Semitic-Hebraic Influences on Celtic and Germanic Tongues
Original Title by author: "An Historical But Little-Reported Sound Change."
Introductory Note by Yair Davidiy:
In our work The Tribes (present edition entitled "Hebrew Tribes") we ascribed the Vandals to the Israelite Tribe of Asher. We traced the migrations of part of them from Eastern Europe (ca. Poland) to the west, then to North Africa, and after that eventually winding up in Ireland and other parts of Britain. We thought at the time that we might be pioneers in this (i.e. tracing the Vandals who went to North Africa to Ireland) but others seem to have broached the idea beforehand - which is all the better! In the following Essay John Hemingway provides genetic and linguistic evidence in support of it. He also has remarks of value concerning the origins of Ogham. The Ogham Script was used in the 300s (or possibly earlier) - 500s CE. Wikipedia tells us: # There are roughly 400 surviving orthodox inscriptions on stone monuments throughout Ireland and western Britain, the bulk of which are in southern Munster [southwest Ireland] The largest number outside Ireland are in Pembrokeshire, [southwest] Wales. # John Hemingway shows that the Ogham Script had Semitic Hebrew-type origins. The article uses technical linguistic terminology but the gist of it is quite plain and of great value.
An Historical But Little-Reported Sound Change
In A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, words with the initial letter ptake up the second smallest number of pages: nine pages of Old English words begin with p. Words beginning with the letter y fills eight pages. By way of comparison, words with the initial letter s looms largest with its lexicon filling 89 pages, followed by the letter h which fills 68 pages. Yet in modern English, we use initial p words every day. Why is it that Old English had so few words starting with p? Other Germanic dialects show a similar scarcity of p- words, as well.
Complicating matters is Grimm’s Law. It claims that the historical Germanic sound shift moved from bh/dh/gh to b/d/g to p/t/k and finally to f/th/h. It claims b > p, but it does not provide enough instances of this sound shift, thereby providing no satisfactory explanation for why Germanic had so a few surviving p- words. Skeat, a British 19th-century linguist, tells why scholars at that time ignored this apparent inconsistency in Grimm’s Law, “The only reason for assuming that the Aryan p must be shifted lies in the notion that all the nine Aryan sounds — G, K, GH, D, T, TH, B, P, BH — must always be shifted in Teutonic. I look on the occasional apparent unshifting of p as a fact, which has only been denied lest Grimm's Law should seem imperfect” .
Skeat’s penetrating remark exposes the linguistic dogma which prevents critical investigation into why Germanic was averse to initial p-. In new word formation, this consonant was avoided. In words of an older etymology, this paper suggests that initial p- changed to the fricative f.
Several historical, geographical, and linguistic clues indicate that fricativization of p > f was in fact common in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Neo-Punic, and in the Germanic and Goidelic languages. After review of the following eight clues, this paper submits that the paucity of p- in Germanic vocabulary may, in fact, be related to the same sound change which originated in the Semitic languages.
1. Traces of a Semitic Origin in the Germanic Language
Germanic is an Indo-European language is thought to have arisen from Proto-Indo-European, yetthis ancient language has certain linguistic elements foreign to other Indo-European languages . It is not well understood why the Germanic sound shift from bh/dh/gh to b/d/g to p/t/k and finally, f/th/h, happened in the first place. Gemination is another peculiar Germanic feature which intrigues scholars . Additionally, about one-third of Germanic vocabulary is of an unknown origin. Despite intensive efforts by researchers, the origins of these linguistic elements remain enigmatic.
An etymological review of Germanic vocabulary indicates that some words are of Semitic origin. The following examples illustrate how several Old English words resemble Aramaic or Hebrew words (in parentheses) in form and meaning: OE fearr ‘a bull, an ox’ (Heb. par ‘bull(ock, calf, ox,’ reflecting the Germanic sound shit of p > f ); hnecca ‘neck’ (Aram. `nq); and smedma ‘fine flour’ (Aram. smyd, smydˀ) .
