P- and Q-Celtic (was Re: Reasonable sound changes.)
|From:||Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>|
|Date:||Monday, January 10, 2005, 19:41|
On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 18:19:55 +0100,
Carsten Becker <naranoieati@...> wrote:
> BTW, I've always wondered why there is P and Q-Celtic. So
> it's because on the Isle, people changed /k_w/ -> /p/ and
> on the continent they didn't?
The geographical distribution of P- and Q-Celtic is different.
They shifted /k_w/ to /p/ in Britain and Gaul, but not in Ireland
and on the Iberian peninsula. The Scots Gaels, who also speak a
Q-Celtic language, immigrated from Ireland in early Medieval times.
A feature that seems indeed to be confined to the British Isles
(with the exception of Brittany, which was settled by British Celts)
are initial mutations, which are found in both Goidelic (insular
Q-Celtic, i.e. Irish, Manx and Scots Gaelic) and Brittonic
(insular P-Celtic, i.e. Welsh, Cornish and Breton), but not in
Celtiberian (continental Q-Celtic) or Gaulish (continental P-Celtic).
VSO word order is also an insular phenomenon, it seems.
Why that? It just happened. Blame the Elves ;-)