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Taranis
26-04-11, 21:47
A while back, Maciamo posted this thread (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?25249-Romans-Alpine-Celts-and-Belgae-close-cousins) about a relationship between the Celic and the Italic peoples. What I'm going to do here is a linguistic consideration about the relationship between the Celtic and the Germanic peoples.

- Celtic name evidence in Germany (or, I should say, Germania Magna as it was perceived by the Romans - that is the lands east of the Rhine and north of the Danube - extending up to the Vistula which marked the border to Sarmatia) extends approximately to the Main river and from there to Silesia. Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD lists plenty of town names in these areas with readily identifiable Celtic etymologies - at a time when these areas when the Germanic peoples already lived as far south as the Danube - thereby being the testimony of a strong underlying Celtic presence in southern Germania. A few of these towns actually still exist today: Tarodunon (latinized as "Tarodunum") became Zarten in the Black Forest, Eburodunon (latinized as "Eburodunum") is Brnno/Brünn in the Czech Republic.

However, in the northern areas of Germania (with exception of the Rhine delta), Celtic place names are absent, even if archaeologically Hallstatt/Le-Tene extended into these areas. To find a (possible) answer for this discrepancy, I would like to explore some possibilities here:

- As I already brought up in a different thread a few weeks back, in some of it's vocabulary, Germanic is decisively closer to Balto-Slavic than to Italo-Celtic. For instance it's silver and gold (I've been taking various branches of the various families - as well as outgroups - in order to get a representative image here):

English - Silver - Gold
German - Silber - Gold
Danish - Sølv - Guld
Gothic - Silubr - Gulth
Lithuanian - Sidabras - (Auksas)
Latvian - Sudabra - Zelta
Bulgarian - Srebro - Zlato
Czech - Stribrna - Zlato
Russian - Serebra - Zolota
Thracian - (unattested) - Saldas

Latin - Argentum - Aurum
Irish - Airgead - Or
Welsh - Arian - Aur
Gaulish - Argenton - (*Auron - reconstructed)
Celtiberian - Arkanta - (unattested)
Albanian - Argjend - Ar

(note that I added Albanian and Thracian here just for the sake of completeness - neither are obviously Italo-Celtic nor Balto-Slavic, but words in these languages obviously have cognates, respectively).

(also note that Balto-Slavic changes proto-Indo-European initial *g´h to *z, whereas Germanic changes it to *g).

We might speculate that these Germanic/Balto-Slavic commonalities stem from the Germanic legacy of the Battle Axe Culture, but since that would get off-topic I will leave it at that.

- On the flip side, the Germanic languages have a considerable number of borrowings from the Celtic languages. In particular, they must have occured before in particular the shift of Initial K to H occured in Common Germanic. To pick a few signature examples:

- The Celtic tribal name "Volcae" yields "Walha" ('foreigner' - which we find today in place names like "Wales", "Wallonia" and "Wallachia").

- The word for "steed":
Gaulish - Marcos
Welsh - March
Breton - Marc'h
German - Mähre
English - Mare
Swedish - Märr

- The word for "iron":
English - Iron
German - Eisen
Swedish - Järn
Gothic - (E)isarn
Gaulish - Isarnos
Welsh - Haern
Breton - Houarn
Irish - Iarann

(note the striking similarity between the Gothic and Gaulish words for "Iron")

Since we know from archaeology the rough time of when iron-working from the Celtic Hallstatt Culture reached northern Germany, we can date the timing of this Celtic-Germanic contact to roughly 600-500 BC. We also can infer that the K to H shift must have occured obviously later. But the question is, however, how much later?

Rome's first contact with Germanic peoples is the invasion of the Cimbri and Teutones in the late 2nd century BC. However, to us these have seemingly overtly Celtic names, in particular their leaders: "Boiorix" ("Cattle King") would easily make sense as a Gaulish or Galatian name. However, the tribal names, which are exclusively given as "Cimbri et Teutonibus" or "Cimbri Teutonique". According to Germanic sound laws, Initial *k should yield *h via the intermediate stage of *x. Likewise, initial *t should yield *θ. Therefore, we should expect the spellings "Chimbri" and "Theutones". Since we are not seeing them, that these changes must have occured even later. This means, by the 2nd century BC, we are technically not talking about a "Proto-Germanic" language but a "Pre-Germanic" one. Specifically, "Pre-Germanic" would be defined as the language that was ancestral to "Proto-Germanic" (more appropriate would be "Common Germanic", that is, the ancestor language of all later Germanic languages).

As stated above with the personal names, these names strike us as surprisingly Celtic. Now, if we account for the absence of sound changes, it's possible to reconstruct this "Pre-Germanic" stage, as examplified by the word for "tribe" or "people":

Singular

Case - Gaulish - Pre-Germanic - Gothic
Nominative - Touta - Teuta - Θiuda
Genitive - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos
Dative - Toutai - Teutai - Θiudai
Accusative - Toutan - Teutan - Θiuda

Plural

Case - Gaulish - Pre-Germanic - Gothic
Nominative - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos
Genitive - Toutanom - Teuton - Θiudo
Dative - Toutabo - Teutamis - Θiudom
Accusative - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos

Note that with exception of genitive and dative plural, these forms are near-identical. There's a few uncertainties to be considered however:

Gothic had a vestigial vocative case, and Gaulish had, in addition to a vocative, also an instrumental and a locative case. It stands to reason that Pre-Germanic had (at least) a vocative case, too, and perhaps more cases, but this is speculation. In any case, for the other cases, there is a striking similarity, and as a result, in my opinion, it is hence likely that the Pre-Germanic language and the Celtic languages (ie, Gaulish - and related dialects/languages spoken by the Hallstatt/La-Tene peoples) probably had a considerably degree of mutual intelligibility. This, in a way, mirrors the similarities of Gaulish and Latin, and could explain the archaeological/linguistic discrepancies. It would also account for Caesar's account of the so-called "Germanic" Belgae (which - for the greater part, all bear overtly Celtic - that is, essentially Gaulish - tribal and personal names): if these crossed the Rhine in earlier times, it would have been relatively easy for them to adopt the Gaulish language.

This brings us to the question of when the sound shifts (note that this actually concerns an entire inventory of sound laws, which was first formulated by Jakob Grimm in the early 19th century as "Grimm's Law") actually take place? The answer must be: even later.

Indeed, Tacitus (late 1st century AD) gives us, amongst others, the following tribal names:

- Chatti
- Chamavi
- Cherusci

This means, by this time, the shift already occured. Which means that we can roughly narrow it down to between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. The major event that takes place in this time span is the Roman conquest of Gaul, and the expansion of the Roman sphere to the Rhine (and for a brief period, beyond), as well as the effective end of the continental Celtic peoples as a separate culture. One can speculate now that the disruption of trade routes, and the disconnection of trade routes between Gallia and Germania also triggered a linguistic disjunction between the Celtic and Germanic peoples, and that these drastic changes, which brought about the language shifts that brought about the Common Germanic language in the wake of this.

While this may sound a tad unlikely at first glance, one must consider that for instance Irish language made similarly drastic changes in a very short time frame between roughly 7th to 8th century AD), as it attested by the massive differences between Primitive Irish (the language used in the Ogham inscriptions - which in many aspects is much closer to Gaulish than to modern Irish) and the later Old Irish of the early medieval times.

Taranis
28-04-11, 08:43
What I wanted to add, etymologically, is a very ambiguous case of name:

the "Marcomanni". "Marco-" may either derive from Celtic "Markos" (mare, steed) or Germanic "Mark" (frontier/boundary), and it would make perfectly sense for the Marcomanni to be both "horse men" or "frontier men".

This is further complicated as "Marobuduus" (actually spelled as "Marobvdvvs") makes sense as Gaulish "Marobodwos" ("Great Raven").

Maciamo
28-04-11, 08:55
Great post, Taranis. It's very clear and well summarised.

Dagne
28-04-11, 09:58
I just couldn't help noticing that word "people" in modern Lithuanian is very similar, too. Inasmuch as the Lithuanian is not a germanic language, the similarity must be somewhere on Proto - Indoeuropean level :

Singular

Case - Gaulish - Pre-Germanic - Gothic- Lithuanian
Nominative - Touta - Teuta - Θiuda- Tauta
Genitive - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos - Tautos
Dative - Toutai - Teutai - Θiudai - Tautai
Accusative - Toutan - Teutan - Θiuda - Tautą

Plural

Case - Gaulish - Pre-Germanic - Gothic - Lithuanian
Nominative - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos - Tautos
Genitive - Toutanom - Teuton - Θiudo - Tautų
Dative - Toutabo - Teutamis - Θiudom- Tautoms
Accusative - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos - Tautas

Taranis
28-04-11, 10:04
That's quite fascinating! I'm also quite fascinated that modern Lithuanian retains such a complex declension system (which has - across the spectrum - been abandoned in many modern IE languages) - Lithuanian seems to be in line with Gaulish, Latin, Greek or Sanskrit in that respect.

Dagne
28-04-11, 11:04
yes, Lithuanian is rather conservative in changing its grammar and vocabulary. Which leads to a thought that when comparing languages one must take into consideration the overall "speed of change" in a language, and preferably compare the totality of a text. Otherwise it might seem that Lithuanian and, for instance, Gaulish are very much related, which is not realy the case... because they may be similar in some words and grammar because both languages retained a lot of older proto-indo-european features.

Taranis
28-04-11, 12:00
yes, Lithuanian is rather conservative in changing its grammar and vocabulary. Which leads to a thought that when comparing languages one must take into consideration the overall "speed of change" in a language, and preferably compare the totality of a text. Otherwise it might seem that Lithuanian and, for instance, Gaulish are very much related, which is not realy the case... because they may be similar in some words and grammar because both languages retained a lot of older proto-indo-european features.

What is clear is that the Baltic and Slavic languages are closer related with each other than they are with the other IE languages due to a considerable number of common sound laws (a common Balto-Slavic stage, along with a common Indo-Iranic stage, is probably the most undisputed higher-level relationship inside IE), but when Common Balto-Slavic was spoken is hard to say.

One other aspect is that languages do not change at a constant speed: as seen from numerous examples, languages can remain fairly conservative over long stretches, while they also can make tremendous changes over rather short time frames. This is why attempts of so-called glottochronology have been largely futile, and why estimates for various proto-languages can be very wrong. For example, Forster and Toth came up with Proto-Celtic being spoken 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, which is totally unrealistic if you consider the relationship to other, closely-related IE languages (Lusitanian, the Italic and the Germanic families).

Dagne
28-04-11, 12:09
I was also wondering about somewhat paradoxical development in languages from more complex and precise to more simplified ... The fact is not easily explained as our shrinking brains ...

Taranis
28-04-11, 21:11
This is a good question. Generally, what is noticable is that one language which is extremely simplified is English, which has done almost entirely away with declensions except for a few vestigial remnants. One reason why this is so extremely pronounced in English is that it received influence from so many languages. Old Anglo-Saxon was still a proper Germanic language, but it received such an influx of words from Latin and French that keeping up such a fairly complex declension system was probably rather impractical.

So, the degree of simplification varies quite a bit across the spectrum of Indo-European languages - as examplified by your own mother tongue, Dagne. Also, this does not apply to non-IE languages in the way it applies to IE.

Haganus
30-04-11, 22:09
But celtic names of leaders of the tribes of Cimbri and Teutones do not mean
that these tribes were celts. Foreign names for leaders gave them "prestige".
For example in the 18e century many members of the European high society
had French Christian names and spoke French. They remained their original
nationality. When was it not possible that the same thing has happenend
with the Cimbric and Teutonic tribes?

Taranis
30-04-11, 22:40
But celtic names of leaders of the tribes of Cimbri and Teutones do not mean
that these tribes were celts. Foreign names for leaders gave them "prestige".
For example in the 18e century many members of the European high society
had French Christian names and spoke French. They remained their original
nationality. When was it not possible that the same thing has happenend
with the Cimbric and Teutonic tribes?

I didn't imply that these tribes were Celts. Read closely what I wrote. My point is, the Germanic language before the major sound shifts (the "Pre-Germanic" stage, if you will) was significantly closer to the Celtic languages and probably had a fair degree mutual intelligibility with them. In so far, what you are suggesting, that the Germanic tribes picked Celtic names out of prestige would make even more sense.

Germanic sound laws are very well-established, if you will I can type down some examples to better visualize what exactly happened.

spongetaro
30-04-11, 23:22
I wonder if there is something like intermediate languages between the Germanic language and Italo-Celtic languages

Taranis
02-05-11, 00:49
I wonder if there is something like intermediate languages between the Germanic language and Italo-Celtic languages

Hard to say. If there was, it's probably unattested. In a way, you might argue that Germanic in itself is an intermediate language between Italo-Celtic and Pre-Balto-Slavic. I have to say "Pre-" Balto-Slavic because the Baltic and Slavic families are closer to each other than they are to Germanic because they share a considerable number of common innovations absent in Germanic, therefore it's logical that the Germanic words of Balto-Slavic origin must have entered into Common or Pre-Germanic vocabulary before the Balto-Slavic sound shifts. What woud be interesting is to actually quantify the amount of vocabulary there.

