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Thread: Origin of the Goidels in North West Germany

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    Origin of the Goidels in North West Germany



    Bell Beaker immigration is well atested by archeology in Britain. Bell Beaker vessels found in England were the quite similar to that found in German Rhineland area and may correspond to the barbed wire culture (within the Bell Beaker) in red on the map.

    I also read (I don't remember where) that the Lower Rhine area of Germany and Netherland was emptied just before that huge migration happened.

    This migration may have started the spread of R1b L21 and the Goidels in the British islands. When we see that map of L21 repartition, the continental aerea where L21 has the highest frequency is along the Rhine river.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?clien...bc2c3cc27e&z=4

    BarbedWireBeaker.png

    BellBeakerGroups.jpg

    So R1b L21 which is carried by most Scottish, Irish and Welsh males may be a Bell Beaker legacy (since the Celtic culture in the British islands was only a cultural phenomenon)

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    There are some reasons, for linguistic and cultural reasons, where I would say this might be accurate:

    - linguistically, ancient Irish was a Q-Celtic language, but from what is known, it must have been considerably closer to Gaulish than to Celtiberian.

    - as I stated before, the Celtization of the British Isles must have happened relatively early, primarily because of the absence of non-Indo-European (or, indeed, altogether non-Celtic) languages, so in my opinion, the British Isles must have been settled by Celtic-speaking peoples relatively early. In my opinion, the distribution of R1b-L21 largely coincides with the Atlantic-Bronze Age in it's pattern - the northern part at least - mirroring the distribution of R1b-U152 which in turn matches Urnfield in it's distribution. Apparently, the subclade of R1b-L21, R1b-M222, appears to have originated in Ireland (the question when this happened might be interesting), and reached Scotland via the migration of the Scoti in the early medieval Ages.

    - many of the Irish mythical figures are reflexes of not only Pan-Celtic but in particular also Gaulish deities (for example: Brighid - Brigantia, Goibniu - Gobannos, Lugh - Lugus, Ogma - Ogmios, Tuireann - Taranis). In contrast, none of the Gallaecian-Lusitanian deities was worshipped in Ireland.

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    If the North Western part of the bell beaker cultural area was indeed proto-Celt it would mean that Celtic speaking sphere encompassed large territory that would later be Germanic speaking (Netherland, North Western Germany and a bit of South-Western Norway if we follow R1b L21)

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    Beaker culture began circa 4500 years ago, quite possibly earlier.

    The R1b-L21 MRCA is circa 3750 years ago. The most distant estimate I've seen is 4200 years ago.

    Which estimate do I have wrong here?

    I feel like the beginning of Beaker Culture was more likely mostly I2b, with significant I2*-A, I2*-C, I2a (non-Dinaric), R1a (transmitted via Corded Ware) and probably R1b-S116*. Also, probably some that I'm missing. As time went on, the concentrations could have changed as well. The age of L21 strikes me as something that probably came later.

    Of course, that doesn't mean that I have any idea what language they spoke.

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    The problem is to find when the last major migration occured in the islands

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    The earliest reference to the British Isles by Mediterranean civilization is circa 4th century BC (the journey of Pytheas of Massilia to the north), and here the terms "Albion", "Ierne" and "Pritannic Isles" are already used, meaning that we know for sure that Britain must have been Celtic at that time. The first detailed account from Britain comes from the 1st century BC, and the only really detailed source on ancient Ireland is Ptolemy (2nd century AD). It's clear that the Britain already spoke a P-Celtic language by 4th century BC, and the oldest attested undoubtly Celtic language, Lepontic (6th century BC) is also P-Celtic. The Q/P split must have happened reasonably earlier. It also stands to reason that Britain used to be Q-Celtic at some time in the past, since the cognate of "Britain"/"Priteni" is found in Irish as "Cruithne". As a result, we can reconstruct the original Q-Celtic form as something akin to "Qritani".

    However, from the linguistic perspective, I would also agree that Beaker-Bell itself is too early for spreading the Celtic languages because of the vast areas that are encompassed, which are inhabited later variously by Ligurian, Lusitanian, Germanic and Italic-speaking peoples - in addition to non-Indo-European peoples. This means, the language of the Beaker-Bell people is very unlikely to have been Proto-Celtic, it's far more likely to have been something even older (notably, the Celtic languages have the common feature of losing the Initial *P of Proto-Indo-European, which is retained in both Lusitanian and Italic, and turned into Initial *F in Germanic).

