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"Celt" Conjecture
#91
Quote:Fruit PIE or meat PIE? :roll: :wink: :lol:
Celtic pie, of course :lol:

My last section from my reply to Chris is about inscriptions.

As I pointed above but it was ignored, Celtiberian script is often enough hard to read because of its inherent ambiguities. Even when the signs get properly identified (sometimes may be a problem), the text still gives no secure reading by itself, especially on shorter inscriptions. Moreover, Celtiberian language(s) is not entirely understood and many texts have tentative interpretations (different scholars may propose differ translations for the same text).

Since 'Celtic studies' came up, I will support my earlier objection with a bibliographic reference. One of the nice recent overviews on this language and script can be found in Celtic Languages (M. J. Ball and Nicole Müller eds.), chapter "Continental Celtic" authored by J. F. Eska and D. E. Evans:
  • The Celtic adaptation of the Iberian script denotes non-sibilant obstruents with moraic characters, i.e., each character contains an inherent vocalism; thus, there are five characters to denote, for example, /t/ plus each of the five vowels, respectively. Resonants, i.e., the vowels, nasals, liquids and glides, and the sibilant(s), are denoted by segmental characters. Such a system, of course, creates problems for the writing of groups of non-sibilant obstruents plus liquid, which are common in the Celtic languages; thus Ti?i? (MLH K.1.1 A6), which represents accusative /triConfused/ ‘three’, must make use of a ‘dead’ vowel which anticipates the quality of the following organic vowel. The occlusive characters, moreover, are not distinguished for voicing; thus, for example, the same character may represent /t/ or /d/, and hence is transcribed by neutral <T>.

This paragraph has some interesting endnotes, two are worthy of mention:
  • Indeed, it appears that the occlusive characters could also represent fricatives: thus <P> could represent not only /p/ and /b/, but on the basis of the Celticizied name PalaCo? < Lat. Flaccus, a labial fricative, as well.

and the other endnote points to few inscriptions (see Carlos Jordán Cólera' article, start on page 1013) apparently displaying some subtle but constant graphic differences between the signs for voiced and voiceless sounds.

As such, if on a Celtiberian inscription one finds CelTi, that theoretically can be read as kelti, gelti, keldi, geldi, maybe considering aspirates and fricatives also khelti, helti, heldi, helthi, etc. Only external evidence can help to reduce the number of possibilites, but nevertheless in many cases will still be a hypothetical reading (see the Flaccus example above).

Quote:Peñalba de Villastar. See: Luciano Perez Vilatela, "Inscripciones celtibericas ineditas de Penalba", in "La Hispania prerromana", Universidad de Salamanca, 1996, pp. 256-257.
To me this entire article (p. 247-77) is a questionable piece of scholarship. Considering the script on these inscriptions "una adaptación epicórica" (which is true), the author interprets the signs to his own liking, but to me the identifications occasionally seem arbitrary. Once the signs are read, the text continues with linguistic speculations sometimes bordering on ridicule ( especially for shortest inscriptions like I.8 ka.? or I.10 m.o or I.15 ba.n. For example, when reading I.10 the author assures his readers that "toponomásticos celtas en Mo- son muy abundantes" and "también hay un sufijo -mo- en galo" ... what a Celtic mojo! Just imagine a fragment of a Latin inscription, having only two letters, MA or GA or SE or whatever two, being interpreted in a similar way!)

The inscription mentioned by Chris is I.13 (p. 255-7), read ke.l.ti.be (it reads amazing, doesn't it?). Even if we ignore the problem of reading "epichoric adaptations", why some stops are read voiceless (like in this case) but in other cases voiced (e.g. I.11 a.gi.l) is beyond my understanding, as there're no such arguments in the text.
As if it wouldn't be enough, the author attempts to divide the text of this inscription in two words, arguing from the existence of a Celt- root, with copious references to CIL and Roman sources. From the point of view of our controversy, however, this is a circular argument, as this inscription allegedly proves the existence of indigenous Celt- words in pre-Roman Spain. One lucky candidate is the southern city of Celti (Peñaflor) from Roman Baetica (why the name of such a southern location would show up in Teruel is also unexplained).

Quote:I have a picture of the inscription right here in my hands - it certainly looks like CELTICA to me. The people in this region were still speaking Gaulish at this time, by the way.

