World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gallaecian language

Article Id: WHEBN0027567912
Reproduction Date:

Title: Gallaecian language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Celtic languages, Gallaeci, List of Roman auxiliary regiments, Galician people, List of Galician words of Celtic origin
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gallaecian language

Native to Iberian Peninsula
Era attested beginning of the first millennium CE
  • Celtic
    • (unclassified)
      • Gallaecian
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
The Nicer Clutosi stele inscription.

(North)western Hispano-Celtic, or less frequently Gallaecian, is an extinct language of the Celtic family, along with Celtiberian[1][2] one of the Hispano-Celtic languages. It was spoken at the beginning of the first millennium CE in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, in an area lying between the west and north Atlantic coasts and a line running north-south and linking Oviedo and Mérida, including North Portugal.[3][4]


As with the Illyrian and Ligurian languages, the surviving corpus of Gallaecian is composed of isolated words and short sentences contained in local Latin inscriptions or glossed by classical authors, together with a number of names – anthroponyms, ethnonyms, theonyms, toponyms – contained in inscriptions, or surviving as the names of places, rivers or mountains. In addition, many isolated words of Celtic origin preserved in the present-day Romance languages of north-west Spain are likely to have been inherited from ancient Gallaecian.[5]

Classical authors such as Pomponius Mela[6] and Pliny the Elder wrote about the existence of Celtic and non-Celtic populations in Gallaecia and Lusitania, but several modern scholars have postulated Lusitanian and Gallaecian as a single archaic Celtic language. Others point to major unresolved problems for this hypothesis, such as the mutually incompatible phonetic features, most notably the proposed preservation of *p in Lusitanian and the inconsistent outcome of the vocalic liquid consonants, so addressing Lusitanian and Western Hispano Celtic as two different languages, although their speakers probably lived in close cultural proximity.[7][8][9][10]

Some of the main characteristic of this language, shared with Celtiberian and the other Celtic languages were (reconstructed forms are Proto-Celtic unless otherwise indicated):

