Celtiberian language

Celtiberian language

Infobox Language
fam3=Continental Celtic
extinct=2nd century AD?

Celtiberian (also known as northeastern Hispano-Celtic) is an extinct Indo-European language of the Celtic branch spoken by the Celtiberians in an area of the Iberian Peninsula lyingbetween the headwaters of the Duero, Tajo, Júcar and Turia rivers and the Ebre river. This language is directly attested in nearly two hundred inscriptions dated in the 2nd century BC and the 1st century BC, mainly in Celtiberian script, a direct adaptation of the northeastern Iberian script, but also in Latin alphabet. The longest extant Celtiberian inscriptions are those on three Botorrita plaques, bronze plaques from Botorrita near Saragossa, dating to the early 1st century BC, labelled Botorrita I, III and IV (Botorrita II is in the Latin language).

Enough has been preserved to show that the Celtiberian language could be called "Q"-Celtic (as Goidelic), and not "P"-Celtic as Gaulish (Mallory 1989, p. 106). For some, this has served to confirm at least some of the legends preserved in the Leabhar Gabhala, which state that the first antecedents of the Irish people arrived from Iberia.

Since Brythonic is "P"-Celtic too, but as an Insular Celtic language more closely related to Goidelic than to Gaulish, [cite book| title=Towards a Relative Chronology of Ancient and Medieval Celtic Sound Change| first=Kim| last=McCone| publisher=Dept. of Old and Middle Irish, St. Patrick's College| location=Maynooth| year=1996| id=ISBN 0-901519-40-5] it follows that the "P"/"Q" division is paraphyletic: the change from "kw" to "p" occurred in Brythonic and Gaulish at a time when they were already separate languages, rather than constituting a division that marked a separate branch in the "family tree" of the Celtic languages. A change from PIE "kw" ("q") to "p" also occurred in some Italic languages and Ancient Greek dialects: compare Oscan "pis, pid" ("who, what?") with Latin "quis, quid"; or Gaulish "epos" ("horse") and Attic Greek "hippos" (polytonic|ἵππος) with Latin "equus" and Mycenaean Greek "i-qo". Celtiberian and Gaulish are usually grouped together as the Continental Celtic languages, but this grouping too is paraphyletic: no evidence suggests the two shared any common innovation separately from Insular Celtic.

Celtiberian exhibits a fully inflected relative pronoun "ios" (as does, e.g., Ancient Greek), not preserved in other Celtic dialects, and the particles "kue" "and" (cf. Latin "que", Attic Greek "te" (polytonic|τε)), "nekue" "nor" (cf. Latin "neque" and Attic Greek "mēte" (polytonic|μήτε) < "mē" (polytonic|μή) "not" + "te" "and" < IE "*kwe"), "ve" "or" (cf. Latin enclitic "-ve" and Attic Greek "ē" (polytonic|ἤ) < Proto-Greek "*ē-we"). Like in Welsh, there is an "s"-subjunctive, "gabiseti" "he shall take" (Old Irish "gabid"), "robiseti", "auseti". Compare Umbrian "ferest" "he/she/it shall make" or Ancient Greek "deiksēi" (polytonic|δείξῃ, aorist subj.) / "deiksei" (polytonic|δείξει, future ind.) "(that) he/she/it shall show".

Example texts

* First Botorrita plaque (A).

:A.1. tirikantam : berkunetakam : tokoitoskue : sarnikio (:) kue : sua : kombalkez : nelitom:A.2. nekue [: to : u] ertaunei : litom : nekue : taunei : litom : nekue : masnai : tizaunei : litom : soz : auku:A.3. aresta [lo] : tamai : uta : oskues : stena : uerzoniti : silabur : sleitom : konskilitom : kabizeti:A.4. kantom [:] sankilistara : otanaum : tokoitei : eni : uta : oskuez : boustomue : koruinomue:A.5. makasiamue : ailamue : ambitiseti : kamanom : usabituz : ozas : sues : sailo : kusta : bizetuz : iom:A.6. asekati : [a] mbitinkounei : stena : es : uertai : entara : tiris : matus : tinbituz : neito : tirikantam:A.7. eni : oisatuz : iomui : listas : titas : zizonti : somui : iom : arznas : bionti : iom : kustaikos:A.8. arznas : kuati : ias : ozias : uertatosue : temeiue : robiseti : saum : tekametinas : tatuz : somei:A.9. enitouzei : iste : ankios : iste : esankios : uze : areitena : sarnikiei : akainakubos:A.10. nebintor : tokoitei : ios : uramtiomue : auzeti : aratimue : tekametam : tatuz : iom : tokoitoskue:A.11. sarnikiokue : aiuizas : kombalkores : aleites : iste : ires : ruzimuz : abulu : ubokum

:(Transcription Jordán 2004)

* Great inscription from Peñalba de Villastar (Teruel).








:(Transcription: Meid 1994)



* Jordán Cólera, C. (2004). "Celtibérico". Zaragoza.
* Hoz, Javier de. (1996). "The Botorrita first text. Its epigraphical background"; in: "Die größeren altkeltischen Sprachdenkmäler." Akten des Kolloquiums Innsbruck 29. April - 3. Mai 1993, ed. W. Meid and P. Anreiter, 124&ndash;145, Innsbruck.
* Mallory, J. P. (1989). "In Search of the Indo-Europeans". Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05052-X
* Meid, Wolfgang. (1994). "Celtiberian Inscriptions", Archaeolingua, edd. S. Bökönyi and W. Meid, Series Minor, 5, 12&ndash;13. Budapest.
* Untermann, Jürgen. (1997): "Monumenta Linguarum Hispanicarum. IV Die tartessischen, keltiberischen und lusitanischen Inschriften", Wiesbaden.
* Velaza, Javier (1999): «Balance actual de la onomástica personal celtibérica», "Pueblos, lenguas y escrituras en la Hispania Prerromana", pp. 663-683.
* Villar, Francisco (1995): "Estudios de celtibérico y de toponimia prerromana", Salamanca.
*Celtiberian*.Carlos Jordán University of Zaragoza, Spain.. [http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/celtic/ekeltoi/volumes/vol6/6_17/jordan_6_17.pdf]

ee also

*Iberian scripts
*Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula

External links

* [http://www.arqueotavira.com/Mapas/Iberia/Populi.htm Detailed map of the Pre-Roman Peoples of Iberia (around 200 BC)]

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