Kentel
13-07-11, 15:52
Very interesting !




However, in the northern areas of Germania (with exception of the Rhine delta), Celtic place names are absent, even if archaeologically Hallstatt/Le-Tene extended into these areas.

First, it is very important to emphasize the fact that their is no obligatory connection between an archaeological culture and a language family. It has been said hundreeds of times, but it is still crucial. La Tène and Halstatt are considered Celtic on the basis of a very thin argumentation, and several "laténiennes" areas are obviously not Celtic (eg. in Hungary).

However, a few Celtic ethnonyms and place-names can be found in southern Jutland and Northern Germany : Ampsivarii and Chauci, the river name Amisia, the place name Abalus, the controversed ethnonym Teutones and some others. Their celticity is not 100% certain (see Sims-Williams : Ancient Celtic Place-Names in Europe and Asia Minor, Blackwell 2006).



- On the flip side, the Germanic languages have a considerable number of borrowings from the Celtic languages. In particular, they must have occured before in particular the shift of Initial K to H occured in Common Germanic. To pick a few signature examples:

- The Celtic tribal name "Volcae" yields "Walha" ('foreigner' - which we find today in place names like "Wales", "Wallonia" and "Wallachia").

In your example Volcae/Walha, *k has already undergone the spirantisation of the PIE velars predicted by Grimm's Law. Could you give another example ? There are very few cases of germanic-celtic words attested in both languages dating back to 600 BC. My guess would be that if a word has not been submitted to Grimm's Law, then it is not Germanic.



As stated above with the personal names, these names strike us as surprisingly Celtic.

Maybe because they are !



Now, if we account for the absence of sound changes, it's possible to reconstruct this "Pre-Germanic" stage, as examplified by the word for "tribe" or "people":

Singular

Case - Gaulish - Pre-Germanic - Gothic
Nominative - Touta - Teuta - Θiuda
Genitive - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos
Dative - Toutai - Teutai - Θiudai
Accusative - Toutan - Teutan - Θiuda

Plural

Case - Gaulish - Pre-Germanic - Gothic
Nominative - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos
Genitive - Toutanom - Teuton - Θiudo
Dative - Toutabo - Teutamis - Θiudom
Accusative - Toutas - Teutas - Θiudos

Note that with exception of genitive and dative plural, these forms are near-identical. There's a few uncertainties to be considered however:

(For Gaulish I would say respectively : sing: touta - toutias - touti - toutin/im) If you compare with Old Greek, you will see that the endings are very similar too.




The Pre-Germanic language and the Celtic languages (ie, Gaulish - and related dialects/languages spoken by the Hallstatt/La-Tene peoples) probably had a considerably degree of mutual intelligibility. This, in a way, mirrors the similarities of Gaulish and Latin, and could explain the archaeological/linguistic discrepancies. It would also account for Caesar's account of the so-called "Germanic" Belgae (which - for the greater part, all bear overtly Celtic - that is, essentially Gaulish - tribal and personal names): if these crossed the Rhine in earlier times, it would have been relatively easy for them to adopt the Gaulish language.

That's interesting, but the core Germanic and Celtic lexicons have both many pre-IE items that would have made the mutual understanding completely impossible. The same for Celtic and Italic. Moreover, you assume that Gaulish and Pre-Germanic have been spoken at the same time, while it would be more logical to assume that Pre-Germanic was spoken at the same time than pre- or at least proto-Celtic. In fact, the closer you go to PIE, the more the IE languages are similar to each others.




While this may sound a tad unlikely at first glance, one must consider that for instance Irish language made similarly drastic changes in a very short time frame between roughly 7th to 8th century AD), as it attested by the massive differences between Primitive Irish (the language used in the Ogham inscriptions - which in many aspects is much closer to Gaulish than to modern Irish) and the later Old Irish of the early medieval times.

That's right. Now the question is : why ? If, on the contrary, you compared archaic Greek (Mycenean) with modern Greek, you would be surprised by the phonetic stability through a time span of 3500 years.

Taranis
13-07-11, 16:18
Very interesting !

Welcome.


First, it is very important to emphasize the fact that their is no obligatory connection between an archaeological culture and a language family. It has been said hundreeds of times, but it is still crucial. La Tène and Halstatt are considered Celtic on the basis of a very thin argumentation, and several "laténiennes" areas are obviously not Celtic (eg. in Hungary).

While I agree that archaeological cultures do not automatically reflect linguistic homogenity, the case for Hallstatt/La-Tene being associated with predominantly Celtic-speaking peoples can be made. This is not a "very thin" argumentation, but it is clear that there are (I would say, almost exlusively) Celtic place names in the Hallstatt/La-Tene core areas (eastern France, southern Germany, Austria, Bohemia).

Also, if we ask the other way around, the question would be: what else should Hallstatt and La-Tene be linguistically, if not Celtic?


However, a few Celtic ethnonyms and place-names can be found in southern Jutland and Northern Germany : Ampsivarii and Chauci, the river name Amisia, the place name Abalus, the controversed ethnonym Teutones and some others. Their celticity is not 100% certain (see Sims-Williams : Ancient Celtic Place-Names in Europe and Asia Minor, Blackwell 2006).

"Chauci" doesn't sound exactly Celtic to me, it's clearly shifted according to Grimm's Law.

The controversial area I was thinking about primarily was the approximate area of modern-day Hesse and Thuringia: there are a lot of sites from the Hallstatt period from this area, but centuries later, Celtic name evidence does not extend further north than the Main river, and not further east than the Rhine.

Still, Ptolemy (in the mid second century AD) lists nearly 80 town names in Germania Magna, approximately a sixth of which have overtly Celtic etymologies.


In your example Volcae/Walha, *k has already undergone the spirantisation of the PIE velars predicted by Grimm's Law. Could you give another example ? There are very few cases of germanic-celtic words attested in both languages dating back to 600 BC. My guess would be that if a word has not been submitted to Grimm's Law, then it is not Germanic.

I think you're making a wrong assumption here. Grimm's Law probably only occured in the 1st century BC to 1st century AD. This means the "Pre-Germanic" sound stage lasted across a very long time. If a word is not submitted to Grimm's Law, it must obviously have entered the vocabulary at a later point.

The earliest point of Celtic/Germanic language contact that can be agreed on is approximately the 6th century BC (the time that the Jastorf Culture adopted iron-working from the Hallstatt Culture). It is reasonable to assume that Grimm's Law occured after that date (that is the general consensus), and it's absolutely unreasonable to assume Grimm's Law occured before the 6th century BC.

You can further make the case that if "Cimbri" is a genuinely Germanic name, that the Cimbri spoke a late form of Pre-Germanic in the 2nd century BC. If Cimbri is genuinely Germanic, it should be shifted to "Chimbri" or "Himbri" according to Grimm's Law. Likewise, it should be "Theudones" and not "Teutones".

Anyways, another example of a Celtic borrowing into Germanic would be the word "Marcos" (horse):

Gaulish "Marcos"
Welsh "March"
Breton "Marc'h"

Gothic "Marhs"
German "Mähre"
Dutch "Merrie"
English "Mare"
Swedish "Märr"

As you can see, the word is attested in all branches of Germanic (ie East Germanic, West Germanic and Scandinavian - meaning it was present in Proto-Germanic) and applies to Grimm's Law, suggesting it entered Proto-Germanic vocabulary before Grimm's Law.


Maybe because they are !

Some of them would also make sense as Pre-Germanic. On the other hand, it's clear that the Germanic peoples adjacent to Celtic areas were heavily Celtic-influenced.


(For Gaulish I would say respectively : sing: touta - toutias - touti - toutin/im) If you compare with Old Greek, you will see that the endings are very similar too.

This is correct.


That's interesting, but the core Germanic and Celtic lexicons have both many pre-IE items that would have made the mutual understanding completely impossible. The same for Celtic and Italic. Moreover, you assume that Gaulish and Pre-Germanic have been spoken at the same time, while it would be more logical to assume that Pre-Germanic was spoken at the same time than pre- or at least proto-Celtic. In fact, the closer you go to PIE, the more the IE languages are similar to each others.

It is very much logical to assume that early Gaulish and a late form of Pre-Germanic (I must admit the term "Pre-Germanic" is somewhat confusing, in fact "Proto-Germanic before the First Germanic Sound Shift" would be more accurate, but it's obviously unwieldy) were spoken at the same time (because Grimm's Law applied only later, as I elaborated this above). I absolutely agree however that the farther you go back, the more similar the languages are. But, it's absolutely unreasonable to assume that Grimm's Law occured early.

You also have to consider that Gaulish was relatively close to Proto-Celtic itself (much, much closer than any of the modern Celtic languages). It is very clear though, however, that the splitting of the Celtic languages occured earlier than the splitting of the Germanic langauges.


That's right. Now the question is : why ? If, on the contrary, you compared archaic Greek (Mycenean) with modern Greek, you would be surprised by the phonetic stability through a time span of 3500 years.

Well, we obviously don't know. But we know that languages must have done this because this is what is historically transmitted.

Kentel
14-07-11, 01:01
Thank you for your answer; this is very interesting and raises many questions.



Well, we obviously don't know. But we know that languages must have done this because this is what is historically transmitted.

I think that the reason why Greek underwent almost no changes (at least phonetically) during 3 millenaries is the fact that there was no interference of a substratum during 3500 years. I simply don't believe in the structuralist theory which says that languages evolve separately by the pure chance. The reality contradicts this mechanistic point of view.

French is the Romance language which has been the most altered, both phonetically and lexically in comparison with its Latin source, and I would bet that the very cause of the alteration is the Gaulish substratum.

The same for Irish : its deep alterations have probably been caused by a pre-IE substratum (you can read something about that in The Celtic Languages published by Routledge, I don't have the book to hand right now but I'll check tomorrow). And you could find many other examples like that (just think about Hittite, even Mallory does not reject a pre-IE Hatti influence).

I'll answer to the other problems you mentionned within a day or two.

zanipolo
14-07-11, 03:02
I think that the reason why Greek underwent almost no changes (at least phonetically) during 3 millenaries is the fact that there was no interference of a substratum during 3500 years. I simply don't believe in the structuralist theory which says that languages evolve separately by the pure chance. The reality contradicts this mechanistic point of view.

French is the Romance language which has been the most altered, both phonetically and lexically in comparison with its Latin source, and I would bet that the very cause of the alteration is the Gaulish substratum.



not entirely correct, french language currently has a franckish ( germanic) element and while Latin /romance to a degree was not as latin as the original french
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occitan_language
which had more Latin influence


Greek survived also due to texts saved after the byzantine capture of the Ottomans
Bessarion's legacies was even more far reaching. In 1469 he presented his immense library of 800 volumes, many of them copied by the scribes, to the church of St. Mark in Venice. Bessarion chose Venice partly because he considered it the most politically stable and secure of the Italian city states, and partly because it had offered a refuge for so many of his fellow Greeks. With the advent of printing in the 1490s, the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius established a Greek press in Venice. The choice of location no doubt dictated by the availability of Greek texts in the library of St. Mark's, for Manutius based his editions on these books. Once again, however, obscure individuals played their part. Manutius made use of the large pool of native Greek speakers provided by the Greek community to assist him in the preparation of texts for publication. It was with the help of émigré Greeks like Demetrius Doukas and Mark Mousouros, that Manutius produced printed editions of nearly all the works of the major Greek authors of antiquity before 1515, thus ensuring their survival for posterity.
so, without the printing press, Greek language could have been deminished

Taranis
14-07-11, 07:42
Thank you for your answer; this is very interesting and raises many questions.

I'm glad you appreciate it. :satisfied:


I think that the reason why Greek underwent almost no changes (at least phonetically) during 3 millenaries is the fact that there was no interference of a substratum during 3500 years. I simply don't believe in the structuralist theory which says that languages evolve separately by the pure chance. The reality contradicts this mechanistic point of view.

Actually, there is quite a bit of changes in Greek, both from Mycenean Greek to Classical Greek and from Classical Greek to modern Greek. They are obviously not quite as drastic as in other languages, but they exist. For instance, Mycenean Greek had "kw" where Classical Greek had "p" (interestingly, Greek did make the same shift there as the Osco-Umbrian languages and the P-Celtic languages). Mycenean Greek also had a "w" sound, which existed only vestigially in Classical Greek. From Classical Greek to modern Greek, one of the major changes, phonologically speaking, is the shift from the aspirated plosives (Th, Ph, Kh) to fricative sounds.

