----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Gwinn" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, 16 April 2002 1:49 AM
Subject: Re: Caesar on the Gauls
> > > It's Old Welsh GUR - NOT GUROS! That was quite clear in my statement -
> > > 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.)
> No you don't - and you don't have much common sense either.
> Let me explain it for you in very simple terms. There once was an ancient
> language and culture that existed long ago (likely as long ago as the
> Neolithic) - we don't know what its practitioners called it, but modern
> scientists have dubbed it Proto Indo European.
This is a hypothetical language and culture. Opinion concerning it is
diverse. It is a vexed question indeed.
In this language, which we
> have no written records for, but can be reconstructed through careful
> comparison of its daughter languages,
Theoretically, but no one has ever succeeded in doing it. It is constructed
of a tenuous tissue of hypothesis not supported by any proven ability to
predict the reality it pertains to. As such, it is a fictitious language,
something like those artist's reconstructions of ancient hominids built from
the inferences of violently conflicting scholarly opinions of conjecturors
drawing on a pitiful paucity of evidence concerning the implications of
which unsettled debates and serious controversy remains. Certainly Latin
Vir, German Herr, Irish fear, your Old Welsh Uiros and Viros are all
cognate, but your Wiros is as hypothetical as your Proto-Indo-European
language and culture.
there was a word for "man" which we
> can reconstruct as *wi:r-os. As in Greek and Latin (two daughters of PIE),
> the ending (-os) is an indicator of gender and case (-os being the
> nominative singular masculine of a root *wi:ro-). In the various daughter
> branches of PIE, the word *wi:r-os survived in different forms - it became
> vira in Old Indic, *wiraz in Germanic (giving Old English wer), uir in
> Latin, and Common Celtic *wiros (giving uiros in Gallo-Brittonic).
> Common Celtic *wiros developed into Brittonic uiros and Proto Irish
> by the 5th-7th centuries AD, there had been shifts in the languages of
> Britain and Ireland - the most noticible being the loss of the traditional
> case/gender endings, as well as shifts in the pronunciation of intial
> consonantal w- (in Irish the shift was towards f-, while in Brittonic it
> towards gu-/gw-) and internal vowels. Thus, by the 7th century AD, what
> once *wiros had become fer and gur in Old Irish and Archaic Welsh,
> respectively - no nominative masculine singular ending, a new
> of initial w-, and a shift in the internal vowels.
> Do you get it now? The coin legend VIROS was recorded at a time when
> languages still had the old case endings - and it long precedes the Old
> Irish/Archaic Welsh forms.
Yes. I had understood your hypothesis. I had agreed that it is a viable
one. What I said about it was that it was a hypothesis and not better than,
in fact significantly further-fetched than, the one I presented, as I
detailed step by step in a previous email. Neither is proved, neither is
disproved. Both need to be examined in the light of other evidence and
neither of them has been. That's what astounds me. I think it's a serious
oversight. Perhaps a blind spot. Why should you hate me so violently for
> > > As anyone that has studied the history of the Brittonic languages
> > > initial Gw- (written gu- in medieval Welsh, Cornish & Breton) was a
> > > late development (+/- 7th century AD) from an earlier initial U-
> >This is hypothesis.
> No it is not - you really don't know what the hell you are talking about.
There are instances of occurrences of these forms, and it is possible to
infer all manner of things from them, some more likely than others, but
however likely they might be, they are still hypotheses.
> >You can say that Gw or Gu appeared in texts dated to around the 7th
> >and you can say that in at least one text from the 6th Century there
> >a U which seems to some linguists who have studied these texts to be
> >with them. These are facts.
> Whatever you say - you have no command of the scientific terminology you
> feebly attempt to use.
You can fault me there if you feel the need, but you are still trying to
prove that your hypothesis is a fact by showing it to be it almost as viable
as mine. All I've proposed is that VIROS might be the Latin Men/soldiers
(Acc Pl). For this you attack me. What have you got to protect from what?
I am seriously amazed at your reaction. Not everyone who disagrees with me
has gone for my jugular vein like this.
> >Incidentally, did Gildas back-form a hypothetical Uorteporix from
> > >Vortepori or does it really exist?
> What are you talking about!!! You really _can't_ read, can you??!! Gildas
> only recorded Uortepori (he was in no position to back-form anything) -
> linguists reconstruct an earlier form *Uorteporix.
I see, HYPOTHESISERS did. You mean there wasn't such a form?
> > > >'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
> >miller in Germanic and more.
> LOL - your examples are completely useless! I didn't think you actually
> any evidence.
Well, they are examples, although one of them is transitional in some of its
forms, and so bears me out as much as anything.
