----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Gwinn" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, 12 April 2002 11:23 PM
Subject: Re: Caesar on the Gauls
> > > Seeing that the Belgae spoke a Gallo-Brittonic dialect, Uiros would be
> > > nominative & genitive masc. sing. for "man" (compare Old Welsh gur,
> > > Irish fer).
> >I'll do that here:
> >The GUROS HYPOTHESIS:
> >To reach VIROS from the Old Welsh GUROS, you must first HYPOTHESISE a
> >mutation in the vowel of the first syllable.
> It's Old Welsh GUR - NOT GUROS! That was quite clear in my statement - so
> clean off those glasses next time you read one of my posts.
Yes, but you have to get from GUR to GUROS before you can say that the
inscriber of the Coin who put VIROS on it really meant GUR +
name-ending -OS. (I have very good natural eyesight.)
> As anyone that has studied the history of the Brittonic languages knows,
> initial Gw- (written gu- in medieval Welsh, Cornish & Breton) was a rather
> late development (+/- 7th century AD) from an earlier initial U-
This is hypothesis.
You can say that Gw or Gu appeared in texts dated to around the 7th Century,
and you can say that in at least one text from the 6th Century there appears
a U which seems to some linguists who have studied these texts to be cognate
with them. These are facts.
But that they are cognate at all is a hypothesis - a well-supported one that
few would doubt, but it is still a hypothesis.
> find in the 6th century AD Gildas mentioning a certain Uortipori - from an
> earlier Brittonic form *Uorteporix - but he turns up in a Welsh
> tract of the 10th century as Guortepir). This is NOT an hypothesis - it is
> cold, hard FACT..
Yes, you can present a selection of facts in this way, but as soon as you
start to infer anything from this, you are hypothesising.
Incidentally, did Gildas back-form a hypothetical Uorteporix from Vortepori
or does it
> >'I' and 'U' quite often appear
> >as variants of the same vowel in European languages past and present,
> Give examples.
>Pig and Pug, in English, muic and muca (pig and pigs) in Irish Mu"ller and
miller in Germanic and more.
> >so that can be accomplished in one HYPOTHETICAL step. As well as this,
> >simultaneously with the vowel change or before it or after it, you have
> >HYPOTHESISE that either its first letter somehow mutated from V-G, or
> >existed a common ancestor of GUR and VIR. To get from VIROS to a
> >HYPOTHETICAL GIROS you have to HYPOTHESISE at least two more mutations,
> >as via GWI to 'WI (for which the Roman spelling is V) because as far as I
> >know (and there are gaps in my knowledge) there are no cases of G
> >directly to V between or within any two languages that I've ever studied.
> You just don't get it....G- didn't mutate to V-, a consonantal |w|
> as U- in Latin orthography) became GU- in Brittonic - not an uncommon
> development - it is also found in certain dialects of Germanic, as well as
> in some Romance dialects. As far as the -i- in Gallo-Brittonic uiros is
> concerned, it coalesced with the -u- and disappeared in Welsh (thus
> Gall-Brit. uiros gives Old Welsh gur, Modern Welsh gwr) - but note that it
> is still present in the plural form gwyr (Gallo-Brittonic *uiri).
Yes, thank you. Very interesting. But we're still a lot of hypotheses away
from VIROS, which has a Latin translation that makes sense without a lot of
mutations to hypothesise.
> >And then you must come up with a HYPOTHESIS to explain why a coin would
> >the word MAN (nominative singular) or MAN'S/OF A MAN (genitive singular)
> >printed on it.
> Guess what? We find plenty of coins with nominative singular forms on
> If you actually had any clue about what you were discussing, you would
(Sunny smile.) Not the case, the noun. You are in the same position as I
am. You have to explain why MAN or MAN'S would be on it just as I have to
explain why the word MEN/SOLDIERS (acc) would be on it. So we're both
hypothesising, but I'm doing it a lot less, because there is a Latin word
VIROS and its meaning is quite likely in view of the fact that there was a
> >THE FER HYPOTHESIS:
> >To reach VIROS from the Old Irish FER you must HYPOTHESISE, as John does,
> >that -OS may be a 'name-ending', as some Celtic names ending in -OS have
> >been found.
> What don't you understand about the fact that VIROS does not come from Old
> Irish Fer or Old Welsh Gur??
It's my own opinion that VIROS doesn't come from Old Irish or Old Welsh. I
think it is a known Latin word.
Don't you get the fact that VIROS was
> CENTURIES UPON CENTURIES before OIr Fer and OW Gur took form?
I don't believe we have recorded much evidence of the prehistoric
development of OIr Fer and OW Gur. We are dealing with a very old phoneme.
Its cognate complexes are dense, widespread and persistant. It's relatively
easy to trace through clear sequences of slight shifts in meaning and/or
pronunciation, and a related one clusters around the idea of fur and hair:
F/ear, (Gaeilge)grass, via what appears to be a widespread and diversely
developed extended metaphor or system of kennings.
> graps the fact that Gallo-Brittonic Uiros, OIr _Fer_ and OW _Gur_ all come
> from a Common Celtic *wiros?
This is a hypothesis. VIROS exists, and you have to hypothesise that Uiros
> BTW, we know from the comparative study of every other Indo European
> language that the -os in uiros is the nominative masculine singular, or
> genitive masculine singular of an o-stem root.
> >Then you must use the eclipsised form of its initial consonant to get
> >(for which there is some support in that there's a viable translaton of
> >Vercingetorix into a Goidelic form of Gaelic that depends on this same
> >HYPOTHETICAL mutation).
> >Then you must HYPOTHESISE a shift in the vowel from E to I, a common
> >That's 3 hypotheses. Hypothesis = guess.
> >Then you have to HYPOTHESISE the existence of a Belgic man or woman with
> >HYPOTHETICAL Gaulish name which according to your HYPOTHESIS means MAN +
> A side not here:
> It's obvious that you have picked up a couple of linguistic terms some
> place, but you are applying them all haphazardly, and you are blatantly
> ignorant of the methodology of linguistics. Please bear in mind that I,
> myslef, am NOT a professional linguist - I am a hobbyist such as
> but _I_ have actually gone out and spent a lot of time and money acquiring
> and studying up to date and well-respected treatises on the subjects of
> Celtic & Indo European linguistics - I have also corresponded with some
> scholars in these fields, and have asked them many questions so that I
> better understand their work. From this I have developed a very good
> knowledge of linguistics, which enables me to speak with some authority on
> matters such as these - but I know when I am out of my league and when to
> defer to the superior knowledge of the professionals.
You don't mention a selection of highly respected impartial Latin scholars
expert in the Provincial dialects of the period in question among those from
whom you get your learning. You've really never even consulted one? I find
I believe that this
> the difference between you and I.
> >THE VIROS HYPOTHESIS:
> >VIROS is VIROS without any hypothesising at all.
> >VIROS is a known form of the contemporary Latin for 'soldiers' or 'men'
> >the direct object of a verb, without any hypothetical mutations.
> Yeah?? So where's your verb?
As is the case in so many Latin sentences, 'Verb understood.'
> > > Please refrain from uneducated proclamations like this in the future.
> >Hypotheses, not proclamations, and they are well informed.
> LOL!! Hardly!
> - Chris Gwinn
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