My point is, languages will change, no matter what. But, in regard for major shifts occuring in a short frame of time, I agree there must be a different mechanism.


French is the Romance language which has been the most altered, both phonetically and lexically in comparison with its Latin source, and I would bet that the very cause of the alteration is the Gaulish substratum.

Yes, there definitely is a Gaulish substratum in French. There's also a significant amount of vocabulary in French derived from Gaulish, but the Germanic (Frankish) influence on French is probably greater. One example that comes to my mind that illustrates this is the usage of the Uvular Trill in French as an "R" sound, which also exists in Standard German. The question is, is this sound Gaulish origin or Germanic in origin?


The same for Irish : its deep alterations have probably been caused by a pre-IE substratum (you can read something about that in The Celtic Languages published by Routledge, I don't have the book to hand right now but I'll check tomorrow). And you could find many other examples like that (just think about Hittite, even Mallory does not reject a pre-IE Hatti influence).

With Irish, the huge changes to the language all occured after the 6th century AD. If you take a look at the archaic Irish language as preserved in the Ogham inscriptions (circa 4th to 6th century AD), it was much more similar to Gaulish than to modern Irish, with all the sound changes that are typical of the Goidelic languages not having occured yet, as well as bearing a complex declension system (akin to Gaulish, but also Latin, Greek, etc.).

The idea that a pre-IE substratum influenced Irish is admittedly tempting. Especially, people sporadically brought up this idea of an Afro-Asiatic language being spoken in Britain before the arrival of the Celts, due to features such as VSO order (both Celtiberian and Gaulish as generally SVO) and inflected prepositions. However, it stands to reason that the features didn't develop until very late, thereby making the actual likelihood of these changes being due to pre-IE substrate somewhat unlikely.


I'll answer to the other problems you mentionned within a day or two.

Take your time. :smile:

iapetoc
14-07-11, 09:18
I'm glad you appreciate it. :satisfied:



Actually, there is quite a bit of changes in Greek, both from Mycenean Greek to Classical Greek and from Classical Greek to modern Greek. They are obviously not quite as drastic as in other languages, but they exist. For instance, Mycenean Greek had "kw" where Classical Greek had "p" (interestingly, Greek did make the same shift there as the Osco-Umbrian languages and the P-Celtic languages). Mycenean Greek also had a "w" sound, which existed only vestigially in Classical Greek. From Classical Greek to modern Greek, one of the major changes, phonologically speaking, is the shift from the aspirated plosives (Th, Ph, Kh) to fricative sounds.


Thank you for your answer; this is very interesting and raises many questions.

I think that the reason why Greek underwent almost no changes (at least phonetically) during 3 millenaries is the fact that there was no interference of a substratum during 3500 years. I simply don't believe in the structuralist theory which says that languages evolve separately by the pure chance. The reality contradicts this mechanistic point of view.


how sure we are about that?
probably you mean about letter F or στ the digama διγαμα which became nkk cause the r ρ was a vowel while in modern is connected with l to λυγρα ορ υγρα,
according what I know 6 changes in Greek are
F digama stop exist and becomes γγ = νκ nk even in archaic
u υψιλον becomes i Hellenistic due to Ionic dialect
and ai oi ei ui drop from long vowel to ε i i i i Hellenistic due to Ionic or Roman
ευ is pronounced ef or ev unknown time (in fact could not be even a change)
η and ι become 1 to i (in south Greece some keep the ι pure and connected with η) Roman
and the koppa ς from ssz σσζ drops to ς s σ archaic times or Attic times (exist even today in mountain isolated areas of Aeolian or Makedonian)

are we sure that Greek had sound τχ πχ κχ in archaic? that puts greek to larrygeal λαρυγγικες glosses (slavic-germanic)
while greek was a lugre and dental language υγρη και οδοντικη had sounds like 'rr 'ρρ hρρ and ll
(even today Makedonians kept the ll)
while sounds like d b w were and are rare in greek (dental, not rino-dental d=δ is pure dental d=ντ is rino-dental (n is a nose sound))

the biggest problem in Greek language was the begining,
the Hellenistic
and the modern 1820-1920 AD

the first was due to create a common sound
the second was cause every one wanted to be teacher of greek for wealthy roman family,
Alexandreians solve it by using aspirations ' and tones '~
the third is even today a problem the kathareuiusa and demotiki
cause although speak same language every corner had borrowed words and sounds, and many words change, like today we name oplon not the shield but the gun, or the chliari and chliaro,
chliari means spoon from kochliario while chliaro means demi warm demi cold, etc

Taranis
14-07-11, 10:36
Iapetoc, one thing you should consider is that Ph, Th and Kh in Greek generally correspond with Bh, Dh, Gh and Ǵh in Proto-Indo-European. Because Greek is a Centum language, it did merge Ǵh with Gh, but unlike the most other Indo-European languages (Centum or Satem), which basically de-aspirated Bh, Dh and Gh (to merge them with B, D and G, respectively), the Greek language instead devoiced these sounds, basically Bh became Ph (φ) , Dh became Th (θ) and Gh became Kh (χ). It therefore is absolutely necessary to assume that Mycenean Greek indeed did have these sounds, even if they are impossible to be transmitted via the Linear B script (on the other hand, Linear B verymuch could represent "Kw" and "W").

iapetoc
14-07-11, 12:09
Iapetoc, one thing you should consider is that Ph, Th and Kh in Greek generally correspond with Bh, Dh, Gh and Ǵh in Proto-Indo-European. Because Greek is a Centum language, it did merge Ǵh with Gh, but unlike the most other Indo-European languages (Centum or Satem), which basically de-aspirated Bh, Dh and Gh (to merge them with B, D and G, respectively), the Greek language instead devoiced these sounds, basically Bh became Ph (φ) , Dh became Th (θ) and Gh became Kh (χ). It therefore is absolutely necessary to assume that Mycenean Greek indeed did have these sounds, even if they are impossible to be transmitted via the Linear B script (on the other hand, Linear B verymuch could represent "Kw" and "W").

correct, it is another story the PIE, and another mycenean, we are not sure if ph or Bh exist in mycenean,
I believe that they were already non working, as we also see in the romano-latin.

zanipolo
14-07-11, 12:39
correct, it is another story the PIE, and another mycenean, we are not sure if ph or Bh exist in mycenean,
I believe that they were already non working, as we also see in the romano-latin.

http://www.ancientscripts.com/greek.html

Kentel
14-07-11, 14:16
Actually, there is quite a bit of changes in Greek, both from Mycenean Greek to Classical Greek and from Classical Greek to modern Greek. They are obviously not quite as drastic as in other languages, but they exist.

This is my point : there are changes (in a time span of 3500 years the contrary would have been surprising), but, as you said, they are not drastic. There is no comparison with the huge amount of sound changes which occurred from Latin to Old French in no more than 5 centuries.


For instance, Mycenean Greek had "kw" where Classical Greek had "p" (interestingly, Greek did make the same shift there as the Osco-Umbrian languages and the P-Celtic languages). Mycenean Greek also had a "w" sound, which existed only vestigially in Classical Greek. From Classical Greek to modern Greek, one of the major changes, phonologically speaking, is the shift from the aspirated plosives (Th, Ph, Kh) to fricative sounds.

This change is probably mechanistic, I agree. As for the question of the PIE labiovelar in Greek, Oscan and P-Celtic, I have no opinion yet, but this is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating problems in the field of historical phonetics.



Yes, there definitely is a Gaulish substratum in French. There's also a significant amount of vocabulary in French derived from Gaulish, but the Germanic (Frankish) influence on French is probably greater.

I wouldn't say that; several words considered by the etymological dictionaries (TLF and FEW) as Germanic may be in fact Celtic, and many words considered as "Dutch" are in fact not. Just one example : the word "chouette" (owl) is supposedly from old Frankish *kawa (which incidentaly designates a completely different bird), while there is an attested Gaulish caouanos (kaouenn in Breton). The same for blet and blesser, suposedly from Old Frankish *bleizza, saule from *sahla, and others. I am currently writing a paper about that.


One example that comes to my mind that illustrates this is the usage of the Uvular Trill in French as an "R" sound, which also exists in Standard German. The question is, is this sound Gaulish origin or Germanic in origin?

Very good question. I don't know :indifferent:. I would say it is originally Celtic (don't believe I am a Celtomane : I am definitely not !) because I find it hard to believe that the superstratum language of an aristocratic elite could influence the phonetics of a language so deeply (the change of articulation is huge in this case). Phonetics is mostly inherited from substrata.

However, this is not a definitive opinion (in fact I have no definitive opinion at all) and it could be originally Germanic. In Breton you have the same uvular R as in French and Germanic. Is it inherited from Gaulish or is it a borrowing from French or Germanic ? I asked to old peoples in Brittany of they could remember anybody using another sound than the uvular one and the answer was no. On the other hand, in Cornish you have an alveolar flap (as in English) which is probably a borrowing from English, thus the Breton R would be a borrowing from French, and that would contradict my first point. But a borrowing from when ? In Old French, you have (supposedly) an alveolar trill, as in Spanish...

Or maybe the English alveolar flap r is substratic, that's why you have it in English and Cornish (not in Welsh though), and maybe the french R is substratic too. I don't exclude any hypothesis. At the moment, I just don't know.

An why do you have a trill in Norwegian (not in Stavanger though... nothing is simple...).
in Swedish and in Icelandic ? Even in Faroese they have a trill...



With Irish, the huge changes to the language all occured after the 6th century AD. If you take a look at the archaic Irish language as preserved in the Ogham inscriptions (circa 4th to 6th century AD), it was much more similar to Gaulish than to modern Irish, with all the sound changes that are typical of the Goidelic languages not having occured yet, as well as bearing a complex declension system (akin to Gaulish, but also Latin, Greek, etc.).

You certainly know this theory according to which the first Celtic language spoken in Ireland was P-Celtic...


The idea that a pre-IE substratum influenced Irish is admittedly tempting. Especially, people sporadically brought up this idea of an Afro-Asiatic language being spoken in Britain before the arrival of the Celts, due to features such as VSO order (both Celtiberian and Gaulish as generally SVO) and inflected prepositions. However, it stands to reason that the features didn't develop until very late, thereby making the actual likelihood of these changes being due to pre-IE substrate somewhat unlikely.

That's Vennemann's theory I guess ? Unfortunately, all the papers and books I've found by him were written in German, and I must confess that I cannot read German. If you know something in English, I would be glad to read it and to know more about his theory.

Kentel
14-07-11, 15:03
not entirely correct, french language currently has a franckish ( germanic) element and while Latin /romance to a degree was not as latin as the original french
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occitan_language
which had more Latin influence


I wouldn't be so sure about that. The Visigothic Kingdom lasted 3 centuries, and this happened in Southern France.

I don't think you can borrow phonems so easily. As Sapir said "The highly significant thing about such phonetic interinfluencings is the strong tendancy of each language to keep its phonetic pattern intact". I don't think that French borrowed any phonem from German, nor from any superstratum.

But I may be wrong.

Taranis
14-07-11, 18:57
This is my point : there are changes (in a time span of 3500 years the contrary would have been surprising), but, as you said, they are not drastic. There is no comparison with the huge amount of sound changes which occurred from Latin to Old French in no more than 5 centuries.

Yes, you have a point. This is quite a difference in the mode of language evolution. One must add, such sudden changes make any attempts to make an "absolute dating" are completely screwed up (I'm talking about so-called concept of "glottochronology", which you may have heard about, and which has produced bewildering results, most drastically the claim by Forster and Toth 2003 that Proto-Celtic diverged from PIE in 6000 BC! :confused2: ). What is possible, though, as can be demonstrated, is that it's verymuch possible to do relative chronology in regard for whether words entered a language before or after a sound change.


This change is probably mechanistic, I agree. As for the question of the PIE labiovelar in Greek, Oscan and P-Celtic, I have no opinion yet, but this is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating problems in the field of historical phonetics.

Yes, this treatment in Greek, Osco-Umbrian and P-Celtic is certainly fascinating. Especially the question of why it happened there. Was there a common influence that caused this, or did this really happen independently?


I wouldn't say that; several words considered by the etymological dictionaries (TLF and FEW) as Germanic may be in fact Celtic, and many words considered as "Dutch" are in fact not. Just one example : the word "chouette" (owl) is supposedly from old Frankish *kawa (which incidentaly designates a completely different bird), while there is an attested Gaulish caouanos (kaouenn in Breton). The same for blet and blesser, suposedly from Old Frankish *bleizza, saule from *sahla, and others. I am currently writing a paper about that.