An example of Germanic vocabulary formation that is based on consonant roots is the root GR ‘to be small.’ This root yields OE garleac ‘garlic,' greosn‘’gravel, pebble,’ and grot ‘particle.’ Semitic word formation is based on consonant roots as well, as demonstrated by Hebrew gargar ‘a berry’ and gerah ‘a kernel,’and Aramaic grr ‘type of mustard,’ grb ‘itch,’ and grˁynh ‘stone of a fruit.’ These root similarities suggest a Semitic influence on the Germanic custom of creating words with consonant roots while maintaining their primary meanings.
Gothic, the earliest attested Germanic dialect, offers evidence that lexical resemblances to Semitic roots are not necessarily coincidental. Two Gothic verbs, thagkjan ‘to think, consider’ and throthjan ‘to exercise, train,’ are the products of Aramaic Ithpeel verb conjugation . This involves the prefixation of ‘eth (Aramaic את) to a verb to represent its reflexive sense. The weak aleph (א) later disappeared (along with the vowel e) in Aramaic and in Gothic (leaving th, a remnant of the prefix ‘eth). Because Ithpeel involves deliberate lexical manipulation, the obvious Semitic origin of these two Gothic verbs cannot be easily ignored. This case in point underlines that the Germanic dialects bear evidence of Semitic influence, offering a lead to solving the mystery of the ‘missing’ initial p in Germanic vocabulary.
2. The Remarks by Isidore and Jerome about Hebrew Peh
Isidore (560-636) writes, “Philistines are the same as Palestinians, because the Hebrew language lacks the letter p and uses the Greek phi in its place” . Normally, it is necessary to exercise caution when reading Isidore’s Etymologiae because he often compiles information from many older sources without identifying those sources. However, in this case, his statement is corroborated by Jerome of Caesar (c. 347-420) who remarks, “But it should be noted that while Hebrew speech does not have the letter pe, but instead of it uses phe, the force of which is approximated by the sound of Greek φ — in that particular place (i.e., Dan. 11:45) among the Hebrews phe indeed is written but it is read as pe” .
If Jerome’s statement is properly understood, it appears that fricativization was extreme in Hebrew, affecting the phoneme p in all positions. In fact, Kahle believes that fricatives were pronounced in all positions during the Mishnaic period (c. 100-300), although Kutscher and others disagree with his theory . This phenomenon was extraordinary but short-lived in Hebrew — not long enough for linguistics to sit up and take notice. In his work, Sperber catalogues many Hebrew words that underwent the shift of p > f, dating from the third century BCE to the beginning of the fifth century .
Incidentally, Aramaic, intimately related to Hebrew, also experienced fricativization. Muchik asserts, “Thus we can conclude that spirantization first took place in Phoenician and was introduced into Hebrew under the influence of Phoenician (or possible as a parallel phenomenon). In Aramaic, however, it did not become operative until Middle Aramaic [300 BCE - 200 CE]” . Spirantization is another term for fricativization. Although scholars are divided over when fricativization began in Aramaic, it had taken a firmhold by the fourth century CE.
3. The Neo-Punic Language
Neo-Punic, a Semitic language, also did not havethe phoneme p. This language descends from Phoenician, spoken in north Africa where the Carthaginian Empire, a former colony of Phoenicia, once existed before it was conquered by Rome in 146 BCE. Under Roman rule, it continued to be spoken as a vernacular language for several centuries. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) mentions that “the Christian communities prayed and were taught in Punic,” according to Elmayer .
Around the beginning of the second century CE, the traditional Phoenician script was abandoned. The last instances of its usage in inscriptions date to that time . Krahmalkov writes, “The traditional twenty-two letter Phoenician-Punic alphabet fell into desuetude and was replaced by the Roman alphabet," demonstrating the influential extent of Latinization . The written form of Neo-Punic, referred to as Latin-Punic, was in the Latin orthography, but its spelling was based on Neo-Punic pronunciation.
