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Thread: Are the Irish, the Welsh or the Scottish Germanic?

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    Senior Member Cuchulain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    Not to niggle unnecessarily here, but the Welsh language is not a Gaelic language.


    On another note, I have met and or corresponded with a number of Scots through the Clan Donald society who are becoming much more interested in the Norse heritage of not only the Clan Donald and their kin; but also of Scotland in general. There is also a significant Anglo heritage in certain sections of Scotland. I concur with the idea that Scotland is "Celtogermanic" (but I wouldn't ever say "Germanic").


    To say that Ireland or Wales is Celtogermanic would be to push the envelope even further (and IMO, too far), but in certain instances the case could be made for claiming Norse or Norman heritage and influence.
    Do Gaelic languages correspond with the divisions between P-Celtic and Q-Celtic?

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    On clan names:

    Of course you have all your Mc/Mac's, even in the Orkneys, but just how many traditional Scottish surnames have little or nothing to do with Celtic influences, many clans have Germanic surnames, and some "Mac" clans just took a Germanic name and instead of -son added "Mac-" (such as Anderson/MacAndrew)...

    Here go a few non-Celtic clan names (list not exhaustive)

    Campbell (could be either Norman or Gaelic), Anderson (Anglo-Saxon/Norse), Barclay (Anglo-Norman), Fraser (Anglo-Norman, de Fresel/de Friselle/de Freseliere), Boyle (Anglo-Norman, de Beauvilles), Irvine (Anglo-Saxon or Norman), Morrison (Norse), Scrymgeour (Old English), Sinclair (Norman, derived from the village/town of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte), Swinton (Saxon), Stuart/Stewart (Norman), MacLaren (either Norse or Gaelic), MacDonald (Gaelic-Norse mixed, trace it back to Domhnall mac Raighnall - Donald, son of Reginald. Somerled, to whom both the Donalds and the MacDougalls trace their ancestry back, had himself a Norse name and Norse ancestry). Etc etc. etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by OneEnglishNorman View Post
    All Scots have some Germanic ancestors and all Scots speak Scots English. All English have some "Celtic / British" ancestry.
    Scots and Scottish English are not the same thing. Scots per se, may it be regionally very varied, has words that the English language does not have, and has definite different spellings, and even often uses different words for easy words. Especially the Doric spoken here in Aberdeenshire - and it gets worse in the countryside....

    I was talking to a Scot from Ellon on several occasions in my first attempt at 2nd year at halls, he was very interested in the whole matter, the fact that he was partially Scottish, partially German, helped a general interest in things both Celtic and Germanic. Having put aeons of study into this, he understood fairly well that Scotland's heritage was Celtogermanic, and pointed out to me that Scots is not only an own language, but the common ancestral language it and English share, Scots is closer to than south of Hadrian's wall - i.e. it's not the Scots that speak bad English, it's the English that speak bad Scots, if you will. As he studied linguistics, and has put a good bit of study into the whole matter, I have no reason to doubt his judgement.

    Quote Originally Posted by OneEnglishNorman View Post
    I dispute the use of Germanic as a hard definable term outside of the study of linguistics, in a way which places the English & Scottish on one side of a fence and the Irish & Welsh on the other.
    The closest you're going to get to a purely Celtic area in the world is going to be either Britanny, or with reservations, Cornwall. A case for the Isle of Man could be made though... And considering that the Celts were once present in central Europe, and quite prominently so, quite a bit of culture, especially the martial arts practiced locally, seem to be somewhat derivative of a Celtic substrate. So, there's a case to be made for Celtic AND Germanic influence in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria ... albeit a different type of Celtic than that found on the British Isles. Anyway, why did you think I had "Celtogermanic" in my Meta-Ethnicity. :p

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuchulain View Post
    Do Gaelic languages correspond with the divisions between P-Celtic and Q-Celtic?
    One of them is the "Insular", the other the "Continental" one, can never remember which. One of the two has however disappeared, and the other Celtic speech is still spoken. So, no the divisions between Welsh and Gaelic are not the same as those between P-Celtic and Q-Celtic.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
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    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Senior Member SlíNanGael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    One of them is the "Insular", the other the "Continental" one
    Not entirely correct, as Welsh and Cornish are P-Celtic, whereas the Gaelic languages are Q-Celtic. The Insular vs. Continental divide is simply geographical whereas the Q/P distinction is based on trends within the languages.

