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Thread: Looking for information on the Gaulish language and the languages of modern France

  1. #11
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    Just an update on what I've found on this topic:

    I posted in the linguistics section to try and get information on the Langues d'oc and related languages, but I've got no real information from anyone there yet.
    I found two wikipedia pages, one in French and one in Occitan that state that Occitan has both less Celtic and less Germanic influence than French.

    So far, all in all, it looks like:
    French and the oil languages definitely have some notable Gaulish influence, but the degree or significance is debated
    Occitan and the oc languages only have very little if any Gaulish influence
    Breton may have some Gaulish influence but it also might not have any.
    Paper trail ancestry to the best of my knowledge:
    English (possibly containing some Welsh ancestry) 31.25%, Scottish 17.96%, Scotch-Irish 12.5%, Eastern German 12.5%, Eastern European (Likely Polish possibly including Romanian) 12.5%, French 7.81%, Native American (Saulteaux and Assiniboine) 2.34%, and Colonial American, 3.125%, which cannot be traced with certainty. With certainty, there is Dutch (at least 1.36%) and some English.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    Just an update on what I've found on this topic:

    I posted in the linguistics section to try and get information on the Langues d'oc and related languages, but I've got no real information from anyone there yet.
    I found two wikipedia pages, one in French and one in Occitan that state that Occitan has both less Celtic and less Germanic influence than French.

    So far, all in all, it looks like:
    French and the oil languages definitely have some notable Gaulish influence, but the degree or significance is debated
    Occitan and the oc languages only have very little if any Gaulish influence
    Breton may have some Gaulish influence but it also might not have any.
    I read on a Swedish forum that one of the few clear and noticeable morphological influences that Gaulish has had on French is their weird way of counting with exempli gratia soixante-onze (eng. sixty-eleven):

    https://translate.google.se/translat...50%23p67407950
    Quote Originally Posted by Hamilkar
    Mnjä. En comes from the Latin inde, which means from there in Classical Latin, but already in the late imperial Late Latin the meaning of it, both according to Baumgartner and Menard's French etymological dictionary and according to Salenius' Latin-Swedish dictionary, so already the Late Latin had a word with the same scope of significance as the modern French en. Y comes from Latin ibi, meaning there, which has undergone a similar development to there.

    However, Hubert expresses no consensus with those views, especially no contemporary (the French-language original of the book you apostrophes were written more than a hundred years ago, during a period when it was generally modern to make as much essence as possible of nos ancêtres les Gaulois) and he was also not a Romanist by the union, but primarily archaeologist and secondly sociologist. A modern and popular book on the history of the French language such as Mireille Huchon's, usually indicates the number count (soixante-onze etc) as the only clear example of grammatical/morphological influence on today's French from the Gallic substrate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nino90 View Post
    Interesting thread. I always wonder how much impact Latin and Romans had on French and Iberian languages.
    Since Italic and Celtic prop derived from the same origin. Same thing with the genetics. Did the romans impact French to be more "med" than before?
    The structure of French is completely Romance/Vulgar Latin. Before the Romans they spoke other languages such as inter alia Gaulish.

    https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1005202922794356738
    Quote Originally Posted by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    Point is; if you're not Med, you'll never understand the Mediterranean. You can spend 31 y in Oxford reading "classics", all that sh*t, & still understand nothing about the Mediterranean. Now, if you're not Med, the closest you'll ever get is via squid ink & Moustaki. Salve.

    3) The French have tried to become Meds for 2000 years. They can't: except for spots, Germanics speaking a Latin language.

    4) For instance to be Med you need to both disrespect hard work and respect success, exactly the opposite of the "work ethics" & the worship of labor in the non-necessarily Prostestant North.

    5) Another reason there large entities don't work in the Med, causing a scale problem: you cannot be alpha if you are not free & self-employed (or the boss), an employee of Goldman Sachs is of a lower status than a local doctor.

    6) To understand the Romans, essential Meds, who shunned doing things themselves but praised builders:

    "Caesar pontem fecit" means Ceasar *had a bridge built* (by others), not "built a bridge" as usually translated.

    Tr. into French would be "a fait bâtir un pont" not "a bâti".
    https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/860517970296090624
    Quote Originally Posted by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    There is very little that is Mediterranean about the "French" (north of Avignon), except, of course, their language.
    Last edited by NixYO; 04-28-2019 at 06:18 PM.
    “And, furthermore, that some people have a sex life and others don’t just because some are more attractive than others. I wanted to acknowledge that if people don’t have a sex life, it’s not for some moral reason, it’s just because they’re ugly. Once you’ve said it, it sounds obvious, but I wanted to say it.” — Michel Houellebecq

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nino90 View Post
    Interesting thread. I always wonder how much impact Latin and Romans had on French and Iberian languages.
    Since Italic and Celtic prop derived from the same origin. Same thing with the genetics. Did the romans impact French to be more "med" than before?
    Genetically speaking, only in the very south of Gaul (Provincia)
    Eurogenes G25: 47% DEU_Halberstadt_LBA+36% ITL_Proto-Villanovan+17% GRC_Mycenaean

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    Quote Originally Posted by Camulogène Rix View Post
    Genetically speaking, only in the very south of Gaul (Provincia)
    Some relevant maps:



    ^^ This map above misses most of Liguria for some reason!













