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> Do you agree with Harper that there is something
> "anomolous" about the effect ascribed by historians to the
> Anglo-Saxon invasion? Do you agree that this anomoly has not
> received due attention?


The anomaly of British linguistic history (supposed, if you will)

Around 500 AD, the languages of the British isles were mainly Celtic as far as I understand it. The Celts of Britain didn't seem to adopt the language of the Romans the way the Celts in their Iberian homeland (Ireland comes from Iberia + land) did. So while the Celts of Spain, Portugal and France intermarried with the Romans and adopted their language, the Celts of Britain were more... insular.

Around 500 AD, they were having problems with the Picts to the north who may have been descended from a Uralic tribe. The Celtic king of Britain, Wor-Tigern or however you spell it, supposedly invited a group of Angles, Jutes and Saxons led by two brothers, Hengis and Horsa, to come to the isles and help them fight the Picts. They apparently helped to completely wipe out the Picts.

Now, allies will usually borrow vocabulary from one another, enemies don't. This is why we have no real idea what languages the language of the Picts may have been related to because the Picts were all wiped out and neither the Celts nor the Germans borrowed any words from them.

The anomaly is that neither the Germans nor the Celts borrowed words from each other at this time, so it would appear more likely, on linguistic evidence, that they Celts and the invading Germans were not really on good terms. They didn't intermarry the same way the Celts and Romans did, and they didn't exchange vocabulary with one another.

On the other hand, the Jutes, Angles and Saxons did intermarry, and there were intermarriages and business dealings between these peoples and the Viking descended Northumbrians. All these people spoke Germanic languages but with different case and gender endings. This created a slight linguistic barrier to communication that was resolved by everyone eventually dropping all of their case and gender endings and relying more on word order for syntax.

With the Norman invasion of 1066, the Germanic population continued speaking their Germanic dialects but there was extensive borrowing from the Late Latin of the Norman royalty into what became Middle English.

Anyway, that's how I understand the conventional view of British linguistic history. The primary anomaly that I'm aware of is the lack of borrowing between the Celtic languages and the invading Germanic tribes. It appears more likely that it was an invasion on the part of the Germans and that the story about helping to defend the Celts from the Picts was just that, a story, propaganda.

Regards,
nonconformist

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Subject Views Written By Posted
AOM: Anomoly One 137 AOM-Presenter 03-Apr-03 16:39
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 79 jameske 03-Apr-03 20:02
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 79 Doug 03-Apr-03 22:44
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 104 M J Harper 03-Apr-03 23:39
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 79 Nobody 04-Apr-03 00:16
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 76 M J Harper 04-Apr-03 00:29
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 106 Nobody 04-Apr-03 01:07
Cymri 195 nonconformist 04-Apr-03 04:59
Re: AOM: Anomaly One 92 nonconformist 04-Apr-03 03:31
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 97 M J Harper 04-Apr-03 04:17
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 108 nonconformist 04-Apr-03 05:20
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 93 Doug 04-Apr-03 06:47
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 122 HectorChico 04-Apr-03 10:26
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 96 M J Harper 04-Apr-03 12:56
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 112 DPCrisp 04-Apr-03 13:27
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 107 HectorChico 04-Apr-03 14:58
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 113 M J Harper 04-Apr-03 16:30
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 69 AOM-Presenter 04-Apr-03 16:31
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 130 nonconformist 05-Apr-03 02:15
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 117 AOM-Presenter 05-Apr-03 04:57
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 126 nonconformist 05-Apr-03 08:56
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 116 M J Harper 07-Apr-03 02:24
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 96 nonconformist 07-Apr-03 07:17
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 108 AOM-Presenter 07-Apr-03 15:00
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 72 nonconformist 08-Apr-03 00:27
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 99 M J Harper 08-Apr-03 01:01
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 116 nonconformist 08-Apr-03 03:50
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 94 DPCrisp 08-Apr-03 13:52
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 65 M J Harper 08-Apr-03 15:05
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 102 nonconformist 10-Apr-03 02:10
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 144 stickler 10-Apr-03 10:09
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 99 DPCrisp 10-Apr-03 10:59
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 88 stickler 10-Apr-03 12:32
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 116 AOM-Presenter 10-Apr-03 16:01
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 119 DPCrisp 10-Apr-03 16:47
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 116 stickler 10-Apr-03 17:26
Spellinge 112 AOM-Presenter 10-Apr-03 15:41
Re: Spellinge 105 stickler 10-Apr-03 15:50
Pronounciation 103 AOM-Presenter 10-Apr-03 16:19
Re: Pronounciation 110 stickler 10-Apr-03 17:33
Re: Pronounciation 108 AOM-Presenter 10-Apr-03 18:35
Re: Pronounciation 121 DPCrisp 11-Apr-03 09:39
Re: Spellinge 87 DPCrisp 10-Apr-03 16:34
Re: Spellinge 131 stickler 10-Apr-03 17:34
Re: Spellinge 104 DPCrisp 11-Apr-03 09:47
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 105 M J Harper 10-Apr-03 14:29
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 105 AOM-Presenter 10-Apr-03 15:16
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 93 DPCrisp 11-Apr-03 11:35
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 89 nonconformist 11-Apr-03 22:19
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 110 nonconformist 11-Apr-03 22:33
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 94 Doug 12-Apr-03 08:21
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 84 Doug 08-Apr-03 17:20
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 102 M J Harper 08-Apr-03 18:10
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 86 Doug 08-Apr-03 21:23
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 84 M J Harper 08-Apr-03 22:23
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 106 M J Harper 10-Apr-03 14:10
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 86 stickler 10-Apr-03 15:39
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 81 M J Harper 10-Apr-03 16:30
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 107 stickler 10-Apr-03 17:52
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 81 M J Harper 11-Apr-03 22:37
Re: AOM: Anomoly One 110 nonconformist 12-Apr-03 03:46


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