Talk:Celtic languages

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P/Q Celtic vs. Insular/Continental Celtic[edit]

"Since the realization that Celtiberian was Q-Celtic in the 1970s, the division into Insular and Continental Celtic is the more widespread opinion (Cowgill 1975; McCone 1991, 1992; Schrijver 1995)."

This sentence is a bit confusing, and could do with some explanation. Is the reasoning behind Cowgill, McCone and Schrijver's opinion that Goidelic and Brythonic are so similar (much more similar than Goidelic is to Celtiberian and Brythonic is to Gaulish) meaning that they cannot have evolved seperately from the time of Celtiberian and Gaulish splitting, and therefore must form one "insular" branch? If so, perhaps the quote could be changed to "Since the realisation that Celtiberian had Q-Celtic characteristics in the 1970's..." (Dragonhelmuk (talk) 18:10, 15 June 2008 (UTC))

I tried to clarify the sentence. The Insular Celtic hypothesis is indeed that the Goidelic and Brythonic branches evolved from a common ancestor that the Continental languages did not evolve from. The fact that Celtiberian is "Q Celtic" is not really necessary for the Insular Celtic hypothesis, nor is it actually particularly damaging to the Gallo-Brythonic hypothesis, though, so the sentence is something of a non sequitur. —Angr 20:19, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
The edits you've made make the text a little simpler, but I still feel the Celtiberian part could use some clarification. If Celtiberian having Q-Celtic characteristics is really not relevant here, then editing it out would probably make the text clearer (i.e. implying that the change in opinion has not been due to research on Celtiberian, but just a general shifting of thought.) The passage currently reads:
"There are legitimate scholarly arguments in favour of both the Insular Celtic hypothesis and the P-Celtic/Q-Celtic hypothesis. Proponents of each schema dispute the accuracy and usefulness of the other's categories. Since the discovery in the 1970s that Celtiberian was Q-Celtic, the division into Insular and Continental Celtic has become the more widely held view (Cowgill 1975; McCone 1991, 1992; Schrijver 1995)."
Would the citations support a simpler statement, e.g.: "There are legitimate scholarly arguments in favour of both the Insular Celtic hypothesis and the P-Celtic/Q-Celtic hypothesis. Proponents of each schema dispute the accuracy and usefulness of the other's categories. However, over the last thirty years the division into Insular and Continental Celtic has become the more widely held view (Cowgill 1975; McCone 1991, 1992; Schrijver 1995)." (Dragonhelmuk (talk) 22:47, 15 June 2008 (UTC))
Yeah, except I'd say "since the 1970s" rather than "over the last thirty years", because we expect Wikipedia to be around a long time, and we don't want to have to remember to come back to the article in ten years and change it to "over the last forty years" and then ten years later and change it to "over the last fifty years" and so on! —Angr 07:31, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Agreed and changed. (Dragonhelmuk (talk) 16:59, 16 June 2008 (UTC))
I do not agree with you : the choice of the sources is partial. Other good specialists of Celtic (P-Y Lambert, Fleuriot, Schmidt for instance) think exactly the contrary and show that Brythonic and Gaulish are much more closer, than we thought before (without the fact that they are both P-languages). Such conclusions are not dead theories, but based on the discovery of new Gaulish inscriptions. They call it Gallo-Brythonic. Before stating something, it would be good to explain why such specialists (Schrijvers, Cowgill, etc.) make a difference between insular and continental Celtic (phonetics, word stock, etc..). Such differences as the mutations are not very convincing arguments, because they could have appeared in the very late Gaulish language, when it was not recorded anymore and on the contrary, it might have not existed in antique Brythonic. Nortmannus (talk) 10:56, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