Yeah, you have a point there. The list is probably larger, and in addition I would think we must also not rule out the possibility of Gaulish loanwords in Old Frankish, to add confusion to the whole situation. Regarding Breton, one interesting question is if Breton has borrowings from Gaulish. I mean, I'm not necessarily arguing that Gaulish was still a living language at the time the Bretons arived in Aremorica (that would probably be a stretch to argue), because those words might have been transmitted to Breton via Vulgar Latin, instead.


Very good question. I don't know :indifferent:. I would say it is originally Celtic (don't believe I am a Celtomane : I am definitely not !) because I find it hard to believe that the superstratum language of an aristocratic elite could influence the phonetics of a language so deeply (the change of articulation is huge in this case). Phonetics is mostly inherited from substrata.

Yes, I absolutely agree there! It would seem far more likely for this to be inherited from the Gallo-Romans than from the Frankish aristocracy.


However, this is not a definitive opinion (in fact I have no definitive opinion at all) and it could be originally Germanic. In Breton you have the same uvular R as in French and Germanic. Is it inherited from Gaulish or is it a borrowing from French or Germanic ? I asked to old peoples in Brittany of they could remember anybody using another sound than the uvular one and the answer was no. On the other hand, in Cornish you have an alveolar flap (as in English) which is probably a borrowing from English, thus the Breton R would be a borrowing from French, and that would contradict my first point. But a borrowing from when ? In Old French, you have (supposedly) an alveolar trill, as in Spanish...

Or maybe the English alveolar flap r is substratic, that's why you have it in English and Cornish (not in Welsh though), and maybe the french R is substratic too. I don't exclude any hypothesis. At the moment, I just don't know.

An why do you have a trill in Norwegian (not in Stavanger though... nothing is simple...).
in Swedish and in Icelandic ? Even in Faroese they have a trill...

Well yeah, it gets confusing there. What has to be added is that the Uvular Trill is far from ubiquitous in German, because there's a number of dialects which have a very different "R" sounds: some southern dialects have the alveolar trill, and certain dialects in the west (the region around the town of Siegen, specifically) even have an alveolar approximant!


You certainly know this theory according to which the first Celtic language spoken in Ireland was P-Celtic...

Yes, I heard about that theory, but honestly, it makes much more sense to assume that the British Isles as a whole were originally Q-Celtic. In particular, a cognate of the word "Britain" (recorded as "Pritennike" in the ancient Greek sources, and also the Welsh word "Prydein") also exists in Irish as "Cruithne". Hence, the root word can be reconstructed as something akin to "Kʷritani". In my opinion, Britain was subsequently P-Celticized (or, participated in the P-Celtic sound shift, if you wish to call it that), whereas seemingly, Ireland was left out of this innovation.

However, what definitely is conceivable - even likely - is that there were P-Celtic peoples who arrived later in Ireland. Specifically, Ptolemy mentions a tribe in Ireland called the "Manapi", which sound very similar to the Menapi of Gallia Belgica, which lived in the region of Cassel (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France). We know that Belgic tribes migrated into Britain (the Atrebates, for instance, are found on both sides of the Channel), so it's conceivable that Belgic tribes also migrated into Ireland.


That's Vennemann's theory I guess ? Unfortunately, all the papers and books I've found by him were written in German, and I must confess that I cannot read German. If you know something in English, I would be glad to read it and to know more about his theory.

Yes, Vennemann, amongst other people. But principally Vennemann, because he's been the loudest advocate of it. In regard for you being not able to read his works, I am kind of afraid to say that you have not missed much. Basically, he started out with a good idea but he interpreted too much into it, and much of his later works (for instance, he argues that the Phoenicians colonized the North Sea!) are outright crazy! :startled:

One problem is that Vennemann explicitly argues that there was a Semitic substrate on the British Isles. I mean, I could see how there might have been an Afro-Asiatic language in the Atlantic region, which may have arrived there in the Neolithic. But I genuinely doubt that any Semitic-speaking peoples reached the British Isles before the Phoenician traders who may have arrived there in the early 1st millennium BC.

iapetoc
14-07-11, 22:51
http://www.ancientscripts.com/greek.html


these are assumptions, we believe that and noone is sure,

thε πχ exist even in modern greek in areas of Aeolian and upper makedonia επια or ηπια goes επχα cause ι =γι
in mountain peloponese (mycenean areas) we found the unique Lw ανδ Νw only in cases of ι
in North we find the ph as πχ and kh as κγ the th is never recorded, and a case of zγ s+k = zk or ζγ or znk

these aprirations can be found even today according area and all are connecting with ι (wiotta, γιωτα) cause of the existance of a short w before i, wI that w goes to h only in areas and is connected with letters,
in Epirus, Makedonia, Thessaly is with p and k while in peloponese is with L and N and in greeks from thrace we find a double ii
so the Ph and aspirations can be connected also with L and N but we don't connect them with PIE.

WE consider exist in mycenean there is no prove,

and all these aspirations that exist today is only when a word lose a syllabe and from 3 syllabes drops to 2 , gains 0,5 time by the aspiration to 2,5

example saloniki becomes salonγik, loses the last i but gains the w or h
so from 4 times drops to 3 but gains 0.5 from w goes 3,5

Kentel
15-07-11, 00:15
Very informative, thanks :)
Maybe we could open a separate thread to discuss this topic ? I am quite interested in learning more about that.

Kentel
26-07-11, 01:08
One must add, such sudden changes make any attempts to make an "absolute dating" are completely screwed up (I'm talking about so-called concept of "glottochronology", which you may have heard about, and which has produced bewildering results, most drastically the claim by Forster and Toth 2003 that Proto-Celtic diverged from PIE in 6000 BC! :confused2: ). What is possible, though, as can be demonstrated, is that it's verymuch possible to do relative chronology in regard for whether words entered a language before or after a sound change.

I agree, glottochronology is a complete blind way, and I didn't know this claim by Forster & Toth (thanks for mentioning it). I am rather surprised that some people still believe that it can be an effective tool : the aforementioned example with a phonetically very stable Greek opposed to a very unstable French demonstrates the inadequacy of the method. You could compare French with Italian as well.

Glottochronology is based upon a strictly structuralist ideology. Structuralists, and most indoeuropaeanists still are structuralists, believe that a language evolves mechanically because of this supposed game with assimilations and dissimilations. Language changes are explained by the language itself, no other factors (being it historical, sociological, psychological or whatever) are considered. I think that it is very simplistic, and it does not explain why some languages evolve much faster than others.

In my opinion, if the phonetics of French has undergone so much changes in comparison with Greek it is because 1- French is a form of latin deeply altered by the native Gaulish speakers, or as Proust put it somewhere, "French is nothing else than Latin uncorrectly spoken by Gauls" and 2- Greek has not been subjected to the influence of any substrata during at least 3500 years, which makes it comparatively very stable.


However, I wouldn't rule out the date in itself : 6000 BC for the separation between Celtic and PIE, it looks odd, but why not ? It depends on how we interpret the archaeological data. Which archaeological culture is supposed to be PIE and which is not. As you certainly know, we have today 3 main IE expansion models (Invasionist, Neolithic Dispersal and Paleolithic Continuity), none of them is completely convincing, and each of them has a different time scale. According to the PCT, 6000 BC would be possible (but is the PCT possible ? :indifferent:).

IMO, linguistic variation is very very slow process, and the only thing which can speed it up is the influence of substrata. Then, 6000 BC in terms of pure internal-structural linguistic variation, I find it plausible. If it is plausible from an archaelogical perspective is another story :)



Yeah, you have a point there. The list is probably larger, and in addition I would think we must also not rule out the possibility of Gaulish loanwords in Old Frankish, to add confusion to the whole situation.


Absolutely. This is definitely a big issue. I made a list of all the Germanic (Gothic and Old High German mainly) words which are considered as originally Gaulish. There is quite a lot of them.


Regarding Breton, one interesting question is if Breton has borrowings from Gaulish. I mean, I'm not necessarily arguing that Gaulish was still a living language at the time the Bretons arived in Aremorica (that would probably be a stretch to argue), because those words might have been transmitted to Breton via Vulgar Latin, instead.

Very good question. It is very difficult to answer in a few words.

First, what is Vulgar Latin ? This is like asking what is the nature of the Holly Spirit, the core theological question in Romance historical linguistics. Let's put it aside :indifferent:

Second, was Gaulish still spoken in Aremorica at the arrival of the Britons ? The answer is definitely yes. The first Britons arrived in Aremorica during the IVth century, thus very early. If you take a map of Brittany it is crystal-clear : all the city names which end in -ec are britonnic, all the ones which end in -ac are gaulish (-acos); the mix Gaulish/Britons is obvious. Moreover, Gaulish is still attested in actual France as late as the VIth century AD.

But it raises another question : what was the difference between Proto-Brittonic and Gaulish ? According to different studies and to witnesses of the time, Gauls and Britons could communicate with each others using their own languages without any problem. It means that their languages were VERY close and that the differences laid at a quasi-dialectal level.



Well yeah, it gets confusing there. What has to be added is that the Uvular Trill is far from ubiquitous in German, because there's a number of dialects which have a very different "R" sounds: some southern dialects have the alveolar trill, and certain dialects in the west (the region around the town of Siegen, specifically) even have an alveolar approximant!

Very interesting, I didn't know that; I'll write it down in my notebook :smile: Ok, the conclusion is : contrary to what is being said everywhere, there is no connection between uvular R and Germanic :thinking:


However, what definitely is conceivable - even likely - is that there were P-Celtic peoples who arrived later in Ireland. Specifically, Ptolemy mentions a tribe in Ireland called the "Manapi", which sound very similar to the Menapi of Gallia Belgica, which lived in the region of Cassel (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France). We know that Belgic tribes migrated into Britain (the Atrebates, for instance, are found on both sides of the Channel), so it's conceivable that Belgic tribes also migrated into Ireland.

I've read somewhere (I could probably find it again) that some core (ie very old) Irish words are obviously brittonic, and that it was the reason why some believed that Hibernia had been first P-Celtic.




One problem is that Vennemann explicitly argues that there was a Semitic substrate on the British Isles. I mean, I could see how there might have been an Afro-Asiatic language in the Atlantic region, which may have arrived there in the Neolithic. But I genuinely doubt that any Semitic-speaking peoples reached the British Isles before the Phoenician traders who may have arrived there in the early 1st millennium BC.

In fact, it sounds weird. I suppose he connects that with the Bell-Beaker Culture (the most confusing archaeological culture of Europe)...

Haganus
30-07-11, 22:44
Probably the Belgae were a celtic tribe. The Eburones and Menapii were germanic. It is thought too often that celtic tribes lived at
Caesar's arrival north of the Canche, Marne and Ardennes. Does anybody read Namentkuendiche Studien Germanischer Namen in
heutiger Sicht written by Juergen Udolph? He is an adversary of the Scandinanian origin of the Germanic tribes; according to him
the Germanics arose in the so called Jastorf area, south of Hamburg till the Elbe and Thuringhia and into Westphalia and east of
the Netherlands where very ancient and archaic place names are found. He denies the presence of the Celts in south of the Netherlands and the Rhine Region. The so called apa-place names (very numerous in the Netherlands, Velp-Velepa, Elp-Elapa)
are really old Germanic placenames.

Taranis
31-07-11, 02:57
Kentel, you have some very interesting insights there in your elaborate post. I would love to reply, but I am very busy at the moment.

Haganus, I find it peculiar and ironic that you explicitly mention the Eburones as Germanic, whereas the tribal name is overtly Celtic. "Eburo-" (generally thought to mean "yew") has cognates in Welsh "Efwr" (hogweed) and Breton "Evor" (buckthorn). There is also the Celtiberian name "Ebursunos". Place names with "Eburo-" also occur widespread across the Celtic-speaking world. There is also the names of it's leaders, Ambiorix and Catuvolcus, which sound overtly Celtic. The case for the Eburones being Germanic, in my opinion, other than Caesar claiming them to be that, is weak at best. With the Menapii, there is the issue, as mentioned that a tribe of a similar name is also found in Ireland. Calling for Germanic presence in Ireland of Antiquity is very problematic, in my opinion.

Celtic place names are also found along in the Rhine delta (Nijmwegen = Noviomagus) and everywhere along the Rhine, notably town names ending nowadays with "-magen" are derived from Gaulish "Magus" ("plain", compare Old Irish "Mag"), and Gaulish inscriptions have been for instance found in Trier. From that part, it eludes me why anybody would deny Celtic presence in this region.

I think, one problem, it appears is that there is a lot politics/bias involved in this, with people trying to somewhere draw the line between Celtic and Germanic, whereas in reality this probably never really existed, and also considerably fluctuated over time. For instance, it is clear that by the time of Ptolemy, Germanic tribes had expanded southwards as far as the Danube, yet Celtic place named can be found as far north as the Main river and Silesia.