The surviving texts, about seventy, show clear evidence of the sound changes in Neo-Punic. The Semitic laryngeals and pharyngeals, including ayin, completely disappeared in Neo-Punic. As well, Neo-Punic lost the phoneme p as it was pronounced f in all positions. The consonant h was completely lost, while z was written s in the Latin-letter Neo-Punic and was “in all probability articulated as a simple s,” according to Krahmalkov . By the fifth century, the language “disappeared completely with Arab conquest without leaving any noticeable traces, except a very few words in the Berber dialects,” as reported by Elmayer .
Ogham is believed to date back to the fourth century. It has been found in over 400 inscriptions on stone monuments in Ireland and western Britain. Its letters are arranged in four series of notches. This early medieval Irish alphabet, does not have the letter p. The majority of scholars believe that ogham used the Latin alphabet as a template as omagh signs appear to have derived from the phonetic values of written Latin. In addition, the Encyclopedia Britannia notes, “The fact that it has signs for h and z, which are not used in Irish, speaks against a purely Irish origin” .
As well, ogham contains the letter getal which the fourteenth-century manuscript, Book of Ballymote, assigns the Latin ng (ŋ) , although this nasal velar phoneme is unattested. Celtic scholars regard it as Primitive Irish ɡʷ, a voiced labiovelar. Vennemann suggests that the nasal velar phonemewas a substitution for ayin, which was an unpronounceable guttural in the Indo-European languages .
Ogham is the only other Indo-European alphabet, besides that of the Germanic runes, that carries the phoneme ng as a distinct symbol.
Remarkably, one series of notches consists only of vowels which MacNeill comments were “apparently subclassified” . The fact that ogham is organized into three main sets of consonants suggests that its origin is a Semitic consonant root system . Another clue to this origin is the evidence of gemination in the inscriptions. Thurneysen remarks, “A peculiarity of the Ogham inscriptions is the frequent gemination of consonants, even in initial position, without any apparent reason” . The presence of gemination indicates that people who invented ogham spoke a language that used the doubling of consonants, which is a prominent characteristic of the ancient Semitic languages.
5. The Disappearance of Vandals in North Africa
The kingdom of Vandals fell to the Byzantine Empire in 534 CE, and Vandals disappeared without a trace. Their sudden oblivion in north Africa has long puzzled historians. According to the firsthand account of Procopius, some Vandals were shipped out to be drafted into Justinian’s imperial army . However, this does not explain how the Vandals, en masse, no longer inhabited their lands. Procopius leaves a passing hint that ethnic cleansing had occurred. He informs that Justinian put Solomon in charge of north Africa, who was, in his words, “removing those of the Vandals who were left and especially all their women from the whole of Libya” . The circumstances under which Vandals exited are far from clear, but it is certain that they were compelled to leave. The anonymous eighth-century Geographer of Ravenna tells us that Vandals fled to Mauritania Gaditana, the westerly region close to the coast of Spain, and then disappeared, nowhere to be seen again .
It is noteworthy that Procopius saw the Vandals as an indistinguishable part of the Gothic race. He states, “They all have white bodies and fair hair, and are tall and handsome to look upon, and they use the same laws and practise a common religion. For they are all of the Arian faith, and have one language called Gothic; and, as it seems to me, they all came originally from one tribe” . This lead offers an important clue that may help trace their descendants: their tongue is Germanic .
6. Geoffrey of Monmouth
According to Geoffrey of Monmouth (1095-1155), sixth-century Saxons asked Gormund, king of the Africans, for help in the war against the Britons. He writes, “The Saxons went to Ireland for Gormund, king of the Africans, who had arrived there with a very great fleet, and had subdued that country” . Historians consider Geoffrey’s work, Historia regum Britanniae, “History of the British Kings,” mainly a work of fiction based on his imagination as the literary context of its mystical motifs impairs its historical reliability. However, scholars also recognize that its material contains “a kernel of fact” — meaning that some of Geoffrey’s statements may have an historical basis.
For instance, in 2012, the BBC News featured a genetic study which indicated that one percent of Scottish men are descended from the Berber and Tuareg tribesmen of north Africa . The Irish Times also reported similar connections to the Irish population . As there are several different perspectives on genetical understanding, a consensus has yet to be settled upon. Yet, this has opened new lines of inquiry into Celtic links to the Mediterranean, prompting historians to reappraise Geoffrey’s work in a new light.
