Bea Hopkinson wrote:
> I am not clear why Roman mosaic pavements would illuminate the
> subject. They were doubtless expensive accountrements to a villa or
> settlement which might not be affordable to most of the population.
> It would seem somewhat tenuous to ssume their presence or absence
> points to the language they were speaking?
A little reflection would lead to the conclusion that areas with mosaic
pavements would be most likely to have a high degree of Romanisation, and
hence a greater likelihood of a Latin-speaking population. But it is the
converse that is more interesting: that areas known to have supported a
Celtic-speaking population subsequently, lacked mosaic pavements - so it is
more likely that they continued to speak a Celtic language because they had
always done so, rather than because they accepted Celtic-speaking refugees.
> Linguistics is not my field of study but I am wondering, if there are few
> Latin loan words in English, if that is because English became mandatory
> at the Reformation?
This is a baffling question on any number of levels. English did not, of
course, become mandatory at the Reformation (except, perhaps, in Ireland).
But it is the number of Latin loan words in Old English that is the issue.