Supposed Celtic semiticisms (was: Japanese from Tungus)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, January 27, 2005, 19:06|
On Wednesday, January 26, 2005, at 10:16 , B. Garcia wrote:
> On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 22:47:11 +0100, Jörg Rhiemeier
> <joerg_rhiemeier@...> wrote:
>> Indeed. In the case of Celtic and Semitic, we of course know that
>> the Celtic languages are Indo-European and acquired their "Semitic"
>> features secondarily, possibly from an unknown substratum. (And the
>> Semitic languages are known to be Afro-Asiatic, which probably did
>> not display all of the "typically Semitic" features, either.)
> I'm curious, what _are_ the "Semitic" features of Celtic?
Both sets of languages:
- are VSO
- have only maculine & feminine genders
- have a definite article but not indefinite
- favor post-posited adjectives
- express the genitive relation in a similar way, e.g.
ARABIC beet ir raagil
WELSH ty 'r dyn
ENG. house the man = the man's house
- have conjugated preposition, e.g.
GAELIC WELSH MALTESE ENGLISH
leam gennyf bija with me
leat gennyt bik with you (sing.)
leis ganddo bih with him
leatha ganddi biha with her
leinn gennym bina with us
leibh gennych bikom with you (plural)
leotha ganddynt bihom with them
Note: the Gaelic is the Scots version & the Welsh shows the literary forms
(there is no need to tell me the southern & northern colloquial forms,
please - I do know them :)
Also the soft mutation of the Gaelic languages (at least in its earlier
form where |th| = /T/ and |dh| = /D/) & unmutated forms are similar to
Biblical Hebrew: (without dagesh) /f/, /v/, /T/, /D/ ,/x/, /G/ ~ (with
dagesh) /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/.
I believe there are one or two other feature that some have cited also.
Personally I am far from convinced by all these 'similarities'.
BTW Breton has developed an indefinite article under French influence and
its default word-order is now SVO.
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]