> > > Gall-Brit. uiros gives Old Welsh gur, Modern Welsh gwr) - but note
> > > is still present in the plural form gwyr (Gallo-Brittonic *uiri).
> >Yes, thank you. Very interesting. But we're still a lot of hypotheses
> >from VIROS, which has a Latin translation that makes sense without a lot
> >mutations to hypothesise.
> You are a complete fool! VIROS requires no "mutations"! It is the natural
> Gaulish development from PIE *wi:ros - in fact, it has changed hardly at
> from the PIE form! The "mutations" that you refer to occured in the (much)
> later languages, Old Irish and Archaic Welsh.
This is a hypothesis. PIE is a fiction, useful for theorising with but not a
basis of fact. And why does a coin have the word MAN on it? Was it minted
by a Belgaean man called Man, or was it put there to honour or otherwise
refer to another Belgaean man called Man, or was it just to make some kind
of reference to the might and majesty of a specific epitome of a man? Was
MAN a title? Were there separate coins minted for women, and did they have
the Old Welsh word for woman on them? Why would any government put their
word for male adult human being on their coins as an inscription.
> > > 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
> > > this.
> > >
> > >
> >(Sunny smile.) Not the case, the noun. You are in the same position as
> >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.
> LOL!! I have to explain nothing!
I take this to mean that you can't.
This is perfectly normal - go look at any
> collection of Celtic coin legends for _ample_ examples of names appearing
> the nominative case!
So you are saying that Old Welsh VIROS, meaning man, is used as a personal
name on this coin?
I then challenge you to find examples of Latin coin
> legends featuring one word in the accusative plural - go ahead, give us
VIROS. VIROSVERAMOS . But you're the one claiming expertise here.
> >Don't you get the fact that VIROS was
> > > CENTURIES UPON CENTURIES before OIr Fer and OW Gur took form?
Recorded? Other than hypothetically on this coin? I doubt it.
> >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
> >Its cognate complexes are dense, widespread and persistant. It's
> >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
> >F/ear, (Gaeilge)grass, via what appears to be a widespread and diversely
> >developed extended metaphor or system of kennings.
> Lord, this is moronic. I don't even know what use there is in trying to
> argue with such foolishness.
I have come to understand that this is you admitting that you haven't
understood or don't know. It would be easier for you just to admit it.
>All that I can say is WRONG - TRY AGAIN!!
Are you saying that we have got detailed records other than hypothetical
reconstructions of the prehistoric development of OIr and OW?
> >Can't you
> > > grasp the fact that Gallo-Brittonic Uiros, OIr _Fer_ and OW _Gur_ all
> > > from a Common Celtic *wiros?
> >This is a hypothesis. VIROS exists, and you have to hypothesise that
> AAAGH!!!! I already told you that we have PROOF that uiros existed in
> Gaulish!! Are you daft, or what?
No you haven't. You said it existed abundantly as a name, and that you had
big mobs of proof which you refused to cite. Personally, I find it hard to
believe that any mother would call her child Man, with or without a
'name-ending', or that anyone would bestow such a name on a child or even a
man. But you want me to believe that the Celts did it all the time and that
we have irrefutable proof of it in reliable and intelligible language
records 'centuries and centuries' older than the earliest written texts.
Well I don't.
appalling that you seem to be considering the issue of possible translations
of these coins for the first time - without ever having done any of the
simplest forms of linguistic
research into them or consulted anyone who had, until I made a suggestion
that pricked you into doing so.
Do you really know of no analyses of these inscriptions done by linguists
more knowledgeable than me or you? If so, Lugh, Brighid, and Ogma help us
all! I can continue with my researches into ancient Celtic culture much
sobered by the knowledge gained from this list that at least in some quite
influential areas of the field 'the experts' are incompetent.
> >You don't mention a selection of highly respected impartial Latin
> >expert in the Provincial dialects of the period in question among those
> >whom you get your learning. You've really never even consulted one? I
> >this astounding!
> What the _hell_ are you talking about?? You truly are a complete fool! You
> have no idea whom I have consulted - and just because I didn't bother to
> list every book I have ever read doesn't mean that you can make gross
> assumptions about me and my background. I guarantee you that I have stuied
> and know far more about Classical and Vulgar Latin than you ever could
This astounds me. It really doesn't show.
> > > Yeah?? So where's your verb?
> >As is the case in so many Latin sentences, 'Verb understood.'
> Oh really, and what's the "understood" verb?
SOLVERE or PENDERE or NUMERARE, transitive verbs meaning to pay, according
to my hypothesis.
> - Chris Gwinn
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