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Re: Alternative history - a plea!
On Thu, 16 Apr 1998, Raymond A. Brown wrote:
> Interesting tho the recent threads on the 'British' Empire & the Federated
> Kingdoms may be, as a Celtophile I urge you not to overlook one basic fact:
> the existence of Brithenig & Padraic's Kernu mean that yet another group of
> Celtic languages were killed off.
This is true, even though the Celtic Core of Kernu is surprisingly large.
> English is sometimes portrayed as the "big baddie" that killed off Celtic
> langs. Not so - the greatest 'killer' was spoken Latin. There was a time
> when north Italy was Celtic speaking, together with norther Spain, the
> whole of Gaul/France and parts of what is now Belgium, as well as, of
> course, the British isles. Throughout this large area all the Celtic langs
> eventually gave way to Latin & then the modern Romance langs. Now Andrew &
> Padraic have spread this to Britannia & Brittonic Celtic has given way to
> Romance langs. If any RomanoBritish fled to Amorica to escape either Saxon
> or, what is now thought much more likely, Irish depredations, they'd have
> taken their celticized Romance with them - hence no Breton (I suspect the
> Romance they took would've soon be absorbed into the Romance dialects
> already being spoken in the region).
> Although as a linguist I find the Brithenig project intriguing and think
> Andrew has blended the Celtic substrate influence with the 'hard core'
> Romance of the language in a very skillful way, I bewail a world without
> Brittonic Celtic. *There* the _only_ survivals of the once widespread
> Celtic langs will be the Gaelic langs!
> Please, whatever you do with your alternative history, please ensure the
> Gaels are treated more kindly *there* than they have been *here*. Can you
> avoid depopulating the Highlands & let the Irish keep their own language?
> It's a small request to compensate for the loss of Welsh, Cornish & Breton.
Ray!! I must reply to your impassioned letter, with what I hope to be a
ray or glimmer of hope! All is not lost, as far as Insular Celtic is
concerned. Indeed, during the Westward migrations into Dumnonia during
the Saxon invasions, some Celtic monoglots from what is *Here* called
Cornwall, that is far western Dumnonia, managed to flee to Armorica. This
area of the Country was never really romanised to any great extent,
according to my source for Cornish history (and _no_, it's not Sellar and
Yeatman!). These people took their Celtic language with them. Later
migrations of Early Kernow speakers also went thither, and are the
ancestors of the modern Breotu speakers of -- what else -- Little Britain
(Bretten Beq). The Breotu is heavily influenced by French, but the
people have always had a bit of an independant streak to them. The Celtic
speakers there are definitely in the minority, but are a welcome force in
the struggle against French Pressure. _Don't even ask me what this
Armorican sounds like!_ I don't know enough Insular Celtic to make a
connected sentence, let alone a whole _conlang_. ;^) Alas, this probably
doesn't entirely make up for the Insular Loss. I will put in my never so
humble vote for the proScots and Irish Party, however! Erin go bragh, and
> Written in Net English Humor not necessarily marked