It is very simple-minded and old fashioned to reduce the common points and the differences between on one hand Gaulish / Brythonic and on the other hand to Goidelic / Celtiberian to this single fact P-Celts and K-Celts. They are two or three other common "innovations" between Gaulish and Brythonic, so it is not accidental. for exemple -nm- > -nu- Gaulish anuana Old Welsh enuein same evolution of *anmana. They have been isolated particularly in the "Plomb du Larzac" (discovered 1983) and new words were found very closed to the Brythonic one. Nortmannus (talk) 11:28, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Schrijver has pointed out that because of Middle Welsh mynwent "cemetary" (a borrowing from Vulgar Latin *monimenta, instead of Classical Latin monumenta), the sound change *nm > nw must postdate the syncope in Brythonic (which must be relatively late), and therefore cannot be older than about 500 AD, while the Plomb du Larzac is certainly considerably older than that and the Gaulish change was by all appearances already complete in 200 AD. Perhaps the sound change was borrowed from Late Gaulish into Brythonic, but because of the temporal difference, it cannot be a common innovation and therefore has to be abandoned as argument in favour of Gallo-Brittonic.
Another sound change which has been proposed as dividing Celtic along the same lines is the development of the PIE syllabic nasals: PIE * > Gaulish and Brythonic an, but supposedly Celtiberian (as well some Gaulish dialects) and Irish en, as Irish cét : Latin centum "hundred" (with original *) and Irish cét : Latin cantum "sung" (with original *an) develop identically (even giving the exact same result), because Vulgar Latin *ancora was borrowed into Old Irish as ingor and because PIE *-eh2-m > *-ām (suffix for accusative singular in the eh2-stems) exerts the same palatalising effect on the preceding consonant in Old Irish as does PIE *-m̥ (suffix for accusative singular in the other consonant stems), implying a development PIE *-ām > *-am > Primitive Irish *-en. Therefore, it is now commonly assumed that the PIE syllabic nasals gave *am and *an already in Proto-Celtic.
A final sound change which has been proposed as Gallo-Brittonic is the assimilation of Proto-Celtic *o to a before a resonant, as in *torano- "thunder", which yielded Gaulish or Gallo-Latin Taranus and Taranis etc. (attested already in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC) as well as Middle Welsh taran, but Old Irish torann. However, the Christian loanword Middle Welsh manach from Latin monachus – which for historical reasons cannot have been borrowed before the 4th or possibly the end of the 3rd century – display the same sound change which was already complete in Gaulish in 100 BC! So again, at most it is a sound change that spread from the central language Gaulish to the more peripheral Brythonic.
This means that the only common Gallo-Brittonic innovation left is Proto-Celtic * > p, and as Schumacher points out in his Die keltischen Primärverben (2004), that innovation is typologically quite trivial and is also well-known from Greek and Osco-Umbrian, as well as Romanian, and Latin * even yielded *b in Greek, Osco-Umbrian, Romanian and Sardinian (just as it did in Proto-Celtic). The sound change is likely an areal phenomenon in Celtic.
On the other hand, there is at least one and very characteristic morphosyntactic Insular Celtic innovation, namely the development of absolute vs. conjunct endings in the verb, which presupposes an entire complex of innovations, in part phonological, in part morphological and in part syntactical (such as the rise of the Insular Celtic verbal complex and the development of the verb-initial constituent order). There is also evidence for an independent, exclusively Insular Celtic sound law missing from Gaulish, namely Proto-Celtic */s/ [z] > [ð] before voiced stops.
In sum, the case for Insular Celtic could be clearer (but an Insular Celtic protolanguage can be quite neatly reconstructed from the Old Irish and Brythonic evidence and is very helpful for purposes of IE and Continental Celtic studies), while the Gallo-Brittonic hypothesis is, with Schumacher, outdated. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:05, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
When did these special insular Celtic innovations take place ? After Gaulish died out ? Where are the antique insular Celtic inscriptions ? As far as history is concerned, I don't see any logic in this statement. Gaulish spoken in the northwestern part of [what is today] France and brittonic spoken in [what is today] England and Corwall should be very close to each other, if you view things from a different angle. First, from a geographical point of view : the English channel is not wide : the distance between Calais in France and Dover is only 30 km and all along the coast maximum 150 km. Sailing across the English channel : around 12 hours (to compare riding to Paris from the Norman coast : 3 days). You suppose probably, that the English channel was a sort of Maginot line and the Celts were extremely bad sailors and they never crossed the channel. On the contrary, they could run to Noricum (1500 km away) and Galatia (3000 km) to avoid any phonetical change in the "continental" Celtic. Second, Archelogy demonstrated the extension of very specific Celtic artefacts in the northwestern part of Europe on both sides of the English channel : the Fécamp rampart, typical of Northwestern France and Southeastern England ; the graves with 2 wheeled carriages of Yorkshire, the Seine valley and Picardy, Western Germany. Similar tribes : Parisii in Yorkshire and in Paris region, where these tombs with carriages are located, Atrebates around Arras and in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, etc. So, same origin, same culture, same religion and they would have spoken a different language ? On the contrary, where are the common artefacts between the Celtiberians and the northwestern Gaulish tribes ? These two cultures have significant differences, and what about Noricum or Galatia, except what the Romans or the Greeks told about them ? I haven't the slightest doubt about the phonetical phenomenons that you describe, but, what does it mean really, concerning a "Brittonic language", that would have been different of a "continental Celtic language" in olden days ? Nortmannus (talk) 08:21, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
When these Insular Celtic innovations took place is not known with precision, but Schrijver has pointed out that besides the P/Q difference, no phonological difference between British Celtic (according to the absolute chronology in Language and History in Early Britain) and Goidelic seems to be older than the 1st century AD, hence, these innovations would seem to date to the last centuries BC. That is, Proto-Insular-Celtic was contemporary with Gaulish (and very similar to it, especially in the nominal domain; but then, all the ancient Celtic languages were still quite similar to each other), and place names from Britain recorded in the 1st centuries BC and AD were essentially Proto-Insular-Celtic. (Note that the presence of Celtic in Ireland need not be older than the 1st century BC; the tribal names and toponyms reported from ancient Ireland aren't really as old as Pytheas's voyage.) The Insular Celtic innovations are not attested in any inscriptions, of course, but only reconstructed; don't be silly. I'm not sure what the problem you have with the Insular Celtic scenario is. Surely there was immigration from Gaul to Britain, but we don't know all the dialects spoken in ancient Britain; there may well have been dialects closer to Gaulish in Southeastern Britain, imported through later immigration, but which have not survived Romanisation (or Gauls who later migrated to Britain could also have taken over Insular Celtic dialects). Only a single Celtic dialect of Britain, Proto-British, has survived, and it was most likely not spoken in Southeastern Britain; Proto-British was most likely surrounded by more and less closely related varieties, and only part of a large dialect continuum, just like any proto-language.
Continental Celtic, of course, was very varied at the time of Proto-Insular-Celtic and is not a true genetic node, anyway, so your wording misrepresents the idea. In the 5th century BC, you may have had a Pre-Proto-Insular-Celtic, (Pre-)Proto-Gaulish (perhaps), Lepontic and early Celtiberian dialect, and other lost dialects, but not a Proto-Continental-Celtic dialect, as there are no innovations shared by all Continental Celtic varieties. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:03, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Characteristics of Celtic Languages[edit]

This literal translation is incorrect:

(Irish) Ná bac le mac an bhacaigh is ní bhacfaidh mac an bhacaigh leat. (Literal translation) Don't bother with son the beggar's and not will-bother son the beggar's with-you.

an bhacaigh is in the genitive case, therefore its literal translation is "of the beggar". So, it should be:

(Literal translation) Don't bother with son of the beggar and not will-bother son of the beggar with-you. (talk) 20:50, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

There's no difference between "the beggar's" and "of the beggar" (except in word order, which isn't the point here). —Angr 21:03, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

A literal translation (look it up on(in?) the wikipedia!) is a word for word translation. "Verbum pro verbo," in Latin. Same word order. So yes, it's the point, and "Don't bother with son of the beggar and not will-bother son of the beggar with-you." sounds much better. (talk) 05:46, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

If it *is* the point, "the beggar's" is the precise literal translation of "an bhacaigh" anyway, so what's your point? (talk) 22:12, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Since the article is generally inflected for case, gender and number, and you can tell from context that this occurrence of "an" is genetive, it should be be translated as "of the". MichealT (talk) 22:32, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, modern Insular Celtic and old (mainly Continental) Celtic features are all jumbled up. /Keinstein (talk) 02:01, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

"of the beggar" is grammatically the exact same this as "the beggar's", they're both genitive markers in English. And, yes, that's "genitive", not "genetive."Baininscneach (talk) 17:00, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

P-Celtic/Q-Celtic hypothesis[edit]

I have split out Q-Celtic hypothesis/ P-Celtic hypothesis into brief articles that redirect back here. I have used only information from this page. Lucian Sunday (talk) 15:52, 9 August 2008 (UTC)


It could be good to tell how many words are common between all Celtic languages. Perhaps 10 thousands between Breton, Cornish and Welsh. But for the Celtic languages in general, I would say about 3000. (talk) 06:14, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Please feel free to add this to the article if you can reference a reliable source. Thanks --Yumegusa (talk) 23:36, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Orkney and Shetland[edit]

Why are the Orkney and Shetland islands marked with the same colour as Scotland suggesting they are (parto of) Celtic nations? Undoubtedly Celtic was spoken there prior to the vikings making it extinct, but the same (with anglo-saxons instead of vikings) could be said about England. // JiPe ( (talk) 19:44, 29 March 2009 (UTC))

Presumably simply because they're part of the country of Scotland. —Angr 20:02, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
And Brittany is part of the country of France. Yet only Brittany is marked as a Celtic-speaking nation, not the whole of France. A brief look at the wikipedia articles on the Orkney and Shetland islands shows a distinct culture there, whereas the image implies they are wholly Scottish.-- (talk) 09:24, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Because Brittany is the titular nation described as Celtic. Orkney and Shetland are part of Scotland and so are included as Scotland is the titular Celtic nation. The rest of France is not included because to do so would be to suggest that the rest of France is part of Brittany, as it is Brittany that is the titular nation, not France. The same can be said for Cornwall/England. England is not part of Cornwall - i.e. the titular Celtic nation here is Cornwall, not England. Mac Tíre Cowag 08:58, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

A table with sound changes from Proto-Celtic to each descendant...[edit]

... would be handy. Can't find such a thing anywhere, and it should be something rather basic. The Proto-Celtic article only shows the development to Welsh and Cornish, for some reason.-- (talk) 23:16, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Passive or Intransitive, Infinitive[edit]

The bullet item "an impersonal or autonomous verb form serving as a passive or intransitive" is a bit off (it's a very common but very erroneous statement about modern Celtic languages) - in modern Goidelic (in all three languages) the form in question is a finite impersonal form, and not a passive (since it exists for intransitive verbs such as "be" and "go" and since it has no subject - having a subject would of course be difficult for an impersonal form - either of which on its own is sufficient to disqualify it from being considered a passive) and is not in general intransitive (since this form of a transitive verb is just as transitive as any other finite form of that verb - maybe the confusion arose through someone mistaking the direct object for a subject?). There is no analytic passive of Goidelic verbs, but several compound passive forms, some using rach as an auxiliary (eg theid mo bhualadh - I will be hit or I am habitually hit, chaidh mo bhualadh - I was hit, rachadh mo bhualadh - I would be hit or I used to be hit) others using a reflexive formation (eg tha mi air mo bhualadh - I have been hit, tha mi 'gam bhualadh - I am being hit).

The bullet item "no infinitives, replaced by a quasi-nominal verb form called the verbal noun or verbnoun" is wrong too. There's nothing quasi-nominal about the verbal noun, it's a noun just like any other noun and is not in any sense a verb. It's used to construct various phrases which in other languages are called gerundives, present participles, infinitives, and in many other ways. If you say that modern Goidelic has no infinitives you have to say the same about English because the English infinitive is a phrase just as the Gaelic one is: "Thainig mi 'Ghlaschu a dh'iarraidh leanan" contains a very clear infinitive of intent. And of course most people will say that "there are sights to be seen" contains a passive infinitive, and I can't see how that can be true if "tha seallaidhean ri'm faicinn" doesn't contain the same passive infinitive.MichealT (talk) 22:32, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Old Celtic ?[edit]

I just did a definition for a given name, and it mentioned that it was composed of several "Old Celtic elements". Where should Old Celtic be redirected too?--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 08:06, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Probably Proto-Celtic, although given names are usually identifiably either Goidelic or Brythonic and should be labeled as such. +Angr 08:51, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
or more likely, your definition should not use the term "Old Celtic". --dab (𒁳) 10:51, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Celtic Language ancestry and descent from ancient Greek[edit]

Its worth noting in here that the parent of Celtic is almost certainly a type of Dorian/Anatolian Greek spoken in the North Eastern Mediterranean around the time of the Trojan war. All evidence points to a vast exodus from Greece/Anatolia after the destruction of the Trojan Super Power of the time. The "Sea peoples" as they were known were free to maraud and colonise whole swathes of the Mediteranean all the way around the Atlantic Sea Board to the West Coasts of Great Britain and France. Of course previous Indo-European colonisers had been there before but the Post Trojan war exodus was large enough to spawn a type of creolic ancient Greek which became Celtic. See books by David Rohl, Steven Oppenheimer, Louis Waddell, etc etc for more evidence. Rohl and others argue for an 800BC Trojan war rather than the tired 1200BC date given by traditionalists. The 800BC date again matches to the approximate date that many believe Celtic took shape.-- (talk) 09:24, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Just to clarify: there is not the slightest bit of evidence that the Proto-Celtic language is descended from any stage of Greek. It's linguistically utterly impossible. Proto-Celtic and Greek descend from a common ancestor, yes, but they are "sisters", not "mother and daughter". +Angr 05:45, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Welsh Native Speakers[edit]

"62% speak it daily 88% speak it fluently" - Poorly written, unsourced, and the numbers given in the next column suggest otherwise. Having lived in Wales for the last 7 years, I would be shocked if 88% of Welsh natives actually speak Welsh fluently. Sordyne (talk) 15:28, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

I also thought these figures were a little suspicious. Maybe they have travelled here from the year 1950 or so. --dab (𒁳) 10:46, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Were British really Celtic ?[edit]

More and more studies show difficulties to characterize as Celtic the British Isles. And why should the Celtic languages not be a modern feature (in Middle-age I mean) in these areas, and not since Antiquity like a lot of current studies say ?--Ghosthammer (talk) 22:38, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Mnya... Historically, the first clearly identifiable linguistic layer in all of the British Isles is Celtic. I hope you are not referring to "The Origins of the British" (or so) by Mr Oppenheimer, because linguistically, there is not much to be said in his defence... Trigaranus (talk) 09:33, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
oh for crying out loud, Ghosthammer, we have an extensive article about the topic right here. Is it really so difficult to sit down and read the article instead of clicking the "Discussion" tab directly to leave a comment to make sure everybody knows you did not read it.
A "lot of studies" say that the Celtic langauges came to Britain in the Middle Ages? Pray give us a list of such studies. Also, you may want to discuss this at Insular Celts, which is, as the title suggests, our article about Insular Celts. --dab (𒁳) 10:45, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

The order is verb subject object (VSO) in the second half - compare this to English or French (and possibly Continental Celtic) which are normally Subject Verb Object in word order.[edit]

Isn't this irrelevant for imperative constructions? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:03, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

== VSO only accounts for Insular Celtic, Continental Celtic had a word-order of SOV; it was only as a result of Wackernagel's Law, (whereby clitics were always placed in 2nd position, subject being in null position, and such is the fact that the verb was moved from the end of the clause to second position when a suffixed or infixed object pronoun was required), that the verb was transported in Insular Celtic. There is also a case of this in one Transalpine Gaulish inscription, namely siox=ti, whereby the verb has been moved to the front of the clause as a result of the clitic being attached.== Baininscneach (talk) 16:52, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Use of Flags[edit]

Flags are used in the table of languages to supplement the description of the areas in which the languages are spoken. To me the flag represents the origin of the language in broad terms, rather than where it is spoken, and is a useful visual addition. Even if the language is used elsewhere, as in the case of Irish, I suggest we still use the flag of Ireland to denote the origins of the language. WizOfOz (talk) 16:39, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The Irish language originated in Ireland over a thousand years ago. It didn't originate in the 26-county state (Republic of Ireland), which was only created in 1921.
The flags in the table ar merely decoration; ther is no need for any of them.
We need to note exactly what that colum represents (the one named "area"). I suggest it be used to list the areas wher the highest numbers of speakers ar found. For Welsh it would be "Wales, England, Argentina (Chubut Province)" for example. ~Asarlaí 17:10, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Celtic in Patagonia[edit]

Is this info accurate? It´s been stated in the right box, under geographic distribution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Well it's actually modern Welsh in Patagonia, but Welsh is a Celtic language, so it's reasonable to claim that a Celtic language is currently spoken there, though the number of speakers is relatively few. The speakers are descendants of the Welsh immigrants since 1865. Details can be found in the article Y Wladfa. Dbfirs 22:23, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Clading chart doesn't match article's prose[edit]

The article states "Rather, in the Insular/Continental schema, Celtiberian is usually considered to be the first branch to split from Proto-Celtic, and the remaining group would later have split into Gaulish and Insular Celtic." Yet this is not reflected in the clading diagram (immediately following "How the family tree of the Celtic languages is ordered depends on which hypothesis is used").

Also, it is stated that, in the P/Q model, Gaelic branched off first. I thought it was considered that Celtiberian branched off first also in this model. Jamesdowallen (talk) 12:21, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

It's easier to understand if only the uncontroversial units are used. Disregarding Pictish, which isn't known well enough to classify it with certainty (and thus fit it into the tree with authority) but may have formed a group together with British (Welsh-Cornish-Breton), the five consensus units of Celtic are Celtiberian, Lepontic, Gaulish, British and Goidelic. The two models group them like this:
Insular Celtic model
  • Celtic
    • Celtiberian
    • Lepontic
    • Gaulish
    • Insular Celtic
      • British
      • Goidelic
P/Q-Celtic model
  • Celtic
    • Q-Celtic
      • Celtiberian
      • Goidelic
    • P-Celtic
      • Gaulish (with Lepontic usually lumped into it)
      • British
That's it, in the most basic terms. It's not even known with certainty whether Lepontic reflects Proto-Celtic * as p or kept it because the known inscriptions exhibit no clear examples. (Also, some seemingly Gaulish names such as Sequani or Quariates look Q-Celtic.) The idea that either Celtiberian or Lepontic may have split off first (which doesn't necessarily imply that all the other units have undergone common innovations which could justify the postulation of a separate branch for the rest of Celtic), or that Gaulish and Insular Celtic may have formed a "North Celtic" branch, which is hard to justify with linguistic evidence and rather intuited on historical, archaeological and geographical grounds, are just a refinement of the Insular Celtic model. For the P/Q-Celtic model, they are irrelevant, anyway. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:48, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Updade[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:34, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Article needs to be bought.

