Celts and Germans (mainly)

From: guto rhys
Message: 14558
Date: 2002-08-26

Thanks for the answer.

Interesting � I still haven�t read Tacitus� Germania. I need to get over reservations about the son-in-law of the man who invaded and subsequently massacred the inhabitants of my native island ;-). (if I remembe my history correctly).

I would be very interested in more theories about the origins of the Germans.

I would still be very cautious about making any connections between Cymry / Cimbri / Cimmerians. One problem is that I am not familiar with the earliest forms and the true pronunciation of these words in Greek / Latin. 

 As I mentioned there would remain many problems with Cimbri. More with Cimmerians. �Combrogi� > �Cimmer-(?)� would have the added problem of Celtic �-mb� > �-mm-�. I believe that Jackson dates this change to the 8/9th century in Wales and it ocurred neither in Breton (perhaps it did in the Vannes dialect?) nor Cornish. (it is part of  a group of phonetic changes termed �the nasal mutation�, cf. Welsh �Cymer� (�confluence�) and Breton Kemper (Quimper). Neither did the change occur in the Brythonic of the North (Strat Clut etc.) according to the topomyms Cumbria and Cumberland. Myself I would still look at other options for the etymology of Cimmerians / Cimbri, while not ruling out Celtic entirely.

Interesting again. So are you proposing that the first Celtic incursions into Europe were with the Cimmerians c700BCE. This would go against Colin Renfrew�s theories which, I think, places Celtic in Britain around 2000BCE (yes � Bronze Age!). I would need to refer again to �Language and Archaeology� to verify the period.

I believe the University of Aberystwyth is funding a project on the Celtic toponyms in Ptolemy, which produced a headline in a Welsh paper recently that some parts of Spain were more Celtic than parts of Ireland in the 5th century BCE. Not a surprise to most people interested in early history, but it didn�t go down well in other parts. Apparently Toledo will now be sending competitors to the International Celtic Festival in Lorient, as well as Turkey, Milan, Paris, Vienna and Canterbury.

Concerning Britain and the arrival of the Celts, I have a few difficulties. Early Cornish, Welsh and Breton seem to have been very similar. Also, if we accept as genuine, the extant �Welsh� poetry from northern Britain (Edinburgh, Carlisle) then this area�s form, also, was probably easily intelligible in �Wales�. Ango-Saxon however seems to have developed into �five dialects� by the 8th century. I feel that had Celtic been spoken so long in Britain it would show greater diversity in dialects by the 8th century or so. (Which would better correspond to theories of late Celtic arrival.)

I am aware of the monolingual Englishman�s problem with French. My point was that 3 genders should not have posed great dificulty for a Celtic Jutlander learning early German as his/her native language (Celtic) possessed these features. Are there any other differences in language?

Hoping, that as a mere hobbyist, I have not misinterpreted to much, your explanations.


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