Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: OT Re: Genealogy

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Thursday, January 24, 2008, 15:04
On 22.1.2008 R A Brown wrote:
 > Some studies in Britain have shown the same DNA hanging
 > around in some rural communities from way back in the
 > Bronze Age - predating the Romans

OTOH the vikings have left their clear genetic mark in the
British Isles. There is a certain genetic mutation which
gives immunity to smallpox, and which is believed to have
arisen in Scandinavia some time before the year 600. A map
of its spread in Europe practically coincides with a map
over the exploits of the Vikings and Normans! It is thickest
in southern Scandinavia, Iceland and the Faroes, the British
Isles and Normandy, with patchy incidence in the rest of
France and around the Mediterranean, but higher
concentrations in those places where the Normans ruled for a
long time: Sicily, the Peloponnese and Cyprus.

 > and also BTW even pre-dating the supposed arrival the
 > 'Celts' (for which there is no good archaeological
 > evidence - but that's another story.

However people speaking IndoEuropean language(s) must have
entered the Isles at some point, with or without leaving a
mark in the archaeological record. We know by now that it
doesn't take a large migration of people to impose a new
language on a population, only the right social conditions.
So we can conclude that a small bunch of IndoEuropeans,
among whom there were no potters, arrived and were in a
position to impose their language on the previous

The Insular languages share the one important innovation of
Continental Celtic, viz. the *p > *f > h > 0 change. If the
definition of a Celtic language is an IE language of Europe
which has gone through this change then they *are* Celtic,
and that's enough for me, since it is impossible to know who
migrated where 3000 years ago. BTW the _h_ stage is attested
in the name _Hercynia (silva)_ which has an Old High German
cognate _Fergunna_; both lead regularly back to *perkunyeh2.
Other typical traits of Celtic are all either retentions or
not uniquely Celtic, like the *kv > p change in one branch
of Celtic.

/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
   "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
   à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
   ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
   c'est qu'elles meurent."           (Victor Hugo)