Also, demonymic evidence of Anglo-Saxon place-names by Nicholson reveals the Old English form of Vandal as Wendel (or Wendle). He posits that the Vandals came to Britain as mercenaries and settled there after they aided the Anglo-Saxons in the war against the Britons and cites place-names Wendlesore, Wendelebur, and Wendesbiri. These place-names testify to the presence of Vandals . Nicholson also mentions Wendel-sae, “Sea of the Vandals” , an apparent allusion to the Vandal domination of the western Mediterranean by their formidable fleet from north Africa . It is probable that Old English Wendel is a closer rendition of the native Germanic pronunciation than the Latin Vandali (plural). Nicholson’s article purports a context in which Geoffrey’s claims may be worthy of further investigation.
7. The Origin of Gaels
One of the early peoples who inhabited Ireland was called Gaedel or Gaedhil (also called Gaedheal or Gaidil or Goidil). From these ethnonyms, we get the term Gael as the aspirated consonant dh disappears before l, n and r in Old Irish . Lebor Gabála Érenn, “The Book of Invasions,” attributes the origin of Gaedil to Gaedel when it states, “Now that is the time when Gaedel Glas was born, of Scota d. Pharao. From her are the Scots named…,” followed by a poetical line, “Gaedil from comely Gaedel Glas” . Lebor Gabála Érennis an antiquated collection of medieval Irish poetry and prose. It is perhaps the only piece of European medieval literature that makes a connection to the Middle East.
Given the geographical origin of Gaedel, this name may ring a bell for those who recognize the theophoric ending of Hebrew el in many Biblical names. In fact, the closest possible resemblance to Gaedel is Biblical Hebrew Gaddiel “El is my fortune” . This name originates from Gad, one of Jacob’s twelve sons. It is pronounced gāḏ not with a d, but with a dh (voiced th). In comparison, Gaddiel is pronounced Gad·dî·’êl with a geminated double d which conforms to the Semitic custom of doubling a single dh or th as dd or tt. However, as Thurneysen indicates that gemination disappeared in Old Irish , there is presently no way to ascertain the original Old Irish pronunciation of Gaedel or Gaedhil.
At a lexical level, some Goidelic vocabulary formation appears to be based on consonant roots. For example, the root GR yields gair “shortness,” gérán“a canine tooth, an eye-tooth,” gorán “a pimple,” graif “pin,” andgrech “a nut, a nut-shell.” The source of these words is The Dictionary of Old Irish. These words correspond well to the fundamental meaning of the word root GR “to be small or short.” The Old Irish verb gerraigid “to shorten” attests to this lexical sense. Based preliminarily on one root, this finding does not necessarily indicate that Goídelic (or Primitive or Archaic Irish) is Semitic in origin, but rather it suggests the possibility of Semitic influence on some Goídelic words .
8. The Celtic Languages - P-Celtic and Q-Celtic
The divergence between P-Celtic and Q-Celtic has fascinated scholars.The way in which hills and mountains are topographically referred to in the British Isles is often cited to illustrate the P-Celtic and Q-Celtic divide. In the historical Scottish Gaelic-speaking areas, the heights are referred to as ben or beinn ‘mountain,’ while they are called pen‘head, top, summit’ in Wales and southwestern England. On one side of this Gaelic divide, originally, Old Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx did not have initial p, and on the other side, Welsh, Cornish, Breton, and Cumbric preserved this consonant. Despite this minor phonological difference, all these Gaelic dialects are believed to come from a common origin, Proto-Celtic.
