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  • Titill er á ensku Celtic Influence on the Isle of Wight Dialect of British English
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    In nineteenth-century dictionaries of the Isle of Wight dialect it was claimed its basis was “purely Saxon” with only French and Latin being acknowledged as having any influence. This is likely to be related to the prevailing view of Anglo-Saxon history at the time which suggested the Celts were either slaughtered, enslaved or forced to retreat to remoter parts of the British Isles. Recent academic research – both historical and linguistic – has disproved this assumption and the proposal that Celtic influenced the English language has been gaining support. It is with this change of stance in mind that this essay seeks to undermine the denial of Celtic influence by drawing attention to examples found in the dialect of the Isle of Wight. Firstly, the Celticity of the toponyms are highlighted as an encouraging indication of Celtic continuity following the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. After that, a number of features from the dialect are examined; their link is illustrated with Brittonic Celtic and its successor languages such as Cornish, Welsh and Breton. Where possible the dissimilarity of these features with other potential routes of influence is then brought forward, specifically French, the Germanic languages and their ancestor languages. In some cases historical and ethnographic evidence is also used to increase the credibility of the claims. In this way it is illustrated that the Isle of Wight dialect contains a number of lexical items with Celtic etymologies, contains calques of Celtic words and may show signs of Celtic influence on the grammar as well. The conclusion is then drawn that the claim of Saxon purity and only French and Latin influence is unfounded as the Isle of Wight dialect does show signs of Celtic influence.

  • 2.3.2015

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