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Thread: Are Germanics a Sub-Race of the Celts?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Wulfram's Avatar
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    Someone dug up this old thread? Not one of my finer moments here at Skadi. It is interesting just how similar Germanics and Celts were to each other. Sometimes even the Romans had difficulty telling them apart.

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Well GO, let's hear them.
    - Common vocabulary with Finnish
    - Common vocabulary with Baltic and Slavic
    - Common vocabulary with Basque

    Also the supposed Semitic or Semitidish superstrate over Germanic usually mentioned in conjunction with the Vasconic substrate theory.

    Do note that a lot of the evidence involves controversial etymologies and locates Germanic origins round a Baltic urheimat anyway. The idea about Old European hydronymy is old hat and might come from Neolithic farmers. Who knows?

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    Here is Coon, Races of Europe, page 203:

    Linguistically, the early Germanic tongues were much in the debt of the Kelts. Many of the works needed to express new things were of Keltic origin. Hubert, the Keltic authority, believed that the Germanic languages were the garbled borrowings of some Indo-European speech by a people to whom the Indo-European phonemes were difficult. It is true that consonantal shifts from K to H and the like, are more extreme than those in other Indo-Europeans languages. It is very likely that the ancestral Germanic speech was introduced into Scandinavia by invaders who brought the Hallstatt culture to that backward region.

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Here is Coon, Races of Europe, page 203:

    Linguistically, the early Germanic tongues were much in the debt of the Kelts. Many of the works needed to express new things were of Keltic origin. Hubert, the Keltic authority, believed that the Germanic languages were the garbled borrowings of some Indo-European speech by a people to whom the Indo-European phonemes were difficult. It is true that consonantal shifts from K to H and the like, are more extreme than those in other Indo-Europeans languages. It is very likely that the ancestral Germanic speech was introduced into Scandinavia by invaders who brought the Hallstatt culture to that backward region.
    I still think Germanic shares a Northeast European substrate with Balto-Slavic but it evolved as either a creole else a contact language within Indo-European. (That same substrate naturally has traces among the Baltic Uralics as well.) Germanic arose on the borders of the Italo-Celtics but that doesn't mean a particular genetic descent.

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    The migration of haplogroup R1b is believed partially responsible for the spread of indo european culture from the steppe. It is the most common western and central european haplogroup and shares a high frequency with both celtic and germanic (particularly the germans, frisians and danes) populations. Celtic subclade L21 and germanic subclade U106 both evolved from a fairly recent common ancestor. They are close cousins essentially. If I remember correctly the group of R1b that would become the Celt arrived first in central then to western europe. The group that would become germanic made a later push and arrived butting up to the celtic populations alone the Rhine. We know that the Roman and Greek historians had a hard time telling them apart, and mostly just dubbed anything west of the Rhine Celt and east of the Rhine as germanic. It seems evident that because both groups descended from a common recent common ancestor they would share much in terms of language and culture, though not that one is a direct descendant of the other. Also their close quarters along the Rhine would mean much mixing by blood and by culture, each group borrowing from the other.
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  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    It is true that consonantal shifts from K to H and the like, are more extreme than those in other Indo-Europeans languages.
    Are they really? All of the existing measures of Grimm's Law have parallels in other Indo-European languages.

    Notably, Greek has undergone the similar changes from /pʰ/ > /f/, /tʰ/ > /þ/ and /kʰ/ > /χ/. There also exists some evidence that the reduction of Celtic /p/ > /Ø/ (f.ex. Gaulish athir 'father') went through two intermediate phases (/f/ then simple aspiration, or what we in German et. al. know as an <h>) that are likewise mirrored in other Indo-European languages (/f/ > /Ø/ notably in Spanish, farina 'spelt, flour' > jarina > harina, where the initial <h> is silent; likewise famine(m) 'hunger' > *jambre > hambre).

    Now, for Spain and Greece, it could always be argued that their later existence was due to inability to pronounce. At the same time, the areas with the strongest fricatives are also the areas with the longest line of Indo-European settlement (and note that Celtiberian kept its /p/ for well longer than all other Celtic tongues, too - despite being closest to non-IE populations).

    It is very likely that the ancestral Germanic speech was introduced into Scandinavia by invaders who brought the Hallstatt culture to that backward region.
    Several problems with this:

    1) Scandinavia is very unlikely to be the Germanic Urheimat anyway, most theories expect Lower Saxony
    2) The operation period of Grimm's Law and Verner's Law is established Germanic era, long after the Hallstatt period (Hallstatt period was about 800 BCE, Grimm's Law began sometime around 100 BCE and was complete before 350 CE [Gothic has it]).
    3) Hallstatt Culture was south of Germanic cultures, and occurred at a period where Celtic languages did not yet begin to lose their initial /p/ through an intermediate /f/
    4) The virtual completeness of Grimm's Law in basically every Germanic corner: One'd expect outside influence to effect the area of origin to be more affected and affected earlier (High German consonant shift came from the south, Umlaut came from the North).

    Whilst it is certainly possible that the Amber Road could have played its part, the evidence is too scarce for this, and it would still only have been influence between different Indo-European tongues.

    Considering the Old European hydronymy, it is of course possible that there may have been some population in Scandinavia before Indo-Europeans, but not so much in Central Europe. There is a large number of pre-Celtic and pre-Germanic rivers --- but they are clearly still Indo-European, hydronymy being usually a good pointer to the first population to arrive (Hydronymy is the most conservative, Oiconymy the second most conservative, Anthroponymy the least conservative of names), so perhaps for the case of Scandinavia...

    ...we might still have a problem: We're likely to find Finno-Ugric languages of some kind (Finnish, Sami tongues) in Scandinavia before the coming of Germanics, and some early borrowings from Germanic into Finnish prove this (kuningas, rengas are still basically kuningaz, hrengaz) and Finnish is a particularly good pointer because it is so sound-conservative.

    Now, of course both all Sami tongues as well as Finnish all have the sounds /p/, /t/, /k/ - and all lack /f/, /þ/, /χ/ and to this day have problems with an /f/. So, your theory is a very keen theory, but it doesn't stand the thorough linguistic test at all.
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    Rome administered Germany and Belgium as provinces within the prefecture of Gaul. Spain went back and forth between Gaul and Italy.

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