Kentel
31-07-11, 18:12
Kentel, you have some very interesting insights there in your elaborate post. I would love to reply, but I am very busy at the moment.

Take your time (moreover I'll be off during one month with almost no internet, thus no possibility to follow the developments of this very interesting discussion...).


Haganus, I find it peculiar and ironic that you explicitly mention the Eburones as Germanic, whereas the tribal name is overtly Celtic. "Eburo-" (generally thought to mean "yew") has cognates in Welsh "Efwr" (hogweed) and Breton "Evor" (buckthorn). There is also the Celtiberian name "Ebursunos". Place names with "Eburo-" also occur widespread across the Celtic-speaking world. There is also the names of it's leaders, Ambiorix and Catuvolcus, which sound overtly Celtic. The case for the Eburones being Germanic, in my opinion, other than Caesar claiming them to be that, is weak at best. With the Menapii, there is the issue, as mentioned that a tribe of a similar name is also found in Ireland. Calling for Germanic presence in Ireland of Antiquity is very problematic, in my opinion.

Celtic place names are also found along in the Rhine delta (Nijmwegen = Noviomagus) and everywhere along the Rhine, notably town names ending nowadays with "-magen" are derived from Gaulish "Magus" ("plain", compare Old Irish "Mag"), and Gaulish inscriptions have been for instance found in Trier.


Here, it is rather simple : I agree with each of your arguments :)

There is a very interesting theory about a pre-IE or pre-Celtic/Germanic substratum in the region called Nordwestblock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordwestblock), maybe you've heard of it. Rhetorically it is rather brilliant since it tends to consider the genesis of IE languages from a completely different perspective than the usual one (phylogenetic).


From that part, it eludes me why anybody would deny Celtic presence in this region.

VERY good question (and it looks like you already know the answer)...

Archaeologically, there is a consensus to consider that Jastorf culture is connected with the Germans and Halstatt with the Celts (and the Illyrians), and that the technology of iron working spread from Halstatt in 700 BC to Jastorf in 600 BC. But if you look that on a map, you can see that there is a quite large area between the two cultures. What happened in this area is the question...

Haganus
31-07-11, 19:55
The name of the Eburones had to do with the Germanic wild boards. Personals- and tribe names say nothing about their origin.
After WWII a lot of Dutch children had English or American names without English or American ancestry. In the seventies
many Dutch children had Russian names also without Russian ancestry. Celtic names gave them more prestige.
But you read Juergen Udolph's book about place names in Germany. He denies a presence of Celtic tribes in the
Benelux. Why did not Germanic tribes arrive in Ireland at the Roman time? Oppenheimer said that Germanic tribes
arrived in UK before Caesar's arrival!

Taranis
31-07-11, 20:35
The name of the Eburones had to do with the Germanic wild boards. Personals- and tribe names say nothing about their origin.
After WWII a lot of Dutch children had English or American names without English or American ancestry. In the seventies
many Dutch children had Russian names also without Russian ancestry. Celtic names gave them more prestige.

"Wild boards"? How do you mean? As I have elaborated before, "Eburo-" is clearly Celtic in etymology, attested not only in Gaulish, but also Brythonic and even Celtiberian. The usage of tree names in tribal names is also not uncommon for Celtic peoples, take for example the Arverni tribe ((those who dwell) upon alders).


But you read Juergen Udolph's book about place names in Germany. He denies a presence of Celtic tribes in the
Benelux.

See, you are making quite a bit of a stretch here. We have Celtic tribal names, town names and personal names. To say that no Celtic tribes were there is based on what? Supposition and arbitrary decision?


Why did not Germanic tribes arrive in Ireland at the Roman time? Oppenheimer said that Germanic tribes
arrived in UK before Caesar's arrival!

I'm sorry, JUST no, I guess everybody on this forum can agree that Oppenheimer's ideas are hopelessly outdated at best, and completely debunked at worst. What Oppenheimer did was a logical fallacy: Caesar claimed several of the Belgic tribes to be Germanic, therefore Oppenheimer reasons the Belgae were Germanic. Because Belgic tribes were in Britain, there were Germanic tribes in Britain before Caesar - at least by this chain of argumentation. It falls apart when you see that there is absolutely no Germanic name evidence in ancient Britain, especially amongst the Belgic tribes in question.

Taranis
31-07-11, 23:07
Take your time (moreover I'll be off during one month with almost no internet, thus no possibility to follow the developments of this very interesting discussion...).

Don't worry.


Here, it is rather simple : I agree with each of your arguments :)

I'm very glad we can agree there. :satisfied:


There is a very interesting theory about a pre-IE or pre-Celtic/Germanic substratum in the region called Nordwestblock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordwestblock), maybe you've heard of it. Rhetorically it is rather brilliant since it tends to consider the genesis of IE languages from a completely different perspective than the usual one (phylogenetic).

I have heard of the hypothesis regarding the Northwestblock. I do not quite follow, however, how this relates to a different approach than the usual one.


VERY good question (and it looks like you already know the answer)...

Archaeologically, there is a consensus to consider that Jastorf culture is connected with the Germans and Halstatt with the Celts (and the Illyrians), and that the technology of iron working spread from Halstatt in 700 BC to Jastorf in 600 BC. But if you look that on a map, you can see that there is a quite large area between the two cultures. What happened in this area is the question...

This is a good point. Given the historic distance, it is also very difficult to estimate what exactly happened in this area in earlier times.

Kentel
31-07-11, 23:31
The name of the Eburones had to do with the Germanic wild boards. Personals- and tribe names say nothing about their origin.
After WWII a lot of Dutch children had English or American names without English or American ancestry. In the seventies
many Dutch children had Russian names also without Russian ancestry. Celtic names gave them more prestige.
But you read Juergen Udolph's book about place names in Germany. He denies a presence of Celtic tribes in the
Benelux. Why did not Germanic tribes arrive in Ireland at the Roman time? Oppenheimer said that Germanic tribes
arrived in UK before Caesar's arrival!

I think that if Udolph's denies the presence of Celts in the Benelux in spite of the archaeologic, onomastic and toponymic evidence (read f.ex. Ancient Celtic Place Names in Europe and Asia Minor by Patrick Sims-Williams (http://www.amazon.fr/Ancient-Celtic-Place-names-Europe-Minor/dp/1405145706)) it is because he does not want to see the Celts there (and incidentally, it would be interesting to know more about his motivations).

The Germans in the UK before Caesar, I'd like to know what does that exactly mean (colonies ? trading posts ? cultural exchanges ? or more ?) and on which evidence such an assumption is based. Because, a priori, it sounds rather weird.

Kentel
31-07-11, 23:37
I have heard of the hypothesis regarding the Northwestblock. I do not quite follow, however, how this relates to a different approach than the usual one.


Because it implies a substratum in the genesis of two IE languages - and the general mainstream IE theory hates substrata. You don't have only mothers and daughters like in Schleicher's Stammbaum, you also have substrata from completely different language families (in this case : Venetic, pre-IE or even Circassian...).

I don't say the theory is right, but I find it theorically very good : a substratum to explain lexical convergences between two or three neighbouring IE languages.

Kentel
31-07-11, 23:45
repetition, sorry...

Taranis
31-07-11, 23:52
I think that if Udolph's denies the presence of Celts in the Benelux in spite of the archaeologic, onomastic and toponymic evidence (read f.ex. Ancient Celtic Place Names in Europe and Asia Minor by Patrick Sims-Williams (http://www.amazon.fr/Ancient-Celtic-Place-names-Europe-Minor/dp/1405145706)) it is because he does not want to see the Celts there (and incidentally, it would be interesting to know more about his motivations).

Yes, I would be curious about his motives as well.


The Germans in the UK before Caesar, I'd like to know what does that exactly mean (colonies ? trading posts ? cultural exchanges ? or more ?) and on which evidence such an assumption is based. Because, a priori, it sounds rather weird.

I could go into detail, but it is actually summarized fairly well in the wikipedia article on him (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Oppenheimer#Origins_of_the_British). Note that the man is a geneticist, not a linguist or archaeologist. Also note that many of his genetics-derived assumptions, in particular pertaining Y-Haplogroup R1b, are severely outdated nowadays.

Cambrius (The Red)
08-08-11, 17:49
It seems there is a lot of serious denial about Celtic presence these days - even with overwhelming evidence staring people in the face. A sign of social pathology?

Finalise
29-07-12, 08:05
Queen teuta of the illyrians.....????

MOESAN
29-07-12, 18:45
hello!

I take on this old thread given it anew life by a very recent post -
My knowledge is not so vaste as the oneof some hobbyists here but reading some old posts I want to do someremarks :
about 'r' : Kentel saysbreton 'r' is uvular (I suppose the MODERN french 'r' and LITTERARYgerman 'r' ): it is very untrue : yet nowaday50% of the native breton speakers (born about the 1930-40's)pronounce a « trilled » 'r' (I don't know the englishspecific linguistic word for it) : this 'r' is not so« trilled » as do the Scotmen and the Spaniards, strongonly when explosive and following some stops ; it is weak atimplosive position and then tends to fade out as in english and somescandinavic dialects ; on an other hand, it was blown at theinitial as welsh 'rh' in some subdialects of breton ; I add thatin Tregor dialect the explosive 'r' was trilled but take an « irish »or even « american texan » colour when implosive, as itcan do too in Scotland in the same position –
at the beginning of the 1900's thetrilled 'r' was the dominant one - I remember a 'bigouter' breton ofPont-an-Abad (Pont-L'Abbé, SW Finistère) that wrote his comradesmocked the Kemper (Quimper) inhabitants that spoke breton with a'uvular french r', giving even a kind of 'a' (look at german) at theimplosive position when the 'Bigouters' pronounced a vigorous trilled'r' : nowaday, in the same small region, Quimper inhabitantsignore breton language for the most, and the 'Bigouters' pronouncethe uvular french 'r' their fathers laughed at ! Thingschange... and yes, in some small regions of brittophoneBrittany, old trilled /r/ is unknown today -
in France the most of the people,speaking 'oil' as well as 'oc' trilled the 'r' – in France, theuvular 'r' modern expansion is a social phenomenon linked to socialclasses and snobism (and school), so big towns to begin – BUT forcopying a new pronounciation you need a source ; I don't knowwhat was or are the theories concerning uvular 'r' in french, but, asI wrote in another thread, I believe the first occurrences ofuvular 'r' or some close sound could be linked to Franks elites :flemish speaking Belgians have two kinds of 'r' : one trilled asin the Netherlands as a whole (but maybe in dutch Limburg you canfind a sort of uvular 'r') and one close enough to the uvular 'r',but « trilled » in a certain way – as I knowScandinavians (Norway, Denmark, Sweden) has the trilled 'r' and theuvular 'r', I'm obliged to think that the origin of the uvular onecame from ONE or ONES of the germanic dialects : it could bepassed in Scandinavia through the geographic road of Denmark northGermany AND TOO in Sweden passed by the social mediation of a lot ofGermans immigrants (they were very numerous in Sweden at some timebut I forgot the precise dates : in the XVIII and XIXcenturies ?) or maybe at the time when Denmark ruled southernSweden, because uvular 'r' seams commoner in today Denmark than inother scandinavian lands ; I add than in danish the uvular 'r'seams attached to social statute too - a speculation could be : ?the pre-germanic I-Ean /kr-/ >> /hr-/ >> /ʁ/(uvular or close to it) in some ethnies of Western Germany, betweenbelgium and Rhine ?
The local evolution of something closeto it, in breton and in flemish, push me to imagine that :
a) in breton(ish) even the trillingpronouncers of 'r' (# /R/) pronounce nowaday / -ʁX/or even simply /-X/ what was previoulsy '-rc'h' /-rX/ or /-rɣ/ -
b)in some flemish (maybe not western vlaamsch but zuid-brabantisch) theorigin of a 'r' close to french /ʁ/ but stronger could be found inthe frequency of the group 'gr-' occurrence : /ɣr/ >>/ɣR/ leading to the lost of traditional trilled 'r' ? itdoesn't contradict at all the hypothesis about ancient 'hr' germanicgroup ...
&:I red somewhere (touring billingual handooks) that in portuguese andbrazilian 'r' knows /r/ and /ʁ/ according to position in words anddouble 'rr' is pronounced /ʁ/ - which origin ?


Concerningbelgic tribes in Ireland H. HUBERT thought that the 'fir bolg' couldbe translated the « men of the bags » if I don't mistake('bola' << 'bolg' = « belly » in today welsh,'bolc'h' << 'bolg' = « chesnut bug » in breton),it's to say « the men in large 'bracae' (breeches) »evocating continental Celts of the North as Belgae...


