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Bren123
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« Reply #50 on: April 24, 2012, 04:00:52 PM »

Caerleon in SE Wales was named Isca Silurum by the Romans, Isca after the name of the river (it's now called the Usk) and Silurum from the local tribe to differentiate it from other similar sounding places.

According to Wikipedia the name Isca came from Brithonic for water which is also the derivation for whisky.

Thanks, thats interesting. The Ister mentioned by Herodotus by the way flows into the Black Sea, hence the identification with the Danube.

The modern welsh word for water is dŵr and although I don't know what the primitive welsh word was, Old Irish uisce means water. As you say, it's where we get whisky from, iskie bae in 1580.

I've seen the claim in your wiki link that Usk is derived from brythonic but given that modern welsh is dŵr and the roman name was Isca, it sort of makes me wonder if the territory of the Silures spoke a different type of celtic, possibly goidelic. Unless of course brythonic also had a similar word.

Just because the modern Welsh word is dŵr for water doesn't mean that Brythonic didn't have alt words for water.The modern welsh word for fish is pysgod but that is a Latin borrowing,the Brythonic word was Eskos/Iskos!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 04:03:25 PM by Bren123 » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: April 24, 2012, 04:09:03 PM »

Not so fast :-) Jackson lists 38 personal and tribal names in the north of the British Isles, 16 of which he claimed were clearly or probably celtic and 22 which he describes as 'not certainly celtic at all'. There is room for manouvre on your 'as do the other tribes'. Katheryn Forsyth takes Jackson to task on his 22 in Language in Pictland.

6 of Jackson's tribes are Creones, Caereni, Caledonii, Vacomagi, Veneciones and Taexali. The nature of Forsythe's argument is that the pre brythonic language of Britain was Pretenic but that Pretenic was a celtic type language. Here she disagrees with Jackson who simply makes the claim, 'not certainly celtic'.

The idea of an early lost celtic language being supplanted by brythonic makes a lot of sense to me

Authun I know that you like to periodically revive the old idea of the Picts as some weird and wonderful non-Celtic people to keep debate going, but this lost traction in academia over a decade ago. It was sheer happenstance that created the Picts i.e. the Romans never managed to take the whole of Caledonia. So there was an artificial boundary created between Celtic tribes inside Roman rule and those outside. Previously they were neighbours. There is no reason to suppose that the Romans chose to built either Hadrian's Wall or the Antonine Wall along a linguistic divide.

Place-name evidence in eastern lowland Scotland is of a P-Celtic Brythonic language. I confess to not having read the Forsyth monograph, so it's news to me that she proposed that this Brythonic Pictish replaced an earlier version of Celtic, but that is certainly logical, as P-Celtic is a later development as we all know. None of this makes the smallest difference to the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.  

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Bren123
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« Reply #52 on: April 24, 2012, 04:11:57 PM »

Quote from: authun link=topic=10552.msg129845#msg129845

The Brigantes of the north of England show much continuity with the bronze age. Although, by the time of Tacitus, they are thought to have been Celtic speaking ..

Naturally, since they have a Celtic name. As do the other tribes of the British Isles by the time we have tribal names. We can push that back to the earliest known names of the British Isles both collectively and individually which takes us back centuries before the Roman Conquest. But the crucial evidence for the argument that the Celts arrived in the Bell Beaker period is that this culture spread all over both islands and that there was cultural continuity thereafter. The same cannot be said for the Iron Age.

River names with non-IE roots could date back to the Neolithic. I'd love some examples if you have them to hand. Do you mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_European_hydronymy ? Seems heavily contested.


