LINGUIST List 14.2050

Thu Jul 31 2003

Disc: Re 'Celtic Found to Have Ancient Roots'

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. colkitto, Re: 14.2040, Disc: Re 'Celtic Found to Have Ancient Roots'

Message 1: Re: 14.2040, Disc: Re 'Celtic Found to Have Ancient Roots'

Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 23:41:27 -0400
From: colkitto <>
Subject: Re: 14.2040, Disc: Re 'Celtic Found to Have Ancient Roots'

as a footnote to Larry Trask (Linguist 14.2040)

> > Celtic substrate in Tuscany,

> Eh? Is Doctor Forster telling us now that there *was* a Celtic
> substrate in Tuscany? Most interesting. Sadly, every reference book
> I have ever consulted fails to mention these intriguing Tuscan Celts,
> and all of the books insist that the language displaced by Latin in
> Tuscany was Etruscan. What is Doctor Forster playing at?

This may refer to the "gorgia Toscana", a dialectal phenomenon
whereby, among other things, intervocalic stops become fricatives,
even at the phrase level

pena la pena (phonetic [la 0kena]) torre la torre (phonetic [la 0>orre])
casa la casa (phonetic [la 0´┐Żasa])
see Izzo, H. 1972. Tuscan and Etruscan, Toronto: University of Toronto

Oftedal, Magne. 1985. Lenition in Celtic and in Insular Spanish. Oslo:

This phenomenon was seen as the result of an Etruscan substratum, even
in the total absence of evidence that the phenomoenon was ever part of
Etruscan phonology. As there is a close TYPOLOGICAL parallel with
Goidelic (Celtic), it appears that the alleged substratum has been
shifted to Celtic.

Oh dear

The material which gave rise to this discussion appears to be to
historical linguistics what "creation science" is to paleontology.

Robert Orr
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue