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Mkk
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« on: November 26, 2012, 12:04:33 PM »

I've come across a website putting forward the theory that English is much older in England that the Anglo Saxons. They believe that in prehistoric times English was East and the Pennines and Celtic to the west. They also believe the Anglo-Saxon migration to England was almost non existent (they speak of a few hundred "housecarls"), relying on the work of Oppenheimer.

http://www.proto-english.org/sor.html

I'm not qualified to judge the linguistic/historical arguments in favour of this, they seem to boil down to "Roman names of English towns are usually said to have Celtic roots, but here's a alternate Germanic root which HAS to be the correct one, because we said so". They also talk about English place names which weren't written down by the Romans, but that's irrelevant.

We now know about U106 which most people consider to be of majority Anglo-Saxon origin in England. But if English really is older than them, U106 would undoubtably have played a role.

I'd be interested in hearing what you think of this theory, and the evidence put forward to support it. I searched the internet but there doesn't seem to be be a proper critique by knowledgeable people on the subject anywhere, here is as good a place for it as any.
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Bren123
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 12:39:59 PM »

I posted this before a while back and I' have to say that it is complete nonsense.I also posted this on one of my yahoo groups that i'm a memeber of and let us just say the academics on the site were not impressed in the slightest.

The site takes what oppenhiemer says as fact. that English was spoken in its present position long before the romans arrived.
Here's a site that deals with the topic.
http://www.grsampson.net/QOppenheimer.html
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 12:47:24 PM by Bren123 » Logged

LDJ
Mkk
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 12:48:17 PM »

Quote
I posted this before a while back and I' have to say that it is complete nonsense.I also posted this on one of my yahoo groups that i'm a memeber of and let us just say the academics on the site were not impressed in the slightest.
Do you have a link to these discussions? Thanks in advance if you do.
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Bren123
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 12:50:05 PM »

Quote
I posted this before a while back and I' have to say that it is complete nonsense.I also posted this on one of my yahoo groups that i'm a memeber of and let us just say the academics on the site were not impressed in the slightest.
Do you have a link to these discussions? Thanks in advance if you do.

Unfortunnately not It was last year(i think) when I posted it when I  had a different username.
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LDJ
Bren123
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 12:53:39 PM »

I think this problem mainly arises because people mistake genetics for linguistics,which is a fallacy ,IMHO!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 06:00:15 PM by Bren123 » Logged

LDJ
Mkk
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 01:07:07 PM »

I think this problem mainly arises because people mistake gentics for linguistics,which is a fallacy ,IMHO!
A fallacy which we know now to not even have a basis in genetic fact. The two authors behind the website cite Oppenheimer on a lot of pages, but we know his work is seriously outdated now.

One of the most interesting pieces of evidence in the link you posted is Patrick Sims-Williams’s Ancient Celtic Place-Names in Europe and Asia Minor. This says that Celtic placenames recorded by the Romans are actually MOST common in the areas the website claims were actually Germanic-English. That seems damning to the thesis of the website.

Anyone vaguely familiar with Germanic languages knows the claim English is really a "fourth branch" of Germanic is just not credible. English, especially Old English is very very close to Frisian and other Low German languages. Additionally most competent lexicostatistical attempts have shown English on the West Germanic branch, albeit a early split off that branch.

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A.D.
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 03:21:58 PM »

After the Bodiccian rebellion East Anglia (as it became) was was marginalized by the Romans. They collected taxes etc and otherwise gave it a wide birth. Seemingly life went on and I wonder if the was a connection developed between the local population and across the channel with the Saxons, Frisians etc just enough to build on in post Roman times. Maybe a little 'black market trade' intermarrige whatever a fimiliararity with the language.
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