I quoted from your own reference and now you claim you know better than them. Smile
To be sure, the RIG editors suggest two alternative readings, are they wrong?

I guess one can post a drawing here and prove a reading correct and the RIG editors wrong.
Drago?
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#92
Quote:The Celtic adaptation of the Iberian script denotes non-sibilant obstruents with moraic characters, i.e., each character contains an inherent vocalism; thus, there are five characters to denote, for example, /t/ plus each of the five vowels, respectively. Resonants, i.e., the vowels, nasals, liquids and glides, and the sibilant(s), are denoted by segmental characters. Such a system, of course, creates problems for the writing of groups of non-sibilant obstruents plus liquid, which are common in the Celtic languages; thus Ti?i? (MLH K.1.1 A6), which represents accusative /triConfused/ ‘three’, must make use of a ‘dead’ vowel which anticipates the quality of the following organic vowel. The occlusive characters, moreover, are not distinguished for voicing; thus, for example, the same character may represent /t/ or /d/, and hence is transcribed by neutral <T>.

May represent ... in this case, elating to Ceti, does it ... specifically?


Quote:As such, if on a Celtiberian inscription one finds CelTi, that theoretically can be read as kelti, gelti, keldi, geldi, maybe considering aspirates and fricatives also khelti, helti, heldi, helthi, etc. Only external evidence can help to reduce the number of possibilites, but nevertheless in many cases will still be a hypothetical reading (see the Flaccus example above).

What would you consider valid external evidence?
Conal Moran

Do or do not, there is no try!
Yoda
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#93
Quote:It's my understanding that the major brunt of this thread revolves around the assumption that Caesar lied in claiming the Gauls called themeselves "Celts," either individually with personal names or collectively. At the time the BG was published Caesar had a slew of enemies in Rome itself, and certainly he would have been called to task on this point and many others, simply as an attempt to discredit his up-and-coming rise to power. What we get for critical rebuttal is silence.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not Will Durant, a Caesar-admirer. What Caesar did in Gaul was deplorable; and in the substrata of his glories we discover that his command was responsible for the deaths of 330, 000 German men, women, and children in a single day. The entire nobility of the Veneti had their throat cut. The defenders of Uxellodumun had their right hands chopped off. And everything living, from babies to dogs, was killed in the massacre of the Bituriges. The war and its aftermath accounted for some 2 million Gallic lives, including the terrible death of a starved Vercingetorix at the base of the Fora. Caesar was a deplorable human being, BUT he was not a blatant liar.
I already admitted there's no clear, undeniable evidence Caesar's ethnography is nothing but a reflection of previous, stereotypical views, a compilation serving to shape his image as conqueror of Gaul. I already recommended Riggsby's careful analysis. From 3rd chapter of The Celtic World (ed. Miranda J. Green - who, by the way, gives a nice introduction on who were the Celts), author David Rankin:
  • Julius Caesar's famous account of his wars in Gaul (De Bello Gallico) makes use of Poseidonios's histories. The fact that Poseidonios did not regard the Celts as mere primitives was grist to Caesar's propagandistic mill, since he could represent himself as the conqueror of no mean people.
  • Julius Caesar did not come into contact with Celtic life as it was lived. His purpose was to dominate Gaul and exploit it for his own purposes, not to comprehend Celtic society in any greater depth than seemed conformable to the achivement of his ends.

ending with
  • There is a noteworthy consistency in the evidences we have for Graeco-Roman attitudes to the Celts, who remained archaic, heroic, terrific, eloquent, volatile. No doubt one of the main factors which helped to crystalize this view was the persistence over the centuries of a rhetorical scheme of education. This placed great emphasis on the learning and development of topoi (communes loci), or common themes. Once the picture of the Celts had congealed, it would be difficult for detailed observation to modify it. [...] The romantic view of the Celts and their culture owes much to these ancient attitudes. However, our attempts to see the Celts through classical eyes are focus through the lens of a literature written by an eduated class whose understanding was in many ways shielded from the input of factual information by the influence of rhetorical training.

Who in Rome would have challenged Caesar's story, if most of them were thinking in the same way?

