Celtiberian language

Celtiberian language

Overview
Celtiberian is an extinct
Extinct language
An extinct language is a language that no longer has any speakers., or that is no longer in current use. Extinct languages are sometimes contrasted with dead languages, which are still known and used in special contexts in written form, but not as ordinary spoken languages for everyday communication...

 Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 language of the Celtic
Celtic languages
The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic"; a branch of the greater Indo-European language family...

 branch spoken by the Celtiberians
Celtiberians
The Celtiberians were Celtic-speaking people of the Iberian Peninsula in the final centuries BC. The group used the Celtic Celtiberian language.Archaeologically, the Celtiberians participated in the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain...

 in an area of the Iberian Peninsula lying
between the headwaters of the Duero, Tajo, Júcar
Júcar
The Júcar or Xúquer is a river on the Iberian Peninsula of Spain. The river runs for approximately 509 km from its source at Ojuelos de Valdeminguete, on the eastern flank of the Montes Universales, Sistema Ibérico...

 and Turia
Turia
Turia can refer to:*Turia , a river in southeastern Spain*Turía , a small river in northern Spain*Turía , a small Web development company in india*Turia Valley, a valley in northern Spain...

 rivers and the Ebro
Ebro
The Ebro or Ebre is one of the most important rivers in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the biggest river by discharge volume in Spain.The Ebro flows through the following cities:*Reinosa in Cantabria.*Miranda de Ebro in Castile and León....

 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
Celtiberian script
The Celtiberian script is a paleohispanic script that was the main means of written expression of the Celtiberian language, an extinct Continental Celtic language, also expressed in Latin alphabet...

, a direct adaptation of the northeastern Iberian script
Northeastern Iberian script
The northeastern Iberian script is also known as Levantine Iberian or Iberian, because it is the Iberian script that was most frequently used, and was the main means of written expression of the Iberian language. The language is also expressed by the southeastern Iberian script and by the...

, but also in Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

. The longest extant Celtiberian inscriptions are those on three Botorrita plaque
Botorrita plaque
The Botorrita plaques are four bronze plaques discovered in Botorrita , near Zaragoza, Spain, dating to the early 1st century BC, known as Botorrita I, II, III and IV....

s, bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 plaques from Botorrita
Botorrita
Botorrita is a municipality located in the province of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain.Botorrita is known for the archeological artefacts found there, such as the Botorrita plaques....

 near Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

, dating to the early 1st century BC, labelled Botorrita I, III and IV (Botorrita II is in the Latin language
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

).

Celtiberian was a Celtic language that shows the characteristic sound changes that define Celtic languages such as:
  • loss of Proto-Indo-European
    Proto-Indo-European language
    The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

     (PIE) voiced aspiration, e.g.
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Encyclopedia
Celtiberian is an extinct
Extinct language
An extinct language is a language that no longer has any speakers., or that is no longer in current use. Extinct languages are sometimes contrasted with dead languages, which are still known and used in special contexts in written form, but not as ordinary spoken languages for everyday communication...

 Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

 language of the Celtic
Celtic languages
The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic"; a branch of the greater Indo-European language family...

 branch spoken by the Celtiberians
Celtiberians
The Celtiberians were Celtic-speaking people of the Iberian Peninsula in the final centuries BC. The group used the Celtic Celtiberian language.Archaeologically, the Celtiberians participated in the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain...

 in an area of the Iberian Peninsula lying
between the headwaters of the Duero, Tajo, Júcar
Júcar
The Júcar or Xúquer is a river on the Iberian Peninsula of Spain. The river runs for approximately 509 km from its source at Ojuelos de Valdeminguete, on the eastern flank of the Montes Universales, Sistema Ibérico...

 and Turia
Turia
Turia can refer to:*Turia , a river in southeastern Spain*Turía , a small river in northern Spain*Turía , a small Web development company in india*Turia Valley, a valley in northern Spain...

 rivers and the Ebro
Ebro
The Ebro or Ebre is one of the most important rivers in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the biggest river by discharge volume in Spain.The Ebro flows through the following cities:*Reinosa in Cantabria.*Miranda de Ebro in Castile and León....

 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
Celtiberian script
The Celtiberian script is a paleohispanic script that was the main means of written expression of the Celtiberian language, an extinct Continental Celtic language, also expressed in Latin alphabet...

, a direct adaptation of the northeastern Iberian script
Northeastern Iberian script
The northeastern Iberian script is also known as Levantine Iberian or Iberian, because it is the Iberian script that was most frequently used, and was the main means of written expression of the Iberian language. The language is also expressed by the southeastern Iberian script and by the...

, but also in Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

. The longest extant Celtiberian inscriptions are those on three Botorrita plaque
Botorrita plaque
The Botorrita plaques are four bronze plaques discovered in Botorrita , near Zaragoza, Spain, dating to the early 1st century BC, known as Botorrita I, II, III and IV....

s, bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 plaques from Botorrita
Botorrita
Botorrita is a municipality located in the province of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain.Botorrita is known for the archeological artefacts found there, such as the Botorrita plaques....

 near Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

, dating to the early 1st century BC, labelled Botorrita I, III and IV (Botorrita II is in the Latin language
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

).

