Celtic out of place in Europe, more close to Afro-Semitic

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Roel~, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. Roel~ Junior Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    I opened another topic but most people here commented that it's very unlikely that Celtic languages like Welsh and Irish are connected to Afro-Semitic ones. I just started looking again and I came upon some articles of universities in which is written that actually the Celtic languages are out of place in Europe, linguistically and that they are most likely having certain connections with Afro-Semitic languages. The linguists think though that this could be due to an Afro-Semitic language having been spoken before the Celts came, and after the Celts came they borrowed a lot of features from the Afro-Semitic languages. This is one theory. Another theory is that they are related to Afro-Semitic people, this could be a good explanation for why Berbers and Irish people are having the same kind of DNA, which is also mentioned in this article.

    http://www.academia.edu/283231/Remarks_on_the_Insular_Celtic_Hamito-Semitic_question, look at page 233.

    Here is the scientific research in the DNA which shows that Irish and Berber people are related:

    The Berber and Tuareg heritage now showing up in Scottish genes is just another support for the abundant “Celtic” associations he found and filmed in north Africa, in song and singers, archaeological monuments, manuscript decoration and jewellery design. Such treasures as the Ardagh Chalice and Book of Durrow show intricate affinity with Islamic decorative motifs and crafts, and Coptic Christianity from Egypt left material traces well ahead of St Patrick.

    Bob Quinn’s splendid quest echoes those of many Anglo-Irish antiquarians in 19th-century Ireland. They were no less intrigued by the mysterious origins of Gaelic, the voyaging from Carthage and Phoenicia, and the parallels of tombs and stone circles on the Berber hills. But Britain’s academia took little interest. Even George Bernard Shaw disdained “the commercially imported North Spanish strain which passes for aboriginal Irish”.


    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/envi...-why-celtic-dna-leads-back-to-africa-1.522345
     
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I found this in wikipedia:

    "Academia.edu is not a university or institution for higher learning and so under current standards would not qualify for the EDU top level domain. The domain name "Academia.edu" was registered in 1999, prior to the regulations which required .edu domain names to be held by accredited post-secondary institutions. All .edu domain names registered prior to 2001 were grandfathered in and not made subject to the regulation of being an accredited post-secondary institution."



     
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    And more to the point: DNA has nothing to do with language affinities.
     
  4. killerbee256 Senior Member

    American English
    I've never heard of a generic link between Ireland and the middle east, I have however read that of a lot genetic work shows that Ireland has some kind of a link with Iberia. And I believe there are some theories out there that Q Celtic was introduced from Iberia and has some kind close link with celtiberian, I'm not sure about the current academic view.
    This is from the wiki article.
     
  5. Roel~ Junior Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    Not necessarily, but the DNA of Germanic people is similar and the languages are similar too. Although the language can severely change of a certain DNA group this is not always the case, like with German people. Or am I wrong in this? In some cases you can see a correlation between language and DNA, although I 'm not sure of this.
     
  6. Gale_

    Gale_ Junior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    Why not?
    http://www.k-international.com/blog/language-change-driven-by-men‎/
    The source: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/mother-tongue-comes-from-your-prehistoric-father

    Really I accept undoubtly not everything "proved or suggested by British scientists", but I think that such correlation may take place at least because DNA and language should be linked by culture.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  7. DenisBiH

    DenisBiH Senior Member

    Manipulation of this kind might end up relegating DNA evidence to the fringes of science, along with physical anthropology.
     
  8. Treaty Senior Member

    Australia
    Persian
    A same paper is published by Wiley in "Language and Linguistic Compass"

    However, the DNA link is not focused at all neither in this paper nor in its reference (maybe because they were not experts in this field)

    Besides, the other so called "scientific" paper is not reliable for me. Insular art (like listed artefacts) is a relatively new art (8th c. AD) and there is nothing called "Islamic motif and craft", you may say "motif or craft" made in Islamic countries (by Romans, Spanish, Persian, Arabs, ...)!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  9. DenisBiH

    DenisBiH Senior Member

    Here is the author's page on Academia.edu (at least it seems like it). Judging by the CV that is available there, he has no academic or professional qualifications in genetics (nor experience in the field). I am not sure that his qualifications in historical and comparative linguistics are particularly impressive either, but I could be wrong, being an amateur.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    According to his CV he is an EFL teacher and a commercial translator.
     