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    The first wave of Italic tribes entered the Italian Peninsula at the very begining of the second millenium BC, so the split between Italic and Celtic languages may be very old

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    It also stands to reason that Britain used to be Q-Celtic at some time in the past, since the cognate of "Britain"/"Priteni" is found in Irish as "Cruithne". As a result, we can reconstruct the original Q-Celtic form as something akin to "Qritani".
    Cruithne was only a people of North East Ireland that may have come from Northern Britain. Hence "Cruithne" could be only a Goidelic pronunciation of "Pritanni" but not the name that those "Cruithne" gave to themselves

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Cruithne was only a people of North East Ireland that may have come from Northern Britain. Hence "Cruithne" could be only a Goidelic pronunciation of "Pritanni" but not the name that those "Cruithne" gave to themselves
    Yes, but that doesn't change anything about the fact that "Cruithne" is actually a cognate with "Pritanni". Consider that the name "Cruithne" is Old/Middle Irish, and that the Irish language made drastic changes from Archaic Irish to Old Irish. Therefore, the original form would have been "Qritani" (it stands to reason that in archaic Irish, the form was very similar to that). In P-Celtic, "Qritani" was rendered into "Pritani". If the word entered into Irish language later, the rendering "P" entered the Irish language later, the spelling with "P" would have been retained (there's borrowings from Latin - for example the name "Patrick").

    The word "Cruithne"/"Qritani" must, in my opinion, stem from older times when Britain still spoke a Q-Celtic language, and we know that this must have been before the 4th century BC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    If the word entered into Irish language later, the rendering "P" entered the Irish language later, the spelling with "P" would have been retained (there's borrowings from Latin - for example the name "Patrick").
    .
    So why the Romans didn't retain the spelling with "P"?

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    Well, because generally in Brythonic, initial P became rendered as B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Well, because generally in Brythonic, initial P became rendered as B.

    Then that would have make them "B Celtic" ? I find this classification Q/P Celtic a little bit superficial if it only take the spelling into account.

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    No, Brythonic languages are still P-Celtic: it's not superficial if you get into detail. I also must correct myself therefore earlier there (I admittedly made that post in a hurry ), the "B" in Britain is probably a Roman-derived rendering, but medial P is rendered to B in Brythonic. To give examples:

    take the words for "son":
    Archaic Irish - Maqqos
    Modern Irish - Mac
    Gaulish - Mapos
    Welsh and Breton - Mab

    or for "horse":
    Celtiberian "Ekuos"
    Old Irish "Ech"
    Modern Irish "Each"
    Gaulish "Epos"
    Welsh "Ebol"
    Breton "Ebeul"

    but, for head:
    Old Irish "Cenn"
    Modern Irish "Ceann"
    Gaulish "Pennos"
    Welsh "Pen"
    Breton "Penn"

    also, "four":
    Old Irish "Cethair"
    Modern Irish "Ceithre"
    Gaulish "Petuarios"
    Welsh "Pedwar"
    Breton "Pevar"

    What you bring up with spelling, there's obviously limitations. Generally, there were no spelling rules or anything like that in antiquity, and most writing was phonetic, but there's also limitations of an alphabet to be considered (for instance, the Iberian semi-syllabary which the Celtiberians used was rather unsuited for writing a Celtic language, whereas the Latin alphabet - to a lesser degree the Greek one - is much more suited for this).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post

    or for "horse":
    Celtiberian "Ekuos"
    Old Irish "Ech"
    Modern Irish "Each"
    Gaulish "Epos"
    Welsh "Ebol"
    Breton "Ebeul"

    The modern Irish word for Horse is Capall. I've never heard of "Each" in modern Irish


    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    also, "four":
    Old Irish "Cethair"
    Modern Irish "Ceithre"
    Gaulish "Petuarios"
    Welsh "Pedwar"
    Breton "Pevar"
    The words for numbers in the modern Irish language change depending on the situation. Different words are used when counting numbers, things or people. The modern Irish word for four is Ceathar. Ceithre would be used when talking about the number of items e.g. ceithre daoine (4 people) whereas ceathar would be used such as ar a ceathar a chlog (at 4 O'Clock)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eireannach View Post

    The modern Irish word for Horse is Capall. I've never heard of "Each" in modern Irish
    How about "each-chumhacht" (horsepower)?

    By the way, "Capall" is actually a Brythonic or Latin loan, because the Gaulish form is "Caballos" (compare Welsh "Ceffyl" and Latin "Caballus"). By the way, in the modern Brythonic languages, the meaning of the word has actually shifted to "foal", rather than "horse" (doesn't change that it is a cognate, however).

    The words for numbers in the modern Irish language change depending on the situation. Different words are used when counting numbers, things or people. The modern Irish word for four is Ceathar. Ceithre would be used when talking about the number of items e.g. ceithre daoine (4 people) whereas ceathar would be used such as ar a ceathar a chlog (at 4 O'Clock)
    Interesting. Still, the modern Irish is derived from what in in Common Celtic would have been "Qetuarios" (the archaic Irish form would have been very similar).

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    Ok, linguists, please help me out here-

    My understanding had been that the Latin word for horse was Equus and that the word Caballus, originally meaning nag or a horse of lesser quality, began to be used to describe a horse in general in the vulgar tongues. This continued on into the Romance languages.

    Is that understanding correct?

