Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1119726744

From: "Peter A. Kincaid" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Britannia
Date: Sat, 25 Jun 2005 16:12:24 -0300
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

At 02:03 PM 25/06/2005, you wrote:
>For an excellent description of the various tribes of early Britain, I
>highly recommend THE STORIES OF ENGLISH by David Crystal.
> Bede, writing in 730, used the name Britannia for the entire land.
>He used names like Picts, Saxons, etc. for the various tribes. Britain is
>a word which comes from the Welsh language. The common tongue for the
>inhabitants of Britain, if one could be said to exist, was Latin.
>By common I mean in the way English today is a common tongue among many
>peoples, no matter what their heritage.

I doubt it if one would believe that the common tongue (as
in mother tongue) was Latin when P Celtic and Q Celtic languages
dominated and survived once the Romans left. Latin since the
days of the empire was the language of the legal establishment. It
survived for the most part because these people were mostly
attached to the Roman Church which remained throughout most
of the empire. I believe that you meant that Latin was common
then like English is today in that, due to the economic and political
power of North America and Britain, English has emerged as an
international secondary tongue for many nations for the sake of trade
and international relations. I am sure that this is what you are
saying but wanted to make it clear that Latin was not the mother
tongue of most of the inhabitants of the British Isles.

Best wishes!


P.S. In the not so distant future we might not be talking about English
but about Mandarin.

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