Revival da lingua Gallaic Gallaic Revival


Word Order

The non-formulaic counter-examples in the Old Gallaic Tartessian inscriptions show a more recent drift towards the verb-initial Verb-Subject-Object (VSO) word order familiar in Insular Celtic (Koch 2011, p. 100). Such an innovation is seen in the Alcala del Rio inscription from the heart of Tartessos where such innovations would be expected:

lagenti (V) Raha kassedana (S) = are lain down (V) Raha and the bronze minister (S ) [here] (O) = Raha and the bronze minister are lain down [here]

There is now broad consenus among Proto-Indo-European (PIE) scholars that PIE would have been a Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) language much like its descendant Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) is today. Celtic languages are also descended from PIE and this word order is conserved in most Gallaic inscriptions especially those used for funerary/religious purposes by the priesthood as in most Tartessian inscriptions (those away from the core of Tartessos among the KELTIKOI/Celtici/Conii/Cunetes) or in land-locked areas of the Meseta preserved in the Celtiberian inscriptions. This word order is also the most common word order in Basque possibly due to the influence of surrounding Celtic speakers who may have also provided the downstream clades of the Y-DNA R1b that are so common in Basque males.

However, the "state" Alcala del Rio inscription from the heart of Tartessos (KELTOI/Celti) that refers to Raha (probably originally Rapa before being Celticised), a descendant of Phoenician settlers who was the "Minster of Bronze (Trade)" in the Tartessian state under a Celtic king, shows the change to Verb-Subject-Object (VSO) word order that would be expected when a VSO Phoenician speaker learns Celtic Gallaic. It appears that this innovative change was transmitted by Celtic-speaking Tartessian traders as a sort of "bazaar Celtic" to Insular Celtic areas despite the druidic class retaining the old Proto-Celtic SOV word order for funerary/religious purposes that was used until the influence of Christianity allowed the "common speech" with its VSO word order to become the norm as recorded in monastic texts.


Hock, Hans Henrich (2015). "Proto-Indo-European verb-finality: Reconstruction, typology, validation". In Kulikov, Leonid; Lavidas, Nikolaos. Proto-Indo-European Syntax and its Development. John Benjamins.

Koch, John Thomas (2016). "Phoenicians in the West and the Break-up of the Atlantic Bronze Age and Proto-Celtic". In Koch, John Thomas and Cunliffe, Barry in collaboration with Cleary, Kerry and Gibson, Catriona D. Celtic from the West 3.