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Re: [tied] celtic

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  • Piotr Gasiorowski
    ... From: guto rhys To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 11:22 AM Subject: [tied] celtic ... I did not wish to imply that Swiss
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 29, 2002
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: guto rhys
      Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 11:22 AM
      Subject: [tied] celtic

      > Piotr recently mentioned that a Celtic dialect survived in Switzerland (long?) after other dialects had been replaced by Latin and Germanic. From what source is this theory deduced? I would be very interested.
       
      I did not wish to imply that "Swiss Gaulish" survived _long_ after other varieties of continental Celtic. I just remember having read some papers on Swiss toponymy which suggested that a Celtic dialect survived there into _fairly_ late times (presumably in mixed Gallo-Roman communities), developing phonologically in a way that partly parallelled the evolution of Brittonic. I can't give you the exact references now but perhaps I'll be able to locate them later. I am sure the Alemannic and Frankish conquests in Switzerland put an end to whatever traces of Celticity may have survived there, and that by the sixth century or so there were no Celtic-speakers in Helvetia.
       
      > Again - initial mutations occur in all Goedelic and Brythonic languages. There appears to be no evidence for this prior to the 5th century or so. By then these two dialects had long diverged, apparently. Are these features homologous. Do they have there origin in the common grammar which ultimately resulted in these changes or do they represent a feature of ´classical´ Celtic which simply has not been recorded? Or could there have been influence from one language to another. It seems strange, or perhaps intriguing that two independant languages develop such a rare feature independantly of each other even though there common morphology (suffixes especially) could facilitate this.
       
      Chris Gwinn certainly knows a lot more about these things than I do, so I hope he finds the time to comment. All I can say is that partly convergent developments can occur in related languages either because of the inner dynamic of phonological systems (independent drift in similar directions because of shared initial conditions) or because "the seeds of change" already existed in the ancestral language as low-level phonetic tendencies. A good example is i-umlaut in NW Germanic. It occurs throughout the group (to varying extents) but it's easy to prove that it was phonologised independently in the various subgroupings of NW Germanic, even if non-distintive fronting of back vowels was an allophonic tendency in Proto-NWG. In the case of Old English, umlaut belongs to the preliterate phase of the language but must be dated after the palatalisation of velars before front vowels. In Celtic, the positional weakening of consonants (cf. the loss of *p > *f > *h > 0, which, to be sure, is unconditional) and the presence of sandhi phenomena may have begun in common Celtic, setting the stage for the morphological utilisation of consonant mutations in the individual dialects. One would think that, as in Germanic, the syncope of unstressed vowels and the erosion of inflectional endings accelerated the process. Under this scenario, the Gaulish, Celtiberian and Ogham systems would have had low-level phonetic lenition which was not yet fully phonologised and functionalised, and therefore went unrecorded.
       
      Piotr
    • indravayu
      ... There s a small discussion of this, with bibliography, in Joshua Whatough s Dialects of Ancient Gaul (though it is quite out of date now - I am sure that
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 29, 2002
        > I did not wish to imply that "Swiss Gaulish" survived _long_ after
        >other varieties of continental Celtic. I just remember having read
        >some papers on Swiss toponymy which suggested that a Celtic dialect
        >survived there into _fairly_ late times (presumably in mixed Gallo-
        >Roman communities), developing phonologically in a way that partly
        >parallelled the evolution of Brittonic. I can't give you the exact
        >references now but perhaps I'll be able to locate them later. I am
        >sure the Alemannic and Frankish conquests in Switzerland put an end
        >to whatever traces of Celticity may have survived there, and that by
        >the sixth century or so there were no Celtic-speakers in Helvetia.

        There's a small discussion of this, with bibliography, in Joshua
        Whatough's "Dialects of Ancient Gaul" (though it is quite out of date
        now - I am sure that there has been more written in the subject in
        the journals since the DAG was written).


        > Chris Gwinn certainly knows a lot more about these things than I
        do, so I hope he finds the time to comment.