    On the continental side, Breton would be P whereas Gaulish would have been Q.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlíNanGael View Post
    Not entirely correct, as Welsh and Cornish are P-Celtic, whereas the Gaelic languages are Q-Celtic. The Insular vs. Continental divide is simply geographical whereas the Q/P distinction is based on trends within the languages.

    On the continental side, Breton would be P whereas Gaulish would have been Q.
    Thanks for clarifying that one again, been a while since I last checked my books on linguistics. (And yes, I do have some...) :o
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Senior Member Galloglaich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlíNanGael View Post
    Not entirely correct, as Welsh and Cornish are P-Celtic, whereas the Gaelic languages are Q-Celtic. The Insular vs. Continental divide is simply geographical whereas the Q/P distinction is based on trends within the languages.

    On the continental side, Breton would be P whereas Gaulish would have been Q.
    This is what I have been led to believe as well. Gaelic is a bit phonetically "harder" (not as in difficulty) in the pronunciation of certain consonants and diphthongs. I have taken classes in both Irish and Scottish Gaelic and while I have never formally studied Welsh, I can tell the difference right off (differing vocabulary aside).
    "It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
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    I dont know much yet about the scottish and brittons just starting to get in to it, but i was watching a docu about the scottish highland clans and one of the clans The Fraser clan is started by a knight from Normandy.
    And it seems he was the only Germanic there his followers were probably celtics.

    Can it be that Germanics ruled over a civilisation that was almost entirely celtic?
    If christ is the answer then what is the question?

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    Senior Member Galloglaich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    On clan names:

    Of course you have all your Mc/Mac's, even in the Orkneys, but just how many traditional Scottish surnames have little or nothing to do with Celtic influences, many clans have Germanic surnames, and some "Mac" clans just took a Germanic name and instead of -son added "Mac-" (such as Anderson/MacAndrew)...

    Here go a few non-Celtic clan names (list not exhaustive)

    Campbell (could be either Norman or Gaelic), Anderson (Anglo-Saxon/Norse), Barclay (Anglo-Norman), Fraser (Anglo-Norman, de Fresel/de Friselle/de Freseliere), Boyle (Anglo-Norman, de Beauvilles), Irvine (Anglo-Saxon or Norman), Morrison (Norse), Scrymgeour (Old English), Sinclair (Norman, derived from the village/town of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte), Swinton (Saxon), Stuart/Stewart (Norman), MacLaren (either Norse or Gaelic), MacDonald (Gaelic-Norse mixed, trace it back to Domhnall mac Raighnall - Donald, son of Reginald. Somerled, to whom both the Donalds and the MacDougalls trace their ancestry back, had himself a Norse name and Norse ancestry). Etc etc. etc....
    Great reply.
    My mother's mother (rest her soul) would be angry at me if I didn't mention the MacLeods, who are descended from Leod, son of Olav the Black- 13th century Norse king of Man & the Isles. A good friend of mine would be angry if I didn't mention Clan Gunn, who are ultimately descended from the Olav as well. Henderson has also hypothesized that many of the smaller sept names (particularly in the North & West) that contain the Gill/Gillie prefix may reflect a practice of Norse converts to Christianity adopting a saint's name after being amalgamated into a Gaelic setting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    The closest you're going to get to a purely Celtic area in the world is going to be either Britanny, or with reservations, Cornwall. A case for the Isle of Man could be made though... And considering that the Celts were once present in central Europe, and quite prominently so, quite a bit of culture, especially the martial arts practiced locally, seem to be somewhat derivative of a Celtic substrate. So, there's a case to be made for Celtic AND Germanic influence in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria ... albeit a different type of Celtic than that found on the British Isles. Anyway, why did you think I had "Celtogermanic" in my Meta-Ethnicity. :p...
    I'm glad you brought that up. I had considered mentioning the continental Celtic influence in some otherwise "Germanic" areas, but was afraid of a whole new can o' worms cropping up. It's just a hypothesis, but I think if we were able to properly research the matter in antiquity many of us here might have to list "Celtogermanic" as their Meta-Ethnicity from a purely ancestral POV (other factors aside).

