> I would certainly agree that there is a much greater likelihood of Latin
> being spoken in lowland England. I was very struck by a distribution map
> of Roman mosaic pavements in which they avoided 'Celtic' areas of Britain
> (including Devon, in this case.) But this retains the problem, while just
> changing the language: if that was the case, and there was assimilation of
> the local population, there should be vastly more Latin loanwords in
Well, but there are vastly more Latin loan words in Old English than there
are Celtic - it's about 12 Celtic to 450+ Latin ones. Latin is the language
who had by far the most influence on Old English, as far as I'm aware.
Whether that is sufficient to assume close contact between speakers of Old
English and Latin over extended periods of time I don't know. But I wouldn't
rule out the possibility.
> After all, in France (except for Brittany) they don't speak Gaulish, or
> even Frankish: they speak Latin!
True. But that doesn't necessarily mean that every case of language adoption
necessarily works the same way. There are several models that can explain
why an incoming 'elite' either adopts a local language or why local
communities adopt the language of an incoming 'elite'. That the Franks
adopted Latin does not mean that the Anglosaxons had to do the same. It
actually would be rather interesting to find out why the ones adopted Latin
while the others didn't.
PD Mag.Dr. Raimund KARL FSA(Scot) MIFA
University of Wales Bangor, Dept. of History and Welsh History
Ogwen Building, Siliwen Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2DG
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