_Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English_ by John
reviewed today in the New York Times:
"He points out that English has what he calls "kinks" in its grammar,
qualities that are not shared by any of its relatives in the Germanic
family of languages, but which do exist in a number of Celtic ones...."
And from a reader review at Amazon.com :
> He pays as much attention to history as to linguistics, and presents
> evidence that large numbers of Celts were not exterminated by the
> small numbers of Vikings who invaded and eventually settled in the
> northern and eastern part of England, the Danelaw. He demonstrates
> that English (unlike every other Germanic language) has grammatical
> features in common with Celtic languages--for instance, the
> "meaningless do" ("Do we eat apples?") and using gerunds (like
> "using" in "I'm using a gerund") as a normal present tense.
What is the deal with the supposed Celtic origin of "do" in
questions? (Obviously I haven't laid hands on the book yet.)