According to Wikipedia the origins of the Beaker culture are in Iberia; "The earliest form of Bell Beaker called the Maritime Bell Beaker probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal around 2800 - 2700 BC and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.[2][7] An overview of all available sources from southern Germany concluded that the Bell Beaker Culture was a new and independent culture in that area, contemporary with the Corded Ware Culture.[8] This conclusion was supported by a review of radiocarbon dates for Bell Beaker across Europe, which showed that the earliest dates for Bell Beaker were 2900 BC in Iberia".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaker_culture#Origin

Since Indo-European entered Europe from the East it is highly unlikely that they were speaking Proto Indo-European never mind Proto Celtic!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 04:14:35 PM by Bren123 » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: April 24, 2012, 04:18:47 PM »

According to Wikipedia the origins of the Beaker culture are in Iberia ... Since Indo-European entered Europe from the East it is highly unlikely that they were speaking Proto Indo-European never mind Proto Celtic!

This is very confusing at first glance certainly. In fact a lot of people seem to stay confused after I explain it to them. :) But it is quite simple really. IE-speakers went to Iberia taking copper-working skills. In Iberia they turned to making Bell Beaker pottery. The pottery is not as important as the trail that they left all the way from the Pontic Steppe to Iberia in anthropomorphoc stelae and copper working.

See Beaker Folk to Celts and Italics
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Bren123
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« Reply #54 on: April 24, 2012, 04:25:06 PM »

Not so fast :-) Jackson lists 38 personal and tribal names in the north of the British Isles, 16 of which he claimed were clearly or probably celtic and 22 which he describes as 'not certainly celtic at all'. There is room for manouvre on your 'as do the other tribes'. Katheryn Forsyth takes Jackson to task on his 22 in Language in Pictland.

6 of Jackson's tribes are Creones, Caereni, Caledonii, Vacomagi, Veneciones and Taexali. The nature of Forsythe's argument is that the pre brythonic language of Britain was Pretenic but that Pretenic was a celtic type language. Here she disagrees with Jackson who simply makes the claim, 'not certainly celtic'.

The idea of an early lost celtic language being supplanted by brythonic makes a lot of sense to me

Authun I know that you like to periodically revive the old idea of the Picts as some weird and wonderful non-Celtic people to keep debate going, but this lost traction in academia over a decade ago. It was sheer happenstance that created the Picts i.e. the Romans never managed to take the whole of Caledonia. So there was an artificial boundary created between Celtic tribes inside Roman rule and those outside. Previously they were neighbours. There is no reason to suppose that the Romans chose to built either Hadrian's Wall or the Antonine Wall along a linguistic divide.

Place-name evidence in eastern lowland Scotland is of a P-Celtic Brythonic language. I confess to not having read the Forsyth monograph, so it's news to me that she proposed that this Brythonic Pictish replaced an earlier version of Celtic, but that is certainly logical, as P-Celtic is a later development as we all know. None of this makes the smallest difference to the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.  



I thought the Picts were nothing more than an amalgamation of Celtic tribes outside of Roman rule in Northen Britain
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« Reply #55 on: April 24, 2012, 04:26:52 PM »

I thought the Picts were nothing more than an amalgamation of Celtic tribes outside of Roman rule in Northern Britain

Exactly. The Roman's eye view of that painted lot beyond the wall.
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Bren123
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« Reply #56 on: April 24, 2012, 04:29:07 PM »

According to Wikipedia the origins of the Beaker culture are in Iberia ... Since Indo-European entered Europe from the East it is highly unlikely that they were speaking Proto Indo-European never mind Proto Celtic!

This is very confusing at first glance certainly. In fact a lot of people seem to stay confused after I explain it to them. :) But it is quite simple really. IE-speakers went to Iberia taking copper-working skills. In Iberia they turned to making Bell Beaker pottery. The pottery is not as important as the trail that they left all the way from the Pontic Steppe to Iberia in anthropomorphoc stelae and copper working.

See Beaker Folk to Celts and Italics

Ok! I can now see where you're coming from,I'll admit there's def a possibility they were speaking a form of  Proto Indo-European but they're extent covered areas which were never Celtic Speaking!
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« Reply #57 on: April 24, 2012, 04:37:36 PM »

A question I would like to ask is; what if any evidence is there for migration from the British Isles to the continent,in pre-history?
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« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2012, 05:10:44 PM »

Ok! I can now see where you're coming from, I'll admit there's def a possibility they were speaking a form of  Proto Indo-European but they're extent covered areas which were never Celtic Speaking!