Quote:Today, people in varying countries consider themselves Celts-- the Irish, the Scottish, the Welsh, the Bretons, and maybe even some Spaniards-- and it seems ludicrous that they are a deluded and post-Caesarian product of a less than authentic tradition. To me, there is no "Celtic Conjecture." And obviously, I stand not alone. :roll:
As ludicrous it may seem, it's a widely acknowleged fact the modern Celtic identities are a recent fabrication. From Michael Dietler's "'Our Ancestors the Gauls': Archaeology, Ethnic Nationalism and the Manipulation of Celtic Identity in Modern Europe" (in American Anthropologist, NS, vol. 96.3/1994):
  • What, for example, does the word Celtic mean and where does it come from? Today the term is applied to everything from a basketball team in Boston to a soccer team in Scotland, to art and music styles, and to a literary genre. As with Boston Celtics basketball team, the term is generally assumed by Americans to refer to an affiliation with an ethnic heartland in Ireland or Scotland. However, it is highly unlikely that the people of either of these regions ever called themselves Celts before the 19th century. This identification is a product of modern historical philology, which recognized the linguistic connections between modern Irish Goidelic, Scots Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Cornish, Manx and the ancient Celtic languages of the continent.

After a short presentation of the classical sources and a review of Caesar's and Strabo's opposite perspectives, the author notes
  • Ironically, if Strabo is correct in his etymology of the term Celtic, it is quite possible that the original Celts may have spoken Ligurian rather than the language that their name has subsequently come to signify.

An incovenient possibility, isn't it? Wink
Drago?
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#94
Quote:
  • Ironically, if Strabo is correct in his etymology of the term Celtic, it is quite possible that the original Celts may have spoken Ligurian rather than the language that their name has subsequently come to signify.

What is it that Srabo is actually saying, other than the ancient Greeks did not get it fully correct? Is it enough to pin the Celts down to Ligurian speaking peoples?
Conal Moran

Do or do not, there is no try!
Yoda
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#95
Quote:May represent ... in this case, elating to Ceti, does it ... specifically?
Any of those signs can be read in at least two ways. Example of interpretation.
The inscription you'll find mentioned at page 634 (K.16.1 in MLH): TirTano? aPuloCum leTonTuno? Ce PeliCio? was read Tridanos/Tritanos Abulocum Letondunos ge[ntis?] Beligios.

Quote:What would you consider valid external evidence?
It depends. It can range from bilingual inscriptions to mere words and names (but also other features such as desinences and syntax) securely attested in the same time and place.
In the end a succesfully deciphered text will persuade all the readers there's only one way to read it.
Drago?
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#96
Quote:
Rumo:3rass0yj Wrote:
  • Ironically, if Strabo is correct in his etymology of the term Celtic, it is quite possible that the original Celts may have spoken Ligurian rather than the language that their name has subsequently come to signify.

What is it that Srabo is actually saying, other than the ancient Greeks did not get it fully correct? Is it enough to pin the Celts down to Ligurian speaking peoples?
Strabo is saying Greeks met Celts on the southern coasts of France which in ancient times was inhabited also by Ligures. Strabo also points out that Ligures and Celts have similar ways of life.

But you should note there's little known about ancient Ligures and many speculations were made about their language: that it was another Celtic language, another IE language or even a non-IE language.
Drago?
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#97
Quote:Strabo is saying Greeks met Celts on the southern coasts of France which in ancient times was inhabited also by Ligures. Strabo also points out that Ligures and Celts have similar ways of life.
But you should note there's little known about ancient Ligures and many speculations were made about their language: that it was another Celtic language, another IE language or even a non-IE language.

So, any notion that the original "Celtic" language being Ligurian based on what Strabo says is bit of a stretch.
Conal Moran

Do or do not, there is no try!
Yoda
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#98
Quote: Any of those signs can be read in at least two ways. Example of interpretation.
The inscription you'll find mentioned at page 634 (K.16.1 in MLH): TirTano? aPuloCum leTonTuno? Ce PeliCio? was read Tridanos/Tritanos Abulocum Letondunos ge[ntis?] Beligios.

So nothing specific to Celtic.

Quote: It depends. It can range from bilingual inscriptions to mere words and names (but also other features such as desinences and syntax) securely attested in the same time and place. In the end a succesfully deciphered text will persuade all the readers there's only one way to read it.

Too much to expect in most cases but it does not negate wider sources.
Conal Moran

Do or do not, there is no try!
Yoda
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#99
Since some members seem unable to post arguments in this thread without making the argument personal at some level or another, I have closed this thread for the time being. If any member would like to continue discussing this topic, please contact me.
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