Veryoften I red that personal names and tribal names of Antiquity are ofno worth to tell us the ethnicity and the language of theirbearers, and someones take the present day mode of internationalchristian names for children as a proof of that ; can we be surethat the mentality of these times was exactly the same as presently ?Had they handbooks proposing them a bunch of names with translationsfor them or their children ? Snobism is not new but at this timeI think there was higher exigences than today : the autonegationwas not « in the wind » as today, I suppose, a little bitmore of proud (sometimes ridiculous unfounded proud) was the rule inthese times and I have some difficulty to think Germanic tribes tookceltic names only by snobism or admiration... Even the elite of Gaultribes allied to well famed Roma kept their celtic naming, changingonly slowly when Gauls were definitely vainquished – even the'roman-britton' nobility of Brittain, after having taken latin names,came back to celtic names when they cut the links with Roma ;and the nobility of Europe speaking french is another thing :allied almost « incestuous » cousins living in anartificial bubble disconnected society, far from any folk, so I amnot sure it could be compared to other times and societiessituations...


Speaking about the Cimbers/Cimri, I amstill not sure of a true far germanic origin of them – there'urheimat' should not be in Denmark and considering placenames (citedby some of you) and Y-DNA, we can expect that Celts was previouslysettled far enough in the North and maybe Northeast – even ifignoring the D. FAUX thesis about scandinavian Y-R1b-U152 came therethrough Jutland from supposedly celtic Cimri, we can suppose that thepresent day Netherlands knew some celtic presence and yet we see that they are not so level the global surveys put us to believe :even if I have some defiance about STR studies, I have in mind thatthe Dutch people south the Rhine river show different enoughdistributions of haplotypes compared to Frisians or northernNetherlanders, a lot of these haplotypes showing more southern andwestern ties for Y-R1b (geographically closer to Iberia orneo-celtic countries); We lack regional detailed SNPs studies for theNetherlands – germanic Belgium shows that the united R-U152+RS116are everywhere stronger than « frisian » or « austrian »R-U106 (only in malines-Mechelen), being the most striking theWestern Antwerpen district with 16,2% of R-U152, 28,2% of R-S116 and27,5% only of R-U106 : this region is bordering the continentalZeeland where the Netherlanders was the smallest for stature in thelast century – I know the cemeteries of southernNetherlands-Zeeland showed a lot of brachycephals in the last MiddleAges ('alpine's + some 'borreby's are to be bet) but one can objectthat these populations could have settled the Netherlands latelyenough (Duchy of Lorraine or Burgundy?) and not at the supposedceltic times – but reading C.COON can help sometimes : withoutlooking for explications we can do this statement : the metriccranial means of ancient Franks (a medly of phenotypes with somenordic dominent) was closer to the Celts ones (Iron Ages elites only?La Tène Celts as Goidels) than to the means of Anglo-Saxons or otherGermanics tribes of these times... I know that this argumentationfalls far from linguistic purposes but perharps it could help making sense?


Just to finish with Taraniswho have great knowledge in linguistic, I'll say that common ancientgrammatical structures conserved well enough by two families oflanguages doesn't assure an (even hard) inter-understanding :yet some recentdialects ofthe same family have difficulties for understanding, more by lexicallosts and gains than by phonetic evolution : I had send a littlelist of latin and gaulish words showing that very well, spite anattested even if remote common origin between italic and celtic...sure enough the nobility people of those times was moving more thanwe do nowaday and lexical break and isolation did not occur so easilythan in modern sedentary dialects but... the links you mentionedbetween (pre-?proto-?)germanic and (pre?-proto- ?) balto-slavicseam to me prove that Germanics grandfathers was not kept so close toCelts as a whole (see 'sister'/'sestra' # *'swor', 'son'/'syn' #*'makw', *'khwol'/*'kol' # *'rot', *'melk'/*'m-l-k' # '*lakt' ...+with italic or others : *'khop-t'/'kaput' # *kwen(d),*'phot'/'ped'/'pod' # *'tro-id' (sorry,my reconstructed forms are not the conventionnal ones, but they areeasy to read) – peoplehere put some good examples to improve this too short list -


sorryfor a so indigest text !
Takea drink to put all that bad stuff down !

MOESAN
29-07-12, 18:48
sorry, it is the second time that I see afterhand that my 'copy & patch' became incorrect when executed here: lack of separation between words - could somebody explain me what is the cause and how find a solution
?
Thanks

LeBrok
29-07-12, 22:38
sorry, it is the second time that I see afterhand that my 'copy & patch' became incorrect when executed here: lack of separation between words - could somebody explain me what is the cause and how find a solution
?
ThanksThis version of Bulletin Board is not fully compatible with MS Explorer or Windows7 in general. I have same problems.

MOESAN
29-07-12, 23:19
This version of Bulletin Board is not fully compatible with MS Explorer or Windows7 in general. I have same problems.

thanks
it is not so hard to me, just annoying for readers - I 'll hold on without any drug or any kind of euphorizant...

Kentel
14-12-12, 00:50
hello!

I take on this old thread given it anew life by a very recent post -
My knowledge is not so vaste as the oneof some hobbyists here but reading some old posts I want to do someremarks :
about 'r' : Kentel saysbreton 'r' is uvular (I suppose the MODERN french 'r' and LITTERARYgerman 'r' ): it is very untrue : yet nowaday50% of the native breton speakers (born about the 1930-40's)pronounce a « trilled » 'r' (I don't know the englishspecific linguistic word for it) : this 'r' is not so« trilled » as do the Scotmen and the Spaniards, strongonly when explosive and following some stops ; it is weak atimplosive position and then tends to fade out as in english and somescandinavic dialects ; on an other hand, it was blown at theinitial as welsh 'rh' in some subdialects of breton ; I add thatin Tregor dialect the explosive 'r' was trilled but take an « irish »or even « american texan » colour when implosive, as itcan do too in Scotland in the same position –
at the beginning of the 1900's thetrilled 'r' was the dominant one - I remember a 'bigouter' breton ofPont-an-Abad (Pont-L'Abbé, SW Finistère) that wrote his comradesmocked the Kemper (Quimper) inhabitants that spoke breton with a'uvular french r', giving even a kind of 'a' (look at german) at theimplosive position when the 'Bigouters' pronounced a vigorous trilled'r' : nowaday, in the same small region, Quimper inhabitantsignore breton language for the most, and the 'Bigouters' pronouncethe uvular french 'r' their fathers laughed at ! Thingschange... and yes, in some small regions of brittophoneBrittany, old trilled /r/ is unknown today -

Sorry to answer so late, I haven't checked this thread for a while. Moesan, your reply is very interesting and challenges my own belief as far as the uvular R is concerned. It is very interesting because Pont'n Abad, the Breton village you mention in your post, is the place where I was born :) I questioned some native Breton speakers from there, and none of them remember having heard the trilled R in their childhood.

Another thing : in his Grammar of Breton (historically the first), Le Gonidec states that the R is pronounced "as in French", i.e. as an uvular : "R se prononce comme en français" (p.6). The book has been written in 1807, hence it gives a rather interesting account about the pronounciation of the language two centuries ago.

The "prestige hypothesis" (the Bretons - and the French - are supposed to have been using the uvular R instead of the trilled R by social imitation) sounds very dubious to me, not only because it does not look very realistic, but especially because the places of articulation of the two sounds are too different. When you hear people learning French as a second language, among the (many) phonetic obstacles they bump in, there is the uvular R. It is extremely difficult for a speaker who does not have this sound in his/her language to imitate it, and many do not even succeed in doing so. Most Spanish or Italians I've heard speaking French couldn't articulate it. Some can, obviously, but at a cost of a considerable effort.

Well, I don't say you're wrong - nor that I am right as a matter of fact, but we have here contradictory assesments.

dublin
15-02-13, 17:29
hi guys

can i suggest couple of possible explanations for this:


Well yeah, it gets confusing there. What has to be added is that the Uvular Trill is far from ubiquitous in German, because there's a number of dialects which have a very different "R" sounds: some southern dialects have the alveolar trill, and certain dialects in the west (the region around the town of Siegen, specifically) even have an alveolar approximant!


The other main theory posits that the uvular r originated within Germanic languages through a process where the alveolar r was weakened and then replaced by an imitation of the alveolar r (vocalisation).[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uvular_trill#cite_note-2)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uvular_trill


La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age (from 450 BCE to the Roman conquest in the 1st century BCE) in eastern France (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France), Switzerland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland), Austria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austria), southwest Germany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany), the Czech Republic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Republic), Poland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland), Slovakia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovakia), Slovenia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenia), Hungary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungary) and Romania (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_T%C3%A8ne_culture

Can i suggest that the original hard r ( alveolar r) came from a languages spoken in central europe at the time of the la tene culture and that the sound was best preserved in western and south slavic languages which developed from this common "celtic" language?
what i am suggesting here is that there could have been a mix of tribes at that time in central europe speaking a common language which contained hard r. Their western and northern cousins used the hard r words but adopted them to suit their speech apparatus and thus produced uvular r or alveolar approximant.

The fact that we have all 3 types of r in germanic languages but only alveolar r in slavic languages leads me to beleave that the development went from east to west from slavic to germanic and gaulish simultaniously and then to other languages that developed from germanic and gaulish.

The fact that we have hard r present in some germanic language dialects today is a result of the fact that these countries had large slavic population up to medieval times which preserved their pronounciation. example are germany, scandinavian countries, england...

i know that this would require proto slavs to be present in central europe (baltic - balkan) at about 500 bc and that they were there either intermingled with celts or were celts, and that some people don't even want to talk about it, but i believe that it is a possibility and it would answer the above question nicely.
as for slavs in britan, ireland, scandinavia, island they arrived there in multiple consecutive waves as part of various tribal confederations which settled these lands from the bronze age onward to the time of the vikings.

hope this helps

as for the development of the irish language i believe that it was a result of a population replacement and or merge, where new elite replaced old language with the new one on certain territories within ireland which were originally settled by tribes speaking either completely different languages or different dialects. ireland has never been a homogeneous genetic, national, linguistic or cultural space. it became homogenized in the early medieval period due to goidelic wars and their eventual cultural supremacy which was helped by the forced christianization, in the same way cultural and linguistic conversion of the slavs was achieved in the baltic region in the 12-14th century and even more extremely in hungary in 17-19th century. so the apparent cultural replacement and at the same time cultural continuity in ireland can be explained through the fact that goidelic territories of ireland show cultural evolution wheres the territories which were originally settled by baltic people show cultural replacement. this is visible in many names which were transliterated into goidelic and have acquired a weird new meaning that has nothing to do with the original name apart from sounding similar, which is a thing found in all conquered territories where there was population replacement that happened in a short period of time. the example is albania and kosovo. most toponims in albania are of slavic origin but a lot of them have no meaning or have changed meaning because most of the population is albanian and in a lot of case they just continued using the name without understanding the meaning. we can see how this is done right now in kosovo, wher serbian population is replaced by albanian, and we have transliteration of names being done before our eyes. for instance Kosovo (black bird field) has become Kosova which has no meaning. also all Ls are being softened to Lj...



there is a lot of cultural, archaeological and linguistics puzzles in western europe that can only be explained by a presence of a significant slavic population in these areas in the past.

i have found very interesting things that point to the cultural migration spreading by sea from south baltic along the atlantic coast to scandinavia, low countries, france, britan and ireland from the time of the lake dwellers onward.

the most interesting is slavic (or balto slavic) cultural layer that existed in some parts of ireland before the goidelic conquest in the early medieval time...

let me know if you would like to talk about it

zanipolo
15-02-13, 20:50
hi guys

can i suggest couple of possible explanations for this:





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uvular_trill



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_T%C3%A8ne_culture

Can i suggest that the original hard r ( alveolar r) came from a languages spoken in central europe at the time of the la tene culture and that the sound was best preserved in western and south slavic languages which developed from this common "celtic" language?
what i am suggesting here is that there could have been a mix of tribes at that time in central europe speaking a common language which contained hard r. Their western and northern cousins used the hard r words but adopted them to suit their speech apparatus and thus produced uvular r or alveolar approximant.

The fact that we have all 3 types of r in germanic languages but only alveolar r in slavic languages leads me to beleave that the development went from east to west from slavic to germanic and gaulish simultaniously and then to other languages that developed from germanic and gaulish.

