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F, the third consonant of the Ogham alphabet, called in
Irish after the alder-tree , fern ( Auraic. 1168 , 4264 , IGT,
Introd. § 4 ), represents a bilabial voiceless spirant. O. Ir.
initial f in most cases comes from IE , e.g. fer, corresponding
5to Lat. vir, W. gwr; fír: Lat. uērus, W. gwir. Both
initially and in the interior of words it may also denote
lenited s < sṷ, e.g. (mo) fiur (siur < *sṷesōr, W. chwaer);
(mór) fesser (sesser; cf. W. chwech); airfitiud, < *air-
sétiud (√ sṷeizd); toffunn, vn. of do-seinn. In the later
10language this f lenites to -h-. Occasionally f seems written
for -βf, e.g. atrefea, fut. of ad-treba, Wb 30b18 , Ml 36a19 ,
107a15 . In loan words f may replace Lat. u, e.g. fín
< uinum, fís < visio; Lat. ph, e.g. felsub. fellsam < philosoph-;
Lat. f, e.g. figor < figura. In fromad beside promad (Lat.
15 prob-) there is an alternation of f/p also found in a few
other words, native as well as borrowed, e.g. fairche /pairche
(< parūchia), fairisínech, pairisínech, frém /prém (O. Ir. frén).
In late Romance loanwords f may replace p. eg. fal-
afraigh < palefrei. In Mid. Ir. rotfia = rotbia (e.g. LL 306b13 ,
20 ratfia, Lism.L. 350 , 464 , etc.) f may represent the sound of β
unvoiced by preceding, t, but cf. ronfia, Lism. L 775 .
Inorganic f is frequently inserted (a) in O. Ir. deutero-
tonic forms of compound verbs before the initial vowel
of a stressed syllable, e.g. do-fuarat `remains over' (*di-
25uss-reth), do-fuissim `generates' (*to-uss-sem). (b) In
Mid. Ir. it also appears in forms such as do-fongad (see
tongid), do-fuit = do-tuit, do-fargaid (targaid `offered')
do-fucc = doficc, and cf. dafiṅggebad `who would ward him
off
' SR 5796 , 5820 . And occasionally in a hiatus form of
30a simple verb: bífad, sec. fut. of benaid SR 5812 . bífed
LL 60.28 . Cf. Fer fī = Fer hí, s.v. 3 eó. (c) In a number of
words which in O. Ir. began with a vowel f is prefixed in
the later language. In the classical period both forms are
in use in the literature, but it is in most cases the f- form
35that has survived in Mod. Ir.: fadaig- kindle (O. Ir. ad-
doí); faicsin seeing (O. Ir. aicsiu); faidlenn rack (earlier
aidlenn); faire watch, heed (O. Ir. aire); faisnéis relating (O.
Ir. aisndís); fanaid waits (O. Ir. anaid); farrad in phr. i
bhf. ¤ (O. Ir. arrad); fás growing (O. Ir. ás); faslach (aslach);
40 fastad, -ód, -úd (O. Ir. astud); fathach giant (athach, O. Ir.
aithech peasant); fatód kindling (O. Ir. atúd); féta- is
able
(O. Ir. -éta possesses); fiafraig- inquire (O. Ir. -iarfaig);
focus near, neighbourhood (O. Ir. ocus); fúacht cold (O. Ir.
úacht); fúaigid (cf. úaigid); fúar cold (O. Ir. úar); fúath
45 horror (O. Ir. úath); fuinnsenn gs., ashtree, (see uinnius);
fuiseóc lark (see uiseóc); furnaide waiting (O. Ir. irnaide,
ernaide; see airnaide).
In the case of certain words, mostly verbal forms, beginn-
ing with f followed by a vowel, a form without the initial f
50is also recognized in the Early Modern period; thus we
get, e.g. fácbáil, ácbáil; faghbháil, aghbháil; fúair, úair;
furáilemh, uráilemh; falafraigh, alafruigh; feiretrom (Lat.
feretrum), eiletrum; fomhóir, omhóir, etc.
The lenition, that is, the expunction of f (see Ériu ii 41 )
55is sporadically expressed by ḟ from a comparatively early
period; there are instances in Sg., but the practice did not
become regular before the Early Modern period. During
this period fh is also used occasionally (ḟh Matt. vi 38 ).
It is regular in Stapleton (see below). In mórḟeser, Arm.
60 18b2 , where represents lenited s < *su (see above) the reason
of the dot is not apparent. Cf. a ḟiúr LU 10607 .
The `eclipsis' or voicing of f is not marked in the Glosses
or in the earlier Mid. Ir. MSS. In later Mid. Ir. it is ex-
pressed usually by ff; in some MSS often by ḟ, e.g. i ḟasach
65 LB 276b18 ; dia ḟaicet, 245b52 . In the Late Middle and
Early Modern period we find ff, ḟf, bf, bḟ, bhf. Some scribes
use all these indiscriminately in the same text. In
Stapleton's Catechismus (1639) both lenition and eclipsis
are denoted by fh.

70 1 fa, (ba, fo) (often with mark of length; leniting).
Apparently part of the copula, see Thurn. Hbch. 459 and
Ped. i 270 . Or introducing second member of a disjunctive
clause beginning with the interrogative i n-: (a) imba bás
ba bethu `whether it will be life or death' Wb 23b32 . imb i
75céin fa i n-accus beosa (sive cum venero ... sive absens)
23b41 . nebmess for nech im maid fa olcc 8d26 . im
fochroíb bá chían `whether at hand or afar' Sg 151b2 . im
tri dígbail fa thormach in dírṡuidigud 188a8 . in duit
fein fa do nach ailiu 209b30 . dēca ... in ba teclaim na
80fertus dogēna fa n-iomscothad whether thou wilt gather
the poles or trim them
TBC² 782 (fa na n-i. LU 5259 , see
under b below). cia de is[s]ruithiu, in ríg fa espuc, Laws
iv 338.25 . ni ḟitir nech ... in cara fa náma ba nessam
dó TBC 630 . na fintar imbi fir fo anfir, Laws iv 284.12 . ro
85íarfaigh A. ... in tibértáis rátha friu fó ná tibhértáis TTr.²
1814 . in córu in sinser ... do dul d'adrad in tṡósair, |
fó in sósar ... is chóir d'adrad in tsinsir? SR 1835 .
niconfetar in rabi aen and, fó na rabi, Aisl. MC 15.6 . ní
fes tra an do nimh fá a talmain tainic an splangc FM
vi 2012.7 . (b) followed by i n-: in tre prois fa in tre metur
5ro ceta in t[s]ailim, Hib. Min. 6.176 (fanin, Harl.). cid ara
ndéni G. in féli ... inn ar Dia fá inn ar daini LU 9653 .
cumma la luit in for tein focerdtar fan for colcaid ZCP viii
104.1 . imba hāilgine ... ba m[b]a garge, Arch. iii 293 .
nocon fetarsa indat ilgnae ... fo indat tri fuilt BDD 105
10(Y = nó indat LU). cia so ṡén ... búi for in ló ... in ba maith
fá in ba saich TBC 1073 . Without preceding in: cid tathi
dia for coimdeid ... Fón missi robriss recht? SR 5533 .
Cf. fá in arse (gl. an propterea) Enchir. Aug. 86b ( ZCP vii
485 ). (c) Replacing i n- in first member of disjunctive
15clause: ní fes cecip tucht i tudchaidh fa fo síth nó fo eisíth
FM iii 286.3 . ? ba i nómun ba i nincridiu, Ériu i 195 § 10 .
Cf. perhaps: bé fo ná bé ri and be there or be there not BDD
73 (Y).
fa nacc (gl. necne) Sg 66a3 . in ... fa na(i)cc whether ... or
20not: imb anacol dom fa nac whether it be protection to
me or no
Wb 23a6 . rofitirside imbo ho chridiu fa nacc
27c11 . in tree aem didiu fa nacc 2c4 . in ruetarscar fa
naic Ml 91c1 . in comscar ... fanaic 91c9 . (nihil horum
sciens .i.) indam soirthae ... fa naic 91d4 . in chu[m]tubart
25ón in ícfider fa nacc 96b11 . ba cumdubart in étaste fa naic
43d20 . lasin rubu chumtabart inda biad torbae fa naic
do mol[ad] Dáe 102d4 . robu anfiss dosom inrolég fanacc
Sg 148a6 .