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Celtic languages?

From:Joe <joe@...>
Date:Monday, September 27, 2004, 6:52
Ray Brown wrote:

> On Saturday, September 25, 2004, at 09:05 , Joe wrote: > >> Mario Bonassin wrote: >> >>> I always thought that Welsh and Gaelic were both descendents of the >>> Celtic >>> languages as well? >>> >>> >>> >>> >> >> Insular Celtic. We were discussing Continental Celtic. > > > Quite right - what I was arguing is that the Insular languages, which are > certainly interrelated were not conventionally called 'Celtic' until the > 18th century. I said the only _continental_ language AFAIK that appeared > to be cognate is Gallic 9the language of the Gauls). > >> The list of >> attested languages is as follows (An asterisk means extinct, though the >> insular ones are undergoing revivals): >> >> P. Celtic >> Insular Celtic >> Welsh >> Cornish* >> Breton >> Continental Celtic >> Gaulish >> Lepontic(possibly Italic) >> Q. Celtic >> Insular Celtic >> Irish Gaelic >> Manx Gaelic* >> Scottish Gaelic >> Continental Celtic >> Celtiberian >> > > I need to be convinced that the P ~ Q split occurred before the Gaelic > and > Brittonic languages developed. There is also a similar P ~ Q split among > the Italic languages: for example Latin belonged to Q langs, Sabine > belonged to the P group. Those who posit a Celto-Italic family sometimes > put the Q ~ P split even earlier than Jo. But I see no need to do this. > Similar divisions occurred in the ancient Greek dialects and AFAIK no one > has suggested linking the division there either to the P ~ Q split in the > 'Celtic' langs or in the Italic langs. >
There's no actual evidence, but I find it makes things easier for me. Whichever way round you put it, it's bound to be controversial.
>> Pictish may fit somewhere in here as well. But it's not very certain. > > > Indeed, not. Some claim Pictish wasn't even IE - our knowledge is too > scanty, I think, to make any safe assumption. >
Well, it does seem to use (Q-Celtic) naming methods - 'maqqi' meaning 'son of'. That's about all that's been translated.
> But I have other misgivings with Jo's list because..... > ============================================= > On Saturday, September 25, 2004, at 01:52 , Doug Dee wrote: > [snip] > >> Other Continental Celtic languages of which something is known include >> Celtiberian, Lepontic, and Galatian. >> (According to _The Celtic Languages_, ed. by Martin J. Ball & James >> Fife. >> ) > > > There are some supposed Celtiberian inscriptions but my understanding is > that they are sparse and give us little information. The Iberian > insctptions AFAIK remain undeciphered and the language is considered > non-IE. The descriptions of the ancients suggest the Celtiberi were a > mixed Celtic & Iberian group.
The 'Iberian'(not Celtiberian) language is believed to be related to Basque. The Celtiberian language is fairly sparse, it's true, but it also has a few larger texts.
> > Lepontic - yes, some 70 or so inscriptions I lbelieve. I must admit I had > forgotten this lang. It certainly changed IE /k_w/ to /p/ as did Galic > and Sabine. But was it related to Gallic? It shows some affinity with it > but also to Italic. It appears to be an IE language but has quite > noticeable un-IE elements, I understand. A complicating factor is that > this area had by overrun by Gauls by the time of the inscriptions (2nd > cent. BCE), so we cannot rule out the possibility of Gallic influence > on a > non-Gallic language.
It could be two things, IMO: 1.Italic language with Gaulish influence(more likely, IMO, due to some sound changes that *didn't* happen) 2.Gaulish language with Italic influence.
> > Galatian - are there any inscriptions? It seems that around 280 BCE a > group of Galatai made their way from the Balkans into Asia Minor. In 230 > BCE King Attalos of Pergamon settled them among the Phrygians in the area > of modern Ankara. They appear to have remained a separate group until the > 5th cent. CE. But I do not know how much direct evidence we have about > their language. As far as I know, the inclusion of the Galatai with Celts > rests upon statements of ancient authors who sometimes talk of the Keltai > & Galatai as separate peoples and at other times seem to suggest they are > much the same. How much _direct_ evidence do we have about the Galatian > language? >
I don't believe we have any. Apart from place names, of course.
> What I have never been able to get an answer to is how much direct > evidence we have of the language of the actual peoples the ancients > called > Keltai/Celtae. > =========================================================== > > On Saturday, September 25, 2004, at 07:40 , Joe wrote: > > [snip] > >> I don't believe Gaulish is even the best known one. Lepontic and >> Celtiberian are also around(and Celtiberian is Q-Celtic). Though the >> Celticity of Lepontic is debateable. It may be Italic, with Gaulish >> influence. > > > Certainly Gallic is the one I have more information about than the > others. > Certainly in the case of Lepontic, as I have said above, Gallic > influence > cannot be discounted because the Gauls had overrun them before the > time of > the extant inscriptions. > > I notice you confidently say that Celtibrian is Q-celtic. To day that, > you > must have more information than I have - which is by no means improbable. > What is your information? This is not meant to be critical - I really > want > to know.
In the texts we have, we have '-cue' meaning 'and'. We also have */p/ being lost - 'uer' for Latin 'super'.


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>