The Celts and their languages

No one historical theory explains the homeland of the Celts. They had influenced onto the main part of Europe but they had been mighty civilization unless the rising of Roman Empire before the end of the 1st century AD. The next stage is the stage of German tribes’ settlements which had destroyed the Roman Empire.

The Britain was the one of the Roman provinces and it gave an effect to English. After the leaving and the retreat of Romans in the middle of the 5th century, the British kingdom was weak because British leader found ways for reasserting Roman province as whole kingdom.

The British have also communicated with the Irish people because they established settlements along the western coast. But people from the south-western part of the Great Britain were immigrated to the north-western Gaul. However, Irish have had the most permanent settlements in the northern Britain. But this fact isn’t very clear.

Celtic language divided into two parts. First is Insular Celtic of Britain and the nearest islands. Second is Continental Celtic of Europe. Continental Celtic is partially reconstructed by inscriptions, place names, borrowed elements in German and Italic and Latin texts. But this language has had many dialects and its speech died out before the present moment.

British language has had modern insular form which has been changed by Roman invasion. But Irish language hasn’t been influenced by this factor and it saves the Celtic roots. Semi-permanent English has divided into two parts; they have been northern and southern groups which were ancestors of Cornish, Welsh and Breton languages. Pictish was spread in Scotland and Ireland. This cause was the main in the developing Manx, Scottish and Irish languages.

Wales and Ireland have their own survived dialects of the ancient Celtic language. Perhaps it those two languages aren’t understandable for English speakers.

Celtic has been recognized as a branch of Indo-European family but with some exceptions. Exceptions are familiar for this article and this point of view approves by investigations in Welsh and Gaelic phonologies. Exceptions have gone from “peripheral” matter of the language.

Celtic sounds have been evaluated by a set of chain shifts. And we can trace those in Celtic languages.

Bibliography, “The Celtic languages”, Donald MacAulay, Cambridge, 1992.

This article was written by Ilya Duchanin.

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