The Celtic Languages Research Paper by Nicky

The Celtic Languages
An examination of the linguistic history of the insular Celtic and proto-Celtic languages.
# 149430 | 2,414 words | 6 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Dec 14, 2011 in Linguistics (General) , Language (General)

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The paper explores the research on the insular Celtic and proto-Celtic linguistics and finds that there are two subgroups of the insular Celtic language, Goidelic and Brittonic. The paper discusses how the Brittonic insular Celtic includes Welsh, Breton and Cornish and it is believed that it may even contain the language of the Picts, and Goidelic and Brittonic are referred to a 'Q-Celtic' and 'P-Celtic' upon the basis of the respective treatment of the PIE labiovelars. This study also examines the proto-Goidelic language which is the Irish language's ancestor from prehistoric times and which was spoken in Ireland prior to the advent of the Christian era.

Two Branches of Celtic Language
From PIE to Celtic
Two Branches of Insular Celtic
Requirements for Proper Subclassification of Languages
Common Special Imperfect Tense Shared by British and Goidelic
Developments in Insular Celtic Languages
Summary and Conclusion

From the Paper:

"The Celts were ancient people in Europe who spoke the Celtic languages forming a branch of the European languages including other languages which are unknown but which have been associated with Celtic cultural traits in archaeological evidence. Celtic is used in contemporary times to describe the languages and cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and the French region of Brittany however the Celtic language family includes the Gaelic languages of Scottish, Irish and Manx and the Brythonic languages of Welsh, Breton and Cornish.
"The Celtic language family is said to be a branch of the larger Indo-European language and it has been hypothesized that the Celtic prototype language may have derived from the Pontic-Caspian steppes. By 600 BC the Celts had split into several groups of languages and had spread across Central Europe as well as Ireland and Britain and the Iberian Peninsula. The Celtic language is believed to have spread to Britain and Iberia during the first half of the first millennium and that this language developed over the centuries into the Celtiberian, Goidelic and Brythonic languages. There is a debate as to whether the Goidelic and Brythonic descend from a common Insular-Celtic language or if instead these languages are reflective of two waves of separate migration."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baldi, Philip and Page, B. Richard (2003) Europa Vasconica-Europa Semitica Theo Vennemann, Gen. Nierfeld, in: Patrizia Noel Aziz Hanna (Ed.), Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monographs 138, Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, 2003, pp. xxii + 977. Linguia 116 (2006) 2183-2220.
  • Ball, Martin J. and Fife, James (2002) The Celtic Languages. Taylor & Francis, 2002.
  • Fortson, Benjamin W. (2005) Indo-European Language and Culture. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA.
  • Kortlandt, Frederik (1989) The Spread of the Indo-Europeans. Online available at: Accessed 5 Aug 2007.
  • Mozota, Francisco Burillo Mozota (2005) Celtiberians; Problems and Debates. e-Keltoi Volume 6: 411-480 The Celts in the Iberian Peninsula.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

The Celtic Languages (2011, December 14) Retrieved June 06, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Celtic Languages" 14 December 2011. Web. 06 June. 2023. <>