Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
Lat. spiritus> Proto-Britonnic *spiri-tus> Late Proto-Britonnic *spirid> Proto Welsh *sprid> Modern Welsh >yspryt; also look at Cornish sperys, Briton spered.

Meanwhile the Old Irish spiurt, spirut gave spiorad, spyrryd, and Scottish Gaelic spiorad!

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
Hope remains, though, even if the gaeltachts should vanish entirely. If the Jews can resurrect their language as a spoken tongue after some 1800 years, anything is possible, and Gaelic is kept alive somewhat by being a mandatory part of the curriculum in Irish schools. It seems all a matter of motivation. the "Q" tongue need not go the way of the "P" Celtic languages! Please, something to simplify the orthography...I get a headache just looking at written Gaelic.


Civis Illustris
and Gaelic is kept alive somewhat by being a mandatory part of the curriculum in Irish schools
I think Terry mentioned that natives and L2 speakers had a hard time understanding each other. So if gaeltachts vanish, we'll be left with a creolized version of the language at best.

Michael Zwingli

Active Member
...if gaeltachts vanish, we'll be left with a creolized version of the language at best.
That would be a pity, indeed. The Celtic languages represent one of the major emanations of the IE mother tongue, and to lose them utterly would be a tragedy nearly on par with the loss of Hittite (I say "nearly" because we do have Old Irish firmly tucked away in academia, which one cannot say for Hittite). But, the loss to linguistic diversity in our world would be saddening.

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
I'm not sure what you mean. Losing modern Gaelic languages would be pretty sad, but it wouldn't be a major problem for IE reconstruction really at all. I would imagine losing Hittite would be much worse (and we've been studying Hittite in academia for a while).

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
I have to agree with that. Hopefully native speakers will have some sort of recording effort.

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
Planning to post a bit here soon.

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
To put it simply, I don't like the [hidden place]. But after talking to some people I came to realize that I shouldn't just desert all of my friends here in a blink.

Issacus Divus

H₃rḗǵs h₁n̥dʰéri diwsú
So. The thing I wanted to post in this thread of mine is to do with Old Irish, Proto-Brythonic, and Common Brittonic. (There should be a "CELTIC" thread. If not, then this thread will just expand.)

Old Irish (the ancestor of Scottish) had a complex system of lenition and mutation.

Lenition in essence is pronouncing a consonant in a more relaxed way than usual (making the consonants "more sonorous").

(χ, ν= lenited versions of the respective consonants)

The noun declensions use these instead of simple recognizable endings.

(NGDAV): ech, eichᴸ, euch(eoch)ᴸ, echᴺ, àl eichᴸ, which simplified into Irish each, eich, each, a each.

These in turn had gone through sound changes from Primitive Irish and Proto-Celtic:
Old Irish: ech, eichᴸ, euch (eoch)ᴸ, echᴺ, àl eichᴸ

Primitive Irish: *eχʷah, eχʷi, eχʷu, eχʷan, *eχʷe

Proto-Celtic: *ekʷos, ekʷi, (older ekʷosio), *ekʷui,-u, ud, *ekʷom, *ekʷe

(Not all of the Ogham inscriptions are fully understood.)

The languages are split up either as Gallo-Brittonic or Insular and Continental. Gallo-Brittonic inserts that Gaulish and Brittonic languages had a common ancestor apart from the others, the Goidelic langs. Shared innovations that Goidelic lacks:

  • Proto-Celtic > Gallo-Brittonic p, or in voiced form b (e.g. Gaulish mapos, Welsh mab ≠ Irish mac)
  • Proto-Celtic mr and ml > Gallo-Brittonic br and bl (e.g. Gaulish broga, Welsh, Breton bro ≠ Old Irish mruig)
  • Proto-Celtic wo, we > Gallo-Brittonic wa (e.g. Gaulish uassos, Welsh gwass ≠ Old Irish foss)
  • Proto-Celtic ɡʷ > Gallo-Brittonic w
  • Early loss of g between vowels in both Gaulish and Brittonic
  • Proto-Celtic dj between vowels tended to give Gallo-Brittonic j
Insular Celtic would assert that Goidelic and Brythonic had a common ancestor and development, with Gaulish and Brythonic having similar independent innovations and mutually influencing each other through contact between the groups.

As one of my friends says, both make sense. Another friend of mine, Combrogîs, says that what exactly happened more complex than either hypothesis.

By the way, the Proto-Celtic present paradigm for "to be" had ablaut (3 sg. *esti: 3 pI. *senti).

Last edited: