Talk:Continental Celtic languages

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Two different languages... at least!![edit]

These Celtiberian articles are actually full of confusion about the Celtic languages that once were spoken by old Pre-Roman Hispanic people. Celtiberian language is actually a group of related dialects mainly spoken in central Spain and upper Ebro's valley. Hispano-Celtic or Iberian-Proto-Celtic is another group of extinct Celtic languages spoken all along the Iberian Atlantic shores by Lusitanian, Germanian and Artabric tribes. They must not be merged one group with another.


Interesting. From what I've read, Gaulish (at least some dialects) was pretty close to insular Brythonic languages, and is often classified among Brythonic Celtic languages... and since I live in France, I assume that the more up to date research on Gaulish would come from here. Of course, I might be out of date. So, what's up, and where's this classification from?

Some people group Brythonic and Gaulish together on the basis of the fact that both have the sound change kw > p. However, that's pretty much all they have in common, and it's a common enough sound change (especially in phonemic inventories previously lacking p, such as the Proto-Celtic one) that it's easy to believe both groups underwent the change separately. The commonalities between Brythonic and Goidelic are much more wide-ranging and are not the sort of thing that is likely to have developed independently twice, making the Insular Celtic hypothesis far more likely than the Gallo-Brythonic hypothesis. User:Angr 14:29, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
And we know that Gaulish did not share these commonalities, and that they must have arisen after Celts moved to the islands, but before the Brythons and Goidels became distinct? Does anybody know reliable, easily accessed materials on the subject? this article lacks in sources, and honestly, I find that theory strange enough that I'd like to check for myself how whoever formulated it came to such conclusions, and whether it is generally accepted as being right, or if it's just a speculative theory among others. --Svartalf 21:40, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll see if I can dig up some sources over the weekend, but briefly, yes, we know that Gaulish did not share these commonalities. Of course we can't know for sure if the "Goidelo-Brythonic" commonalities arose after Celts arrived on the islands or if there was already a "Proto-Goidelo-Brythonic" being spoken on the mainland, but because we only know Goidelic and Brythonic languages from the islands (Breton being a much later return to the continent rather than a group that never left it), it's most convenient to refer to "Proto-Insular Celtic". User:Angr 07:22, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


"In the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, and more specifically between the west and north Atlantic coasts and an imaginary line running north-south and linking Oviedo and Mérida, there is a corpus of Latin inscriptions with particular characteristics of its own. This corpus contains some linguistic features that are clearly Celtic and others that in our opinion are not Celtic. The former we shall group, for the moment, under the label northwestern Hispano-Celtic." Jordán Cólera, Carlos (16). "Celtiberian". e-keltoi 6: The Celts in the Iberian Peninsula: 750. Retrieved 21 December 2010.

"For the moment" sounds like they're going to be more conclusive later on in the paper. Angr (talk) 18:39, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, Jordán Cólera later includes them in a "Celtic continuum" using examples from both Gallaecian and Lusitanian. Dagmar Wodtko agrees and gives many more examples in Celtic from the West.Jembana (talk) 22:23, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but where are the inscriptions written entirely in a Celtic language as Celtiberian is ? Nortmannus (talk) 22:56, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
Nortmannus, John Koch in his latest book "Tartessian 2" has raised the possibility that Tartessian could be styled as Old Western Hispano-Celtic or Old Caillaecian based on its dialectal characteristics from interpreting the inscriptions. He speculates that after the fall of Tartessos from power, many Celtici migrated north to the Lusitanian and Galician regions. He He says there is placename evidence for a Carthaginian dispersal of Celts from SW Iberian. He further speculates that this could have resulted in a melange of languages in western and north-western Iberia. So Tartessian inscriptions may in that case be an attestation of an old Gallaecian. Analysis of seeming Celtic words embedded in Latin inscriptions across a wide area of the NW of Iberia has also suggested a spectrum of Celtic dialects may have been used by local people alongside Latin. Lusitanian has some inscriptions to attest it and according to Jordan Colera and Dagmar Wodtko and others there huge similarities with the the Gallaecian corpus of embedded Celtic words despite some conservative features that Prosper has noticed in Lusitanian and Churchin in one embedded Asturian IE language (the main one appears IE Celtic) that could put some of the languages spoken alongside Celtic in the linguistic melange back to descent from a very archaic Celtic (a term used by Patick Sims-Williams to describe a Celtic that retained the IE p* - John Koch speculates that contact with Iberian and other Mediterranean languages may have encouaged the loss of IE p* in those areas close to the Mediterranean so old local languages of north and west Iberia more isolated from this influence may have kept IE p*). Blanca Prosper has noted some Italic features that may suggest that Lusitanian proper may go back further to descent from a very conservative Italo-Celtic language (though the evidence must be admitted to being weak). So not a simple answer, but that's life.Jembana (talk) 04:30, 8 July 2011 (UTC)


Some remark about the non-inclusion of Breton should be in the first paragraph.--MacRusgail (talk) 16:28, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

I've moved the "Note on Breton" into the lead section. There's not enough to say about it to warrant a section of its own. Angr (talk) 21:32, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, but it is a common misconception, so should be mentioned at the beginning. Thanks --MacRusgail (talk) 14:36, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Hamp and Tartessian[edit]

@Angr: We don't actually have a ref by Hamp. We have instead a ref by Adams that he attributes to Hamp, in a non-peer-reviewed journal. If we're going to assume this is accurate and that Hamp classifies Tartessian as Celtic (though not as Continental Celtic, so I don't know what it's doing here – for that matter, Lusitanian isn't Continental Celtic either), we should also report that he rejects Pictish as being IE, where on WP we've gone the other way and accepted it as Celtic in our articles. Also, what should we do with the Burusho-Hittite base of the tree? Where is any of this stuff actually published by Hamp? Were these speculations or brain-storming that he never published because he did not consider them to be serious claims? Somehow, expecting a published claim by the author, with supporting evidence, has become "POV". — kwami (talk) 18:16, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't see any reason to disbelieve Adams, who is also a well-respected linguist. If he says Hamp said these things, I believe him, though I don't insist on keeping this. I really only reverted because you removed sourced info without so much as an edit summary. BTW I'm not sure what you mean by "Celtic but not Continental Celtic", since Continental Celtic isn't a monophyletic grouping anyway. Continental Celtic is everything that's Celtic that isn't Brythonic or Goidelic. Angr (talk) 20:54, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
@Angr: I don't doubt he said it, but does he consider it a strong-enough claim to warrant publication? I've had specialists in various families speculate about wider relations, only to ask that I not quote them. Why don't we have Hamp saying this himself? And has he evaluated the evidence for it, and found it convincing, or did he just include various claims he found in the lit, à la Greenberg?
According to our sources, Lusitanian is not Celtic, but "Para-Celtic". If it's not Celtic, it can't very well be a branch of Celtic, geographic or otherwise. And Tartessian is just listed as "Celtic" in that tree—we have no source I'm aware of that says it's Continental Celtic. BTW, the editor reverting even my tags on these articles claims that Continental Celtic is an actual language family, and that describing it as geographic is "vandalism", so we appear to have a serious lack of understanding here. Also, if we're going to cite Hamp for Tartessian being Celtic, we should also cite him for saying Pictish is not Celtic, or even IE, and that would make more sense at Celtic languages. — kwami (talk) 07:54, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Kwami, you are not only misguided, you have now reached the point where you are making very detrimental edits to a host of articles related to Celtic linguists. Your are stifling knowledge and sowing confusion. I don't know what your agenda is, but this has to stop. Hamp wrote the article, he is one of the most important historical linguists of the past century, and by all accounts he is still quite sharp, despite his very advanced age. He would not allow anyone to publish something under his name that he didn't approve of. It is ridiculous to suggest otherwise and just proves that you not only do not know what you are talking about, you have no business editing any articles on Celtic linguistics.Cagwinn (talk) 16:20, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Cagwinn, you need to re-read WP:NOTVAND and stop calling edits that you disagree with "vandalism". For example, you have reverted Kwami's removal of the Continental Celtic node from language infoboxes several times, calling it "vandalism". It isn't. I can see both sides of the issue - on the one hand, Continental Celtic is a widely used and very useful grouping, so it makes sense to include it. On the other hand, it's a grab-bag term that can only be defined negatively (everything that isn't Insular Celtic), and there's no such thing as "Proto-Continental Celtic" the way there (probably) is a Proto-Insular Celtic, so it makes sense to remove it. I personally don't really care one way or the other, nor do I really care whether Hamp's highly fringey views from late in his life are mentioned here or not. But the name-calling and mudslinging and general drama-making has got to stop. Angr (talk) 17:05, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
What about putting it in parentheses, indicating that it isn't a normal clade? For Insular and Gallo-Brittonic we could maybe add question marks, to indicate that the issue is not settled. — kwami (talk) 22:45, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, Angr, but he is a malicious vandal pushing an uninformed POV on every Celtic language article - WITH NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER! He has not read the any of the sources cited in these articles - he doesn't even have even the most basic understanding of Celtic historical linguistics. He is just another Wikipedia busybody with a chip on his shoulder about Celtic languages.Cagwinn (talk) 21:44, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
No, he isn't. He's a good-faith editor whose opinions are different from yours. And he knows a lot about the topic. He isn't Randy from Boise, but even if he were, that still wouldn't make him a vandal. Throwing insults around is not going to help your case at all. Angr (talk) 19:17, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
He is not a good faith editor, as can be seen from his history on Wikipedia - he is embroiled in all sorts of controversies and has had bans and blocks placed on him over the years. He is a rogue editor with a chip on his shoulder about Celtic languages and is doing harm to a large number of related articles. Even when he is proven wrong with references to highly reliable sources written by experts in the field, he continues to make bad-faith edits. I can't believe that any of you are defending him! This is exactly why Wikipedia has a rotten reputation today - people like Kwami can game the system with impunity because they have ingratiated themselves with the right people, while genuine experts on subjects are silenced for speaking out against them. Thus bureaucracy is disgusting.Cagwinn (talk) 19:31, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
The very fact that he's embroiled in controversies proves he's a good-faith editor. Vandals don't get embroiled in controversies, they just get reverted, blocked, and ignored. I'm not defending everything he does; I also disagree with some of his edits. But that doesn't make him a vandal. And I cannot begin to imagine what "genuine experts on subjects" you think are being silenced here. Angr (talk) 19:51, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
LOL, you must be joking! The guy is a irresponsible rogue editor who is currently assaulting all of the major Celtic language articles, without seeking any community consensus or support in the Talk pages. Not only is he playing fast and loose with the family trees of all these languages, he recently removed the Celtic classification for Lepontic, even though the scholarly consensus today is that Lepontic is a Celtic language. his is on top of his chronic suppression of any references to even the possibility that Tartessian is Celtic and his attempt to discredit one of the greatest living historical linguists of the past century (Eric Hamp). Furthermore, he never offers any citations for his edits. He deserves to be blocked from editing any Celtic language articles for this behavior.Cagwinn (talk) 02:55, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Odd. If you are so concerned with honoring Hamp's opinions, why haven't you removed Pictish? According to Hamp (2013), it's not even Indo-European. — kwami (talk) 07:51, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Because we have to rely on the scholarly consensus!! The majority opinion today is that Pictish shows affinities with Brittonic - and that's the best we can say with the current evidence. The Celticity of Tartessian is still being debated, but there are a growing number of scholars who are accepting it - at least tentatively (like Pictish), so it deserves to be mentioned on Wikipedia.Cagwinn (talk) 16:01, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree it deserves to be mentioned. But it doesn't deserve to be repeated in every article that is even peripherally related to it, and it deserves a better reference than one that provides no evidence or even a rationale for classifying it as Celtic. — kwami (talk) 18:38, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

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