    Also, did a simliar thing happen with Irish on its own? The word Capall looks like the same word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
    Ok, linguists, please help me out here-

    My understanding had been that the Latin word for horse was Equus and that the word Caballus, originally meaning nag or a horse of lesser quality, began to be used to describe a horse in general in the vulgar tongues. This continued on into the Romance languages.

    Is that understanding correct?

    Also, did a simliar thing happen with Irish on its own? The word Capall looks like the same word.
    There's a few issues to be considered:

    In general, most languages I know have more than one word for 'horse'. In German, off the top I can think of six:

    Stute (cognate with "steed", but means actually a female horse)
    Gaul (male horse)
    Hengst (male horse)
    Mähre ("mare")
    Pferd
    Fohlen ("foal")
    Ross (same meaning as "steed" in English)

    Meaning of words can and will change, often especially the quality can drift: for example, the German cognate for English "knight" is is "Knecht", which actually denotes servant, which is quite the opposite actually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    There's a few issues to be considered:

    In general, most languages I know have more than one word for 'horse'. In German, off the top I can think of six:

    Stute (cognate with "steed", but means actually a female horse)
    Gaul (male horse)
    Hengst (male horse)
    Mähre ("mare")
    Pferd
    Fohlen ("foal")
    Ross (same meaning as "steed" in English)

    Meaning of words can and will change, often especially the quality can drift: for example, the German cognate for English "knight" is is "Knecht", which actually denotes servant, which is quite the opposite actually.
    Yes, of course meanings can be changed and words can be dropped in time.

    I probably did not phrase my question properly.


    Equus of course was the word normally used for horse in Latin (That word being very close to the recontructed PIE word for horse).
    Caballus was used to mean a nag or lesser quality horse. In time Caballus came to replace Equus completely.

    I believe that the Old Irish word for horse was Ech. One of the above posts had modern Irish being Capall.

    Does anyone know if Irish had a change simliar to what happened with Equus/Caballus in Latin? I was just curious and wanted to see if anyone knew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
    Yes, of course meanings can be changed and words can be dropped in time.

    I probably did not phrase my question properly.


    Equus of course was the word normally used for horse in Latin (That word being very close to the recontructed PIE word for horse).
    Caballus was used to mean a nag or lesser quality horse. In time Caballus came to replace Equus completely.
    Yes, this is what apparently has happened. If you compare the various Romance languages:

    Catalan - Cavall
    French - Cheval
    Italian - Cavallo
    Portuguese - Cavalo
    Romanian - Cal
    Spanish - Caballo

    I believe that the Old Irish word for horse was Ech. One of the above posts had modern Irish being Capall.
    This is correct. I also looked things up: it is still "Each" in Scots Gaelic and "Eagh" in Manx Gaelic.

    Does anyone know if Irish had a change simliar to what happened with Equus/Caballus in Latin? I was just curious and wanted to see if anyone knew.
    As mentioned the word exist in Gaulish as "Caballos", and it stands to reason that in Common Brythonic, the word was similar, as is attested by the Welsh word "Ceffyl". Welsh sound laws mean that:

    *-VbV- (vowel-b-vowel) yields -VfV- (spelled 'ff') or -VvV- (spelled 'f') in Welsh

    therefore:
    "Caballos" (horse) becomes "Ceffyl"
    "Abalos" (apple) -> "Afal"
    "Abancos" (beaver) -> "Afanc"

    Now, what surprises me is where the spelling "Capall" in Irish stems from. For one, the phoneme "p" generally doesn't exist in the Goidelic languages except for loanwords, secondly since "Caball" is the original shape (attested in Gaulish and Latin), I'm not quite sure how "b" yields "p" (for comparison, apple is "Uball" in Irish). This is why I believe that Irish "Capall" may be a loanword.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Now, what surprises me is where the spelling "Capall" in Irish stems from. For one, the phoneme "p" generally doesn't exist in the Goidelic languages except for loanwords, secondly since "Caball" is the original shape (attested in Gaulish and Latin), I'm not quite sure how "b" yields "p" (for comparison, apple is "Uball" in Irish). This is why I believe that Irish "Capall" may be a loanword.

    Ok, thank you. In this case it may have been a loanword.
    It would have been a remarkable parrallel if Equus got dropped for Caballus and Ech got dropped for Capall without some influence of one on the other. Perhaps Capall came into the picture during the days of the Anglo-Normans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
    Ok, thank you. In this case it may have been a loanword.
    It would have been a remarkable parrallel if Equus got dropped for Caballus and Ech got dropped for Capall without some influence of one on the other. Perhaps Capall came into the picture during the days of the Anglo-Normans.
    Well, as I said, I'm not sure if it's a loan (but I suspect it). Also, from what I know it must be older. The peculiar part is that both the words "Capall" and "Ech" are attested in Old Irish. I'm just not sure how /b/ would yield /p/ (or even -VbV- yielding -VpV-), especially because it doesn't happen in other Irish words, as can be easily demonstrated.

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