Bibliography

William
Sayers
s. xx / s. xxi

100 publications between 1981 and 2017 indexed
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Contributions to journals

Sayers, William, “Irish affinities of De tonitruis, a treatise of prognostication by thunder”, Eolas: The Journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies 10 (2017): 2–15.  
abstract:

Five newly edited manuscripts reveal that the treatise De tonitruis purports to be adapted from the Irish language. In this essay, possible Irish affinities are explored and are found to lie, in increasing order of importance, in the ornate prose style, the recondite and culturally highly significant vocabulary, and the eulogistic citations of unnamed natural philosophers as authorities for thunder prognostics. In all these respects, De tonitruis differs from conventional European brontologies. Although it is surely not translated from the Irish language, the mark of Irish learning is distinctive.

abstract:

Five newly edited manuscripts reveal that the treatise De tonitruis purports to be adapted from the Irish language. In this essay, possible Irish affinities are explored and are found to lie, in increasing order of importance, in the ornate prose style, the recondite and culturally highly significant vocabulary, and the eulogistic citations of unnamed natural philosophers as authorities for thunder prognostics. In all these respects, De tonitruis differs from conventional European brontologies. Although it is surely not translated from the Irish language, the mark of Irish learning is distinctive.

Sayers, William, “Birds and brains of forgetfulness: Old Norse óminnis hegri, Old Irish inchinn dermait”, Journal of Indo-European Studies 43:3-4 (2015): 393–422.
Sayers, William, “Mesocosms and the organization of interior space in early Ireland”, Traditio 70 (2015): 75–110.  
abstract:
In early medieval Ireland, the cosmos was conceived as tripartite, composed of the heavens, earth's surface, and underearth and undersea. Harmonious relations with cosmic forces were assured by just royal rule. Crossing this vertical coordinate, which also had implications for the human hierarchies of rank and function, were the manifold phenomena as known to human life. This external reality was mentally organized as a vast set of homologies, the recognition and maintenance of which contributed to the prosperity and fertility of the kingdom. The literate record displays multiple taxonomies and categories, often expressed in numerical values. Among these are the pentad and, in spatial terms, the quincunx. This fivefoldness and the order it represented were recognized and replicated on a variety of scales: the five provinces of Ireland, the family farm and its neighbors, the house and its outbuildings. Also implicated as mesocosms were the interior arrangements of royal banquet halls, hostels for kings on circuit and other travelers, and law courts. The quincuncial organization of interior space reflects and promotes macrocosmic order but in the great corpus of literate works is the setting for disruptive human dynamics — the stuff of story — often associated with themes of the heroic life and royal rule. This conception of interior space was elaborated in the pagan period and, in formal terms, was readily accommodated in subsequent Christian centuries, with new hierarchies and the perdurable conception of the kingship as stabilizing factors.
abstract:
In early medieval Ireland, the cosmos was conceived as tripartite, composed of the heavens, earth's surface, and underearth and undersea. Harmonious relations with cosmic forces were assured by just royal rule. Crossing this vertical coordinate, which also had implications for the human hierarchies of rank and function, were the manifold phenomena as known to human life. This external reality was mentally organized as a vast set of homologies, the recognition and maintenance of which contributed to the prosperity and fertility of the kingdom. The literate record displays multiple taxonomies and categories, often expressed in numerical values. Among these are the pentad and, in spatial terms, the quincunx. This fivefoldness and the order it represented were recognized and replicated on a variety of scales: the five provinces of Ireland, the family farm and its neighbors, the house and its outbuildings. Also implicated as mesocosms were the interior arrangements of royal banquet halls, hostels for kings on circuit and other travelers, and law courts. The quincuncial organization of interior space reflects and promotes macrocosmic order but in the great corpus of literate works is the setting for disruptive human dynamics — the stuff of story — often associated with themes of the heroic life and royal rule. This conception of interior space was elaborated in the pagan period and, in formal terms, was readily accommodated in subsequent Christian centuries, with new hierarchies and the perdurable conception of the kingship as stabilizing factors.
Sayers, William, “Fantastic technology in early Irish literature”, Études Celtiques 40 (2014): 85–100.  
abstract:
[FR] La technologie fabuleuse dans la littérature irlandaise ancienneLa description d’objets techniquement ingénieux ou complexes n’est pas un thème reconnu de la littérature irlandaise ancienne, mais l’on trouve des exemples de moyens de transport, de pièces d’armement et de procédés pour acquérir ou préparer des aliments qui montrent qu’une intrigue peut impliquer un élément de technologie fabuleuse – ce dernier pouvant apparaître comme un thème quasiment indépendant dans une histoire culturelle foisonnante. Les objets merveilleux ne sont pas surnaturels, ni même magiques ; pourtant, il s’agit d’objets fantastiques qui ont dû avoir plus d’existence dans la littérature qu’ils n’en ont jamais eu dans la réalité historique. La «réalisation» verbale de ces procédés suppose une domestication et une exploitation du langage, dont la complexité potentielle reflète bien celle de ces inventions.

