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  1. #11
    Join Date
    14th May 18
    Glasgow, Scotland
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Carrick View Post
    Thank you for a very interesting thread.

    May I ask what was the language of the Picts? I know I am going back hundreds of years further, but with the foundation of the Scotland, my understanding was the Irish Gaelic speaking Scotti and the Picts forged a Kingdom under Kenneth MacAlpin (much myth and legend about how fast and how violently this occurred).

    My understanding of Scottish historic is very high level and may be very wrong, so be gentle.
    Yes, that is the gist of it. The language is known today as Pictish. In 843 AD, Kenneth MacAlpin took control of Pictland and both the Gaelic kingdom and the Pict kingdom merged to form the Kingdom of Alba. Pictish lands were completely Gaelic-speaking by 900 AD, Pictish now was extinct. Alba would take part of the English kingdom in 1018, and Strathclyde in 1020. Cumbric-speaking people from Strathclyde were completely Gaelic speaking by the start of the 12th Century. This never happened in the English-speaking part as they were allowed to keep their own language, this Northern variety of English was soon to become the Scots language.

    Scotland then gained more ground in 1234 when the Gaelic-speaking Galloway kingdom became part of Scotland in the extreme South-West.

    Scotland then gained Orkney and Shetland in 1469. There is more to it than that but that is beyond the scope of the post.
    Last edited by PatrickHughes123; 19th July 18 at 04:37 PM.
    Official Patrick Hughes Message

  2. #12
    Join Date
    3rd November 08
    Co Antrim
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    Thank you Patrick, I find all this fascinating and must read up further when time allows.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    18th October 09
    Orange County California
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Carrick View Post
    May I ask what was the language of the Picts?
    It's pretty clear that it was a Brythonic or P-Celtic language, related to Welsh, Cornish, Breton, and Cumbric. (Cumbria/Cambria/Cymru are all versions of these people's name for themselves.)

    In The Age Of The Picts by W A Cummins the author says:

    "By careful linguistic, geographical, and historical analysis, a relative chronology of place-names can be built up...

    Over much of eastern Scotland there is an important group of place-names which belongs to none of these historical incursions. Among these are some well-known names beginning with Aber... a British (Brythonic) word meaning the mouth of a river, or a confluence (which) is also a common element in Welsh place-names... and is quite distinct from its Gaelic equivalent inver-.

    The most abundant and distinctive names of this group are those beginning with Pit- … originally pett, a Pictish word meaning a piece of land, related to the Welsh peth meaning a thing, and Breton pez, a piece.
    The Gaelic equivalent cuid, meaning a portion, is quite distinct and does not appear as an element in place-names.

    There are some three hundred Pit- names with a rather well-defined distribution (which) compares closely with that of the Pictish Class II symbol stones...

    A further important fact about the Pit- names is that the second component is almost invariably of Gaelic origin.

    The language of the Picts is still open to question, and no evidence has been presented that it did not contain a Gaelic component."

    (The author doesn't present any evidence that it did.)

    I suppose by "component" the author might mean something akin to the situation in English, a Germanic language with a strong French component.

    Interesting, regarding the Gaelic/Pictish (Goidelic/Brythonic) question, is the fact that the earliest Irish lore shows hints of a Brythonic substratum, suggesting that Ireland was originally P-Celtic speaking.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 28th July 18 at 07:37 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first white settlers on the Guyandotte

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