The fact that we have hard r present in some germanic language dialects today is a result of the fact that these countries had large slavic population up to medieval times which preserved their pronounciation. example are germany, scandinavian countries, england...

i know that this would require proto slavs to be present in central europe (baltic - balkan) at about 500 bc and that they were there either intermingled with celts or were celts, and that some people don't even want to talk about it, but i believe that it is a possibility and it would answer the above question nicely.
as for slavs in britan, ireland, scandinavia, island they arrived there in multiple consecutive waves as part of various tribal confederations which settled these lands from the bronze age onward to the time of the vikings.

hope this helps

as for the development of the irish language i believe that it was a result of a population replacement and or merge, where new elite replaced old language with the new one on certain territories within ireland which were originally settled by tribes speaking either completely different languages or different dialects. ireland has never been a homogeneous genetic, national, linguistic or cultural space. it became homogenized in the early medieval period due to goidelic wars and their eventual cultural supremacy which was helped by the forced christianization, in the same way cultural and linguistic conversion of the slavs was achieved in the baltic region in the 12-14th century and even more extremely in hungary in 17-19th century. so the apparent cultural replacement and at the same time cultural continuity in ireland can be explained through the fact that goidelic territories of ireland show cultural evolution wheres the territories which were originally settled by baltic people show cultural replacement. this is visible in many names which were transliterated into goidelic and have acquired a weird new meaning that has nothing to do with the original name apart from sounding similar, which is a thing found in all conquered territories where there was population replacement that happened in a short period of time. the example is albania and kosovo. most toponims in albania are of slavic origin but a lot of them have no meaning or have changed meaning because most of the population is albanian and in a lot of case they just continued using the name without understanding the meaning. we can see how this is done right now in kosovo, wher serbian population is replaced by albanian, and we have transliteration of names being done before our eyes. for instance Kosovo (black bird field) has become Kosova which has no meaning. also all Ls are being softened to Lj...



there is a lot of cultural, archaeological and linguistics puzzles in western europe that can only be explained by a presence of a significant slavic population in these areas in the past.

i have found very interesting things that point to the cultural migration spreading by sea from south baltic along the atlantic coast to scandinavia, low countries, france, britan and ireland from the time of the lake dwellers onward.

the most interesting is slavic (or balto slavic) cultural layer that existed in some parts of ireland before the goidelic conquest in the early medieval time...

let me know if you would like to talk about it

la tene culture was neither germanic or slavic in language because these groups where not there in the iron age. you are over 1000 years in error.
la tene culture was dead by the Roman times

Taranis
15-02-13, 21:41
Dublin,

before you, or indeed anybody else, make speculations based on the occurence of a certain sound, let me give you an educative counterexample: the Welsh language has a distinct sound, the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative(written as "ll" in Welsh orthography). This does not occur in Cornish or Breton (which have an "l" in it's place), nor does it occur in the Gaelic languages, nor does it occur in English or other languages in Europe. It does, however, occur frequently in Native American languages such as Nahuatl (the language of the former Aztec empire) or Navajo. Does this mean that Indians immigrated into medieval Wales? I guess you can answer that question for yourself...

Besides, in linguistics, there is a very sharp definition of what a Celtic, what a Germanic, and what a Slavic language is. All three language families are defined by sets of sound laws by which they are derived from Proto-Indo-European. Because of this, you could never transmute into language A into B. The 'philosopher's stone' for languages does not exist.


la tene culture was neither germanic or slavic in language because these groups where not there in the iron age. you are over 1000 years in error.
la tene culture was dead by the Roman times

Slight correction: the Romans killed the La Téne Culture when they conquered Gaul.

dublin
19-02-13, 16:04
before you, or indeed anybody else, make speculations based on the occurence of a certain sound, let me give you an educative counterexample: the Welsh language has a distinct sound, the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative(written as "ll" in Welsh orthography). This does not occur in Cornish or Breton (which have an "l" in it's place), nor does it occur in the Gaelic languages, nor does it occur in English or other languages in Europe. It does, however, occur frequently in Native American languages such as Nahuatl (the language of the former Aztec empire) or Navajo. Does this mean that Indians immigrated into medieval Wales? I guess you can answer that question for yourself...

hi Taranis. how are you these days?

the above is not an argument. you can find an example like this for everything.
concentrate on europe. we are not talking about the whole world. in europe we see clear pattern. i don't know what it means, but you have no explanation for it, so i postulated mine.


Besides, in linguistics, there is a very sharp definition of what a Celtic, what a Germanic, and what a Slavic language is.

we already talked abut this. what you call celtic languages are goidelic languages and have very little to do with celts.

slavic, galic, germanic languages developed under great influence of central european celtic language.

this is my oppinion anyway

zanipolo

go to politics forum and fight your wars over there

Taranis
19-02-13, 17:16
hi Taranis. how are you these days?

the above is not an argument. you can find an example like this for everything.
concentrate on europe. we are not talking about the whole world. in europe we see clear pattern. i don't know what it means, but you have no explanation for it, so i postulated mine.

I'm precisely having an explanation here, and I've tried to elaborate that using the example of "ll" in Welsh: that there may be no clear pattern here.


we already talked abut this. what you call celtic languages are goidelic languages and have very little to do with celts.

Are Cornish, Breton, Welsh, Celtiberian, Gaulish and Galatian all Goidelic languages for you? I'm sorry, but linguists have a very clear definition (http://www.univie.ac.at/indogermanistik/download/Stifter/oldcelt2008_1_general.pdf) of what a Celtic language is, and it's different from yours.


slavic, galic, germanic languages developed under great influence of central european celtic language.

this is my oppinion anyway

Just no. Unless you consider Gaulish (which, as you have stated, you believe to be something else), there was no such language.

dublin
19-02-13, 21:09
hi taranis


before you, or indeed anybody else, make speculations based on the occurence of a certain sound, let me give you an educative counterexample: the Welsh language has a distinct sound, the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative(written as "ll" in Welsh orthography). This does not occur in Cornish or Breton (which have an "l" in it's place), nor does it occur in the Gaelic languages, nor does it occur in English or other languages in Europe. It does, however, occur frequently in Native American languages such as Nahuatl (the language of the former Aztec empire) or Navajo. Does this mean that Indians immigrated into medieval Wales? I guess you can answer that question for yourself...

well let me answer this. you have picked really bad example, because there is actually a link between wales and some north american tribes both culturally and linguistically. this is because the same people which inhabited wales in prehistory also colonized parts of north america. i already tried to talk to you about it many months ago. i am talking about the atlantean people who spread megalithic culture along the atlantic coast and who in america were the ancestors of the megalith and mound builder culture. this culture is ancestral culture of all hokan language tribes as well as navajo tribes.

here are the references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_alveolar_lateral_fricative


Although the sound is rare among European languages outside the Caucasus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasus) (being found notably in Welsh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_language), where it is written ⟨ll (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ll_(digraph))⟩),[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_alveolar_lateral_fricative#cite_note-1) it is fairly common among Native American languages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_languages) such as Navajo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navajo_language)[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_alveolar_lateral_fricative#cite_note-2) and Caucasian languages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_languages) such as Avar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avar_language).

http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry/NatvAmlang


Native American languages cannot be differentiated as a linguistic unit from other languages of the world but are grouped into a number of separate linguistic stocks having significantly different phonetics, vocabularies, and grammars. Asia is generally accepted as the original home of the Native Americans, although linguistic investigations have not yet established any definite link between the Native American languages and those spoken in Asia or elsewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere. Some scholars postulate a connection between the Eskimo-Aleut family and several other families or subfamilies (among them Altaic, Paleosiberian, Finno-Ugric, and Sino-Tibetan). Others see a relationship between members of the Nadene stock (to which Navajo and Apache belong) and Sino-Tibetan, to which Chinese belongs; however, such theories remain unproved.

here is the book about berber (atlantic people). i recommend you read it. its interesting to say the least.

http://www.provincuns.com/books/berber-project.pdf

also i would suggest you read this book:

1421: The Year China Discovered America?

it might help to explain the above theory about asian american linguistic links.

dublin
20-02-13, 16:48
a bit more about your "voiceless alveolar lateral fricative". look at the wiki page on this language an look at the list of languagese where it is found.

old Proto semitic languages, Berber, Icelandic, Greenlandic, Faroese, Trønder dialect Norway


The sound is conjectured as a phoneme for Proto-Semitic, usually transcribed as ś; it has evolved into Arabic [ʃ], Hebrew, [s]:

Remember when we were talking about afro asiatic influences?

MOESAN
21-02-13, 00:09
Sorry to answer so late, I haven't checked this thread for a while. Moesan, your reply is very interesting and challenges my own belief as far as the uvular R is concerned. It is very interesting because Pont'n Abad, the Breton village you mention in your post, is the place where I was born :) I questioned some native Breton speakers from there, and none of them remember having heard the trilled R in their childhood.

Another thing : in his Grammar of Breton (historically the first), Le Gonidec states that the R is pronounced "as in French", i.e. as an uvular : "R se prononce comme en français" (p.6). The book has been written in 1807, hence it gives a rather interesting account about the pronounciation of the language two centuries ago.

The "prestige hypothesis" (the Bretons - and the French - are supposed to have been using the uvular R instead of the trilled R by social imitation) sounds very dubious to me, not only because it does not look very realistic, but especially because the places of articulation of the two sounds are too different. When you hear people learning French as a second language, among the (many) phonetic obstacles they bump in, there is the uvular R. It is extremely difficult for a speaker who does not have this sound in his/her language to imitate it, and many do not even succeed in doing so. Most Spanish or Italians I've heard speaking French couldn't articulate it. Some can, obviously, but at a cost of a considerable effort.

Well, I don't say you're wrong - nor that I am right as a matter of fact, but we have here contradictory assesments.

not so uneasy to answer
1- you DON'T know what Le Gonidec want to say about "french r" - I rather think he was speaking about old common french 'r' = a THRILLED one, not uvular!!! at his time the uvular 'r' was not the rule in France, even if the one of the high classes - but the second way to think would be: as other "grammarians" (scholars or not) he could have considered better to pronounce the uvular french 'r', AS DO the current breton teachers (what I find horrible)
2- uvular 'R' as in french is NOT SO FAR from a breton sound: the 'c'h' sound, that is close to german 'ch' or spanish 'j' in unvoicing environment, and close to dutch 'g' sound in voicing environment: the uvular 'R' is close enough IN MOUTH AND FOR EARS to this spired 'g' sound, kown by breton speakers; and do'nt forget that bretons speakers are BILINGUAL speakers for about 3 or 4 generations. as a breton teacher I heard a lot of time people writing R in place of C'H in breton words...
nos vad deoc'h, ken ur wezh all

MOESAN
21-02-13, 17:31
Concerning breton, I believe the consensus today is to say that some remnants of gaulish were spoken yet in Western Brittany when brittonic was introduced - (we have also to keep in mind that Britton (& others) garnisons had been yet introduced in Western Aremorica long before the Brittons "emigration" there) - no surprise concerning such a conservation (look at Switzerland, Bohemia, Auvergne) - I red in a seamingly serious book that celtic names were in use in present day Brittany during the Gallo-Roman period spite of a strong enough roman colonization in eastern Brittany and the prestige that followed -
the conservation of demonstrative -se/-sen in southern breton dilaects in front of -he in northern ones and the so called "vannetaise" phonetic evolution in Morbihan (proxi) could prove that (phonetic palatizing evolution maybe too entirely put on the account of billinguism) - I think everywhere inbrittany a mix Brittonic-Gaulish (gaulic?) but with different percentages

entirely in accord with Taranis about afro-asiatic possible and ANCIENT influence and I recuse the phoenician explanation: they weighted very light for genetic and linguistic

MOESAN
21-02-13, 17:46
chat-huant in western french dialects is an alteration for chouan << cauanos
these same dialects have 'bron' for 'sein', 'mamelle' = "female breast" (breton bronn) and 'bran' for 'son' = "bran" (celtic)
as says Taranis some gaulish words could too have crossed centuries mixed with latin words -

&: for lateral alveolar (voiceless) fricative in welsh 'll' I think as Taranis that the presence of a close sound in other far languages don't prove anyway a "genetical linguistic" link - some coincidences occur - but in the Isles, it is not so alone: yet the 'broad' gaelic 'L' opposed to the "slender" one (palatized)seams on the way of the welsh sound: this sound is long, and the tip of the tongue is keeped in firm contact with the palate, leaving some wind (breath) escape: a /lh/ or /lhl/ transcription could renter that as a proxi -

Taranis
23-02-13, 13:09
hi taranis

well let me answer this. you have picked really bad example, because there is actually a link between wales and some north american tribes both culturally and linguistically. this is because the same people which inhabited wales in prehistory also colonized parts of north america. i already tried to talk to you about it many months ago. i am talking about the atlantean people who spread megalithic culture along the atlantic coast and who in america were the ancestors of the megalith and mound builder culture. this culture is ancestral culture of all hokan language tribes as well as navajo tribes.

Dublin, no offense, but I picked the example of Welsh as an obvious lark... yet you commited yourself to this idea.

Seriously, as far as I know, there is no evidence for trans-atlantic contact during the Neolithic. Every claim otherwise is a firm step towards archaeofantasy.


here is the book about berber (atlantic people). i recommend you read it. its interesting to say the least.

http://www.provincuns.com/books/berber-project.pdf


That is clearly pseudoscience, and it's clearly ideologically based: for instance, the author invokes Afrocentrism at the start of his first chapter and it gets increasingly more hair-raising from there, complete with trans-oceanic contact.


also i would suggest you read this book:

1421: The Year China Discovered America?

it might help to explain the above theory about asian american linguistic links.