Long ago, scholars came up with the P-Celtic/Q-Celtic hypothesis,which categorizes the Celtic dialects into Goidelic as Q-Celtic and Brythonic as P-Celtic. According to this hypothesis, Proto-Celtic *kw, became *p in the P-Celtic dialects but *k in Goidelic.However, not everyone agrees with this hypothesis since it uses a single sound shift to distinguish dialects. The terms Insular Celtic and Continental Celtic are used now in recognition of other phonological differences between these two languages. Research has since revealed that Insular Celtic contains other distinctive differences besides the absence of p in its vocabulary. Maier writes, “As typological research has shown, many features by which insular Celtic differs both from Gaulish and from the other early Indo-European languages have precisely corresponding features in the Hamitic languages of North Africa, such as Berber and ancient Egyptian, and the Semitic languages such as Hebrew and Arabic” .
The fricativization of p to f is found to have occurred in Hebrew, Aramaic, Neo-Punic, Germanic and Goidelic. Somehow these languages were linked, despite the vast geographical separation of their speakers. Be that as it may, this phonological phenomenon did not affect other Indo-European languages. It begs the question: how could the identical sound change have occurred in language groups which seem essentially disparate to each other?
The answer to this question may lie in the Migration Period which took place after the Roman Empire fell in 476 CE. This period was one of the most disorderly periods in the European history. Various tribal groups from outside the Roman Empire flung wide-open the Empire’s gates so to speak, leaving the civilization reeling in utter and irreversible disrepair. Historians attempt to reconstruct this period from what they can infer from inadequate sources. One historian describes the lack of primary sources for the period, “Due to a relative abundance of sources we know more about first-century Roman life than we do of fourth-century Germanic life outside of the empire” .
During this crucial period, the Germanic tribes came to fore. Since the language they spoke contained de facto traces of the Semitic influence (mentioned above), they must have come from a distant Semitic past or had at one time significant interactions with Semitic language speakers. Additionally, the fricativization of p to f must have occurred by that time. Whereas linguists say the Germanic tribes once spoke Common Germanic, this paper suggests that the language they spoke was substantially Semitic. It would be, therefore, susceptible to the same sound change that affected Hebrew, Aramaic, and Neo-Punic. Eventually, this language completely morphed into an Indo-European language when the Germanic tribes, including Vandals, dispersed en masse across Europe and developed their respective dialects while preserving the shared phonological aversion to initial p.
The Migration Period sets a historically plausible setting for the arrival of Vandals in Ireland. As previously noted, their unexplained disappearance in north Africa after losing to the Byzantines is a mystery. It is suggested that they reappeared in the invasion of Ireland. As indicated earlier, Gregory invokes the term Africans in his mention of this invasion. Many take this term anachronistically for black people in Africa. Actually, Africa was a Latin term originally referring only to the former Punic territory . The Roman Empire never extended its control over the rest of the continent. The population of north Africa were commonly called Africans, and consisted of three population groups, the dark-skinned Berbers, the ancient Carthaginians of Phoenician origin, and Roman colonists. Conceivably, Geoffrey’s “Africans” could be Vandals since they captured and inhabited the very place where people were customarily called Africans.
This premise implies the presence of Africans in Britain at the time Vandals controlled north Africa  or perhaps they re-established themselves in Ireland after their fall in north Africa. In the latter case, the influx of Vandal refugees into Ireland would precipitate a population increase, leading to the colonization of outlying areas such as Wales and the Isle of Man . This would explain the origin and spread of the Q-Celtic dialect and its phonological preference for q in place of p. It could also account for the recent finding of DNA evidence of Berber descent among the Irish and Scots.
The ogham stones are relics of this ancient language, yet the identity of its speakers is still debated. MacNeill observes that the vowels are organized in one separate series, whereas the Greek and Latin alphabets mixed consonants and vowels regardless of the alphabetic order. Because of this, ogham is suspected to be originally formed from consonants . Based on the comparative material culture approach, the Latin-letter Neo-Punic alphabet is the closest possible alphabetical specimen to ogham. Ogham consists of fifteen consonants and the Neo-Punic alphabet originally had twenty-two consonants. Upon analysis of the the latter’s seven additional consonants, including the rarely occurring letter p, they resemble the identical sound shift changes which occurred over time and which eventually disappeared in Neo-Punic .
On other hand, consonants such as h, z, and ŋ (possibly substituting ayin) which existed in Germanic are shown in the Book of Ballymote to be in their ‘original’ alphabetic order, although there is no evidence of their usage in Old Irish . As noted earlier, the Encyclopedia Britannia indicates that the ogham alphabet does not appear to be purely ingenious to Ireland. Therefore, it is possible that ogham was actually a representation of early Germanic speech . The eventual decline of the use of the Germanic sounds h, z, and ŋ suggests that the language which the invading Gaedil spoke became a substratum of the dominant indigenous language (i.e. the local language persists and the intrusive language disappears). Although Lebor Gabála Érenn undoubtedly attributes the language,Goidelic, to Gaedil, this may be arguably the case where the superstrate language adopts the name of the substrate language.
It is often wondered why ogham was invented when the Latin alphabet was available . It appears that ogham was intended to serve the needs of Germanic speech in a foreign territory in Ireland at the time. The fact that the original consonants h, z, and ŋ were disused in Old Irish intimates that Germanic speech waned over time. However, the words formed with the GR root probably depict the surviving Germanic substratal influence in Goidlec. As well, they indirectly indicate the presence of other Germanic characteristics, including the fricativization of p, in Old Irish.
The ogham stones are dated between the fourth and sixth century CE, but dating ogham is difficult without independent collaboration. These stones are chiefly concentrated in Cork County and the Dingle peninsula, next to sea , which are the closest landfalls when approached by sea from southwest. This area could have been first occupied by Vandal refugees . Vandals were likely aware of the Latin-letter Neo-Punic alphabet when they controlled north Africa from 435 to 534 CE. Procopius confirms that Neo-Punic was still spoken at the time, “There they have lived even up to my time, using the Phoenician tongue” . If ogham was adapted from the Latin-letter Neo-Punic alphabet, it could have been the Vandals who introduced the ogham stones to Ireland.
Indeed, it is challenging to attempt to explain how one identical phonological feature existed in several apparently unrelated languages. The paucity of initial p- words appears to be a broad phonological phenomenon which directly affected Hebrew, Aramaic, Neo-Punic, and Germanic, while Godelic plausibly acquired it through the Vandals. This historical phenomenon appears little-reported on an interlingual scale. Scholars classify Germanic as an Indo-European language, yet the culmination of the eight clues presented in this paper suggests that Germanic once shared a close historical, geographical, and linguistic context with a Semitic language and its speakers.
This paper is a preliminary investigation into this perplexing topic, and it is subject to review as new facts and new contexts emerge. As well, there may be other possible contexts which would lead to different interpretations of the clues outlined in this paper. Meanwhile, this paper postulates that the past presence of a Semitic-speaking group in Europe provides the missing link between Hebrew, Aramaic, Neo-Punic, Germanic and Goidelic, hence the source of the Germanic aversion to initial p-.
1) Skeat, Walter. Principles of English Etymology. Oxford: Clarendon, 1887, 138. Skeat’s remark about Grimm’s Law amounts to what is called “the preconception of uniformity.”
2) Blodgett, Terry M. “Phonological Similarities in Germanic and Hebrew.” PhD diss., The University of Utah, 1981, iv.
3) Gemination is when each of the double consonants is pronounced in words such as apple.
4) A Concise Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon, and Strong’s Concordance provide the cited examples of Old English, Biblical Hebrew, and Aramaic.
5) See the slide presentations “Evidence of the Semitic Verb Conjugation in Gothic THAGKJAN” and “Evidence of the Semitic Verb Conjugation in Gothic THROTHJAN” by Hemingway. Online: https://youtu.be/IMhH4pXrDgA and https://youtu.be/Ngx2CdkP9MI. Accessed 13 July 2022.
6) Isidore of Seville. Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, ed. Barney, Stephen, et al.Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2006, 195.
7) Khan, Geoffrey. The Tiberian Pronunciation of Biblical Hebrew. Vol. 1.Cambridge: OpenBook, 2020, 61.
8) Kutscher, Eduard Y. A History of the Hebrew Language, edited by Raphael Kutscher. Jerusalem:Magnes, 1982, 21-22.