    Quote Originally Posted by Drim View Post
    ...Can it be that Germanics ruled over a civilisation that was almost entirely celtic?
    I would say that in general that would be an improper way to look at it, or at the least to phrase it. I would say it was often more synergistic in nature. Keep in mind that in most cases (and definitely the case with the Frasers) the Germanic progenitors adopted a traditionally Celtic lifestyle and culture over time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    The closest you're going to get to a purely Celtic area in the world is going to be either Britanny, or with reservations, Cornwall.
    Breizh: Celticised Atlantidish Gaulish substrate, Romanised Brythonic (i.e. Celticised Atlantidish) adstrate, chuck in a few Normans and Alans, and a few Frenchmen from more recent centuries.
    Cornwall, however, has had a lot of nonCornish input, even in Mediaeval times. The 'Cornish Renaissance' was led by a Scotsman!
    A case for the Isle of Man could be made though...
    Good Gods, no! Thoroughly colonised by Norsemen! And spent the early modern period under Lancashire rule, via the Earls Stanley of (West) Derby.
    One of them is the "Insular", the other the "Continental" one, can never remember which. One of the two has however disappeared, and the other Celtic speech is still spoken. So, no the divisions between Welsh and Gaelic are not the same as those between P-Celtic and Q-Celtic.
    Not quite. P and Q come first. That's why 'four' is Cathair in Irish and Pedwar in Welsh. All known Celtic languages on the Continent are P Celtic. There are only possible hints on Q Celtic having been spoken there. Gaulish (from Anatolia to Iberia and Artois) was all rather uniform, and very close to British, the ancestor of modern Welsh, Cornish, and Breton.
    Insular merely refers to tongues not spoken on the Continent, and is more geographical than linguistic a term.
    Only Irish was Q Celtic, and gave us modern Irish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic and Manx Gaelic.
    There are indications that P Celtic tongues were spoken in Ireland before and alongside Gaelic, known as 'Ivernian'.

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    ^ I'd never even heard of Ivernian!

    Here's what wikipedia has to say about it anyway.

    Before Gaelic dialects evolved in Ireland, some allege that the inhabitants spoke "Ivernic", particularly in Munster. It receives its name from a Gallo-Belgic group known as the Iverni (later Érainn), attested in Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography.

    This hypothesis may be supported by what seems to be a brief mention of such a language in the 9th-century Irish dictionary Sanas Cormaic, under the names Iarnnbélrae, Iarnbélrae, and Iarmbérla, which, if treated as Old Irish, means "Iron-speech". The early 20th century Gaelic scholar T. F. O'Rahilly proposed that this language, which he called Ivernic, was the source for these loanwords.[5] If such a language existed, its speakers were eventually absorbed into the Goidelic-speaking population, and by the time the Vikings had established Limerick in about 850, only the Goidelic language Irish was spoken.[6] However, most linguists now explain these Brythonic loanwords as borrowings directly from Welsh, noting that ogham inscriptions attest to an early Irish presence in Wales.

    Cormac mac Cuilennáin, king and bishop of Cashel in Munster in Ireland, born 836, died 908, wrote a large Glossary which said that the "Iron-speech" was "dense and difficult" and had recently died out and that two words of it were remembered: ond = "stone" and fern = "anything good".

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    Quote Originally Posted by SliNanGael
    Gaulish would have been Q.
    As far as I remember, Gaulish is believed to have been P-Celtic. In fact the same is true of all the Continental Celtic languages of Roman times, with the probable exception of a language then spoken in North-Western Spain.

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