Eska, Joseph F.


Eska, Joseph F., “Laryngeal realism and the prehistory of Celtic”, Transactions of the Philological Society 116:3 (November, 2018): 320–331.

  • journal article
Citation details
“Laryngeal realism and the prehistory of Celtic”
Abstract (cited)

This paper examines the proto‐Celtic plosive system through the lens of Laryngeal Realism. Drawing upon phonetic data from contemporary Celtic languages and philological data from medieval Insular Celtic and ancient Continental Celtic languages, it concludes that the active Laryngeal feature in these languages is not [voice], but [spread glottis], and that this feature should be projected back to proto‐Celtic. Such an analysis allows for a much more straightforward analysis of the evolution of the early Celtic plosive system, and, in particular, allows for a non‐stipulative analysis of perhaps the best known of Celtic sound changes, the loss of proto‐IE */p/, in simple aerodynamic terms. It is demonstrated, furthermore, that the loss of proto‐IE */p/ cannot be explained by contact with pre‐Basque or Iberian, but, instead, was, in all likelihood, a natural development.

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Dennis Groenewegen