Saturday, July 7, 2012

Continental Celtic Languages

I realize I've been on about Celtic languages in contact with Latin and haven't bothered to tally up a family tree. So here goes. First, I'm going to ignore all of these still living languages for the simple reason that they weren't spoken in ancient Gaul. If I get around to Latin and Britain, well, that's another story. So these are out.
     Insular Celtic

These are the languages I'm talking about.
     Continental Celtic

Well, not the Galatian group either. They were in Turkey. Or the Noric. They were in Noricum—er, more or less Austria. Or the Celtiberian. They were in Spain and Portugal.

Lepontic however was spoken in Cisalpine Gaul (more or less northern Italy) and Gaulish was spoken across the whole rest of Gaul. This presents a problem: what does Gaulish mean? Is it one language? Or a group of related dialects? Or, worse, a dialect continuum. If Gaulish is one language, why does Caesar make pains to say "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres" and then delineate which is which. I'm highly dubious of one Gaulish language at this stage, but I'm not informed enough to say so.

Whatmough provides a great map, but it isn't digital. A big task will be to digitize it in a useful form.