[EN] The description of technically clever or complex objects was not a recognized subgenre in early Irish literature but examples of transport means, weaponry, and food procurement and preparation devices illustrate how a touch of fantastic technology could be implicated in the plot, even in dilemmas of heroic ethics, or be a nearly free-standing item in a rich cultural history. The wonderful artifacts are not supernatural, preternatural, or even magical. Yet these fantastic instruments may have more life in literature than they ever had in historical reality. Language is harnessed and exploited in the literate realization of these devices, the potential complexity of the one reflecting the comparable complexity of the invented others.
Journal volume:  Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 40, 2014: <link>
abstract:
[FR] La technologie fabuleuse dans la littérature irlandaise ancienneLa description d’objets techniquement ingénieux ou complexes n’est pas un thème reconnu de la littérature irlandaise ancienne, mais l’on trouve des exemples de moyens de transport, de pièces d’armement et de procédés pour acquérir ou préparer des aliments qui montrent qu’une intrigue peut impliquer un élément de technologie fabuleuse – ce dernier pouvant apparaître comme un thème quasiment indépendant dans une histoire culturelle foisonnante. Les objets merveilleux ne sont pas surnaturels, ni même magiques ; pourtant, il s’agit d’objets fantastiques qui ont dû avoir plus d’existence dans la littérature qu’ils n’en ont jamais eu dans la réalité historique. La «réalisation» verbale de ces procédés suppose une domestication et une exploitation du langage, dont la complexité potentielle reflète bien celle de ces inventions.