The Bell Beaker distribution coincides pretty well with regions later Celtic and Italic speaking. The language spoken by people first leaving the IE homeland would of course be PIE or some dialect of same. Some linguists feel that the Celtic and Italic families are so close that they probably had a common ancestor. That ancestor (Proto-Italo-Celtic) was very close to PIE - much closer than IE proto languages which split up much later into families.

Of course there is no trace now of Proto-Italo-Celtic in some of the places we see Bell Beaker, such as north Jutland, Norway and Morocco. The culture doesn't seem to have lasted all that long in those places - a couple of centuries maybe. They seem to have been trading/prospecting outposts. How far east of the Elbe Celtic (or an ancestor of same) was ever spoken is a mystery. The expansion of Germani certainly pushed Celtic speakers west across the Rhine.  
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Jean M
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« Reply #59 on: April 24, 2012, 05:23:34 PM »

A question I would like to ask is; what if any evidence is there for migration from the British Isles to the continent,in pre-history?

Not a lot. The rush to leave for places with a better climate and nick anything worth having (what am I saying!) to educate the rest of the world in the fine game of cricket, golf or hurley (they should be grateful) began in the age of piracy on the high seas (whoops!) of bold adventure and exploration.  
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authun
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« Reply #60 on: April 24, 2012, 05:33:35 PM »

Which is what I was trying to say that  they weren't speaking a Celtic language in the Bronze age,well,ar least not in Northern Britain.

May not have been speaking, rather than were not speaking.

This is the point I have made from the outset, our notions of what is and what is not celtic are far from sound. If the language before the brythonic speakers was something other than a pre-brythonic language, lets call it pretentic, we still don't know if it was a pre cursor to celtic or  not.


-while another probably Celtic tribe named Brigantii is mentioned by Strabo

The Brigantii above give their name to Bregenz and we have of course also the Brigantes in Ireland. Brig/briga names are very common in europe and widespread, Auobriga near the mouth of the Mino in Spain, Vindobriga in France, Saliobriga in Germany, Brigetio in Hungary and so on. There are dozens of examples derived directly from this celtic form of the PIE root *bhrgh meaning high. In celtic languages as in germanic languages, it takes on first, the sense of hill and then later, fortified town, ie walled. We get the english word borough from it and in German the suffix burg.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #61 on: April 24, 2012, 05:37:39 PM »

In Irish the word 'Gael' means to have the 'Gaelge' (Irish language) as far as I know this is as ancient as the language itself. I think there is a connection between the German Teute (as in Teutonic) and the Irish word Tuatha (the h is silent and softens the t) and means people. The Teutons and the Cimbri are recorded as German tribes by the Romans. Cimbri has connected to the Welsh Cymru (?) thought to mean something like 'brothers in arms'. The 'Teu' in Teutonic has been suggested as   coming from Tue the Germanic god of war amongst other things. These sound more like descriptions that could be applied loosely not as names proper. There has been a lot of talk about  Tribal names being linked to places. So if  'the valley people' moved up the mountain are they still called 'the valley people'? 

The word gael and its earlier forms in not a native Irish word.  It is a borrowing from  Welsh Gwyddell.  Its probably no older than the 5th century AD so its vastly younger than the Irish language.
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Jean M
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« Reply #62 on: April 24, 2012, 05:39:25 PM »

A question I would like to ask is; what if any evidence is there for migration from the British Isles to the continent,in pre-history?

Continued ... Of course there was movement within the Roman world and within the Post-Roman Christian world. British slaves were carted off to Rome even before Roman conquered Britain. Christian kings would go on pilgrimages to Rome. Those dedicated to spreading Christianity trotted about. Britons moved to Brittany and Britonia to get away from the Anglo-Saxons.

