A) Celts.

Pre-Germanic Britain.

PIE Early PG Late PG

p > f > v

Lseptem >Gt sibun, OE seofon [v] >G sieben, NE seven

t > θ > ð, d

L pa'ter > Gt fadar (fa'θar>fa'ðar)> OE fæder, G Vater, Sw fader, NE father

k > > γ, g


L socrus,

R ,

U > OE sweer > G Schwager


s > z > r

OFr wesa >Gt wesun, NE was >OE wæron, NE were

Verner's Law explains the appearance of voiced fricative or its later modifications [d] in place of the voiceless [θ], and [r] in place of [z].

In late PG, the phonetic conditions that caused the voicing had disappeared: the stress had shifted to the first syllable.

That is how the initial step stimulated further changes and the entire system was shifted. It is essential that throughout the shift the original pattern of the consonant system was preserved.


Examples to the laws:

L gena OE cin [kin] (NE chin)

L pecus Gt faihu, OE feoh (NE fee)

R NE naked, G nackt

Ukr NE friend

Ukr Gt triu, NE tree

L edere, R Gt itan, OE etan

Sans napat, L nepos NE nephew, G Neffe

L caput OE heafod, NE head

R OE fam, NE foam

L statio OE stede


CELTS is the name given, under various forms, by Greek and Roman writers to a people whose first-known territory was an area in the basin of the upper Danube and South Germany. Here they were pioneers of the working of iron. They overran France, Spain, Portugal, North Italy, the British Isles, Greece and sacked Rome in 390 BC. They appear never to have had a united empire, and their conquests were made by emigrant groups, which effected permanent settlements in the lands named as well as in the part of Asia Minor later known as Galatia. From their name the name "Celts" was given by classical authors to a fair tall people of North Europe and it was only gradually that they learned to distinguish them from the German tribes The origin of the word Celt originates from Greek Keltoi, Keltai, which means inhabitants of the forest or people that lived beyond the mountains.

The first inhabitants of Britain were the Iberians. They came from the continent about 3000 years B.C.

During the period from the 6th to the 3rd century B.C. the Celts spread across Europe from the East to the West. Celtic tribes invaded the territory, which is known now as the British Isles. But at that time it was a continental part of the land easy to reach. We know more about the Celts than about the earlier inhabitants of the island, because of the written accounts that exist. The earliest writer from whom we have learned much about the country and its inhabitants was Julius Caesar, the famous Roman general, statesman and writer. In his Commentaries on the Gallic War, a book written in Latin, Julius Caesar describes the island and the Celts against whom he fought. He tells us that the Celts were tall and blue-eyed. They wore long flowing moustaches but no beards. In their mode of life the British Celts differed little from the Celtic tribes of the Galls who lived on the Continent.

Chiefs, whom all the tribesmen obeyed, ruled the Celts. The Celts had no towns, they lived in villages. They kept cattle and sheep. They also cultivated crops, especially corn. Their clothing was made of wale skins. In wartime the Celts painted their faces with a blue dye to make themselves look fierce. The Celts worshipped Nature as they were pagans. Their priests were called druids. The druids lived near the forests of oak-trees, which were considered to be sacred places.

The Celts were acquainted with the use of copper, tin and iron and they kept large herds of cattle and sheep, which formed their chief wealth. They also cultivated crops, especially corn; they used light ploughs as well as hoes, and grew their crops in small, square fields. The Celtic tribes of the Britons who inhabited the southeastern parts of the island were more civilized than the other tribes. Their clothing was made of wool, woven in many colours while the other Celts wore skins.

The Celts lived many centuries ago, but some Celtic words can still be found in Modern English. Most of them are geographical names.


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