Insular Celtic languages

Insular Celtic Languages

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Insular Celtic languages

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Insular Celtic languages are those Celtic languages that originated in the British Isles, in contrast to the Continental Celtic languages of mainland Europe and Anatolia. All surviving Celtic languages are from the Insular Celtic group; the Continental Celtic languages are extinct. The six Insular Celtic languages of modern times can be divided into:

Insular Celtic hypothesis

The "Insular Celtic hypothesis" is a theory that the Brythonic and Goidelic languages evolved together in those islands, having a common ancestor more recent than any shared with the Continental Celtic languages such as Celtiberian, Gaulish, Galatian and Lepontic, among others, all of which are long extinct.

The proponents of the Insular Celtic hypothesis (such as Cowgill 1975; McCone 1991, 1992; and Schrijver 1995) point to shared innovations among Insular Celtic languages, including inflected prepositions, shared use of certain verbal particles, VSO word order, and the differentiation of absolute and conjunct verb endings as found extensively in Old Irish and to a small extent in Middle Welsh (see Morphology of the Proto-Celtic language). They assert that a partition that lumps the Brythonic languages and Gaulish (P-Celtic) on one side and the Goidelic languages with Celtiberian (Q-Celtic) on the other may be a superficial one...
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