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Two Eminent Scholars Jump to an Unwarrented Conclusion (Yet More Nat Geo Nonsense!)

  1. May 28, 2012 #1
    Watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwXOr47EJ1E) and puke!

    This guy says that the English language must have pre-dated the Roman occupation of Britain, based upon the fact that the names of villages in the Cotswolds (and what the heck's a Cotswold?) end in the syllable "-ey", which resembles the Old English word for "island", which is "ey", as in "Angelsey" ("Island of the English"). Well, "-ey" also resembles the Old English word for "river", which is "ie", and every single one of those villages lies along what seems to me to be the juncture of a river with a smaller stream, which smaller streams, given the vagaries of hydrographic terminology amongst a pre-literate population, might well have been called 'rivers".

    Secondly, the identification of a new population from Iberia with Celtic speakers is completely unwarranted, as 1) much of the population of Celtic-speaking Britain is descended from the Paleo-Europeans who inhabit most of the Atlantic coast of Europe; 2) the population movement, being dated as soon after the Ice Age, is too early for the existence of Indo-European, let alone Celtic, languages; 3) Ibero-Celtic languages famously lacked the "p-Celtic" versus "q-Celtic" distinction manifest in the rest of Celtic (such as between Irish "cuig" and Welsh "pimp" for "5"), as well as Italic (in my opinion, this distinction is nothing more than evidence of a mere accent, but it's still a distinction which left a conspicuous absence of of evidence in Iberia, but ample evidence everywhere else in Celtic-speaking Western Europe); 4) the genetic evidence offered as proof of Germanic immigration into Britain in the Neolithic age is WAY too far south to be associated with the ancestors of the Germanics of the Proto-Germanic period, whose territory was limited to the southern Scandinavian peninsula to the extent that there's controversy as to whether or not Denmark was part of Proto-Germanic territory; 5) Proto-Germanic is a product of the Bronze age, not the Neolithic, while Proto-West Germanic, a bruised, contused, and abused version of which Old English happens to be, is a product of the Iron Age; 6) the earliest documentary evidence for the presence of a Germanic language in Britian is the Caistor-by-Norwich Astragalus, which appears to document a North Germanic variety, North Germanic being a product of the Iron Age just like West Germanic.


    The bottom line: these guys want to prove a point for which they have an irrational affection, and they're willing to cherry-pick and distort the historical and archaeological facts to support their point.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2012 #2


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    Re: Two Eminent Scholars Jump to an Unwarrented Conclusion (Yet More Nat Geo Nonsense

    If one of those guys had bothered to check if there HAD been a lake in the Cotswolds, based on scientific knowledge, rather than assuming it MUST have been one there, based on place names, he would have made a more convincing appearance.
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