[EN] The description of technically clever or complex objects was not a recognized subgenre in early Irish literature but examples of transport means, weaponry, and food procurement and preparation devices illustrate how a touch of fantastic technology could be implicated in the plot, even in dilemmas of heroic ethics, or be a nearly free-standing item in a rich cultural history. The wonderful artifacts are not supernatural, preternatural, or even magical. Yet these fantastic instruments may have more life in literature than they ever had in historical reality. Language is harnessed and exploited in the literate realization of these devices, the potential complexity of the one reflecting the comparable complexity of the invented others.
Sayers, William, “The maritime and nautical vocabulary of Le voyage de saint Brendan”, Neophilologus 97 (2013): 9–19.
Sayers, William, “The cult of the sacred centre [Review article]”, Studia Hibernica 39 (2013): 155–170.
Sayers, William, “‘Finn and the man in the tree’ revisited”, e-Keltoi 8:2 (April, 2013): 37–55. URL: <http://www4.uwm.edu/celtic/ekeltoi>.
Sayers, William, “Survivals of Gaulish in French: buta ‘hut, dwelling place’”, French Studies Bulletin 34 (2013): 1–3.  
abstract:
This note examines previously unrecognised evidence for the preservation of Gaulish buta ‘hut, dwelling’ in Middle French, and in so doing illustrates the difficulties attendant on research into the Celtic substratum of Gallo-Romance vocabulary. These difficulties notwithstanding, new discoveries of Gaulish-derived lexis are still possible in legal and other utilitarian texts, and throw important light on cultural preservations of more than simple vocabulary.
(source: first paragraph of the article)
abstract:
This note examines previously unrecognised evidence for the preservation of Gaulish buta ‘hut, dwelling’ in Middle French, and in so doing illustrates the difficulties attendant on research into the Celtic substratum of Gallo-Romance vocabulary. These difficulties notwithstanding, new discoveries of Gaulish-derived lexis are still possible in legal and other utilitarian texts, and throw important light on cultural preservations of more than simple vocabulary.
(source: first paragraph of the article)
Sayers, William, “Extraordinary weapons, heroic ethics, and royal justice in early Irish literature”, Preternature 2:1 (2013): 1–18.  
abstract:
The synthesis of pagan and Christian cosmologies that informs medieval Irish letters incorporates prestigious and extraordinary weapons, and other such objects into an all-compassing Nature, in which they are preferentially associated with the themes of heroic ethics, legitimate and just royal rule, and the removal of errant rulers through a cosmic deployment of the “instruments of their fate.” Yet only rhetorical effects of literary depiction raise such weapons to a status approximating the preternatural.
abstract:
The synthesis of pagan and Christian cosmologies that informs medieval Irish letters incorporates prestigious and extraordinary weapons, and other such objects into an all-compassing Nature, in which they are preferentially associated with the themes of heroic ethics, legitimate and just royal rule, and the removal of errant rulers through a cosmic deployment of the “instruments of their fate.” Yet only rhetorical effects of literary depiction raise such weapons to a status approximating the preternatural.
Sayers, William, “Netherworld and Otherworld in early Irish literature”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 59 (2012): 201–230.
Sayers, William, “Pre-Christian cosmogonic lore in medieval Ireland: the exile into royal poetics”, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 14 (2012): 109–126.
Sayers, William, “Some disputed etymologies: kidney, piskie / pixie, tatting, and slang”, Notes and Queries 57 (2010): 172–179.
Sayers, William, “Cei, Unferth, and access to the throne”, English Studies 90 (2009): 127–141.
Sayers, William, “Þórgunna of Eyrbyggja saga and the rejection of Christian Celtic models of rule”, Scotia: Interdisciplinary Journal of Scottish Studies 33 (2009): 13–24.
Sayers, William, “Problems with the etymology of English bird”, Indo-European Studies Bulletin 14:1-2 (2009): 42–45.
Sayers, William, “A Swedish traveler’s reception on an Irish stage set: Snorri Sturluson’s Gylfaginning”, Keltische Forschungen 3 (2008): 201–220.
Sayers, William, “Contested etymologies of some English words in the popular register”, Studia Neophilologica 80 (2008): 15–29.  