  11. DenisBiH

    DenisBiH Senior Member

    Yes, but he has published some articles that seem to deal with comparative linguistics. As for the type of publications they were published in, I'm not qualified to judge. In any case, those articles, combined with the fact that he does seem to be an educated linguist (not comparativist, but still) is what made me refrain from dismissing him altogether as a competent linguist.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  12. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    I think it is a very risky subject to link languages with the DNA -- it is a totally wrong idea that all German people are of Germanic origin, or all Polish people are of Slavic, etc., however I think that various individuals may have a certain affinity, or preference for certain languages, which may be genetically motivated, the way certain tastes in music, or other tastes may be, but it does not have that much to do with any genetical studies of large groups of people, or nations -- it may just be something more within your families -- that if you are more similar to your great grandmother who was Chinese, you may really like that language subconsciously, even if some other people in your family prefer something else. You can see it looking at the Russian speaking people, most of the speakers are definitely not Slavic (I don't mean looking at the way they look, but rather at their history) -- in the sense directly originating from the people who spoke the Proto-Slavic language, if there was one like that. The Irish may be slightly less mixed, but still.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  13. Roel~ Junior Member

    Nederlands - Nederland
    This wasn't exactly what I ment. For example, you have Turks from Turkey in Germany who can speak perfect German if they are grown up there. Their DNA is very different though from most 'authentic' German-speaking people. You can see similarities in a population and the language though. For example, in Ireland you have Irish people who have Irish as a mother tongue, but as these are only the people in the west and almost no immigrant has Irish as a mother language from a native speaker (some have it from education and television though) you can see certain similarities in DNA and language. I read that the Irish people, although they are mixed with Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, still have some of the original Celtic DNA in their genes. I think that you can find this DNA only in native speakers of the Irish language.

    Do you understand what I mean?

    This isn't always the case, but in some cases there is actually a similarity between language and DNA. This counts mostly for small languages like Basque and Irish, which are actually only spoken by the people from the particular region and aren't broadly spread like English, which is also the mother language of a lot of people who aren't 'Anglo-Saxon' in their DNA.
     
  14. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I think this is a dubious claim. How can anyone know what exactly is Celtic DNA? Is such a thing even possible? The Irish may be mixed but it's a far stretch to say that native Irish speakers are the only ones to possess the original Celtic DNA. Languages can be transferred from one group to another without any ethnic mixing occurring.
     
  15. Ihsiin

    Ihsiin Senior Member

    England
    English
    It seems the whole nature of human beings as a sexual species is to disseminate genes widely and quickly.

    Regardless, any incidental DNA labelling is not relevant. The proposition is a linguistic one, and so the argument must be robust as a linguistic one, without recourse to biological assertions of dubious relevance. Glancing over this Swadesh list (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Swadesh_lists_for_Celtic_languages) and these Celtic numbers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_numbers_in_various_languages#Celtic_languages), it seems to me that Celtic languages fit much more nicely in the Indo-European than in the Afro-Asiatic group. Obviously, I have no expertise and this is a very hastily formed opinion, but it seems fairly clear to me.
     
  16. killerbee256 Senior Member

    American English
    I agree, the fact the Celtic languages were so close to Italic languages in the iron age is more then enough to show that Celtic is Indo-European.
     
  17. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    As far as I know there is no evidence of any significant Celtic migration to the British Isles and we have little reason to assume such a migration ever existed. Celtic was probably kind of lingua franca in Western Europe during the La Tène period (i.e. prior to the Roman conquest) and there was certainly "contact" between Celtic and Afro-Asiatic languages, i.e. in the Iberian peninsula which was partially under Punic control. This is quite independent of the ethnic origin on the population of the British Isles.
     
  18. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Did you mean "Semitic migration"? The British Isles were inhabited mostly by Celts before the Germanic migration, weren't they?
     
  19. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    By Celtic speaking people. There is no evidence of them having been ethnically Celtic.
     
  20. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    1. What is the difference?
    2. How could a language cross the sea without being carried by people?
     
  21. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Look at an English speakers from Jamaica and at an English speaker from East Anglia and the difference should be evident.
    Cultural and political domination by a relatively small group of invaders. After all we don't think that all modern Englishmen came via boat from the Cimbrian peninsula because they speak English (the language of the inhabitants of Angeln) and we don't think that all the modern inhabitants of France all migrated from Latium because they speak a language descendant from Latin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  22. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    So you say that the Britons of the Caesar era were not ethnically Celtic? And neither were the Irish and Scots of the medieval times? Is there any historical evidence for this claim?
     
