One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Denoting or relating to the southern group of Celtic languages, consisting of Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. They were spoken in Britain before and during the Roman occupation, surviving as Welsh and Cornish after the Anglo-Saxon invasions, and being taken to Brittany by emigrants.
- ‘Welsh, or Cymraeg, is a Celtic language belonging to the Brythonic group consisting of Breton, Welsh, and the extinct Cornish.’
- ‘Welsh and Breton are the only surviving members of the ancient British or Brythonic subdivision of the Celtic language family.’
- ‘Many are a posteriori languages, that is, variations on natural languages, like Brithenig (a mixture of the features of Brythonic and Romance languages); others are a priori - starting from scratch - like Elet Anta.’
- ‘it is the oldest language spoken in Britain, with an unbroken history from Brythonic origins as part of the Celtic family of Indo-European languages from which most European languages derive.’
- ‘The Brittonic form of Celtic (thought to have been spoken throughout Britain prior to the Anglo-Saxon conquest and still represented by Welsh, Cornish and Breton) is usually regarded as a later development of Celtic than Goedelic.’
The Brythonic languages collectively.
- ‘The Celtic language is a sub-group of the Indo-European language group, divided into two groups, Goidelic (consisting of Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Manx) and Brythonic (consisting of Welsh, Cornish, and Breton).’
- ‘Insular Celtic, usually further divided into: British or Brythonic (from Brython a Briton) and Irish or Goidelic (from Goidel an Irishman: modern Gael) British and Gaulish were at one time a continuum of linked dialects.’
- ‘Several place-name elements are thought to be wholly or partly Brythonic in origin, particularly bre-, bal-, and dun for hills, carr for a high rocky place, coomb for a small deep valley.’
- ‘Why, for that matter, do so few inscriptions survive in ‘British’, or Brythonic, when the Celtic language known as Gaulish was being written down in much of continental Europe?’
- ‘To begin with, Wales was Prydain, where Brythonic, then Cymraeg or Welsh, were spoken extensively except for Pict-occupied northern Scotland.’
From Welsh Brython ‘Britons’ + -ic.
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