p & q Celtic (was Names)
theania at freeuk.com
Mon Dec 4 08:14:04 EST 2000
> Fair enough. But could you explain why the M disappears altogether in
I'm looking into it. Don't know offhand, though suspect I ought to....
> Fun! What interests me is that these sound changes seem to be after the
> languages picked up so many Latin words. Is this because Latin had ceased
> an influence (presumaby 5th century or later, then)? Or because the
> Latin words got in much earlier and were already regarded as Celtic? Or
> other reason?
Welsh emerged from Insular Celtic (which derived from Common Celtic) in 6th
c. AD; the latest thinking is that this occurred in the 1st half of that
century, not the second as it used to be thought. There were several waves
of borrowings from Latin: the first during Roman occupation of Britain from
Latin into IC, the second with the advent of Christianity, and later during
the Reformation. Both the borrowings and the native words underwent sound
changes (in other words, once a word is borrowed, it behaves the same as
native words; in Polish and other Slavic languages we inflect foreign words,
incl. personal names acc. to our grammar, with its seven cases of noun -
Latin only has six!): eg. the river Severn was Sabrina in Celtic and is
Hafren (pron. Havren) in Welsh. Severn is a Saxon rendition of Sabrina. Note
that this shows that Saxons arrived and used the native name for the river
_before_ the s>h sound change occurred.
> I am well out of my depth technically, but finding it all so much fun that
> couldn't possibly accuse you of being boring!
And lastly, hrad / gorod: in Polish it's grod (o with dash over it, pron.
oo, as in boo) and it means "fortress, keep" - or "town" in placenames.
I do hope I remembered enough and that I haven't made some horrible
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