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LINGUIST List 18.2333

Mon Aug 06 2007

Disc: P-Celtic, Q-Celtic Extended to German/Greek, Latin

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Erik Nelson, P-Celtic, Q-Celtic Extended to German/Greek, Latin

Message 1: P-Celtic, Q-Celtic Extended to German/Greek, Latin
Date: 06-Aug-2007
From: Erik Nelson <Whiggamore777hotmail.com>
Subject: P-Celtic, Q-Celtic Extended to German/Greek, Latin
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Dear All, 

I have an admittedly amateur question.

I understand that there are two types of Celtic tongues, Q-Celtic (older)
and P-Celtic (younger). I also understand that Q-Celtic survived on the
fringes of Celtic lands — Ireland, Iberia. I understand further that
P-Celtic apparently developed in the interior of Celtic lands — Gaul, SE

I understand yet further that one way of assessing P vs Q Celtic is looking
at words for 'four' and 'five'.

Now, please allow me to make an amatuer observation:

German and Greek resemble P-Celtic b/c the Greek *PENTA and the German
*FETWOR / *FUMPF both involve the P-sound (Grimm's shifted in German?).

Likewise, Latin and Slavic resemble Q-Celtic b/c the Latin *QUATOR /
*QUINQUE and the Russian ''chetiri'' (4) all involve the Q-sound.

Furthermore, as with Q-Celtic, the ''Q-IE'' tongues (Latin, Slavic) exist
on the fringes of IE settlement. Whereas the ''P-IE'' tongues (German,
Greek) exist in the interior of the IE lands. (Greek being something of a

Lastly, I understand that Greek, from Homer and Hesiod c.700 bce, is known
to have been ''P-type'' since 700 bce.

And that ''P-type'' Celtic did not develop until c.500 bce (seemingly
having something to do with La Tene culture's emergence around that time,
500-450 bce), and that in 700 bce (Halstatt culture??) Celtic was ''Q-Type''.

And that German must have been ''P-type'' from c.500 bce when
Proto-Germanic is attested / inferred during the ''Pre-Roman Iron Age (500
- 1 bce)'' that seems to coincide with the La Tene culture = ''P-type'' Celtic.

So my question is, aside from does this observation of mine have any merit
(?), could ''P-Type'' Greek have influenced Celtic and German through trade
contacts? Or, could some other influence have jointly affected Greek,
Celtic, and German to shift those tongues from ''Q-Type'' to ''P-Type''?

(I understand that Prof. Theo Vennemann argues that Punic had contact with
Proto-Germanic speakers, not to mention Punic contacts with the La Tene
Celts, nor to mention Greece (the Greek Alpha-bet = Punic Aleph-Beth)...
so, could Punic contact have, through trade or something, shifted Greek,
Celtic, and German from Q-Type to P-Type??)

I would really like to hear some discussion on this from those more
knowledgeable than I.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Language Family(ies): Celtic

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