  • PIE *-ps-, *-ks- > *-xs- > -s-: place name AVILIOBRIS from *Awil-yo-brix-s < pre-Celtic *Awil-yo-brig-s 'Windy hill(fort)',[11][12] modern place name Osmo (Cenlle, Osamo 928 AD) from *Uχsamo- 'the highest one'.[13]
  • Loss of PIE *p > *φ > 0?:[14][15] place names C(ASTELLO) OLCA from *φolkā- 'Overturned', C(ASTELLO) ERITAECO from *φerito- 'surrounded, enclosed', personal name ARCELTIUS, from *φari-kelt-y-os; place name C(ASTELLO) ERCORIOBRI, from *φeri-kor-y-o-brig-s 'Overshooting hillfort'; place name C(ASTELLO) LETIOBRI,[16] from *φle-tyo-brig-s 'wide hillfort', or *φlei-to-brig-s 'grey hillfort';[17] place name Iria Flavia, from *φīweryā- (nominative *φīwerī) 'fertile' (feminine form, cf. Sanskrit feminine pīvari- "fat");[18] place name ONTONIA, from *φont-on- 'path';[19] personal name LATRONIUS,[20] to *φlā-tro- 'place; trousers'; personal name ROTAMUS, to *φro-tamo- 'foremost';[21] modern place names Bama (Touro, Vama 912) to *uφamā-[22] 'the lowest one, the bottom' (feminine form), Iñobre (Rianxo) to *φenyo-brix-s[23] 'Hill(fort) by the water', Bendrade (Oza dos Ríos) to *Vindo-φrātem 'White fortress', and Baiordo (Coristanco) to *Bagyo-φritu-, where the second element is proto-Celtic for 'ford'.[24] Galician appellative words leira 'flat patch of land' from *φlāryā,[25] lavego 'plough' from *φlāw-aiko-,[26] laxe 'flagstone', from medieval lagena, from *φlagĭnā,[27] rega and rego 'furrow' from *φrikā.[28]
The frequent instances of preserved PIE /p/ are assigned by some authors, namely Carlos Búa[29] and Jürgen Untermann, to a single and archaic Celtic language spoken in Gallaecia, Asturia and Lusitania, while others (Francisco Villar, Blanca María Prósper, Patrizia de Bernado Stempel, Jordán Colera) consider that they belong to a Lusitanian or Lusitanian-like dialect or group of dialects spoken in northern Iberia along with (but different from) Western Hispano-Celtic:[30]
  • in Galicia: divinity names and epithets PARALIOMEGO, PARAMAECO, POEMANAE, PROENETIAEGO, PROINETIE, PEMANEIECO, PAMUDENO, MEPLUCEECO; place names Lapatia, Paramo, Pantiñobre if from *palanti-nyo-brig-s (Búa); Galician appellative words lapa 'stone, rock' (cfr. Lat. lapis) and pala 'stone cavity', from *palla < *plh-sa (cfr. germ. fels, o.Ir. All).
  • in Asturias étnhic name Paesici; personal names PENTIUS, PROGENEI; divinity name PECE PARAMECO; in León and Bragança place names PAEMEIOBRIGENSE, Campo Paramo, Petavonium.
  • in other northwestern areas: place names Pallantia, Pintia, Segontia Paramica; étnic name Pelendones.
  • Vocalization of inter-consonantic sonants: *n̥, *m̥ > an, am; *r̥, *l̥ > ri, li:[31] place name Brigantia from *brig-ant-yā < pre-Celtic *br̥g-n̥t-y-ā < post-Proto-Indo-European (post-PIE) *bʰr̥gʰ-n̥t-y-ā 'The towering one, the high one'; modern place names Berganzo, Berganciños, Bergaña;[32] ancient place names NEMETOBRIGA, COELIOBRIGA, TALABRIGA with second element *brigā < pre-Celtic *br̥g-ā < post-PIE *bʰr̥gʰ-ā 'high place',[33] and AVILIOBRIS, MIOBRI, AGUBRI with second element *bris < *brix-s < pre-Celtic *brig-s < *br̥g-s < PIE *bʰr̥gʰ-s 'hill(fort)';[34] cf. English cognate borough < Old English burg "fort" < Proto-Germanic *burg-s < PIE *bʰr̥gʰ-s.
  • Reduction of diphthong *ei > ē: theonym DEVORI, from *dēwo-rīg-ē < pre-Celtic *deiwo-rēg-ei 'To the king of the gods'.[35]
  • Lenition of *m in the group *-mnV- > -unV-:[36][37] ARIOUNIS MINCOSEGAECIS, dative form from *ar-yo-uno- *menekko-seg-āk-yo- 'To the (deities of the) fields of the many crops' < pre-Celtic *ar-yo-mno- ... .[38]
  • Assimilation *p .. kʷ > *kʷ .. kʷ: tribe name Querquerni from *kʷerkʷ- < PIE *perkʷ- 'oak, tree'.[39] Although this name has also been interpreted as Lusitanian by B. M. Prósper,[40] she proposed recently for that language a *p .. kʷ > *kʷ .. kʷ > *p .. p assimilation.[41]
  • Reduction of diphthong *ew > ow, and eventually ō:[42] personal names TOUTONUS / TOTONUS 'of the people' from *tout- 'nation, tribe' < PIE *teut-; personal names CLOUTIUS 'famous', but VESUCLOTI 'having good fame' < pre-Celtic *Kleut-y-os, *Wesu-kleut(-y)-os;[43] CASTELLO LOUCIOCELO < PIE *leuk- 'bright'.[44] In Celtiberian the forms toutinikum/totinikum show the same process.[45]
  • Superlatives in -is(s)amo:[46] place names BERISAMO < *Berg-isamo- 'The highest one',[47] SESMACA < *Seg-isamā-kā 'The strongest one, the most victorious one'.[48] The same etymology has been proposed for the modern place names Sésamo (Culleredo) and Sísamo (Carballo), from *Segisamo-;[49] modern place name Méixamo from Magisamo- 'the largest one'.[50]
  • Syncope of unstressed vowels in the vicinity of liquids: CASTELLO DURBEDE, if from *dūro-bedo-.[51]

Some characteristics of this language not shared by Celtiberian:

  • In contact with *e or *i, intervocalic *-g- > 0:[42] theonym DEVORI from *dēworīgē 'To the king of the gods'; adjective derived of a place name SESMACAE < *Seg-isamā-kā 'The strongest one, the most victorious one'; personal names MEIDUENUS < *Medu-genos 'Born of mead', CATUENUS < *Katu-genos 'Born of the fight';[52] inscription NIMIDI FIDUENEARUM HIC < *widu-gen-yā.[46] But Celtiberian place name SEGISAMA and personal name mezukenos show preservation of /g/.[53]
  • *-lw-, *-rw- > -lβ-, -rβ- (as in Goidelic):[14] MARTI TARBUCELI < *tarwo-okel- 'To Mars of the Hill of the Bull', but Celtiberian TARVODURESCA.
  • Late preservation of the group *(-)φl- > (-)βl-, only later > (-)l-:[54][55] place names BLETISAM(AM), BLETIS(AMA), modern Ledesma (Boqueixón) < *φlet-isamā 'widest'; BLANIOBRENSI,[56] medieval Laniobre < *φlān-yo-brigs 'hillfort on the plain'.[57] But Celtiberian place name Letaisama.[58]
  • *wl- is maintained:[59] VLANA < PIE *wl̥Hn-eh₂ 'wool', while Celtiberian has l-: launi < PIE *wl̥H-mn-ih₂ 'woolly' (?).
  • Sometimes *wo- > wa-:[60] VACORIA < *(d)wo-kor-yo- 'who has two armies', VAGABROBENDAM < *uφo-gabro-bendā 'lower goat mountain' (see above).
  • Dative plural ending -bo < PIE *bʰo, while Celtiberian had -bos:[55] LUGOUBU/LUCUBO 'To (the three gods) Lug'.

Gallaecian appears to be a Q-Celtic language, as evidenced by the following occurrences in local inscriptions: ARQVI, ARCVIVS, ARQVIENOBO, ARQVIENI[S], ARQVIVS, all probably from IE Paleo-Hispanic *arkʷios 'archer, bowman', retaining proto-Celtic *kʷ.[61] It is also noteworthy the ethnonyms Equaesi ( < PIE *ek̂wos 'horse'), a people from southern Gallaecia,[62] and the Querquerni ( < *perkʷ- 'oak'). Nevertheless, some old toponyms and ethnonyms, and some modern toponyms, have been interpreted as showing kw / kʷ > p:Pantiñobre (Arzúa, composite of *kʷantin-yo- '(of the) valley' and *brix-s 'hill(fort)') and Pezobre (Santiso, from *kweityo-bris),[63] ethnonym COPORI "the Bakers" from *pokwero- 'to cook',[64] old place names Pintia, in Galicia and among the Vaccei, from PIE *penkw-to-s > Celtic *kwentos 'fifth'.[65]