  23. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    What would the purpose be, of such research? It is a very vague idea "authentic speakers of German" or any other language, in fact. The societies are highly mixed, and it is basically just mythological at this point that Polish people are blond (most are not, I think) and all Irish are redheads. There were many Jewish people in Europe, many Tatars even in the Middle Ages, and other peoples whose descendants also speak those languages. It is as vague as the mother tongue idea in the modern multilingual world., unless somebody lives in a very hermetic, mostly monolingual environment.
    In the past, even like the beginning of the 20th century, in Eastern Europe especially, it was more the class that mattered than ethnicity. Virtually all the upper class in Lithuania spoke quite good Polish, regardless if the spoke other languages as well. Many Russians spoke French, in the past at least. It had nothing to do with DNA.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  24. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    You have of course the works of Skyes & al. claiming an overwhelmingly genetic base of Mesolithic/Neolithic immigrants which were certainly pre-Celtic and probably even pre-Indo-European and that the genetic impact of Celtic immigration was minimal.

    There is also no archaeological evidence for a large scale exchange of population during the relatively short period of Celtic expansion to the European Atlantic coast: The Hallstatt culture was largely confined to the Celtic urheimat in the northern Alpine region and modern Southern Germany and North-Eastern France and the expansion of Celtic culture from the Iberian peninsula to the British Isles in the West to Anatolia in the East during the La Tène period happened in a relatively short period of time, ~500-200BC.
     
  25. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Roel's interest is in the likelihood and the extend of Afro-Asiatic influence on different Celtic languages. The migrational history of the population of Celtic speaking Western Europe at the eve of the Roman conquest does certainly impact on the likelihood of a non-IE substrate in Celtic languages. In this respect, I think the question is relevant.
     
  26. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    I thought he was referring to the current situation only, comparing DNA with languages spoken today in Ireland and Scotland. (Gaelic and Scots Gaelic).
     
  27. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Genetic heritage is not the same as ethnicity (even if the US census mixes those two things up). The people that spoke Celtic languages and had Celtic culture were Celts.
     
  28. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    If you think ethnicity is the wrong word for what we're discussing here I gladly switch to any other word of your liking. But it doesn't change the argument.
     
  29. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Well, the use of “ethnicity” here obscures the argument. Now I understand that you claim, that a small group of Celts arrived at the British Isles and imposed their language and culture on the much larger local population. I must admit, that it is new to me, and I wonder how it could happen. Do you know of any other similar process in history?
     
  30. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Imposition of Latin and Roman culture in Gaul. Arabization of North Africa, especially Egypt, Anglo-Saxon culture in England.

    Genetic analyses (like this) of modern European populations in general suggest that the vast majority of lineages can be traced back to paleolithic populations in Europe. I.e. most of us are only linguistically but not genetically Indo-Europeans.
     
  31. killerbee256 Senior Member

    American English
    I would like to add the Hellenization of the the near east during Hellenistic age, the turkification of Anatolia during the middle ages and a far eastern example; the sinicization of Manchuria.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  32. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Saxony-Anhalt
    German
    Genetic drift could also explain the difference in mtDNA between continental and "British" Celts which is not unlikely for small isolated populations.

    If we don't assume the Celts migrated on large scale what would be a suitable explanation of the rapid spread of their Culture to Spain, Britain and the Bosporus?
    Just a few men went out to rule other people and imposed their culture on them? It's still mysterious they wouldn't have taught strangers how to make the best weapons of that time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  33. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    It is indeed surprising. And if they were it would be even more surprising. Where should they all have come from? After all, the Celtic heart land in the Northern Alpine region wasn't exactly densely populated. It is also noteworthy how quickly continental Celtic languages disappeared again. Within two hundred years of Roman rule over Gaul they played no important role any more and none of them survived the migration period.
     
  34. Ihsiin

    Ihsiin Senior Member

    England
    English
    Hello everyone, I have a question on the Irish-Phoenician theory.
    In a 1907 lecture entitled 'Ireland: Island of Saints and Sages', James Joyce says: "This [Irish] language is eastern in origin and has been identified by many philologists with the ancient language of the Phoenicians". He goes on to refer to Charles Vallancey, who connected Irish and Phoenician in the 18th century.
    My question is, what was the dominant academic opinions on this subject around 1900-1920? Was the theory accepted by any number of respected philologists, or was it mainly considered bunk at that time?
    References appreciated.

    http://www.ricorso.net/rx/library/authors/classic/Joyce_J/Criticism/Saints_S.htm (translated from Italian).
     
  35. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    If you look at the standard scholarly handbooks from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, such as Brugmann for Indo-European or Brockelmann for Semitic, you will see that no one doubted that Irish is Indo-European and Phoenician is Semitic. Joyce was an important writer, but he was no authority on linguistics.
     
  36. Ihsiin

    Ihsiin Senior Member

    England
    English
    Thanks a lot.
     

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