9) Sperber, Alexander. “Hebrew Based Upon Greek and Latin Transliteration.” Hebrew Union College Annual. 12 (1937), 103, 250-52.
10) Muchik, Yoshi. “Spirantization in Fifth-Century B. C. North-West Semitic.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 53 (1994), 130.
11) Elmayer, Abdulhafid F. “Tripolitania under the Roman Empire.” PhD diss., The University of London, 1985, 427.
12) Häberl, Charles G. “A Question of Orthography: the Latin-Punic Inscriptions,” year not stated, 16. Online: https://www.academia.edu/19367013/A_Question_of_Orthography_the_Latino_Punic_Inscriptions. Accessed 13 July 2022.
13) Krahmalkov, Charles R. A Phoenician-Punic Grammar. Leiden: Brill, 2001, 19.
14) Krahmalkov. Ibid., 22.
15) Elmayer. “TUTRE,” 225.
16) "ogham writing.” In Encyclopedia Britannica. Online: https://www.britannica.com/topic/ogham-writing. Accessed 15 May 2022.
17) Assuminghistorically accuracy, the alphabetic order of omagh is indicated in the fourteenth-century manuscript, Book of Ballymote. It is thought that it relied on information older than extant ogham.
18) Vennemann, Theo. “The source of the Ing rune.” In Germania Semitica, edited by Patrizia Noel Aziz Hanna, 635-646. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012, 635.
19) MacNeill, John. “Notes on the Distribution, History, Grammar, and Import of the Irish Ogham Inscriptions.” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature 27 (1908), 334.
20) Ancient Semitic alphabets do not include vowels although they were pronounced when the words were spoken.
21) Thurneysen, Rudolf. A Grammar of Old Irish. Dublin:Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies,1946, 11.
22) Collins, Roger. "Vandal Africa, 429–533". In The Cambridge Ancient History. Late Antiquity: Empire and Successors, A.D. 425–600. Vol. XIV. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, 126.
23) Procopius, History of the Wars, Book IV, XIX.
24) Nicholson, E. Williams B. “The Vandals in Wessex and the Battle of Deorham.” Y Cymmrodor (1906), 8.
25) Procopius, HOTW, Book III, II.
26) The Wikipedia article “Vandalic Language” provides several instances of the Vandalic texts and states that Vandalic is Germanic. It cites several academic references. Online: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandalic_language. Accessed 13 July 2022.
27) Geoffrey of Monmouth. Histories of the Kings of Britain, Book XI, VII.
28) BBC News. “Study reveals 'extraordinary' DNA of people in Scotland.” Online: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-17740638. Accessed 13 July 2022.
29) Viney, Michael. “The tracing of the shrew: why Celtic DNA leads back to Africa.” Online: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/the-tracing-of-the-shrew-why-celtic-dna-leads-back-to-africa-1.522345;
Magan, Manchán. “Tales of a travel addict: Our Berber Cousins.” Online: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/tales-of-a-travel-addict-our-berber-cousins-1.1363239. Accessed 13 July 2022.
30) Nicholson. “TVIW,” 9.
31) Barouch, Valeria. “Arvernien or On the Winding of Rivers.” In Arda Philology 3: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on J.R.R. Tolkien's Invented Languages, Omentielva Nelya, Whitehaven, 6-9 August 2009, edited by Anders Strenström Beregond. Kista, Sweden: Kista Snabbtryck, 2011, 86.
32) The Declaration of Arbroath, the fourteenth-century manuscript which claims that the ancestors of the Scots came from Scythia, provides a salient detail which implies the Vandal domination of the western Mediterranean. It states that the ancestors of the Scots sailed “via Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules.”
33) Thurneysen. AGOOI, 78. This sound change explains the origin of Gael before the adjectival ending + -ic. In addition, ð, the phonetic symbol of dh (voiced th), is sometimes written as d, hence the variants Gaidil and Gaedhil. Old Irish employs digraphs to mark the fricatives dh and th, unlike Old English which uses ð and þ as distinct letters for these fricatives.
