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Celtic Ps and Qs

Posted by Shae on March 09, 2005

Just an explanatory note to my response to ESC below:

There are two surviving dialects of the Celtic language. Linguists label them as Q-Celtic and P-Celtic. Irish, Scottish and Manx are Q-Celtic and are believed to be older than P-Celtic. The dialect spoken in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany is/was P-Celtic.

The letter 'Q' doesn't exist now in the Gaelic alphabet, but it was used in the earliest inscriptions on stone to express the 'k' sound. Thus 'Maq' was 'son of . . ' In modern Irish, the 'q' has been replaced by 'c' so we now have 'Mac.'

The Brythonic Celts used the P-Celtic dialect. They used the 'P' sound instead of the 'Q' sound. So, 'son of . . .' was pronounced 'map' as opposed to 'mac.' In modern Welsh, it's often abbreviated to "'ap"

Just thought you all should know that.