Still here are some parts of the text:

Here is part of the text:

From around 2800 BC, the LNE Bell Beaker culture emerged from the Iberian Peninsula to form one of the first pan-European archaeological complexes. This cultural phenomenon is recognised by a distinctive package of rich grave goods including the eponymous bell-shaped ceramic beakers. The genetic affinities between Central Europe’s Bell Beakers and present-day Iberian populations (Fig. 2) is striking and throws fresh light on long-disputed archaeological models3. We suggest these data indicate a considerable genetic influx from the West during the LNE. These far-Western genetic affinities of Mittelelbe-Saale’s Bell Beaker folk may also have intriguing linguistic implications, as the archaeologically-identified eastward movement of the Bell Beaker culture has recently been linked to the initial spread of the Celtic language family across Western Europe39. This hypothesis suggests that early members of the Celtic language family (for example, Tartessian)40 initially developed from Indo-European precursors in Iberia and subsequently spread throughout the Atlantic Zone; before a period of rapid mobility, reflected by the Beaker phenomenon, carried Celtic languages across much of Western Europe. This idea not only challenges traditional views of a linguistic spread of Celtic westwards from Central Europe during the Iron Age, but also implies that Indo-European languages arrived in Western Europe substantially earlier, presumably with the arrival of farming from the Near East41.

It seems that genetic evidence supporting the Iberian hypothesis, paired with archaelogy, is ever-growing. A lot has been already published concerning the Iberian-Basque-British Isles connection. Now this seems to continue in other European areas like Germnay.

Pipon — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:04, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Given that genetic and archaeological data cannot be directly tied to languages, these data cannot support nor refute any particular hypothesis regarding Celtic origins. In fact, if we take the genetic and archaeological data seriously, they would rather militate against an identification of the "Beaker folk" as Indo-European (in short: highly improbable), much less Celtic speakers (implausible to the extreme). The (linguistic) ancestors of the Basque would be a much better fit. Please refer to my comments at Talk:Beaker culture#Latest update.. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:55, 2 July 2013 (UTC)


I think the map is currently somewhat misleading. The solid colours in Cornwall and IoM give the impression that these geographical areas are entirely Cornish/Manx speaking, which they're not. Both these revived languages are special cases, and its true that there is no geographical focus within Cornwall like there is with Welsh/Gaelic/Irish - but I think perhaps using the striped colour coding or using a different pattern would be more appropriate for both. Also, I'm not quite sure why the whole of Ireland is striped, but the whole of Wales isn't. Cardiff isn't predominately Welsh speaking, but it's still spoken by 11% of the Cardiff population (2011 census), so having a solid colour in Cornwall and none at all in Cardiff/SE Wales does not reflect the reality. 幽Sweorcan (talk) 09:14, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

I agree. Having the whole of Ireland striped whilst the South east corner of Wales is blank is incorrect. And having Cornwall and the Isle of Man solid colour is also incorrect. I have no idea how to alter such maps, but surely deleting them and leaving nothing there would be preferable to leaving the incorrect, very misleading information on the site?mUnwilling to do that without the thoughts of anyone else on the subject, though. Ceiniog (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 00:34, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
Will wait for a bit to see if anyone has anything to say before deleting the map. Ceiniog (talk) 00:40, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree completely. Articles and their accompanying illustrations/tables/graphs should be informative and fact-based. This image is completely misleading and should be either corrected (likewise, I do not know how to do that) or deleted. Mac Tíre Cowag 11:40, 16 April 2014 (UTC)


A fair amount of the section on classification as it now stands is taken directly and without attribution from A Grammar of Modern Indo-European (ISBN 1461022134v, see here). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tzetzes (talkcontribs) 23:39, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

map deleted[edit]

As no one objected, I've deleted the map. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ceiniog (talkcontribs) 23:24, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Comparison table[edit]

The comparison table in the article could use some revision - way too many loan words in it and not enough directly cognate words for a proper comparison. There should also be a column for Proto-Celtic antecedents. Anyone want to pitch in to create something better? Cagwinn (talk) 05:07, 12 June 2014 (UTC)