Proposes that modern English boondocks (British and later, US slang) may ultimately derive from Irish buannacht ‘billeting’, buannaidheacht ‘experience of billeting’.
Proposes that modern English boondocks (British and later, US slang) may ultimately derive from Irish buannacht ‘billeting’, buannaidheacht ‘experience of billeting’.
Sayers, William, “Kay the seneschal, tester of men: the evolution from archaic function to medieval character”, Bulletin Bibliographique de la Société Internationale Arthurienne 59 (2007): 375–401.
Sayers, William, “Medieval Irish language and literature: an orientation for Arthurians”, Arthuriana 17 (2007): 70–80.
Sayers, William, “Celtic, Germanic and Romance interaction in the development of some English words in the popular register”, Notes and Queries 54 (2007): 132–140.
Sayers, William, “La Joie de la Cort (Érec et Énide), Mabon, and early Irish síd [peace; Otherworld]”, Arthuriana 17:2 (Summer, 2007): 10–27.
Sayers, William, “Teithi Hen, Gúaire mac Áedáin, Grettir Ásmundarson: the king’s debility, the shore, the blade”, Studia Celtica 41 (2007): 163–171.
Sayers, William, “Celtic echoes and the timing of Tristan’s first arrival in Cornwall (Gottfried von Strassburg)”, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 108 (2007): 743–750.
Sayers, William, “Grendel’s mother (Beowulf) and the Celtic sovereignty goddess”, Journal of Indo-European Studies 35 (2007): 31–52.
Sayers, William, “Portraits of the Ulster hero Conall Cernach: a case for Waardenburg’s syndrome?”, Emania 20 (2006): 75–80.
Sayers, William, “Exeter Book Riddle 17 and the L-rune: British *lester ‘vessel, oat-straw hive’?”, ANQ 19 (2006): 4–9.
Sayers, William, “The skald’s death abroad: Kormák and the Scottish blótrisi”, Arkiv för nordisk filologi 121 (2006): 161–172.
Sayers, William, “Róimid Rígóinmit, royal fool: onomastics and cultural valence”, Journal of Indo-European Studies 33 (2005): 41–51.
Sayers, William, “Scones, the OED, and the Celtic element of English vocabulary”, Notes and Queries 52 (2005): 447–450.
Sayers, William, “Sails in the North: further linguistic considerations”, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 33 (2004): 348–350.
Sayers, William, “Grendel’s mother, Icelandic Grýla, and Irish Nechta Scéne: eviscerating fear”, Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 16–17 (1996–1997, 2003): 256–268.
Sayers, William, “Old Norse nautical terminology in the ‘sea-runs’ of Middle Irish narrative”, Studia Celtologica Upsaliensia 4 (2001): 29–63.
Sayers, William, “Contracting for combat: flyting and fighting in Táin bó Cúailnge”, Emania: Bulletin of the Navan Research Group 16 (1997): 49–62.
Sayers, William, “Gunnarr, his Irish wolfhound Sámr, and the passing of the old heroic order in Njáls saga”, Arkiv för nordisk filologi 112 (1997): 43–66.
Sayers, William, “Hostellers in Landnámabók: a trial Irish institution?”, Skáldskaparmál 4 (1997): 162–178.
Sayers, William, “Kingship and the hero’s flaw: disfigurement as ideological vehicle in early Irish narrative”, Disability Studies Quarterly 17 (1997): 263–267.
Sayers, William, “The nickname of Björn buna and the Celtic interlude in the settlement of Iceland”, Ainm: Bulletin of the Ulster Place Name Society 7 (1996–1997): 51–66.
Sayers, William, “Homeric echoes in Táin bó Cúailnge?”, Emania: Bulletin of the Navan Research Group 14 (1996): 65–73.
Sayers, William, “The etymology and semantics of Old Norse knörr ‘cargo ship’: the Irish and English evidence”, Scandinavian Studies 68 (1996): 279–290.
Sayers, William, “Vífill — captive Gael, freeman settler, Icelandic forbear”, Ainm: Bulletin of the Ulster Place-Name Society 6 (1994–1995): 46–55.
Sayers, William, “Management of the Celtic fact in Landnámabók”, Scandinavian Studies 66 (1994): 1–25.
Sayers, William, “Supernatural pseudonyms”, Emania: Bulletin of the Navan Research Group 12 (1994): 49–60.
Sayers, William, “Conventional descriptions of the horse in the Ulster Cycle”, Études Celtiques 30 (1994): 233–249.  
abstract:
[FR] Descriptions conventionnelles du cheval dans le Cycle d'Ulster.
La description normative du cheval chez Isidore de Séville est proposée comme modèle de l'organisation et du contenu du portrait de l'attelage qui figure dans le topos étendu du guerrier qui s'avance dans le cycle épique des Ultoniens. L'origine des traits stylistiques de la suite d'adjectifs enchaînée, toutefois, est à chercher dans la tradition indigène et, vraisemblablement, orale. L'article se termine par un glossaire de 150 adjectifs recueillis dans 15 textes typiques.

[EN] Isidore of Seville’s normative description of the horse is posited as an antecedent for the organization and content of the portrayal of the team of horses that figures in the larger topos of the approaching warrior in the Ulster cycle of epic texts. Stylistic features of the enchained sequence of adjectives, however, have their origin in the native, most likely oral, tradition. The article concludes with a glossary of 150 adjectives from 15 typical texts.
Journal volume:  Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 30, 1994: <link>
abstract:
[FR] Descriptions conventionnelles du cheval dans le Cycle d'Ulster.
La description normative du cheval chez Isidore de Séville est proposée comme modèle de l'organisation et du contenu du portrait de l'attelage qui figure dans le topos étendu du guerrier qui s'avance dans le cycle épique des Ultoniens. L'origine des traits stylistiques de la suite d'adjectifs enchaînée, toutefois, est à chercher dans la tradition indigène et, vraisemblablement, orale. L'article se termine par un glossaire de 150 adjectifs recueillis dans 15 textes typiques.

[EN] Isidore of Seville’s normative description of the horse is posited as an antecedent for the organization and content of the portrayal of the team of horses that figures in the larger topos of the approaching warrior in the Ulster cycle of epic texts. Stylistic features of the enchained sequence of adjectives, however, have their origin in the native, most likely oral, tradition. The article concludes with a glossary of 150 adjectives from 15 typical texts.
Sayers, William, “Severed heads under Conall’s knee (Scéla mucce Meic Dathó)”, Mankind Quarterly 34 (1994): 369–378.
Sayers, William, “Deployment of an Irish loan: ON verða at gjalti ‘to go mad with terror’”, Journal of English and Germanic Philology 93 (1994): 151–176.
Sayers, William, “Diet and fantasy in eleventh-century Ireland: The vision of Mac Con Glinne”, Food and Foodways 6 (1994): 1–17.
Sayers, William, “Irish perspectives on Heimdallr”, Alvíssmál 2 (1993): 3–30.
Sayers, William, “Charting conceptual space: Dumézil’s tripartition and the fatal hostel in early Irish literature”, Mankind Quarterly 34 (1993): 27–64.
Sayers, William, “Spiritual navigation in the western sea: Sturlunga saga and Adomnán’s Hinba”, Scripta Islandica 44 (1993): 30–42.
Sayers, William, “Vinland, the Irish, ‘obvious fictions and apocrypha’”, Skandinavistik 23 (1993): 1–15.
Sayers, William, “Soundboxes of the divine: Hœnir, Sencha, Gwalchmai”, Mankind Quarterly 33 (1992): 57–67.
Sayers, William, “Games, sport and para-military exercise in early Ireland”, Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature 10 (1992): 105–123.
Sayers, William, “Norse weaves and Irish woolens in medieval Ireland: ME falding”, American Journal of Germanic Linguistics and Literatures 4 (1992): 43–54.  
The ME term falding, used of a heavy cloth type imported from Ireland, has been traced to MIr. fallaing. It is proposed that this, in turn, derives not from ON feldr ‘cloak’ but from faldr ‘fold’, reference being made to the voluminous folds of the garment or to the weaving technique of folding short lengths of yarn around the threads of the warp to give a shaggy exterior finish. Also reviewed are questions of early Irish dress, the medieval cloth trade, and Irish motifs in the Icelandic Laxdæla saga. (source: Cambridge Journals)
The ME term falding, used of a heavy cloth type imported from Ireland, has been traced to MIr. fallaing. It is proposed that this, in turn, derives not from ON feldr ‘cloak’ but from faldr ‘fold’, reference being made to the voluminous folds of the garment or to the weaving technique of folding short lengths of yarn around the threads of the warp to give a shaggy exterior finish. Also reviewed are questions of early Irish dress, the medieval cloth trade, and Irish motifs in the Icelandic Laxdæla saga. (source: Cambridge Journals)
Sayers, William, “Cláen Temair: sloping Tara”, Mankind Quarterly 32 (1992): 241–260.
Sayers, William, “Bragi Boddason, the first skald, and the problem of Celtic origins”, Scandinavian-Canadian Studies / Études scandinaves au Canada 5 (1992): 1–18.
Sayers, William, “Concepts of eloquence in Tochmarc Emire”, Studia Celtica 26–27 (1991–1992): 125–154.
Sayers, William, “The deficient ruler as Avian exile: Nebuchadnezzar and Suibhne Geilt”, Ériu 43 (1992): 217–222.
Sayers, William, “Cú Chulainn, the heroic imposition of meaning on signs, and the revenge of the sign”, Incognita: International Journal for Cognitive Studies in the Humanities 2 (1991): 79–105.
Sayers, William, “Early Irish attitudes towards hair and beards, baldness and tonsure”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 44 (1991): 154–189.
Sayers, William, “Airdrech, sirite and other early Irish battlefield spirits”, Éigse 25 (1991): 45–55.
Sayers, William, “Textual notes on descriptions of the Old Irish chariot and team”, Studia Celtica Japonica 4 (1991): 15–35.
Sayers, William, “Clontarf, and the Irish destinies of Sigurðr ... Earl of Orkney and Þorsteinn Síðu-Hallsson”, Scandinavian Studies 63 (1991): 164–186.
Sayers, William, “Serial defamation in two medieval tales: Icelandic Ölkofra þáttr and Irish Scéla mucce Meic Dathó”, Oral Tradition 6 (1991): 35–57.
Sayers, William, “Úath mac Imomain (Fled Bricrend), Óðinn, and why the Green Knight is green”, Mankind Quarterly 30 (1990): 307–316.
Sayers, William, “A cut above. Ration and station in an Irish king’s hall”, Food and Foodways 4:2 (1990): 89–110.
Sayers, William, “The motif of wrestling in early Irish and Mongolian epic”, Mongolian Studies 13 (1990): 153–168.
Sayers, William, “The three wounds: tripartition as narrrative tool in Ireland and Iceland”, Incognita: International Journal for Cognitive Studies in the Humanities 1 (1990): 50–90.
Sayers, William, “Sports injuries and the law in early Ireland”, Ludi Medi Ævi 2 (1990): 4–5.
Sayers, William, “An Irish descriptive topos in Laxdæla saga”, Scripta Islandica 41 (1990): 18–34.
Sayers, William, “Images of enchainment in the Hisperica famina and vernacular Irish texts”, Études Celtiques 27 (1990): 221–234.  
abstract:
[FR] William Sayers, Images d’enchaînement dans les Hisperica Famina et dans les textes irlandais vernaculaires
L’expression «ausonica catena» dans les Hisperica Famina ne signifie pas l’incapacité de parler ni latin ni irlandais, mais plutôt la soumission volontaire à la discipline de la rhétorique latine, telle qu’elle était conçue par les «faminateurs». L’image de la chaîne dans la littérature irlandaise ancienne symbolise pour la plupart un lien avec l’Au-delà, d’où le guerrier, le musicien, l’historiographe, l’orateur et le juge tirent la force, l’art et la vérité.

