Anonn, Anall, and Sall

[deactivated user]

    Okay, so if I'm understanding this correctly:

    Anonn: to the other side; thither

    Anall: from the far side; hither

    anonn agus anall = to and fro; towards the speaker, and from the speaker.

    But then there's sall: to the far side; over

    Is there's a distinct difference between the use of anonn and sall, or can they be used interchangeably?

    If there is a difference between these two words and how they're used, then is there also another word, in relation to sall, which is its opposite - something like "from the far(thest) side"?

    Maybe it's in the lesson but I haven't come across it yet...

    3 years ago


    Historically there was a difference.

    -onn, referred to a location near you

    -all, a distant location.

    So: Anonn = from a location near you

    Sall = to a distant location

    So "Sall" was used for "going there", where as "Anonn" was used for "leaving here".

    There was also Sonn, to go to nearby location. From Classical Irish (1600s):

    Chuaigh an dream sonn chugham = The crowd went toward me.

    Sonn also had the secondary meaning of being stationary at a nearby location:

    Bhíos im' sheasamh sonn = I stood still nearby.

    "Sonn" has since died out. Which left "Anonn" a linguistic isolate that merged in meaning with "Sall".

    Certain dialects use either one or the other today. For instance in Munster Irish, Sall is rarely said.

    3 years ago

    [deactivated user]

      Very interesting historical information; thank you!

      3 years ago
      • 25
      • 1654

      To my knowledge, anonn and sall are interchangeable, but a given dialect might use one more frequently than the other.

      3 years ago

      [deactivated user]

        That makes sense. Thank you.

        (thinking aloud here...) I wonder, too, if the choice of which to use is at all relative to distance: perhaps sall for longer distances, andanonn for shorter distances; i.e. to the far side of the country, versus to the far side of the field, respectively.

        3 years ago
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