Before that though movement seems to have been into the Isles more than out.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #63 on: April 24, 2012, 05:46:59 PM »

Not so fast :-) Jackson lists 38 personal and tribal names in the north of the British Isles, 16 of which he claimed were clearly or probably celtic and 22 which he describes as 'not certainly celtic at all'. There is room for manouvre on your 'as do the other tribes'. Katheryn Forsyth takes Jackson to task on his 22 in Language in Pictland.

6 of Jackson's tribes are Creones, Caereni, Caledonii, Vacomagi, Veneciones and Taexali. The nature of Forsythe's argument is that the pre brythonic language of Britain was Pretenic but that Pretenic was a celtic type language. Here she disagrees with Jackson who simply makes the claim, 'not certainly celtic'.

The idea of an early lost celtic language being supplanted by brythonic makes a lot of sense to me

Authun I know that you like to periodically revive the old idea of the Picts as some weird and wonderful non-Celtic people to keep debate going, but this lost traction in academia over a decade ago. It was sheer happenstance that created the Picts i.e. the Romans never managed to take the whole of Caledonia. So there was an artificial boundary created between Celtic tribes inside Roman rule and those outside. Previously they were neighbours. There is no reason to suppose that the Romans chose to built either Hadrian's Wall or the Antonine Wall along a linguistic divide.

Place-name evidence in eastern lowland Scotland is of a P-Celtic Brythonic language. I confess to not having read the Forsyth monograph, so it's news to me that she proposed that this Brythonic Pictish replaced an earlier version of Celtic, but that is certainly logical, as P-Celtic is a later development as we all know. None of this makes the smallest difference to the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.  



I agree.  In fact, around 25 years ago the old non-Celtic Picts idea was being dismantled and its been minority to think of the Picts as having a non-Celtic element for around 20 years at least.  The first big blow was struck by A.P Smyth and guys like Leslie Alcock soon followed.  Almost all of Jackson's ideas about the Picts are outmoded today. 
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #64 on: April 24, 2012, 05:52:03 PM »

I thought the Picts were nothing more than an amalgamation of Celtic tribes outside of Roman rule in Northern Britain

Exactly. The Roman's eye view of that painted lot beyond the wall.

and of course they were described as 'Britons' or by terms like Caledoni which basically used one tribe's name to describe the lot or at least a major block of several tribes.  The term Pict was not used until the Roman's had been around in Britain for ages, just before 300AD.  The term Scot for the Irish also suddenly appeared around then too.  In fact a heck of a lot of these new classical names for peoples appeared around then for confederations of tribes near the borders of the empire.  I dont think they have much real meaning. 
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authun
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« Reply #65 on: April 24, 2012, 05:53:01 PM »

Just because the modern Welsh word is dŵr for water doesn't mean that Brythonic didn't have alt words for water.

True, but we have no examples of the brythonic language, it is entirely reconstructed from old welsh. Thus, if it doesn't exist in at least old welsh, we cannot say it existed in brythonic. In Yorkshire for example we have a hill called Pen-y-Ghent. We can reconstruct the 'Pen-y' part, meaning 'Hill of' but Ghent has defied the best attempts. The Oxford dictionary says one thing, the Cambridge dictionary another, and scholars such as Higham and Breeze argue yet different etymologies in papers.


The modern welsh word for fish is pysgod but that is a Latin borrowing,the Brythonic word was Eskos/Iskos

It's the same word, from PIE *peisk

fish, Irish iasg, Old Irish íasc, g. éisc; *eisko-, *peisko-; Latin piscis, fish; Gothic fisks, English fish.

We don't know what the exact brythonic word was but it was esc in Gaulish, very similar to old high german fisc.
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alan trowel hands.
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« Reply #66 on: April 24, 2012, 05:57:01 PM »

Ok! I can now see where you're coming from, I'll admit there's def a possibility they were speaking a form of  Proto Indo-European but they're extent covered areas which were never Celtic Speaking!