[EN] Images of Enchainment in the Hisperica Famina and Vernacular Irish Texts.
The expression “ausonica catena”, in the Hisperica Famina, does not refer to the unability to speak Latin or Irish, but rather to the voluntary submission to the discipline of Latin rhetoric, as the “faminatores” conceived it. In the ancient Irish literature, the chain image symbolizes a link with the Otherworld, from which warriors, musicians, historiographers, rhetors and judges draw power, art and truth.
Journal volume:  Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 27, 1990: <link>
abstract:
[FR] William Sayers, Images d’enchaînement dans les Hisperica Famina et dans les textes irlandais vernaculaires
L’expression «ausonica catena» dans les Hisperica Famina ne signifie pas l’incapacité de parler ni latin ni irlandais, mais plutôt la soumission volontaire à la discipline de la rhétorique latine, telle qu’elle était conçue par les «faminateurs». L’image de la chaîne dans la littérature irlandaise ancienne symbolise pour la plupart un lien avec l’Au-delà, d’où le guerrier, le musicien, l’historiographe, l’orateur et le juge tirent la force, l’art et la vérité.

[EN] Images of Enchainment in the Hisperica Famina and Vernacular Irish Texts.
The expression “ausonica catena”, in the Hisperica Famina, does not refer to the unability to speak Latin or Irish, but rather to the voluntary submission to the discipline of Latin rhetoric, as the “faminatores” conceived it. In the ancient Irish literature, the chain image symbolizes a link with the Otherworld, from which warriors, musicians, historiographers, rhetors and judges draw power, art and truth.
Sayers, William, “Women’s work and words: setting the stage for strife in medieval Irish and Icelandic narrative”, Mankind Quarterly 31 (1990): 59–86.
Sayers, William, “Portraits of the ruler: Óláfr pái Hõskuldsson and Cormac mac Airt”, Journal of Indo-European Studies 17 (1989): 77–97.
Sayers, William, “Warrior initiation and some short Celtic spears in the Irish and learned Latin traditions”, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History 11 (1989): 87–108.
Sayers, William, “An Irish perspective on Ibn Fadlan’s description of Rus funeral ceremonial”, Journal of Indo-European Studies 16 (1988): 173–181.
Sayers, William, “Ludarius: slang and symbol in the Life of St. Máedóc of Ferns”, Studia Monastica 30 (1988): 291–304.
Sayers, William, “Irish evidence for the De harmonia tonorum of Wulfstan of Winchester”, Mediaevalia 14 (1988): 23–38.
Sayers, William, “Kjartan’s choice: the Irish disconnection in the sagas of the Icelanders”, Scandinavian-Canadian Studies / Études scandinaves au Canada 3 (1988): 89–114.
Sayers, William, “Cerrce, an archaic epithet of the Dagda, Cernunnos and Conall Cernach”, Journal of Indo-European Studies 16 (1988): 341–364.
Sayers, William, “Bargaining for the life of Bres in Cath Maige Tuired”, Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 34 (1987): 26–40.
Sayers, William, “Mani maidi an nem ...: ringing changes on a cosmic motif”, Ériu 37 (1986): 99–117.
Sayers, William, “Fergus and the cosmogonic sword”, History of Religions 25 (1985): 30–56.
Sayers, William, “The mythology of Loch Neagh”, Mankind Quarterly 26 (1985): 111–135.
Sayers, William, “Gilbogus in Manx Latin: Celtic or Norse origin?”, Celtica 17 (1985): 29–32.
Sayers, William, “The smith and the hero. Culann and Cú Chulainn”, Mankind Quarterly 25:3 (1985): 227–260.
Sayers, William, “Konungs skuggsjá: Irish marvels and the king’s justice”, Scandinavian Studies 57 (1985): 147–161.
Sayers, William, “Old Irish fert ‘tie-pole’, fertas ‘swingletree’, and the seeress Fedelm”, Études Celtiques 21 (1984): 171–183.  
abstract:
Dans le char de guerre irlandais, fert/feirtsi ne désigne pas les «brancards», et fertas ne désigne pas le limon. Les feirtsi reliaient la caisse du char à l'essieu ; fertas désignait le palonnier. Examen de quelques autres parties du char.
Journal volume:  Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 21, 1984: <link>
abstract:
Dans le char de guerre irlandais, fert/feirtsi ne désigne pas les «brancards», et fertas ne désigne pas le limon. Les feirtsi reliaient la caisse du char à l'essieu ; fertas désignait le palonnier. Examen de quelques autres parties du char.
Sayers, William, “The Old Irish Bóand/Nechtan myth in the light of Scandinavian evidence”, Scandinavian-Canadian Studies / Études scandinaves au Canada 1 (1983): 63–78.
Sayers, William, “Martial feats in the Old Irish Ulster Cycle”, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies 9 (1983): 45–80.
Sayers, William, “Bisclavret in Marie de France: a reply”, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 4 (1982): 77–82.
Sayers, William, “Conall’s welcome to Cet in Scéla mucce Meic Dathó”, Florilegium 4 (1982): 100–108.
Sayers, William, “Three charioteering gifts in Mesca Ulad and Táin bó Cúailnge : immorchor ṅdelend, foscul díriuch, léim dar boilg”, Ériu 32 (1981): 163–167.

