On Thu, 22 Feb 1996, Thomas G. Mungall III wrote:
> I have always heard that the Galician language
> *is* a Celtic language....is this assumption wrong?
galician (or "galego") is a romance language, very close to portuguese.
in fact, many books say that it is a dialect of portuguese and don't treat
it as a seperate lang at all. actually galician was around first, and the
southern dialect of the galician area developed (around 1350) into what
would become modern portuguese.
> And, do the people on this list agree with the idea that a culture's
> highest level of expression is it's language? And without the culture's
> language the true culture ceases to exist? What of the other forms of
> expression that a culture might make?
that's a wide area, to be certain. i don't know if it's the _highest_
level of expression. i certainly belive that if you change the language,
you change the culture. one of the earliest sociolinguistic influences i
had was in a speech by joshua fishman where he described a cultural
event, such as a wedding. he then declared that if you change the
language, but leave everything else the same, you have a different
event. lang and culture are intertwined; they reflect each other. one
reason i work on endangered languages is that i think we are losing
something every time a language dies.
the problem is, as we've seen on this list, that "culture" is difficult
to define, so "true culture" would be worse. a culture changes with a
different language, but it does not vanish.