Encyclopedia > Celtic languages

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Celtic languages

Within Indo-European, the Celtic languages are most closely related to the Italic languages, with which they form the Italo-Celtic branch.

Celtic is split into two branches:

Insular Celtic is further split into:

The differences between P and Q languages are most easily seen in the word for son, mac in Q (hard K sound) and map in P languages. P-languages have a slightly simpler structure and may be younger than the Q-languages.

Characteristics of Celtic Languages

Although there are many differences between the individual Celtic languages they do show many family resemblences. While none of these characteristics is necessarily unique to the Celtic languages, there are few if any other languages which possess them all. They include:

This list could be extended. These items need explanations and examples.

There is also considerable overlap between the vocabularies of the Celtic languages.



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