From: Rex H. McTyeire
Message: 13623
Date: 2002-05-04

Looking for any appropriate comments and corrections from this
group (particularly Chris Gwinn) on the following joint input from
several people. The points are cut from a recent (today) e-attempt to
summarize Scottish history by some very interested amateurs on a
Scottish list. I already have problems with the text (at points 9,12 )
defining Scotti and all Gaelic as intrusive from the Irish side
Post-Roman, as Arch work since 1989 has disputed that, and indicated
rather some common tribal units from earlier periods on both sides
(Irish and Scottish) only presenting a new political Union in Dalriada /
Argyll..not a redefining influx. (??) And my feelings on point 13 are
rather that Scots and English were < two > results of similar
influences on similar existing regional languages, rather then the
former derived solely from the latter. (??)

Linguistic points from the summary, as copied, in pieces (numbers mine)

1) ... and making Britain an island around 7000 years ago. We can so
far say very little about these earliest people, and have no idea what
they spoke, except that we can be sure that no language now known
derives from any of their languages.

2) ... The known languages of these island are all descended from one
language, given the name "Indo-European" by scholars.

3) ... The westernmost "Indo-European" languages are the Celtic, once
spoken through all of Western Europe and beyond..

4) ... Celtic .. arrived in the area now called Scotland about 3500
years ago..

5) ... The people who brought Celtic may have mixed with earlier people
rather than displacing them, and vestiges of the earlier languages may
have affected the Celtic of these islands, but it is beyond the power of
linguists to identify any such traces now.

6) ... Most scholars now seem sure that the 'Picts' spoke a Celtic
language; but they are less in agreement if 'Pictish' was more like the
languages of Ireland or more like those of Britain south of the

7) ... Welsh, Cornish and Breton being very similar to each other
('p-Celtic'), but rather different from Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic
and Manx ('q-Celtic'). It is clear that 'Pictish' areas were speaking
Gaelic (thus 'q-Celtic) by the time Scotland coalesced; this makes it
seem likely that they spoke a form of 'q-Celtic' earlier too.

8) ... (implied question) What regional differences in Celtic South
and North the Forth and Clyde before Scots dominated?

9) ... These Gaels, or Scots, from Ireland, are seen as the people who
introduced to northern Britain, or Alba, as they called it, the language
that became Scottish Gaelic.

10) ... Then came invaders from the south who colonized Scotland's
south-east coast who spoke the first non-Celtic language known to have
been in widespread use anywhere in what is now Scotland. Northumbrians,
or Angles, made a capital on the a rock they called 'Edwin's Burgh'.
Their recent ancestors had brought their language from across the North
Sea; it derived from the Germanic group of the Indo-European languages,
from which present day German, 'Low German', Dutch, Scots, Friesian and
English have fanned out.

11) ... From Edinburgh down, along the east and south of Britain,
people who had previously spoken a Celtic language (and/or Latin)
changed to speaking the 'Angeln' or 'Sachsen' of the invaders (Angeln
and Sachsen are regions in the north of present day Germany).

12) ... In early post-Roman times 'Scot' was a term for a people in
Ireland, and thus was used as a name for the people of the 'Irish',
Gaelic, settlement of Argyll.
SlĂ inte mhath;

13) ... Scots nearly diverged enough from English to become as separate
from it as Portuguese is from Spanish, enough to have become by now a
distinct, national, language.

Cu Stima;
Rex H. McTyeire