    Last edited by NixYO; 04-28-2019 at 02:00 PM.
    “And, furthermore, that some people have a sex life and others don’t just because some are more attractive than others. I wanted to acknowledge that if people don’t have a sex life, it’s not for some moral reason, it’s just because they’re ugly. Once you’ve said it, it sounds obvious, but I wanted to say it.” — Michel Houellebecq

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  9. #15
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    For what it's worth :

    Auvergnat was the local variant of Occitan in the north of the Massif Central. It can now be considered extinct, in spite of the ardent efforts of a few die-hard conservationists. My grandparents talked in that language at family reunions. I confirm it was essentially derived from Latin. For example, Christmas was called Tsaleñdä (from Latin calendae). The local farmers also lived (vieùre < vivere), mowed (sedzä < secare), reaped (mèdre < medere), milked (meùze < mulgere) in Latin.

    That said, in our old isolated mountains, a number of Gaulish words survived, which as far as I know, did not survive in standard French. Here are a few examples :

    a'laùzà (a lark) < Gaulish alauda - 'aùrà (wind) < auellos - 'banà (horn) < banna - be'né (basket)< benna (wickerwork) -
    'bodzà (a large bag) < bulga - 'brayä (trousers) <braccia - 'dreùlià (tramped footpath) < drullia (broken pieces) -
    'gaùnià (cheeks+chin) < gena (cheek) - 'kledà (gate) < kleta (fence) - pey'rü (cauldron < pario -
    sü'di (pigsty) < succotegos (succos : pig ; tegos : roof, shelter, house) - tsavanieù (barn owl) < cauannos

    I very much doubt that Gaulish and Latin were that close, in spite of the shared vocabulary ('ex' meant 'out of' in both languages ; Latin 'cum' was Gaulish 'com' ; 'medium' was 'medios') and regular cognates (Gaulish 'ater' - Latin 'pater' ; lano - planus ; etc.). I also doubt they were mutually intelligible, even though the declensions, for what we know of them, may have sounded somewhat familiar.

    The reason Roman soldiers used Greek to encrypt their messages was simply that long before the Roman conquest proper, Gauls had long-established trading routes and traditions with Rome, exporting ceramics, importing wine. A century before Caesar defeated the Gauls at Alesia, there were already numerous Gaulish mercenaries in the Roman legions. Vercingetorix himself served under Caesar's orders in the Roman armies. So no wonder quite a few Gauls spoke Latin.

    Gaulish apparently stood in between north and south, with, also, words with clear Germanic cognates : dorom (mouth, door) : door, Tür ; briga (hill, hillfort) : Berg, Burg ; briua (bridge) : *brugjo.

    Personally, if I were to dig into Gaulish legacies in French, I'd turn towards toponyms, and hydronyms (though quite a few of the latter may be Pre-Celtic).

    Addendum : Not all Gaulish tribes went "P-Celtic", apparently. There was a tribe on the western slopes of the Jura mountains that was called the Sequani.
    Last edited by Andour; 10-02-2019 at 05:17 PM.
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  11. #16
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    For those of you who can read French, and are interested in Gaulish :

    https://www.academia.edu/16699213/Pr...lois_Classique
    Immi uiros rios toutias rias

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    I am still very interested in this topic and continue to read about it from time to time, I wanted to note two things which I thought were particularly interesting here.

    1. Apparently Gaulish impacted the gender in modern French, Latin had three, and it was Gaulish influence that moved this to two. Further, the words in French which are masculine or feminine were based off the Masculine and Feminine words in Gaulish. The example listed was the sea, which was neutral in Latin and Feminine in Gaulish, and it became Feminine in French.
    2. Apparently Vulgar Latin, which is the ancestor of modern French, as opposed to Latin, took loan words from Gaulish. Thus, some French words of Vulgar Latin origin were originally Gaulish words.

    Overall, while there does seem to have been some significant input from Gaulish to French, it doesn't seem to have been as significant as Frankish or English. I've read that a big part of the problem is that identifying the extent of impact on a language that a substrate has is much more difficult than identifying the impact of a superstrate.

