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

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andour View Post
    Proof enough that Latin didn't need any Gaulish influence to lose its neutral gender : Italian, Spanish, Portuguese also lost their neuter. It is difficult to imagine that Gaulish/Celtic might have impacted Italian. Latin "mare" (neutral) became Italian "mare" (masculine).
    Romanian neuter nouns are like the fish species kobudai: Declined as masculine nouns in singular but as feminine nouns in plural:

    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Romanian_nouns#/Gender
    An intrinsic property of Romanian nouns, as in all Romance languages, is their gender. However, while most Romance languages have only two genders, masculine and feminine, Romanian also has neuter gender. In Latin, the neuter is a separate gender, requiring all determiners to have three distinct forms, such as the adjective bona, bonus, bonum (meaning good). Comparatively, Romanian neuter is a combination of the other two genders. More specifically, in Romanian, neuter nouns behave in the singular as masculine nouns and in the plural as feminine nouns. As such, all noun determiners and all pronouns only have two possible gender-specific forms instead of three. From this perspective, it's possible to say that in Romanian there are really just two genders, masculine and feminine, and the category labeled as neuter contains nouns whose gender switches with the number.
    Last edited by NixYO; 12-09-2019 at 07:47 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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  3. #32
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    I just want to post a couple more interesting papers relevant to the topic here:

    "Pour une réévaluation du substrat celtique et pré-indo-européen du lexique français"
    https://www.academia.edu/11257681/Po..._fran%C3%A7ais

    "L’émergence du français ou la rencontre du latin vulgaire avec des parlers celtiques puis germaniques"
    https://books.openedition.org/pur/32772?lang=en
    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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  5. #33
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    More thoughts on this topic, exploring Frankish influence, and language in general.

    I'm still researching the French language and why it is the way it is. My interest in this language more or less began when a friend told me long ago that "French is nearly a Celtic language" and being generally aware of prominent cultural things such as Asterix and Obelix, initially I just accepted that would be true. Currently, I do not think it is. There are quite a lot of differing opinions on sites like Quora and Reddit, some which even include well done and detailed explanations, explaining why Gaulish is a likely candidate for some of the features of French despite limited vocabulary influence. However, I also found that while one person was able to argue a Gaulish origin, another was also able to do the same in favor of a Latin (Vulgar Latin) origin. Therefore, nothing in favor of Gaulish was ever concrete. The genders of words in the Occitan and French languages or dialects do appear to be coming from the genders for these things in Gaulish. I haven't found evidence against that yet, but that seems to be about it. I hit the end of the road with the possibilities of Gaulish influence, and my interest turned to Germanic and Frankish influence.
    It appears to be very common for people to attribute all the oddities of French compared to it's neighboring Romance languages to Frankish influence. Frankish definitely appears to have given vocabulary and calques to modern French, but what I found really surprising was that similarly to Gaulish, features of modern French which are often attributed to Germanic influence also have a Latin origin argument tied to them. Initially, I read something that said that the "pas" negation was Germanic due to the position, but later found out this was actually a Latin word in origin and this development just happened within the language. I read that "Avoir" was Germanic because of the similarity to Germanic words such as "Have" but when I dove into this more deeply, there was an explanation for how this developed from Latin. Many people attribute the rather unique sound of French as compared to Spanish or Italian as being due to the Germanic influence, (What I read a lot of people say was that French is the result of Germanics learning Latin.. but that would have to mean that the Franks outnumbered the native Gallo-Roman population and if that were the case, French wouldn't be a Romance language today...) but then Portuguese also has a relatively strange sound, often being compared to Russian, and we know that it wasn't influenced by Russian or Slavic in that way.
    What I found was that, similarly to how people want to view DNA tests as representations of historical migrations and peoples on a population, people also are far too keen to attribute the influence of historical peoples on languages, and although it often seems that this is a reason, perhaps most of the time, a unique feature in a language is actually just an innovation that took place within that language and is not due to the influence of a historical people of the region that language was spoken in.
    The more deeply I look into this question, the more often I find that the answer is "Vulgar Latin that developed in a unique direction." I'll admit that isn't the answer I had hoped to find when I set out on this journey, but I think I would have to be pretty ignorant to convince myself otherwise.

    Back to all things Gaulish, this probably isn't worth much but I thought it was interesting. There are a couple videos on YouTube that display re-constructed Gaulish language, the accent this re-constructed Gaulish has, is to my ears, most like the Limousin dialect of Occitan - which is the most North-Westerly Occitan language or dialect. What I found of Auvergnat wasn't dissimilar either but I personally thought Limousin stood out as being the closest. Not that this means anything! I am not by any means claiming that the re-constructed Gaulish accent is accurate at all as I don't think there's a way to accurately replicate how this language would have sounded when it has been dead for so long. But, I thought this was interesting and a bit of fun.
    Last edited by sktibo; 03-02-2020 at 01:09 AM.
    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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  7. #34
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    more "celtic"
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    Few celtic words in French, true. But let's keep in mind the latin words are very common in ALL IE European languages! only 40% (rather lesser) of true Romance words in modern French! (scientific affirmation), the remnant loaned or created on Latin and Greek later.

  8. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by NixYO View Post
    Romanian neuter nouns are like the fish species kobudai: Declined as masculine nouns in singular but as feminine nouns in plural:

    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Romanian_nouns#/Gender
    furthermore, nouns gender is not a hard marker of language identity, not so much: in French dialects (Oil), more than a noun may be either masculine or feminine (un(E) fourmi BI).

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