See also: SNA, snä, snã, sną, and -sna




  1. (international standards) ISO 639-2 & ISO 639-3 language code for Shona.



Etymology 1Edit

From Old Irish isnaib (in the m or f or n pl dative), isna (into the m or f or n pl accusative).

Alternative formsEdit


sna (triggers h-prothesis)

  1. Contraction of i + na.
    Tá sí ina cónaí sna hIndiacha Thiar.
    She lives in the West Indies
Usage notesEdit

This contraction is obligatory, i.e. *i na never appears uncontracted. Triggers h-prothesis of a following vowel.

Often understood to be a contraction of ins na, but the form sna was in common use by the 12th century and accepted in Classical Gaelic poetry while ins is a later innovation with the -n- reintroduced by analogy.

Related termsEdit


  • Lambert McKenna (1944) Bardic Syntactical Tracts, Dublin Institute for Advanced, page 113: “Before pl. art. i n- gives is na, ’sna; in such cases a h- gives as na. (…) Before sg. art. i n- is isin, san (often sa before consonants).”
  • G. Toner, M. Ní Mhaonaigh, S. Arbuthnot, D. Wodtko, M.-L. Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “i”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language

Etymology 2Edit

Extracted from a reinterpretation of forms like ins na, as na, gus na, leis na as in/a/gu/le sna.


sna (triggers h-prothesis)

  1. (Munster) Alternative form of na (the pl)
Usage notesEdit

This form is found after the prepositions aige, de, do, and ó, especially in older texts. In modern texts, aiges na has the s on the preposition, while desna, dosna, and ósna are more commonly written as single words—to the extent they are found at all, since they occur only in Munster dialect and are not part of the standard written language.



sna m

  1. genitive singular of san