Overview


Celtiberian was a Celtic language that shows the characteristic sound changes that define Celtic languages such as:
  • loss of Proto-Indo-European
    Proto-Indo-European language
    The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

     (PIE) voiced aspiration, e.g. PIE * meaning 'high' to Celtic * as in the Celtiberian and Gaulish placename element .
  • loss of PIE *, e.g. (Celtiberian, Old Irish and Old Breton) vs. Latin and Sanskrit .
  • PIE * changes to Celtic (where H stands for a laryngeal, R̥ stands for a syllabic resonant, and C for a consonant), e.g. Celtiberian arKa(n)to-, Lepontic arkato-, Old Irish argat, Old Welsh argant meaning "silver, money" vs. Latin argentum, Sanskrit rajata.
  • PIE * (and }) to Celtic *, e.g. IE *h3rg'-s meaning "king, ruler" vs. Celtiberian -reiKis, Gaulish -rix, British RIX, Old Irish, Old Welsh, Old Breton ri meaning "king".
  • PIE * (and } and }) to Celtic * in final syllables and * in non-final syllables, e.g. IE *dh3-td to Celtiberian TaTuz meaning "he must give".


Enough has been preserved to show that the Celtiberian language could be called Q-Celtic (like Goidelic), and not P-Celtic like Gaulish. For some, this has served to confirm at least some of the legends preserved in the Lebor Gabála Érenn
Lebor Gabála Érenn
Lebor Gabála Érenn is the Middle Irish title of a loose collection of poems and prose narratives recounting the mythical origins and history of the Irish from the creation of the world down to the Middle Ages...

, which state that the first antecedents of the Irish people
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 (known as the Milesians
Milesians (Irish)
Milesians are a people figuring in Irish mythology. The descendants of Míl Espáine, they were the final inhabitants of Ireland, and were believed to represent the Goidelic Celts.-Myth:...

) arrived from Iberia
Iberia
The name Iberia refers to three historical regions of the old world:* Iberian Peninsula, in Southwest Europe, location of modern-day Portugal and Spain** Prehistoric Iberia...

.

Since Brythonic is P-Celtic too, but as an Insular Celtic language more closely related to Goidelic than to Gaulish, 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 (q) to p also occurred in some Italic languages
Italic languages
The Italic subfamily is a member of the Indo-European language family. It includes the Romance languages derived from Latin , and a number of extinct languages of the Italian Peninsula, including Umbrian, Oscan, Faliscan, and Latin.In the past various definitions of "Italic" have prevailed...

 and Ancient Greek dialects: compare Oscan pis, pid ("who, what?") with Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 quis, quid; or Gaulish epos ("horse") and Attic Greek
Attic Greek
Attic Greek is the prestige dialect of Ancient Greek that was spoken in Attica, which includes Athens. Of the ancient dialects, it is the most similar to later Greek, and is the standard form of the language studied in courses of "Ancient Greek". It is sometimes included in Ionic.- Origin and range...

  hippos with Latin equus and Mycenaean Greek i-qo. Celtiberian and Gaulish are usually grouped together as the Continental Celtic languages
Continental Celtic languages
The Continental Celtic languages are the Celtic languages, now extinct, that were spoken on the continent of Europe, as distinguished from the Insular Celtic languages of Britain and Ireland. The Continental Celtic languages were spoken by the people known to Roman and Greek writers as Keltoi,...

, 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 particle
Grammatical particle
In grammar, a particle is a function word that does not belong to any of the inflected grammatical word classes . It is a catch-all term for a heterogeneous set of words and terms that lack a precise lexical definition...

s kue "and" (cf. Latin -que, Attic Greek te), nekue "nor" (cf. Latin neque and Attic Greek mēte < mē "not" + te "and" < IE }), ve "or" (cf. Latin enclitic -ve and Attic Greek ē < Proto-Greek *ē-we). As in Welsh
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

, 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
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

  deiksēi (aorist subj.) / deiksei (future ind.) "(that) he/she/it shall show".

Example texts

  • First Botorrita plaque
    Botorrita plaque
    The Botorrita plaques are four bronze plaques discovered in Botorrita , near Zaragoza, Spain, dating to the early 1st century BC, known as Botorrita I, II, III and IV....

     (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


  • Great inscription from Peñalba de Villastar (Teruel
    Teruel
    Teruel is a town in Aragon, eastern Spain, and the capital of Teruel Province. It has a population of 34,240 in 2006 making it one of the least populated provincial capitals in the country...

    ).

ENIOROSEI

VTA TIGINO TIATVNEI

TRECAIAS TO LVGVEI

ARAIANOM COMEIMV

ENIOROSEI EQVEISVIQVE

OCRIS OLOCAS TOGIAS SISTAT LVGVEI TIASO

TOGIAS

See also

  • Gallaecian language
    Gallaecian language
    The Northwestern Hispano-Celtic, Gallaecian or Gallaic, is classified as a Q-Celtic language under the P-Q system and was closely related to Celtiberian...

  • Iberian scripts
    Iberian scripts
    The Iberian scripts are the Paleohispanic scripts that were used to represent the extinct Iberian language. Most of them are typologically very unusual in that they are semi-syllabic rather than purely alphabetic...

  • Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula
    Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula
    This is a list of the Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian peninsula .-Non-Indo-European:*Aquitanians**Aquitani**Autrigones - some consider them Celtic .**Caristii - some consider them Celtic ....

  • Lusitanian language
    Lusitanian language
    Lusitanian was a paleohispanic language that apparently belonged to the Indo-European family. Its relationship to the Celtic languages of the Iberian Peninsula, either as a member, a cousin , or as a different branch of Indo-European, is debated. It is known from only five inscriptions, dated from...


Sources


  • 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, 124–145, Innsbruck.
  • Meid, Wolfgang. (1994). Celtiberian Inscriptions, Archaeolingua, edd. S. Bökönyi and W. Meid, Series Minor, 5, 12–13. 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


External links