See also


  1. ^ Prósper, Blanca María (2002). Lenguas y religiones prerromanas del occidente de la península ibérica. Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. pp. 422–427.  
  2. ^ Prósper, B.M. (2005). Estudios sobre la fonética y la morfología de la lengua celtibérica in Vascos, celtas e indoeuropeos. Genes y lenguas (coauthored with Villar, Francisco). Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, pp. 333-350. ISBN 84-7800-530-7.
  3. ^ Jordán Colera 2007: 750
  4. ^ Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 481. 
  5. ^ Galician words such as crica ('vulva, ribbon'), from proto-Celtic *kīkwā ('furrow'), laxe ('stone slab') from proto-Celtic *φlagēnā ('broad spearhead'), leira ('patch, field') from proto-Celtic *φlāryo- ('floor'), and alboio ('shed, pen') from proto-Celtic *φare-bowyo- ('around-cows').
  6. ^ Among them the Praestamarci, Supertamarci, Nerii, Artabri, and in general all people living by the seashore except for the Grovi of southern Galicia and northern Portugal: 'Totam Celtici colunt, sed a Durio ad flexum Grovi, fluuntque per eos Avo, Celadus, Nebis, Minius et cui oblivionis cognomen est Limia. Flexus ipse Lambriacam urbem amplexus recipit fluvios Laeron et Ullam. Partem quae prominet Praesamarchi habitant, perque eos Tamaris et Sars flumina non longe orta decurrunt, Tamaris secundum Ebora portum, Sars iuxta turrem Augusti titulo memorabilem. Cetera super Tamarici Nerique incolunt in eo tractu ultimi. Hactenus enim ad occidentem versa litora pertinent. Deinde ad septentriones toto latere terra convertitur a Celtico promunturio ad Pyrenaeum usque. Perpetua eius ora, nisi ubi modici recessus ac parva promunturia sunt, ad Cantabros paene recta est. In ea primum Artabri sunt etiamnum Celticae gentis, deinde Astyres.', Pomponius Mela, Chorographia, III.7-9.
  7. ^ cf. Wodtko 2010: 355-362
  8. ^ Prósper 2002: 422 and 430
  9. ^ Prósper 2005: 336-338
  10. ^ Prósper 2012: 53-55
  11. ^ Curchin 2008: 117
  12. ^ Prósper 2002: 357-358
  13. ^ Prósper 2005: 282
  14. ^ a b Prósper 2005: 336
  15. ^ Prósper 2002: 422
  16. ^ Curchin 2008: 123
  17. ^ Prósper 2005: 269
  18. ^ Delamarre 2012: 165
  19. ^ Delamarre 2012: 2011
  20. ^ Vallejo 2005: 326
  21. ^ Koch 2011:34
  22. ^ Cf. Koch 2011: 76
  23. ^ Prósper 2002: 377
  24. ^ Búa 2007: 38-39
  25. ^ cf. DCECH s.v. lera
  26. ^ cf. DCECH s.v. llaviegu
  27. ^ cf. DCECH s.v. laja
  28. ^ cf. DCECH s.v. regar
  29. ^ Búa 2007
  30. ^ Prósper, Blanca M. "Shifting the evidence: new interpretation of Celtic and non-Celtic personal names of Western Hispania". p. 1. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  31. ^ Prósper 2005: 342.
  32. ^ Moralejo 2010: 105
  33. ^ Luján 2006: 727-729
  34. ^ Prósper 2002: 357-382
  35. ^ Prósper 2005: 338; Jordán Cólera 2007: 754.
  36. ^ Prósper 2002: 425-426.
  37. ^ Prósper 2005: 336.
  38. ^ Prósper 2002: 205-215.
  39. ^ Luján 2006: 724
  40. ^ Prósper 2002: 397
  41. ^ Prósper, B. M.; Francisco Villar (2009). "NUEVA INSCRIPCIÓN LUSITANA PROCEDENTE DE PORTALEGRE". EMERITA, Revista de Lingüística y Filología Clásica (EM). LXXVII (1): 1–32. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  42. ^ a b Prósper 2002: 423.
  43. ^ Prósper 2002: 211
  44. ^ González García, Francisco Javier (2007). Los pueblos de la Galicia céltica. Madrid: Ediciones AKAL. p. 409.  
  45. ^ Jordán Cólera 2007: 755
  46. ^ a b Wodtko 2010: 356
  47. ^ Prósper 2005: 266, 278
  48. ^ Prósper 2002: 423
  49. ^ Prósper 2005: 282.
  50. ^ Moralejo 2010: 107
  51. ^ Prósper, Blanca M. "Shifting the evidence: new interpretation of Celtic and non-Celtic personal names of Western Hispania". pp. 6–8. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  52. ^ Prósper 2005: 266
  53. ^ Jordán Cólera 2007: 763-764.
  54. ^ Prósper 2002: 422, 427
  55. ^ a b Prósper 2005: 345
  56. ^ Sometimes it has been read ELANIOBRENSI
  57. ^ Luján 2006: 727
  58. ^ Jordán Cólera 2007: 757.
  59. ^ Prósper 2002: 426
  60. ^ Prósper 2005: 346
  61. ^ Koch, John T (2011). Tartessian 2: The Inscription of Mesas do Castelinho ro and the Verbal Complex. Preliminaries to Historical Phonology. Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK. pp. 53–54,144–145.  
  62. ^ Cf. Vallejo 2005: 321, who wrongly assign them to the Astures.
  63. ^ Prósper 2002: 422, 378-379
  64. ^ Prósper, Blanca M. "Shifting the evidence: new interpretation of Celtic and non-Celtic personal names of Western Hispania". p. 10. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  65. ^ de Bernardo Stempel, Patrizia (2009). """El nombre -¿céltico?- de la "Pintia vaccea. BSAA Arqueología: Boletín del Seminario de Estudios de Arqueología (75). Retrieved 14 March 2014. 


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.