By C. M. Millward
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Extra resources for A Biography of the English Language
The Goidelic branch includes Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Manx. D. Old Irish inscriptions in the unique Ogham alphabet. Irish has a rich literature in the Latin alphabet from the tenth to the sixteenth centuries. ; its first written records are from the fifteenth century. Manx, extinct since the midtwentieth century, is recorded from the sixteenth century. The Britannic (or Brythonic) branch of Celtic comprises Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. ; those of Cornish from the tenth century. D. by immigrants from Cornwall and Wales fleeing the Germanic invaders.
English pistachio and Italian pistacchio are alike because English recently borrowed the word from Italian. Conversely, English choose and French choisir are similar because French borrowed the word from Gothic, a Germanic language related to English. Finally, the correspondence between English glide and Swedish glida reflects their common origin. Neither language borrowed the word from the other; both words descend from a common ancestor. Whether all the languages of the world were once one—whether language was invented only once and then spread and diverged—is a question we cannot answer.
C. Because surviving Indo-European languages share common words for cold, winter, honey, wolf, snow, beech, and pine, but do not have common words for ocean, palm, elephant, or camel, we assume that the original home was inland in a relatively cool area, probably eastern Europe or western Asia. Making such assumptions on the basis of surviving vocabulary alone can be dangerous because people often apply old words to new phenomena when they move to new areas. For example, English The Outer History of Indo-European colonists named an unfamiliar American bird " r o b i n " because it was red-breasted like the English robin.