        You seem to have summarized it quite nicely - I suspect that I know
        no more than you on this subject! :)

        I think that you made an important point in saying that the system of
        mutations wasn't funtional yet in the ancient period (though there is
        certainly some evidence for lenition in late Gaulish at least), thus
        it wasn't recorded in ancient inscriptions. The mutation system as it
        exists in the Brittonic and Goidelic branches from the medieval
        period onward is a relic of the lost gender/case system (which both
        branches lost at roughly the same time - the middle of the first
        milennium AD - prior to then the Giodelic and Brittonic branches were
        not significantly different from one another).

        The British and Irish were also not isolated from one another, despie
        speaking different Celtic dialects - there was a lot of interaction
        and settlement going on in both directions - so it is not very
        surprising that the Brittonic and Goidelic branches would share some
        innovations not found in Continental Celtic.

        - Chris Gwinn
      • tgpedersen
        ... after ... dialect ... end ... by ... date ... of ... is ... thus ... it ... were ... despie ... some ... As far as I can see, the mutations in the Celtic
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 30, 2002
          --- In cybalist@y..., "indravayu" <sonno3@h...> wrote:
          >
          > > I did not wish to imply that "Swiss Gaulish" survived _long_
          after
          > >other varieties of continental Celtic. I just remember having read
          > >some papers on Swiss toponymy which suggested that a Celtic
          dialect
          > >survived there into _fairly_ late times (presumably in mixed Gallo-
          > >Roman communities), developing phonologically in a way that partly
          > >parallelled the evolution of Brittonic. I can't give you the exact
          > >references now but perhaps I'll be able to locate them later. I am
          > >sure the Alemannic and Frankish conquests in Switzerland put an
          end
          > >to whatever traces of Celticity may have survived there, and that
          by
          > >the sixth century or so there were no Celtic-speakers in Helvetia.
          >
          > There's a small discussion of this, with bibliography, in Joshua
          > Whatough's "Dialects of Ancient Gaul" (though it is quite out of
          date
          > now - I am sure that there has been more written in the subject in
          > the journals since the DAG was written).
          >
          >
          > > Chris Gwinn certainly knows a lot more about these things than I
          > do, so I hope he finds the time to comment.
          >
          > You seem to have summarized it quite nicely - I suspect that I know
          > no more than you on this subject! :)
          >
          > I think that you made an important point in saying that the system
          of
          > mutations wasn't funtional yet in the ancient period (though there
          is
          > certainly some evidence for lenition in late Gaulish at least),
          thus
          > it wasn't recorded in ancient inscriptions. The mutation system as
          it
          > exists in the Brittonic and Goidelic branches from the medieval
          > period onward is a relic of the lost gender/case system (which both
          > branches lost at roughly the same time - the middle of the first
          > milennium AD - prior to then the Giodelic and Brittonic branches
          were
          > not significantly different from one another).
          >
          > The British and Irish were also not isolated from one another,
          despie
          > speaking different Celtic dialects - there was a lot of interaction
          > and settlement going on in both directions - so it is not very
          > surprising that the Brittonic and Goidelic branches would share
          some
          > innovations not found in Continental Celtic.
          >
          > - Chris Gwinn

          As far as I can see, the mutations in the Celtic languages are not
          remarkable in themselves from a phonological point of view; what
          makes them remarkarble is that they take place across a word
          boundary. Which makes me wonder if the common cause of these
          mutations might be found in the way word boundaries were treated in
          Proto-Celtic, as opposed to, say, Germanic?

          Torsten
        • guto rhys
          I have browsed through Whatmough s Dialects of Ancient Gaul a number of times but I can´t recollect any mention of lenition in late Gaulish - does anyone
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 30, 2002

            I have browsed through Whatmough's "Dialects of Ancient Gaul" a number of times but I can�t recollect any mention of lenition in late Gaulish - does anyone have any more information on more recent research? Does anyone have any information on the Swiss toponymy which suggests that the local Celtic dialect had undergone similar lenition to Brittonic?

