vi 63.30 . d'iarraidh aoin-neithe ar Ghuaire, Keat. iii 981.

Folld. by rel. clause: fil ann in ní ṡāsas cech slog, LB 109b2 ( MacCarthy 43.3 ) = fail ann ni, SR 485. o'tconnairc . . . an ní forcoemnaca[i]r ann, PH 1201. olc in ní dorónsabar, 2933 . ind ni dognim-se, noco tuig-se cose, 5251 . in ní buan uasal do reicc tar cend in neith nach anand, 7585 . ro fallsighed dō cach ní no biad iarsin, RC xxiv 192.2 . as lat gach ní chuinghe, ZCP viii 109 § 1. dia tabairt fén ┐ cech aein nō cech neich bud leo (= sua omnia seque dantes), Lat. Lives 89.11 . Used like Lat. quicquid: cenmotha in ní ro marbad díb besides those who were killed, PH 6327. hi cinaid ineich ro millead uime those who were destroyed, Ériu viii 175 y = indeich, ib. 17 . dechmad an neich dorigne sim a tenth of what he did, BColm. 104.14 .

Used to anticipate the obj. of a vb. (generally one of seeing or hearing): co cualatar aní na ndochum. boscairi na n-ech they heard something approaching (namely) . . ., LU 10194. confacatar inní in macan beg, ZCP v 502.29 . conaccai ani dothaett an Satan isa teach, Ériu v 120.25 . In older Ir. ní alone is thus used, see IT i 137.28 , 145.14 . TBC-LL¹ 2448.

In appos. to a sent. or statement: fodaim guin, ni mou gabail, lasinni is aes ingine macdacht insin along with that (= besides, moreover) he is of marriageable age (i.e. still young), TBC-I¹ 362 = lasanní, LU 4850. condorchair Dond bó dinni ro marbad Fergal `since F. had been killed', RC xxiv 52 § 11. on ní no chathaíged frim co menic ros-fóglaim ocumm mu [sic leg.] gnímu-se from fighting frequently against me, he has learnt, PH 1790.

In sense matter, concern, interest, etc.: ni har ni sōn, ol F. that makes no difference to us (?), TBC-I¹ 363. `Cidh as ní dō so?' ol siat. `Bās a dhlighedh' ol M. `what is the thing for him?' (= what is to be his fate?), Marco P. 65. ni roibhe ní áirithe ag O nDomnaill orra O'D. had no special claim on them, L. Chl. S. § 43. In sense of substance, possessions: do dligh duine ní da ní | don tí dobhir uile é a man should give some of his goods, Dán Dé xxix 29 . táinig béin neith dod námhuid (= thy enemy has suffered loss of his possessions), vii 14 . pl. fil nechtar dá neche forsna coraigthib-sea atcim-sea these dispositions (of the stars) imply one or other of two things, CCath. 1008. tri neichi treabara `three secure things', Laws iv 212.13 . o'tchualae P. na nechi-sin, PH 2905. aderait na heolaig na nethe-si, 7794 . ní fedamar-ne 'n ar nethe fír é sin whether they were real things, Maund. 257. tuigsi na neichí spiradallta, BB 16b23 . cūis tindscanta na raed n-anaithnich ┐ cūis aithnigthi na n[e]ichead n-egsamail, ZCP xii 294.18 . ag so laoidh . . . do shuidhiughadh ar na neithibh ceudna to confirm the things just stated, Keat. i 208.8 .

In med. texts the pl. is freq. used with adj. to denote medicines or remedies (in imitation of Lat. neut. pl.): neithe comsuidigthi = composita, n.¤ degbalaid = aromatica, etc. le neithib glanus an cenn, Rosa Angl. 262.10 (see index).