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[relay] Germanic and Celtic (was Re: Verb-second ... verb-penultimate languages?)

From:Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 9:09
staving Jörg Rhiemeier:
>Hallo! > >On Tue, 25 Apr 2006 08:10:19 +0100, R A Brown wrote: > > > Is there any evidence that ancient Gaulish was VSO? Or is the > > characteristic VSO order an innovation (like, e.g. conjugated > > prepositions) of later insular Celtic? > >It is definitely an Insular Celtic innovation. If my memory serves me right, >Gaulish vacillated between SOV and SVO, and Celtiberian was plainly SOV.
So, word order can vary too rapidly to be a good comparator between language groups. I have to say that comparing the Old English and Welsh Babel texts on Langmaker, I found very few cognates, and came to the conclusion that Germanic and Celtic couldn't be particularly closely related. This raises a further question. What factors drive or influence word order changes? Pete