Full Stop. Gevin Manzies is pseudoscientific nonsense, and that is not even debatable in any way: I mean, he argues in his first book that Zheng He discovered the Americas (for which there is no evidence in Chinese sources). He expands that in his second book (http://www.amazon.com/1434-Magnificent-Chinese-Ignited-Renaissance/dp/0061492183) that a fleet of Chinese merchant vessels "ignited the renaissance", despite being obviously approximately 150 years too late. And in his third book (http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Empire-Atlantis-Historys-Greatest/dp/0062049496), he argues that there was a maritime "global" Minoan empire. Menzies is just a retired navy officer who enjoys telling swashbuckling tales, and not a historian or archaeologist who is to be taken seriously. I find it worrisome that you seem to sell him to us as precisely that.

What is next on your recommended literature list? Graham Hancock and Erich von Däniken?


&: for lateral alveolar (voiceless) fricative in welsh 'll' I think as Taranis that the presence of a close sound in other far languages don't prove anyway a "genetical linguistic" link - some coincidences occur - but in the Isles, it is not so alone: yet the 'broad' gaelic 'L' opposed to the "slender" one (palatized)seams on the way of the welsh sound: this sound is long, and the tip of the tongue is keeped in firm contact with the palate, leaving some wind (breath) escape: a /lh/ or /lhl/ transcription could renter that as a proxi -

Moesan, the slenderized/broad "l" in Irish is a different sound from the lateral fricative in Welsh. Which is precisely the point why sound correspondence is important: "ll" in Welsh corresponds to "l" in other Celtic languages:

Irish "leathan", Welsh "llydan", Breton "ledan" (broad, wide).

It makes no sense comparing Welsh to Navajo or Nahuatl (which is precisely why I brought the example up :wink: ), because despite the languages have these sounds, it makes no sense comparing them and arguing for a close relationship, because it's obvious that they are not related.


a bit more about your "voiceless alveolar lateral fricative". look at the wiki page on this language an look at the list of languagese where it is found.

old Proto semitic languages, Berber, Icelandic, Greenlandic, Faroese, Trønder dialect Norway


The sound is conjectured as a phoneme for Proto-Semitic, usually transcribed as ś; it has evolved into Arabic [ʃ], Hebrew, [s]:

Remember when we were talking about afro asiatic influences?

Are you suggesting that time-travelling proto-semites arrived in medieval Wales? That's the consequence if you say that the sound derives Proto-Semitic influence, as we established that it's not found in any other Celtic language.

MOESAN
24-02-13, 16:59
[QUOTE=Taranis;404276]


Moesan, the slenderized/broad "l" in Irish is a different sound from the lateral fricative in Welsh. Which is precisely the point why sound correspondence is important: "ll" in Welsh corresponds to "l" in other Celtic languages:

Irish "leathan", Welsh "llydan", Breton "ledan" (broad, wide).

Taranis, I know they are today different sounds: what I was telling is that the gaelic L is ON THE WAY (without being "blowed") for the welsh LL (by the way, I don't speak gaelic (I speak a little bit of welsh) but I heard it I a'm very accustumed to imitate a lot of different languages sounds, by pleasure)

Balder
25-02-13, 20:57
The oldest Baltic and Germanic loanwords are so old that their sources had not yet diverged considerably from Proto-Indo-European; we should remember that the break-up of Proto-Indo-European is surmised to have happened only 1,000 years before the appearance of the ‘hammer-axe’ culture.

Rainbow Warrior
14-04-13, 04:59
Celtic runs in my ancestry, so I'm interested. It is well researched.

Kentel
17-04-13, 23:58
not so uneasy to answer
1- you DON'T know what Le Gonidec want to say about "french r" - I rather think he was speaking about old common french 'r' = a THRILLED one, not uvular!!! at his time the uvular 'r' was not the rule in France,

There's no possible doubt here : Le Gonidec's "french r" is uvular, a fortiori during the XIXth century when his book was written; it's supposed to become uvular during the XVIIth century, hence there's no doubt what he's talking about. By the way, it's qualified "french" as opposed to "provençal R".

Moreover, and as I previously wrote, a change of articulation from an alveolar to an uvular is articulatory an unseen phenomenon : the two places of articulation are too remote from each other, and the myth about a population eager to imitate a germanic aristocracy is merely contradicted by the dating of this alleged sound change (during the 17th century the French kings & their mates did not speak germanic, as far as I know).


2- uvular 'R' as in french is NOT SO FAR from a breton sound: the 'c'h' sound, that is close to german 'ch' or spanish 'j' in unvoicing environment, and close to dutch 'g' sound in voicing environment: the uvular 'R' is close enough IN MOUTH AND FOR EARS to this spired 'g' sound, kown by breton speakers; and do'nt forget that bretons speakers are BILINGUAL speakers for about 3 or 4 generations. as a breton teacher I heard a lot of time people writing R in place of C'H in breton words...
nos vad deoc'h, ken ur wezh all

You're right, it's very close, but you can notice that in some regions of France, especially south of the Loire where the occitan dialects were in use, the old people are still reluctant to use the uvular "french" R. Why is it not the case in Brittany ?

Another relevant point : in Gaelic there is both the uvular R (gh) and the [x] sound (ch), which attests that we do have a minimal pair in Celtic.

As for your point regarding how Breton people write their language, I would stress that many old Breton speakers do not know how to write their own language (and don't care to). But the case is obvious : Le Gonidec hears a "french R", and the french R is an uvular trill. Plus it fits the witnesses I heard in my country (ar vro vigoudenn, evel ma ouzoc'h).

Noz vat deoc'h ivez :)

Kentel
18-04-13, 00:52
For information, and since it matches quite well the topic of this thread, I just happen to have published a paper titled "Early Linguistic Contacts between Celtic and Germanic" and it's in this book (http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseite n&seitentyp=produkt&pk=67350&cid=348) (I'm not interested in the sales). If you want to have a look at it, just send me a pm :).

LeBrok
18-04-13, 03:21
For information, and since it matches quite well the topic of this thread, I just happen to have published a paper titled "Early Linguistic Contacts between Celtic and Germanic" and it's in this book (http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseite n&seitentyp=produkt&pk=67350&cid=348) (I'm not interested in the sales). If you want to have a look at it, just send me a pm :).
Congrats Kentel!

MOESAN
20-04-13, 13:47
There's no possible doubt here : Le Gonidec's "french r" is uvular, a fortiori during the XIXth century when his book was written; it's supposed to become uvular during the XVIIth century, hence there's no doubt what he's talking about. By the way, it's qualified "french" as opposed to "provençal R".

Moreover, and as I previously wrote, a change of articulation from an alveolar to an uvular is articulatory an unseen phenomenon : the two places of articulation are too remote from each other, and the myth about a population eager to imitate a germanic aristocracy is merely contradicted by the dating of this alleged sound change (during the 17th century the French kings & their mates did not speak germanic, as far as I know).



You're right, it's very close, but you can notice that in some regions of France, especially south of the Loire where the occitan dialects were in use, the old people are still reluctant to use the uvular "french" R. Why is it not the case in Brittany ?

Another relevant point : in Gaelic there is both the uvular R (gh) and the [x] sound (ch), which attests that we do have a minimal pair in Celtic.

As for your point regarding how Breton people write their language, I would stress that many old Breton speakers do not know how to write their own language (and don't care to). But the case is obvious : Le Gonidec hears a "french R", and the french R is an uvular trill. Plus it fits the witnesses I heard in my country (ar vro vigoudenn, evel ma ouzoc'h).

Noz vat deoc'h ivez :)

A) "french R" according to Le Gonidec:
Le Gonidec (1775/1838) made his work roughly between 1800/1830: at this time the most common french 'R' (occitan or not, spite what you say about North South opposition, some occitan today regions have too the parisian uvular R) was not uvular R but a thrilled one (I have no proofs for the entire territory of France: what is sure is that the Bourgogne R was yet a thrilled one no long time ago - BUT MAYBE ARE YOU RIGHT HERE: maybe Le Gonidec did reference to the high standard classes french R... What is not saying that this uvular R was dominent in Low-Brittany at his time: maybe he found it more "correct" - but I believe gallo romance of E-Brittany at that time was thrilled, and by experience I know that Leon breton R (NW brittany) was still a thrilled R among the majority of locutors during the last century - so, 50/50 here for the Gonidec's opinion (not for the popular usage!)
for me uvular R developped slowly in France, from a center I see around Île-de-France and maybe Picardie, after Franks occupation - the ways of spread were the big rivers en big towns (Loire by example) which were around these rivers - in the most of France uvular R is not a basic people one -

B) your argument about date of generalization of uvular R in France does not make any point: I said the origin of uvular R in France is surely very older than its generalization (as for the 'J' /X/ sound of castillan, that was not pronounced by the gentry before the XVI° century but surely was very older around Burgos and surrounding regions - the today OA /wa/ of french was not pronounced by the french nobles (they said OE) until recently but the OA pronounciation existed yet in N/N-E corners of France - so gentry and basic folks can know different dates of evolution for language -

MOESAN
20-04-13, 14:09
Moreover, and as I previously wrote, a change of articulation from an alveolar to an uvular is articulatory an unseen phenomenon : the two places of articulation are too remote from each other, and the myth about a population eager to imitate a germanic aristocracy is merely contradicted by the dating of this alleged sound change (during the 17th century the French kings & their mates did not speak germanic, as far as I know).




Another relevant point : in Gaelic there is both the uvular R (gh) and the [x] sound (ch), which attests that we do have a minimal pair in Celtic.

As for your point regarding how Breton people write their language, I would stress that many old Breton speakers do not know how to write their own language (and don't care to). But the case is obvious : Le Gonidec hears a "french R", and the french R is an uvular trill. Plus it fits the witnesses I heard in my country (ar vro vigoudenn, evel ma ouzoc'h).

Noz vat deoc'h ivez :)

C) thrilled /r/ to uvular /R/(proxi) is not a short way evolution but I proposed (it was just an hypothesis) a previous germanic 'hr' sound - look at some flemish 'R' today, different from the dutch ones, closer to a guttural /R/ in place of /r/ -
all the way, some surprising evolutions can occur concerning consonnants, but then, it is true, they need long time - a lot of consonnants passed through the stage of /H/ or /h/ before fading out, why not a /r/ even if I prefer my first hyspothesis (the local germanic one) - all the way, I 'm not attached too much to it, just a play -
I like your humor about germanic speaking nobility of France in the XVII°C. !!! no need !!!
D) breton not written: true for basic folks, untrue for educated ones -
the problem is phonologic and the confusion of /gh/ and uvular /R/ is only very recent in some breton dialects - in the other, the huge majority and in ancient times, the only confusions you found were /r/>< /l/ and in some dialects the evolution:
/d >> z >> r/ -
concerning minimal pairs, at that time: gh /H/ >< ch /X/ # r /R/ or /r/ -

apart from this problem, you can hear in native colloquial breton of Vannetais (and few places of cornouaillais) a /X/ at beginning of words in place of 'r-' when the speakers adopted the french /R/, but also you can hear /rh/ by the ones who kept (today yet) the thrilled /r/ (think to welsh) !

kenavo ar c'hentañ lenn, ha trugarez da argusenniñ un tamm: e-mod-se e vez lakaet an traoù da voud splannoc'h

MOESAN
20-04-13, 14:17
to get back to the thread I think now that proto-germanic was no so close to proto-celtic, and that the basis was rather the NW archaïc I-E (akin enough to proto-italic, and spoken maybe already at Funnelbeaker times) and a proto-satem languages (I think in the Corded Ware people) - a bet again and always!!! the ancient enough stage of this NW I-E could explain a lot of similarities, even with celtic, but I think the speakers of proto-celtic were more isolated in N-Alps at these time (what could explain this odd and uncommon lost of *P-, unique phenomenon in wtestern I-E Europe) - ancestors of Italics seem having stayed longer time in central Europe, in contact woth northwestern populationsa and pro-o-baltic speakers according to recent linguistic thesis...

Kentel
25-04-13, 12:02
Congrats Kentel! Thanks LeBrok ! I find the discussions here very challenging and inspiring :)

Kentel
25-04-13, 12:54
kenavo ar c'hentañ lenn, ha trugarez da argusenniñ un tamm: e-mod-se e vez lakaet an traoù da voud splannoc'h Give me a few weeks, I'll need to read more books in order to find new references to rebute yours ! Trugarez mad d'ar gaozeadenn zedennus; kalz traoù a zeskan ganeoc'h :)