            I am particularly interested in Brythonic survival in the Northern British kingdoms. The survival into the modern period of counting systems used by shepherds (yan tan etc) is intriguing. Also the last king of Strathclyde �Owain� (or some other variant on this Latin derived name) is interesting but obviously not evidence of significant survival of the language in lower strata of society, compare with Caedwalla of Mercia for example. When recently visiting a Roman Fort on the Western end of Hadrian�s Wall I visited also a monastry where Ed.I had stayed and in documents there relating to local farms I was surprised to see that even in the late 13th century many smallholding still had names that were very recognisably British. T.M. Charles Edwards after a lecture a few years ago expressed the opinion that the language died with the Viking incursions. Is there any academic work dealing with this subject?






             

            monasterysmall-holdingrecognizably



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          • indravayu
            ... I know that the info you are looking for regarding the possible late survival of Celtic dialects in areas later dominated by Germanic langauges is
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 30, 2002
              > I have browsed through Whatmough's "Dialects of Ancient Gaul" a
              >number of times but I can´t recollect any mention of lenition in late
              > Gaulish - does anyone have any more information on more recent
              >research? Does anyone have any information on the Swiss toponymy
              >which suggests that the local Celtic dialect had undergone similar
              >lenition to Brittonic?

              I know that the info you are looking for regarding the possible late
              survival of Celtic dialects in areas later dominated by Germanic
              langauges is certainly in the DAG, though it is comprised mainly of a
              bibliography and brief discussion. I don't have the page numbers off-
              hand, though.
              I can also recommend that you pick up Pierr-Yves Lambert's La Langue
              Gauloise - it is the standard text on Gaulish (and a new, updated
              edition is even in the works - the original was published in 1994, I
              believe - Editions Errance, Paris).
              To give you an example of Gaulish lenition - note the (acc. plural)
              form anuana "names" found in the Larzac inscription - this is for an
              original *anmana (but compare this to [instrumental plural] anmanbe
              in the Chateaubleu Tile).


              >Also the last king of Strathclyde ´Owain´ (or some other variant on
              >this Latin derived name) is interesting but obviously not evidence
              >of significant survival of the language in lower strata of society,

              Old Welsh Eugein (Middle Welsh Owein) is not derived from Latin - it
              is a native Brittonic form, from an original *Auiganios, and is the
              equivalent of Old Irish Ugaine, I believe.

              - Chris Gwinn
            • guto rhys
              to Chris Gwynn - Hi I saw your page once - are you working in the field of Celtic linguistics? Interested about Ywein -I read recently that it was derived from
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 30, 2002

                to Chris Gwynn - Hi I saw your page once - are you working in the field of Celtic linguistics? Interested about Ywein -I read recently that it was derived from Latin. What would be the meaning of the name - my limited knowledge of Celtic personal names does not enable me to see in it any of the common elements of other names.

                Guto


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              • indravayu
                ... No, I am strictly a hobbyist. ... The name most likely represents a Brittonic aui-gan-ios, with a prefix aui- benevolent/good/helpful or fond (note
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 31, 2002
                  > to Chris Gwynn - Hi I saw your page once - are you working in the
                  >field of Celtic linguistics?

                  No, I am strictly a hobbyist.

                  >Interested about Ywein -I read recently that it was derived from
                  >Latin. What would be the meaning of the name - my limited knowledge
                  >of Celtic personal names does not enable me to see in it any of the
                  >common elements of other names.

                  The name most likely represents a Brittonic aui-gan-ios, with a
                  prefix aui- "benevolent/good/helpful" or "fond" (note also Brittonic
                  *Auicantos [the p.n. Auicantos is attested in Gaul] becoming Old
                  Breton Eucant, and Brittonic Auicatus giving Welsh Eugad), and a root
                  gan- (perhaps an a-grade form of PIE *genH- "to give birth/beget"),
                  with relative suffix -ios ("he that...."). Perhaps *Auiganios might
                  be "He that was well-born"?

                  - Chris Gwinn
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