34) Lebor Gabála Érenn(The Book of Leinster Redaction),14, cf 25.
35) Numbers 13:10.
36) Thurneysen. AGOOI, 89; 150.
37) On face value, this statement accounts for the fact that Old Irish is not Germanic while maintaining the possibility that Vandals, a Germanic tribe, subjugated Ireland or parts therein for a period of time.
38) Maier, Bernhard. The Celts. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 2000, 122.
39) Healy, Gordon L. Doing Church History. Toronto: Clements, 2008, 64.
40) Refer to the Online Etymological Dictionary under the entry “Africa.” Isidore of Seville writes, “The Africans, occupying the coasts of Spain under Hannibal, built New Carthage. Later taken and made a colony by the Romans, it gave its name to a province. But now it has been overthrown and reduced to desolation by the Goths” (TEOI, 305). Afterthe conquest of Punic Carthage, Romans established their first African colony, Africa Vetus.
41a) Irenicus, a German historian (1494/1495-1519), makes an interesting reference to the expeditions to Ireland and Britannia by Genseric (c. 389-477) who established the Vandal kingdom in Carthage. Algernon writes, “Francis Irenicus (who refers to books of history, now little, if at all, known) mentions that Genseric, “after the capture of Carthage sent expeditions over to Sicily, Ireland, and Britain,” where he maintained himself, until the defervescence of the tyranny of Attila.” He cites Irenicus’ Germaniae exegeseos volumina duodecim on page 150 in a footnote (refer to the next endnote). Although the information that Irenicus provides appears to be valuable, its historical reliability is uncertain because Irenicus did not provide the source of the information.
41b) Algernon, Herbert, Britannia After the Romans: Being an Attempt to Illustrate the Religious and Political Revolutions of That Province in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1836,123.
42) Greene, David. “Celtic languages.” Encyclopedia Britannia. Online: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Celtic-languages. Accessed 13 July 2022.
43a) Notably, vowels began to be fully indicated in Latino-Punic inscriptions. Häberl believes that “the Latino-Punic inscriptions represents the first unified and consistent system to render any Semitic language alphabetically, with full indication of vowels.” Refer to Häberl in the following endnote.
43b) Häberl. “AQOO,” 1.
44) In Neo-Punic (100 BCE - 400 CE), the laryngeals h (heh) and ḥ (cheyth) and the pharyngeals ‘ (aleph) and ` (ayin) disappeared in speech (19). The sibilants ts (tsade) and š (siyn) merged with the simple s. The consonant p (peh) was affricativizedto f in all positions (24). The consonant y (yod) was reduced to the vowel i in Neo-Punic.
45) McManus, Damian. A guide to Ogam. InMaynooth Monographs 4. Maynooth: An Sagart, 1991, 33; 36-38.
46) Interestingly, MacNeill comments, “…the orthographical system of the Ogham inscriptions and the orthographical system of early manuscript Irish are as distinct and separate as if they belonged to two unrelated languages” (MacNeill, “NOTD,” 336-37).
47) Perhaps the Latin script appeared orthographically complex to a culture with a rudimentary level of literacy so that the straight, diagonal strokes were innovated to create an alphabet simpler to memorize and easier to use. Besides, Latin was a foreign language to ogham-using people, so what incentive would there be to learning its labyrinthine letters.
48) “Ogham.” Online: https://ogham.celt.dias.ie/menu.php?lang=en&menuitem=02. Accessed 13 July 2022.
49) The paper considers the earliest mention of Scotti in Latin texts, dated to about 312 CE, to have occurred some time after the invasion of Ireland by Gaedhil,who aresaid to be the ancestors of the Scots.Nicholson remarks that he cannot find one mention of the invasion by Africans in the Irish chronicles (“TVIW,” 8), so Geoffrey’s claim of Africans remains unresolved in terms of dating.
50) Procopius. HOTW, Book IV, X. In fact, Procopius accompanied Belisarius, the conqueror of Vandals, during the war with Vandals in 533-534.