Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Russian to investigate the origins of Welsh language
Western Mail, 13 Feb 2008.

A RUSSIAN scholar will lead a fresh investigation into the origins of the Welsh language by looking as far afield as Romania and Turkey, it was announced yesterday.

Dr Alexander Falileyev, originally from St Petersburg but currently working in Aberystwyth University’s Department of Welsh, has already written a report based on the presence of Celtic names in the Roman province of Dacia (modern day Romania).

And now, with the help of a £390,889 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, he will conduct the first full investigation into evidence linking the origins of the Welsh language to South Romania and as far east as Galatia, Turkey.

The ancient Celtic language, from which Welsh is derived, has already been traced back to inscriptions in areas like Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland.

More recently, the university’s Department of Welsh, a group led by Professor Patrick Sims-Williams, has used ancient place-names in sources like Ptolemy’s Geography to prove that Celtic was spoken over a much wider area.

Professor Sims-Williams welcomed the new grant. “We know that these areas were colonised from the third century BC onwards by peoples who spoke Celtic languages. “It’s becoming clear that Celtic was one of the major languages of ancient Europe, alongside Greek and Latin. It would appear that most EU countries have a Celtic past."

Hwyl fawr to today's post "Did They Speak Welsh in Romania" over at Alan Jones' blog "Independence Cymru" for alerting me to this Western Mail article.

This map "1066 and All That" here's directly relevant from the N.Y. Times, 5 Mar. 2007.

See my own detailed review, "Rooted in the Body, Hidden in the Ground: Searching Beyond the Celt," which examines John Waddell's "Foundation Myths" on the evolution of Irish archaeology alongside Stephen Oppenheimer's DNA-language study, "Origins of the British." See its published pdf.file:Epona 2(2007): 1-6

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