Atlantic substrate of Insular Celtic

Theo Vennemann tvn at
Sun Feb 7 12:27:04 UTC 1999

Dennis King <donncha at> wrote on Fri, 29 Jan 1999:

>> Insular Celtic is structurally an Atlantic language (it is structurally
>> more similar to Arabic than to any non-Insular Celtic Indo-European
>> language), whereas Germanic is not.

>I can see, first off, that I really need to get hold of your
>"Etymologische Beziehungen im Alten Europa", which Dr. Hildegard
>Tristram recommended to me once before.

I am ready to help with any papers you find it difficult to obtain.

>In the meantime, would you be willing to summarize for us some
>telling evidence in favor of the Atlantic substrate hypothesis?

I had rather not. The evidence is much too massive and detailed. Be-
sides, there is a camino real: Morris Jones 1900, Pokorny 1927-30,
and Gensler 1993.

>I'd be especially interested in any specific words in Old Irish
>you can trace to such a substrate.

I prefer to leave that to specialists. But I would not expect there to
be many, in contrast with Germanic where the Atlantic languages
were, according to my view of the matter, superstratal and where
there are indeed quite a few.

7 February 1999

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