Contributions to edited collections or authored works

Sayers, William, “The laconic scar in early Irish literature”, in: Tracy, Larissa, and Kelly DeVries (eds), Wounds and wound repair in medieval culture, Explorations in Medieval Culture 1, Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2015. 473–495.
Sayers, William, “Extraordinary beings in Chrétien de Troyes and their Celtic analogs”, in: Huld, Martin E., Karlene Jones-Bley, and Dean Miller (eds.), Archaeology and language: Indo-European studies presented to James P. Mallory, Journal of Indo-European Studies, Monograph Series 60, Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man, 2012. 23–54.
Sayers, William, “Celtic kingship motifs associated with Bishop Aidan of Lindisfarne in Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica”, in: Davies, Morgan Thomas (ed.), Proceedings of the Celtic Studies Association of North America Annual Meeting 2008, CSANA Yearbook 10, New York: Colgate University Press, 2011. 116–134.
Sayers, William, “Irish studies”, in: Classen, Albrecht [ed.], Handbook of medieval studies: concepts, methods, historical developments, and current trends in medieval studies, Berlin, New York: De Gruyter, 2010. 727–738.
Sayers, William, “Deficient royal rule: the king’s proxies, judges and the instruments of his fate”, in: Wiley, Dan M. (ed.), Essays on the early Irish king tales, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008. 104–126.
Sayers, William, “Fusion and fission in the love and lexis of early Ireland”, in: Classen, Albrecht [ed.], Words of love and love of words in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Tempe, Arizona: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2008. 95–109.
Sayers, William, “Tripartition in the early Irish tradition: cosmic or social structure?”, in: Polomé, Edgar C. [ed.], Indo-European religion after Dumézil, Journal of Indo-European Studies, Monograph Series 16, Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man, 1996. 156–183.
Sayers, William, “Guin agus crochad agus gólad: the earliest Irish threefold death”, in: Byrne, Cyril J., Margaret Harry, and Pádraig Ó Siadhail (eds.), Celtic languages and Celtic peoples: proceedings of the Second North American Congress of Celtic studies, held in Halifax, August 16-19, 1989, Halifax, Nova Scotia: D’Arcy McGee Chair of Irish Studies, Saint Mary’s University, 1992. 65–82.
Sayers, William, “The bound and the binding: the lyre in early Ireland”, in: MacLennan, Gordon W. [ed.], Proceedings of the First North American Congress of Celtic Studies, Ottawa: University of Ottawa, 1988. 365–385.