    Nonetheless, I find it very interesting to explore because French did become the language of the Gauls, and it doesn't seem that the Gaulish identity has ever completely left despite the loss of language. We have terms like "Gallicisms" to refer to French phrases in English, heck, "Gallicize" means "to make or become French in attitude, language, etc." Asterix and Obelix are a great example of the awareness of the Gallic heritage of the French. Rather than losing the Gallic or Gaulish identity entirely, it seems that a Gallo-Roman identity was instead created, and I find this to be so interesting that this identity remained strong despite the later introduction of such a strong Germanic / Frankish influence in the ruling class.
    Last edited by sktibo; 12-07-2019 at 08:40 PM.
    Paper trail ancestry to the best of my knowledge:
    English (possibly containing some Welsh ancestry) 31.25%, Scottish 17.96%, Scotch-Irish 12.5%, Eastern German 12.5%, Eastern European (Likely Polish possibly including Romanian) 12.5%, French 7.81%, Native American (Saulteaux and Assiniboine) 2.34%, and Colonial American, 3.125%, which cannot be traced with certainty. With certainty, there is Dutch (at least 1.36%) and some English.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    I am still very interested in this topic and continue to read about it from time to time, I wanted to note two things which I thought were particularly interesting here.

    1. Apparently Gaulish impacted the gender in modern French, Latin had three, and it was Gaulish influence that moved this to two. Further, the words in French which are masculine or feminine were based off the Masculine and Feminine words in Gaulish. The example listed was the sea, which was neutral in Latin and Feminine in Gaulish, and it became Feminine in French.
    2. Apparently Vulgar Latin, which is the ancestor of modern French, as opposed to Latin, took loan words from Gaulish. Thus, some French words of Vulgar Latin origin were originally Gaulish words.

    Overall, while there does seem to have been some significant input from Gaulish to French, it doesn't seem to have been as significant as Frankish or English. I've read that a big part of the problem is that identifying the extent of impact on a language that a substrate has is much more difficult than identifying the impact of a superstrate.

    Nonetheless, I find it very interesting to explore because French did become the language of the Gauls, and it doesn't seem that the Gaulish identity has ever completely left despite the loss of language. We have terms like "Gallicisms" to refer to French phrases in English, heck, "Gallicize" means "to make or become French in attitude, language, etc." Asterix and Obelix are a great example of the awareness of the Gallic heritage of the French. Rather than losing the Gallic or Gaulish identity entirely, it seems that a Gallo-Roman identity was instead created, and I find this to be so interesting that this identity remained strong despite the later introduction of such a strong Germanic / Frankish influence in the ruling class.
    Apologies for not adding anything material on the Gaulish language here, but I can't resist saying that I reckon Asterix and Obelix are the greatest ambassadors that France has ever had. I partly learned to read with Asterix books that I was given during stays in Cornwall when I was a few years old. I had no idea what a Gaul was then of course. I visit France a lot and am always pleased to see that the books still sell well there. Parc Asterix is also the only theme park that I ever enjoyed visiting with my kids… On a more serious note, I've read a little about the debate over how far modern Breton might have been influenced by the British immigrants rather than mainland Gaulish but would dearly love to know more too.
    Living DNA's former Cautious mode:
    Wales-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    North England-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,250 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales
    Mother's Y: traces to Llanvair Discoed, Wales

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonikW View Post
    Apologies for not adding anything material on the Gaulish language here, but I can't resist saying that I reckon Asterix and Obelix are the greatest ambassadors that France has ever had. I partly learned to read with Asterix books that I was given during stays in Cornwall when I was a few years old. I had no idea what a Gaul was then of course. I visit France a lot and am always pleased to see that the books still sell well there. Parc Asterix is also the only theme park that I ever enjoyed visiting with my kids… On a more serious note, I've read a little about the debate over how far modern Breton might have been influenced by the British immigrants rather than mainland Gaulish but would dearly love to know more too.
    The sources I've dug through tell me that there was a François Falc'hun who had the view that the Vannetais variant of Breton was highly influenced by or was actually a descendant of Gaulish. IIRC it turned out that the peculiarities of Vannetais were more likely due to Latin influence, at least, that's the general consensus now. I was not able to find anything that indicated that Breton had actually been influenced by Gaulish with certainty, but there's speculation that it had been. Conversely, although it is not much, it seems certain that Gaulish actually did impact modern French.
    I think the question of Gaulish influence on Breton is a very interesting one, and I thought this:
    https://www.academia.edu/28555947/ON...ENCE_ON_BRETON
    was a pretty interesting read.
    Paper trail ancestry to the best of my knowledge:
    English (possibly containing some Welsh ancestry) 31.25%, Scottish 17.96%, Scotch-Irish 12.5%, Eastern German 12.5%, Eastern European (Likely Polish possibly including Romanian) 12.5%, French 7.81%, Native American (Saulteaux and Assiniboine) 2.34%, and Colonial American, 3.125%, which cannot be traced with certainty. With certainty, there is Dutch (at least 1.36%) and some English.

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    A good friend of mine has just published this book
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    According to him, very few Gaulish words have remained in the French vocabulary. We have been deeply romanized.
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