The Bell Beaker distribution coincides pretty well with regions later Celtic and Italic speaking. The language spoken by people first leaving the IE homeland would of course be PIE or some dialect of same. Some linguists feel that the Celtic and Italic families are so close that they probably had a common ancestor. That ancestor (Proto-Italo-Celtic) was very close to PIE - much closer than IE proto languages which split up much later into families.

Of course there is no trace now of Proto-Italo-Celtic in some of the places we see Bell Beaker, such as north Jutland, Norway and Morocco. The culture doesn't seem to have lasted all that long in those places - a couple of centuries maybe. They seem to have been trading/prospecting outposts. How far east of the Elbe Celtic (or an ancestor of same) was ever spoken is a mystery. The expansion of Germani certainly pushed Celtic speakers west across the Rhine.  

I always like Nicolaesan (not sure if thats the right spelling) Placenames of Scotland book in which he discussed an stratum of river names which might relate to the early phase of IE spread when, as you say, something like Proto-Italo-Celtic/early west IE might have been spoken.  He believed many riversnames were of this type.  However, I am not sure about the spread of this strata elsewhere.
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Jean M
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« Reply #67 on: April 24, 2012, 06:03:36 PM »

I always like Nicolaesan (not sure if thats the right spelling) Placenames of Scotland

Thanks! W.F.H. Nicolaisen, Scottish Place-names (2001). I'm very tempted. Just read a bit of the relevant section via Amazon. Have to say that an earlier form of IE does seem more credible than trying to delve back to a Neolithic language. 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 06:10:55 PM by Jean M » Logged
authun
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« Reply #68 on: April 24, 2012, 06:17:47 PM »

Authun I know that you like to periodically revive the old idea of the Picts as some weird and wonderful non-Celtic people to keep debate going, but this lost traction in academia over a decade ago.

I wasn't aware that I was advocating that position and am quite happy with the concept of a third more ancient form of celtic language.


Place-name evidence in eastern lowland Scotland is of a P-Celtic Brythonic language.

Yes the Hen Ogledd, the old north, goes as far as the Clyde/Forth line. Upto this point, the toponyms are Brythonic. You can see Bethany Fox's paper 'The P-Celtic Place-Names of North-East England and South-East Scotland' here:

http://www.heroicage.org/issues/10/fox.html

I confess to not having read the Forsyth monograph, so it's news to me that she proposed that this Brythonic Pictish replaced an earlier version of Celtic, but that is certainly logical, as P-Celtic is a later development as we all know.

It's not quite that, ie the use of the term Brythonic Pictish. Kenneth Jackson and Kathryn Forsyth propose an earlier language which they call Pretenic, as opposed to Brittonic. Pretenic is given to us, via Pytheas of Masallia by the Preteni who lived here. Brittonic is the name given to us by the romans, ie later.

Jackson and Forsyth differ inso far as Jackson claims a non celtic element whereas Forsyth thinks that Pretenic can be explained by celtic etymologies but of course, that the overall nature of that celtic language might be different from the pre cursor to welsh, cornish and cumbric.


the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.

Is that a fact? We have no direct evidence from the celtic speakers. We have no brythonic language. We only have, as you write, what the romans tell us. The same romans who tell us that the Aestii spoke a similar language to the Britons.

And it's not just the Picts. We have the same problem with the Belgae, several tribes of which share similar names with those in Britain and Ireland. I would hazard a guess that these are celtic type languages but I doubt very much that the big five, brythonic, goidelic, celt-iberian, lepontic and gaulish cover them all.

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« Reply #69 on: April 24, 2012, 06:30:36 PM »

....
the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.

Is that a fact? We have no direct evidence from the celtic speakers. We have no brythonic language. We only have, as you write, what the romans tell us. The same romans who tell us that the Aestii spoke a similar language to the Britons.

And it's not just the Picts. We have the same problem with the Belgae, several tribes of which share similar names with those in Britain and Ireland. I would hazard a guess that these are celtic type languages but I doubt very much that the big five, brythonic, goidelic, celt-iberian, lepontic and gaulish cover them all.

I brought this up before.  How certain are we that Britain was 100% Celtic speaking prior to the Roman invasion? 
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authun
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« Reply #70 on: April 24, 2012, 06:34:32 PM »

I thought the Picts were nothing more than an amalgamation of Celtic tribes outside of Roman rule in Northen Britain

The people directly beyond the wall are as much Britons as those in the north of England. In fact, they were well connected with Gwynedd in Wales.

The Picts start north of the line from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Forth. This is when we start to get into pictish art, brochs and pit names.

Of course, this tells us that they were a bit different but not how different. Contemporary sources such as Bede and Nennius claim that they were different peoples arriving at different times, Nennius claiming that they not the first peoples on these islands but the first of the four peoples at his time of writing, ie Picts, Scots (Irish), Britons and Saxons.
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Jean M
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« Reply #71 on: April 24, 2012, 06:35:11 PM »

I brought this up before.  How certain are we that Britain was 100% Celtic speaking prior to the Roman invasion?  

As certain as it is possible to be. If you want certainty in these matters then you need a linguistic survey carried out by linguists on every single member of the population capable of speech and published in a peer-reviewed journal or by university press.  
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authun
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« Reply #72 on: April 24, 2012, 06:41:33 PM »

I brought this up before.  How certain are we that Britain was 100% Celtic speaking prior to the Roman invasion? 

Well you can never be 100% certain but we don't have any evidence of another language save for some toponyms which we cannot explain by celtic etymologies. Unfortunately, these toponyms provide no dates so we have no real idea of when these languages or when this language became extinct. At some point celtic languages entered Britain and replaced whatever was here. How long it hung on is anyone's guess. Linguists cannot even agree on whether it was indo european or not.
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« Reply #73 on: April 24, 2012, 06:49:59 PM »

I always like Nicolaesan (not sure if thats the right spelling) Placenames of Scotland

Thanks! W.F.H. Nicolaisen, Scottish Place-names (2001). I'm very tempted. Just read a bit of the relevant section via Amazon. Have to say that an earlier form of IE does seem more credible than trying to delve back to a Neolithic language. 

Its a brilliant book.  I imagine that the date 2001 is a reprint because the book is about decades old.  I think I got a copy in the mid 80s (think it was written in the late 70s).  Another even older book on the same subject but with a lot more historical stuff in W.J. Watson's book on the Celtic placenames of Scotland.
 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celtic-Place-names-Scotland-W-J-Watson/dp/1906566356

Its one of those rare books that really has 90% stood the test of time (written in the 1920s). 
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« Reply #74 on: April 24, 2012, 07:01:36 PM »

....
the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.

Is that a fact? We have no direct evidence from the celtic speakers. We have no brythonic language. We only have, as you write, what the romans tell us. The same romans who tell us that the Aestii spoke a similar language to the Britons.

And it's not just the Picts. We have the same problem with the Belgae, several tribes of which share similar names with those in Britain and Ireland. I would hazard a guess that these are celtic type languages but I doubt very much that the big five, brythonic, goidelic, celt-iberian, lepontic and gaulish cover them all.

I brought this up before.  How certain are we that Britain was 100% Celtic speaking prior to the Roman invasion? 

Well lets put it this way the Orkneys already had their present (Celtic) name in the 4th century BC.  I think if somewhere that far flung and in possession of a peculiarly local Iron Age culture were Celtic speaking as early as that then it likely Celtic was uniform.  Also the most recent study of Celtic placenames classical sources by Patrick Sims-Williams) shows that contra-Oppenheimer etc the east of Britain was certainly Celtic in the earliest records.  This study essentially confirmed the main block of Celtic was Gaul, north and west Iberia, the isles, north Italy and a narrow tail heading east along the Danube as far as Turkey.  Interestingly the study spots one weird outlier tribe whose name appears to be a version of Tectosages I think somewhere well along the silk route.   

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Ancient_Celtic_place_names_in_Europe_and.html?id=pwRmQgAACAAJ
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