The Gaulish Language

The Gaulish language was the dialect spoken in the region of Gaul by the Gauls in and around the fifth century BCE, which remained a primary language of communication for the next thousand years until Vulgar Latin took its place. The Gaulish language was one of the forms of Celtic languages of the Continental Celtic branch. The different types of Gaulish dialects include Lepontic, Noric and Galatian. There are more than two hundred words in modern French that are believed to have derived from the Gaulish language spoken during the rule of the Romans.

History on the Gaulish Language

The text carved on the stones, coins and pottery belonging to the fifth century BCE shows that the earlier form of Gaulish language was written in the Italian alphabet while that written in centuries later used the Greek alphabet. Roman culture had an enormous influence on the Gaulish language during the Roman rule, and in this period the text of the Gaulish language included symbols of the Latin alphabet. The Gaulish language had the heavy influence of Latin during the Romans reign. It was finally replaced by Vulgar Latin in communication by the Gallo-Romans, as writing in Latin was considered comparatively easier. This led to the extinction of the Gaulish language.

Characteristics of the Gaulish Language

The characteristics of the Gaulish language included a specific style of sentence structure in which the words always followed the sequence of subject, then the verb, and then the object. The common feature between Gaulish language and Latin was that of the cases of a noun. Like Latin, the cases of a noun in Gaulish included the accusative case, noun identification (vocative case), one noun affecting other noun (genitive case) and the case in which something is given to the noun (dative case). There are two other cases in Gaulish that include the case in which the noun accomplishes the action of the subject (instrumental case) and the case in which the noun indicates the location.

The Gaulish language had two types of vowels: short and long vowels. The short vowels included a, e, i, o and u, just like the vowels in modern English. The long vowels are the same as short vowels, but each one has a bar over it (for example- ā) to show that it is held. Apart from these vowels, there are w and y serve as semivowels. Along with the vowels, the Gaulish language has diphthongs like ai, ei, oi, au, eu and ou. Diphthongs in Gaulish were modified along the years as the language was influenced periodically by Latin. Some of the diphthongs were converted into long vowels during the days of the Roman Empire.

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